Category Archives: Books

“How to Build a Home (Not a House)”

Recently, I preached a sermon on the home. It was a simple sermon that tried to give the basics of how to raise children, but I spoke very little about parenting. Instead, the goal was to provide the larger view of what God has in mind for our homes, and by providing that larger picture, children will naturally receive what the Lord has in mind for them.

The sermon was well-received and I had some other thoughts I wanted to include, and some things I wish I had said more clearly. So, I have converted all that into a short eBook that we are pleased to announce is now available.

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The eBook is called How to Build a Home (Not a House) and it is launching the new “1 Hour with God” eBook series from 24:15 Publications, our publishing company. The whole eBook is designed to be read in just a few minutes and to give the larger view of what God both demands and desires for your home.

Due to the brevity of the book (only about 27 print pages), we are offering it for just 99 cents, and that price will be “the” price for as long as Amazon allows eBooks to be sold that inexpensively.

However, if you would like to order a digital copy to be printed and distributed to a church setting (class, devotional, etc.), please contact us. We will make the book available as a pdf to you for a discount, based on how many copies you will be distributing.

If you would like to purchase the eBook for your Kindle, you can download it for just 99 cents here, and have it on your device and completely read in less than an hour. We hope you enjoy it, and we hope you’ll spread the word about this simple resource.

Book Review: “Raising Boys by Design”

What a delightful read!

Two authors, Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian, combine to write this very insightful volume about being a parent to boys. The two authors both come from a religious background, but bring different areas of expertise, as one knows brain science and the other is a “pastor.” The work blends their two worlds and provides great helpful material for those of us who are trying to raise boys.

Obviously, each boy is an individual and not every word on every page will apply to every boy. The authors readily admit that, but also point out that research indicates that about 80% of boys fit the “usual” mold in large degree.

To me, the most helpful part of the book were the sections dealing with brain types and formation. The research is there, but is presented in a very readable format. The way a boy’s brain develops truly does make a difference in how parents need to interact with him, virtually from infancy.

The only negative takeaway is that the book spoke in very general terms at times, trying to cover boys of all ages. That is the point of the book, but at times, I found it frustrating.

Overall, though, this is a book for parents of any boy, and I would also recommend it to those who counsel parents from time-to-time.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Raising Boys by Design from “Blogging for Books” in exchange for reading and reviewing the volume. I was not required to give a positive review.

Book Review: The 5 Money Personalities

This fairly short book is a helpful read for couples who are struggling in the area of finances. The idea behind this book is somewhat similar (as the title implies) to Gary Chapman’s famous The 5 Love Languages, but the two books are not overlapping in their content.

Scott and Bethany Palmer share information through this book that speaks to how people view money. For example, some are naturally savers, while others are naturally spenders. While most of us know that, the book goes much deeper, showing that some personality traits we might not think of (being spontaneous, for example) are exemplified in how money is handled, and often lead to conflict. As you might expect, most of the time, we marry someone who is the opposite of our own money personality.

One of the helpful things about this book is that the format moves beyond just the information about the different personalities, and moves into some ways to best communicate and utilize the strengths of each personality to help your marriage. While one might think that saving is the best way to live, if he or she is willing to communicate, that person will find a much better balance in life when they learn to spend or to give more.

Overall, this book is very easy to read. Considering the subject matter, I find that helpful, because dealing with money is hard enough as it is. This book might be helpful to a couple considering marriage, and could be used as a premarital counseling resource. If a couple is struggling financially, it may not be a “must-read,” but it would certainly be a helpful book to consider.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook copy of The 5 Money Personalities from BookSneeze.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review.
I review for BookSneeze®

The “I” in Sin is Only 99 Cents This Weekend…Only!

Our most popular-selling book from our publishing company, 24:15 Publications, is a book designed for teenagers, but that Christians of all ages seem to be enjoying. It comes from the Old Testament book of Hosea and is called The “I” in Sin.

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This 13-chapter book takes word pictures found in the book of Hosea that are used to describe sin and makes application of each one in an easy-to-read format. The goal of the book is simply to open our eyes to what sin really is and what it does to us. That is a message that is needed by everyone.

This weekend, we are pleased to announce that the book is now available on Kindle. To celebrate, we are offering book for only 99 cents! However, we are only making this offer through the weekend. On Monday, the price will come up.

The reason we are doing this is simple: we want this material in as many hands as possible. At such a low price point, you can imagine that our profit is very low. Our goal is simply to take advantage of the ability to offer materials on Kindle at such a low price and to spread the word that way.

So we are asking for your help! You can help us by doing two things.

First, and most obviously, will you buy the book? Come on, it’s less than a buck! You can do that here.

Second, will you tell at least 10 people about it? Use Facebook, Twitter, email, or whatever, but tell 10 people about this 99 cent offer.

We are setting a lofty goal (for us). We would like to see 500 copies of The “I” in Sin downloaded this weekend! We can do it, if you will help us by spreading the word. Let’s just see if we can get to 500. Will you help?

We hope you get the book and enjoy it, and we hope you’ll pass the word along about this wonderful offer. Thanks!

Note: If you do not have a Kindle device, you can still download the book to a free Kindle reader on your computer, phone, or tablet. Find out how to do that here.

Seven Good Things Week : The Prodigal Slave by Bradley Cobb

Welcome to “Seven Good Things Week,” where we are encouraging you with some works you will want to check out. Today we share a short book and eBook that are worth your time to check out.

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Bradley Cobb preaches in McCloud, Oklahoma, and asked me a few months ago if I would be willing to take a look at the eBook version of his commentary on Philemon, The Prodigal Slave. I have long been intrigued by this very short book of the Bible, so I was thrilled to get a copy. Having read it, I think you will want to check it out, as well.

Cobb offers this book is both paperback and eBook formats. You may wish to have the paperback, but this is one of the few times where I actually recommend the eBook version. The reason is simple: Philemon is such a short book in Scripture that the commentary is equally short, covering just 90 pages. It is easy to find the section you wish to study and read Cobb’s thoughts on that verse or passage.

Do not let the brevity of this book fool you, however. Utilizing the King James Version, The Prodigal Slave simply walks the reader through the background, then the text of this short but powerful book in Scripture. After the commentary section, there are some topical discussions of difficulties in the book, and the book ends with a few sermon outlines for preachers to consider. While short, this book will help you in your understanding of Philemon and give you much to think about.

Cobb is fair with the text and the writing style is very easy to follow for any Christian wanting to know more about Philemon. While it is obvious that the author has done his homework, the reader can easily read through this book with great understanding.

Besides the fact the book is helpful, it is also very inexpensive. You will be able to get a copy on your Kindle for just $2.99! If you prefer to order the paperback version, it is listed for just $8.99 on Amazon.

I am grateful to Cobb for writing this book, and I’m thankful he let me have a copy so I could not only learn from it, but share this Good Thing with you!

Tomorrow, we will share a wonderful resource for every teenager where you worship!

24:15 Publications Announces New Title : “Consider Jesus!”

We are thrilled to let you know that our latest book is now available from our publishing company, 24:15 Publications.

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The book is entitled Consider Jesus! and it is a study of the book of Hebrews. It is the second volume of our “Commenotionals” series, which contains commentaries that are on a devotional level (or, as we like to say, “commentaries for the rest of us”). This study of Hebrews follows the release of The Epistle of Joy, which discussed Philippians.

In my Wednesday night class, I have been teaching Hebrews and writing this book parallel to my teaching. Each week, I would grow more and more excited, as the wonderful message of Hebrews continued to make me think about how much better we have it under the New Testament. While there are many Old Testament references, allusions, and quotations in the book of Hebrews, there is no way to miss the overall theme that Christ is the One deserving of all our praise and attention today.

Drawing from the writings of Neil Lightfoot, Martel Pace, Robert Milligan, James Thompson, John Owen, William Barclay, G. Campbell Morgan, Burton Coffman, Dan Winkler, and others, this book simply tries to share the “best” of my research into Hebrews in a way that any Christian can pick up and follow. These other writers are far more qualified than I, but I pray this volume helps you to have their best thoughts in one volume.

The book is 320 pages in length and is only available in paperback. (We do not provide eBook versions of our Commenotionals, since they are heavily footnoted.) It is so new that it is not even available through Amazon yet, however, you can still purchase the book from the printer.

We are also proud that we have kept the price quite low for a book of this length. For the entire 320 page book, our price is only $10, plus any shipping charges. To order your copy from CreateSpace (the printer) for just $10, click here. When the book is available on Amazon, we will let you know.

To learn more about all our books from 24:15 Publications, click here.

We hope you will purchase this book, but more than that, we pray it is of great benefit to you as you seek to understand this wonderful New Testament book. May it help you as you Consider Jesus!

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Cover design for the book by Shane Williams

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Book Review: “For Men Only”

The subtitle of this book includes the word “Straightforward,” and the volume lives up to that word! Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn write a guide for men to how women really think, and why it can be so difficult at times to get along. This book is the follow up to For Women Only, where the same tactic was taken for wives to try to understand husbands.

One of the interesting facets of this book is that the couple interviewed hundreds of wives about various subjects, from communication to sex to trust, and the results are printed throughout the book as a visual reminder. The results to certain questions may not totally surprise the reader, but the “landslide”  numbers on some may interest him.

The most helpful chapter to me was chapter 2, “The Deal is Never Closed.” In this chapter, results showed that women need to be told and shown over and over again that a husband is truly still willing to say “I do.” There is a certain fear, no matter how faithful a husband might be, that a marriage is strained or even distressed. A husband is wise to not only say “I love you,” but to find ways that are appropriate to show his devotion, especially during particularly stressful or emotional times.

Overall, this is a very helpful book and a very quick read. It is good for any husband, but I think it would be especially useful in premarital counseling.

NOTE: I received a free copy of For Men Only from Waterbook/Multonah’s “Blogging for Books” program in exchange for a fair review. I did not have to provide a positive review.

Why We Retooled One Podcast Before It Even Got Off the Ground … and Started Another One

When we relaunched our blog in early June, one of the big parts of the launch was a family podcast. A ton of work went into getting some things lined up for the launch of The Faughn Family Podcast, which was scheduled to begin on August 1.

Well, “the best laid plans of mice and men…”

The Faughn Family Podcast is still going to launch on August 1, but we have done a lot of thinking in the last couple of weeks, and have decided to retool the show a bit, even before it starts. Originally, we were going to produce a weekly program, and had already recorded four of the episodes. However, it became more than clear that a weekly show was going to do two things: (1) take too much of our time from other important things, and (2) cause us to go all over the map with topics.

So, today, we are sharing our new plan, and we are really excited about it!

The Faughn Family Podcast…Retooled

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The Faughn Family Podcast is going to go to a monthly format, and we may increase the frequency later. However, this monthly format is going to mean that Leah and I can co-host every episode together, which is way cool. It also means that we can keep the podcast focused on family-based subjects, instead of being more “scattered” with topics. We are really excited about being able to say “this is a family podcast” and it be true in every sense!

In addition, we are going to make the theme of each month’s podcast the same as the theme of that month’s email newsletter. The podcast (after the introductory episode on August 1) will be released on the second Thursday of each month, and the email newsletter will move to the fourth Thursday of each month. Leah has graciously agreed to do more writing for the newsletter, which I think you will enjoy, too.

(Oh, and if you don’t already receive our free monthly email newsletter, you need to! Every subscriber gets a free eBook called Understanding the Love Chapter! We are well over 250 subscribers, and we’d love to have you join the group! Sign up for free here.)

We think this change, even though it is late in the game, is for the better. It helps keep the podcast on a singular focus, and it helps with our time. We hope you are excited about it, and we are thrilled to finally be getting the program off the ground! We will see you on August 1 with an introductory show, then on the 8th with our first “theme” program. For more information about the podcast, go here.

However, one of my goals with the podcast was to talk about books. Now that books don’t really fit neatly into the overall concept of The Faughn Family Podcast, we are adding…

The 10 Minute Book Review Podcast

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That’s right, we are adding a second program, but it is going to be short and more infrequent. The concept is quite simple: each time I finish reading a book, I will record a short audio review of no more than 10 minutes. The program will be available for free, of course. I have stopped writing book reviews on the blog, unless I have to write one in order to get a free copy of the book. I like reviewing books, however, and I thought this would be a simple solution.

One thing to keep in mind is that we will not be promoting this podcast very much at all through this blog (in fact, it’s not even part of this blog!), so we will need your help in spreading the word.

To learn more, go to the 10 Minute Book Review podcast archive. Of course, it is empty right now, but it will start filling up in just a few hours. The podcast will launch later this week (maybe even later today, if I can find the time to record)!

One final note: when each of these programs is available on iTunes and/or Stitcher, we will let you know on Twitter and Facebook.

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on these changes? Are you excited about the new programs?

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Book Review: Heaven Hears

In 2001, Ryan Corbin crashed through a skylight and fell around 30 feet onto a concrete floor. His life hung by a thread, but he fought valiantly. This book, penned by his mother, Lindy Boone Michaaelis, speaks of how faith has carried the family–especially  her–through this long series of trials.

978-1-4143-8324-8Personally, I wanted to read the book because Ryan is the grandson of Pat Boone, and Pat actually wrote the forward. Lindy makes it clear that Boone’s celebrity status and finances have helped in certain situations, but that faith has been the true driving force behind Ryan’s slow but remarkable recovery.

Several times, Lindy and Pat appeared on Larry King Live, since Boone and King were old friends. These appearances caused many around the world to pray for Ryan. In some ways, this book reads like a “thank you” to them for their prayers. At times, there are even letters from viewers printed at the end of chapters.

I found this book to be very raw, as Lindy is willing to admit both the peaks and the valleys of Ryan’s struggle and her own walk as his mother. While she has obviously done tremendous amounts of good, she admits certain missteps or struggles that others might not want to admit.

Overall, this book is a good read. There are some issues with taking passages out of context, but they do not detract from the overall message of hope this book provides. If you are struggling, especially as you help someone with a protracted illness or sickness, you might want to get a copy as a way to help you walk through this difficult time.

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DISCLAIMER: I was given a free copy of Heaven Hears from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to give a positive review.

Review: “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”

An updated edition of Joshua Harris’s most well-known book, this volume was one I was quite surprised to be available for free for review, so I jumped at the chance to get it.

The volume takes a look at how most people in our culture think of dating, and basically puts that mindset over against Biblical principles of wisdom and purity. Harris is very straightforward with his comparisons, but not so blunt that he does not allow the reader to think for himself.

The book talks about how we are always trying to get boys and girls to “couple up,” but how they often are not ready for such levels of intimacy–both physical and emotional–before they are married. Many young people, even in the Christian world, have been brought up thinking they have to go from one relationship to another, but Harris challenges that thinking by simply asking how that is preparing them for a lifelong marital relationship.

Further, when young people (or even young adults) are involved with another person, the attraction can almost become obsessive. We like to think of that as love, but it could be something that is not love at all. Harris is simply challenging us to think about this almost compulsive behavior when we are not married.

I found this book to be challenging, and one that I plan to keep “at the ready” not only for when my children are old enough to think about dating, but for sermons and classes about parenting and for young people, as well. Harris is open and honest about both his strengths and his weaknesses, and the book is highly readable. I very strongly recommend it.

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Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book from Water Brook / Multnomah in exchange for this review. I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for the book.