Friday, March 28, 2014

The Road We Must Travel - Book Review

The Road We Must Travel: A Personal Guide For Your Journey - eBook  -     By: Francis Chan, Bill Hybels, Eugene H. Peterson

The Road We Must Travel - A Personal Guide for Your Journey is composed of eighteen chapters covering topics such as "The Need for Honest Self-Assessment," Reading the Bible Spiritually" and "The Art of Managing Conflict."  The authors of this book are well known and respected pastors and authors such as Francis Chan, Bill Hybels and Eugene Peterson. 

The short chapters in this book make it an easy read. However, they are packed with years of experience and counsel. One of the chapters I especially appreciated was The Art of Managing Conflict, by Gordon Macdonald. He explains that managing conflict is a five-step process.\
1. Accept that conflict - the collision of two or more perspectives is a necessary ingredient of any human relationship.
2. Recognize that each of us brings "Baggage" from past experiences into present dealings.
3. Remember that conflict need not be - should not be - about winning or losing.
4. Decide to limit any kind of disagreement to the issue.
5. Reach the terminal point in a conflict where adult versions of "sorrys" are said and solutions found.
As someone who dislikes conflict and would like to avoid it at all costs, I have learned that it is necessary in almost every relationship. However, these five steps have given me confidence that I can deal with conflict in healthy ways and even strengthen already existing relationships. 

This book would be great for someone just graduating and starting out in their adult lives.  It also would be great reading for anyone in any stage of life.  I have enjoyed reading it and will probably read some of my favorite chapters again. 
This book was provided to me in exchange for a fair, honest review.  I am not obligated to give it a positive review.

Awakening - Book Review

Awakening: How American Can Turn from Economic and Moral Destruction Back to Greatness  -     By: Ralph Reed

Awakening: How America Can Turn From Economic and Moral Destruction Back to Greatness -
The title certainly got my attention. In his book, Ralph Reed pulls no punches in explaining how events throughout American history have defined the times we live in today. Awakening is divided into 3 parts: 1. In Motion, 2. Off Course, 3. Awakening. Within each of these parts are the fifteen chapters comprising this book.

As someone who enjoys American politics and is concerned about the direction our country has turned, I was quite interested in reading this book. We must understand the history behind not only American policy, but spiritual cycles to really get why we are where we are.  One thing that I found promising was that Reed explains that within political systems, there are spiritual cycles.  Human societies tend to move from faith to prosperity to pride to destruction, and then regeneration.  I have hope for the regeneration of spirituality in our country. He explains that when things are at their worst, there is a repentance leading back to faith. Oh, how I long for that time.

There is so much in this book that I can't list all of the things I learned. What I can say is that I appreciate Reed's perspective, given his political perspective and Christian background.  He uses scripture and Biblical history as well.  At the end of each chapter, Reed has included Action Points. These Action Points could be used while reading this book by yourself, but also lend themselves to discussion with a group.

Chapter 15 is titled "A Call To Christian Citizenship." Reed says, "As people of faith, we exercise our temporal citizenship not to gain power but to witness to a higher authority. Properly understood, our citizenship is a gift from God, and we utilize it to glorify Him by defending the defenseless, giving voice to the voiceless, and asserting that our rights come from God, not any king, president, court or congress."

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am not obligated to give this book a positive review, although I did enjoy reading it and found it quite interesting. I recommend this book to anyone concerned about the state of our country (I don't know anyone who isn't concerned). Go buy it!