The Antidote to Restlessness


“People look desperately for things to make them happy, often without realizing what they’re missing spiritually.”  ~ Jan David Hettinga


Jan David Hettinga in his new book Still Restless: Conversations That Open the Door to Peace does an excellent job explaining that our restlessness comes from within – a longing that is in our DNA. We were all created for a kingdom bigger than ourselves and yet we try so hard to find inner peace and contentment our own way.

31yemfd3il-_sx321_bo1204203200_Spiritual peace is available to us and often comes with our being real with Christ, asking the hard questions, and finding true peace. These one-on-one conversations (thoroughly examined throughout the book) show us that we build kingdoms that crumble but Christ offers peace to our restlessness when we are willing to step through the door of repentance, faith and trust in Him.

Our straight forward gut-wrenching communication with Christ will allow us to “abandon our failed experiments with independence and self-rule” and be replaced “unexplainable peace” our “antidote for fear and restlessness.”

No book explains the kingdom of God, our profound purpose and God’s ultimate plan of redemption and peace any better that this. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who are Still Restless.

Thank you to Jan David Hettinga and Kregel Publications for a copy in exchange for this honest review.


The Misplaced & Misfits

Matthew Barnett, pastor of Angelus Temple and the Dream Center in Los Angeles, in his new book Misfits Welcome encourages those who feel like a misfit and challenges us all to step into the lives of others who feel like they just don’t fit in.

For those of us who feel misplaced because of our past or present messes, Barnett encourages us to not waste the struggle. The Word of God challenges us to embrace every part of our story; in fact, the author reminds us that Jesus often didn’t speak to a person’s need but to their potential!

A large part of the book is a reminder that the next time we feel like we’re sinking, we need to “find a way to throw someone else a lifeline.” And if you think that loving the broken is just a once a year act of charity or a weekend time filler; the author points out that the “mark of a Bible-believing Christian is someone who looks for people who feel misplaced in the world.” He or she is a misfit who diligently looks for and helps other misfits.

“Misfit dreamers want to see other people’s dreams come true,” and they make time in their schedule to make a difference in the lives of others. And the book doesn’t stop there, Misfits Welcome also reminds us that the church must stop playing it safe because the easy way is not the way of the kingdom. We must follow Christ’s example and help the “misfits” belong because quite often believing follows belonging. This book is a great reminder that our purpose in life is bringing Christ’s kingdom of love, hope, peace, and restoration to a world in need.

HarperCollins Christian Publishers and Thomas Nelson Books provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.


What Troubles You? Fix It!

I wrote this book to inspire you to attempt something remarkable of your own. ~Chris Guillebeau

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The Happiness of Pursuit takes us on a journey. It takes us on its author’s traveling adventures, the endeavors of normal individuals taking big risks, and motivates its readers to start passionately pursuing dangerous new possibilities.

Every once in a while a book comes along that motivates us to embrace life and then there are those special books that reminds us that we are doing matters and encourages us not to give up. Chris Guillebeau’s new book does both! For me personally, the book was a reassurance that my recent quest of blogging and writing my first book is exactly what I should be pursuing. My favorite quotes include:

Chris-GuillebeauFind what troubles you about the world, then fix it for the rest of us.

The middle of the quest can be the hardest part. Don’t give up too soon!

Cuillebeau’s inspiring words reminded me that the quest I took on to encourage Christian boys and men (in the midst of cultural or Christian masculinity stereotypes) is a worthy pursuit. They must hear from someone that they are NOT a male fail. I also can’t give up when it starts getting hard. The pursuit is worth the hard work, criticism, and sacrifice and part of the blessing is the journey itself. It is the risky that makes it an adventure and with no adventure, you truly aren’t living!

If you feel like your life is stuck and taking you nowhere, this book is for you. If you want a guidebook to help you figure out who you are and what to do with your passions, I highly recommend this book. OR, if you are like me and you recently took on something big and risky and you are wondering if you need to keep pursuing, wait no longer and grab a copy today. Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

“There’s a mission out there that is greater than yourself.”

The Bible, Masculinity & the Pursuit of Happy Socks

Mecca Church Blues

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A place that attracts people of a particular group or with a particular interest.

Spent some time with family today and along the way we visited the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center. One of their current exhibits is called “Mecca Flat Blues.” The exhibition includes enlargements of historic photographs that convey a compelling story. The story of a building built at first for the first class white citizens and eventually the home of middle-class African-Americans and jazz artists who came to Chicago during the Great Migration.

One of the phrases that struck me most at the temporary art installation was: “Outsiders called it a slum. Insiders considered a shelter.” A building once housing the “elite” became a safe place for the immigrant, the poor, and those in need.

It all made me stop and think. Today’s larger church buildings – could they be used now or in the future for purposes more grandeur? The church should be a safe place for all, a room full of diverse stories, a place of peace, love, and hope. The church should not be a place that attracts only those of one particular group or interest. What are we and can we do about this? When we do not stop to evaluate our purposes or follow Jesus’ examples of restoration and inclusion, it may be time to sing the “Mecca Church Blues.”

Another gallery in the cultural center included Aleksandar Hemon’s “Reasons Why I Do Not Wish to Leave Chicago: An Incomplete, Random List.” Number 13 caught my attention: “Suburbanites patrolling Michigan Avenue, identifiable by their Hard Rock Café shirts, oblivious to the city beyond the shopping and entertainment areas.” Is it possible that some of our churches “patrol their buildings in their “Christian” attire, oblivious to those without hope in their communities beyond their Christian bookstores and modern worship bands?”