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  1. Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus - eBookeBOOK
    Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus - eBook
    Jamie Snyder
    Bethany House / 2013 / ePub
    $8.89 Retail: $12.99 Save 32% ($4.10)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 7 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW40318EB
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  1. Jurupa Valley
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Becoming more than a Sunday-only Christian
    January 1, 2014
    Jurupa Valley
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
    "Would people know I'm a Christian if they didn't see me at church?" With that question, Pastor Jamie Snyder, embarks on this gem to examine and uncover what it means to be a Real follower of Jesus. By allowing Sunday to become, "the axis on which their faith spins," (Pg. 22) Christians have allowed our faith to be too closely entwined with Sunday and all that Sunday represents. Our fellowship, worship, and study happen in the confines of a single morning and forget that "church is not a place but a people." (Pg. 23)

    Snyder organizes the book into three sections:

    1) The Real Question: The shortcoming of many Christians today

    2) The Portrait of a Real Life: Based on Scripture, the characteristics of a Christ-follower

    3) The Real Answer: How we bridge the gap between shortcomings and Real-ness

    The book is compact (173 pages, which includes discussion questions and prayers) and packed with excellent points and information. Snyder focuses on seven characteristics of a Christ-follower (Section 2): unbridled generosity, daring courage, rebellious joy, risky faith, relentless hope, scandalous grace, and mad love. Readers will likely find some room for improvement in their walk in one, if not all seven, of these traits. For example, our generosity ought to be driven by God's love rather than out of compulsion (Chap. 6). Happiness, which seems to be a primary aim of the world, is situational and not sustainable; Joy (Chap. 8), on the other hand, is of God, which means that it can and will sustain us in all circumstances.

    The book could be useful for small groups, accountability partners, or individual study. Each chapter concludes with three Reflection/Discussion questions and a prayer.

    I recommend this book without hesitation.

    [Snyder, Jamie. Real: Becoming a 24-7 Follower of Jesus. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2013]

    NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for the purposes of this review.
  2. North Carolina
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A good read, but why not just stick to scripture?
    December 20, 2013
    North Carolina
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This review was written for Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
    "If Sunday didn't exist, would anyone know you were a follower of Jesus?" This is the key question Jamie Snyder challenges his readers with in his book Real, and he actually does a really nice job with his argument. Over the years I've read a lot of books that hit at the heart of what Christianity is supposed to be about - recent titles that come to mind in the past couple of years are Radical by David Platt (which, for the record, was one of the very first books I ever reviewed on my blog), and, more recently Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman.

    Here's the difficulty I have with many of these books that challenge modern-day Christianity: even though they suggest they don't put forth a "program" or a list of things to do, in essence they really do prescribe how we're supposed to be good Christians. Take this excerpt, for example, from Real:

    "The joy factor in your life and mine will never be a result of working hard; it will always be the natural by-product of living a life surrendered to the will and way of the Holy Spirit...Living a life surrendered to the will and way of the Holy Spirit is not so much about doing as about being." (p79-80)

    Then later in the book Snyder writes, "We must get this: Christianity is not about following a list, a creed, or a mere doctrine. It is about following a real man named Jesus." (p142)

    Sounds good so far; and I agree 100%. But the disconnect (for me) happens in the the middle section of the book. Snyder tells us that when we seek to follow Jesus we will live a life defined by:

    Unbridled Joy

    Daring courange

    Rebellious joy

    Risky faith,

    Relentless hope

    Scandalous grace

    Mad love

    The danger I fear is that people will view these as a the very list of things they are supposed to do that Snyder attempts so hard to avoid. And this is the struggle with every book I read like this. Don't get me wrong, I agree that all these things are byproducts of a life lived with Jesus through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but if we focus on getting these things rather than focus on dwelling with Him (the "being" that Snyder referenced at the beginning), we'll be doing nothing more than the what the Pharisee's did with their rules and regulations.

    God has been teaching me this year that what is important is my relationship with him - the relationship that has a natural ebb-and-flow because it's, well, a relationship between two beings - and one of us is imperfect! The only metaphor I can think of (which I happen to think is a very biblical metaphor) is marriage. There are certain aspects of all healthy marriages as I've come to learn - two of them are that couples spend time with each other and that they communicate with each other. But if the focus shifts to the spending time or the communication and off the marriage then the marriage is no longer healthy. So when we focus on only showing grace or love or joy or courage I'm afraid that too often we take our eyes off Jesus - something the writer of Hebrews warned us about. This is a delicate balancing act between "judging a tree by its fruit" and remaining connected to the vine.

    As I've read these books more lately I've actually felt a little convicted. But not convicted that I don't live up to what the author is saying, but that I'm reading the book at all rather than just spending time in the Word. It's as if the Holy Spirit is saying to me, "There's nothing new here. Just read my word and accept it for what it says - I will explain it to you. Just abide in me and this stuff will take care of itself."

    So, I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars (I would be tempted to give it a perfect five, but that would just be too high, so I'll drop it back a couple of spots to 4). If you read it with an understanding that what you read about a things that Jesus will do in you as he transforms and sanctifies you as you remain in him, then you will learn much from the book and hear him speaking to you through it. If, however, you look at these things as a list of things to do, you'll miss Snyder's point entirely. Either way, I personally think it would be wiser to spend time in, say, studying Ephesians or reading the gospels and studying the life of Jesus. You'll learn the same thing, but you'll learn it from the source.

    For the record, I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher Bethany House in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily favorable, review.
  3. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Mad, Daring, Scandalous!
    December 11, 2013
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
    I admit I had two reactions as I read this book.

    One was: this is way more than I want to do, it's out of my normal-zone.

    The other was: Whoa. I want to live like this, I can imagine how we could set the world on fire if we did!!

    Pastor Jamie Snyder begins this book with a provocative statement. He writes, "If you conducted a man on the street interview and asked people to use words to describe church, you would likely end up with a list like this:







    Careful. "

    And while those words aren't all bad, they aren't the only adjectives that should describe us. As Pastor Snyder points out, many America churches cannot be accused of turning the world upside down.

    {Perhaps thats part of why we often feel like the world is being turned upside down on *us* instead.}

    He also points out that the early church was known for turning the world upside down for Christ and for all that is good. The early church would be described by a different set of adjectives, such as Unbridled, Daring, Rebellious, Risky, Relentless, Scandalous, and Mad.

    Yep. Your first thought is mine too: Those don't sound like very Christian terms.

    Oh, but they are! Pair up each of those strong and heady words with a concept such as Love, Faith, Courage, Joy, Hope and Generosity.

    You get Relentless Hope, and Mad Love, and Unbridled Generosity just for starters.

    You begin to see the pieces coming together to form a picture of how we could change the world.

    'Real' made me think. It made me think about the pride and desire for comfort and ease and the compulsive putting-self-first mentality that keeps me from living this way. I'm not going to claim that this is a simple life-style to put into action, but I will say that for each of us a way of acting out our Real Christianity is close at hand.

    And it made me wonder why I don't take some of these steps more often.

    For a start in Unbridled Generosity, why don't I donate two or three good items of clothes instead of tossing my ill-fitting rags in the Salvation Army bag?

    When it comes to Daring Love, I'd like to think that I could reach out and minister to the anybody in need, at the moment they need it, yet I make excuses about forgetting to send emails to family members on their birthday.

    I want to imagine myself preaching the Gospel boldly in prison, offering Relentless Grace, but one attempt to reach a relative who doesn't seem moved and I'm tempted to crawl out of the fight.

    Yet the Bible presents this vision, this vision of followers: "They could not be contained; they could not be controlled; they could not be restrained; and they could not be limited..." And Jesus promises that because He began a good work in me He will bring it to completion.

    So lets step forward into real life and trust Him to get us there.

    Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!
  4. Maine
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A good and inspiring book
    November 27, 2013
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
    This book was a great read. Snyder presented a great message in a great way.

    Real started out with what Snyder calls "Sunday-centric" faith works. He explained how Christians often measure their relationship with Christ based on what they do on Sunday: things like perfect church attendance or many examples of service. Although Snyder believes that those things are important, he believes that Christians should be known for how they act all the time, not just on Sunday. The middle of the book really explained how we can act like Christians all the time with attributes like generosity, grace, and love. Finally, Snyder discussed how to personally apply the attributes from the second section.

    Because this book was similar to Kyle Idleman's not a fan books, one of which I had recently read, real was not as convicting as it might have been if I had not read not a fan. However, real went deeper into how to act out our faith, 24/7. Real was fun to read, with personal stories and humor. Each chapter ended with Reflection/Discussion questions and a Prayer.

    This book was a great read, and I would highly recommend it.

    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Midwest
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Take the Journey-
    November 20, 2013
    Reading Rover
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Real: Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus.
    Real -Becoming a 24/7 Follower of Jesus

    By Jamie Snyder

    I think this book based on this Minister's observations about the Christian expression of Community and its effects, will empower those who have left or been uninterested, to reengage in the dialogue.

    I think the questions, observations and opinions expressed and usually supported by scripture passages, would encourage the discouraged and disgusted to find their place on the page, and we are all on the page of God's love.

    As for us sheep still gathering, don't be surprised if you see your walk in a new light, with greater surety of purpose. You may also find yourself in a more fallow spot for enjoying the company of the God who loves us.

    Simply written, like the thought out sermon notes of a plain spoken person. Jamie Snyder's writing is simple, plain with clear thoughts. His excitement to challenge YOU to see yourself and where you really are,-almost bounces with energy at times. Yet, it is an easy-going, book with quiet messages of profound impact.

    The language is simple enough for an older child to follow. The Spiritual message and understanding depends on the reader's Spiritual maturity.

    I think this book for most people, Christian and not, will have a life changing positive impact. It's such an easy, simple book, I found myself amazed at its potential for impact. It reminds me of Mr. Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress because it gently and easily invites you to find your faith story in its pages, but it is not a literary work. It reads almost like a laid back blog, very accessible, but with meaning and value to the reader.

    This may be read, where other works might be laid aside till a better time, because the language is so high interest, but at a ‘smooth' vocabulary level.
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