The author, Becky Kiser, takes you on a journey through the calendar in this helpful book on making the holidays more Jesus, less chaos.
The first thing I recommend is to read the foreword “How to Use This Book”. I will admit that I usually skim over them, but the foreword in this book gives detailed information on how the book is meant to be used and is necessary to understand the format.
The contents page will provide a great reference in explaining when to take advantage of her helpful insights by “holiday”.
Part 1, she tells us to READ NOW, it forms the basis of getting your mind into the upcoming implementation of steps, which is broken down by the holiday in Part 2. Each holiday has its own section which you are told to read 30 to 60 days in advance of the actual day.
The author is keenly aware of the obstacles and struggles that can occur and has included Part 3 to give you some additional advice on how to handle situations that may come up.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. People who enjoy entertaining and setting up for the holidays will find a lot of good ideas to assist them. I, myself, am not really into the holiday entertaining, but I found myself realizing that maybe because of the chaos and stress that can occur I chose to just not do it.
Read, Enjoy, Implement the strategies in this book and you will find your holidays with
More Jesus, less chaos
That’s right, we are starting off the New Year by not limiting a theme. Every day the post may/can/will be about something different.
Sit back and enjoy as we change it up.
Thank you for your support in 2018. We look forward to an amazing 2019
Okay, everybody time to delve deep, our theme this month is – Servants of the Lord. There are too many verses to list them all but we are told throughout the Word that we are to have a Servant Heart, Servant Mind, Servant Demeanor and so forth.
What does this mean to you?
Who are you a servant of?
Talk to me, I want to know
This review is longer than usual because this book deserves your attention.
Trevin Wax is a well-known evangelical millennial and after reading this book, I can see why. He manages to take modern day situations and show how they relate to God’s word.
Starting with the introduction, Trevin engrosses the mind and engages the thought process by telling us that our neighbor is not where the battle is, but rather the battle is with the lies that are told by the powers and principalities that engage us daily through the media. There are 8 chapters in the book. The first 4 deal with the habits that impact us on a day to day basis. The last 4 are based on the larger myths that animate our society. Every single chapter holds a wealth of information that opened my eyes to things that I have been doing and not even been aware that I was doing them. I enjoyed this book so much that I am going to give a chapter by chapter review.
Chapter 1 deals with how our cell phones, internet practices, and even our friends can lead us to have a formed opinion instead of an informed opinion of ourselves, by narrowing our information intake to model our “Christian beliefs.” This constant affirmation of our views leads us to the myth that our “beliefs” are always right.
Chapter 2 is about our interaction with movies, TV shows, etc. As most of us realize, a lot of the things we watch are fictional but the constant immersion into this alternate reality can pervert our true reality. Often, these movies and shows tell us the lie that our fulfillment is found not in God but in emotional and material things.
Chapter 3 – This chapter addresses how we use society’s goals to map out our future. Often, doing that leads us on a faulty path away from God. God’s word leads us on a true path with a glorious ending.
Chapter 4 – Our all-time favorite myth of all, shopping and material things can make us happy. We have turned our year into one shopping event after another. Instead of being thankful for what we have in November, we are planning to buy more on Black Friday so we can be happier. Ads that target our longing to be accepted through the labels we wear, the car we drive or the newest electronic gadget have turned shopping into a substitute “Religious” experience.
In these first four chapters, there were several quotes that stood out.
“The primary myth the smartphone tells you every day is that you are the center of the universe.”
“Desensitization is not a sign of spiritual progress but of sensual dullness. Do not confuse the ability to be unfazed by depictions of sin with spiritual maturity.”
“True courage is not deciding for yourself what is “right and wrong” but seeking to discover what truly is right and wrong – for yourself and everybody else.”
“The lie is not that you wouldn’t be okay without it. The lie is that you’re going to be happier with it.“
“The American Dream is about shopping for happiness. The Kingdom Dream is about experiencing joy in God.”
Now onto the last four chapters.
Chapter 5 – Here the Author reminds us that we are not “at home” on this Earth. We forget that this is not where we will spend our eternity but it is only where we spend a short tie in the span of our lives. We, as Christians, have become too much “of the world” and have failed to remember to just be “in the world.” This chapter also delves into the trap of politics, where sometimes politics become so central to us it becomes our alternate religion.
In Chapter 6 Trevin deals with the thought that we look at marriage as the pinnacle of our relationships, instead of making it the foundation of our lives. He does a great job of delving into common fallacies that pervade our societal beliefs and shows how each and every one of them steers us wrong and why.
Chapter 7 – Another common myth – Sexual freedom is a sign of a mature society and a sign of our freedom. We have gone from a society and culture where sexual restraint was a sign of maturity into believing that sexual relations are a sign of maturity.
Chapter 8 This chapter is titled “As the World Wobbles” I admit I was confused as to what the content of this chapter would entail. After reading the chapter, the title fits perfectly. We, as a society, go back and forth with “the world is ending” to “the world is better now than ever.” Read this chapter for more information on this.
The final four chapters of the book sum up the worldly myths we encounter daily. Below are my favorite quotes from these chapters.
“So, if you want to put down roots somewhere, put them in the soil of a church. After all, the gates of hell are shaking not because of an election but because of Easter.”
“All marriages are broken, but what makes a marriage is they are broken together.“
“Staking your identity in sexuality or pinning your hopes for happiness on sex is too low of a goal for a human being made in God’s image.”
“We can’t be faithful in our own time if we’re always longing for another.”
As you can probably tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe it would make a great small group study.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Read it, Study it, Learn from it. I sure did.
Purchase the book at the link below – You will not be disappointed
Author Heidi Cooley takes 13 stories from the Bible, Both in the Old and New Testament and simplifies them in such a way as to make them easily understandable to young students.
Each story is broken down into lessons over a 6 day time period, with one per day. These lessons not only target reading strategies but also reading skills. She also manages to include activities that highlight writing with reading comprehension.
Overall, I think that this is a well-written and designed series. Parents are encouraged to participate in the lessons, which also help in building the child’s character.
Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and fell that it is worth the investment, including in a Sunday School setting.
You may purchase the book at the link below.
I was given a free copy of this book for an unbiased review
As Lutherans, we ray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday – But do we really understand or even hear what we are saying – the power and reverence? This book explains the power of prayer and what each line means.
I enjoyed this book and felt it gave great examples of how to construct our own prayers through the model of the Lord’s Prayer. This book is written so that anyone wanting a more detailed explanation and help can follow along.
As always, I really liked the author’s personal experiences that relational to the passages. I am a firm believer in “connection through confession” with others through our own experiences in the faith
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars – it is well written and easy to understand.
You may purchase this book at the link below