Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible

The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible features the New King James Version translation and study helps developed and adapted by Max Lucado. The key study helps are “Life Lessons” which elaborate on passages of scripture providing a context to the section, the main point of the section, a associated text taken from other Lucado writings, an application and finally related scripture. Additionally there are other sections that illuminate the text including “Christ in the Bible: which links passages to the person of Jesus and “New Life in Christ” which focuses on discipleship and growing within Christ. There are also “30 Studies for New Believers” which provides looks at questions new followers may have and provides space for providing reactions to these studies and indexes to help guide personal devotions along with others.

I was already an owner of The Inspirational Study Bible which was an earlier version of this Bible. Supporting materials have been reviewed and edited for this new package but the bulk of the text including the helpful “Life Lessons” are largely the same material. I have found the “Life Lessons” as highly useful in both personal study and sermon preparation. The Bible also draws on Lucado “Life Lessons” study series especially in introductory material. However in reviewing the Romans study it was clear despite similar formats they are complementary not overly duplicative. Overall, I have found this Bible in other forms very useful and think it was beneficial to repackage and reissue this book.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chazown: Define Your Vision, Pursue Your Passion, Live Your Life on Purpose.

Throughout Chazown author Craig Groeschel makes one simple thing clear. We are all going somewhere but few are going there on purpose. Our relationships, finances, work, health and more are all moving towards a positive or negative direction; but few people are directing that path to match their purpose. Groeschel introduces his reader to the Hebrew word Chazown, which means dream, revelation or vision. Groeschel argues that everyone has a Chazown which is the God designed purpose for one’s life. He then helps his readers find their Chazown by reviewing their core values, spiritual gifts and past experiences. Groeschel then aids his readers to define their Chazown into a purpose statement. And finally he reviews five key areas of live the need attention in order to reach one’s Chazown; one’s relationship with God, others, finances, health and work. Finally, he empowers his readers to take all that they have learned to take the steps needed to realize their Chazown.

First thought….ShamWow. Second thought….great another book about purpose that’s what we were all looking for! Well, I was wrong. Groeschel doesn’t just tell us and challenge us to live on purpose. No, instead he provides the resources needed to develop and clarify one’s purpose. He asked his readers to keep a Chazown journal to draw out the answers to the key questions he has. I found that I could use the blank space in my book to write responses and look back at them as I went through the book. But Groeschel doesn’t just leave his readers isolated in a book with tasks to perform that are time consuming and perhaps complicated but instead supports the book with which provides online tools that support the exercises used throughout the book. Groeschel is a great author who speaks truth, painful truth that makes me wish I could just close the book at time. Overall, I think this is an excellent book not just another purpose book that is meaningful as a standalone read or a small group tool.

Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah