Archive for the ‘Books’ category

A review of “Apocalypse 2012”

July 21, 2010

John Claeys sent me a copy of his book “Apocalypse 2012 – the Ticking of the End Time Clock” and I’m glad he did.

When I received it, I thought perhaps it might be a book on the order of the “Left Behind” series. It’s isn’t. It’s much meatier. Don’t get me wrong. You don’t need to have a doctorate in prophecy to understand his passion and message. However, his work is well researched, sometimes innovative, thoroughly grace oriented, and dispensational in approach.

It’s not a dry theology and it’s not a fluffy, dramatized page turner either.

John’s passion shines through in his writing. He wants believers to live passionately in view of the imminent return of Jesus. In other words, don’t be caught by surprise, live in the power of urgency and anticipation.

John surprised me on page 27 with his approach to “one shall be taken and the other left.” At that point my interest in his research was peeked.  At that point I began to appreciate John’s commitment to contextual interpretation rather than regurgitating the work of authors from the past.

At another point John surprised me by presenting and defending the idea that the battle of Armageddon takes place at the Mt. of Olives. Other surprises include the emergence of the “the man of Sin” from Iraq and an interpretation of Ezekiel 39 around the return of Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, I particularly enjoyed the interpretation of the judgments in the book of Revelation as spotlights on Christ’s return.

My biggest complaint about “Apocalypse 2012” is the lack of an index of any kind. A book like this cries out for a robust index. However, there is a glossary and thorough end notes for research.

This book can be enjoyed by prophetic newbies and old hands alike. Having said that, I think it leans toward serious readers. Prophecy buffs should grab a copy and dig in.


Book Notes: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

May 4, 2010

I received John Maxwell’s new book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” to review for my blog. I read it the week before I spent a week teaching a series of classes to 135 college students. I’m naturally an extrovert so I easily fit the category of “Everyone Communicates.” However, this book changed the way I interacted with students in positive ways by teaching me to shift my focus from communicating to connecting. Communication is important. However, connecting opens the door of influence.

“Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” goes beyond communication tactics to relationship building in three distinct contexts. Each chapter ends with principles and practices that facilitate connecting with audiences, groups, and one-on-one.

Maxwell describes 5 principles for connecting and 5 practices for connecting.  The principles are easy to understand and well illustrated. As a result of reading this book, I’ve stopped sitting in a chair waiting to speak and have begun circulating through the audience getting to know people. This type of connecting opens the door for me to add value to others.

The five connecting principles are:

1. Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation
2. Connecting Is All About Others
3. Connecting Goes Beyond Words
4. Connecting Always Requires Energy
5. Connecting Is More Skill than Natural Talent

The five connecting practices are:

1. Connectors Connect on Common Ground
2. Connectors Do the Difficult Work of Keeping It Simple
3. Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys
4. Connectors Inspire People
5. Connectors Live What They Communicate

If you work with people in any capacity, you need to read “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.”

Two thumbs up from me.

Grace Freak Dan

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


December 29, 2009

Recently, someone asked about my top 10 books.  I couldn’t come up with a top 10.  But, this post is a response to that request.

Top Five Books for those who want to make a difference in this world

  1. Grace the Glorious Theme – Chafer
  2. The Seven Laws of the Learner – Wilkinson
    (specifically for anyone interested in teaching)
  3. The Leadership Challenge – Kouzes and Posner
  4. Decision Making and the Will of God – Friesen
  5. Short Story – “The Rag Man” – Walter Wangerin Jr.  (not a book)

Recent reads that changed me

  1. UnChristian – Kinnaman and Lyons
  2. Tribes – Godin
  3. The Reason for God – Keller

Not so recent reads that helped or encouraged me

  1. The Art of Biblical Narrative – Alter
    (as far as I know he’s not a believer)
  2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Lewis

Grace Freak Dan