Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don't Just "Date" The Church!

Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God is written by Joshua Harris, the best-selling author of Dug Down Deep.  This book discusses about church not as a place to go once in a while or every Sunday, but is should be part of one's life.  He says "Church isn't where we go.  It's who we are."  His opinion is further supported by Charles Colson, "Cristians belong in churches - the only places where we can thrive and grow spritually." 

Whether you agree or disagree, this book discusses on how the brick and mortar church is not just a building, it is a place for growth.  An analogy would be a school, which can also be considered as a place of growth and encouragement.  We learn and hopefully we give back to others through tutoring, mentoring and providing guidance.

An essential statement of this book is "Think globally, love locally."  If you think about it, this applies to many situations in life.  As one person, we can only do so much, so we should think about how our actions can make a positive impact on others around us.  In theory, any human action can grow exponentially.  If we bring 2 friends to church, and each of the friends each bring 2 more friends to church, we can see the effect of 2^x growth.

The author cleverly divides the book into seven (7) distinct sections which enables one to journey through God's love.  In addition, this book has a discussion section that enables groups of people to read these books and share with each other what they think.  Ideal audiences would be fellowship groups in churches.  Each chapter is accompanied by related scriptures that support His words.  This book is designed to be shared over a period of 4 weeks.  I think it could be shortened or extended, depending on how you want to split it up.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

First step, don't just "date" the church!  Let's thrive together!!!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let's Go for a Workout! A Money Workout!

The 60 Minute Money Workout!  This basically is a personal fitness guide for personal finance!

Similar to how you dedicate 60 min of time to workout, this, this book shows how personal finance goals can be achieved in the same way as fitness ones.  It has 14 chapters, consisting of 14 different "workouts" you can do to become financially in shape!

In addition, the book features a Christian perspective and emphasizes integrating giving into part of a personal finance plan.  It explains that wealth is limited by time, which is always limited.  So you must seize the day and know how to make the most of it. 

First step is to achieve financial freedom.  Subsequently, one must take into account personalities.  Then the book discusses about planning for spending/budgeting, retirement savings, debt, paying less, travel and fun, allowances for kids, kid entrepreneur, college plan, home-based businesses, couples and giving.  You can read them one at a time or read them all.  The modular format is great, as it enables one to utilize sections that apply to each personal case.

This is meant to be a review, but I hope to invoke conversation and discussion.  For those of you who have not read the book, I highly encourage you to do so.  What do you do with your personal finances?  How do you manage them?

For more information about the book, I would suggest reading an excerpt from the publisher:

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Friday, November 25, 2011

(Not) For Married Couples Only

For men only.  This book is designed for married couples to read.  However, I think this book is not for married couples only.  It provides some simple ideas for men to communicate and interact with women.  For those of you who do not read the book, I discovered that my version of the book has a "Quick Start Guide."  It is basically an outline of the book.

The premise of the story revolves around six key ideas that are important to women.  They are: reassurance, emotions, security, listening, sex and beauty.  This book is indeed about for interactions between married couples, but one can easily take the ideas and apply them to any men-women relationship.  Most importantly, the ideas presented also connect to ideas from the Bible, which make this an effective solution to solving problems, assuming you do believe in the Holy Bible.

As a non-married person reading this book, I find that it provides helpful tips.  I do not consider myself a socially awkward person, but I think these ideals are good to follow and will help me interact with women.

If you want to get a better understanding of the inner lives of women, I highly recommend that you read this book.  If you are interested in seeing how Christian beliefs can help improve your existing relationships, this is also a great book.

Here is a link to the first chapter of the book provided by the publisher:

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Story for Mothers and Sons

Out of a Far Country is a story about the relationships of mothers and sons.  It contains 32 chapters of stories, which each tell a separate idea, but are interwoven together to become this remarkable book.  And it is a biography told by both the mother and son.  It is where we get two perspectives in one book.

It combines Christian values with the subject of drugs and sexual addition in an Asian American family.  I have to agree that the niche is small, but it would definitely be an interesting read for those who are passionate about the subject.

The book describes a story that shows the path from sex and drugs to living a Christian life.  Talks about one going to grad school and instead he becomes a drug dealer and gets caught.  It describes how a dental student made decisions that were good and bad, where one may argue whether the decisions were out of his control of not.

Certain excerpts of the book emphasize the pressures given to early Asian American immigrants to take care of their family and to show obedience by sending money home.  The Confucian concept of filial piety is passed on to the next generation regarding Christopher and his relationship with Angela (mom) and Leon (dad).

If you like books that describe one or more of the three things (Asian American life, gender and Christianity), then I would suggest reading this book.

For more information, I would suggest reading an excerpt from the book:

Here is a link to the trailer of the book prepared by the author:

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Complexities of Politics and Religion: Free Market and Abortion?

Raised Right is an interesting title and I am surprised that no other book has used it as one.  Right?  What do you mean by right??

One would think, "Were you raised wrong?"

Or another possibility could be, "Were you raised left?"

Everyone has a different childhood, but I'm sure there are many people who have had proper ones. In this story - right meant conservative-Republican Christianity.  I'm sure many people can associate their childhoods with this label.  Yet, Alisa Harris was the first to write a book called "Raised Right" and how her views progressed as she swayed from her family's homeschooling to adulthood.  Yet, she is still able to keep that respect of her parents, analogous to the ever-popular classic Chinese Confucian ideals of filial piety.

One issue I stand strong on is taxation and free market.  The book discusses her dislike against bank bailouts for banks that don't pay taxes to the American government.  I am a strong advocate of free market politics and I feel that this is indeed unfair.  Entities and people who don't pay taxes should not be entitled to benefits associated as such.  Unless, it is a good financial investment for the American people to be bailing out the banks, such as generating a positive return on investment.  Free market would call for zero tolerance for bailouts and in essence, be a positive ideology for the American people in this situation, contrary to many who argue against it.

Abortions are also a major subject in this book.  In childhood, she spent her life picketing abortion clinics.  But what about adulthood?  That's for you to find out!

This is meant to be a review, but I hope to invoke conversation and discussion.  For those of you who have not read the book, I highly encourage you to do so.  This book is not only for rights of lefts, it is intended for all audiences: moderate, conservative or progressive.  An excerpt of this book is available here:

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.