raising children

The Resolution by Stephen, Alex Kendrick, and Randy Alcorn.

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by Stephen, Alex Kendrick, and Randy Alcorn.

Becoming a real man and practicing Biblical manhood are topics which I’ve blogged about and have read multiple book titles concerning within recent times. If you have been paying attention to my previous work, yes this will be the third book I’ve read which addresses the question “what makes a man, a real man?”. However, I originally started reading this due to my appreciation for the movie Courageous, and me being curious about what they actually had to say about manhood came later. Then I also realized that one of the authors for The Resolution was Randy Alcorn; yup this is also my third Randy Alcorn book too!

The Resolution is as I previewed, a book about being a man in a Biblical sense. This goes over a variety of topics like how to treat a lady, how to treat your children, the importance of teaching your children about Jesus Christ, the great need for you to be a prayer warrior, why it’s important to work hard, the importance of integrity, and other topics. This book goes over various verses and parables which are designed to inspire the reader to pursue Biblical manhood and to flee from what the popular, unsaved, cultural idea is for being a man. But the big question one must ask is… are the ideas which each author present throughout the book correct and let alone are they even possible? The Resolution, prior to actually reading the book itself, sounded pretty cool; keep in mind this was after watching Courageous.

I thought it was so cool that I actually bought the plaque from my local Christian bookstore and had my Pastor along with a Bible Study buddy co-sign it. After completing the book, I am glad I signed the Resolution because this is an extraordinary book which ought to be beneficial for all men; at least the ones who take it seriously. Are there some ideas which in extreme application equate to legalism? Yes, but frankly all theological books have that danger for the reader thanks to our sinful flesh. Even though the other two books on manhood I read earlier were good, there was something about The Resolution which was an even stronger eye opener. The way the authors presented this book was full of scriptural references, deep descriptive language for readers to imagine, ideas and questions which most men can relate to, and the lack of a need to heavily rely upon personal anecdotes or gimmick scenes from the movie. Certain chapters really hit me hard, and actually have inspired me to look at life differently. I am glad to have read this and if you’re a guy (whether young or old) reading this review right now I strongly advise you to read this too. I now take Joshua 24:15 much more seriously now, and for my need to become the man God wants me to be.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

P.S. Here is a picture of my signed Resolution Plaque which currently hangs in my study:

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear by Stephen Elkins

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Created by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Tim O’Connor

For me this brought back some childhood memories. As the title hints, there are 100 prayers and 100 songs for kids to read and sing. I remember as a kid singing songs like “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” “This Little Light of Mine”  and “America the Beautiful.” I also remember reciting prayers like “The Serenity Prayer,” The Lord is my Shepard,” and “Now I lay me Down to Sleep.” Even some unfamiliar, yet refreshing prayers were from men like Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton, and Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman. There were other unfamiliar songs and prayers that were fine, but as I read each prayer and skimmed through each song CD, I felt some songs and prayers were a little cheesy.

To receive a better perspective, I showed this book to two Christian women, a mother of two the other experienced in childcare, and I also showed this to a youth pastor. Overall, they found the pluses to the book were the following: great artwork, easy reading level, good selection and amount, easy to sing along, and great references to scripture. However, they also found two minuses for the book: the first minus is simply Matthew 6:5-7, and the second was they felt the book and the CDs did not reach the same age group; I agree with their analysis. We felt the songs were meant for younger children around 5 years old and younger while the book would suit children 7 years old and younger. Overall, I feel this book is decent for parents to read and teach children as long as the parents and the children remember Matthew 6:5-7, and prayer is a personal act of worship before God.

Book Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Thomas Nelson Publishing 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.”