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Book Reviews

Every Young Man’s Battle

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Authors Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker understand the trials that teen guys go through when it comes to temptation, and they also understand that the game seems to be rigged against guys when it comes to dealing with the nonstop parade of sexual imagery. This books addresses key issue guts face head-on, but don’t expect a “get out of jail free” card chalked up to guys just being guys. The real guts of the book lay out a battle plan for guys who are serious about personal purity, providing step-by-step advice for building lines of defense before it’s too late. “The problem is that some men excuse themselves as victims of impure eyes and thoughts, as if that absolves them from all responsibility,” write the authors.

Every Young Woman’s Battle

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Shannon Ethridge teams up with Stephen Arterburn for some really straight talk challenging young women to guard their minds, hearts, and bodies in a sex-saturated world. Topics covered by this book are extensive and always reveal the true core of issues like why young women experience such a appetite for attention from guys, the emotional lures of internet chat rooms, obsession with outward appearances, and more. The book includes sections on how to avoid self-destructive patterns, understanding how temptations can compromise sexual integrity, and how seemingly harmless things like flirting can have destructive consequences. No need to despair – Every Young Woman’s Battles gives solid advice on guarding the heart, mind, and body so that any young woman can emerge victorious from the fight.

Eyes wide open: online dangers

Friday, May 15th, 2009

In Eyes Wide Open: Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity, college student Brienne Murk talks candidly about the damaging impact of using MySpace™, e-mail, and text messaging to develop intimate online relationships. In a personal example, she outlines her need to break off a relationship with a guy from her church youth group after realizing that they were emotionally pushing limits during “harmless” IM sessions. “We said a lot of things we would never have dreamed of saying in person,” writes Murk. “But because it was online, it felt safe. We didn’t realize how vulnerable we were making ourselves.”

Murk also addresses the potential dangers of chat rooms, Facebook, Xanga, online dating and RPGs (role playing games) in creating situations that open the door wide for emotional promiscuity.

Murk’s tips for staying safe online include:
• Be careful who you trust online
• Keep your personal information private while chatting
• Immediately log out of any unpleasant chat room
• Think before answering private messages
• Don’t use your real name in chat rooms
• Talk to your parents or a trusted adult if something occurs in an online session that makes you feel uncomfortable, worried or scared.
• Get an accountability partner

Eyes Wide Open is published by Regal Books and is available at most Christian bookstores nationwide. For more information visit http://www.regalbooks.com

Watch this

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Marketed as a tool for every guy “looking for cheat codes and walk throughs for getting it right”, Jeffrey Dean’s newest book is all about straight talk, hard truth, and the road to manhood with advice on “what to do when you’re surrounded by actors and animals”, insights on why “who you hang with is who you become”, and a hard-hitting section on choosing purity instead of sex outside of marriage. Among the best reasons to focus on purity, Dean lists no guilt on your wedding night, mo unwanted pregnancy, and no worrying about “diseases that leave ugly-looking sores, spots, and warts that appear in very private places.”

This isn’t a brick meant for your head, it’s a workbook designed as a tool to guard your heart and mind while giving you courage to make the right decisions in life. Included at the end of each chapter is a special My Space section that challenges you with pointed questions and action steps based on what you’ve just read.

Watch This is published by Multnomah and is now available at many bookstores nationwide.

iStand: the power of courageous choices

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

This one year daily devotional is well planned, convenient resource that will literally rivet your focus how the choices you make everyday will impact your world. This isn’t unrealistic, sugary-sweet fluff. It’s a call to finding your personal place in everyday battles of life.

“Sometimes tasking a stand may be easy, especially when the choice is clear and our family and friends support us in the decision,” states the devotional’s intro. “At times, however, we may have to stand alone against formidable foes. That’s when we’ll know we are in a battle.”

Each day’s devotions follow a consistent format that includes “anchor points” on fundamental principles, “tough choices” that present difficult situations and God-honoring options, “your turn”, the prompting for you to decide how each lesson applies to you.

Included in the devotional is a study on the story of Moses and the bravery of those who helped to preserve his life as an infant in spite of the Egyptian decree to kill all male Hebrew children. “Even as far back as the time of Moses, people took a courageous stand so that unborn children could live,” reads the devotion. “You might be called upon one day to talk to a friend or coworker who is trying to decide whether to abort a child. What will you say?”

Do hard things: the power of courageous choices

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

You know that when Chuck Norris writes an intro for a book, it’s not a book for wimps. This book is a call to battle, a sounding of the alarm for a generation tired of seeing an adult world that’s all about comfort, escaping hardships, avoiding pain and dodging duty.

Written by Alex and Brett Harris, two 19-year-old twin brothers from Oregon, Do Hard Things is shattering the mold of dumbed-down books for teens written by adults without a clue. This book is written “for teens by teens who believe our generation is ready for a change.” And it all revolves around three little words: do hard things.

The Harris aren’t tossing around worn-out platitudes because they’re hoping to sell a book. They’re passionate about jumpstarting a revolutionary new way to approach life, and the passion leaps off of every single page. They challenge teens to raise the bar, to take scary steps, and crash out of comfort zones that hold you back from changing your world.

A real eyeopener is some of the real-life examples showing the low expectations for teens. For example, when the authors Googled “teens” and “expectations”, the subjects returned by Google included: teens and drugs, teens and alcohol, teens and smoking, teens and marijuana, and so on down the line.

Do Hard Things is not a casual read, it’s an in-your-face challenge to rise up from the cultural norms to turn your word upside down beginning with yourself. Grab a copy at your local bookstore today and let the rebellion begin.

Generation Esther

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Are you more than just a pretty face? God thinks so, and so does Lisa Ryan, a former Miss California and author of Generation Esther: Stories Of Young Women Raised Up For Such A Time As This. Ryan’s passion to see girls find a call worth living for – or even dying for – permeates every page of this book dedicated to every girl willing to stand against a culture that glorifies sex, apathy, and getting wasted.

Using as a basis the biblical account of a youthful Queen Esther saving her people from certain destruction, Ryan unfolds the stories of courageous young women today who are living lives of purpose and meaning. Motivating stories of purity, servanthood, and courage abound, but none are more breathtaking than the chapter about Danielle, Melissa, and Christin – three teens who have spearheaded a mission called Saving Arrows dedicated to helping women arriving for abortions to choose life for their babies.

“Because it was our brothers, our sisters, and our best friends who were killed before they were born, we have double responsibility,” Melissa explains. “We need to speak for the third of our generation that has died by abortion and we need to make sure we don’t do the same to the next generation.”

Generation Esther is published by Multnomah Press and is available at most bookstores.

Boom

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Boom: A Guy’s Guide to Growing Up has been around for a few years now but it still an “oldie-but-goodie” when it comes to addressing core issue facing the lives of every teenage guy. Marketed as a mission manual of sorts, Boom ventures where few books have gone before, even when it comes to addressing “the most secret, most scary, most embarrassing, most private guy issues.”

The truth is that books of this type come from two diametrically opposed perspectives: one pretends that guys are an animal-like machine unable to control personal choices, the other acknowledges that God does have a plan and that quality personal choices are signs of integrity and true manhood.

Topics covered by Boom include money management, discovering destiny, dating, making commitments to sexual purity, succeeding in high school, guarding against the dark side of the web, and even bodybuilding.

The section on peer pressure is worth the fifteen bucks alone for its advice on avoiding compromising peer situations before it’s too late, including thinking through all of the consequences in of poor decisions in advance and making an active plan to steer clear of lousy influences.

Boom was written by a bunch of guys who contribute to Breakaway magazine and is published by Tyndale House publishers.

Being a girl who leads

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Warning: don’t read this book unless you’re ready to start a revolution. From “Ten Lies That Are Ripping Us Off” (including the lie that you can do anything you want short of having sex and still be pure) to “Lessons From a Dirty Band-Aid” (a stark look at the disease-bearing dangers of premarital sex), author Shannon Kubiak Primicerio is calling for real leaders to step up to the plate by refusing to compromise, to stop being fake, and to go against the flow even when it’s not popular. “Being a girl who leads isn’t about being in ministry or in a labeled leadership role,” writes Primicerio. “It’s about how you live your life. The world is full of followers and our generation is perishing as a result.”

At the end of the day, leadership is all about influence. If you’ve ever felt the pull to stand out from the crowd and turn your generation upside down, this is a must read .