Matt Knight

My thoughts on faith, books, and life in general

Category Archives: books

Review: gods at war

Gods at WarThe latest book I’ve read is gods at war by Kyle Idleman. This book is a must read! There are a lot of books out there that aren’t worth the time, but this one definitely is.

While I had not read his previous book not a fan, I was intrigued and decided to check this one out. Boy am I glad I did.

The premise of the book is that all of us as humans are made to worship. The trouble is that we tend to worship things other than God. Idleman points the spotlight on the issue of idolatry in our world today, and deals with several of the gods that compete for our hearts and attentions.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that it was not repetitive. The material is fresh from start to finish. He does a great job of explaining what modern-day idol worship looks like and how to combat an array of popular idols.

Each section of the book deals with different areas of life where people are drawn to worship—areas like: pleasure, power, and love. For each of these, there are more specific foci and great explanations and examples. There are stories from the author’s life, as well as the lives of other, sometimes well-known, Christians who have dealt with these issues and idols.

The book is engaging and a quick read. I highly recommend this one. This is the best book I’ve read this year.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I review for BookSneeze®

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Seek Wisdom

Each week, I share a weekly spiritual thought with my team. This week we talked about seeking wisdom.

This was a continuation of the thought I shared last week about forgiveness. Both are part of the 7 Decisions for Success from The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews.

“Knowing that wisdom waits to be gathered, I will actively search her out.”

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Book Review: Dirty God

Johnnie Moore’s Dirty God had a lot of potential, but didn’t seem to quite live up to what I had expected. I agree with the core message of the book, that grace is for everyone, and Jesus is God who gets His hands dirty and comes down to a human level in order to bring us into a relationship with Him.

Despite my respect for Johnnie Moore and the work he’s doing at my alma mater, Liberty University, I was really pretty disappointed by this book.
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Forgiveness

This week I shared with my team about Forgiveness.

I also made a book recommendation. I recommended The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews.

I’ve enjoyed his books and this was the first of his that I read. Andy Andrews has a powerful personal story – one of tragedy and hardship. His parents both died when he was a young adult, and he ended up homeless and living under a pier in Orange Beach, Alabama. He began reading about the lives of great men and women and learned from their example, how to live a life of success. Now, years later he is a bestselling author and successful speaker.

One of the Seven Decisions that he discusses is what he calls “the compassionate decision.” This is the decision that says, “I will greet the day with a forgiving spirit.”
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My Review of Grace

Grace Cover Final B1I just finished Max Lucado’s newest book, Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine. Once I picked it up, it was a really quick read.

Max Lucado is a master storyteller, and uses a nearly endless arsenal of anecdotes to great effect as he shares the greatness of God’s grace. I’ve been a big fan of Lucado’s work for many years, and if you haven’t read any of his previous works, I highly recommend them. While his works are not always deep academic or theological tomes (and I overlooked them for that reason in my seminary days), they have great devotional value and are great for application. It doesn’t have to be academic to be meaningful.

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A Picture of Sin as Rebellion

Grace Cover Final B1
I’ve recently begun reading Max Lucado’s newest book Grace: More Than We Deserve – Better Than We Imagine. I got it as part of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program. (My review is forthcoming).

It’s often been said that Sin is rebellion against God, but Lucado does a great job at illustrating that point from the teachings of Jesus.

Read Jesus’ one-paragraph definition of sin.

A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten servants and gave them ten pounds of silver to invest for him while he was gone. But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say they did not want him to be their king. (Luke 19:12-14 NLT)

To sin is to state, “God, I do not want you to be my king. I prefer a kingless kingdom. Or, better still, a kingdom in which I am king.”

Imagine if someone did the same to you. Suppose you go on a long trip and leave your residence under the supervision of a caretaker. You trust him will all your possessions. While you’re away, he moves into your house and claims it for his own…He claims your authority and send you this message: “Don’t come back. I’m running things now.”

It’s a shocking picture, but Lucado is right in using this picture to illustrate how God sees sin. You and I think it’s minor, but to God, who is creator and rightful ruler–it’s open rebellion.

This Year Find Your Purpose

There are a lot of things that you should have on your “To Do” list this year, but if you haven’t already, you should put finding your purpose at the top of that list.

John Maxwell says:

There are two great days in our lives – the day we are born and the day we discover why.

What are you made for?
Dan Miller (author of 48 Days to the Work You Love) offers this:

Here’s an uncomplicated process for knowing your purpose:
What is the thing that I do that convinces me I’m making a difference?
Knowing your purpose doesn’t have to be big or original – it just has to be ‘you.’

In trying to find your life purpose, try asking questions like:
– What activities/work do I enjoy?
– If money were no object, what would I spend my time doing?
– What kind of person do I want to be?
– What do I want to excel at?
– What can I be really good at if I apply myself?

Michael Hyatt suggests picturing your own funeral (let’s overlook any morbid thoughts to get to the key question): How do you want people to remember you?

dilbert_purpose

Set Better Goals This Year

''Achieve' ad at Al Corniche, Doha, Qatar' photo (c) 2012, Debbie Tingzon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/It’s the New Year, and there’s a lot of talk about Goals or Resolutions.

Have you made any resolutions this year?

It’s good to plan things you want to do, but I want to encourage you to try something else that I’ve done for a few years now. Focus on character traits that you want to cultivate.

One of Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.” This is crucial for planning your life. Who do you want to be?

Do you struggle with laziness, and wish you were more of a hard worker? Make set a course toward that character trait by making goals consistent with working diligently.

Decide what kind of person you want to be and set goals that will help you build those character traits. At the same time, set goals to root out those activities or habits that take you away from the person you want to be.

Andy Stanley, author of The Principle of the Path says this is the Path Principle:
It is our decisions, not our desires that determine our destination in life.

For more on setting good goals check out this article from business and finance guru Dave Ramsey.

This year, don’t just resolve to do. Become the person you want to be.

What character traits do you want to cultivate this year?

Tim Challies’ Next Story

I just finished reading The Next Story by Tim Challies. I really enjoyed it! I believe this book is a must-read for pastors, and anyone who wants to better understand and confront the new realities and theological issues of the technological world in which we live.

Author/pastor/blogger Tim Challies does a great job at highlighting some of the new issues and realities that confront us as users of technology today. This is a topic that needs to be discussed, and Challies may be one of the first to take this issue on and discuss it in depth.

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Fresh review: Quitter


Jon Acuff’s new book Quitter is definitely one of the best books I’ve picked up this year. Acuff starts with the question, “Have you ever felt caught between the tension of a day job and a dream job? That gap between what you have to do and what you’d love to do?”

Sharing from his own personal journey from cubicle-dwelling-advertising wannabe to bestselling author,blogger, and communicator, he the reveals lessons he learned. These lessons helped him and will help us make the transition from doing what pays the bills, to doing what we love.

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