Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

Chazown

Chazown

Craig Groeschel

 

About the Book:

You Can’t Really Live Without It
 
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, kjv)

Tired of living half a life—or even a waking nightmare? Struggling to find meaning in a job you don’t like? Facing graduation or mid-life changes in a faltering economy? Wishing you could rekindle a dream you gave up long ago?

It’s time to get your vision checked!

In this practical, energizing guide, pastor and author Craig Groeschel shows how to live life fully by finding, naming, and achieving your unique, God-given goal. The secret: knowing your chazown, a Hebrew word for “vision,” “dream,” or “revelation.”

You’ll see how to identify your chazown by taking a fresh look at your core values, spiritual gifts, and experiences. You’ll understand the big picture—and the vital details. In this book—now newly revised and updated—you’ll find . . .

·         A brand new introduction
·         Step-by-step instructions to uncover your chazown
·         Personal stories that show the principles at work
·         “You’re the Author” activities to help you apply what you’re learning
·         “Key Thoughts” that capture and make it easy to remember crucial concepts
·          A lively, thought-provoking study guide for individuals or groups

“Is something missing from your life? Are you aware that God has more for you? Seek Him. He will give you a chazown. And not just any, but one that is tailored specifically for you.”
—Craig Groeschel

Hard to Pronounce, Easy to Discover
 
Chazown (kha-ZONE) is the Hebrew word for the dream, revelation, or vision God was thinking about when he made you. You’re one of a kind, placed on earth with a plan that’s yours alone to carry out. God isn’t hiding it. He wants you to know and embrace it!

Fulfilling your chazown is one of the most enjoyable, rewarding things you’ll ever do—because the blueprint is customized by your architect, the One who knows you best. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy though, which is why author Craig Groeschel provides plenty of battle-tested ways to stay on course.

Why waste another day aiming for the wrong target—or none at all? Take your first steps toward pursuing God’s chazown for you!

About the Author:

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church. Meeting in multiple locations around the United States, and globally at Church Online, Life.Church is known for the innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel.

With a passion for serving the Church and partnering to reach people for Christ, Life.Church develops and shares resources and applications with churches worldwide. Life.Church also developed YouVersion and the Bible App. Created to help increase access and engagement with the Bible, the Bible App has been installed on more than 250 million devices and in every country of the world.

Craig and his wife, Amy, have six children and live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area where Life.Church began in 1996. He speaks frequently at conferences worldwide, hosts the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast, and is a New York Times best-selling author.

 

My Review:

We go through life feeling like there is so much more we can offer. Sometimes we even feel like what we do doesn’t matter, we feel lost. I’m guilty of feeling this way, sometimes I sit and think why is my life so mundane. It wan’t until I picked up Craig Groeschel’s book, Chazown: Discover and Pursue God’s Purpose for Your Life that I found the true meaning of my life. First of all, I know you are probably wondering what Chazown means: Chazown (kha-ZONE) is a hebrew word for the dream, revelation, or vision God was thinking about when he made you. (taken from the back cover)

Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV) We are made in God’s image, we are one of kind, there is no one else like us. We each have a purpose, a plan that is ours to carry out, God has trusted us with it. Sometimes we are uncertain of those plans. Chazown will help you to understand that plan for our lives.

Pastor Craig Groeschel provides for us step by step instructions to uncover our chazown, there is personal stories that show these principles at work, there is also “You’re the Author” activities, along with “Key Thoughts” that capture and make it easy to remember crucial concepts and a study guide that can be used individually or with a small group.

Overall, this is a great book, a real eye opener to me. It has helped me to see the purpose for my life.

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

The Will of God IS the Word of God!

The Will of God IS the Word of God

James MacDonald

About the Book:

Is God’s will top-secret?

When it comes to God’s will, you may live in fear that He is holding out on you somehow. Yet, the Bible clearly reveals God’s will for your life. You only need to listen.

When it comes to discovering God’s will, author and pastor James MacDonald finds historic misunderstandings among Christians:

•           “Can you ever be sure about what God wants you to do?”
•           “What if you discover you’ve been doing something other than His will?”
•           “If you somehow stepped out of God’s will at some point, can you ever get back on track, or is your situation hopeless?”

Are you in God’s will now?  Is a confident answer to that question ever possible?

About the Author:

JAMES MACDONALD is founding pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, a suburban Chicago church composed of many new Christians that has grown to more than 6,000 worshipers in its fourteen-year history. He has spoken extensively at retreats and Bible conferences and is the author of three other books, as well as articles in noted Christian magazines. He can be heard daily through the half-hour radio broadcast, Walk in the Word, which is aired on more than 500 stations around the country. A new one-minute feature with James, called Listen Up, is now in syndication and is heard on more than 1,000 stations nationwide.

My Review:

All of my Christian walk, I have been asked “Do you know God’s will for your life?” I would always answer that I’m unsure, how do I know what God’s will for my life is. Only to get the answer, you will know what God’s will is for your life. I will say that I always had a small sense of what God’s will is but wasn’t always certain. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of James MacDonald’s new book, The Will of God is the Word of God that I understood completely the answer to that question we all ask, “What is God’s will for my life?”

Pastor James MacDonald takes you through questions and answers and then explains how we will know what God’s will is. The answer is simple and one we never would have imagined. He also finds historic misunderstandings among Christians, gives us scripture that is misquoted. This book has been an amazing part of my walk with Christ and has helped me tremendously. It is one I will go back to often. I promise you that The Will of God is the Word of God is one book you will want to read.

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Non-Fiction Books

Talking With God

Talking with God

Adam Weber

About the Book:

Life is crazy. Prayer is simple.

Prayer seems like it should be so simple. Yet when it comes to actually praying, it often feels awkward and complicated.

I mean, what should you actually pray about? What do you say? Is there anything you should or shouldn’t say? Do you have to speak out loud? Where do you even start?

To make matters worse, we’ve heard about prayer for so long that we feel awkward asking about it. It’s like having to ask a person’s name after knowing them for years. We’re embarrassed to ask because we really should know their name by now.

Then comes the reality and craziness of life. Between work, parenting, walking the dog, a full inbox, keeping up on social media—who has time to pray?

The truth is, prayer is simple.

It’s like talking; talking with a good friend. Here’s the best part: No matter where we are in life, God can’t wait to talk with us.

What does it look like to pray in the midst of your life?
What do you say when you don’t know how to pray?

I’m asking the same questions. Let’s talk.

About the Author:

Adam lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He likes typewriters, drives a Rambler, cheers for the Cincinnati Bengals, has 4 chickens, and a dog named Daisy. He’s the Lead Pastor of Embrace, a 10-year-old church that has grown to 6 campuses in two states. He and his beautiful wife, Becky, have four kids. Fun fact: He once made worldwide news when a turkey vulture fell out of the sky and onto his back porch during an ice storm. Google it.

adamweber.com
Instagram – @adamaweber
Twitter – @adamweber
Facebook – /adamaweber

My Review:

I have always been afraid of praying out loud. Afraid that I won’t say the right thing or that I might sound stupid. I would pray to myself or just not speak and let God hear what’s on my heart. When I was given the chance to read Adam Weber’s book, Talking with God: What to Say When You Don’t Know How to Pray, I knew this book was for me. Talking with God really opened my eyes and I learned that praying is like having a conversation. Just like that, it hit me. What have I been so scared about? Prayer is just having an open and honest conversation with God. Just like I have a conversation with my husband, kids or best friend, I can have that same conversation with God.

I feel a lot better about praying out loud now. I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you don’t know how to pray or do know how. This book is a real eye opener.

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required of me, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

Seven Mile Miracle Pastor Steven Furtick

Seven Mile Miracle
Steven Furtick

About the Book:

His Final Words Are Your New Beginning

It’s Good Friday. The Son of God is giving up his life. What does he want to say to us in His final hours? What does He tell the people standing at the foot of the cross, to pass down to the ages? He speaks only seven short statements. Words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, and reunion. Seven statements that mean everything.

In Seven-Mile Miracle, Pastor Steven Furtick shows us how Jesus’s last words offer mile markers for our journey in relationship with God. It’s a lifelong journey and it’s not always easy. But Jesus is both our guide and our destination as we travel.

Includes questions for reflection and a forty-day reading guide to Jesus’s death and resurrection.

A Proven Path for Spiritual Growth

From time to time we all feel stuck in our relationship with God and frustrated by life’s setbacks. Jesus faced what could have been the ultimate defeat on the cross. Yet he emerged triumphant through his relationship with his heavenly Father. And he showed us the way so that we could do the same.

In Seven-Mile Miracle, Steven Furtick explores how Jesus’s seven last statements on the cross offer a proven spiritual growth path for us. You will experience the Easter message more personally than ever before as you engage the words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, reunion.

After all, we are not simply believers—people who have put our faith in Jesus. We are not simply disciples—pupils who learn from him. We are called to be followers of Christ. This is your opportunity to follow Jesus through his death, and move forward in his resurrection power, starting now.

About the Author:

STEVEN FURTICK is the New York Times best-selling author of Sun Stand Still, Greater, Crash the Chatterbox, and (Un)Qualified. He is also the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, which since its founding in 2006, has grown to multiple locations across several states. He preaches around the world and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steven and his wife, Holly, have three children.

Follow him on social media @StevenFurtick.

My Review:

Seven Mile Miracle: Journey Into the Presence of God Through the Last Words of Jesus is Pastor Steven Furtick’s newest book. Steven is the Pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.

Seven Mile Miracle takes us deeper into the last words that Christ spoke before his death, burial and resurrection. Steven shows us how Jesus’ lasts words offer mile markers for our journey in relationship with God. It is a lifelong journey that is not always easy.

Jesus speaks words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, and reunion. These seven statements mean everything. Words we need and use in our everyday lives.

There are many times you and I may feel stuck in our relationship with God, frustrated with the way life has been, the setbacks we have faced. We can’t give up even though we want to and feel its our only option but we need to remember Jesus didn’t give up, God doesn’t give up so why should we.

Steven Furtick explores how the last seven statements the Jesus made can offer us a proven spiritual growth path. We are not simply just believers but people who have put our faith in one person, Jesus Christ. We are His students, designed to learn. We are Followers of Christ, who look for every way possible to grow in our faith and walk with Christ.

I highly recommend Seven Mile Miracle to anyone. There is also a study guide and DVD available as well. Right now Pastor Steven’s sermon series is Seven Mile Miracle.

I received a copy of this book for free. A favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Bible Studies, Devotionals, Non-Fiction Books

Craving Connection

Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement
(in)Courage and Crystal Stine

About the Book:

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-1-32-46-pmWe all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community. But where do we start? Craving Connection is a journey with (in)courage writers sharing real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to:

* Embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection
* Invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you
* Become the friend you wish you had
The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection. How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?

About the Author:

At (in)courage you are welcome to a place of faith, connection and friendship, where you will always find yourself among friends. Founded in 2009 by DaySpring, the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., the vision for (in)courage was to create a new home for the hearts of women, where women take turns pulling up a chair to share their stories of what Jesus looks like in their everyday, gloriously ordinary, and often messy lives. Since then, (in)courage has grown into a vibrant community that reaches thousands of women every day, welcoming them just the way they are, offering a space to breathe, loving support, and resources for meaningful connection.

Crystal Stine serves as editor of this (in)courage series. A self-proclaimed “accidental community builder,” Crystal is a coffee & chocolate loving, full-time working mama married to her high-school sweetheart. Crystal is passionate about cultivating a community where faith, fitness, and friendship come together. Author of “Creative Basics: 30 Days to Awesome Social Media Art,” she is a speaker and host of Write 31 Days. Crystal writes regularly at crystalstine.me and offers encouragement on Twitter and Instagram as @crystalstine and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Matt, and daughter, Madison.

My Review:

I often find it hard to connect with people, I consider myself more of a introvert then extrovert. I would rather be alone, with a good book then at a get together with a lot of people. That wasn’t how God created us, He created us to do life together, to have someone we can talk to. Meaningful relationships are meant for all us but some of us have a hard time finding those. Colossians 3:14 tells us “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” We all long for this type of relationship.

Craving Connection is written by the authors from (in)Courage, created in 2009 by DaySpring, (in)Courage is a community for women, a place of faith, connection, and friendship. Craving Connection gives us 30 challenges to have real-life engagement. Three sections: Connecting with God More Deeply, Connecting with Friends More Purposefully, and Connecting with Community More Intentionally, each section has 10 chapters in it. Each one begins with a Bible Verse, Consider statement and how to Engage. For example: Starting a New Thing by Crystal Stine Consider: God’s desire for relationship with us requires us to believe in a promise that brings change. Engage: Text or e-mail a note of encouragement to a friend and let her know she’s important to you. Isaiah 43:19: “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (pg.6) At the end there is Connection questions and a connection challenge, and a prayer.

This is a book that I highly recommend to anyone that is looking for way to connect with people. If I can do this so can you!

I received a copy of this book for free. A Favorable review was not required, all opinions expressed are my own.

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears

Fear Fighting
Kelly Balarie

About the Book:
Paperback3DTemplates_5.5x8.5.indd
We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits

Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.

About the Author:
kellypic
Kelly Balarie is a passionate national speaker who has spent nearly ten years leading groups of women in spiritual growth, marriage building, and general Bible studies across the nation. She has lived her subject matter. Her faith was built as she battled through a debilitating eating disorder, depression, multiple sclerosis testing and concerns, company failures, family deaths, job losses, and times without income or money. Throughout difficult circumstances, Kelly has looked past the pain to uncover the beauty of God’s always-developing purposes for her life. Her greatest desire is to share this treasured beauty with other women who need a fresh drink of God’s grace and restoration. Kelly is a featured blogger at Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com. Her work has been featured on Relevant, (in)courage.me and was also the cover story on Today’s Christian Woman. She lives with her husband and two toddlers near the sun-soaked shores of the East Coast.

My Review:

Fear is something we all suffer from. Some fear death, some fear loosing a loved one, some fear finances, the list can go on and on. Fear can control us if we let it, it can ruin our lives causing us to shut people out of our lives but most importantly it can cause us to loose faith in God. I will be the first to say that fear is my worst enemy, fear never leaves me alone, its like that annoying person who you wish would take a hint and leave. But what if we cut the cord with Fear, what would happen? Would we feel free able to carry on a life of meaning, carry on a relationship with God, the One who loves us unconditionally?

There are ways to learn to fight fear and one of those ways is with Kelly Balarie’s new book Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears. When this book arrived in my mail box, I was apprehensive at first because I have tried a lot of ways to fight fear and nothing was working, but after I began reading Kelly’s story, I knew I could fight fear too. Kelly uses her own personal story along with showing women how to cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings, prayers to usher in a lasting peace, how to discover clear and immediate action plans, implement daily bravery decrees and participate in a 12-week study to guide that will foster new courageous habits.

Take it from someone who doesn’t feel courageous, who hates change, who lets fear walk over her, that if this book can change her life, it will change yours. Kelly’s book was a life saver for me and it is one that I will keep close by because I know Fear will rear its ugly head and I will be ready to take a stand a not let fear control me any longer.

I received a copy of this book for free, however a favorable review was not required of me and all opinions expressed are my own.

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

The Women of Easter

The Women of Easter

Liz Curtis Higgs

About the Book:

9781601426826This Season of Grace,
Deepen Your Faith in God
Who So Loved the World
that He Gave Us His Son.

You’re about to meet three women named Mary, each of whom has a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Mary of Bethany prepares the way for the Lord’s burial when she anoints His feet and fills the air with her perfume. His mother, Mary of Nazareth, remains by His side from His first breath to His last, her loyalty unwavering. Mary Magdalene, delivered of seven demons, bravely supports her Teacher through His darkest hours and then proclaims the glorious news of His resurrection.

What a trio. What a Savior!

Your mind and emotions will be engaged and your faith strengthened as each scene unfolds, preparing your heart for a richer, deeper Easter experience. Liz Curtis Higgs, a seasoned Bible teacher and award-winning novelist, combines her storytelling skills with a thorough verse-by-verse study of Scripture as together you explore the remarkable lives of the women of Easter.

“Liz Curtis Higgs is one of the most amazing teachers of God’s Word that I have ever experienced. Her in-depth knowledge of the Scriptures, gifting as a communicator, and personal relationship with the Lord make her unmatched in the ability to take biblical truth and make it applicable to anybody.”

—Priscilla Shirer, New York Times best-selling author of Fervent

About the Author: 12930

Liz Curtis Higgs admits, “My goal is simple: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon!”

Her latest release, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, explores the favorite verses chosen by more than a thousand women. It’s Good to Be Queen encourages readers to become as bold, gracious, and wise as the queen of Sheba, who journeyed across the desert to test the mind and heart of King Solomon. Liz also offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth in The Girl’s Still Got It, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.

And you’ll find a heartwarming Bible study wrapped inside a beautiful gift book with The Women of Christmas. Verse by verse, Liz unwraps the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, who each welcome the Christ child into the world in a marvelous and miraculous way.

In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous–and intriguing–women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God’s grace anew.

Liz’s award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity.” To that end, Liz has traveled again and again to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 35 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads.

“I have three abiding passions: encouraging my sisters in Christ, exploring the stories of women in the Bible, and writing novels set in Scotland of old. When I’m not traveling, speaking, or spinning a story, I connect with readers online, take copious photos, read historical novels, watch period films, and immerse myself in research–the more books, the merrier. I’m a lame housekeeper, a marginal cook, and a mediocre gardener, but home is still my favorite place to land.”

Visit Liz’s Web site: http://www.LizCurtisHiggs.com

My Review:

In The Women of Easter, Liz Curtis Higgs takes us deeper into the lives of three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary of Bethany. Each of these three Mary’s were a part of Jesus’ life, each one has her own story to tell. One his mother, one who He cast demons out of, and one who prepares the way for His burial.

This book will give you a deeper Easter experience from one of the best Bible teachers around today. Combined with Ms. Higgs’ storytelling skills, she uses her astounded study of scripture to explore each of these women’s lives.

I really enjoyed digging deeper into the lives of these three ladies, who were there with Jesus. After reading, I have a new take on the Easter story and look forward to reading this book again and again. If you are looking for a great book that combines great Bible study with storytelling then The Women of Easter is the book for you.

I received a copy of this book for free. A favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.