Tag: books

Ice Breakers #1

Sometimes you need an ice breaker when you’re on a date, at a party, or sitting at the dinner table. Try this ice breaker and follow up questions during that next awkward silence!

icebreaker1

Book Spotlight: Gods at War

godsatwarGods at War
by Kyle Idleman

Audience: All

Idols go to war to steal our heart’s affections. Many times, idols look common; they are simple in nature and desired by mankind. After all, what’s wrong with having a successful career or money in the bank? What’s the harm in enjoying sports, television, and food? And shouldn’t our goals in life include finding a spouse and loving our families? The problem is not in the things themselves – the problem is that we care about these things more than God Himself.

Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan, addresses the idols in life that steal our attention away from God. Humorous in illustration yet serious in application, Idleman guides his readers through every area of life, exposing the idols of this world that have taken the place of God in our hearts. Idleman reminds us of the amazing, jealous love of God who can never be replaced by the things our hearts pursue here. Although the battle rages on within our hearts between God and our idols, we make the final decision on who the victor is.

Topics Covered:

  • Idolatry: the sin that all other sins stem from
  • Identifying our idols: Look at what you dream of, what disappoints you, what upsets you, and what worries you
  • God’s jealousy for our hearts
  • The gods of our parents, our past, and our culture
  • The god of food – trying to feed our souls with food
  • The god of sex – the god who leaves you with nothing
  • The god of entertainment – worshiping what amuses us
  • The god of success – getting our worth from our resume
  • The god of money – forgetting that all we own and earn belongs to God
  • The god of achievement – paying more attention to our to-do lists instead of God
  • The god of romance – looking to someone other than God to complete us
  • The god of family – holding our children and parents higher than God
  • The god of me – making life all about you instead of all about Jesus

Available on Christianbook.com
Available on Amazon
Available on Lifeway

Learn more about Gods at War and purchase the small group DVD study at www.godsatwar.com

Book Spotlight: Wild at Heart

wild-at-heartWild at Heart
by John Eldredge

Target Audience: All
Great for women who want to understand the male heart

What lies within the deepest parts of a man’s soul? What does he truly crave in life? What wounds him? What feeds his spirit?

In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge addresses the inner workings of the male being. Woman seeks to domesticate man, Satan seeks to wound him, and he himself seeks purpose and passion. Eldredge challenges men to stop holding themselves back – to defend against Satan’s lies and attacks, and embrace the design God had for man at the beginning.

Topics Covered:

  • Passionately living and pursuing adventure
  • Satan’s attacks on the male soul as well as his marriage
  • Finding validation as a man
  • The relationship between man and the Father, as well as the relationship between man and his earthly father
  • Healing from deep wounds with the help of Christ
  • Strategy in the midst of spiritual warfare
  • What a woman needs from her man

Available on Amazon
Available on Christianbook.com

For insight into the female heart, read Stasi and John Eldredge’s book, Captivating

Your Marriage Masterpiece

marriagemasterpieceYour Marriage Masterpiece
by Al Janssen

Each marriage is a small paint stroke of an incredible masterpiece God has painted to show His deep love for His people. Do you see it?

Using illustrations across the Old and New Testament, Al Janssen pulls away the mysterious veil that obstructs our view of God’s marriage masterpiece. With creative narration and deep insight, Janseen exposes the passionate love of God in a way we all may have overlooked.

Topics Covered:

  • Modern views on the marital relationship
  • Being self-centered and looking for self-fulfillment
  • God’s covenant marriage with His people
  • Pure sexuality and faithfulness in marriage
  • How God fights for His bride – and how we need to fight for our spouse
  • Jesus purchasing His bride with His blood
  • God’s unconditional love despite failure of its return; loving our spouse when it is one-sided
  • The adventure and sacrifice that comes with love and marriage
  • Fictional illustrations of angels learning about God while looking at the marriages of men, perfect life in the Garden before the Fall, God’s prophets speaking against lustful idolatry, and other scenarios presented in the Bible

Study guide available in the back for individual, small group, or couple discussion.

Purchase on Amazon

Purchase on Christianbook.com

Book Spotlight: Wide Awake

wideawakeWide Awake
by Erwin Raphael McManus

Audience: All
-> Great for singles who want to live their single season to the fullest
-> Also great for anyone feeling depressed, drained, or stuck in neutral

If only there was a blazing fire within us when we awoke – a feeling of joy, zeal, and excitement at the endless possibilities awaiting us. For some, a life full of passion and adventure feels improbable. But with God, everything is possible.

In the book Wide Awake, Erwin Raphael McManus inspires us to shake off the monotony we wake up to each morning and instead live the passion-filled life God has intended for us. Each one of us is a dreamer, creator, and adventurer who with the help of God can be an unstoppable force who brings good to the world. McManus encourages his readers to never hold back – to instead fearlessly pursue everything God has created you to be.

Topics Covered:

  • Living up to your potential
  • Dreaming big and watching what God accomplishes through you
  • Adapting to situations so you can become unstoppable
  • Moving forward in the face of failure
  • Staying on focus
  • Enjoying life to the fullest as God intended
  • The importance of investing your time in people
  • Creating with the gifts and talents God has given you
  • Being the solution to the problems you see around you

 

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Christianbooks.com  (Super cheap!)

eBook and Kindle versions also available.

Book Spotlight: The Book of Romance

bookofromanceThe Book of Romance
by Tommy Nelson

Audience: Everyone
Good for couples

God created the marital relationship to be passionate, romantic, and intimate. No book of the Bible presents this case better than Song of Songs: the poetic account of Solomon and his bride. In The Book of Romance, Pastor Tommy Nelson takes apart the Song of Songs verse by verse, exposing the beautiful design of martial relationships.

Using the story of Solomon and his wife, Nelson covers all stages of romantic relationships, from dating to living unified as husband and wife. Nelson states that passion, romance, and intimacy do not have to be lost in the marital relationship – they can always be restored if fiercely fought for.

Topics covered:

  • Discernment while dating
  • Pure passion and sexuality
  • Sexual creativity and intimacy
  • Addressing conflict in marriage
  • Pursing romance
  • Staying committed to your spouse

Each chapter ends with discussion questions for individuals and couples.

Buy on Amazon (Also available on Kindle)

Buy on Christianbook.com

Book Spotlight: Sex is Not the Problem

sexisnottheproblemSex is Not the Problem (Released also as Not Even a Hint)
by Joshua Harris

Target audience: Everyone

Most readers know Joshua Harris for his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a book that reopened the discussion of courtship for a generation dominated by the dating scene. With a refreshing boldness, Joshua Harris addresses the topic of lust and sexuality in Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is). This book goes beyond the usual pulpit “don’t have sex until marriage” speech, and instead celebrates sex and sexuality for what they truly are: a gift from God.

But in a fallen world, there are a lot of temptations and sins that distort the original design of sex. Harris not only teaches on the beauty of sexuality, but also how to deal with the pitfalls and snares of unholy lust.

Topics covered:

  • What lust is and what lust isn’t
  • God’s design for sexuality
  • The differences in the male and female sex drives
  • Dealing with masturbation
  • Fighting against pornography and other media temptations
  • Biblical truths on lust

Corresponding study guides for both men and women are available for purchase for small
groups or individuals.

 

Fifty Shades of Pornography

shadesThe Fifty Shades of Grey books are currently some of the most popular books on the market. It’s disturbing how popular this book series has become in such a short amount of time.

For those of you who don’t know what Fifty Shades of Grey is, it’s an erotica series that involves some pretty graphic sexual encounters, including B&D and S&M. Yet people talk about it like it’s a Harry Potter book – completely innocent, really fun, and something everyone should read. Do you know where I found a shelf of Fifty Shades of Grey books? Next to the preteen section. And if that’s not enough, I even found cleverly disguised erotica books for teenagers hidden in the bookshelves.

Why are we okay with this?

Pornography is traditionally thought of as something visual, such as pictures and movies. And since books aren’t visual – they’re based on the imagination – we don’t consider them to be in the same category as pornography.

We’re wrong to think that. Very, very wrong.

Think about this: men are typically visual, and are statistically the main consumers of internet pornography. But what are women the main consumers of? Steamy romance novels; stories that play out sexual fantasies, much like internet pornography does for those who are aroused visually.

Pornography comes in many different mediums, not just in internet pictures and in x-rated movies. “Romance” novels are just as much a form of pornography as pictures are. They cultivate lustful desires in the mind in the same damaging way that internet pornography does. The difference is that romance novels target the emotions instead of the eyes, and in doing so, they dodge the pornographic label.

There is nothing innocent about pornography in any form. It destroys marriages, it destroys relationships, and it destroys lives. I don’t say that to be dramatic – it’s a fact. (There are links below if you’d like to see the facts for yourself.)

Psalm 101:3 says, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” Vile doesn’t come just in the form of pictures – it can come in written form as well. So what are you putting before your eyes — written or otherwise?

Verses to think about:
Romans 8:5-6
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

Job 31:11-12
For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.(Emphasis mine.)

1 Corinthians 6:18
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

Related articles:
Social Science Research on Pornography
Harmless Pornography
Pornography Statistics