Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Forward: 7 Distinguishing Marks for Future Leaders
Ronnie W. Floyd

Pastor Floyd uses his own journey to share some basic truths with us.  My own journey has confirmed the conclusions he has reached.  While truth is absolute, we can choose our perspective where we get stuck in history or anticipate God’s future for us.  While salvation addresses our past, its focus is always on what we can become through grace.

I, too, have struggled with the approach some have taken to be uni-generational.  The idea of the “family of God” requires us to relate to every generation. Since God’s Kingdom functions by faith, it is by nature forward looking.  While the current culture is in an uproar over culture and its various sensitivities, God calls us to minister to all cultures. 

Teachability is primarily about attitude.  It requires humility.  The pride of our age prohibits us from truly learning God’s wisdom.  His chapter on compassion was good, but his definition lacked the needed emphasis on actions.  Jesus was “moved” with compassion, and sympathy for others’ plights is not enough. 

His final distinguishing mark is that we must be “driven by something more.”  Good is the enemy of best; satisfaction is deadly.  Striving to be more Christ-like is the heart of every disciple.  Don’t settle for mediocrity.  His call for “forward leaders” has never been more urgent!  Read the book, and increase your leadership!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Renewed Vision

Re:Vision: The Key to Transforming Your Church (Kindle Edition)
Dr Aubrey Malphurs and Gordon Penfoll
The authors present some well documented procedures and processes. But a stronger message comes through. While they avoid some of the older nomenclature, the underlying theme is still that church leaders must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide any process. Until our hearts are stirred, mechanically following an agenda will fail to revitalize a church. I have personally used all the procedures recommended in this book, and can document the results. But even as were going through the process, we were on our knees at every juncture seeking God. Until God had renewed my own heart, I could not function in leading others to be renewed. Thanks for a great book and may it assist others to see a great move of God.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Holy Spirit Expectations

What to Expect From the Holy Spirit
Dr. Earl Radmacher

The church is famous for shifting emphases, and most often as a reaction against some social trend.  Not too long ago, Francis Chan published his book, The Forgotten God, which emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit.  Various groups such as many charismatics had an almost exclusive mindset of the Holy Spirit as a primary or dominant role in salvation.

Even though this book was originally written in 1983, the scriptures that are given as support for the various offices of the Holy Spirit are timeless.  Jeremy Myers’ reintroduction of this book is timely.  The book is not written as systematic theology for the classroom, but was a transcription of various messages that Dr. Radmacher preached.  That gives it a more relevant presentation to the men and women in the pew. 

The various points serve as a summary of the various ministries of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church.  His explanation of the spiritual gifts is excellent.  His defense of ecclesiology is apropos for our current generation.  Research such as from Barna highlights the 30 million plus who identify themselves as “born again” but who have left the established churches. 

Jeremy’s conclusion as well as the appendix article by Dr Steven Lewis correctly place the emphasis on the Holy Spirit lifts up the name and person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus remains the groom, and the work of the Holy Spirit never detracts from that centrality.  The book should bring some freshness to our understanding of the Holy Spirit and His work in the lives of Christians and Christ’s church.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Unforgiveable Sin

Why You Have Not Committed
The Unforgivable Sin
--Jeremy Myers

I remember several preachers mentioning “the unforgivable sin” during the revivals I attended as a boy.  But in the 50 plus years that I have been in ministry, I do not recall anyone ever raising the issue to me.  Obviously, the scriptures that Jeremy cites from the words of Jesus are the spoken truth.

It seems clear that Jeremy is writing to give hope to those who might be struggling with the issue.  He points to the magnitude of Christ’s ability and desire to forgive, while systematically dispelling the various theories that have been offered through the years to explain the “unforgivable sin.”

While there are those who might need assurance that the Holy Spirit is still dealing with people, our primary cultural weakness in America are those who either ignore God, or protest righteousness by their attitudes and actions.  They need to know that God will be in the role of unmerciful judge at the end.  Theologically, Jeremy leaves no room to deal with those the scriptures call “apostate.” 

In the venue of Jeremy’s ministry in the prisons, his book will be very helpful in addressing those who might consider themselves beyond redemption.  And for that I applaud his work.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Forgiveness:  Overcoming the Impossible
Matthew West

Addressing one of the fundamental issues in human relations, Matthew tackles the difficult subject and presents an excellent approach.  This is not a theology or clinical therapy instruction manual. It is a collection of real life situations where forgiveness was the crucial issue.

In an era when “bullying” seems to capture the media’s attention, we must all admit that life is chocked full of circumstances in which we are hurt.  Whether intentional or unintentional, the hurt is there.  All of the social engineering will not ever erase the friction of relationships.  A better response is to teach forgiveness.  When forgiveness is prevalent, bullying becomes ineffective.

As Matthew clearly points out repeatedly, it that the one doing the forgiving who benefits the most.  Forgiveness is our constant “get out of jail” card that grants us eternal freedom.  Obviously, forgiveness is not an innate trait, and we must rely on the grace of God to enable us to have this forgiving heart.  But God can strengthen our resolve so that forgiveness is not just an event, but becomes a way of life.  

His broad topics, “Forgiving Others,” “Asking for Forgiveness,” “Forgiving Ourselves,” and “Embracing God’s Forgiveness,” are timely and equally important.  Anyone struggling with bitterness will find that Matthew has pointed the way to abundant life in Christ.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Intentional Walk

by Rob Rains

As a fan of the St Louis Cardinals for over 50 years, it was a delight to read this “behind the scenes” look at many of the men who are on the team.  Too much of the media coverage today focuses on the accomplishments or failures of the players’ performances.  Besides the sports aspect the remainder of the news is usually filled with the unholy escapades of various rogue individuals who happen to be an athlete.

So it was very refreshing to know that the core members of the team are highly committed Christians who live out their faith first, and play ball second.  The book ends with a great insight into Manager Mike Matheny, promoted from the ranks of the players.  Perhaps the book should have begun there.  His years as a player formed the faith foundation for him to succeed as a manager, and it certainly sets the tone for the Christian faith to be lived in an everyday environment. 

Rains does not gloss over any weaknesses of the men, nor try to present them as beyond humanity.  Their struggles with their performances, their relationships, as well as external circumstances are addressed. 

As I’ve watched the 2013 team make a run to the finish, and make the playoffs, I am blessed by the stories of how faith plays a great part in them giving their best.  Their “intentional walk” with Christ translates into their everyday “intentional” play on the field.  I’m inspired!