Mini Book Reviews

Instructing a Child’s Heart (****)

Temper Your Child’s Tantrums: How Firm, Loving Discipline Will Lead to a More Peaceful Home (**)

Don’t Make Me Count to Three! (*****)

To Train Up a Child: Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children (***)

Shepherding a Child’s Heart (*****)

The Purpose of Christmas – This is one of the books in my “available in China” series that I finished reading. It is a short and to the point gospel presentation that uses Christmas to point to Jesus and the glorious gospel. From the book: “The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God. God loves you so much that he came to earth as a human so you could get to know him and learn to trust him and love him back.” [64]

Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear – This is one of the books in my “available in China” series that I finished reading. I loved the first chapter. It is worth buying and reading just for that. The following first few chapters are also good, but the book gets sort of repetitive and just descriptive of situations towards the end. To me the meat was in the beginning of the book. From the book: “Jesus doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, faces uncertainties with no faith, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation.” [63]

Revelation Unveiled – I have mixed feelings about this book. It seemed helpful at times and others times it just seemed to be unveiling things out of the text or adding into the text what wasn’t there. I didn’t agree with all the conclusions but it helped to read his perspective. From the book: “The book of Revelation makes it clear that Christ and Christians are the ultimate winners in the game of life.” [62]  (eBook/Audiobook)

The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History – I actually really enjoyed this book. I got way more out if it than I was expecting. I was just looking for a book to read about the origins of Thanksgiving and was this packed full of that and so much more. If you like thanksgiving, history and are a Christian then you will probably enjoy this book as well. From the book: “Finally, and most important, we cannot positively conclude what kind of religious significance, if any, the Pilgrims imputed to the celebration. While American Christians have been accustomed to think of Thanksgiving as an intrinsically religious holiday, Winslow makes no mention of prayer or worship in his pithy description. Curious, isn’t it?” [61]  (Immersion)

The Facts on Halloween (The Facts On Series) – This short book helped with some of the information I was looking for, but I didn’t enjoy it and didn’t found myself answering the “rhetorical questions” opposite of what they would answer them in the book. The logic didn’t seem to make that much sense, but I understand the viewpoint they are trying to get across. From the book: “In conclusion, Halloween, poltergeists, witchcraft, and spiritism are all closely connected. This means that however innocent Halloween may be at one level, at another level its innocence is lost altogether.” [60] (Immersion)

Lincoln On Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times – I loved this book. It examines the life of Abraham Lincoln and boils down his leadership style into several practical points that we can apply to our lives. It is helpful to see his life as the example of the leadership played out instead of just reading some principles. All striving leaders should read this book. From the book: “Abraham Lincoln was naturally inquisitive, and he possessed this inherent capacity to learn. He also had the desire to learn new things, which led him to be unusually innovative. It is no wonder that he changed the American presidency so profoundly in the span of only four years.” [59]  (Immersion)

done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible – I started reading this book because they have it in Chinese. I finally finished it. It is a short book that is written more like an extended tract and presents the gospel with more information that a single page tract could. This quote from the book sums it up: “…it’s not about DO…it’s about DONE!” [58]  (Immersion)

Worship Matters (Foreword by Paul Baloche): Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God – I enjoyed this book. I have no music talent whatsoever, but I am helping lead those who do and learning how to teach them to lead in their respective music ministry, so this was a helpful book. From the book: “Being an artist is no justification for sin. If I care about my team, I’ll hold them accountable to pursue godly character and will help them grow.5 I’ll take the time to follow up on questions or concerns I have about someone’s behavior. If it turns out they’re unwilling to change, I’ll get a pastor involved and will possibly ask them to take a sabbatical. Their godly attitude is more important to me than their great musicianship.” [57]  (Immersion)

Send Me, I’ll Go: Letting the Mission Choose Your Direction – My favorite chapters are probably 8-10. This book powerfully shows how the church is commanded to ‘proactively declare the gospel to unbelieving individuals in an effort to make them maturing disciples of Christ’. From this position, that of the great commission being the paradigm for the church, the author argues that this should result in an increase of disciple-makers being exported into all the world, especially sent to those places where ‘unheards’ are in abundance, and the light of the gospel is dim. It pleads for those whose lives have been changed by the gospel to surrender their plans, interests, passions, and dreams so that they can be thrust into the gospel-dark places of the world. He doesn’t hold back on the cost of fulfilling such a task and calls us to be willing to pay whatever price necessary to make ‘maturing disciples’ of the nations. From the book: “the cultural mandate given in Genesis is like the original road that man was to follow before he got off course; the Great Commission is the new, “recalculated” course that the GPS has drawn to take us to our original destination, out of the mess into which we have got ourselves.” [56]  (Immersion)

Because the Time is Near: John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation – I really enjoyed this book on Revelation. MacArthur makes it easy to understand and breaks it up in a simple fashion. From the book: “Indeed, the coming of Christ has been imminent for every generation from John’s day until the present.” [55]  (eBook)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: The Chronicles of Narnia – This is the next book in the Chronicle of Narnia series (original release order) that I am reading through with my oldest daughter. This was another great adventure: to the end of the world. Along the way there were many lessons to be learned. From the book: “The pleasure (quite new to him) of being liked and, still more, of liking other people, was what kept Eustace from despair. For it was very dreary being a dragon. He shuddered whenever he caught sight of his own reflection as he flew over a mountain lake. He hated the huge bat-like wings, the saw-edged ridge on his back, and the cruel, curved claws. He was almost afraid to be alone with himself and yet he was ashamed to be with the others.” [54] (eBook)

A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China – This was a great little book that analyzes the trends, past and current, of Christian growth in China. There are a lot of factors to consider, and the authors did a great job keeping many of them in mind as they looked at the data and tried to make sense of it. Anyone studying Christianity in China should read this book along with other sources they are studying. From the book: “It seems that most Chinese define religion as belonging to an organized religious group, rather than consisting of practices, such as praying in temples, or of belief. Hence, some Chinese say that they believe in Jesus Christ while denying that they are Christians, as will be seen later in this book.” [53] (eBook)

Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) – I loved reading about Jonathan Goforth. He is my new hero. He struggled with the language. He went forward even when his wife wasn’t willing to, yet led her along the way. He buried several children on the mission field and yet continue to serve. He pioneered missions in Northeast China (Manchuria at the time) in places like Changchun and Shenyang. The results of his evangelism and revivals had tangible results, as in the amount fo churches planted in an area. I recommend reading this book. From the book: “It was not easy living like this, especially for the children, but Jonathan knew it was worth the sacrifice the moment he traveled out into the surrounding countryside. Wherever he stopped, someone would come up to him and say, “It is you! I have been an honored guest in your house. You must come now and see my house.” As a result, Jonathan once again had the opportunity to present the gospel to them, this time in their home.” [52] (eBook)

Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia Book 4) – This is the next book in the Chronicle of Narnia series (original release order) that I am reading through with my oldest daughter. We both really enjoyed it. My daughter likes when Aslan comes on the scene because everything turns good. From the book: “Now, child,” said Aslan, when they had left the trees behind them, “I will wait here. Go and wake the others and tell them to follow. If they will not, then you at least must follow me alone.” [51] (eBook)

Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) – Another missions biography I read with the girls. I have always wondered who Lottie Moon was because of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that Southern Baptist Churches take up every year. The book started out slow, but it picks up and ends powerfully. She was a great example, and I am glad my girls got to hear her story. It also helped me get more info on the history of Baptist in North East China. I recommend reading this book, especially if you are a young lady wondering if you can be used in missions. From the book: “Every life was equally precious to God, and Lottie had come to China to serve anyone He placed in her path.” [50] (eBook)

Learn Chinese with Yangyang Series: Top 10 Mistakes Made by Chinese Learners and Tips on How to Correct Them – I ran across this book on Amazon when I was looking for some Chinese grammar books and thought I would give it a quick read and I am glad that I did. The book gives ten mistakes that many people make when speaking Chinese, but the most helpful part was the explanation that went with each point. I already knew all the points she made, but the way it was explained was helpful. If you haven’t been learning Chinese long, then reading this should be helpful. From the book: “If a stative verb or adjectival verb is followed by “le (了),” the meaning is “change of status” or “new situation” rather than “completeness of an action.”” [49] (eBook)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia – I just finished reading this to my girls, for mine and their first time. We enjoyed the book. I don’t read much fiction, but since I have studied Lewis recently, I thought I would this classic a try. Even if Lewis didn’t mean to give the book a Christian undertone, it is definitely there. From the book: “It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a…” [cit.48]  (eBook)

The Truth About Angels and Demons (Tony Evans Speaks Out On…) – I was studying about this topic, so I found this when looking for a short book to read on the subject. It was interesting, short and to the point. From the book: “When necessary, God will direct one of His invisible angels to become visible in the life of a believer in order to accomplish a divinely ordained purpose.” [cit.47] (eBook)

C. S. Lewis: Master Storyteller (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) – I read this with the kids, even though it was a little boring for them to enjoy. I enjoyed it as it gave me the perspective I needed to understand better who this man was. There are many opinions on Lewis, but this book helped me wade through many of those. Understanding his life helps understand what it produced. I enjoyed it, even if his life wasn’t super eventful but boils down to a man of great knowledge, talent and wit. From the book: “The storyline of The Pilgrim’s Regress echoed Jack’s own journey, starting life in a reasonably pious home, losing hope in God through the death of his mother and his time spent in boarding schools, and finally coming full circle back to Christian piety at Oxford.” [cit.46]  (eBook)

Bill Wallace of China – I really enjoyed the life story of Bill Wallace. It is a very easy read and written in a simple way. But as you read each chapter, you slowly gain respect for Dr. Wallace and in the end you are left with an admiration for one who gave his life for the cause of Christ! More people should be reading about this modern-day missionary hero. From the book: “Bill Wallace was a doctor; his basic ministry was one of healing. But he was in China first of all as a bearer of the good news of Jesus Christ, the glad tidings of forgiveness and eternal life inherent in the old, old message of God’s love. Sometimes his soft, stuttering witness to that grace was more effective that the most eloquent evangelist’s plea.” [cit.45]  (Paperback)

Why Government Can’t Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism (Bible for Life Book 7) – Although there are several good points made in the book and I agree with the general premise, I’m not sure I agree on all the conclusions. From the book: “The issue again is one of priority. The greatest temporal good we can accomplish through political involvement cannot compare to what the Lord can accomplish through us in the eternal work of His kingdom.” [cit.44] (Immersion)

What is the Relationship Between Church and State? – I enjoyed this little book on the issue at hand. From the book: “As Paul says in Romans 13, we are to be subject to the authorities that are placed over us, because their power is a derivative power, given to them by God Himself. This is the principle of civil obedience. But when those authorities command us to do something God forbids or forbid us from doing something God commands, we must obey God rather than earthly authorities.” [cit.43] (eBook)

Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) – I started reading this series with my children. I have always wanted to make reading to them important, so what better to use than books about Christian heroes! (It keeps me and them interested.) I enjoyed the stories in this book about Hudson Taylor. I have read a lot about Taylor, and this book did a great job of not over-spiritualizing him and presenting him as someone you could relate to. It obviously can’t cover everything, but I enjoyed the way it was organized, it’s focus and easy readability. From the book: “He knew he needed to learn to trust God in a new way and see Him answer his prayers before he ever dared to go to China.” [cit.42]  (eBook)

How Should I Live in This World?: 5 (Crucial Questions Series) – I really enjoyed this little book. It was helpful to see his explanation of ethics and then see how he applied it to different situations. I recommend the read. From the Book: “The Christian ethic is based on an antithesis between what is and what ought to be. We view the world as fallen; an analysis of fallen human behavior describes what is normal to the abnormal situation of human corruption. God calls us out of the indicative by His imperative. Ours is a call to nonconformity-to a transforming ethic that shatters the status quo.” [cit.41]  (Immersion)

Found: God’s Will (John MacArthur Study) – This is my second time or so reading this book and it is a good short read. I like the simplicity of his argument. From the book: “Okay, let me give you the final principle, but hold on to your seat! You may want to jump up and shout! If you are doing all five of the basic things, do you know what the next principle of God’s will is? Do whatever you want! If those five elements of God’s will are operating in your life, who is running your wants? God is! The psalmist said, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37: 4). God does not say He will fulfill all the desires there! If you are living a godly life, He will give you the right desires.” [cit.40]  (Immersion)

The Divorce Myth – I read this book as I was studying about marriage recently, and it caught my attention because He addresses all the main Bible passages on the subject and doesn’t shy away from practical questions. After reading it, I am not sure I agree with all of his conclusions, but it is worth the read to understand where his position is coming from. From the book: “Divorce results from the failure of two people to honor their mutual covenant to stay by one another’s side until death.” [cit.39]  (eBook)

Royal Priesthood Studies 101: Introductory Studies to the Priesthood of the Believer – This is a short study on the Priesthood of the believer and gives a clearer understanding of what is means, working its way from the Old Testament to the New. From the book: “Jesus Christ, through His priestly ministry, provided salvation unto all men. Those who receive Him, of both Jew and Gentile, become members of His family. Under the Old Covenant, the priesthood belonged to Aaron and his sons. Since believers, by faith, are part of Christ’s family line, they receive the ministry of the priesthood also.” [cit.38]  (eBook)


Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem – When I was first reading the book, it wasn’t what I was hoping it to be, as it seemed he was just describing a busy life without much antidote for the problem, but he really brings it all together in the last couple chapter. I enjoyed the challenge of the last chapter and thought it made the book. From the book: “If you are sick and tired of feeling so dreadfully busy and are looking for a one-point plan to help restore order to your life, this is the best advice I know: devote yourself to the Word of God and prayer.” [cit.37] (Immersion)

Dangerous Calling – This is a “be level” book that needs to be read by anyone in ministry or preparing for ministry. Tripp doesn’t hold much back and explains with firm grace many of the problems we can face in our calling and ways to get help. From the book: “It is a pastoral disaster when you have conquered the dark spiritual skill of sectoring your own heart, where it’s as if you are two separate people and the dark side doesn’t haunt you anymore.” [cit.36] (Audiobook)

The Four Loves – I have heard the different types of love explained before, but never like this. Lewis has a way of explaining things and giving examples that get you to really think. I enjoyed this short read on the different types of love and would recommended for anyone studying “love”. From the book: “We may give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe only to God. Then they become gods: then they become demons. Then they will destroy us, and also destroy themselves. For natural loves that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred.” [cit.35] (Audiobook)

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential – Leaders have to constantly be growing and many times we don’t know how or we don’t invest much time and effort into personal growth. Maxwell gives us 15 laws the guide us in the process so that we can can not only grow but lead. From the book: “It’s much better to plan your growth intentionally. You decide where you need or want to grow, you choose what you will learn, and you follow through with discipline going at the pace you set.” [cit.34] (Audiobook)

The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization – I loved this book. This is one of my favorite books on leadership. There is so much practical advice in the book that teaches you to lead no matter the position that you have. I learned a lot about being a leader, realizing many of the mistakes that I have made. From the book: “The reality is that 99 percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization.” [cit.33] (Immersion)

Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians, 12-14 – If you are wanting a book the really dives into this part of scripture and gives several different perspectives, then this is the book. The book was helpful in studying the passage even though I didn’t come to the same conclusion as the author. From the book: “If my exegesis is even approximately correct, there is no biblical warrant for treating tongues-speaking as the critical and normative evidence of a certain level of spiritual experience or vitality.” [cit.32] (eBook)

Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed – I was asked a few questions about the term “Son of God” and didn’t put much thought into it, but I really enjoyed the insights that Carson gives about the matter. I also appreciated his comments on Muslim missions and how we must continue to use the term and teach what it means instead of trying to change it to fit a different culture. I recommend this quick read. From the book: “To be frank, it would be good to see less energy devoted to taking us away from the theological richness of the multifaceted biblical affirmations of Jesus’s sonship , and much more energy expended on understanding and then learning how to teach all that the Bible does and does not say about Jesus the Son of God. Then those who are genuinely converted will stand with Christians across centuries and cultures, and quietly and reverently affirm, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in his only Son Jesus, our Lord.” [cit.31] (Audiobook)

The Reason for God – I really enjoyed this book. Keller has a way, just like C.S. Lewis, to illustrate his points in a way that is extremely helpful in understanding a deeper truth. I do have major concern with his beliefs on evolution/creation, hell, and some other confusing parts. So I have a love hate relationship with this book, I loved the majority of it, but hated the other parts. I would recommend this book for the more mature believer and will probably read it again. From the book: “Freedom, then, is not the absence of limitations and constraints but it is finding the right ones, those that fit our nature and liberate us.” [cit.30] (Immersion)

An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens In Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of … of Further Undertakings, Are Considered – This is another one of those “short books” that is iconic in Christian missions, but It wasn’t until recently that I read it. I really enjoyed the book and the simplicity of his case for world evangelism. Even though this was written in 1792, it remains motivational for our generation to move forward with the mission of Christ. From the book: “Some attempts are still making, but they are inconsiderable in comparison of what might be done if the whole body of Christians entered heartily into the spirit of the divine command on this subject. Some think little about it, others are unacquainted with the state of the world, and others love their wealth better than the souls of their fellow-creatures.” [cit.29]   (Immersion)

False Prophets and the Antichrist – This booklet, which is more like a 21 page double spaced outline with verses, was obviously a quick read. It was to the point and okay for a quick reference to verses dealing with the subject and giving “basic” commentary on them. From the book: “Again, you will know them by their fruits, and the most evident fruits will be, self-elevation and de-emphasis on the need for obedience to God’s laws.” [cit.28] (eBook)

God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant) – I came across this book as I finished reading Vine’s book. Knowing the deception the other book teaches, you can tell the authors felt compelled to respond with the true, Biblical, Christian, and historical position. I enjoyed this book and recommend it. It adequately refutes Vine’s claims and it is an excellent representation of truth as presented in Scripture. From the book: “Biblical Christianity can neither endorse same-sex marriage nor accept the claim that a believer can be obedient to Christ and remain or persist in same-sex behaviors. The church is the assembly of the redeemed, saved from our sins and learning obedience in the school of Christ. Every single one of us is a sexual sinner in need of redemption, but we are called to holiness, to obedience and to honoring marriage as one of God’s most precious gifts and as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.” [cit.27] (eBook)

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships – The author of this book makes a case for same-sex marriage based on the “understanding of same-sex orientation is uniquely modern” and he twists Scriptures to “apply the basic principles of the Bible’s teachings to this new situation.” [cit.26] And that is exactly what he proceeds to do in this book. He has a low view of Scripture and high view of man. He starts with “homosexual orientation” as an absolute positive truth and then sets on a journey to force the Scriptures to fit his agenda. He craftily pieces together his arguments so that your average reader who doesn’t know their Bible will be easily deceived. The book is unconvincing because it goes against scriptures clear teachings. Sex is to only be enjoyed in the covenant-marriage of one man and one woman as established by God, reaffirmed by Jesus, and taught within the church. Homosexuality is sin –  it is disobedience to God. Only through repentance and faith in Jesus we become Christian; the transforming power of the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit means we can’t continue to embrace sin – homosexuality or any other kind.  (Immersion)

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know – This was a helpful book to read as reference when studying over the different topics in my personal study. Some of the areas seemed lacking but I guess he makes up for it in his two larger books of the same. The book seems aimed at helping Christians who heard things all their lives put what they heard into more of a structure that is easy to understand and show some practical applications. I didn’t agree with everything and thought the outline was weird but the overall organization of verses with explanation was helpful. From the book: “All the words in the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey them is to disbelieve or disobey God himself.” [cit.25] (eBook)

View From the Top: An Inside Look at How People in Power See and Shape the World – I enjoyed this book on leadership. It is based on 10 years of research. The author takes all of his research and puts it together to help us get a “behind the scenes” look at some of the world’s most powerful leaders. The book gives you an interesting look at “Platinum Leaders” and reveals many helpful truths brought to the forefront by the study. As you are reading the book you feel like you are constantly picking up little gold nuggets. From the book: “For young leaders, mentoring is one of the best ways to acclimate to a new network of social peers, gaining social capital as they rise. A banking executive told me, “When you have a mentor, you’re able to take that risk at a little younger age because [your mentor] is looking out for you. And so it allows you to be … more confident before your age.” [cit.24]   (Immersion)

Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ – Understanding who we are “in Christ” is life changing. The author does a great job at helping the reader discover these truths and give real life examples of people’s lives who were changed once they realized them. I enjoyed the book and it helped me think through the subject at hand. From the book: “You aren’t what’s been done to you but what Jesus has done for you. You aren’t what you do but what Jesus has done. What you do doesn’t determine who you are. Rather, who you are in Christ determines what you do.” [cit.23]   (Immersion)

Galatians For You (God’s Word For You) I finished reading this book this week as I am studying through Galatians and I really enjoyed the book. He explains everything in a simple, readable style that is enjoyable and gives many great illustrations to help point out the important truths. If you are studying through Galatians, consider this book. From the book: “The gospel—the message that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth, for obedience, for love.” [cit.22]   (Immersion)

What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage – This is one of the best books that I have read on marriage. It comes at the situation from a completely different angle. This book has helped me see that my selfishness and laziness is what often causes conflict in our marriage. I would encourage all Christian couples to read this book. From the book: “So, we rest in God’s wisdom and grace, but we do not rest in our marriage. As long as we are two sinners living in a fallen world, there will be work to do.” [cit.21]   (Immersion)

I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference – I also really enjoyed this short book. It is clear and to the point. This would be a great book for churches to have new members read when seeking to become a member of their church. From the book: “Biblical church membership gives without qualification. Biblical membership views the tithes and offerings as joyous giving. There are no strings attached. Biblical church membership serves and ministers as a natural way of doing things.” [cit.20]   (Immersion)

A More Sure Word: Which Bible Can You Trust? – This books was recommended to me by another person so I read it. I actually enjoyed the book and thought the author had a very balance attitude in the discussion and enjoy his thoughts on the issue. This is a good book to read if you are looking for something to read about the discussion but don’t want to get in the fight. From the book: “As we study this topic, it is my sincere desire to represent both sides of the issue truthfully and respectfully, while at the same time stating why I believe in the King James Bible.[cit.19] (eBook)

What You Do Best in the Body of Christ: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, Personal Style, and God-Given Passion – This books encourages you to use your spiritual gifts in the realm of your passion and personal style. It is like most books on the subject, less bible and more practical considerations. From the book: “Spiritual gifts are divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ.[cit.18]   (Immersion)

Christian Stewardship – The first part of the booklet was helpful as it touched on the main Scriptures that are often used in Christians stewardship. From the book: “We do not interrupt the worship in a service in order to give an offering of tithes and gifts. This giving is worship also.[cit.17] (eBook)

The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books) – I appreciate the emphasis on Christian Stewardship and the Treasure Principle: “You can’t take it with you— but you can send it on ahead.” I think understanding these basic truths from Scripture can really cause a paradigm shift in how we view our relationship with God, us and money. The treasure principle keys presented in the book are great principles for all Christians who are looking to be better stewards of all that God has given them. From the book: “A steward manages assets for the owner’s benefit. The steward carries no sense of entitlement to the assets he manages . It’s his job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will.[cit.16]   (Immersion)

Why I Am a Christian – I started reading this book and was hooked from the first chapter, which was my favorite chapter of the book. I really enjoyed reading this book and the perspective that he gave on why he is a Christian. I recommend reading this book! From the book: “Why I am a Christian is due ultimately neither to the influence of my parents and teachers, nor to my own personal decision for Christ, but to ‘the Hound of Heaven’. That is, it is due to Jesus Christ himself, who pursued me relentlessly even when I was running away from him in order to go my own way. And if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the Hound of Heaven I would today be on the scrap-heap of wasted and discarded lives.” [cit.15]   (Immersion)

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World – I have found that most books on prayer (that I have read) are inspirational and filled with tons of one liners and cliches that are encouraging but don’t really go deep into the topic itself and this book isn’t an exception. Like other books I have read on prayer it is filled with personal examples and proof text. But I did learn from the author how to be a better “watcher” and therefore prayer, meaning that I need to stay focused on the storyline and make prayer personal and practical instead of generic or follow a form. I also liked how he modeled a life of prayer and used scripture to pray for change in others and himself. (Immersion)

How to Study the Bible (John Macarthur Bible Studies Series) – I love being a teacher of the Word of God. This short book is a good reminder of the importance of Bible study and how to teach yourself/others how to study the Bible. From the Book: “Our first foundation was to read the Bible. That will answer the question : What does the Bible say? The second foundation, interpret the Bible, answers the question: What does the Bible mean by what it says?” [cit.13] (eBook)

What Does God Want of Us Anyway?: A Quick Overview of the Whole Bible (9Marks) – I enjoyed reading this and the emphasis that the author put on seeing the entire story and looking at the Bible through the big picture. It is easy to get lost in the details that you miss the main point and this books helps you see the main point from beginning to end. I enjoyed his summaries although the different parts of the book were extremely repetitive (thought he does warn you in the book). I thought it was a helpful short book that showed you the broader perspective through the promises of God. From the book: “God makes promises to his people in the Old Testament, and he keeps his promises in the New Testament. This message of promises made and promises kept is the most important message in all the world, including for you.[cit.12]  (Immersion)

A Tale of Three Kings – I honestly am not sure what to write after reading this book. I had no expectations when I started reading it, but just knew it was highly recommended. I now know why: It was intriguing. As I was reading through it and had an objection in my mind, the book made me stop and think why, to evaluate my motives. Though there are still some parts of the book I am unsure about, I would have to say the majority of the book made me look at my own rebellion and to see what kind of leader I am, have been, am being, and want to be. From the book: “What does this world need: gifted men and women, outwardly empowered? Or individuals who are broken, inwardly transformed?[cit.11]  (Immersion)

A New History of Christianity in China (Wiley Blackwell Guides to Global Christianity) – I really enjoyed reading this scholarly work. The book doesn’t focus on any one major movement but gives you the larger picture of what is happening as it moves throughout the timeline of Christianity in China. He shows how “This process was characterized by a persistent, overriding dynamic: the Chinese Christians were first participants, then subordinate partners of the foreign missionaries, then finally the inheritors or sole “owners” of the Chinese church.” I was able to see this pattern develop throughout the book and trace many other similarities that seems to arise from century to century. I highly recommend this book to any student of China missions. [cit.10]  (Immersion)

The Lowdown: Business Etiquette – Japan – Since I was going to Japan I thought I would read a short book and learn some basic lessons. This short book/guide is written in a question and answer format. It seems to do a good job covering the basics and giving practical advice. From the book: “Despite what some would have you believe, there’s nothing particularly mysterious or complicated about doing business with the Japanese. However, there are some differences from western protocol and some sensitivities that you need to be aware of.” [cit.9]  (Immersion)

Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith – This is the first book I think I have read by an atheist. He is “not a Christian because the evidence is not good enough.” His four reasons are: God is silent, God is inert, Wrong Evidence and Wrong Universe. To me the whole premise of the book is “If God is true then He should _____!” fill in the blank to what you think God should do. Many of his reasons are relative and based upon his own understanding of what he would do. The arguments against Christianity and for his beliefs in naturalism are not convincing. He obviously has a high view of man and in the end concludes that since there is no “Hero Saviour” that we have to be the “Hero” and make the world the way we want it to be. [cit.8]  (Immersion)

What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me? – This short book or booklet (only three chapters) is a quick and easy read. In short, it is a gospel tract for those who grew up in the American Christians culture. I appreciate the book in that it helps show “the call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it is a summons to lose our lives.” Jesus didn’t hide all the “hard sayings” when he called men to follow him and we shouldn’t either. As the author walks us through the great invitation, cost, and change we see what it means to repent and believe in Jesus as well as the fruit of what that means. (Also, this is currently free on Kindle.) [cit.7]  (Immersion)

Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up – The books concludes that hell is real and those who reject Jesus will go there when they die. The author leans “heavily on the side that says it is everlasting” but he is “not ready to claim that with complete certainty.[cit.6] I thought he wrote the book from a personal and transparent perspective (though it seemed he had a slight aversion for those more conservative than him). The book is basic, meaning he shows that the bible says hell exist and there is no other way to translate it (without misinterpreting Scripture). He doesn’t claim to know everything or how it all works but decided that God’s ways are higher than his and he will trust God. Knowing this reality should motive and change the way we live, desiring to tell others of the cross! (Immersion)

The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith? – It is surprising to me that people actually believe that you can receive Jesus as Saviour and yet reject him as Lord. Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This book unpacks that truth by explaining the teachings of Jesus. Easy-believism has crept into many churches trying to assure people of salvation even though they reject God’s sovereign authority and are unwilling to follow Jesus. A person who truly repents towards God and puts faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will inevitably produce real fruit. (Immersion)

Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis Signature Classics) – This is the first book I have read by C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed it and appreciate his thoughts/ illustrations / analogies on some of the basic truths in Christianity that he presents in the book. I don’t agree with everything in the book, find there is much lacking (in explanation and content), nor would I give the book to new believers. I do see why so many people are attracted to his writings. His thought process and way of explaining things are extremely helpful. It is definitely a talent that can be used for good or bad. (Immersion)

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved – This was a quick and easy read. It aims to help put our often misguided but well intention evangelism into perspective. It helps you to “know” that you are saved and answers many of the questions that people struggle with, as well as, shows you how to teach the gospel to others in a way that isn’t confusing or misrepresentative of the truth (easy-believism). This book will help you better understand biblical conversion and assurance. (Immersion)

Against Calvinism: Rescuing God’s Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology – I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read this book, but found it helpful in bringing to light many of the conundrums of Calvinism taken to it’s end. I agree with the author that incorrect theology affects the way we view God and think he offers many valid and reasonable points. Although, it didn’t answer all my questions. I also plan to read the companion book: For Calvinism. (Immersion)

Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship – I recently finished reading this book and thought it was really good and needed for our time. The prosperity gospel isn’t huge in China yet, but I think it would be the next step as China gets more freedom. So many house churches are already confused on how the Holy Spirit works and are caught up in the tongues movement. To quote the book, the problem is “Pentecostals and charismatics elevate religious experience over biblical truth.” This book helps redirect focus back to the authority of the Bible. (Immersion)


From the Ground Up: New Testament Foundations for the 21st-Century Church – This book re-examines the basics of the church and compares it to the modern-day church, thus challenging many misconceptions. It left me with mixed feelings. Good for discussion. I wanted more. Good read for church planters/pastors. (Paperback)

Redefining Home – This is a book just released and written by a missionary wife in China. Her stories about adapting to the culture are almost identical to things we have experienced. I recommend reading this if you are (or going to be) a missionary wife to China or you want to know what life is like for a missionary wife living in China in today’s world. (eBook)

Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power – Over the past few days, I finished reading this book. The cool part is that I am in Beijing. There are even parts of the book where he talks about the district that I am currently staying in. Besides the romanticism of reading a book about Christianity in China while living in an apartment in the capital of China, I really enjoyed the book. I thought the book helped piece together many things that I have heard and researched myself. It also helped me understand and taught me many things as well. The book is definitely best when the author is reporting the stories and not giving his commentary. He does tend to take one situation and apply it across the board, painting everyone with one stroke. Though he makes some wide assumptions and draws conclusion that I wouldn’t, I thoroughly enjoyed him reporting the history of Christianity in China via the lives of those who lived it. For the most part he gives real names and even pictures of those that he reports on. (Also, the back of the book includes translations of important documents.) The book inspired me, challenged me, and made me think about the current situation in China. It made me respect those who went through so much for the name of Christ, helped me understand better how the government responds to things, and made me wonder about what more we could be doing today. I recommend this book to any student of missions in China; it is a valuable resource and a must read. If you are just curious about Christianity in China or want to hear the history of her story, then this is also a great book for you to read. (Hardcover)

Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story of a 19-Year-Old American, His Capture by the Motilone Indians and His Adventures in Christianizing the Stone Age Tribe – Wow! Awesome book. Bruchko is a story about a modern-day missionary. It is the story of how a nineteen year old American decides to take the Gospel to the Miltone Indian tribe. It is one of those books you don’t want to put down. It is amazing to read and learn the lessons from the hardships (language, culture, sickness, violence) and victories (souls saved, translating scripture, etc.) that Bruce Olson went through to reach an uncivilized tribe with the Gospel. Join the journey, read the book, you won’t be disappointed! (eBook)

The Deputation Manual for Missionaries – If you are a missionary you need to read this book! Before deputation, I was taught the fundamentals of this book by the authors themselves and recently read the book to refresh my mind. This book holds many fundamental keys to e↵ectively raising missionary support. No other book has helped me as much in this area of pre-field ministry, as much as the Deputation Manual. It is full of practical steps to take, gives key advice, and answer many questions a missionary has about the deputation process. (eBook)

Left Behind: Left Behind Series, Book 1 – The description of this book, being audio, was ”An experience in Sound and Drama,” in which it was! Enjoyable to listen to and easily to listen to with di↵erent character voices, sound e↵ects, background music; kind of like a movie. Of course the book was good, just some parts I don’t agree with, like those that heard the gospel before the rapture and being able to receive it afterwards. I will probably continue in the series. (Audiobook)

Supremacy of God in Preaching – This was a short but good read. He goes through and explains preaching and then gives a list of advice at the end that he has seen in the preaching ministry of Jonathan Edwards and others. One thing that stuck out to me was the need for us preachers to plea for sinners to come to repentance. (Audiobook)

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples – I enjoyed this book and I like the idea of thinking and keeping things ”simple.” Since I am an organizing nut, for me the book was a help as to define your process of making disciples and then stick to that process. Four words used in the book as you go about doing this is Clarity, Movement, Alignment, and Focus. You must first clarify your process and goal of making disciples, such as getting people to love God, then love others and serve (I would add that there needs to be training, which most of the examples leave out.) Then you would want movement, what moves people from one stage in the process to the other. Then align all the ministry of your church and staff to this process, adding or taking away where needed, and finally Focus, stay focused on the process. Good stuff. (Audiobook)

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs – I really enjoyed this book. It is about marriage and how the husband needs to love his wife and the wife needs to respect her husband. But many times the husband a.k.a me, doesn’t love his wife and therefore she doesn’t respect him and because she doesn’t respect him then he doesn’t love her like he should and they get in this never-ending cycle that doesn’t glorify God. But to end the cycle one of us or both has to make a decision that we are going to love or respect even if the other doesn’t because it is unconditional love and respect. It isn’t based on how the other acts, we love or respect one another because we are doing it unto the Lord. Go read it! (Audiobook)

C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Vol. 1: The Early Years, 1834-1859 – This was a long read/listen being 20.6 hours long in audio and that is just the first of two. So it was definitely long and I listened to it off and on over a few months but finally got it finished. It was neat to hear of the stories and things that Spurgeon went through, from Salvation on. Some of it was like, why do I need to know this, but a lot of other parts were very interesting. I pray God would use me as much as he used Spurgeon. (Audiobook)

The Six Days of Genesis – I enjoyed this book and would encourage others to read it who want to study creation and the first eleven chapters of Genesis from a easy-to-understand standpoint. He answers many of the basic questions people have and states his position on the subjects discussed but without being dogmatic. (Paperback)

Crazy Love (Revised and Updated): Overwhelmed by a Relentless God – I really enjoyed this book and think you should read it too! He starts out the book making sure the reader has a right/full understanding of God by going through different attributes and explaining them. Then he talks about the lukewarm Christian and how there really ins’t such a thing and calls people to check out their salvation. Finally, he brings the last part of the book down to a practical level and shows how as Christians we need to be living selfless, Christ-like lives. Jammed packed full of verses too! (Audiobook)

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time – This is business book that shows the importance of and the ”how to” of networking on the basis of being genuine and generous. There are a lot of good ides in the book as you can see from the title, never eat alone. I didn’t really like the last part of the book, the author needs to know it isn’t finding your ”inner-self” that brings peace, but only by knowing the King of Peace, Jesus Christ. (Audiobook)

The Shack – Well, I am not sure where to start. Let’s start with the good, I guess, the one thing that I liked about the book is the emphasis on the goodness of God ”and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. This book touches the emotions and makes you think. It is a Christian Fiction book that uses a story people can relate with to teach a greater truth. Now the bad, I believe this author crosses many biblical/theological lines and much discernment is needed. I have problems with the many little sayings that undermine Biblical Christianity, his portrayal of how God reveals Himself, the unclear Gospel message, and the representation of the Trinity. Much of this error is overlooked by people because of the strong emotional pull the book has on the reader. You can read the reviews out there and many people love this book and many hate it. I guess you will have to read it for yourself. But remember anytime you read a review of a book and someone claims to understand God in a whole ”new” way, and the book they read wasn’t the Bible, warning flags should pop up. For the above reasons, I can’t recommend this book. (Audiobook)

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – This was a good read. It made you think. The basis of the book is the world has changed and is now led by those who challenge things as they are. People come together for a common purpose (a tribe) and all they need is someone to lead them. There is no easy way to get a tribe, or to be a leader, but we live in a time where anyone has a chance to lead. Leaders come from all kinds of backgrounds and what makes them is not money or position, but being genuine, passionate, and rallying the tribe around you to accomplish the purpose. Face your fears, get ready to work hard, rally the tribe, be a leader, make change, and do things in a new way. (Audiobook)

Master Plan of Evangelism  – This is a must read! I love this book and have read it more than once. This book looks at the ”plan” Jesus put into play to reach the world with the gospel. His plan was his disciples, whom he trained and sent forth. If we are going to reach the world, then we have to be disciplers and train men. (Audiobook)

Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secrets of Joyful Giving – This is another great book on giving. It is a short and easy read that points out the basic and mostly overlook principles on giving. Only if we could learn to store up treasures in heaven instead of here on Earth. (Audiobook)

What the Bible Says About Marriage – It was ok. This was just kinda like a commentary on the di↵erent verses in the Bible about marriage. (Audiobook)

God’s Smuggler – I enjoyed reading this book. It is the life story of a Dutch Christian called Brother Andrew. It tells of his journeys behind the iron and bamboo curtain; smuggling bibles across enemy lines. This book helped me see a time in the Church’s history when communism ruled, persecution was on the church and Bibles were scarce. (Audiobook)

From the Ground Up: New Testament Foundations for the 21st-Century Church – This book helped me see the backbone of the history and impact of the creation/evolution conflict. It points out and shows that the one true reason behind the evolution theory, social Darwinism, and all the fruits of it come down to one thing, war against the God of the Bible. (Paperback)

Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun – This book was so-so. It was enjoyable to read but charismatic. It is the life story of Bro. Yun who is a Chinese Christian that was persecuted in China. It was good to see the history of how the house church movement and the three self church movement came into play. Another interesting part were the stories of persecution and how Christians in China were treated during that time. (Audiobook)

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness By Dave Ramsey(A) [Audiobook] – This is a good book on how to handle money, be debt free, and be a good steward of your money. Each person must take personal responsibility for their financial problems. He encourages everyone to work hard, pay what they owe, and stay out of debt. Follow the baby steps and be debt free. (Audiobook)


Lectures to My Students (Paperback)

The Works of J. Hudson Taylor (eBook)

Have We No Rights? A frank discussion of the “rights” of missionaries (eBook)

Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships (Paperback)

The Master’s Plan for Making Disciples: Every Christian an Effective Witness Through an Enabling Church (Paperback)

The Way of the Master (Paperback)

Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You (Paperback)

The Challenge of Missions (Paperback)

The creation of a student movement to evangelize the world: A history and analysis of the early stages of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions (Paperback)

A Concise History of the Christian World Mission: A Panoramic View of Missions from Pentecost to the Present (Paperback)

In the Shadow of the Cross: A Biblical Theology of Persecution & Discipleship (Hardcover)

The Triumphant Church: A three-part study from the writings of Richard Wurmbrand, John Piper, & Milton Martin (Spiral-bound)

Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them (Hardcover)

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (eBook)

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) (eBook)

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Audiobook)

The Five Love Languages How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate (Now with a Comprehensive Study Guide) (Paperback)

If Only He Knew: Understanding Your Wife (eBook)

When it’s Time to Go: Preparing for the Mission Field as a Wife and Mother (Paperback)

It’s a Wonderful Life: Serving God Joyfully in Marriage and Ministry (eBook)

The Key to Triumphant Living: An Adventure in Personal Discovery (Hardcover)

Good to Great in God’s Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common (Hardcover)

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars (Paperback)

Cat & Dog Theology: Rethinking Our Relationship with Our Master (Paperback)

The Calvary Road (Paperback)

The Release of the Spirit (Paperback)

The Long War Against God (Paperback)

Praying Hyde, Apostle of Prayer: The Life Story of John Hyde (Paperback)

On the Crest of the Earth with Race (Hardcover)


Bibles

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References)

ESV Hear the Word Audio Bible: The Bible for Life

The KJV Study Bible (King James Bible)

Scourby Audio Bible: King James Version