Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Get Free Books

Here's a quick guide to getting free books:

Just wanted to pass on some links if you interesting in getting FREE books! ***this is not spam*** :)

To set up an easy to use blog: (It's well known and has a good reputation).
The blog your reading this on (mine) is an example.
For the BEST publishers and selections: (Thomas Nelson) click on "Available Books" tab to see whats available now. They do a pretty good job of adding others frequently. (Waterbrook/Multnomah). Another with great selection and really easy to ue website.

Those are the two best in terms of selection and ease of use, but there is also:
Tyndale -

NavPress -

You can keep the blog VERY simple just in order to get the books. They are just looking to generate interest in their product. You'll probably be asked to post the review on or the equivalent.

Let me know if you have ANY questions. I love to see people get free books they enjoy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Thoughts: Defiant Joy

Defiant Joy: The Remarkable Life and Impact of G. K. Chesterton
by Kevin Belmonte
Defiant Joy: The Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K. ChestertonI hate biographies! They are often much too long and lack in honesty or humility -- but WOW, this is a great sized biography!

I just got the book today and haven't been able to put it down. There are only 4 left at Amazon right now, so that speaks to it's appeal. In light of another recent book, "The Next Christians" by Gabe Lyons (see review), Chesterton seems to be a culture changer. He was well respected and well written in the literary world, but wasn't willing to leave it at that. If you have been enthrathed with C. S. Lewis, move backward in time to the man Lewis looked up to. Also, if you enjoy literature, you will absolutely love his thoughts on literary works. Even if you don't know much about literature, Chesterton's incredible wit and humor will blow you away. --- but there are only four left :)

Looking forward to finishing it -- cause the Ritz crackers are going quick too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Jesus Calling" (Deluxe Edition) by Sarah Young

Jesus Calling: Deluxe EditionSnack of choice:
It's been a Doritos kind of week! DISCLAIMER: Doritos did not require a favorable rating in order for me to buy them at the store.

Story behind the story:
This was one that's been on the shelf for a while. Thomas Nelson provided this book for me at no cost and does not and cannot require a favorable review in exchange. The reason is that it seemed a little to “feely.” Granted, I didn't really read through it until now, but in order for someone to speak on God's behalf... it seemed like it needed to drip with cliches.

Story Line:
I have to say, Mr. Nelson and the gang were trying to butter me up with this Deluxe Edition. The quality of the cover, and the book for that matter, was really exceptional. It's packaged very well.

In essence, this is a book of 365 daily devotionals that contain notes from the perspective of Jesus to me (the reader). The reading for each day is very short and leaves us with two Bible references for the day to look at and meditate on.

The Real Story:
I know, I know – to speak for Jesus is a tall and daunting task. That's why I try to let Him speak for Himself. And now you know why I was skeptical. I was, however, surprised and impressed by the insight the author provided into her purpose and methodology. It was more of an example than a quotation. It was about her journey to intimacy with God. She took a empty journal and began filling it with what God was speaking to her about. She based it on her quiet times, then stopped and stayed silent. She allotted time to just sit and dwell on what God was speaking to her about.

Her example is amazing. She didn't write this book for the five minute devo. She wrote it to point us toward listening... just listening to His voice. So grab and empty journal and begin the journey.

Check out:
Spurgeon's “Morning and Evening” Devotional, a good journal, a Bible, and a clockless room.

292 out of 365 days (4 out of 5) 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Girls Life Application Study Bible

Girls Life Application Study Bible NLT (Kid's Life Application Bible: Nltse)Snack of choice:

I have NO IDEA what I was snacking on while I was getting into this book, but let’s just say popcorn. There was also probably a Mountain Dew.

Story behind the story:
Excuse me… are you sure this is the one I’m supposed to review? You do realize that this is the Bible right? Ya know, God’s Word to mankind. The Voice of Wisdom and Purity in a world of complete chaos and disregard? [Sigh] ok, Tyndale, here goes – and thanks for a great book. Tyndale provided this book in exchange for a review. It doesn’t have to be favorable, but again… it’s a Bible!

Story Line:
A few things you should know. 1) It’s purple. 2) It has half a butterfly on both the front and back cover (making a WHOLE butterfly). 3) It’s a “girls” life application study Bible – preteen to early teen. And finally, 4) It’s not the Bible I will be preaching from in the near future.

You’ll have to deal with the translation yourself (NLT), but it seems to fit the intended audience. Book introductions are great and provide enough for growth without getting too “boring.” I’m always a fan of timelines. Helps us all put together where we are in Bible History. There are some great “Amazing Facts” that highlight big picture things that are going on and provide a reference for the specifics. There are “What Now?” sections that provide some application and some open ended questions.

The Real Story:
Ok. So this is an excellent resource for a young girl. I’m honestly looking forward to the opportunity to give it away to a student in AWANA who would really enjoy it. BUT, I will give you a couple of the downers. The cover seems a little cheap. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, but it just doesn’t look right around the edges. Also, from MY perspective, the colors and flowers and craziness on the page edges is a little over kill. This coming from a man who is reviewing a purple Bible. A little tamer on the sides would go a long way in balancing it’s design. But my biggest pet peeve is that I couldn’t get into some of the pages. It’s a new Bible and mass produced, but the tops of many pages were stuck together. I thought I was going to rip the page trying to get them apart. So hopefully this will get into the hand of someone who is skillful at separating pages :)

Check out:
The Actual Text of the Bible. That’s where the REAL good stuff is.

3.5 out of 5 fluttering purple butterflies

"Next Christians" by Gabe Lyons

The Next Christians: The Good News about the End of Christian AmericaSnack of choice:
It was Christmas time, so LOTS of sweet and gloriously tasting treats along with the mug of hot cocoa... or two.

Story behind the story:
I think I'm going to be in trouble with a couple publishing agencies. I've had their books for a while, but I gotta say, it's mostly because they lacked an interesting selection. I picked what I picked and it was... to say the least... not fantastic. So I signed up with another publisher to send me another free book :) Is the book mafia going to come and get their books back with interest? We shall see, but for now, this QUALITY book has been provided to me by the good folks of … I CAN'T REMEMBER... [pardon the awkward silence. I had to go look it up] WaterBrook Multnomah and the Blogging for Books program. And of course they aren't making me write a glowing review in order for the loot.

Story Line:
Claims of Christianity are on a decline. Seriously, there are “less” people who are claiming to be Christian in America than in previous generations. Now, if this was a true reflection of the change that takes place in the heart, I'm not sure what else you could claim to be...none the less. There is a new “breed” of Christians – the next Christians. These are different from the Separatists and the Cultural Christians. This new generation is unique in their perspective. They aren't touting religion in the aggressive, anti-people perspective of ages past. No, these are Christians on the front lines of cultural change in the most “everyday” [you should hear the stories] jobs and relationships. Bottom line, though, is that faith without works is dead. Sound familiar?

The Real Story:
I was impressed right away with the great writing style of the author who brought the best selling ”unChristian.” He's thoughtful and thought provoking. He caught me off guard with his great use of language and imagery. He grabbed me with his understanding of the Separatist Christians that I can clearly see with my mind and most identify with. In fact, I gained respect for him as he exposes the harm that we do to the cause of Christ when we adopt the “us vs. them” mentality. He didn't mention it in the book, but he made me think of the “Keep Christ in Christmas” mantra heard every year at Christmas. Obviously, I'm a big believer in giving Christ His rightful place on His birthday, but I say, don't try to convince unbelievers with your relentless signs, convince them by actually displaying Christ in your life! The angry thing -- doesn't show Christ face to the world. He doesn't dwell on these ideas for too long, but moves on to what the “Next Christian” is. I'll let you read that for yourself (or just look at the chapter titles)

Great insights about getting outside the walls of our church and reaching out to others in our daily lives... not just when we're “on the clock.” He makes sure that we realize, however, the importance of what the church is and does. My favorite quote in the whole book:

"The church remains the epicenter of what is possible. It is the most uniquely positioned    channel of cultural influence when it is operating on all cylinders. No other institution regularly convenes people who work within the other six channels [Media, Education, Arts/Entertainment, Business, Government, Social Sector] of culture on a weekly basis. On any given Sunday in the church, leaders from all seven channels join together to pray, worship, learn, and socialize in one place. Then they are sent out, dispersed to support one another and to work within the sphere of society God has gifted and called them to in order to carry out his restoration work" (121).

Check out:

Book of James (the faith without works one)

5 out of 5 Crazy Christians.

Please rank this review: click here
120 x 60