The One Day Way, by Chantel Hobbs

200+ pounds lost

Chantel Hobbs weighed over 300 pounds.  She began her struggle with weight, dieting, failing and self-loathing at eleven years old.  Then one day she chucked dieting.  She stopped making excuses and began her journey to thin.  In the One-Day Way, Chantel shares her success story, the successes of some of her friends, and the necessary strategies anyone can use to become healthy and fit.

This book impressed me more than I can say.  As you read on, understand that I am committing myself to The One-Day Way.  I have already begun.  Won’t you join me?

Chantel presents The One-Day Way in four parts.  In the first part, she teaches us to level the way we measure success.  In order to take charge of our bodies, we need to first take charge of our minds.  No more excuses.

Because changing your life is difficult and thinking differently about your life is a challenge, you will be tempted to give up.  You’ll start thinking that nothing has really changed, and you’ll wonder why you’re trying to kid yourself.  It will be much easier just to go back to your old habits. That is why you need to understand how your thinking always controls your actions.  Both negative and positive thoughts have the ability to dictate your actions at any given moment.  What gives you the upper hand is that you have a choice: will you make sure that positive thoughts control your mind, or will you give in to negative thoughts? The ability to choose your thoughts and actions gives you tremendous power.  You can decide which thoughts will rule your actions, and those decision will dictate whether you succeed or repeat a past failure.

In part two, Chantal explains how to lay your own personal foundation for success.  First you decide what it is you want to build on the foundation.  Knowing what you plan to build, provides you with a blue print you build your success upon — one meal at a time, one day at a time.  Chantel puts forth a better way to look at our failures — we will have them, but failing to met a goal, and quitting are two different things. Shake the failure off, reassess and move on.  Chantel also discusses acknowledging and celebrating our successes, without allowing them to set us up for later failures.

In part three, Chantel leads us to the realization of inner resources many of us may never have known to tap.  Even as she motivates us to build our dream, she doesn’t pull her punches.  The weight will not come off as easily as it went on, but with persistence it will come off — and you will begin to feel better about who you are.   This is the section where most life change gurus try to sell you all of their specialized workout equipment.  Not Chantel.  She does tell us what equipment we need, but she doesn’t name brands, websites or points of purchase.

In part four, Chantel outlines the  necessary steps to maintaining our weight — but she is no longer talking about struggle, because by the time we reach level four, living healthy will have become a habit.  Chantel asks us to sign a covenant with ourselves to commit to the change.  She also asks us to bring our own personal faith into the mix.  Trying our success to our faith provides us with a sure source of strength most of us overlook.

I would like to offer my thanks to the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a free copy of this book for my review.  I fully plan to allow what I have gained from reading this book to influence the rest of my life.

Primal, by Mark Batterson

Primal: A Quest For the Lost Soul of Christianity, by Mark Batterson is a paradigm shifting book. If you want to love God with a passion, you need this book on your 2010 reading list. In fact, I will go so far as to say you need to put it at the top of your 2010 reading list.

The book came to me in the mail from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. They sent it to me free of charge with the expectation that I would read it and blog about it. It arrived a week late and I opened the book with every intention of rushing through and fulfilling my obligation — but rushing wasn’t an option. Almost immediately I realized that in Primal, I had the answers I have been searching for throughout most of my faith journey.

We can all recite the Great Commandment my heart, but do we all live it? Do we even know what living the Great Commandment should look like? I’ve carried that question around inside me for years. How do I love the Lord with all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my soul, and with all of my strength? It is too big. It is too much. It is too consuming.

Batterson presents Primal in four Parts: The Heart of Christianity; The Soul of Christianity; The Mind of Christianity; and The Strength of Christianity. In each part he explains how he strengthened his walk with Christ in these areas, and how we can, too. Further, he explains that he believes the reason we’ve strayed from primal worship is that we’ve put too much emphasis on the Great Commission — go therefore and preach the gospel through out all the nations — and unfortunately set aside the Great Commandment in the process. Batterson puts it this way:

… we’re not great at the Great Commandment. In too many instances, we’re not even good at it. We can’t afford to be merely good at the Great Commandment. We’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment. Because really, if you think about it, the church can’t be effective at the Great Commission without understanding and living the Great Commandment. You can’t have one without the other. My love for Christ will push me to tell someone about the grace that I’ve received which will in turn open my eyes even more to the depth of my Father’s love for me as I see someone else experience heaven crashing into earth for the first time.

Batterson claims that in recapturing our primal passion for Christ the fruits of our spirits will lead us to automatically fulfill the Great Commission and it will not be a struggle to do so.  I know it sounds to simple to be true, but take a look at the accomplishments of the church Batterson leads.  Their passion for God is apparent in their ministries.

Despite being full of weighty issues, Primal was a relatively easy read.  I stopped to ponder often, but I wasn’t struggling with the words or concepts.  I was pondering what my next step would be in response to the insights I have gained.  This is a life changing book.  Patterson will take you back to the passion you felt on the first day you believed, and then he will show you how to live there.

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Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. In 2008 National Community Church was recognized by by Outreach Magazine as one of the Most Innovative and Most Influential Churches in America. The NCC congregation is comprised primarily of single 20-somethings and their primary mission is sharing the gospel with emerging generations.

I offer my sincere thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for offering me a free copy of this book to review.

40 Loaves, by C. D. Baker

A book review & a giveaway.

I once invited someone to my church who promptly responded that she had only ever been to one church in her entire life. I was rather surprised since she had lived in many different parts of the world. I asked her to tell me about her church. She shrugged and told me the name of her church. I asked her what made it so special to her. She said that was where she was baptized. I asked why she had chosen that church for her baptism. She responded, “Because my father was baptized there.”

Upon further questioning, I found that my friend knew nothing about the tenants of her faith. She knew that she was a Christian because her parents raised her to be a Christian, had her baptized, and took her to church every Christmas and Easter. Once those would have been my answers, too.

Thankfully, God shook me out of that comfortable place and made me stretch and grow.  Stretching and growing always involves struggle of one sort or another.   If you are ready to stretch and grow, here is a book that will help you in the struggle.

40 Loaves
Breaking Bread With Our Father Each Day

WaterBrook Press

This book is advertised as daily readings to renew a hungry spirit and covers 40 of the toughest questions believers wrestle over.  Since the questions are not easy, they do not come with pat answers.  They do come with scripture, a real-life vignette, and questions to help you formulate your own thoughts and ideas.

With these 40 readings, C.D. Baker tackles the BIG question believers ask — is it okay to question our faith?  Baker asserts that not only is it okay for believers to question their faith, but it is imperative they do so in order for their faith to become real.  Unsupported beliefs are illusions and habit.  They provide no substance or comfort in times of storm and doubt.

For me this book was not a simple matter of 40 readings for 40 days.  Some of the issues I had already grappled with, so I did not need to visit them long.  Other issues I lingered over for several days.  A couple of the issues I am still revisiting.  I almost wish that each question in this book was covered with a bit more depth and came with instructions for Bible reading and journaling.  I think this would make an excellent group study book — one week for each lesson.   Most of the points are too big to tackle in the standard “daily devotions” format.

C. David Baker resides on Grace Haven Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and received his Master’s degree in practical theology from the University of  St. Andrews, Scotland.  Baker claims that the failures and deep valleys of his own life have lead him to God’s unquenchable well of Grace and blessed him with the ability to write as he does.

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This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Further, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group has provided me with an additional copy of the book to give away to one of my lucky readers.  If you wish to be considered for a copy of this book please leave a comment specifically telling me to include you in the drawing.

Rules:

  1. The contest comments will be compiled in the order they are received and the winner will be chosen by the Random Number generator.
  2. To be included in the drawing all comments must contain the words “enter me in the drawing”.
  3. The contest will end at 6:00 p.m. HST, December 16th, 2009
  4. The winner will be posted on this blog on December 17th, 2009.
  5. I don’t believe that God recognizes borders and nationalities so neither do I. Everyone is welcome to enter.