30 Days in the Land of the Psalms

30 Days in the Land of the Psalms (Moody Publishers, 2017)

Many Christians read the Psalms every day but miss the fullness of their message. Why? The psalmists were poets, weaving images from the lands around them into the lines of Holy Scripture. Without a picture of what the Judean Wilderness looks like, or Masada, or the Mount of Olives, we read the words but miss so much of the message.

Dr. Charlie Dyer is one of the most gifted expositors of the Holy Land I’ve ever read. As you read 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms, you will picture the places of the poets.

This book will help you do more than merely read the Psalms.

You’ll see them.

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I Am

I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is (Zondervan, 2017)

I love the way Michele Cushatt writes. Her pen never dips in a shallow inkwell but plunges in the depths of the real Christian life. Raw, real, and relevant, her words reflect the insight of a woman who has gone to the edge with God and found Him still secure.

Her latest book, I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is, offers us the next step beyond her excellent, first volume, Undone.

She shows us through her life of authentic weakness that the Lord’s love is often confusing and yet always enough.

Remember and Return

Remember and Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior–A Devotional (Baker, 2016)

MacArthur’s new devotional, Remember and Return, is content pulled from his trade book, Simple Christianity. Each of these short, 31 chapters takes a thought from the book and introduces it with a Scripture verse and concludes with a “Daily Challenge,” a new, poignant paragraph that is really what transforms MacArthur’s older content into a devotional. The book has some wonderful quotes by other authors, most especially puritans like John Owen. Remember and Return really doesn’t read like a devotional, but more like a book of theological truth with a “challenge” each day to apply it.

Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional

Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

A few authors seem to be given by God for daily devotionals. Oswald Chambers’ is such a writer, and this new volume, Devotions for a Deeper Life, shows the staying power of Chambers’ pen. Although most readers (including myself) have only read My Upmost for His Highest, these new devotionals, culled from content originally published in God’s Revivalist, read as fresh as those in Chambers’ well-known devotional. 365 excerpts also come with a Scripture verse, a thought for prayer, and a suggested Bible reading to go deeper.

Most daily devotionals are simply rehash, but this one pulls from the unpublished writings of one of our most-beloved writers and encourages us with fresh, new words.

Leadership Promises for Every Day

Leadership Promises for Every Day: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

One of the most practical of all of John C. Maxwell’s daily readings, Leadership Promises for Every Day, offers the simple wisdom we’ve come to respect and need from this gifted writer. Excerpts from many of John’s popular volumes, in addition to Bible verses that relate to leadership principles, combine to make this daily devotional a simple and inspiring way to grow in leadership skills a little each day. The placeholder ribbon and the leather-like cover are nice additions.

America at the Crossroads

America at the Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future and What You Can Do about It (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)

This new book by Christian pollster George Barna gives the latest facts about what America believes and trends that shape our future. Of course, anybody but an ostrich is well aware that America is in a moral nosedive. Barna simply reveals the fact with facts.

But America at the Crossroads isn’t just a book about facts and forecasts— it also includes Barna’s nudge on what we can do about it.

What is Reformed Theology

What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)

This repackaged version of Sproul’s 1997 classic What is Reformed Theology? is, in Sproul’s own words, “a shorthand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformation Theology.”

Much of what Sproul refers to as foundations of reformed theology might better be understood as the theology of the reformers—namely that it is centered on God, based on God’s Word alone, committed to faith alone, etc. After all, these tenets are also true of other theological systems outside of Reformed Theology.

A Different Kind of Happiness

A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love (Baker, 2016)

Larry Crabb has written one of the best books I’ve read all year. He describes the narrow way of Jesus’ teaching to include the hard work that true love requires –with a reward that is unmeasurable. In his own words:

I’ve written this book to think through what it means to really love and to explore the truth that sets us free to relate closer to the way we wish we could, to love like Jesus. As you journey with me in the following pages, and as I share something of my path to loving more like Jesus, think about your relationships and the circumstances in which you find yourself. What would it mean for you to battle for a better love?

The ReWired Brain

The ReWired Brain: Free Yourself of Negative Behaviors and Release Your Best Self (Baker, 2016)

I enjoyed The ReWired Brain because it helps in understanding how the brain works and why we make the decisions we do. With this knowledge, the book offers the insight that although we have “System 1” part of our brains that is more automatic, we also have a “System 2” mind that can override it. This second part offers the hope we have for change and healing through a “rewiring” our thinking. The book is full of stories—including the author’s own mini-autobiography—which illustrate how we can rewire our brains to live in balance with both systems.

The Daniel Prayer

The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations (Zondervan, 2016)

I really enjoyed The Daniel Prayer. Anne Graham Lotz uses principles from the prophet Daniel’s prayer in the book that bears his name. Daniel confesses his sins and the sins of his nation—and asked God to have mercy.

All of the sections of Anne’s book are peppered with personal stories that both inspire and urge us to pray. I especially appreciate her vulnerability and admission that it isn’t easy to pray—regardless of where you are in your walk with God.

I like Anne’s reminder that to pray is to enter spiritual warfare. The prophet Daniel prayed, and the angel who came in answer to Daniel’s prayer indicated that his delay was because of a battle with a demon.

The final section of the book offers what Anne calls “patterns for prayer.” At first I thought this might be examples of prayer from the Scriptures, like what Jesus taught in the Lord’s prayer or in John 17. Instead, to my surprise, Anne has penned her own prayers to God — for various topics. Very nice.

The Daniel Prayer offers no magic pill on making God answer your prayers, but it does what all good books on prayer must do. It inspires us to actually do the job of praying, and praying is what God responds to.