King David is one of my favorite Bible characters. Over the years, I've read books like A Man After God's Own Heart by Mike Bickle on how David was a worshipper despite his many failings. I also enjoyed What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life by Brian Zhand, which is about how David overcame multiple setbacks in a single day right before going on to being crowned king.
If you are like me and you like stories from the Bible that relate to personal life, then you'll enjoy Slings and Stones by Mike Rakes. He is a new author we "discovered" and he writes powerfully about lessons from David's life that we can apply to our own. This book is about overcoming mind games. He says we are in an invisible war with an invisible giant who is relentlessly assaulting our thoughts, draining our energy and keeping us from living a meaningful life. The book's subtitle sums up the book: How God Works in the Mind to Inspire Courage in the Heart.
Rakes is a great storyteller and pastor of one of the leading churches in North Carolina. He's also brainy—having earned a master's degree and doctorate from Biola University. But he has a pastor's heart and a passion to help people model God's love. He is also passionate about the spiritual health of the U.S. church and is committed to mobilizing faith communities for God and the good of humanity. He says that's why he wrote Slings and Stones.
He's studied the life of David and it shows. The book is full of nuggets like:
- God's goodness toward you does not depend on your behavior but on the nature and character of God alone.
- Your thoughts, especially if you view them as harmless, can lead you far from where God intends.
- There is a power in taking responsibility for your own thinking and keeping the mind in unity with God's plans for you.
- Your creative imagination is the very weapon you need to crush the intimidating forces in your life.
Rakes uses the imagery of David, who felt he was unqualified and had to fight mental battles in order to overcome small thoughts, unwillingness to face the truth, fear of the unknown and so forth. But first, he had to be aware of what he was dealing with, having a unified mind (and not being diverted in this thoughts) and using his imagination to see that he could overcome the giant!
The reviews on amazon.com have been very favorable, as he has received 13 five-star reviews. One person wrote: "I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is struggling in yourself—who feels defeated with your past."
One of the things I like about the book is at the end of each chapter there are bullet points from the text to reflect upon as well as things you can do to implement changes in your own life. In my opinion, these sections could have been expanded—they are that helpful.
If you have been reading me for any length of time, you know I'm CEO of Charisma Media, publisher of Rakes' book. We publish more than 200 books a year and, of course, I can't write about all of them. We have a great book team with a marketing strategy that rarely includes me. In fact, I really had nothing to do with the acquisition of this book. It wasn't until after I recently met the author for the first time and then read the book that I wanted to share it with my readers.
If what I've written resonates with you, I urge you to pick up a copy wherever Christian books are sold. Or, you can visit strang.christianbook.com or amazon.com to read more about the book and order a copy. And of course, please share this on social media to get the word out about Slings and Stones.
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