i am...

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
i'm the Director of Camp Wapiti and i have the best job in the universe. yes, the whole universe.

Friday, March 19, 2010

BookSneeze - Bloggers get free books in exchange for a review

so i got turned towards this great program run by Thomas Nelson publishers (they're the guys behind the New King James Bible, and a host of great books that i've read over the years). bloggers can sign up to receive free books in exchange for short reviews on their blogs and book sales sites.

i thought to myself, "self, i like books, and i like free, so lets try this out."

other than getting the free book in the mail, i do not receive anything from Thomas Nelson. i'm not being paid to do this, and its a chance to keep my reading costs down. so here goes.

the first book i've read from these guys is "Free Book" by Brian Tome. get it? it's called "Free Book", and i got it for free... ya, i know.

anywho, the author starts off saying that he's a fanatic about freedom, and wants to impart some his wisdom about said freedom to all of us. i have to say that i wish a book like this had come along last year as i'd spent much more time on the "freedom" theme what with my camp planning and such. but really, i was mostly interested in this book for a few chapters in the middle that focused on the Holy Spirit (which Tome refers as "the Ghost" because he thinks the term "spirit" isn't personal enough).

reading through the first 6 chapters of this book reveal just how much baggage Tome carries from his earlier church experiences. he's incredibly honest about all of it. even to the point of making points for no other reason than to try and make a point. whether its honest battling of fear or plain disregard for his own safety, he openly admits to riding his motorcycle helmetless. i'm not sure i really needed to know this, and i think that the pastor of a 12,000 member congregation could come up with a better example of how he fights fear in his own life.

the tone of the book is set right from the beginning, as Tome spends lots of time dealing with extremes. dealing in the extremes is a great way to sell books, but it really seems like he's trying hard to make some kind of point about how his brand of fear-fighting is the way to go. i'm sorry, but accusing people who choose not to go to Israel with you of being "locked in the stronghold of fear" because one of them mentioned that they were worried about your group being caught in a bombing just doesn't cut it. he admits that there's a healthy tension between personal responsibility and dealing with legitimate fears, but he seems to spend a lot of his time trying to face fears hoping that he doesn't get caught doing something stupid.

the middle chapters (7-10) are where this book really gets good (in my opinion). Tome spends lots of time focused on the spirit-world (the things we don't see but are very aware of), the Holy Spirit, and spiritual warfare. Tome does very well teaching some basics about the Holy Spirit and who the Spirit is. it's refreshing to be taught to look at the Hold Spirit as a person, with character and personality. he brings out some great points that will enhance your ideas concerning the Spirit and life in the Spirit. the chapter on spiritual personalities and demons, and how they set up camps and footholds, is a great explanation of how we get into the places that we get into.

maybe i was hoping for more from the book than what i got out of it, but i did find reading through this book kind of like attending church where the focus is almost exclusively "seeker" oriented. i think i was expecting more depth, and maybe a little more focus on teaching and less personal stories. the stories did contribute to me being able to relate to what the author was saying, but they did nothing to actually teach me anything about how to deal with the situation.

the book, while a great introduction to life in the Spirit and the life of ultimate freedom that Jesus wants for all of us, left me wanting more. i think ultimately i was left with more questions than i started with. while this book never promises to be a guide to breaking addictions or significant issues in one's life, it leaves you wondering just how that might happen.
the thing i really appreciated about the book was its communication of the life of the Christian as a process. life takes time, and so does overcoming strongholds and growing into who God made us to be. we easily forget that the stories of Jesus performing instant miracles are more the exception than the rule, and too often, i just want things to be handled miraculously and instantly.

BookSneeze - Bloggers get free books in exchange for a review

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