Monday, September 27, 2010

Lee A Life of Virtue by John Perry

Robert E. Lee was best noted as the General of the Confederate Army in the Civil War. He is less known for his ability as a strategist, leader and many of his beliefs he had. John Perry book about General Lee indicates that even though slavery was assumed as the key triggering point of the Civil War General Lee, before the war broke out, had always stated he was personally against slavery.

Lee struggles with the concept of this war literally forcing brothers against brothers. Lee’s sense of loyalty to his beloved Virginia was stronger than his loyalty to the United States. After a very long contemplation he finally decided his true calling should be with Virginia because of that and his leadership he agreed to join the Confederate Army.

The best part of the book focuses not on the military stand point but his true morals, personal philosophy and his sense of honor. Lee’s historical records and documentation show he had many things we could learn from him his respect, humility dignity and empathy for others was way beyond the his time and the circumstances.
The book is a quick read but the manner of which the story of his life is told is worth the read. The book is filled with fact based quotations from his personal letters and other related documents.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let's Do Lunch By Roger Wilson

Let’s Do Lunch by Roger Troy Wilson is yet another diet book but hold on it has a nice twist. While most diet books focus on limiting your intake right away this diet book does not. The main focus is eating the right things and not being concerned right away with the quantity. The problem most people have while dieting is they are not mentally or physically prepared to successfully handle a diet. This book is perfect for the person who needs to work into a diet slowly being able to still eat food that tastes good, intake a decent quantity of food and over time learning to reduce your overall consumption. Most of us have tried diets only to be starved after 2-3 weeks and gain all the weight back plus some.

Let’s Do Lunch diet makes sense but like the book says always check with your doctor before starting any diet. This diet plan is successful for many and could work for you. The diet plan does have areas that are flexible where many plans are very stringent and have no room for creativity. If you are looking for a diet book where you won’t starve, food tastes good and you want to lose weight in a healthy manner try this diet plan. One item that I found very useful in the book was how to address cravings. The author not only addressed several types of cravings but also provided an alternative or substitutes to get around the cravings.

I could only find one flaw in the whole diet plan. If you suffer from acid reflux you’ll have to adjust some of the foods and most of the recipes that are provided. A large amount of the foods that are suggested are fruits with citric acid and many recipes using spices that many trigger acid reflux.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Patton The Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin

Patton the Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin was a fantastic book. The authors were able to convey the true General Patton without all the myths and stories that have been blown out of proposition. The authors stuck to the real facts surrounding the Patton family history, his family environment, childhood short comings, career and life struggles and the fears along with his genius for military tactics.

Great detail was taken to help the reader understand the environment and mentoring that Patton’s was raised in. The biography takes you through his strong religious beliefs and spirituality that most people did not realize he had. Each milestone in his life is retraced and matched back to how that event had an impact on the success that he had in his military career.

The book was an excellent read filled with great stories and details to help the reader visualize the real General Patton, his military superiority along with his personal idiosyncrasies. The only fault I could fine with the book was it was too short. I would have loved to have read more. Over all this was an book I would highly recommend. One of America’s most interesting and colorful military leaders.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What in the World is Going On? by Dr. David Jeremiah

"What in the world is going on?" by Dr. David Jeremiah's is a book based on biblical prophecy and current events. The author appears to have taken several sermons and with in depth research and was able to link together the bibles prophecies and how they directly correlate to events we can relate to. The author covers topics related to Israel and the suffering of the Jews, world oil supply, Roman Empire, terrorism, the rapture and many more. The topics are wide and diverse but have one central theme, it can all be found in the bible.

Though I found the book interesting as a whole I struggle with yet another book trying major events to a specific line or paragraph in the bible. The bible has many good things to help direct us but realistically is not every major event, disaster or prophecy can have a factual direct link to the bible. I read the bible daily and get great direction and inspiration from it. I have a hard time believing I can read it and link major events to it. I have seen the same thing done with Nostradamus writings. With enough work and research you can make anything fit within the passages of the bible.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore by John MacArthur

The book “The Jesus You Can’t Ignore” by John MacArthur begins with "What you must learn from the bold confrontations of Christ". MacArthur goes in to great detail looking beyond how most people see Jesus Christ. The author looks into the more confrontational side of Jesus how he stood up to the Pharisees and other non-believers. How even Jesus was not always the timid and reserve man that many assume he is all the time. McArthur takes a few examples and drives each one into biblical based details to support his theories behind what Jesus needed to do to get his message across be it confrontational or not.

If the author’s goal was to direct his book to clergy, seminary students or individual who have invested years to study the bible then this is a must read. To the people who have knowledge behind the bible then this book will hit home and will be an excellent reference for later.

If the author’s goal was to direct his book to the general public interested in finding out more about Jesus then he missed the mark by a mile. I understood entirely what he was trying to get across but I had concerns about others. Most of the common church going people I know never made it past the prologue or introduction. Many were interested in what he had to say but were turned off by his ranting and ravings at the beginning. Which is unfortunate since the majority of the book provided great information.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Billy Graham: His Life and Influence by David Aikman

You would have had to live under a rock for the last 60 years not to have known who Billy Graham was. Yes, most of us know he was a preacher and an international evangelist. Unfortunately that is where most of us end our knowledge of Billy Graham. Where did he come from? What environment was he brought up in? What type of education did he receive? How did he become so successful at reaching people? And the questions go on. I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through in exchange for my honest review of the book. Truthfully I knew little about Billy Graham. David Aikman the author did a superb job at letting the people who were in the dark about Billy Graham’s life.

The book begins by covering his childhood. How his parents and others had a great influence on his outlook and perspective on life and religion. The book goes into details the how and why he chose to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior and the steps he took, not always being the easy ones. Unlike most biographies David Aikman gives you a real life balance of who Billy Graham was and is. He tells of the mistakes, failures and struggles that most of us can relate to. His experience working with ten presidents is fascinating. How he worked with the different personality types and the struggles around others who were less accommodating. If you are looking for a good informational book about the life and the influences Billy Graham had this is a must ready book.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Against All Odds by Chuck Norris

I have seen this book many times on the books shelf. I have read his other books that talk about inner strength and positive thinking. I held off on this one thinking it was more of the same. For some reason I was finally compelled to buy the book. I had to admit I was pleasantly surprised with "Against All Odds". Yes, most of us know of his martial art titles, schools, movies, TV shows and other accomplishments. In his other books he goes through briefly his up bring into a poor family. In this book he explains the situation he grew up in detail with his father being an alcoholic and the positive determination and spiritual upbringing his mother provided. He talks about many of the mistakes and failures he had but more importantly how he learned from those and turned those to his advantage. If you love martial arts, a book with a positive message and a strong Christian philosophy then this is a must read for you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell book “Failing Forward” helps to redefine failure and success, how to change your mind set regarding failure, embracing failure to your advantage and how to increase your odd s for success. As most of Maxwell’s books it content is clear and easy to read.

With this book you can tell he did reach out to all of his readers for their options regarding failure. Some examples like his other books are fine but this book is packed with quotes and stories of people who have sent him their life experiences. A few would have been fine but Maxwell included way too many. It really took away from the focus of the book. Don’t get me wrong the content of the book regarding failure is great material and very useful. The book would have sent a stronger and more helpful message had he kept a similar format as some of his other books and focused less on trying to include everyone’s story. People read his books to learn and improve, less stories and more content.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Map by David Murrow

The Map is really two books in one. The first 99 pages is an adventure story designed to capture your interest about finding the mysterious map. The story takes one man’s adventure in his attempt to find the map. He demonstrates that all great men have taken a similar spiritual journey. The second part of the book describes the three journeys need to travel and come to the end of the map.

The book is really a self help book for men, women beware this book may be of little interest to you. The adventure story was a quick read. I can see how it would help some men put them in a better mindset to read the last half. The adventure is really designed to trigger more of a person’s thought process an attempt to raise questions about one’s faith. My preference was the second part of the book that got into the meat of the reason why Murrow really wrote the book in the first place. The journey Murrow describes is based on the scripture according to Matthew found in the New Testament. His discovery, though not really new, was well written for most lay people to understand. My only word of warning would be read his other book “Why Men Hate Going to Church?” first. This will provide a better background around the purpose and why “The MAP” was written. When it comes to church most men need all the help they can get. This book is one method to help men search for their faith and spiritual development. The book obviously does not have all the answers but it does provide good suggestions of what men could do to. A must for men who are church goes or needing to understand why religion should be an important part of your life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

With all the crime programs on TV you would think you have a good handle on what true crimes are or based on the show what motivates a person to do a certain crime. The shows on the TV will not do that but this book will. The book is based on John Douglas career through the FBI and the development of the Serial Crime Unit. In the early years of the FBI Douglas begins to develop a method of profiling a criminal’s traits, appearance and habits to certain crimes. He conducts interviews with convicted serial killers and begins to see several common patterns. Many of the true life examples he provides are very graphic and may not be suitable for people with a weak stomach. Overlooking the gory details the profiling of people to the crimes they commit is fascinating. The authors will take you through the childhood of the criminal, how he lives, his motives and traits and what they leave behind called the criminals signature. If you want to better understand from a lay person’s point of view what makes a serial killer tick this is the book that will help. It may give you nightmares or you might start taking a closer look at people around you but it is well worth the time to read.

Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow

If you are one of the few men that still attend church or you are a man who struggles with the idea of even going to church this book might provide you a great insight as to why men avoid going to church. Murrow goes into great details about the masculine and feminine side of a church and how a man does or does not fit within. In most examples regarding today’s churches men do not fit in the church comfortably. He presents facts about gender gaps within the church around presence, participation and personality. Over 61% of most churches are women run by women and that only 39% of a church attendance is men. Research is shared about what how biology teaches us about men, what social science teaches about men, men seeking greatness and the great pursuit of manhood. By this time your head is swimming and the main questions with two chapters to go is so how do we fit this? What can be done that will make a difference to me or my family? The last two chapters “Restoring the Masculine Spirit in the Church” and “Meeting Men’s Deepest Needs” will not deliver a fixed answer that will resolve every man’s questions or needs. What it will provide to most men is a better understanding as to what is needed and a practical approach if you truly have an interest in providing your family and yourself with a better spiritual foundation and how that will have a positive impact on your church.

I have taken some of the examples in the book and have applied them to the church I attend. If you are looking for short term quick fixes this is not the way. What I did find out was the several methods in the book over time did develop a better environment within the church for men. Within the church I attend men’s numbers are slowing growing and the gender gap is closing.