March 8, 2013

6 Verses That Can Change Your Life by Joe Barnett

Meteorologists don't control the weather, only report it, and give precautionary recommendations when it turns nasty. Hearing the advice won't stop storms, but heeding it may save your life. 
Likewise, hearing God's advice won't stop life's storms, but heeding it will assure survival.
-from 6 Verses That Can Change Your Life by Joe Barnett

 I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Book Crash in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction books, especially the "self-help" genre. While I wouldn't necessarily dub this book as "self-help" (more like "God-help"), I admit that 6 Verses That Can Change Your Life sat on my to-read shelf for awhile as I kept choosing to read exciting fiction novels. However, once I finally picked up this book I couldn't put it down. Between the content, writing style and accessible guidance, this book is a wealth of information and encouragement for any Christian. It's ability to connect the content directly to my life made it just as exciting as any fictional story I've read in the last year.

Joe Barnett's, 6 Verses That Can Change Your Life, is a well-organized Bible based book that examines 6 verses from the Bible (both Old and New Testament) and fleshes out their applications that will lead to a more fulfilling Christian life. Each verse centers on one of six "shelters from life's storms": Trust, Assurance, Courage, Patience, Peace and Joy, each of which is broken down into 5 chapters that examine the different angles we can relate to the verse. For example, the section on Patience gives the verse and an introduction to why patience is important. The following chapters look in depth at the currency of time and the inconvenience of waiting; God's answer being worth the wait; what we're supposed to do while we're waiting on God; and how to persevere patiently in the race of life. Each section ends with a Summary of Resolutions that the reader can promise after reading and understanding the content of the verse. Finally, there are almost 100 pages of Individual Action Steps and Group Discussion Guides to help the reader transition from reading to action. 

What I love most about this book is how accessible it is. Barnett's writing style feels like he's talking to you in a friendly conversation, not at all like you're reading a dull book chastising you for your lack of trust, assurance, courage, patience, peace and joy. On the contrary, Barnett extends so much grace and love to the reader and that excited me to keep reading. Furthermore, I loved his mixture of real life stories with Bible stories relative to the content. These stories kept me interested and grounded in faith. I was encouraged by the characters in the stories and with Barnett himself - heck, he made me laugh out loud a few times while reading! Finally, I really appreciated that the central verse of each section was found dispersed amongst and at the end of each chapter that explicated it. This not only helped keep the topic focused, but also aided in my memorization of the verses. 

I can't say that there was anything I didn't like about this book. I truly did not expect it to exceed my expectations so much. I think this book is a must-read for any Christian, no matter where they are in their walk with God. I also think that this is a great book to show any non-believers interested in Christianity. While there may be some Bible content that will go over their heads, this book is so non-threatening and Christ-like, I think it's a great start for dialogue. I think anyone can appreciate the principles examined in this book, and hopefully better understand the fundamentals of Christianity in a positive light. 

Bottom Line: A must-read for any Christian! This book will give you 6 verses that will arm you against the storms of life, along with practical guidance for how to apply the principles in your life. Accessible enough even for non-Christians who want to learn more. 5/5 stars!

By the way, right now the Kindle Edition for this book is only 99 cents on Amazon!! Go buy it!!

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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