Author: Raymond

“Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain” by Williams M. Struthers Review

With Hollywood’s recent reveal of the sexual depravity of many men against women, I find this book to be quite interesting in explaining the effects that occur in the male brain when it is consumed by pornography. The connection between Hollywood producing highly sexualized films (pornography) and the producers committing those acts in real life is not a coincidence. All that the world is just realizing about humanity, scripture has already described, which is why I find this book to be perfect for our time. This book is designed to explain the neurological damages that come with massive consumption of porn. William M. Struthers shows us his findings and the effects that it has on the life of a Christian while showing the reader what actually goes on in the brain. His conclusion is that a person that is addicted to pornography essentially rewrites their brain to do what God did not intend humans to do. “‘My brain made me do it’ or ‘Porn has messed up my brain so I can’t help myself’ are …

“On Pastoring” by H.B Charles Review

As a young pastor in ministry, I am always eager to learn what the Lord has taught older, more seasoned pastors. This book is filled with great lessons from a pastor who started his pastoral ministry at the age of seventeen. At the time of this book was written, H.B Charles had been in pastoral ministry for a quarter of a century. On Pastoring is essentially a quick refresher of all of the things that I learned in seminary. It is filled with different types of life lessons that young and old pastors need to learn/relearn while they are in ministry. What I appreciate about this book is that it gets to the point. Each chapter includes specific facets of pastoral ministry and H.B Charles does a good job in realigning our every day life as a pastor to what the scripture has to say. Through the business of ministry, sometimes I forget to go back to the basics and do the basic things well. This book helped me remember the lessons that seminary and …

“Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage” by Jim Newheiser Review

Of all of the counseling cases that a minister will have to deal with, none is as complicated as divorce. Although the Bible gives guidelines on the subject, often times people have a hard time discerning how to apply the Biblical principles/rules/regulations on divorce. I came into Jim Newheiser’s Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage assuming that this book will be a topic that is mainly on divorce, but it wasn’t until I began reading did I realize that it truly covers the entire spectrum of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Jim Newhesier tries to answer every possible question there is in regards to relationships. This book is written with a question format, meaning every chapter is self contained and is a helpful resource in being equipped to answer any particular question. I appreciate that this book strives to argue everything from a Biblical worldview. Even the things that our culture deems as normative, Jim does a faithful job in admitting that they are simply cultural to the American context and not biblical (sections pertaining to dating and …

“12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You” Review

I have heard the voice of Tony Reinke for years on the “Ask Pastor John” podcast and was not aware that he wrote a book. I heard of this book when one of my elders made a passing reference to it during one of his messages. I remember looking it up on my phone immediately and ordered it on Amazon not knowing exactly what to expect from this book. The book was published 10 years after the first iPhone came out. In a way, “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You”, is like a “state of the union” address on how the smart phone changed our society as a whole, particularly how it effects a Christian and their walk with the Lord. This book is both insightful and convicting. I found myself laughing at some of his points (he makes some witty meta references to the reader) and completely convicted over his questions about the usage of smartphones. Tony made incredibly astute observations about how the smartphone changes a person and their walk with the …

“Bishop JC Ryle’s Autobiography: The Early Years” Review

Books about dead Christians are always fun and fascinating to me. Personally, it allows me to see that these faithful men and women in the past were mere mortals. Often times, when we hear about famous Christian figures, they are often in a positive light. But as I read some of these autobiographies I see that they, too, are people constantly in need of desperately depending on the Lord. I just finished reading the autobiography of J.C Ryle and it was enriching for my soul. I am thankful for his complete transparency of his own life. Ryle wrote this with his own children in mind so that they can have an account of his life once he is with the Lord. These are just few of the lessons that I learned from his autobiography. His Lack of Educational Desires I find it quite amusing that JC Ryle, who wrote some of the most helpful books for the church, was not a fan of school. This should be helpful to know that a prestigious education is …

Things We Will Miss About Grace Church

Well, as the Lord has it, we are moving! I have the privilege of serving at San Francisco Bible Church as an assistant pastor. The Lord has been gracious to us during these last few years. As we reflect on God’s blessing in our lives, we would like to take this time to talk about what we will miss about Grace Community Church. This post is a culmination of everything that my wife and I are thankful for. The Preaching. This is an obvious one. The preachers at Grace Church have been so faithful in handling God’s word and explaining to all of us each and every week. We will miss not only Pastor John’s faithful exposition of the text, but several others that fill the pulpit as well. My wife and I have been tremendously blessed/encouraged/convicted over the years as each preacher has brought out the greatness of our God. We know and love God more because of their hard work in explaining the text. We will miss the many faithful teachers at the …

Glimmers in a Perfect Life

As a Christian, we need to live up to that name. The word Christian basically means “little Christ” and often times we forget that it means more than just something you put down on our Facebook bio section—it is our identity (Philippians 3:7). We are to be like Christ in every sense of the word. Interestingly enough, there are aspects of Christ that we tend to forget. We know the big ones like not kill, not commit adultery, or whatever “big sin” that runs through our mind. Being a Christian means to follow and emulate our Savior. According to John 13:15, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. The Gospels are the only accounts we have of Jesus’ perfect life. And although this post is not an extensive look at the life of Christ, the following are a few that have recently convicted me on where I need to grow. Jesus worshipped in public regularly (Luke 4:16) And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He …

4 Lessons I Learned from the Wilderness

This is not a blog post on how to survive in the wild. I often call the time before a person is married, “the wilderness”. It is a barren wasteland that God has graciously delivered me from by providing the oasis that is Kelly. Here are four lessons that I learned during my time in the wilderness. 1. Contentment is a heart issue, not a status issue. Tell me if you heard this before? “If only I had someone, then I would be content” This was definitely one of my thoughts during my time of singleness. I thought discontentment would be done away with. But when Kelly and I started dating, I realize that I became discontent in other ways. Mainly, that I wanted to be engaged. Which then made me wonder, “What if I was engaged and became discontent because I wanted to get married? What if I was married and then became discontent because I wanted children? What if I had children and became discontent because I wanted them out of the house? …