"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis

"This is not an ordinary marriage book." What Justin and Trisha Davis have given us in their book Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough is a book that is anything but ordinary; it is extraordinary. Having said that though, I thought words about this book would just flow out onto this page. However, that hasn't been the case. At the time that I received this book and started reading it, I was going through a divorce. Why read a book on marriage then? I want to learn and grow even in the midst of my current circumstance. Though it was hard to read, I wanted to read it. God has been teaching me a lot lately and He's used Justin and Trisha's story to continue to teach me. The Davis' openly and honestly invite us into their story and that's what makes this an amazing book. They call this book a "he said, she said memoir." As you read each chapter you will hear from Justin, then you will hear from Trisha, and then they will both come together and share insights on what they learned and what we can learn from them. They are open, honest, and candid about what they went through. Hearing from both Justin and Trisha gives you a complete picture of what was happening, what was said, what was not said, and how the other person was interpreting it. I wish I could say that after reading this book my marriage was saved, but I can't. What I can say is that through my own situation and struggle and by reading books like this one, God is changing me. This book and the Davis' story is just as much about God changing the person as it is about changing a marriage. They write this early on in the book, "God doesn't want to improve your marriage; he wants to transform it. God doesn't want to modify your behavior; he wants to change your heart. Extraordinary comes when you, as a husband or wife, invite God to change you." I would highly recommend that everyone, whether single, dating, engaged, or married read this book, and especially those involved in ministry. Yes this is a marriage book, but there is something in this book for everyone as we all deal with relationships on some level.
     "Ordinary is the biggest enemy of a great marriage. Ordinary is characterized by dissatisfaction, misunderstanding, and stale love. Ordinary is the birthplace of adultery. Ordinary is a place where divorce looks better than staying together. Ordinary is the subtle trap that convinces you that your marriage is as good as it will ever get. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lose vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise.
     The way to an ordinary marriage is the path of least resistance. If you want an extraordinary marriage, you will have to choose it.
     This book is a weapon designed to wage war against ordinary. It isn't about communicating better or learning what planet your spouse is from or what love language he or she speaks. Instead, this book is a transparent look into the lives of two people who have journeyed from extraordinary to ordinary to nightmarish—and back again, by God's grace. This is a book about the heart: our hearts, your heart, and the heart of every marriage."

Special thanks to Tyndale for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on Be sure to check out the Davis' ministry RefineUs. And visit for more information about this book.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll

"Who are you? What defines you? What is your identity? How you answer those questions affects every aspect of your life: personal, public, and spiritual. So it's vital to get the answer right." Mark Driscoll's latest book Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ, guides readers to answer those very questions. When I first heard about this book, I knew it was going to be a book I couldn't wait to read. The topic of identity is something I struggled with, and if I'm honest, still struggle with. A friend and mentor spent a lot of time with me in this area. I believe in this day and age identity crisis is more rampant than ever. The message is out there is that our identity and worth lies in what we do, our status in the world, how much stuff we have, what kind of car we drive, how big of a house we have, etc. Driscoll writes this, "We're continually forgetting who we are in Christ and filling that void by placing our identity in pretty much anything else." He continues by writing, "This world's fundamental problem is that we don't understand who we truly are—children of God made in his image—and instead define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus." I found myself basing my worth in what I did; the job I had, as well as the job I wanted but wasn't getting. Driscoll uses the message in the book of Ephesians as the base text for this book. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of who we are when we look to Jesus as our identity; I Am in Christ, I Am a Saint, I Am Blessed, I Am Appreciated, I Am Saved, I Am Reconciled, I Am Afflicted, I Am Heard, I Am Gifted, I Am New, I Am Forgiven, I Am Adopted, I Am Loved, I Am Rewarded, I Am Victorious.
"As Christians, we live from our identity, not for our identity. We are defined by who we are in Christ, not what we do or fail to do for Christ. Christ defines who we are by who he is and what he's done for us, in us, and through us.

Knowing Jesus and being saved by him in faith is the key to your identity and the defeat of your idolatry. It's not about you. It's all about Jesus."
What a great reminder! IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS!

Currently, Mark Driscoll's church, Mars Hill, is doing a sermon series based off the book; Ephesians: Who Do You Think You Are?. You can check those out here.

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on