Book Review: Reading People

reading peopleReading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel is a great introduction to the world of personality and personality inventories. The author does a wonderful job of introducing and walking through the upsides and downsides of multiple personality tests without sounding overly clinical or introspective. If you are looking for a good explanation of the tests talked about in the book and how to benefit from them personally and interpersonally then Reading People is a good book for you.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Book Review: Spiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life

spiritual wisdomSpiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life: How Your 8 Key Emotions Can Work for You by Mark W. Baker, PhD provides insight into how good theology and good psychotherapy can come together to help a person heal and thrive in the midst of life’s struggles.

The author does a good job of dispelling some common myths that we and well-meaning people can propagate which actually keep us stuck rather than moving forward. The short chapters and easy to follow illustrations make the book easy to read and digest the core concept being taught in the subsections of the eight key emotion sections.

The downside to the book is the other side of the coin of having short illustrations and points – there is not a lot of direction for a person to take action on by themselves given in the book. The upside of the downside is that this apparent limitation may help a person act on the hope for change and contact a good therapist to help them through the often difficult journey forward through the struggles of life.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: God-Shaped Heart (aka Love Wins Part 2)

The God-Shaped Heart by Timothy Jennings, M. D. can be summed up as a sequel to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. The author rejects the biblical view of the death of Jesus upon the cross as a substitute for our sins and sets up the biblical truth as necessarily contrary to the love of God described in the Bible.

The author describes anyone who holds to the need for the punishment of sin as “level four or below [on Kohlberg’s model of moral development]” (p 86) and not to be trusted (pp 68-69). He writes that if sin were legally needing to be punished by God then we would be “worshipping a dictator god” (p 91) and by necessity be unable to have a “love for others and [a] living for a higher purpose” (p 91).

The book goes on to say that salvation is not through faith in Christ alone but that all who show self-sacrificial love have experienced the “rebirth” from Christ and are “members of God’s kingdom” (p 175). Furthermore, the book asserts that “what determines our eternal destiny is not God’s judgment upon us but our judgment of God” (p 279) and that it is a “lie” that God will judge sin (p 278).

Needless to say, if you want a God-shaped heart as described by the God of the Bible do not buy, read, or endorse Jenning’s book.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: Enjoying God

enjoying godEnjoying God: Finding Hope in the Attributes of God by R.C. Sproul brings the reader into the world of enjoying God for who He is in His virtues, character, and attributes. The reader quickly discovers how R.C. Sproul finds enjoyment in presence of God through deep meditation upon the traits of God from a rich theological perspective.

The author gives insight into his own personality and ways of enjoying God when he pens, “As I grew older my concept of God grew up as well…I studied theology in college, seminary, and graduate school. My concept of God became more refined, more sophisticated, more cerebral” (p 83). If you are the type of person who finds that they enjoy and enter into the presence of God through Sproul’s way of engaging God, then you will find Enjoying God a real treat.

If you are the type of person that struggles with enjoying God in the deep theological pondering style of Sproul, but instead enter into God’s presence through the reading and prayer of the Scriptures, then Enjoying God may not be the book for you in your devotional/self-feeding time – though it is a good book to help you think more deeply about the nature and attributes of God as you pray the Scriptures.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

40 x 40 List (Updated 10/02/17)

40I have been challenged by my lovely wifeto come up with a 40 by 40 list.  It took a few weeks to complete the list as coming up with 25 items wasn’t that difficult but the last 15 were stretching.

I will periodically update the list and my progress.

Hobbies/Crafts

  1. Finish balsa wood biplane
  2. Basement tools organization system
  3. Go sailing
  4. 1500 blog posts [This is post 952]
  5. Get violin tuned and play the violin [Rebecca got it tuned for our 5 year anniversary & I have started to relearn some old tunes]
  6. 3 DIY projects [Basement organization shelving system, Baby Crib, TV & Bookshelves System]
  7. Categorize and create online list of books/ebooks

Spiritual

  1. Lead 3 people to the Lord [1 person]
  2. Read Charnock’s 2 volume set [Volume 1 Done]
  3. Read Schaff’s 8 volume set [Completed 09/07/2016]
  4. Author/co-author 3 books [Presence now on Amazon]
  5. Read through the OT 6 more times [4 down]
  6. Read through the NT 12 more times
  7. Help plant a new church
  8. Take 4 people all the way through the Oasis/GCA Higher Ground discipleship series [2 People so far]

Health/Fitness

16. Compete in an aquathalon [Completed September 17, 2017]
17. Complete the Advocare 24 day challenge [Completed January 28, 2015]
18. Complete P90X
19. Complete the Recon Ron pull-up workout routine [Busted up elbow when 75% done; on hiatus right now.]

Food

20. Eat at The Pearl
21. Eat 5 new foods [1. Melt’s Winter Chicken, 2. Bananas Foster, 3. Pesto Chicken Crepe, 4. Beignets, 5. Pork Belly Sandwich]
22. Cook 6 new foods [1. Brie on the grill: Yum.; 2. Orange Spice Chicken: Too Dry; 3. Pan-Seared Tilapia with boiled red potatoes and sauteed green beans: Yum; 4. Greek Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Very Good and Very Easy to Make..I added extra garlic to the recipe, 5. Bananas Foster, 6. Pesto Chicken Crepe, 7. My own home brew beer]
23. Participate in a coffee cupping [09/06/14, Wonderful experience through Columbus Food Adventures]

Finances

24. Cut school debt in half
25. Double my retirement savings [working on it; about 2/3 of the way there]
26. Increase [primary] income to 2.5 times current level on July 18, 2014 (I work in a field that doesn’t pay much, so this isn’t me aiming to be rich) [Going up but not there yet]

Family

27. Become a father [Our son is due on Christmas Day was born on December 26!]
28. See a set of family members no longer unchurched
29. Upgrade my car
30. Upgrade our housing [Moved to a larger place before our son was born]

Travel/Events

31. Go to the beach as an immediate family [Cape Hatteras in June 2016]
32. See Yellowstone National Park
33. Camp out under the stars
34. Go to the Wilds
35. Go Ziplining
36Go to the Ohio cave/caverns

Professional

37. Become independently licensed as a counselor [June 20, 2016]
38. Lead a counseling workshop [Anxiety Workshop at Arlington Dental Group]
39. Have at least 20 clients a week for at least 4 weeks straight [April 2017]
40. Counsel 300 clients [Past & Current = 261 clients]

Book Review: A Place Called Heaven

heavenA Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home by Dr. Robert Jeffress takes on the task of talking about heaven in a way that doesn’t fall into the categories of cliche, hyperbole, and caricature. Using Scripture as his guide, the author does a commendable job in his endeavor.

Though there are certain parts of the book that the author may have overreached and been a bit too literal in the interpretation of texts that have a context of imagery, the book does a good job of laying biblical support of the topic of heaven – even in ways that go against some commonly held (and extra-biblical or unbiblical) beliefs that some Christians hold onto regarding the topic.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.