Saturday, April 12, 2014

Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker


If you can imagine the movie “Dead Poet’s Society” encapsulated in book form, shaken up, throw around in a heaping helping of spice, then repurposed as a collection of stories and great advise, you would have “Moment Maker”. “Seize the day” would be an okay way to sum up this book, but I think the more appropriate version would be “seize the moment”, and this book has it right.    

Carlos does a great job of telling his self-effacing stories and interpreting those in light of what he has learned about making the most of the moments in life. The book never feels pushy or false, and his stories come across as very genuine and authentic. It never felt like he was trying to force meaning into the stories he shared, and I found myself nodding along with his revelations and words of wisdom.

I read this book in the course of a few hours, so it was definitely a fast read. I had difficulty putting the book down, because I enjoyed the stories and insights so much. I did not underline as much in this book as I would have some other ones, but only because I thought the whole book was great, not just a few quotes here and there. 

Read more about the book at http://www.zondervan.com/moment-maker.html.

You can also check out this video from Carlos talking about the book:


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Art of Helping Others by Douglas Mann

Have you ever felt like that is something more to being an artist, a painter, a candle stick maker? Have you ever sat at your instrument and wondered what it would be like to write songs that not only change lives, but songs that change the world? Have you ever wondered if this book review would just get to the point instead of teasing you into wanting to read the rest of what I have to say about the book? If so, then I've got a book for you! (I realize I just totally ripped off the introduction to just about every Reading Rainbow book review ever seen on public television...)


Mann's book is an intricate weaving of story and point-making, one seamlessly weaving it's way into and out of the other. I enjoyed reading of his various adventures and life experiences as he told of learning how to be a "creative inciter", one who uses their imagination (whether that be in the creative arts or other areas of life) to inspire and lead others towards life change. He encourages the reader towards authentic expressions that more accurately reflect the diversity and creative energies of the Creator God that crafted the whole world. The book does gear itself towards more “creative artist” types, but I believe anyone who is a passionate follower of Jesus would benefit from Mann’s book. Go pick it up and give it a read. “But you don’t have to take my word for it!”

Check out “The Art of Helping Others” video by InterVarsity Press on Vimeo. The video is available for your viewing pleasure at http://vimeo.com/85258737.

For more information about the book, check out InterVarsity Press. You can also read more about the author at www.douglascmann.com.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. 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.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Good Friday to Easter by Page CXVI

Following on the heels of "Lent to Maundy Thursday", Page CXVI is releasing "Good Friday to Easter" on April 15th for your listening pleasure. Instead of thinking about tax day here in the USA, spend some time checking out another great offering by this band and pick it up on iTunes, Amazon, or on their website at http://www.pagecxvi.com


If you would like to listen to the album RIGHT NOW, you can visit the band's SoundCloud page at the following link:  https://soundcloud.com/pagecxvi/sets/good-friday-to-easter. For more information about their other projects be sure and visit their website at http://www.pagecxvi.com.


For your viewing pleasure, below is a video with behind the scenes footage in the studio for the song “Three” from the album:





Monday, March 31, 2014

Tomorrow Is April 1st

Let's make it a great month.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thrive - Book Review


"Thrive" is Mark Hall's forth book (lead vocalist for the band Casting Crowns). I have not had the opportunity to read any of his other books, but one can certainly understand getting into a book written by the primary song writer of the group and the expectations that might follow.




The general premise of the book is that the believer must dig deep roots in their relationship with Christ (read the Word, pray, fellowship) and also reach out to share of that same relationship with others. Mark does not wax poetically or get too deep in the miry clay of emotionalism, nor does he spend too much energy in theologizing on the whys and hows. What he does do is let Scripture speak for itself, and provide the reader with many personal stories and anecdotes, without being over done.


What we end up with is a very readable and encouraging book, written by a well known Christian music recording artist. Don't let that fact deter you from checking this book out. It is well worth your time and energy, and you will find yourself looking for ways to not just survive in a lifeless religion, but truly thrive in you relationship with Christ.

For more information, check out: http://zondervan.com/9780310293347.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lent to Maundy Thursday by Page CXVI

If you are looking for some great new tunes to get you through this next season in the Church year, then look no further than Page CXVI's new release "Lent to Maundy Thursday". 

I love the way they musically breathe new life into old hymns and make them imminently more approachable and relevant. Their newest release (available March 3rd at most digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, as well as the band's website) is no exception and I heartily recommend it. 

If you would like to listen to the album RIGHT NOW, you can visit the band's SoundCloud page at the following link:  https://soundcloud.com/pagecxvi/sets/lent-to-maundy-thursday. For more information about their other projects be sure and visit their website at http://www.pagecxvi.com.

For your viewing pleasure, below is a video with behind the scenes footage in the studio to “This Blessed Day” from the album:




Monday, February 24, 2014

Community Bible Experience - Day 1

Today was the first day in the forty day journey of reading through the New Testament with members of Mt Zion Wesleyan Church. This is a part of the Wesleyan Church's participation in the Community Bible Experience put on by Biblica. The readings are spread across forty days, with five days of reading (Monday through Friday), over the course of eight weeks.

The neat thing about the New Testament we were provided with (our church chose to purchase for those willing to participate) is that the readings are laid out in chapter format, not the typical verse / paragraph layout found in most Bibles. It makes for a more "normal" reading experience that I find flows better and is less choppy.

In addition to the books, there is an audio option that allows you to listen online each day, or download the files for use on your favorite mobile device. I actually listened to both the kid's audio version as well as the regular one, and found them both to be equally as engaging. The kid's version abridges some of the reading, but I didn't feel like it was too much.

I'm looking forward to this reading journey with my church family, as well as those who chose to participate across the wider Christian community. Here's to digging in deeply!