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Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within By Dr. Gregory Jantz

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By Dr. Gregory Jantz

Fear is an emotion I’ve dealt with much of my life. The fears and struggles have changed throughout time, but the overall feelings resulted by each fear and struggle has remained with the exact same effect. I am not afraid to admit I am an imperfect person, in fact this is one of the reasons why I love Jesus as I do, but I also have recognized as of late it is something which has held me back in life. Not too long after a conversation with my wife, I ran into Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book: Battles Men Face, which I hoped would give some clarity to what I’ve felt for a long time…

Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within is a self-help book, targeted for men, which guides the reader with both Christian theology and clinical psychology. Dr. Jantz examines The What, The Why, and The How of various issues Men face. He also guides men with patient testimonies, scriptural passages, and even personal experiences in order for readers to understand and relate to what’s going on within their hearts. Battles Men Face is a book which reveals many thoughts readers might have never thought about as specifically as they might think, and it is also a book which asks the reader some tough yet essential questions…

Though not every man has every problem Dr. Jantz describes, he writes about the inner struggle exactly how it is; at least within my heart. Partially thanks to Dr. Jantz’s book, I realize I have even more growing up to do but what I learned from his book is a good start on my journey. It was eye-opening for me to see a glimpse of why I struggle with the issues I do, and how I should respond to those issues from now on… Based on my personal experience reading Battles Men Face, I’m confident not only was this a very good book for me as a man, but also for any man who wants to be honest enough with themselves. The only complaint I have about Dr. Jantz’ book is every time, I remember, he sources scripture he uses The Message translation; I feel there are better translations out there than the MSG. Otherwise I did not see anything promoted by Dr. Jantz which is contrary to what scripture says. It’s great to see there is a Christian out there who isn’t just trying to help people with their issues, but is also trying to lead them to Jesus Christ; the most important thing a man and woman can do to respond to their inner struggles. I recommend this book highly, and I am encouraged to check out some of his other books as well.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

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by Andy Stanley

It’s interesting that I got this book during the summer and I didn’t get to finish it until this fall. Part of this was poor time management on my part, but when I actually started reading Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley, who is the son of one of my favorite preachers: Dr. Charles Stanley, I realized me reading this when I did was more of God’s timing than mine.

Enemies of the Heart is a book which addresses the spiritual heart. We like to look at the physical condition of our hearts in order to avoid problems like heart disease, but Andy Stanley writes, with a strong emphasis, we ought to monitor our spiritual condition too. Do we have any Greedy, Angry, Jealous, and or guilty habits/tendencies? How do they appear in our lives? And how do we deal with each of these traits?

I cannot get into specific details, but I believe God wanted me to read this book at the time I did because he wanted me to realize and treat certain spiritual heart conditions I’ve been guilty of containing within. I believe this book helped me a great deal in becoming more spiritually aware, but like many diet/weight loss books this book is only something beneficial when actually applied. Andy Stanley addressed several important topics which I didn’t expect him to get into like analyzing more specifically why do some men have a problem with Lust. He also provides various passages of scripture as support for our need to examine our hearts carefully; one really good verse is Proverbs 4:23. He even provides solutions, though not easy ones, in regard to our unclean hearts which though tough are not unrealistically optimistic.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Waterbrook Multnomah Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn

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by Randy Alcorn

A friend of mine, who I learned is an Atheist, once argued with me about suffering; more specifically viruses. I didn’t have the best explanation on everything he desired to talk to me about at the time, but then again only God will know the answer to every question out there. Thinking about that complicated conversation and being a bit depressed recently, I felt the whole idea of Good VS Evil and the concept of suffering itself were things I ought to brush up better apologetically. Because of my desire to learn more about those common occurrences, I picked up a copy of The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn. Although this book is only 117 pages, I feel it was a very good read and inspires me to read even more books concerning the common complaint “Why does God allow suffering?”

The Goodness of God, is quite philosophical and thought-provoking. Randy Alcorn examines various topics like Sin, alternative world views, free will, justice, global depravity, love, natural disasters, natural selection, death, etc through logical argumentation. While discussing the big picture which is morality (you know the idea of Good and Evil), he also plentifully provides many passages of scripture in support of a Good and loving God despite all of the suffering within our world. Obviously, this book won’t answer every thought or question a person may conceive, although even if this book were over 1000 pages it still wouldn’t… This is a great book nevertheless, because it will slice into a person’s mindset and will also inspire additional research/Biblical discussion. Surprisingly, I feel this book would be good for both Christians and Agnostics/Atheists alike.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Waterbrook Multinomah Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thr3e: a DVD Review

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based on the Ted Dekker novel

I will be the first to admit I have not yet read the book by Ted Dekker, but I heard about this from a church I once attended. This was a very unique movie, I actually have a copy of this in my library. I was intrigued by this, because I have seen a sample of Christian movies, but many I’ve seen do not involve the thriller element and so the concept in itself made me curious.

Thr3e is about a seminary student by the name of Kevin Parsons who after finishing up a school day starts driving home when his phone rings. When he answers the phone an unfamiliar voice threatens him and after getting out of the car in a panic the vehicle explodes. Police tell him that he may have encountered a serial killer known as “the riddle Killer” and he is the only one out of all the others to survive… but why? Why does this unknown man threaten him, keeps demanding for him to “tell the truth”, and how does he know him?

I honestly did not expect for the ending to turn out exactly as it did. It’s a bit scary in how evil can be so unique yet so familiar at the same time. Overall I liked watching this and hopefully those who read this also enjoyed the novel too. It could have been a little less weird though with “Princess”, I get the idea she was a bad Auntie, but yeah weird stuff like that kind of reminds me of some of the mainstream horror films out there and as a personal preference I’m not much of a fan of those. I also think maybe the antagonist said the word “Puke” a little too often, I mean I understand it’s a Christian movie and those kind of movies avoid swear words for good reason of course, but there are other insults that could have been used; unless that was how Dekker originally wrote it then it’s good to be realistic to the book I suppose. I also liked how there is a bible study guide attached to the inside of the movie relating to anger and the flesh.

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

A personally written riddle

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***** Please do not cheat. Please read this riddle first and then scroll to the bottom, because I wrote this and I’m not the kind of person who usually writes riddles or poetry. Thank you and I hope you enjoy reading it**********

I know you very well; probably even more than you know yourself. Whether you know it or whether you have not had the courtesy of noticing, I have known you for a very long time. You and I are like childhood twins, but then again I have many brothers and sisters already. For the evil I am their best friend, for the good I am their worst nightmare. My kind does not discriminate, for we cling to all walks of life. I am very persuasive and have a strong influence in your decision-making. In fact it is my hope that your affection is only for me, because I grow jealous so easily. I will appear to you in many forms with each I hope you are pleased, but if you hate me I hope you’re at least distracted. Some call me a ‘curse’, while others simply call me a ‘natural’ occurrence, either way I hope you will feed me so I can grow big and strong. Regardless of opinion and contrary to all disappointments in life, I will be with you always. If you desire to run from me, I will hate you and I will stalk you for the rest of your life. Like a good marriage ’til death do us part and when that time comes I hope you’ll meet my father… for I have been prepping you for that day since the day we first met. Who am I?

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(video presentation produced by Ads4Christ.)

The answer….

The Flesh (and its father is the father of all lies)