Book Notes

/Book Notes

When the Game is over it all goes back into the box: John Ortberg

Wise people build their lives around what is eternal and squeeze in what is temporary.  Not the other way around. This is our predicament.  Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t. We all want God, Anne Lamott writes, but left to our own devices, we seek all the worldly things—possessions, money, looks, and power—because we think they will bring us fulfillment.  But this turns out to be a joke, because they are just props, and when we check out of this life, we have to give them all back to the great prop [...]

When the Game is over it all goes back into the box: John Ortberg2020-03-22T19:29:53+00:00

The Practice of the Presence of God: Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence developed the habit of continual conversation with God.  Whether at prayer or at work, it became his practice to focus his heart and mind on God, thanking Him, praising Him, and asking for His grace to do whatever had to be done.  And if he allowed himself to forget God, he confessed that to Him, drawing his thoughts back to God, like wayward children. We must always keep our eyes on God and His glory in all we do, say or undertake.  May the goal toward which we strive be to become perfect worshippers of God in this [...]

The Practice of the Presence of God: Brother Lawrence2020-03-22T19:31:02+00:00

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: John Ortberg

It is unlikely that we will deepen our relationship with God in a casual or haphazard manner. In a sense, each of us chooses a “spiritual strategy” whether or not we are intentional about it.  We can choose it by default. Every once in a while do something good and make sure no one finds out about it. For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith.  It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. The strongest argument for Christianity [...]

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: John Ortberg2020-03-22T19:32:45+00:00

The Ishbane Conspiracy: Randy Alcorn

Teenagers imagine they’re independent thinkers.  But all of their decisions are influenced by the group.  Once we get them on the river of peer influence, the current does the rest.  The adults aren’t any better.  They live their lives enslaved to others’ opinions and oblivious to the Enemy’s (God). I favor anything that makes them ignore the Enemy’s fundamental teaching: one life on earth, followed by one death, followed by one judgment and one eternal sentence. “Put on the whole armor of God” the Enemy commands them.  He provides it, but the good news is, they have to put it [...]

The Ishbane Conspiracy: Randy Alcorn2020-03-22T19:33:54+00:00

The Hole in our Gospel: Richard Stearns

The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple.  It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.  If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith—and mine—has a hole in it. James 2:14-18: What good is it my brothers if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and [...]

The Hole in our Gospel: Richard Stearns2020-03-22T19:34:56+00:00

The Discipline of Grace: Jerry Bridges

“Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as it has been found difficult and left untried.”  GK Chesterton We are saved by grace alone, however, grace does not mean that sufficient strength and insight will be automatically infused into our being in the moment of need. Why do faithful church members sometimes not grow to maturity in Christ?  We have somehow encouraged a separation of our faith from everyday life. An individuals character is nothing but the pattern of habitual ways in which that person comports his body. What are the disciplines for the spiritual life?  They [...]

The Discipline of Grace: Jerry Bridges2020-03-22T19:36:49+00:00

The Screwtape Letters: CS Lewis

One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether. What you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls.  It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds; in reality our best work is done by keeping things out. Some are lukewarm and complacent, and then it is our business to [...]

The Screwtape Letters: CS Lewis2020-03-22T19:38:00+00:00

Sacred Pathways: Gary Thomas

We were created to love God and have a relationship with him. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless.  We have almost forgotten that God is a person, and, as such, the relationship can be cultivated as any personal relationship can.  A.W. Tozer Sacred Pathway—the way we relate to God, how we draw near to him.  Do we have just one pathway?  Not necessarily.  Most of us, however, will naturally have a certain predisposition for relating to God, which is our predominant spiritual temperament. The aim of this book is to help people understand the [...]

Sacred Pathways: Gary Thomas2020-03-22T19:39:08+00:00

Rumors of Another World: Philip Yancey

The modern age has perfected means but confused ends.  Albert Einstein One has only the choice between God and idolatry.  There is no other possibility.  For the faculty of worship is in us and it is either directed somewhere into the world or into another. We should look at every human relationship as a tool for character formation. I could summarize my entire spiritual pilgrimage as an effort to move the operating center from myself to God. Jesus reserved his hardest words for the hidden sins of hypocrisy, pride, greed and legalism. Greed is the economic engine of our nation, [...]

Rumors of Another World: Philip Yancey2020-03-22T19:40:16+00:00

Radical: David Platt

Jesus apparently wasn’t interested in marketing himself to the masses.  His invitations to potential followers were clearly more costly than the crowds were ready to accept, and he seemed to be okay with that.  He focused instead on the few who believed him when he said radical things.  And through their radical obedience to him, he turned the course of history in a new direction. I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable.  We were settling for a Christianity that revolves [...]

Radical: David Platt2020-03-22T19:41:15+00:00