Book Review: Not By Sight by Jon Bloom

I have been following the Desiring God blog for years now and all I can say that this is one amazing blog. You can read astounding articles in a regular basis which is truly great. Their blogging team is superb. But as you can see, many of us doesnt seem to look forward to articles on Desiring God not written by John Piper. Well I enjoy Tony Reinke’s article however John Piper is always a must read. But that changed when I checked Jon Bloom’s book “Not by Sight”. It was published by OMFLIt here in the Philippines and was launch last September at the Manila International Book Fair however I wasnt interested on the book. Yet recently, I gave ‘Not by Sight” a try and I wasnt disappointed with it.
Every chapter (or devotional entry if you want call it that way) of “Not By Sight” contains a biographic sketch and the biblical lesson. The bio sketch are bite size historical fiction that unveals the essential background of every character. The lesson are brief yet powerful to focus you to the all sufficient God. The bio sketch and the lesson are like two diamonds that are glittering in this book. Both can stand alone but the chapter shines brightest because of these well written parts. This proves that you dont need alot of words to have a spiritual banquet. You can feast on the goodness of God in every short chapter of Jon Bloom’s book.

If you’re using this as part of your morning devotional, you’ll definately look forward every morning for the entries. Wake up to meet James, Joseph, Peter, Martha and the other biblical characters as they walk in faith in different situations that you and I faces.

Notable quotes:
“God will not spare us from all awkward and painful decisions. Neither will he spare us from all wrong decisions resulting from our fallen finiteness, even if they are made in the integrity of our hearts. God has his purposes in all of these. But what we can trust him to do is faithfully give us the correction and guidance we need at the time he deems right.”
“Trusting in Jesus and his word over our perceptions is difficult to learn. That’s why the Lord takes us through so many different faith-testing, faith-building experiences.And when he does, it is never for just our own benefit. He’s displaying his power so others’ faith will be strengthened too.”
“So when you find yourself suddenly moving in a direction you had not planned, take heart; the Great Planner has something much better in mind for you and countless others.”
“God will not spare us from all awkward and painful decisions. Neither will he spare us from all wrong decisions resulting from our fallen finiteness, even if they are made in the integrity of our hearts. God has his purposes in all of these. But what we can trust him to do is faithfully give us the correction and guidance we need at the time he deems right.”
“When the storms of life hit, they almost always appear stronger to us than God’s Word. It is crucial for us to remember that our perceptions can be deceptive. When circumstances strike fear into our hearts, the question we must ask ourselves is, where is your faith?What God wants is for you to trust what he says over what you see.”
Uplifting and encouraging, “Not By Sight” is a must read for every believer. Powerful for those who are going through rough times. Insightful for those who just need some reminder that God is there for them. Get “Not by Sight” at your nearest Christian bookstores or download the PDF format here for free: http://bit.ly/1C8olo2.

Book Review: What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me? by David Platt

It’s a coincidence that this book was published by OMFLit in time of David Platt being the new president of the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention. With the caliber of Platt, the IMB will never be the same and I looking forward for developments on it.

“What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me?” tackles what it means to be saved and the cost of following Christ which is both essential for a Christian. It maybe a short book but it has an engaging impact like any David Platt book. His message here is somewhat a combination of his “Radical” and John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Also it is a sort of “prequel” of “Radical” and “Follow Me” which “….Follow Me?’ can be categorized as evangelistic while the latter (longer) books are for discipleship. Although it’s evangelistic, yet it tackles snippets of discipleship. As you read the book and how those aspects of evangelism and discipleship mix in, you’ll see that David Platt is a gifted writer.

OMFLit should be praised for publishing this book and how affordable it is. You can buy this in multiple copies to be given to new believers and unbelievers alike. If OMFLit can do it to other books like “For Your Joy” by John Piper or the Francis Schaeffer classic “The Mark of the Christian”, it will be pretty awesome. But as for now, “What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me?” they have published a book that if every Pinoy Christian will read, it will trail blaze us to a new level of loving and following Christ.

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr

CLC Book Review Round Up 4

It’s almost the end of summer and school is just around the corner. I could feel all some of you are having mixed emotions of going back to school. But don’t fret! Indulge yourself for the last few weeks in reading your favorite book from CLC Philippines. And as usual, if you missed our book review we rounded it up here for your reading pleasure. If you like what you read, then go to the nearest CLC Bookshops, PCBS or National Bookstore or online http://www.clcphilippines.com for these titles. End this summer with a bang…or should I say a book… 🙂

The Joyful Heart (Daily Meditation) by Watchman Nee

Taking God Seriously by Stuart Briscoe

Running on Empty by Jill Briscoe

Resisting Gossip by Matthew C. Mitchell (read my interview with Pastor Mitchell here)

UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

You might also check out Round Up 1Round Up 2 and Round Up 3….Enjoy!!!!

 

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something introvert whose passion is to proclaim the good news about God. He wears many hats but he is just an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God. You can reach him at his FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram.

5 Essential Things to Do After Finishing Reading a Book

Before putting your recently finished book down and telling it on Facebook, here are some tips to do after devouring a book. Bona petit!

  1. Catch the lesson it is driving- not just knowing the theme of the book but what additional wisdom can it give us and put us in action.
  2. Think of someone who will benefit in reading it- if it really made a great impression to you why not share it to someone and make an impact to that person’s life.
  3. Put it in your giveaway list- keep it on the list so when a friend’s birthday, Christmas or any occasion will come, it will be a great gift.
  4. Promote it- write a book review; post in on Facebook or Twitter make some noise about this newly read book.
  5. Re-read it- if you won’t get the lessons of the book or some parts still doesn’t sink in, re-reading it will make a difference.

Does anyone have #6? Please post it on the comment.

Book Review: Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven

CLC is not running out of great devotional to publish for the Christian. Just when you think you have the devotionals from Oswald Chambers and Chuck Swindoll, here comes another stand out. Enter Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven. It’s a 366 daily devotional readings that will surely start your day with God.

As I check out the entries of this devotional, this wont be just an appetizer for your spiritual breakfast. Kuyvenhoven will serve you a hefty meal of the Word of God. This is not just a “one day one inspiration” turf of pop Christianity. This is more of a sermon stuff in a concise manner. I can visualized Kuyvenhoven going to the pulpit to deliver these messages. So you get a sermon per day in this book. And because the author is Reformed, prepare for deep understanding and meditation of God’s Word. Also let me add that every month has certain theme which I find odd but for me a very radical thing for a devotional. This should also be read like a book, but for its purpose a daily intake of this classic devotional will set the pace for the whole day.

This updated version is as fresh as 30 years it was published and gone in ten printings and I’m highly recommending it to Christians who wants more in their quite time. Straight forward, biblically solid and tackles topics that is essential to the believers this devotional is worth waking up and seeking God.

New Titles for Book Review

 

In the coming weeks Delighting Grace, in partnership with Christian Literature Crusade (CLC) Philippines will post book reviews of their titles. As indicated in their letter, the new batch of books came from different categories that CLC offers. It has Devotionals, Christian Living and Ministry Resources showcasing the versatility of CLC that caters to various needs of Christians. So fresh from the package, the books to be reviewed are:

 

Advance Strategic Planning by Audrey Malphurs

Integrity in the Workplace by Steve Marr

Lift Up Your Eyes by Christopher Shaw

Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven

Being Christian by Stephen Arterburn

 

So guys please pray for us as we explore these titles and may we review it with the mission to exalt God and inspire Christians. Also don’t forget to come visit this blog for those reviews. If you have questions please free to post it on our comment or e-mail it to me: allstarboyscout@yahoo.com. Again thank you CLC Philippines for the opportunity to review those titles and working together to bring Filipinos Christians books to read for their spiritual growth.

 

P.S. if you miss the book reviews of the previous titles of CLC Philippines you can check below the link:

Book Review: The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall

Book Review: Marriage Matters by Winston T. Smith

Book Review: A Vision of the Deep by Susan Scott Sutton

Book Review: God Without Religion by Andrew Farley

FYI! There are other books I’ve reviewed aside from CLC titles, take a dip on them below:

Book Review: Leaders that Last by Dave Kraft

Book Review: Be All You Can Be by John Maxwell

Book Review: Calling Christian Leaders by John Stott

Book Review: Knowing Scriptures by R. C. Sproul

Boo Review: Giving Up is Not an Option by William B. Girao

One last thing, if you want to write a book review you might like this post:

5 Essential Things in Writing a Book Review

God bless!!! Enjoy Jesus!!!

5 Essential Things in Writing a Book Review

Its one thing to read a book, it another if you want to write a book review. Some do it for school projects, to earn money or for fun. Book review is a sort of endorsement as well as appreciation of the book that you just have read.  But how do you start writing a review? Check the list and find out:

 

  1. Read the book. Of course you should! Nothing beats reading it from cover to cover. I’ve heard some read the Introduction, Chapter 1 then titles of every chapter and the conclusion. You can do that. But actually reading it is simply the best. Know the message, it audience and the benefit you’ll get reading it.
  2. Get to know the author. Get the background of the author. Read or listen to his talks or sermons. Know his forte (Evangelism, Christian Living, apologetics etc.) Read articles featuring the writer of the book. An extra mile of knowledge will easily help you write the review.
  3. Know similar author. Yes! This is sometimes applied to Musicians so they can better identify their music, style, genre or message. It can be also helpful to writers.
  4. Ask someone who loves the authors’ works. Fans of the writer can enthusiastically give you comments and insight to that author.
  5. Read other reviews of the book. Not for the sake to copy but to understand the book more from other peoples opinion. Read the praises and criticisms of the book and its author. Have a balance view of the book.

Would you like to try to write a book review?

Book Review: Preaching With Passion by Alex Montoya

Who is Alex Montoya?” I ask a friend of mine when he recommended this book when he saw it on PCBS. If I ask you if you know him you’ll probably scratch your head. Maybe out of curiosity you might as well check him out. And maybe if it wasn’t for the “Foreword by John MacArthur” indicated on the cover, you won’t give this book a second look!

Alex Montoya really knows what passionate preaching is and we should take heed in this 160 page book as he unravels eight characteristics of passionate preaching to us.  As a preacher himself, you can feel his passion to teach and encourage to preach with passion in every page. John MacArthur is right when he said in the Foreword, Alex “is infectious” and this book will “start an epidemic.”  Reading the book gave me insights on preaching with passion.  And I hope it will in your part as we all seek to effectively preach God’s Word. This book will ignite your passion for preaching every time you read it over and over again. Having this book will lead you to an exciting adventure and a fresh perspective on preaching.

As for my friend, I gave him a copy of the book and he is now enjoying the benefits of its content.

Notable quotes:

“The secret to passionate preaching is spiritual power. It is God at work in our lives.”

“Passion is the power, the drive, the energy, the life in the delivery of the sermon.”

“Men who have convictions and live by them will also preach with conviction.”

“Passion originates in the heart of God processed through the heart of man.”

“Great preachers are forged in the furnace of affliction.”

“Brokenness is a requirement for strong, vigorous, and passionate preaching.”

“Seminary trains the mind, but suffering trains the soul.”

“God breaks a man who is full of himself; then he is useful to God.”

This powerful book is published here in the Philippines by Back to the Bible for P165 (very cheap!). Before you buy it I suggest checking the preview of the entire book at Google Books.