Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Book from Walt Mueller!

99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers: The Truth on Raising Teensagers From Parents Who Have Been There

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you need all the help you can get. How do you help your children make wise choices? How do you give your teenagers freedom to make their own choices while still providing a guiding hand? How do you invest your time and energy in ways that make an eternal difference in your children’s lives?

Walt Mueller delivers the goods in 99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers, a no-holds-barred look at the good, bad, and ugly aspects of parenting teenagers. Drawing on his experience as a parent of four children who have passed through their teenage years, Walt shares wisdom, thoughts, insights, and suggestions for making the teenage years count. If you’re a parent, you’ll want to read, devour, and absorb the dynamic truths in this book. And if you’re a youth worker, you’ll want to get this book into the hands of parents in your ministry to guide them, encourage them, and give them insights on fulfilling God’s great call to raise children who pursue a Jesus-centered life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pure Scum: The Left-Out, the Right-Brained and the Grace of God

It seems that Mike Sares never wanted to pastor a church with such a brazen name. But more importantly, he was open to following God’s call. In Pure Scum: The Left-Out, the Right-Brained and the Grace of God (InterVarsity Press, 2010) pastor Mike Sares shares with us his experiences leading up to, and being the pastor of Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, Colorado. The church’s name comes from 1 Corinthians 4:13. Scum of the Earth is a church for those who wouldn’t normally set foot in a typical suburban evangelical congregation for fear of rejection. Goths, punks, drunkards and homeless are regular attendees at Scum.

In Pure Scum we are taken on a journey that explores what it means to follow Christ, to listen to his calling, and to be obedient to it, even when doing so means taking substantial risks. Sares shows us that following Christ is an adventure, and he firmly holds to the idea that it is an adventure worth taking. To pastor a church like Scum is to experience extreme hardship, to share in immense pain and to live in community with many of whom the world has rejected. The characters encountered in this book are loveable because Sares shows us that they too, matter to God.

At its heart, Pure Scum reminds readers that we are all in fact, broken; we are all desperately in need of a savior. This book points us to a God whose grace is far greater than we realize, far greater than we’ll ever know or understand this side of heaven. Hopefully reading this book will stretch readers to more fully understand that God’s love reaches out to those whom we often overlook, even despise at times. We are all messed up, and perhaps it’s because the “left-out” and the “right-brained” realize this more about themselves than others that they experience God’s grace in ways that are so compelling.
Reviewed by Chris Wagner