Archive for category: Books (Page 11)

Save Me From Myself (book review)

05 Mar
March 5, 2008

SAVE ME FROM MYSELF:  HOW I FOUND GOD, QUIT KORN, KICKED DRUGS, AND LIVED TO TELL MY STORY

By Brian “Head” Welch

Wow. This was not what I expected. First the warning; if you need a clean, sanitized testimony, this isn’t the book for you. Welch doesn’t hide what his life and marriage were like during his years as the lead guitarist for Korn. Graphic memories, occasional profanity, stories of abuse, drugs and alcohol fill the first half of the book. But they only make the work of Christ in Welch’s life that much more incredible; how through his conversion experience he was able to walk away from the band, the spotlight, and literally millions of dollars – there is no denying the presence of Christ in his life. I bought the book because I have fans of Korn in my youth group and I wanted to have a talking point with them; instead I found a story so riveting that I literally read the whole thing in one day. For me, this is an important addition to my youth room – I want kids picking it up and reading his story. It is well worth the cover price!

This review, by me, was originally printed in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Tag: 123 meme

01 Mar
March 1, 2008

I’m still a little confused at what a meme is anyway, but Patti tagged me so now I have to do it …

Here’s what I’m supposed to do:  Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more (no cheating!), find page 123, find the first five sentences, post the next three sentences and tag five people.

The closest book to me is Tony Jones’ new book, “The New Christians.”  The 6th-8th sentences read:

The hand gropes for an invisible lever; it waves slightly, and the fingers twitch.  The hand is connected – by an arm that needs to be propped up by the other arm after fifteen minutes – to a body that leans forward in its chair.  Atop that body is a Brain full of Bible trivia and minutiae.

Those sentences are part of a section where Jones’ is describing what happens when he speaks at conferences; because some of his views are explosive to some (okay, I’ll admit it, he’s gotten my blood boiling from time to time – but I love that he makes forces me to think), there is invariably a reaction, debate, etc.  It actually made me laugh because I think I was that guy the first time I saw him speak … but I digress …

Here are the five I’m going to tag … Josh, Jay (okay, I’ll admit it, I’m curious what book a publisher has closest to him), Ken, Marc & Ruth.  The bigger question is … will any of them do it?  If I didn’t tag you but you still want to, go for it!  : )

Venti Jesus, Please (book review)

01 Mar
March 1, 2008

Greg brought a bunch of these books to snow camp to give away and use as prizes, so it reminded me of the review I had written a while back!  It’s a great book, and the teens I spoke with at camp who had already read it all told me they really loved it.  Good stuff, and you can’t beat the price!

VENTI JESUS PLEASE

By Greg Stier

Dare 2 Share Ministries, Inc., 2008, 108 pp., $4.50 (bulk discounts available), www.dare2share.org

A quick read, “Venti Jesus Please” is the fictional story of three teenagers hanging out at a coffee shop talking about Jesus. It is told from the perspective of the atheist teen; the other one is a Christian, and the third is an agnostic. Over the course of the conversation the reader gets a great picture of relationship evangelism as well as the message of salvation, so this is good for the kid curious about God as well as the teen wondering how to share their faith. If I’m honest, I had a hard time getting into it at first – but once I got a few pages into it, it grew on me. Stier has done a great job of capturing three distinct voices and wrapping it up without getting too preachy or unbelievable.

This review, by me, originally appeared in the Journal of Student Ministries.

To Own a Dragon (book review)

19 Feb
February 19, 2008

TO OWN A DRAGON: REFLECTIONS ON GROWING UP WITHOUT A FATHER

By Donald Miller & John MacMurray

There is a quiet depth to Miller’s book that I found so enjoyable. It felt like I was having a casual conversation, yet over and over I had to stop just to let it all sink in. Having grown up with both my parents, I found his inside look at life without a father fascinating. Especially thought provoking were his reactions and insights to his experience later in life of living with a family that had a healthy father in the picture. Through exploring his reactions, his initial confusion at the presence of this unnecessary person, or so he thought, I felt like I had a window into the lives of so many of the teens I work with. More significantly, he then went on to relate his experience without a father to his understanding of God as Father. It was somehow beautiful reading through his process in coming to acceptance of God as a Father, in spite of his experience. I found it challenging throughout – how do I communicate God as Father to a fatherless generation? In so many ways that label has become a bad word to so many. Yet I found Miller’s insight tremendously helpful. Definitely worth reading.

This review, written by me, originally appeared in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (book review)

18 Feb
February 18, 2008

EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN, BUT NOBODY WANTS TO DIE: OR THE ESCHATOLOGY OF BLUEGRASS

By David Crowder and Mike Hogan

Wow. Reading this book was powerfully cathartic. Crowder and Hogan were able to capture in print the quirky yet brilliant aspects of the David Crowder Band that we all love. One moment the book is reading like any other book, the next you’re turning it sideways, then you’re reading instant message conversations, next your reading poetry and so on. And yet it all works wonderfully. They somehow weave all these different styles into one unified book, and in so doing take a powerful look at the connections between death, the soul and bluegrass music. They were able to put into print emotions and thoughts I had had in my own experiences with death in such a way that was liberating for me. Somehow, through reading their honest and real experiences to death, I found myself revisiting past grief and experiencing a deeper level of healing in the process. I would buy a couple copies – you’ll want one to pass around!

This review, by me, originally appeared in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Where did all the FAT go?

29 Jan
January 29, 2008

Dr. Huizenga’s new book, “Where did all the FAT go?,” came out a couple weeks ago and I just finally got my copy!  I love it!  For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Huizenga is the doctor behind every season of The Biggest Loser.  He’s usually on camera a few times each season, but most of what he does is behind the scenes.  However, it’s his vision for what morbidly obese people are actually capable of that is the basis of the show and what has shocked America season after season.  During season three, he was excited to have the 36 of us at home contestants because through us he was able to show America that those “Ranch” results are possible at home with no trainer, no home gym, and no luxury ranch!   And what shocked people, was that many of us did as well or better than the fourteen who were on the ranch.  This book chronicles his plans, lays it out in detail, and shows how we were able to lose the same amount of weight with a fraction of the time spent in the gym, at home, on our own.  Personally, I might be a little biased because he mentions me from time to time and there are some photos of me in the book, which is just absolutely a blast for me, but the reality is, this book describes exactely how I lost the weight and how others can do it as well!  Great writing, fun to read, and a very practical weight loss plan.  You can buy a copy here.  You won’t regret it!