True to form, Donald Miller, in his unmistakable story-telling style, tackles important subjects like faith and theology. Seriously, yet humorously, shedding light on them so that you will never read the Bible the same way again.
As the title suggests, this is a personal journey of faith. Faith renounced then found; but not just found, rediscovered with a clearer understanding of God’s Word and what it means for mankind.
Having read only two of his books, I am a huge fan of Donald Miller’s writing. I especially like the way he includes the reader in his personal struggles with life, God and faith.
I highly recommend this book. It’s an easy, entertaining read, but at the same time will make you think long and hard about what you really believe about God and Scripture.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their www.BookSneeze.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
During ThePornEvent.com we will examine the effect porn has on our lives and relationships, and look at next steps for those who are struggling.
Expect a non-threatening environment featuring stories, helpful answers, and an open conversation with people whoʼve traveled a similar path. ThePornEvent.com is for anyone who is interested in what it looks like to live a life beyond pornography.
During the men’s segment of ThePornEvent.com, we’ll take an honest look at how porn affects us as men, fathers, and husbands. Through stories, answers to common questions, and open conversation we will talk about the hope men can find in life beyond pornography.
During the women’s segment of ThePornEvent.com, we will talk about how porn affects us as women, mothers, and wives. Through stories, answers to common questions, and open conversation we will talk about the hope found beyond our personal struggles with porn and also how to support and care for family members that are dealing with sexual addiction.
If you or someone you know struggles with porn, please set aside some time to join us at ThePornEvent.com during one of the many sessions that will be available between May 23-28.
Chronological Guide to the Bible Thomas Nelson Publishers March 2010 $24.99 217pp
For my BookSneeze Review this month I chose the Chronological Guide to the Bible. This book is an excellent reference for any serious Bible student. Extremely user friendly with a nice form factor and feel; great color photos and charts. It’s an enjoyable study tool. As a former home school mom, I see this as a great addition to any home school Bible curriculum, and best of all the Chronological Guide to the Bible works with any Bible translation.
Rather than being divided by the traditional order of books in the Bible, the Chronological Guide to the Bible is divided into 9 Epochs of time; with handy charts for chronological reading of the Bible. Where several of the Bible’s books overlap, (i.e., 1 & 2 Samuel / 1 & 2 Kings) they are combined to tell the history in the order of their occurrence.
Most of the information is adapted from The Chronological Study Bible published also by Thomas Nelson in 2008. The benefit to using the guide over the Bible itself, I believe, is primarily simplicity of use. As far as I can tell it isn’t necessary to own both, although I chose to purchase the Bible myself so I could give an accurate review. I personally prefer to have both in my library and would encourage others to do the same.
I thoroughly enjoy studying the Bible; and because I find Biblical history fascinating I really look forward to spending more time in the Chronological Guide to the Bible.
This is an excellent reference tool I’ll use in my personal library for many years to come. Thank you Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze!
Disclosure of Material Connection:I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.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
I follow Michael Hyatt’s blog (CEO Thomas Nelson), where he recently recommended a book.
I was unfamiliar with the author, but because I take Michael’s advice very seriously, I ordered the book.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller $19.99 Thomas Nelson Publisher ISBN 978-0-7852-1306-2
This book caught me completely by surprise; and is now one of my top 10 books! I’m so taken by this book, I already want to reread it. I want to buy a case and pass them out to all my friends.
It’s funny, profound, entertaining, thought provoking but most importantly — life changing!
Maybe you’re in a low point of your life.
Maybe your life is going great with no conflicts.
Either way, this book is a must.
It’s an easy, fast read that will catch you laughing out loud at the wonderful stories Don lives to tell.
What makes this one of my favorite books?
Simply – it made me look at my life in a completely different perspective and see that I have the ability to partner with God and write my own story.
“A story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.” -Donald Miller
We may feel like we’re a million miles and a thousand years away from being able to live what we believe is our “true story.”
But whose fault is that?
We don’t have a story because we are lazy. We don’t want to turn off the TV, get off the couch, and put away the Cheetos.
We don’t see that God is allowing our character (us) to experience conflict that pushes us to become better people.
“Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.” -Donald Miller
I don’t usually have to go too far to find the conflict in my life, it seems to come looking for me.
The big question is:
What am I doing with that conflict?
“One of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don’t want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don’t want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage.
… we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants.” -Donald Miller
What’s Your Story?
Are you in conflict today but trying to numb the pain of it by depending on something or someone?
Or you pressing through the conflict to find the resolution/freedom/joy that waits on the other side.
“It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.” – Donald Miller
Let’s not be lazy and allow our life story to pass us by.
Let’s partner with God to help tell His story through us.
I recently joined a new kind of book club: BookSneeze. As a member I receive a free book in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Upon joining it didn’t take me long to choose Free Book by Brian Tome because I agree with every word in the subtitle:
“I am a fanatic about freedom. And I’m fanatical about coming at you hard in this book. I’m tired of seeing people beaten down by the world’s systems and by religion. I’m sick of seeing people live safe, predictable lives while their God-given passions die. I hate the assumption that getting close to God means more rules and restrictions. No more. God’s offering real freedom. Get yours.”- Brian Tome
Brian takes a little different approach to the subject of freedom. You may not agree with everything he says; but give him credit, he passionately covers all areas of life & how to walk out a life of freedom. This was an excellent book. I highly recommend it for those who are serious about living Free!
Here are a few of the topics he discusses:
Be Void of Fear – cast off whatever hinders you; go after the grand adventure of experiencing God while you experience all of life.
Be Who God Designed You to Be – live free of condemnation & others’ concern; develop a healthy conscience; not allowing your past to taint your present or future.
Jesus: the Ultimate Freedom Giver – freedom requires a decision to follow someone; it’s about the one who’s leading you and the way you choose to follow.
Ride the Forgiveness Freeway – staying free means going with the flow of forgiveness; the more we give the more we receive.
Live an Unbalanced Life – instead of over committing & striving for balance in multiple areas, throw your weight behind one focused effort; push to experience the fullness of God’s blessings.
Don’t go through life burdened by strongholds and fear; struggling with relationships or finances.
Experience the grace and truth with which Christ brings us True Freedom!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
My husband and I had the opportunity to phone conference today with another ministry. Freedom Begins Here is an organization focused on putting much needed resources in the hands of churches and individuals to curb the pornography epidemic we are facing in our culture today. This week on their site they blogged about a men’s ministry leadership conference they attended recently:
“The epidemic of pornography (now in the church) was mentioned at least 4 or 5 times by the speakers from the stage. The struggles that Christians face in regard to this temptation and stronghold as well as the enormity of the crisis were thoroughly addressed. Yet, very few came by the Freedom Begins Here booth to learn how this may be dealt with in their men’s group or church. Very few were looking for resources, plans, ideas, or thoughts. Why? Is it fear? Is it a refusal to face the truth? Is it because it is hard to deal with real issues as opposed to just talking about them? Were they struggling with this issue themselves? Did that make them believe that they, therefore, can’t address it in a group? Or, do they just really not care? I do not know.”- www.freedombeginshere.org/blog/talk-is-cheap
•51% of pastors say cyber-pornography is a possible temptation,
•37% say it is a current struggle. (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001)
•Over half of evangelical pastors admit viewing pornography last year.
•20% of the calls received on the Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
•33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a pornography site,
·53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
•29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior. (The Barna Group)
•57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation. (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005)
The church as a whole isn’t being proactive and won’t until ministers and pastors start addressing it directly from the pulpit. The above numbers are very dated and unfortunately, we don’t have any more current numbers. So we can only imagine what the statistics would be today. Considering that, I don’t see pulpits addressing addiction across the board anytime soon.
My personal barometer: If a pastor isn’t addressing porn there’s a good chance he or she has a personal porn problem.
With most things change begins at a “grassroots” or lay person level and moves up. It’s up to us to call our pastors and leadership to accountability. But with over 50% of the grassroots/lay membership addicted to porn most don’t care about dealing with it either! With so much shame and embarrassment attached to the issue people are afraid to even discuss it.
What we have here is the typical AA ‘invisible elephant’ that no one wants to talk about. Instead of the elephant being in a family living room, it’s in the church sanctuary.
As a minister called by God to address this issue head on, I believe if we are going to even begin to make a dent in our country’s #1 addiction, the pandemic that’s destroying lives and families, we must hold our pastors and leadership to a higher standard. To make our churches what they should be, a safe place where hurting men and women can come to find healing and wholeness. It’s not about shaming or condemning anyone. It’s about sharing the freedom only found in Jesus Christ.
At all times we must remember Jesus cared just as much about the woman at the well as he did any other person he came in contact with.
My question to you today: IS YOUR CHURCH TAKING A PROACTIVE STAND AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY?
Is your pastor or leadership team addressing sexual addiction at all from the pulpit?
How is your church addressing this critical need in your community?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of the escalating problem of pornography addiction in our world today; and with increasing availability the problem will only get worse.
THE CRACK COCAINE OF SEX ADDICTION – porn/sex-related sites make up nearly 60% of web traffic.
20 million Americans spend hours on porn; maybe it’s even in your home after the family’s in bed
30% of Christian women admit to the use of pornography
50% of pastors say they struggle with porn
This book is not just for sex addicts but should be read by everyone!
·Women: they themselves may be teetering on the brink of sexual addiction or may be married to a man like Michael Leahy who hid his addiction from his wife their entire marriage.
·Men: based on statistics today, there’s a good chance they’re in denial of their own addiction or be surprised to find they’re married to a closet sex addict themselves.
·Everyparent: should be aware of the potential dangers their children face each day.
·Teens and college students: it’s likely they’re being exposed to pornography on a regular basis and don’t see the trap that’s being set for them.
A poignant story of a 30 year battle with pornography, the loss of a marriage and children because of addiction; but more than that it’s the story of America – our porn nation. How porn’s affecting all of us, how we see ourselves and others and what can be done about it.
For those concerned about the sensitivity of the subject matter, not to worry, the author is a Christian man and gets his points across without graphic details.
Leahy covers all sides of the porn story.
The addict’s perspective: how easy it is to get addicted to pornography and the difficulty getting free and staying free from it.
The big picture: the hyper-sexualized media, and the increasing availability of pornography especially to young children.
The reader who may be an addict:to one hiding in shame and denial, much needed words of encouragement and excellent resources to aid those seeking freedom from pornography’s grasp.
“I believe when it comes down to really understanding how far our sociosexual pathology has taken us, you needn’t look much further than our own personal experiences, our current attitudes, and the people around us. Think of how your own sexual viewpoints, beliefs, and behaviors have changed in the past ten to twenty year. When I talk with college students and share what junior high and high school students are doing sexually, most of them are shocked. The lines of decency and sexual integrity have shifted, and old values are constantly replaced by new ones. But at what price? How far can the boundaries be pushed before someone gets hurt?” – Michael Leahy, PORN NATION
As a recovering sex addict I highly recommend this book. In fact, I’ll go a step further and tell you if you don’t read PORN NATION there’s a good chance you’ll be ignorant to one of the worst epidemics this country has ever seen.
With sex addiction statistics as they are, even in the church, it’s almost certain someone you know, maybe even you or a member of your family struggle with this issue.
There’s so much shame linked to this particular addiction for women, that it’s nearly impossible for them to reach out for help. If you read this book maybe you’ll be able to spot specific behaviors and help them before pornography destroys their lives.
At first glance the title of this post might seem out of place on a blog dedicated to addiction recovery. But as you read on I think you will be surprised to find it will truly benefit your sobriety to get a dog!
Growing up and into adulthood I was never a “dog person.” I always preferred cats. They were low maintenance and pretty much kept to themselves. They didn’t require lots training or attention, so as a narcissist it allowed me more time for me. My sister, on the other hand, always had dogs. She was, to me, strangely attached to these creatures in a way I could never understand.
I married in my early twenties, and quickly started a family. I was consumed with mothering three children, caring for my home and being the dutiful Christian wife. Over the years we had a few dogs for the kids, but I never became attached. I didn’t have any emotional energy left to give.
Years went by as I fell back into the sexual addiction patterns of my adolescence. My family was no longer the priority for me nor my emotional energy. My focus was on finding the next sexual “fix” to feed my sick soul. I did things that are too shameful to imagine a mother would do to her own family.
During the Summer of 2004, God in His infinite love and mercy reached down and pulled me out of the dark pit of destruction I had dug for myself — when I was jailed for assaulting my husband. In the county jail I began to come to my senses. I atttended chapel services and started reading the Bible again after 7 years of trying to do things my way. After I got out of jail I couldn’t return home because of a restraining order; so I lived with a neighbor for 3 months. It was during this time that God sent my son’s dog, Abby, (a black Labrador) to begin the rescue of my aching soul.
Along with a fresh self-awareness came unrelenting self-loathing, unbelievable sadness and painful regret for what I had put my family through. Abby was my new best friend. I could tell her anything and she still loved me. I could be myself, no matter how horrible a person I was, or thought I was, she loved me unconditionally! She was the shoulder I could literally cry on as I tried to make sense of the mess I had made of my life. I honestly don’t know what I would have done with out her. My sobriety is a success in many ways because of her. She taught me how to have a soft spirit again. She showed me not only how to love others but to find love enough for myself, too.
God said it best, “It’s not good for man (or woman) to be alone.” His creations are here for our pleasure and can be our greatest and sweetest companions in times of need. If you are walking through your sobriety alone, I can’t encourage you enough, please consider getting a dog. These four-footed therapists give something special that can enhance the health and well-being of others. It has been clinically proven that through petting, touching and talking with a dog our blood pressure is lowered, stress is relieved and depression is eased.
There are many beautiful dogs waiting to be rescued at your local ASPCA. http://www.aspca.org/ They will love you through your darkest days and with the help of Jesus Christ, will walk you through to a healthy, sober life on the other side.
A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal... – Proverbs 12:10