Book Review: Beyond the Big C by Jeremy Marshall

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If you’re a Christian with a terminal illness, how would you share the gospel to someone? Will it be hard to convince people to believe? Will they listen to you? What if you have a handful of facts to share to someone? What if your illness hinders them to believe you? These are the questions that came up as I turn to this book by Jeremy Marshall. Perhaps he has these questions too and took it as a challenge to open up a conversation about Jesus. That conversation will likely be this short book, Beyond the Big C.

Beyond the Big C is not a brief bio of Marshall on his journey with cancer but as his mention it over and over the book, it about someone else (which is Jesus).  He gladly admits that he is an ordinary Christian meaning he’s an average Joe with a few (but essential) things he knows about Christianity and why it is true. As you will find in this book, his pain, fear and doubts are the same as what you might experience. However, he is placing his trust whatever the outcome of his battle to God.  And he is challenging you whatever your struggling to place it also to God.    

As Marshall shares his beliefs you’ll find that he’s not arguing Christianity as an excellent  apologist or well learned theologian. He comes in the book as a friend with enough convictions that will not turn you off because it’s becoming preachy or technical. Nor Marshall over loads you with information. Consider him as a stranger starting a conversation with you in a coffee shop, at a park bench or at a hospital lobby.   Marshall is sharing the Christian message with a comforting and encouraging tone without compromising it. 

Beyond the Big C is a one sitting read that you’ll share to people that might be struggling in their life. It’s also for people who is just as he is, ordinary that doesn’t want to do with any religion. I don’t recommend Beyond the Big C for those looking for elaborate, detailed and long arguments on Christianity. Look for something else. It’s a good read and you’ll find it a worthwhile read.  

My verdict:

4 out of 5

(Review copy of this book is provided by 10 of Those)

Book Review: “Enjoy Your Prayer Life” by Michael Reeves

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Before you dig in with this review, I would like to invite you to read my favorite quotes from this book by clicking this link just in case you missed it.

The first book I read from Michael Reeves is Delighting the Trinity which is awesome. Reeves wrote it as if it’s not introducing the doctrine of the Trinity for the reason he lifts up the preconceive burden of understanding a complex doctrine. Instead, he pointed out the relationship of the between the Godhead. In similar vein, the same treatment can be found with this short book, Enjoy Your Prayer Life

  Reeves acknowledge that we struggle with prayer. The reasons might be the lack of time, becoming a dead routine or just plain boring. Reeves attempts in this book to convince us that prayer is not just important but it is enjoyable. Enjoyable? Yes, prayer is enjoyable. Well this book doesn’t present a new method of prayer or drive some guilt for your lack of praying. Instead, Reeves states that prayer is more than an abstract thing. It’s  a natural expression of faith that flows from the relationship of the Godhead. Reeves focuses on how each of the Godhead relates to the praying believer. Like what Reeves treatment with his award winning book, Delighting the Trinity , he handles the subject of prayer well and penetrating.

A short read but has meaty content,  will give you a refreshing perspective on prayer. Praying is truly enjoyable in the light of who we are praying to. If you want a new light for your prayer life let Enjoy Your Prayer Life shine on it.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Enjoy Your Prayer Life” by Michael Reeves

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Last Lord’s Day we celebrated Pastor’s Appreciation Month. We let our pastor take a back seat from his usual worship duties and our deacons and lay leaders did their thing which are truly a blessing to the church. Our pastor noted that last Sunday was the first time we had an elaborate program for the celebration and we hope it won’t be the last. Will you pray for our church and our pastor as we honor him and his care for us? Also lift him up to God for his ordination coming next year.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life, published by 10 of Those Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“…your prayer life reveals how much you really want communion with God and how much you really depend on him.”

“It is the word of God, the gracious message of Christ, that awakens faith and so prayer – and so that must be the basic shape of our everyday communion with God.”

“…prayerlessness is practical atheism, demonstrating a lack of belief in God.”

“Praying is enjoying – and pleading for – the friendship and friendly assistance of God.”

“Prayerlessness always goes hand in hand with a lack of Christian integrity.”

“To know you are a beloved child of God protects you from thinking of prayer as a ladder to God or an exercise by which you work your way into his favour. Prayer doesn’t make you more accepted. Instead, prayer is growing in the appreciation of what you have been given.”

“Prayer is the antithesis of self-dependence.”

“When you default to thinking of prayer as an abstract activity, a ‘thing to do’, the tendency is to focus on the prayer as an activity – which makes it boring. Instead, focus on the one to whom you’re praying.”

Book Review “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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If you can’t stop singing “Everything is Awesome” because of the cover that reminds you about the Lego movie, then it’s OK.  Because this book is indeed awesome!

Revolutionary Work tackles on the biblical view of work. This book is based on a series presented at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate by William Taylor. Revolutionary Work shows us the work as God’s gift because of our stewardship role in creation. Therefore, it is essential to us. Also it shows a balanced view of it as all vocations are equal and we should not call one as “special”. Despite of being a gift from our Creator, futility can be seen as we are fallen humans as we toil for ourselves, our family and for God’s mandate. However, work should be done knowing God is our boss and the means for us to bring the gospel to our co-workers.

There are four chapters which are a bit long but you can read their summaries at the end of each chapters, which is cool. If you want to skip all of it and distill the essentials, you should go for the summaries.  However, as much as possible read all of it.  The indexes and the Q and A section are must reads also, so don’t put this book down yet.

I love how Taylor’s treatment of  John 4 on the work of God which is the end goal of all our work. The work of God meaning evangelism. That’s on chapter four, which for me is the most engaging part of the book.

All in all Revolutionary Work, though it’s a slim volume, delivers a meaty content that you can find in a thick book. So this is my third time to give 10 of Those and this book a two thumbs up! Now sing some more “Everything is Awesome”

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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By God’s providence, my phone’s down time helped me to slow down and gave me this mini digital sabbath here and there. It allowed me to focus more on what matters. I still get to write for my blog but in a slower phase (and a slow laptop). I get to join a FB group that is very active in prayers so I grab the opportunity every time I open my FB and there is an update from that group, I’ll stop and pray for these brethren who covets my prayers. Its was a blessing to me.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by William Taylor, Revolutionary Work published by 10 of Those Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“Work is good and work is grim, but work should be governed by the gospel. Therefore, you need to be thinking how you can be of greater service to the gospel in your particular position.”

 “So how does God do his work? It is through his word. He brings people in to the harvest through his word; he keeps people to the end of the harvest through his word; and he brings people to himself and builds people up and sustains them as harvesters through his word. This is how his work is done.”

“…the God of the Bible is a worker: he made the universe. Unlike the pantheon of Greek gods or Eastern deities, he gets his hands dirty, as it were. God himself dignifies work. Since God made man in his image, we find that we are workers too.”

“God is the ruler and God is a worker but humanity is to rule and work under him. This is a delegated task, given to us by God, and therefore we are answerable to God for the manner in which we undertake it. We are to rule over the world and care for it in an accountable and responsible way. We are to develop it and to design within it, but must not forget that it has been given to us on trust.”

“Realising that all jobs are dignified should have a profound impact on how we view ourselves and the position in which God has placed us, and indeed it will influence what kind of work we are prepared to do for the sake of the gospel. All roles are of equal value.”

“All work is delegated to us by God and designed by God for our human good and for his glory. Therefore, no area of work is somehow of higher value or more important or more significant than another.”

“Our contemporaries are ignorant of the way God’s world works. They have only their own dreams to guide them. They do not have a word from outside explaining the universe. Yet in the Bible God speaks to us and makes clear the correct way we should perceive work.”

“Many companies issue business cards or uniforms that make clear to others that their employees work for their company. Every Christian’s emblem should be, ‘I work for Jesus’. He is our ultimate master; throughout our entire working week we serve him.”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Fearless Faith” by Jonathan Stephen

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Our 27th year church anniversary was a blast last Sunday. It was by God’s grace successful. The special numbers, the fellowship and most importantly the preaching of the Word was edifying. Not only that, the Lord added 3 new members in His church during the afternoon baptism. Will you keep us in prayer as our church grows and spread the gospel in our community?

Anyways, here’s a book by Jonathan Stephen, Fearless Faith published by 10 of Those Publishing. This book is part of the series of books from Union Theology and with Michael Reeves as senior editor. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“What we ultimately trust in, where our hope really lies and what we love most of all not only reveal our true selves but also determine the direction of our lives.”

“faith, hope and love as the three huge propellers that drive the church of Jesus (and you as a member of that church) safely through the perilous seas of life.”

“The truth is that fear cannot coexist peacefully alongside faith, hope or love. There is a constant battle between them until one or other takes control.”

“the antidote to great fear is a strong faith in the true Person of Christ.”

” If our lives were always pleasant and never challenging, our faith would scarcely be required and never grow. We would not be much use to the Lord in this life, nor would we be prepared for the life to come.”

“A Christian’s trials and troubles are a normal and necessary part of our training for glory. So let’s be thankful that our times are in the Lord’s hands, and not in our own (Ps. 31:15).”

“Let your experience of God’s goodness in the past feed your faith in his loving purposes for you now. While there is no promise that we shall be delivered from all our trials and troubles, by faith we shall pass safely through them. “

“Ultimately, nothing strengthens the believer’s faith more than a full realisation and understanding of the Saviour’s unique identity.”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “True Friendship” by Vaughan Roberts

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Yesterday, I lead our youth small group to cultivate their awareness with our persecuted brethren. Our activity was to write a letter of encouragement for these Christians who are undergoing trials. We wrote letters to two Chinese pastors currently in prison, a Nigerian mother and parents of the Chibok girls. I hope and pray that these letters will strengthen the spirits of these persecuted believer and our youth will open their hearts to fellow Christians who are suffering. Would you include that in your prayers?

Anyways, here’s Vaughan Roberts book True Friendshippublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming soon.

“Healthy Christian marriages do not have an exclusively inward focus, but are fuelled by looking up to Christ and strengthened by looking out to others, both to give and receive.”

“God’s plan of salvation is designed not only to restore our vertical relationship with God, but also to create horizontal relationships of loving friendship between human beings in his family.”

“The theme of friendship takes us right to the heart of the Bible’s message. God is relational.”

“The fundamental relationship in our life must be with the one true God, the sovereign Creator. The Bible insists that true wisdom begins when we ‘fear’ him: recognizing who he is and what he has done for us in Christ, and then responding with a worshipful, trusting submission. “

“Marriage is the exclusive, covenantal commitment of a man and a woman for life. The Bible teaches that sexual intercourse, which is designed to express and strengthen that covenant, should only take place in that context. Friendship should not seek to copy marriage by either demanding exclusive commitment or containing sexual expression. We are free to develop deep friendships, which can be a great blessing, as long as these boundaries are not crossed. “

“If we are hoping to marry we should be looking, above all, not for the perfect partner for romantic dates, but for a friend who can travel with us through all of life. For Christians, that must therefore mean someone who is on the same path, seeking to follow Christ.”

“Our Facebook profile might tell us that we have 464 friends, but how many really know us? How many would we be willing to make real sacrifices for? How many are there on whom we can rely in times of need? “

“We too can be friends of God, not because of any innate worthiness in us, but because of Christ’s death for us on the cross. “

By the way, to my Pinoy friends, do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto, an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Essentials” by Lee McMunn

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Living with my in law who needs a dialysis twice a week, me and my wife need to adjust. I have a graveyard shift so my time in the morning is flexible. But I need to make much of those dialysis sessions. So I decided, since I’ll be taking my father in law two times a week (Tuesday and Friday) at the hospital for his 4 hour dialysis session, I might as well bring some digital “baon”. Aside from e-books, I’ll be listening to various podcast from Spotify. It’s a mix bag of Reformed theology, business, comics and kid lit. I want those 4 hours to count as I listen, enjoy and learn.

Anyways, here’s Lee McMunn’s book Essentialspublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming up.

“The Bible teaches that the God who is responsible for all the good and beautiful things, from the tiniest particle to the grandest planet, is a united family of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“The Bible says it’s because the God who made us is a relationship of three persons, and we have been created to live in a similar way. That’s why relationships are so important to us.”

“The reason God has the right to rule our lives is because he created us. We know from our everyday existence that those who make things, whether small or grand, have ownership rights over their creations. “

“Passionate commitment to God and his way is for our happiness. Living with God in charge is not drudgery, it is delightful.”

“Rejecting God spells disaster for our eternal future. Cosmic treason is expensive. “

“Forgiveness alone would have been amazing. But the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit offers us much more. As well as forgiveness, we are invited to enjoy a relationship with each member of the Trinity.”

“Obeying Jesus in a world where many people don’t inevitably brings Christians into conflict with competing ideas. Therefore, anyone who follows Jesus should expect turbulence.”

“Relationship with the Father is very personal, but it is never to be individualistic. Anyone who follows Jesus instantly has lots of siblings!”

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “To Fly To Serve” by Adrian Reynolds

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It’s the mid week and I hope you’re enjoying God in everything you are doing. Maybe you’re at the office busy (like my wife) or at home (like me taking care of our baby daughter). God is the God even in the mundane. If fact, the ordinary can be extraordinary when you do it for the glory of God.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from Adrian Reynolds book To Fly To Servepublished by 10 Publishing. My book review can be read by clicking this link.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by clicking to 10 Publishing.

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“Remember, your role as speaker is to get from the page of the text to the heart of the hearers.”

“…any Bible speaker in any setting must be prayerfully dependent on the power of the Spirit in their preparation and delivery, beforehand and afterwards. Only when he is at work will anything happen.”

“You can start badly, and even finish badly, but still deliver a good talk overall. However, if the middle section’s content is not there, even the best introduction and sparkiest ending will leave your hearers cold and empty.”

“Your task, as pilot of this Bible talk, is to get the truth from the page of the Bible to the heart of your hearers. Get that bit wrong and your Bible talk is not a Bible talk at all.”

” those of us who are piloting the Bible talks are doing so in complete and utter dependence on The Company: in our case, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.”

“With careful and prayerful preparation, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the talk you are about to give may have exactly the same effect, or even better, than if Piper, Keller or Roberts was standing in front of your audience.”

” a Bible talk is not over until listeners are left thinking about what the main teaching and application is for them personally.”

“A Bible talk is easiest, let’s be honest, if your listeners are all in the same boat. But in most normal churches and settings that’s unlikely to be the case. You’re more likely to be speaking to a mixed lot.”

 

 

 

 

 

8 More Favorite Quotes From The Book “Raising Your Kids in a ‘You Can Do It!’ World” by Paul Tautges

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I really enjoyed reading the book Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World and it’s a great resource for parents in raising their children. So here’s a second serving of 8 favorite quotes from Paul Tautges book Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World, published by 10 Publishing.  I wrote a review of this book in case you missed it. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by clicking to 10 Publishing or Amazon link.

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“The fear of the Lord begins in the heart, with our attitude. Like every other attitude, it works itself out in how we live and love. “

“Since the Bible consistently argues that all behavior flows from the heart, we must see our role as spiritual shepherds of the hearts of our children. “

“As parents, we should ask ourselves if our kids see in us an awe for God. In the way we speak and live, they need to see our reverence for the Lord.”

“Our goal should be to raise not self-confident children, but God-dependent adults.”

“Our kids don’t need perfect parents. They need parents who know how desperately they need the Savior themselves”

“Never, never lose the wonder of God’s great mercy. Be so thrilled with the gospel that your children will never be mistaken as to who you love most. “

“Make church attendance such a habit that there’s never a need for your kids to ask, “Dad, Mom, are we going to church tomorrow?”

“Seeing God as awesome naturally leads to adoration, humility, and submission.”