The God Puzzle

THe God PuzzleThe God Puzzle: How the Bible fits together to reveal God as Your Greatest Treasure by Valerie Ackermann is a workbook that seeks to engage children with the rich truths of God’s Word. I’ve been working through it with my 7-year-old daughter as part of a morning devotional time. I’ll cook breakfast while she works in the book on the bar behind me. She has a hunger to learn about God, loves any kind of homework and is eager to work on any project we do together so this format is right up her ally.

I don’t know how well the format will work with my son when he is old enough to work through something like this. His personality is different and I don’t see him having enough patience to complete a lesson without diligent supervision. We’ll see when he gets there.

The book leads readers to look up scripture to answer questions and has a host of different exercises like matching, crossword puzzles, etc. It’s great for someone who already has a basic grasp on how to look things up in the bible, but will require help if you child is still learning the books of the bible, etc.

Over all I think this is a great tool but probably used best as a parent-child project. I wouldn’t just hand this to my daughter and ask her to work through it out (though I might if she were at the top end of this age range). I can see it being a great conversation starter, devotional material, and even home school teaching aid. For more information about this book and what others are saying about it check out this link from the Litfuse Group: http://litfusegroup.com/author/vackermann

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse as part of their Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges (a Reveiw)

I intentionally took a while to read Transforming Grace so I wouldn’t pass over anything too lightly.  There is a danger in reading a book like Transforming Grace, in that experienced Christians feel that they are beyond the meat of the message.  There may be a sense of, “been there, done that.” And to be honest the book doesn’t set out with any new truths (given the nature of the book, I wouldn’t expect it too). But there is a great value for mature Christians in reading Transforming Grace.  While the truths are not new, they are still truths.  While Jerry may belabor a few points, they are worth belaboring.

In Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love Jerry does an excellent job in cutting the meat and  doctrine of transforming grace into palatable and bite sized portions while maintaining an emphasis on the work of Christ.  It’s a great read for new believers.  Mr. Bridges has a knack for taking difficult topics and presenting them in an easy to understand fashion.  Transforming Grace is also a great read for mature believers as well.  The doctrine of grace is one that should never get old or tired.  None of us are past grace.  All of us have a proclivity to default to a works based system of favor with God.  Believers come into a right relationship with God by faith, through the work of Christ, which is undeserved on our part, and indeed a gift of God’s grace.

There is also a companion Discussion Guide for Transforming Grace.  It takes one or two chapters at a time and provides details and discussion points.  The Discussion Guide seems like it would work well in a small group Bible study or book club.  Reader’s interested in the topic of transforming grace may also want to check out John Piper’s book Future Grace.

If you are looking to learn more about God’s grace in the life of a believer, this book is for you.  I highly recommend this book to believers new and old.  The retail price is $14.99 (Paperback), and is available at a discount at  Amazon.com for $10.19.  The Study Guide is also available on Amazon.com for $9.99. I gave it five stars.

The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges (a Review)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: “Dug Down Deep,” By Joshua Harris

Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters by Joshua Harris is a great book  for anyone interested in knowing God.  Harris brings the reader along on his own personal journey through the world of evangelicalism to the places and times in his life when he learned the most about God.  He humbly presents theology and doctrine where they meet at the cross-road of life.  Harris shares his struggles to not only to know God, but to live the faith that he professes providing a very vivid and practical edge to the book.

I appreciated the author’s writing style.  When reading Dug Down Deep I couldn’t help but come away feeling as though we had met several times over coffee and he was just sharing about his life.  I got a glimpse not only into theology and doctrine, but into how he practically seeks to walk with God.  The chapters were very readable and put complex issues on a simple and easy to understand level.

This is one of the most practical books on theology and doctrine I have ever read.  I really liked this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.   Dug Down Deep is an excellent resource. The retail price is $19.99 (Hardcover), and is available at places like Amazon.com for $13.49. I gave it five stars.

Disclaimer:  This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  There was no requirement to give the book a good review.  Just to review it and tell you what I really think.