Monday, April 25, 2011

Book: "The Practice of Christian Healing" (Roy Lawrence)

TITLE: The Practice of Christian Healing - a guide for beginners
AUTHOR: Roy Lawrence
PUBLISHER: IVP Press, 1996, (117 pages)

This book is an attempt to re-awaken the practice of healing in the Church. The author is has spent many years in the ministry of healing, and is able to share testimonies and healing examples from a Christian perspective. The key message in this book is: The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ must contain both 'preaching' and 'healing.' Otherwise, if the church only practice preaching without healing, healing without preaching, it is 'only a half commission' that is 'lopsided and incomplete.' (11)

For Lawrence, Christian Healing is defined as: "the difference made by Jesus when he meets us at our point of need." (12)

It is also "the difference that Jesus Christ makes in body, mind, spirit, and lifestyle for those who take him seriously." (20)

Here are some of my notes followed by my comments.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: "The Company You Keep"

TITLE: THE COMPANY YOU KEEP - the Transforming Power of Male Friendship
AUTHOR: David C Bentall
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books, 2004, (194 pages).

The Company You Keep: The Transforming Power Of Male FriendshipI picked this book up in Church a few months ago. It was donated by a generous friend. David Bentall is a well-known businessman in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This book unpacks his journey and learnings about friendship, in particular friendship among fellow males. His acknowledgement is like a list of who's who, especially in evangelical circles. People like Dr Leighton Ford, Stan Grenz and Dr James Houston. He describes his perspective of friendship as one that is taught by observing his father, who during his darkest times, 'still had two shining rays of light - his faith in God and his circle of friends.' (x)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: "Praying Backwards"

TITLE: PRAYING BACKWARDS - transform your prayer life by beginning in Jesus' Name
AUTHOR: Bryan Chapell
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005, (208pp).

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus' NameThis book has an intriguing title. The main thesis of this book is that our prayers should begin, continue and end with Jesus's Name as our first concern. The way we usually end our prayers, should instruct us right from the beginning how we should pray.  We should seek God for God alone. We should seek God's purposes in any of our prayers first. We should let God's will be done whenever we pray. As we end in the name of Jesus, we should also begin with putting Jesus foremost and always through all of our prayers. Doing this corrects two common errors. First, we avoid limiting God through our human wisdom, thinking that we know best. We remind ourselves God knows best. Second, we do not use God's Name as some kind of a wishing well. We remind ourselves that it is God's purpose that is most important. Chapell adds:
"But when our routines have desensitized us to his priorities, then it's time to begin where we end. Praying backwards will inevitably turn our prayer priorities upside down. By saying 'in Jesus' name' first, we will more readily discern when our prayers go astray from his purposes, hijacked by our self-interest." (15)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review: "The Traveler's Gift" (Andy Andrews)

TITLE: THE TRAVELER's GIFT - Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
AUTHOR: Andy Andrews
PUBLISHER: Thomas-Nelson, 2002.

The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal SuccessI am reading this book largely because the author's latest book,"The Final Summit" makes regularly references to it. I am not disappointed. The many accolades and blurbs from famous names tempt any reader to want to read this book. Unlike some self-help books, that deals with step-by-step methodologies or philosophical treatises, Andrews cleverly combines historical fact with a creative narrative. At the same time, he weaves in seven motivational phrases by creating a character that many of us can identify with. The author captures the reader's imagination through the interactions of David Ponder, with people like Harry Truman, King Solomon, Joshua Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, and Gabriel the Archangel. With each character comes seven decisions or life's lessons. The seven decisions are as follows: