Monthly Archives: June 2013

Book Review: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

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Are the guys from CLC reading my mind? Receiving this devotional book from them is a surprise because I use this book in my quite time! I bought it years ago but only recently I include it on my meditations. As far as I’m concern this work from Oswald Chambers needs neither introduction nor book review. If books for quite time are cars, “My Utmost for His Highest” is the Rolls Royce.

Every entry of this devotional is intent not just for you to be encourage but to make you think deeper. The quest of Chambers book is to blow our own self serving spirituality and engage it to focus solely on God. Chambers God given wisdom to penetrate to the very heart and soul of his readers that you’ll think that some are new to the Christian (when it is not). Over and over again you will stumble to that” aha moment” that is thoroughly provoking and engaging. This devotional will leave you soaked in the Spirits power and asking God to teach you more about Him. That’s what a devotional is all about! That is “My Utmost for His Highest”!

“My Utmost for His Highest” has been updated in our modern language for easy reading and understanding by James Reimann. Reimann gave the updated versions of classic devotionals, two from Spurgeon (which I own) and Streams in the Desert. But I consider his update on “My Utmost for His Highest” the best of all. I think he gave his all on this project that it didn’t lost the ideas and thoughts of this devotional.

You don’t have to read this or any book review to endorse this great book. Don’t mind the blurbs or Charles Stanley’s foreword in the book. This devotional should be in every book shelves of every Christian. This classic book is highly recommended.

Book Review: Lift Up Your Eyes by Christopher Shaw

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A pastor once told me that not all Christians are called to be pastors, preachers, Sunday school teachers and missionaries. But all Christians are called to be leaders. We are leaders with a servant leadership.

“Lift Up Your Eyes” is a devotional geared for those Christian leaders in either ministerial or secular settings. There are lots of Christian books that are for leadership. We have tons and tons of it already. However, a devotional solely for leadership are but few. That’s were “Lift Up Your Eyes” comes in. A day by day meditation of what really matters most for leaders. Is your leadership in the spotlight? This devotional will cater to you and empower your leadership.

One of the things that caught our attention on this devotional is on prayer. We should make it a point to consider prayer as the most important and most powerful thing that God has given to us. But sometimes we neglect it maybe because we don’t really know what prayer truly means. As Christian leaders we need to bow in prayer everyday and set a vision to pray.

Leaders, are you looking for something to energize your day spiritually? Pick up “Lift Up Your Eyes” to know the heart of God in every phase of your leadership.

Book Review: Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

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“Know thy self” a quote from an ancient philosopher which still echoes today. Lost in what society or culture dictates to us we come to be tangled to images that are not who we are.
“Personality Plus” aims to untangle confusion on who we are and how we will understand others in the process. As I read this book by Littauer it dawns to me that this book is based on a book by Tim LaHaye on temperaments titled “Spirit Controlled Temperament”. I still have the copy it in its vintage edition. Also the contents of that LaHaye book are still vivid in my mind. So “Personality Plus” is “Spirit Controlled Temperament” version 2.0.
“Personality Plus” is a straight forward book that helps you apply its methods in very opening chapter. Here you got to choose in four categories of personality that fit who you really are. But first you have to answer the personality chart that gives character traits that you have. Then you pick which of the four personalities that most likely express yourself. The four personalities are Popular Sanguine, Perfect Melancholy, Powerful Choleric and Peaceful Phlegmatic. Further chapters of the book discuss the four personalities in terms of advice in encouraging, improving relationships, compatibility and achieving our potentials. I think you’ll smile if you find who you are in this book and give all heart attention to the suggestions for your personality.
Although the author of the book is a Christian, you won’t find the book drench with biblical support to the ideas it holds. I find some of what is included here has the same feel with self help books out in the market. Still this is a nice guide and you’ll learn from it. Not a gem but a tool in getting to know ourselves.

John Stott on the Holiness of the Church

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Writing to Christian leaders on how they should view the church, Bible teacher John Stott writes:

“Because of the sacred nature of the Christian community as the dwelling place of God, it must not be dishonored in any way; neither divided by jealousies and rivalries, nor deceived by false teaching, nor defiled by immoral conduct. These things are acts of sacrilege; they effectively destroy the church, for they destroy its unique identity as the holy people of God indwelt by the Spirit of God. And if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (v.17). This is a severe statement. But then to destroy the church (by dividing, deceiving or defiling it) is an extremely serious offence. So a deliberate act of violence against the church is an act against God. This surely shows that the perpetrator in mind is not a true believer. He will be destroyed in hell, for that is what ‘destruction’ means in the New Testament.”

(Calling Christian Leaders by John Stott, pg. 88-89, Published by OMF Literature Inc. 2010)

5 Essential Things to Do to Finish Reading a Book

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Some of us are struggling in finishing a book. At first we got fired up in reading a new book. But as we go through a few chapters, our flame diminishes. The book could be boring, very long or we already know what the book is leading us. In any rate, before the fire of reading goes out, here are five things to do to finish devouring a book:

1.       Randomly pick chapters or sections to read- chapter or section jumping is very helpful especially if the book’s chapters and sections are stand alone. Select parts of the book that appeals to you first. Read shorter sections or chapters. As you read this way you’ll finish the book in the breeze.

2.   Have a reading buddy or participate on blog “read together” method– asks someone to read along with you. It will be encouraging to have a friend sharing a book. He may tell the content of the book to you and create an appetite for you to read the book for yourself. Also there are blogs who are having a “read together” campaign that encourage followers of a blog to read a chapter of a book and have a weekly discussion on it online. Tim Challies has one on his blog and fans of his blog read classic Christian works with him which is cool. He also provides beforehand where to get the book and what format it is available. Try to find blogs with similar scheme.

3.   Read positive things on the book- check the blurbs, reviews, interviews, book trailer or additional resources of the book. It will ignite you passion over and over again to go on reading it.

4.   Listen or read sermons and articles the book came from- Christian books sometimes evolved from a smaller work of an author. Try to find sermons and articles which are tidbits of the book. It will give you a push to read to till the end. It also may help you read the book easy because you already know some parts of it.

 5.  Read it in an unusual pace and place- you don’t have to set a specific time and place for reading a book. Don’t read it every day do it every other day. Try to squeeze it in your idle time. Get out of the school library or your reading den (if you have one) try reading it while riding a bus, waiting for someone or eating a snack at a convenient store.

 

Any more you could add? Please include it on the comment.

Books in Pieces

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Previously I wrote an article about the “5 Essential Things to Do to Finish Reading a Book”. Included in the list is number 4 which is ‘Listen or read sermons and articles the book came from”. I explain that:

“Christian books sometimes evolved from a smaller work of an author. Try to find sermons and articles which are tidbits of the book. It will give you a push to read to till the end. It also may help you read the book easy because you already know some parts of it.”

As I recall some of my favorite books and books I want to read has some of its pieces from sermons and messages from the author. It could be a short article, video or MP3 form. It’s so awesome to search it over the internet and enjoy those parts. Parts of it are the sometimes the core of the books and some are teaser. What is great about it, it has the same message that it delivers like the book it is part of. Unlike the book it is easily shared and it won’t take time for someone to digest it in reading. If someone is not really into reading or you want to encourage them to read Christian books, this is a good place to start.

So I made a list of sermons or articles from which some of my favorite book came from. Aside from the books I dearly delighted, I include book I wish I could read and books you might be interested to. I hope and pray you will check out the link and with that you’ll grab the book and read it for your spiritual nourishment:

  1. Intimacy with God by J. Oswald Sanders – Four Circles of Intimacy with God is the core chapter of the book.
  2. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper – Youtube video of a sermon by John Piper.
  3. The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung – Youtube interview.
  4. The Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur Jr. – Youtube video sermon but I prefer the series MP3.
  5. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders – MP3 sermon of the book.
  6. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brent Harris – the blog entries almost has all the parts of the actual book.
  7. Platform by Michael Hyatt – part of this book are from post from his awesome blog.
  8. The Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer – Youtube video by the late Francis Schaeffer.
  9. Knowing Scriptures by R. C. Sproul  – simple but powerful article.
  10. Preaching with Passion by Alex Montoya – MP3 sermon from SermonAudio.com

Do you have books that you know are part of a sermon or article? You can post it on the comments so we can enjoy it both.

CLC Philippines Book Card

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Open your wallet and what do you see? Aside from the money bills, a picture of you and a 10 year old Starbucks receipt, an endless collection of cards. Discount cards, ATM cards, membership cards, ID cards etc., etc…Let me add another more to the list. How about a discount card for Christian books? And not only does it gives discounts but entitles you to be a part of God’s mission to reach out others? Is that a great deal? If you said yes then be a member of CLC Philippines “Book Card”.  Get discounts, freebies and exclusive privileges’ only from CLC Philippines.  If your passionate for books that will help you grow spiritual then this card is for you. How can you be a member? By simply by submitting a completed application form and pay the required fee you are in. Yes that is so simple!

In addition to that you’ll be added to the growing number of Book Card Connect, a book club and support group of the Book Card holders. The purpose of this group is connect Christians (member of the Book Card) to have fellowship and met new friends.  Now that’s something! So run to nearest CLC Bookshop to join or check CLC Philippines website, Facebook and Twitter for more info.