Rooted Delivers

In his forthcoming book Rooted, Banning Liebscher, founder of the ministry Jesus Culture, encourages his readers to focus less on God’s vision for their lives, and focus more on working with God to develop a healthy root system where they are now.  Subtitled The Hidden Places Where God Develops You, he uses the life of David as an example of how God may take years, even decades, to prepare us for the ultimate calling that he has placed on our lives.

Although anointed to be the future king of Israel while just a boy, David would spend years developing intimacy with God as he cared for his father’s flocks.  He would then be called to serve his country and the current king, as he faced down giants and used his talents to bless Saul.  In later years, while on the run, he would be called to lead a community of misfits who would look to him to lead, all the while knowing that God had promised him the kingdom.

These are the three areas that Banning uses to show how God develops a healthy root system within us:

  1. Intimacy – with God
  2. Serving- the body
  3. Community- doing life with the people around us

The big idea in this book is that growth takes time and we shouldn’t try to rush the process.  In 2016, that is not a popular view.  Society wants us to rush to the end.  We measure ourselves against others and try to imitate their success, whether its income, status, “likes” or “shares”, we want to have the success that others have achieved, but if we don’t have the roots in place, the fruit will not last.

Banning begins this book with a simple statement:  “Deep inside every follower of Jesus is a desire to have a visible, lasting impact on the world.”  Although his solution might not be popular, it is true.  Love God. Serve People.  Be in Authentic Community.  It will create the fertile soil that you need in your life to produce fruit that lasts.

Rooted will be available for purchase on May 3, 2016.  I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Glory Days by Max Lucado

After the death of Moses, the Lord spoke to Joshua and gave him one monumental task:  Arise, go over the Jordan, and lead the people of Israel into the land that I have promised them.  Really?  Joshua had already scouted out the land some 40 years earlier.  He had seen the abundance of the land, but he had also seen the inhabitants.  He knew the battles that lay ahead.  Although he and Caleb wanted to trust God and take the land, it was the bad report by the other spies that had led to the people wandering in the wilderness all those years. Nevertheless, here was Joshua, preparing to lead this people into the land that God has promised.  And as you know, Joshua proved to be capable and God kept his promise.
That is the bottom line of this book.  As stated in Joshua 21:43, God gave them all land that he had promised.  And Joshua, as he learned to trust and rely on God, was capable of the task set before him.
In his new book, Glory Days:  Living Your Promised Land Life Now, best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado  walks with us through the book of Joshua, and along the way, he reveals to us how God used the obedience of Joshua and his men to lead to promised-land living for many.  At it’s core, the message of this book is simply this:  believe God and live your whole life rooted in that belief.  Yes, it will be hard.  Yes, you will struggle.  But, Yes, God is trust-worthy and he intends to do great things through your life of obedience.
Written in typical Max Lucado style, this book reads more like a conversation than a sermon.  Max provides great insights into the lives of the Israelites and practical applications in our everyday lives.  The book is divided into 16 easily read chapters, and includes a study guide for each chapter.
The big takeaway for me was “possess the land”.  God has already made abundant promises to us.  He has saved us and empowered us with his Holy Spirit.  But we have to “possess the land”.  We have to live out the promises of God now.  Too many of us are waiting for some breakthrough in life or our physical death to begin to be the person that God says we are now.  Living our promised land life begins with believing who God says that he is and who we are, and then living that out in our lives every day.
I would highly recommend this book.  If you are one of the 90% of Christians who feel that you are languishing in the wilderness, then this book will help you to begin to overcome your doubts and fears.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and agreed to give a full and impartial review.