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Review: The Drop Box by Ivie and Kluck

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The Drop Box: How 500 Abandoned Babies, an Act of Compassion, and a Movie Changed My Life Forever by Brian Ivie My rating: 3 of 5 stars The first half is the sort of navel gazing self-importance dressed up in Christian language that you'd kind of expect from a 20 something writing a memoir. The back end, especially the reflections on the ministry in South Korea and the pastor there who spearheaded it, his relationship with the gospel, and the need for grace was all quite good. View all my reviews

Review: Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by Hughes

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  Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by R. Kent Hughes My rating: 5 of 5 stars Good, wise, helpful, sane. The biblical measures of success point us back to faithfulness, rather than looking at business metrics (budgets, butts, buildings, etc.). View all my reviews

Missionary Mindset

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A House Built

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                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash                                                                          An Exegetical Paper on 2 Samuel 3:1-6 Introduction The first four chapters of 2 Samuel prepare the way for the introduction of David as king over the whole nation of Israel, an event which takes place in chapter five. At this point, the arc of David’s life is still very much ascendant. The ascendancy of David is very much driven home by the opening verses of chapter three, which are the chiastic center of chapters one through four. However, while David’s ascendance is the keynote, there are literary hints that the foundation may have its cracks. Text: 2 Samuel 3:1-6 (ESV) There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. 

Glory Slain

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Photo by Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash Glory Slain An Exegetical Paper on 2 Samuel 1:17-27 Introduction In the opening chapters of 2 Samuel, we meet David in an awkward place. Having been anointed king in 1 Samuel 16, and then defeating Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and becoming a great man in King Saul’s house, the tables had turned and he spent the next several years on the run (1 Samuel 19-31). But at the end of the 1st installment of the Samuel narratives, we find out that Saul has died (1 Samuel 31:6). Suddenly relieved of the burden of being hunted, we might expect to find David rejoicing. Instead, David, upon receiving news of Saul’s death, rends his garments. The structural center of 2 Samuel 1:1-16 is David mourning. In the words of commentator Dale Ralph Davis, “[the narrator] thinks the most important item in his story is the grief and wailing of David and his men over Israel - her fallen leaders and troops.” So far from finding this to be good news is David, he has the Amalekite who

Review: A Man Called Ove by Backman

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  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Simply stunning. The character development, use of language, and the plot all left me wanting the book to keep going. There were a few details that annoyed me as a reader, some relational dynamics toward the end that felt out of place and forced, but ultimately they're not enough to detract from what a master class in fiction Backman puts on in A Man Called Ove. View all my reviews

Review: The 5 Masculine Instincts by Chase Replogle

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  The 5 Masculine Instincts: A Guide to Becoming a Better Man by Chase Replogle My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a really good book. Chapter four alone is worth the price of the book. I appreciated Replogle's discussion of manhood through the lens of these 5 instincts, with the understanding that the instincts simply are . The question is not whether these instincts exist in our lives, the question is: will we master them, or be mastered by them? Replogle points us - through a skillful mix of question asking, and drawing from narratives both inside and outside of Scripture - to the source of true character and manhood: Jesus, the man who died for us. As I said, the chapter on Adventure, focusing on Samson, was particularly good. The only chapter I struggled with was the Ambition chapter, as I'm not sure that shoe quite fits on Moses' foot. Lots of what Replogle says in that chapter about ambition is really helpful, I just kept getting hung up on the use of Moses which doe