Book Review: Anxious For Nothing by John MacArthur

Book Review: Anxious For Nothing by John MacArthur
Anxious for nothing
Image of the book’s cover was taken from Amazon.com for review purposes under fair use doctrine. 

I have been, and feel I will always be, a man of ambition. I’m constantly after something. I’m task and goal oriented. The bulk of my earthly motivations are built around a specific and (usually) measurable goal.

There are a lot of advantages to this. I consider myself reliable. People tend to come to me for results, and I would like to think I deliver. My drive has helped me to publish the books I’ve published and be recognized at work.

But that drive wears on not just me, but those around me. I say again, I’ll always be a man of ambition, but I don’t want my ambition to cause more selfishness than I already tend to demonstrate. I don’t want my ambition to push those I love away or blind me to things that I already have.

Those are the reasons I choose to read Anxious for Nothing as my next book by John MacArthur. Reading this has given me a new perspective on how to separate drive from stress. I’m still growing in this, but having a biblical perspective on life has already dramatically reduced my number of rants. I’m certain I used to have a daily average. Not only is this frame of mind sinful, it’s also just exhausting. I’d be mad at a coworker. I’d be annoyed at one of my friends. I’d be frustrated over my sales. All of these things are self centered. This book is essentially a blunt reminder that we trust God to provide for us. For one (such as myself) who seeks to move and do, that action can become sinful (and unhealthy) if it leads to stress and resentment.

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Image of John MacArthur taken from his website for review purposes.

This book points out that fact, and it provides biblical reasoning for why that thinking is unnecessary. It’s hard for me to do, but the more I let go of my own pride, the more I find things working out. I don’t currently further endorse the phrase “let go, and let God.” My problem isn’t with the literal words, but the connotation they might have. If I just sit in my chair without eating or drinking, I’m going to eventually starve to death.

So rather than detract from MacArthur’s valuable insight, I choose to focus on a single verse:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

The more I focus on that, the more I find my other efforts bearing fruit. MacArthur’s book is an arrow pointing to a frame of mind that can truly bring peace to anyone working with stress or frustration. I’d recommend it to anyone, but it’s probably best suited for believers who may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed about their daily life.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

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Story Review: The Start of Something Beautiful by Kacey Ezell, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: The Start of Something Beautiful by Kacey Ezell, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: The Start of Something Beautiful by Kacey Ezell is the final story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Azah is a Tortantula who never should have survived hatching. Azah is about to bond an infant Flatar (and I just don’t know what that is, I think it’s the Torantula word for human, but I don’t know). But the infant Flatar, Sadek, isn’t at all what Azah expected, but after a close encounter with Azah’s murderous siblings, they start to see each other in a different light.

Character: Azah is proactive enough, but the character isn’t very sympathetic. Part of the issue stems from a short story (though this is the beginning of a novel by Ezell and Mark Wandrey called Weaver). It’s hard to connect with a character in just a portion of a story.

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Image of Kacey Ezell taken from her website for review purposes under Faire Use Doctrine.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: Tinkerman by Jake Bible, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Tinkerman by Jake Bible, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Tinkerman by Jake Bible is the 15th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Tee, called Tinkerman by those he provides cybernetic implants to, is in hiding. Sooner or later, people are going to come looking for him because of the secret he carries. When they do, he’ll be prepared, as will the world that’s protecting him, such are the terms of his care for those same people.

Character: Tee is a fantastic character. He’s proactive and capable. He’s got great depth. He’s sympathetic, but not in that he’s just likable or just unlikable. Indeed his range of emotion is a part of the story, and it’s the best part. I was hooked on this story from the moment I started the story as Tee was in his shop.

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Image of Mr. Bible taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: Faith by Chris Kennedy, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Faith by Chris Kennedy, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Faith by Chris Kennedy is the 15th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Andrews is a prisoner who’s being recalled to duty? Why? The job will probably get him killed, and prisoners are handy sacrificial pawns. He’s thrust into a Suicide Squad style mission, and when he lands, he realizes this kamikaze mission has taken him home, a place he’d never want to return to.

Character: I’m actually of two minds about Andrews. As a character arc, he’s solid. He’s a man without hope trying to stay alive. The reason this doesn’t quite work for me personally is the end.  His decisive moment for me would have been much more satisfying if his arc were different. What’s the choice? Come on folks! I’m still trying to get a good anthology some plug, so go pick it up and decide for yourself if the end is satisfying.

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Image of Mr. Kennedy taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Description: The world building to the story made this segment seem that much better.  I can tell the world building was stronger because I didn’t feel dragged down by the description. However, the details that pop into my head are a credit to the author’s ability to make the world feel real.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: Messenger by Nick Cole, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Messenger by Nick Cole, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Messenger by Nick Cole s the 14th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Tom Kyle was the sole survivor of Hastings Ridge. He found faith. But he’s still struggling to make sense of the massacre he’d escaped. Then he was sent on a mech with no weapons to a planet, where this new life was. All life is precious, and Kyle means to protect that life, even against another company.  Whether he lives or dies matters far less than the fact that he fights to protect life.

Character: Kyle resonates with me. I had to look up his name, but this story had a lot of power. He’s struggling with being a survivor, which is, unfortunately, something a lot of veterans have to deal with. He’s determined, and he’s sympathetic. I like that we first see him through the eyes of his former commander, then through his reflective self, then through the eyes of another character (spoilers). This really put a lot of emotional power in this story even though it’s not very long.

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Image of Mr. Cole taken from his website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Description: Die hard scifi fans might be disappointed. I’ll admit, this is a bit thin on description, but there’s reason. As you read one perspective and then another, you start to understand how it all fits together, and too many descriptive beats or blocks of description would have taken away from the emotion.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Story Review: Blood of Innocents by James Young, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

Story Review: Blood of Innocents by James Young, From For a Few Credits More Anthology

 

510QAdWwRNLSpoiler Free Summary: Blood of Innocents by James Young s the 13th story in the Four Horsemen anthology, For a Few Credits More.  Bolivar Thompson just bullied a client into a $10 million contract. Each time they get closer to the objective, things only get more complicated, and just reaching the planet they need to get to will leave his team changed forever.

Character: Bolivar is a pretty solid character.  He’s a little bit arrogant and a little bit of a jerk, but it works for him. I wish he were more proactive and competent. His fatal flaw frustrates me in regard to how it relates to the plot, but I got a kick of of the story as I was reading it. (So I had to scan back a bit to recall the plot. This provides me an opportunity. This story, like many in the anthology, were not bad. I measure that by how well the characters stick with me.  So Lessa, Ruth, Rand, Vin; those characters stick with me. They own a place in my heart. The next level down are the characters I remember by talent or skill. These are like the guy from Tron or the cop from The Women’s Murder Club.  I remember things about them, but they only bring up images or good feelings.  This is still cool, but not next-level characters.  Next down are characters like Bolivar.  These are guys I like while I’m reading, but then after time (in this case six months), they fade away.  Sure, if I read it again, I’d like it, but it doesn’t hold up in the test of time. That’s unfair considering it’s taken six months to review all of these, but this anthology has a great character that has stuck with me for that long (and will for more).  So when I say a character wasn’t bad, that’s what I mean.

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Image of Mr. Young taken from his Amazon page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Description: This story gave description from a point of view better than others I remember. You were always in Bolivar’s head, and the description was another place where his personality shown, especially when describing the other aliens in the story. I got a kick out of this.

Thanks for reading,

Matt