Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken {Book Review}



Most people are familiar with the “Love Chapter” of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, yet Phil Ryken has something fresh to say. Drawing on the life and ministry of Jesus to illustrate what love is and isn’t, Ryken brings a unique perspective to this commonly quoted passage.

Loving the Way Jesus Loves successfully integrates biblical teaching, photography, chapter study guides, and a popular-level writing style—all of which will help you understand the profound love of Christ more deeply and, in turn, learn to love more deeply in response.

(from Crossway)

My Thoughts:

When a book starts with, “There is nothing I need more in my life than more of the love of Jesus.”, you know you are in for a reality check on your own spiritual life. Just the first paragraph alone had me on my knees asking God to change the way I love. The first chapter helping me reframe the lens in which I view 1 Corinitians 13. 

We then meandered chapter by chapter through those famous wedding verses learning that the intent was so much deeper and wider then just between man and wife. It’s a challenge to live for God by living and loving like Him. Phrase by phrase, we are reminded the intent as well as challenged to love in ways that can only be accomplished because of the cross.

Loving the Way Jesus Loves was one of my top reads for 2012. If you could you see my copy, this would be evident by the underlining. I highly recommend it!

This book was given to me by Crossway in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. 


God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren {Book Review}

As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others…even the seemingly unlovable.
“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

In a sturdy format, ideal for the littlest hands at storytime, bedtime, or anytime, God Gave Us You assures each child that he or she truly is a treasured gift from the Lord.

My Thoughts:
We have the book God Gave Us You also by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant.  It has been enjoyed and well loved especially by the youngest as he flew through his toddler years.

Not surprising, my family enjoyed this new addition to the “God Gave Us…” Collection.  The beautiful illustrations make the story come alive and allow for some delightful observations and questions. The story shares the theme of loving as God is love in various ways and situations with the gospel (“…we know God loves us because he sent his Son to save us…”) presented simply as well.
This little board book can begin some important conversations with your children. Besides learning about love, there are side themes developed like the joy of family spending time together and praying to ask God help us love. God Gave Us Love can be a helpful tool in developing character in young hearts!  I recommend it!
I was given a copy of this book by WaterBrook Multinomah Blogging for Books Program in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron Book Review

The insanity of living with an addict rolls into your life like fog as you stand on the shore of your hopes about the future. Then the tide begins, imperceptibly at first, to rise. Over the years, the water gets higher and higher, the fog continues to thicken, and one day you realize you’re lost, over your head, and even the calling of gulls has stopped.” page 224

This year I have realized anew how much I like memoirs. Unlike most of my readings, I can sail through a good life story in a few days which was what confused me about Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. I was expecting to be placed in the story and swept along which just did not happen. What did occur, for me, was meandering slowly through the first half of the book which was full of stories about his horrible father, how the CIA played a part of his life unknowingly, and a boyhood that just seemed hard and sad.

When I arrived at the second half of the book, it picked up for me and I finished quickly. Cron’s story that centered more on God was what I enjoyed. His friend Tyler who caused me to hope for this boy and his turning into a very different type of Dad is what drew me.

This is not a solid, scripturally strong testimony of a boy who realizes he is a sinner, ask forgiveness for his sins, and becomes a new man. Because of the chapters that Cron chooses to share, you don’t know any details of where he truly stands with all that. When Ian writes things like, “Even God was surprised.” (pg.168), I was sure by his style he was kidding, but I have to admit that within the stories the theology seemed questionable at best. 

He does warn in the first chapter that he is embellishing this memoir. Many of the stories happened so long ago, that the details are not exact. Knowing that, I think the whole point of Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me is Cron’s coming to terms with his father and about forgiveness with a little of how Cron changed as a person.

Would I recommend this book? I’m not sure. I suppose I would share it with people who deal with an addict in their life or had a troubling childhood but maybe not. I did enjoy the writing style for much of the book and perhaps it is there that the real value lies.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze 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