Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons: a keeper

I have taken my time reading Gabe Lyons book entitled The Next Christian because I wanted to absorb the information and really process what he shared. I don’t think I can do justice for this resource. All I can say is GET YOUR STICKY FINGERS ON A COPY AND READ IT! Lyons puts all the churchy traditions on the table and identifies them for what they are- tradition. He asks that true followers of Christ start acting like followers of Christ and fix broken places when they see them. He shares story and after story about people who are actually using their positions in the job market, money, ideas, passions and other areas of influence to bless the people around them. He meets with world- changers that I haven’t heard about from any pulpit. 
Lyons reminds me- the girl who grew up in church- that the lingo, the practices, and the sunday school attendance record are all creations of other people and are not working to bring new believers to saving knowledge of Christ. The simple and life changing concept that people need to feel like they belong somewhere 100% before they will believe anything that’s said is so true. Belonging- Believing- Becoming. We don’t have to copy what the world is doing in order to be relevant to our community. Lyons specifically points out youth group rooms that look like the basement of the guy down the street- with all the video games, tv screens, and screaming loud music. These things are entertainment and our kids are bored with that- they can get that anywhere. What they can’t get anywhere is the truths found in the Bible, the life-shifting hope, the stories of real people who are actually “living” life together. 
The part of his book that has impacted me the most was his description of the three major groups of Christians separated based on how they interact with the current culture; the Separatists (the insiders, culture warriors, and evangelizers), the Culturalists (blenders and philanthropists) and the Restorers (which use the positive strengths of the two former groups, but without the negatives brought about from them). 
This is somewhat of a second book in a series, with the first being UnChristian by David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons. This book gets "keeper" status because it deserves room on my shelf. I need to re-read it and remember to encourage others to read it. 

Check out more at 

Moltnomah sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book review: Sara Sue Learns to Yell & Tell: an arsenal addition

The necessity of covering issues like this with my young girls saddens me. However, the point remains true that there are people in our world that are lurking and waiting to hurt a child. Recently, due to an innocent moment I observed between my daughter and a family acquaintance, I felt the need to arm my girls with the information that might protect them from other people with indecent motives. This book was recommended to me and I purchased it for our own book collection. 
The author, Debi Pearl does a great job informing kids on “clues” that will keep them safe. Through vivid pictures and short rhymes, she clearly explains to kids (in my case- girls since we purchased the book Sara Sue Learns to Yell & Tell....the boy version is Samuel Learns to Yell & Tell) what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for other people- and what to do if something happens. She warns that simply knowing someone might not mean they are safe and to always tell someone when something scary has happened to you. 
In Sara Sue Learns to Yell & Tell, the girl teaches her doll these concepts in a non-threatening way that doesn’t cause fear in a child reading the story. 
The website also offers coloring sheets: Additionally, there are sources offered at This site does not seem to be affiliated with the Pearl's ministry, but it offers helpful information on the matter. 
I have not yet read the book to my girls. I am waiting for a day when I know they are paying attention and will remember what we talk about. It angers me that this is a part of our society, but anger won’t equip my child with the knowledge of how to keep herself safe. I am thankful someone wrote a book like this- not to cause fear to grow, but to inform. 

Debi Pearl also offers other parenting advice and resources through her ministry website: The Pearls have no idea who I am. I just bought her book and wanted to share my thoughts with the world. I did, however, like that my receipt had a prayer handwritten on it when my book came in the mail! 

Sorry, once I uploaded the picture to the right, I could not rotate it.... You may do some neck stretches while observing the cute illustrations!