Category Archives: Books

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.

24:15 Publications Announces a New Title: “Building a Hero”

At the end of almost every post we send out, we have a banner for our publishing company, 24:15 Publications. These are self-published books that we are glad to be able to produce for you to enjoy, and we do our best to provide them at a very low cost.

Today, we are pleased to announce our newest book, Building a Hero. In reality, this is also our oldest book.

Huh?

You see, many years ago, I wrote this book about Nehemiah and printed it for my own use. Since starting 24:15 Publications, I have wanted to bring this title under the “house” of our new company, and now we have done that. With this new book, we now have 5 titles available from 24:15 Publications.

Building a Hero Cover 2

Building a Hero is a 13 chapter book about Nehemiah, taking one of the Biblical chapters per chapter of study. The book is designed for Junior and Senior High, and each chapter ends with questions for personal reflection and/or class discussion.

We are proud to be able to offer this book for only $6.50 per copy, but if you need to order in bulk for classroom use, contact us and we will help you out with the price.

To get to know more about this book, or to order a copy for yourself, click here.

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Book Review: The Language of Blessing

Joseph Cavanaugh’s first book is a very encouraging look at how we speak into the lives of people we know and how that changes them. What is most interesting about this book to me, however, is that Cavanaugh spends quite a lot of time reminding us to speak into our own lives, not just the lives of other people. If we are not speaking blessing into our own lives, we will not be sharing blessings with others.

The book is highly personal, which I like. The author is able to share times when he has both struggled to overcome negativity and when he has seen how speaking blessing into others has made a clear change. Throughout the volume, Cavanaugh (who admits to having a love of growing plants) uses the imagery of gardening. The consistent usage of this imagery adds to the overall feel and makes the book an easy read.

If I were to pick one drawback, it would be that the book also mentions a particular work that the author is involved in, StrengthFinders, over and over. At times, it almost feels like a sales pitch. While I understand him mentioning the work, it becomes a labor to read about it so often in a fairly short book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and was challenged in my thinking to work within my strengths and to try to see the strengths of others, then to build up people in their strengths. I think this would be a good book for parents, employers, or even elders.

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Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for this review. I am not required to give a positive review.

Inside My Mentoring Group

In late 2011, I posted that one of my goals for 2012 was to start a mentoring group for young adult guys. I had a couple of guys who were somewhat interested, but it did not materialize.

6963288842_4c241ed9d3_zBut I really wanted to do this, so I changed how I approached asking guys to join in. Instead of a wide-open, anybody can apply approach, I started keeping a list of guys I specifically wanted to be part of the program. They are young men in whom I see a great deal of potential. I have a true passion for seeing younger men grow and mature into strong leaders for God and for family.

It has worked. Four accepted the invitation to be in the program in 2013, and a couple others are looking at 2014 already.

What Do We Do?

These guys agree to a very strict code of participation each month. They must do three P’s each time we meet: be prompt, be prepared, and participate. I provide them with a discussion outline for the next meeting, and they must have it ready to go. Honestly, I am blown away by how frank and open the discussions have been.

Part of that openness comes from one very important aspect of the group: what happens in the group stays in the group. (By the way, that is why I will not talk of any specific discussions in this post.)

Each month, the members (including me) are required to do the following:

  • Read one assigned book and make notes on the sheet I give out for that book. While reading provides us with the background for our discussion, this is far more than a book club. It is highly personal. We make life applications and challenge each other to be better men, workers, husbands, fathers, and students. [The list of books is at the end of this post.]
  • Memorize two assigned Scriptures. The passages from the Bible are fitting for the subject for that month. Sometimes it is only a verse or two, while other times it is several.
  • Participate in the discussion.

Besides these monthly requirements, each participant is required to do the following:

  • Attend Spiritual Renewal Weekend (part of Polishing the Pulpit) in August. While there, they must keep notes from at least 3 of the sessions they attend and turn them in at our September meeting.
  • Meet one-on-one with me for a meal twice during the year. We recently amended this slightly, so that those who are married could meet “two-on-two” with Leah and me if they wanted. These are simply informal meals to get to know one another a little better and to help with specific struggles or decisions.
  • Agree to lead a mentoring group in the future. It does not  have to follow this same way of doing things, but the participant has signed a form saying he will do this in the future at least one time.

We meet each month for a meal at our house, then we have our meeting, which usually last 90 minutes. The time truly flies, because there is so much discussion, and we are truly having fun.

I really can’t express to you how much this group is helping me, and I know it is helping the guys who are involved. If you would like more information about this program, contact me with any questions you may have.

Resources

Books we are using in this year’s program (all links except January’s book are to Amazon print version of the books. For this program, I do not recommend Kindle, because you will want to make a lot of notes):

Spiritual Renewal Weekend

I also highly recommend the book Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell if you are thinking of leading a group like this one. It is a quick, but excellent read. You can get it for $11.35  here.

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on this sort of program? What other recommendations do you have? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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Photo credit: Ryan Li on Creative Commons

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Tech Tip: Remembering Kindle Highlights

I love my Kindle! I read from it almost daily, and probably read about 50%-60% of the books I read from cover-to-cover on it.

As I read, though, I like to make some highlights. However…what do you do with those highlights once they are done?

I have struggled with that for quite some time, but here is what I am starting to do now. I hope it is helpful to you if you have struggled with this, too.

To purchase a Kindle for just $69, click on the picture. Just $69!!!

To purchase a Kindle for just $69, click on the picture. Just $69!!!

STEP ONE: Finding the Highlights

Amazon does a great thing in putting all your Kindle highlights in one place, but they make it a bit difficult to find. The best thing to do is to bookmark the page with your highlights, but if you forget to do that, here’s how you can find them.

1. Sign into Amazon

2. Then, in the url bar, type in kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights

Once you are on that page, Amazon shows all your highlights from all your books, starting with the newest ones.

STEP TWO: Archive on a blog

This is an extra step, I know, but it is one that I am doing, because I want to share these resources with others.

So, I created a Tumblr blog called “Resources from Adam Faughn.” Click here to see it, or here to follow it by rss.

If you do this, people who follow that blog will get to see all your favorite quotes. It’s a great way to share resources! Feel free to follow mine.

STEP THREE: Send to Evernote

If you are not using Evernote, you need to! It is the best way I have found to keep up with all the zillions of different things you find, but you don’t know where to keep. I recently crossed over 3000 notes in my account, and I use it to store all sorts of illustrations, sermon ideas, quotes, maps, pictures…and on and on.

I plan to clip my Tumblr posts into Evernote, and since the posts have tags (e.g. family, preaching, Matthew, etc.), they are then already tagged and searchable.

NOTE: One thing that I need to tell you is that I don’t make a ton of highlights. I’m not sure this system would work if you are a very heavy highlighter. But it’s a way I’m trying, and I think it will work.

QUESTION: How to keep up with your Kindle highlights and notes?

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Photo credit: bfishadow on Creative Commons

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Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting

Subtitled The Crash Course For Mastering Your Life Right Now, this book is a quick read that will cause you to think. In fact, since the book is about making the best use of your time, the writer, Robert D. Smith, wanted the book to be quite brief. The volume can be read quite thoughtfully in less than two hours.

Coming to the realization that he had lived nearly 20,000 days, Smith went on a retreat by himself and tried to think about, if he had 20,000 days left, what would he most like to accomplish? In reality, answering that question did not take long, because he knew what his most valued things in life were. The trick, of course, was just to do those things!

This book asks many challenging questions, but the overall thrust of this volume is very simple. It is to live to your priorities each day. Each chapter addresses that singular theme from a different angle. You may think, then, that this is a boring or very repetitive book, but that is not true. Due not only to its brevity, but also to the different angles of each chapter, you will find yourself enriched and challenged.

Of course, by making us think of days instead of years, this book really gives a strong challenge, but it is a Biblical challenge (cf. Psalm 90:12). I highly recommend this book.

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To order a Kindle copy for just $8.54, click here.

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I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze.com in exchange for this review. The review does not have to be positive, but only must reflect my opinion on the volume.