Posts filed under: Books

Beat-God-to-the-PunchDr. Eric Mason is the cofounder and lead pastor of Epiphany Fellowship.  Dr. Mason’s latest book is titled Beat God to the Punch: Because Jesus Demands Your Life, and it hit the shelves on September 15th.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Dr. Mason’s work for review purposes from BH Publishing Group.

In Beat God to the Punch, Dr. Mason encourages readers to “beat God to the punch” by submitting their lives t the lordship of Jesus Christ and living a grace-filled life.  The punch that Dr. Mason refers to is the judgment that will fall one day upon all of creation that chooses not to recognize Jesus as He truly is: Lord of all.

There are some really good things to this book.

  • First, it is a quick read.  The book is a whole 108 pages long (including the notes).  In our fast-paced lives and busy schedules, not many have the time to sit and devote a great deal of time to reading.  Dr. Mason has done a good job of making some great points in a short amount of time.
  • Second, this work is saturated with Scripture.  Dr. Mason is quick to share his thoughts but truly leans on the word of God to validate the points that he intends to make with this work.  There is hardly a page in the entire book where a Bible verse is not mentioned or eluded to.  This goes a long way with me.
  • Third, the movement of focus to the grace of God.  Dr. Mason moves the focus quickly from the coming judgment to the grace of God.  It is not so much about missing the coming judgment as it is living life in light of the wonderful grace of God.  Dr. Mason does a terrific job in bringing the reader’s focus to this point.

Recommendation Grade: B-

I have been told by BH Publishing, that a copy is available for a giveaway.  If you would like a free copy of Beat God to the Punch, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog telling why you would like a copy.  One winner will be chosen on Friday, September 26, 2014.

IAMAChurchMember-webYesterday, I picked up a copy of I Am A Church Member by Thom Rainer.  I had heard many good things about this book through social media like Facebook and Twitter.  I have a reading list a mile long, but as I was going through Lifeway, I came across this book (and it was on sale!) and decided to go ahead and pick it up.

My first reaction in looking at the book was “it’s a lot smaller than I anticipated.”  The book is only about 80 pages long.  In my mind, I wondered if this little book could really be what all the hype I was hearing about.  After finishing the book this morning, I was reminded that dynamite comes in small packages, too.

As a Christian and a pastor, I have seen the deterioration of church membership especially within the denomination that I am part.  Many do not see the need to be official members of a local church.  Those who are members of local churches many times do not have a proper view as to what it means to be a church member.  Part of the reason for this is on the churches themselves.  There have been many times when I have been a part of a local church but there was no teaching as to what a church member should be.

I must agree with the 23 people who endorsed this book on the beginning pages that Thom Rainer has put together a great little book to begin the process of helping churches and members know the importance, reason and responsibilities of a church member.  It is a great little read that is very thought-provoking and causes one to address some important issues of being a member of a local church.

I would highly recommend that every person who is a member of a Christian church or anyone curious to what the big deal with church membership is about to pick up a copy of this little book and dive in.  I believe strongly that you will not be disappointed.

I recently read a work from John MacArthur called Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants to Do with You.  This is the latest work in what seems to be a series that MacArthur has put out over recent years like Twelve Ordinary Men and Twelve Extraordinary Women.

MacArthur seeks to share some of the stories of people from the Bible that might not normally get recognized.  He tells the stories of Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Mark, and Onesimus to name just a few.  MacArthur seeks to take these saints who’s stories sometimes do not get the attention that others do and put a spotlight on them and how God moved in each of their lives.

One of the things that I really liked about this book was how it did shine a light on some of the characters from Scripture that often are overlooked.  Also the knowledge that MacArthur shares in these pages is good as it sets a scene and helps the reader to really “know” the characters they are reading about.

I would highly recommend that you give this book a read if you haven’t already.  It is not a long read, but it will intrigue you and may even help you to see some of these “unlikely heroes” in a more clear light.