Zondervan Sale – Still Going On

The still unannounced Zondervan sale is still going on. Some of the books that were originally on sale are not any longer, but other books are on sale at different prices.  There are now just one 1000 books from $0.99 to $4.99 (some of those are normally priced, but getting mixed into the sale search.) I have posted these four previous posts on the sale (One, Two, Three, Four). There are a lot of Christian Fiction books that are also on sale, but honestly I just don’t read enough Christian Fiction to recommend what is good.

Honestly by Sheila Walsh – $2.99

234 pages, 20 of 22 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Talented and beautiful, Sheila Walsh seemed to be on top of the world. But behind her public success as a performing artist and talk show host, a private story was unfolding. Unable to cope with the inner turmoil that plagued her, Sheila stepped down as co-host of television’s 700 Club to deal with a pain too pressing to ignore.

Honestly takes you on a journey past the walls that most of us put up and into the recesses of one woman’s heart. With rare grace, Sheila shares the story of her pilgrimage—the journey of a soul as it moved from hopelessness, to honesty, to freedom, and, ultimately, to a life of deepened faith and joy.

Grace: An Invitation to a Way of Life by John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson and Judson Poling – $2.99

144 pages, 10 of 11 reviews are 5-star

Many Christians have an easier time being saved by grace than they do living in grace every day. But grace is at the center of the life God calls us to–and reflects the heart of the One who calls.

These studies in Grace will help you make the connection between grace as a remote biblical concept and grace as a lifestyle–a reality you experience day in, day out. Through an unfolding study of Psalm 23, you’ll learn how God–our Good Shepherd–is for you, how he longs to walk with you through temptation, sorrow, and even deep regret. You’ll discover God’s desire to make his joy your joy. Throughout, you’ll learn how enduring, powerful, and life-affirming God’s work in your life can be—and rediscover why it’s called amazing grace.

Jesus the Pastor: Leading Others in the Character and Power of Christ by John Frye – $2.99

194 pages, 9 of 10 reviews are 4 or 5-star

A personal and practical guide to help pastors find Jesus as their mentor.

For decades, Paul has been the model for today’s pastors. But Pastor John Frye says we must instead look to Jesus as our model. “While we may lift Christ up as Savior, as we bow down to him as Lord, as we marvel at his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, as we walk with him as Friend, we seem to ignore him as the supreme Senior Pastor.”

Sharing thought-provoking, biblical insights and personal experiences, Frye calls other pastors to become apprentices to Jesus himself. He is the One who invites pastors to watch him in action and draw close so he can shape who they are and how they fulfill their ministry.

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist – $3.79

256 pages, 155 of 170 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories that celebrate the extraordinary moments hidden in our everyday lives. It is about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It is about spiritual life, and about all the things that we have called nonspiritual life that might be spiritual after all. It is the snapshots of a young woman making peace with herself and her life, and trying to craft a life that captures the energy and exuberance we long for in the midst of the fear and regret and envy we all carry with us. It is both a voice of challenge and song of comfort, calling us upward to the best possible life, and giving us room to breathe, to rest, to break down and break through. Cold Tangerines offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, in and among the heartbreak And boredom and broken glass.

9 Free Christian Kindle Books

This Fine Life: A Novel by Eva Marie Everson

353 pages, 61 of 81 reviews are 4 or 5-star

It is the summer of 1959 and Mariette Puttnam has just graduated from boarding school. When she returns to her privileged life at home, she isn’t sure where life will take her. More schooling? A job? Marriage? Nothing feels right. How could she know that the answer is waiting for her within the narrow stairwell of her father’s apparel factory, exactly between the third and fourth floors?

In this unique and tender story of an unlikely romance, popular author Eva Marie Everson takes readers on a journey through the heart of a young woman bound for the unknown. Readers will experience the joys of new love, the perseverance of true friendship, and the gift of forgiveness that comes from a truly fine life.

Love is Faithful (Rock Creek #2) by Holli Rebecca Burnfield

347 pages, 12 of 14 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

“Love Is Faithful,” the much awaited sequel to “Love is Patient,” continues the story of BethAnne & Jacob Hill, along with many other residents of the town of Rock Creek. Adversity and shocking secrets come to light, threatening to shake the very foundations of the beloved characters whom readers of the Rock Creek Series have come to know and love.

Holli Rebecca Burnfield lives in southern Indiana with her husband Jason and their five daughters, Iona, Isabel, Emily, Holli Faith, and Layla. She is currently working on Book Three of the Rock Creek Series.

Little Children. Big God. by Sarah Hawkes Valente

200 pages, 12 of 13 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

“Little Children. Big God.” is an intricate weaving of deep study and childhood wonder as told by Sarah Hawkes Valente, a mother of five young children. Each chapter introduces essential doctrine through beautifully concise narrative—simplifying sometimes confusing scriptures while still preserving their integrity. Sarah challenges us to diligently teach our children, to be continually taught by the mouth of our Father, and to apply His eternal precepts to our everyday lives. This book is for anyone in search of renewed, child-like eyes with which to more clearly see the heart of our great big God.

Splintered Oak (Winsor Series #3) by TL Gray

408 pages, 213 of 220 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Draped in darkness, his only hope was her light…

Jake Matthews understands loss. In just one year, he lost his mother, his first love, his career and now his cousin and best friend. But loss is the very thing that allows him to see the amazing woman he’s always overlooked. And for the very first time, Jake wants to be worthy of such a pure love.

Pound Foolish by Dave and Netta Jackson

Pound Foolish Windy CityI met a Christian screenwriter and producer a few years ago and he gave me a piece of advice I have never forgotten, “writing stories about faith cannot be treated like ketchup on a hot dog…something that can be wiped off. Writing stories about faith must be treated like an egg baked into a cake…something that’s impossible to separate”. Dave and Neta Jackson do this well.

The Jackson’s have written their fourth book in the Windy City Neighbor series. As with each tome, the primary character was a secondary character in a previous story, all of which take place on Beecham Street in a Chicago neighborhood. In Pound Foolish, the reader gets to know Greg Singer, a sports show coordinator for power boats, snowmobiles, jet skis, etc. Singer works very hard for his family, assuming a healthy bank balance and grand vacations are what his family requires.

Four Bookwi.se Reviewed Books on Sale

Here is another list of bookwi.se reviewed books that are part of the Zondervan ebook Sale. Previously I posted 6 other reviewed books.

Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley – $2.99

352 pages, 490 of 514 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Bookwi.se Review

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus started a movement that has grown like wildfire throughout history. Author and pastor Andy Stanley draws from Scripture and over 25 years of pastoral experience to bring to life the irresistible nature of this movement known as the Church.

With surprising candor and transparency pastor Andy Stanley explains how one of America’s largest churches began with a high-profile divorce and a church split. But that’s just the beginning…

Deep and Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend. Andy writes,

“Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week…with a friend!”

Later he says, “I want people to fall in love with the Author of Scripture. And while we can’t make anyone fall in love, we can certainly arrange a date.”

For the first time, Andy explains his strategy for preaching and programming to “dual audiences”: mature believers and cynical unbelievers. He argues that preaching to dual audiences doesn’t require communicators to “dumb down” the content. According to Stanley, it’s all in the approach.

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good New Revisited by Scot McKnight – $4.99

193 pages, 94 of 122 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Bookwi.se Review (Second Reading Review)

Contemporary evangelicals have built a “salvation culture” but not a “gospel culture.” Evangelicals have reduced the gospel to the message of personal salvation. This book makes a plea for us to recover the old gospel as that which is still new and still fresh. The book stands on four arguments: that the gospel is defined by the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15 as the completion of the Story of Israel in the saving Story of Jesus; that the gospel is found in the Four Gospels; that the gospel was preached by Jesus; and that the sermons in the Book of Acts are the best example of gospeling in the New Testament. The King Jesus Gospel ends with practical suggestions about evangelism and about building a gospel culture.

7 Free Christian Kindle Books

Intimidation by Wanda Dyson (Shefford Files #3)

352 pages, 16 of 17 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Zoe Shefford just knows something bad is about to happen. It’s a built-in detector that she knows comes from the creator of life, but it isn’t always the most comforting of gifts. She doesn’t know who in her circle of acquaintances is in danger or how to word her prayers. Detective JJ Johnson is frustrated by Zoe. She’s an amazing and stubborn woman. While they’ve been working together, he’s grown to respect her faith and her gifts, but now she’s too distracted to help him through his latest challenge–suspension from the force. When a call comes in from their mutual friend, FBI Special Agent Donnie Bevere, they drop everything to go to him. Bevere’s wife has been abducted at gunpoint, and the situation is spiraling into an abyss of false leads. Bevere never told his coworkers he had a family–it was supposed to protect them from this sort of retaliatory act. Is the FBI withholding information from Bevere? Can Zoe and JJ help this friend who has been left with so little hope?

The Seven Habits that Will Change Your Life Forever by Adam Houge

206 pages, 21 of 22 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Becoming a highly spiritual Christian needs to be the goal of every believer. Love in itself is an action and should be practiced habitually by everyone. We through love should be fervently seeking the Lord, and cherishing one another. We must be constantly portraying the heart of God toward one another on a habitual basis.

As it is written, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” 1Co 15:33

In this book we will distill the best habits down to the seven most productive ones. If practiced properly, they will carry over into every other category of life and drive you to become a highly spiritual Christian.

Bridle My Heart by Susan Rohrer

272 pages, 13 of 13 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

Will another cowboy steal Jillian’s heart?

Jillian Marsh knows what it’s like to tangle with a Texan all too well. She’s been cheated on and deserted by a rogue of a cowboy who should have known better. When the ink dries on their divorce settlement, all Jillian has to show for it is the deed to her late ex-father-in-law’s dilapidated horse ranch in a tiny tornado torn town.

A Philadelphia real estate agent, Jillian makes her lovesick teen daughter, Danielle, a promise. They’ll travel from Philly to Texas, just long enough to flip the ranch and sell it. It’s the only way Jillian can pay for Dani’s return to the academy next term, the high school Dani’s boyfriend also attends.

Jesus: The Human Face of God by Jay Parini

Jesus the Human Face of God by Jay PariniSummary: A traditional liberal understanding of Jesus.

This is a short review because I did not completely finish the book. This is one of the books that borrowed from Kindle Unlimited. I was close to finished (72%) when my subscription ended. So I waffled back and forth a bit about writing up a review. In the end, I decided to write it mostly because I needed the reviews.

Parini is a literature professor. So in writing a biography of Jesus he is moving outside his primarily area of academic study. Although he is fluent in ancient Greek and has studied both New Testament and other literature from the era.

Parini’s desire for the book is to ‘re-mythologize’ Jesus. He is not a fan of the traditional Jesus Seminar methods of trying to strip away all of the supernatural from Jesus. Parini, as a literature professor, understands that in stripping away the supernatural, the Jesus Seminar methods are also stripping away a lot of the purpose behind telling those supernatural stories.

Your Church Is Too Small by John Armstrong (Part 1: Introduction)

I am reposting this 2010 review (yes it is a nearly 2100 hundred word review that I posted in 3 parts) because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $4.99.  I believe that this is part of Zondervan’s general ebook sale that still has not been announced anywhere and don’t have have an end date. Part two of the review is here and part three here.

_____

After having read Your Church is Too Small I immediately thought of four people that need to read the book.  So the summary review is that I think the book is good enough that I have bought and sent the book to four friends and bought one more to give away here.

After I was about half way through the book I decided that there is just too much rich content to comment on in just one blog post.  So I am breaking tradition and I am breaking this post into three parts.  Part 2 will post on Saturday and Part 3 on Sunday and I will restart the normal schedule on Monday.

Having read John Armstrong’s blog regularly for the past several years, I can think of few others that would have been better to write Your Church is Too Small.  The basic thesis is that only the “…church of Jesus Christ, ministering out of its spiritual unity in Christ and rooted in core orthodoxy, can best serve Christ’s mission.”

Armstrong loves the church and throughout the book reminds us that we should not fear for the church, because it is not our job to build and maintain the church but Christ’s and the Holy Spirit’s.  However, like our faith, we are saved by grace and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, but we still have responsibility for participating in our own spiritual growth.  Armstrong suggests that the unity the Jesus prayed for in John 17 cannot just be an invisible, spiritual unity, but must be a relational.  So while the church is one spiritually, there is a role for our participation in drawing the church together in unity.  I think this is an important point.  Just like James (2:17-18) tells us that we should not tell someone that we will pray for them, but not actually do anything to help them, we should not talk about the Big C Church and do nothing to build relationships with those outside our stream of faith.

New Kindle Reviews (Kindle Voyager and Kindle Basic 2014)

This morning reviews for the new Kindle Voyager has starting popping up in the press. The Kindle Voyager is a new high end eink Kindle.*

The summary of the reviews that I have read so far, is that the Kindle Voyager is the best eink ereader available. It has a beautiful screen, with much higher resolution than anything else on the market. It is the only ereader with a light sensor so it automatically adjusts the frontlight based on the amount of light wherever you are reading. It has a new type of button that does not physically click (no more bothering your spouse when you are reading in bed) but senses the pressure when you push the bezel. And it has a new much higher price. It starts at $199 for the wifi only version with Ads. It is $20 extra to removed the Ads and $70 extra to get the version with free 3G.

I think Amazon and Apple are both having the same problem. People that want an ereader (or tablet) mostly have them. And both ereaders and tablets last a fairly long time. There is not a good reason for anyone to upgrade every year, or even every two years.

And for the most part the upgrades are incremental. A slightly better screen, even if it is the best screen, is only slightly better. Better buttons, even if more convenient are still only slightly better than a touch screen. A light sensor, even though useful, is hardly reason to spend $200. A flat screen (instead of a recessed one) is nice, as is a micro etched screen to make it even less reflective, but again, not a reason to upgrade.

Last week, I saw several reviews of the new Kindle Basic. The new Kindle Basic now has a touch screen and the exact same software as the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyager. The only real difference between the Kindle Basic and the and the more expensive Paperwhite is the lighted screen. In fact many of the reviews noted that the new Kindle Basic ($79) screen is actually clearer than the Kindle Paperwhite 2 ($119) that was released last year.

So at this point there are only three Kindles to choose from:

  • Kindle Basic – $79, touch screen, but no light (6.7 oz)
  • Kindle Paperwhite – $119, touch screen, lighted screen, no buttons (7.3 oz)
  • Kindle Voyager – $199, lighted touch screen, light sensor, sensor touch buttons on the bezel, flush screen to the bezel with micro etching to make it the most anti-reflective screen that Amazon makes. (6.3 oz)

6 Free Christian Kindle Books

Poison Town: A Novel by Creston Mapes

370 pages, 89 of 97 reviews are 4 or 5-star, The audiobook is discounted to $3.49 with the purchase of the Kindle Edition.

There’s More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that’s crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss. The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon’s long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal. The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable–he knows too much.

It’s Your Call: What Are You Doing Here? by Gary Barkalow

224 pages, 54 of 58 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Discover God’s calling for your life …

Few spiritual concepts have fascinated and confused people more than understanding God’s calling for their life. Is it primarily about a job or a role? It is precise or general? Is a calling only reserved for those who work in professional ministry?

The truth is actually amazingly profound: What we are supposed to do is what we most want to do.

This is a guide for discovering God’s design and destiny for your life. Drawing from over 20 years of experience in ministry, Gary Barkalow shares how you can:

  • Live alert and oriented to the voice and choreography of God.
  • Discover and interpret the voice of your own story.
  • Discern the strategic assault against your calling.
  • Recognize God’s intentional training in your life’s journey.

Most of all, you’ll be inspired to let the glory of your life touch the world around you.

Consider the Thorns by Michelle Lynn Brown

212 pages, 25 of 27 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Barbara Houlton is a best-selling romance author, known for her achingly sweet love stories. However, her own love-life is nothing to write home about. Raped on the eve of her high-school graduation, she was left pregnant and scarred, both emotionally and physically. She has learned to hide the physical scars, but the emotional scars that taint her soul become harder to hide each day. Sarcasm, avoidance and denial have become weapons to keep her monstrous past at bay. Barbara avoids her home town at all costs. She denies to all those who are concerned for her that there is anything wrong. And those who try to pass her protective boundaries are met with her cutting sarcasm. Her emotional scars make intimacy a frightening thing, and those who try to grasp this beautiful rose are quickly met with her thorns. Instead, she loves through her characters, embracing her romantic dreams with every book she writes, and convinces herself it is enough.

All In by Mark Batterson

“If Jesus is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all”

In a concise and ease to understand approach, Batterson challenges the reader to perform a self-examination and discover what they are holding onto more firmly than Jesus. He points out that we are either following him completely or inviting him to follow us. By engaging numerous examples from the Bible, Batterson illustrates that God does not do great things because of us. Instead, He does great things despite us.

God did not choose Moses and David because they were great leaders. They did not have impressive resumes or a wealth of experience to draw from. What they had was a solid commitment to the God of creation. Imagine if we were all in like young David was all in when he went to face Goliath.

This is an easy and quick read, but it is well worth your time.

All In by Mark Batterson Purchase Links: Hardcover, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook