Book Review: When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley

Helping You Balance God’s Priorities for Your Life

 One of the most difficult things I’ve experienced in life (as a pastor with five kids) is balancing work/ministry and family. Whether you are a dad, mom, single parent, in full time ministry or have a full time job – or no matter how you slice it – it’s hard to balance work and family.

In this book Andy Stanley articulates the modern realities that face us in the market place and in our homes. He does not minimize, rationalize, or make excuses for the break down of families. What he does very well is to show how we can be excellent in the marketplace and serve our families needs in a balanced and biblical manner.

Andy Stanley gives a myriad of practical examples of how we can prioritize our lives biblically and bring glory to God in the workplace and in our homes. I highly recommend this book is a very practical guide and help for you in seeking to be a balanced Christian that prioritizes life in a manner that contributes mightily to what is most pleasing to our Awesome God – for His ultimate glory.

Book Review: Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

Vintage Stanley: Biblical Reflections On The Four Greatest Enemies of Our Soul

I think Andy Stanley has hit it out of the park with this book. He is so good at bringing God’s truth from the Scriptures to bear on the big issues of the day. I think that along with Pete Scazzero’s books Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and the Emotionally Healthy Church – that this book is must reading for pastors, leaders, and anyone who is a part of the body of Christ. Most Bible teachers, often neglect the soulish matters of the heart, – but Stanley calls a spade a spade and writes a convicting, challenging, and much needed corrective for us to address our blind spots.

In Part 1 he addresses the fact that sin comes from the heart as Jeremiah says and is incredibly deceptive. He talks about the damage that sin does, and how to identify it, and the importance of correcting it.

In Part 2 he addresses the dynamics of the debts that result from our sin. The four biggies are: Guilt – “I owe you”; Anger – “You owe me”; Greed – “I owe me”; and Jealousy – “God owes me.” Andy handles each of these brilliantly and gives excellent examples that we can all relate to, so that we can confess them and start working in a positive direction to overcome them with the help of God the Holy Spirit.

In Part 3 he focuses in on how to confront each of these sins, with their righteous (happy) counterparts: from anger to forgiveness; from greed to generosity; and reasons to celebrate the joy that we have in receiving Christ’s blessing and the Holy Spirit’s power at work in our lives.

In Part 4 he helps us focus on what we are modeling and the legacy we are leaving behind (especially parents for their children) and how to deal with lust.

The book includes a helpful discussion guide, which is excellent for personal application, and small group discussion. This book is vintage Stanley: full of Scripture, great examples and illustrations, and motivates you toward wanting to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. I can’t recommend it highly enough – life transforming!