Entries tagged with “Publications”.


What is your deepest fear? We all fear something, tripping while on stage, having food in your teeth, or appearing over eager.  Fear is a normal part of life, but how we react to that fear says much about who we are.  In his newest book, Fearless, Max Lucado has this to say about how we handle fear (pg 5):

Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into prison and slams the doors.

Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?

Yes.  It would be great not to be imprisoned by fear.  This book actually came at a pretty good time – we are in the final stages of buying a house and it has been a nightmare.  Our fears are that we would end up homeless for a short period of time or lose the house and have to find a place to move into mid-month.  Yes, I still am anxious about this problem, but Fearless helped me regain some perspective.

This is another great Lucado book that provides direct application to your life and provides lasting value.  He doesn’t resort to simple platitudes but embraces his own fears while providing opportunities for growth.  Ok, he does throw in a few one-liners that we all probably know, but they felt genuine and thoughtful.  Lucado talks about a variety of different fears that we might be facing.  He develops a case for why we shouldn’t be afraid of those things or how we can see God’s provision through them.

Many people think Christians and Christianity mean a perfect life with nothing bad ever happening.  He quickly puts that to rest with this quote on page 8:

Christ-followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions, and, as a result, face fears. It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It’s whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ.

We face storms in our life.

Like most of his other books, Fearless, provides a section in the back for small group discussion or personal reflection.  My copy of the book from Thomas Nelson also included a shorter version of the book called, Imagine Your Life Without Fear, which also happens to be the subtitle of the book.

I’ll end with this great quote (pg 177):

There’s a stampede of fear out there. Let’s not get caught in it. Let’s be among those who stay calm. Let’s recognize danger but not be overwhelmed. Acknowledge threats but refuse to be defined by them. Let others breathe the polluted air of anxiety, not us. Let’s be numbered among those who hear a different voice, God’s. Enough of these shouts of despair, wails of doom. Why pay heed to the doomsdayer on Wall Street or the purveyor of gloom in the newspaper? We will incline our ears elsewhere: upward. We will turn to our Maker, and because we do, we will fear less.

Do not fear.

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tiltawhirl

I have to say that this is one of the oddest books I’ve read in awhile.  While I think N.D. Wilson had a plan with a coherent story line, Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl reads more like a ADHD reader’s dream.  Just as I start to track where Wilson is making a point he jumps to a related storyline from earlier in the chapter. Then just as it starts to make sense BAM you are back somewhere else.  I think he made some good points and had many great stories which brought forth God’s plan for our lives – I can’t recall them.

He uses the four seasons and the rotation of the earth as the basis for his points and stories.  Many of these stories are from his own life – chasing waves at the beach, trying to work on the roof of a house before the storm hits.  I appreciated those but was overall disappointed by the content.

This book has gotten some great reviews, but I’m not a fan.  If you are up for an interesting ride give it a shot.

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A drifter who appears at the time of your greatest need and offers you some perspective that changes you life.  This drifter is the main character in Andy Andrew’s most recent book – released today – called The Noticer.

The drifter we know as Jones “notices” things about people often deep dark secrets that know one else should know.  Throughout the book I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between Jones and Jesus.  Both meeting a person in their darkest hour and providing hope and avenues for change, but never condemning or judging the person.

I struggled for awhile to figure out if this was a true story or not because Andy places himself in the middle of the story.  I’ve concluded that it is truly a work of fiction – unless we all somehow missed the second coming of Jesus – due to the miraculous appearances and disappearances of Jones.  Though Andrews’ website indicates that:

Based on a remarkable true story, The Noticer beautifully blends fiction, allegory, and inspiration. It provides simple, yet powerful distinctions about love, relationships, value and integrity and will inspire readers to take that first step towards a major life change.

This is an easy and quick read and offers some deep insights into how we should lead our lives and ultimately how our perspective on life alters its outcome.  Through Jones’ encounters with other people Andrews offers strong words of wisdom relating to work, marriage, and life in general.  Much like Jones’ disarming style you won’t really feel the jewels of wisdom being shoved down your throat or the apparent faith perspective that underlies the story.

I would recommend this book for a person who is at a moment of crisis or confusion.  Many of the ideas I mentioned above make it a better gift than a 5 step self-help guide, while providing a real tangible idea for change.

As part of this book Andrews is launching the Noticer Project, where he is encouraging us to “notice” or remember 5 people who have had an impact on our lives.  Throughout the book, people try to learn more about Jones’ story or wish they could thank him after a mysterious disappearance – but only a few really get that chance.

His blog highlights this about the Noticer Project:

This is a grassroots initiative that I hope will have a positive impact—however small—on our country in this uncertain time. I know that when I sat down to think about the five people who have made the biggest impact on my journey, it brought to mind so many gifts that I have been given along the way and reminded me how lucky I am.

You can find out more at thenoticerproject.com

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I reviewed this book as part of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Bloggers program.

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