The Kingdom Man: A Review
By David Osterhaus
I oversee all of the Life Groups here at Life Church. It’s a great fit for me because Life Groups are something I am passionate about, and I am always involved in at least one.
Recently, I was privileged to be involved in Adam Kasinskas’s men’s Life Group that met at Panera Bread. We always enjoyed some food, laughs, sports talk, and good Christian discussion. Most recently we decided that we would all read Tony Evans’ new book "The Kingdom Man." It is filled with helpful information for any man wanting to be a spiritual leader at home, at church, or even at his workplace. This is a great book that I think every man in the church should read.
Evans reminds us that the Lord has a purpose for each person. Men can be equipped to be leaders by following the Lord’s guidelines found in the Bible. The Lord wants men to be leaders who are wise and compassionate. They also have to model what they are asking of others. This means that if you think your wife should be spending more time helping the children with schoolwork, you need to help out more, too.
In “The Kingdom Man,” Evans also uses football analogies, which for me was great! It was very interesting that he did not say that Christ-followers were one team and that the unsaved or unchurched were another, instead Evans compares Christians to the referees. I know it sounds like a strange analogy, but in the book it makes perfect sense.
Despite the fact that the primary audience is men, I think women could also enjoy this book. Women will find out what makes a good leader and what they should be praying for when looking for a man in their life. If a woman is already married she can still learn from this book, especially from the principles taught about the marriage relationship. Understanding what the Lord wants for a marriage will help both the husband and the wife keep their marriage strong.
Another thing I really appreciate about Evans is that he provides supporting Scripture for all the easy-to-follow principles. Tony Evans is excellent at simplifying the Lord’s guidelines for Christian men. Straightforward and to the point, just like guys like it!
Want to find out more about Life Groups at Life Church? Get information on our website.
4 Books for Your Summer Reading List
Looking for some summer reading guaranteed to move your heart and make you think? Here are the books Tammy Cole recommended at last week’s Heart & Soul Encounter:
1) Ms. Understood - Rebuilding the Feminine Equation, by Jen Hatmaker.
As described on Jen’s blog, “Women have been identified in many conflicting ways. Sometimes goddesses, slaves, or seductresses, but always misunderstood, by themselves and others. [Ms. Understood] uses examples from the five women named in Jesus’ lineage to help define a daughter of Christ, each has something to pass on. Courage, wisdom, and influence are the heritage of a woman.”
2) Compelled by Love, by Heidi Baker - Based on the beatitudes as seen through the eyes of third-world pastors and missionaries, this book chronicles the twenty-seven year ministry of Heidi and Rolland Baker in the war-torn country of Mozambique.
3) Kisses from Katie, by Katie Davis. A MUST READ if you even think you have a heart for mission work! Here’s an excerpt from the introduction: “"I have absolutely no desire to write a book about myself. This is a book about
a Christ who is alive today and not only knows but cares about every hair on my head. Yours too. I’m writing this book on the chance that a glimpse into the life of my family and me, full of my stupidity and God’s grace, will remind you of this living, loving Christ and what it means to serve Him. I’m writing with the hope that as you cry and laugh with my family you will be encouraged that God still uses flawed human beings to change the world. And if He can use me, He can use you.”
4) The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. A book guaranteed to impact your prayer life in a profound way. The Circle Maker uses the legend of Honi the Circle Maker - a man who prayed a seemingly impossible prayer and refused to budge until God answered it - to challenge you to draw circles around your own prayers. You can read a review of it on our blog here.
What Do Circles Have to Do with Prayer?
By Randall Cartwright
I recently read Mark Batterson's book, The Circle Maker. I am not a very consistent reader, but this book about prayer grabbed my attention and inspired me to pray harder, pray longer, and most of all, pray more boldly.
Batterson claims that our prayers have the power to change everything, but most of us give up way too easily. The idea of prayer circles are simply a way to encourage us to keep asking until God delivers. “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us,” he says.
In the book, Batterson relates the story of Honi, a Jewish hero famous for praying for rain. During a drought, Honi the Circle Maker drew a circle in the sand and refused to budge from inside it until God answered his prayer for rain. It was a bold, seemingly impossible request, one that drew criticism from others. But God honored Honi’s faith by finally sending the rain they desperately needed.
Instead of praying bold prayers like Honi, I often find myself just praying what Mark Batterson calls “911 prayers.” I’ll pray “emergency prayers” or prayers that request something I need right away. But Batterson says, “We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to be more like Honi. I want to pray boldly. To pray with more focus and with more faith. Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life? What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around?
In the mood for a good book? Five great reads for right now.
By Kevin Miller
Growing up I absolutely hated to read. It was something I never liked; this lasted until I started Bible college and I basically made myself enjoy it. The small discipline that I endured fostered a love for reading that continues to grow.
I am not a guy who enjoys picking up a fictional thriller during my lunch break, but I do enjoy reading about people who are passionate about changing the world. I also enjoy finishing a book and being challenged to do something great. That said, I want to share five books that have greatly impacted my life and shaped me into who I am today.
1. The Bible. You probably guessed this would be here, right? I don’t think it needs an explanation.
2. Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway. This book challenged me to take my personal relationship with God to another level. It also gave me a new perspective on missions.
3. When Heaven Invades Earth, by Bill Johnson. This book takes a key element of the Lord’s prayer and breaks it down for you. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s powerful!
4. Sun Stand Still, by Steven Furtick. This book dares you to be audacious in your prayers to God. It challenges you to dream way bigger.
5. Start Something that Matters, by Blake Mycoskie. This doesn’t fall into the “Christian” book category, but it’s the story of the guy who started Tom’s Shoes. It is amazing to see what happens when you put a cause to your organization or life model, and that is exactly what this book teaches. Great read!
If you had to pick only one of these to read, I would definitely tell you to pick the top one, the Bible, it’s a pretty good one! If you get a chance to check out any of the others or if you have read them already, I would love to know you thoughts.
What books or authors have made an impact on your life? Please share in the comments.