Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Blessed Church by Robert Morris

There is a secret to growing a church. Church growth is more than just numbers on a roll. It is involved people. To go another step, it is a matter of proper link to the God who formed the church.
            Morris shares with the reader  his understanding of  the principles set down in scripture concerning the proper dictates concerning the church. He calls them keys to a blessed church. Each key is embedded with a scripture quote and can be found as illustrative sidelines to the subject handled in each chapter.
            Morris uses Gateway Church in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth as the basis of what a blessed church could look like.
            It is written in a conversational over the fence style that will appeal to  the general church developer
             I enjoyed the book. It informed and challenged me to look sat how I am helping my church group develop. Not everyone is going to be blessed with a big fellowship. But everyone of us can plug in to the keys and work with what God has provided us.
            Morris has conveyed scriptural truth to the leaders and the sheep in every congregation. I would recommend this to the church family.
            This book was  provided free from WaterBrook Multinomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review and the viewpoints expressed are those of the reviewer and not of the publisher.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Soul's Gate by James L. Rubart

        Unknown to us there are demons around us along with elect angels. What if there was a team of people who could tap into the spiritual realm and fight these forces of evil? What would their training be like? What if they could not only pray against these forces but actually see with their spiritual eyes the enemy forces?
Rupert is beginning a series of novels that have the theme of spiritual warfare. He is calling them Well Spring Novels. Well Spring is the training ground. Four people have been chosen to undergo training about spiritual warfare.  The demons are fighting back.
Rupert is attempting to expose an area of influence that many are unaware of. He does it as a story teller. In this he is like Jesus who told stories to get points across. Hiding the kernel within the story makes it easier for us to grasp the truth.
                Of course it is a plot driven book. Tension is heightened as each one of the four individuals encounter in the flesh a demon who tries hard to derail them.
                In stories of this kind the suspension of belief is necessary. The concept that a person can enter the soul of another is a bit jarring. Rubart in the author’s note states that idea of entering a persons’ soul is fiction on his part.
                The book ends with the implication that there is going to be a sequel. The battle has begun.
                The reader it is written for is the Christian who wants a good knuckle biting story. It holds a person’s interest throughout as it imparts information.
The book is published by Thomas Nelson. The next book in the series “Memory’s Door’ is coming out in August 2013.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fire Prophet by Jerel Law

           Around us is another realm, a realm of angels and spirits. In this realm there is a battle going on for the minds of men. This realm Law refers to as the hidden realm, a world-beyond-the-world.
            What if there are off springs of angels and mortals as the Bible speaks about in Genesis  6:2, these people known as nephilim, half human and half angels.?  What if these off springs were able to step from this realm to the hidden realm to fight spiritual battles?
            This is the premise of this series by Law known as “Sons of Angels.” This book being the second in the series for young adults.
            The demons want to destroy the offspring of the Nephilim. These offspring are the protectors of the world against spiritual attacks.
            The theme of this series is spiritual warfare. In this part of the story the young  children train their gifts and engage in warfare.
            I have always enjoyed young adult fiction as the genre lends itself to imparting truth in an easy to digest manner.. I hold that there is spiritual warfare going on and the realm of the spirits is real.
The author was able to hold my attention all the way through.
            The series is in answer to the Olympians series by Percy Jackson. I think it holds a good chance of competing in readership.
.I would recommend this to all young adults, especially to young Christians. It will be one to talk up among friends.
            I was given this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are mine alone and not that of the publisher.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley

           This book by Andy Stanley, the son of Charles Stanley, is a much needed book for decision making time. It doesn’t matter what your belief system is. This book puts forth a question that if asked and acted upon can chance your understanding of life.
            Well. Maybe not life. But at least your personal activities.
            Stanley wants you to ask “What is the wise thing to do?”
            This book is subtitled “A revolutionary Approach To Decision Making.”
            Simple. And it is not as  easy as it sounds. We are talking here about decision making. Most of us don’t want anyone to interfere with our decisions.
            Should I buy this item with no cash down? Will this hair cream make me look sexy? Should I be alone with that good looking guy? I have a credit card. I can pay it off in installments, so what is the harm?
            Stanley zeros in on three area we all have to deal with: Our time, our finances and our morality. Three areas that we all have.
            I found this book convicting. These are the areas that I have often looked back and said, “If only…”  Now I have to live with the consequences.. For example, in the area of finances there is the payments. In the area of morality there is the memories..
            The scripture passages Stanley gives are the type that you should hide in your heart. This book I would recommend.
            It was sent  to me free from WaterBrook Multinomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review. Any opinions expressed are the reviewers and do not reflect the views of the publisher.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When A Heart Stops by Lynette Eason

     For those of you out there who are Romantic Suspense readers this is a book you should be looking at.
     It concerns a medical examiner who is being followed and people around her are dying. Her name is Serena Hopkins. It is suspenseful.
    It is not quite a medical suspense. It is more of a Christian Suspense novel. She is helped to find the killer by a FBI agent who used to be her childhood crush. So you can expect some romance to be involved.
     Eason uses multiple viewpoints and we also find ourselves following in the thoughts of the killer. She uses the technique of starting each chapter with  reference to time. So suspense is maintained. She does a good job .
       She uses short paragaphs and tightly worded sentences. She is in control of her genre.
      She has you on the edge of your seat as the story unfolds.
       I recommend this book to all suspense novel readers who are looking for a good story.
       This is number two in the series Deadly Reunions. It is copyrighted 2012 so there should be some more to come. If the rest are as good as this one we should have a good series.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fantasy Fallacy by Shannon Ethridge

Great Book!
         This is a response to that book series that is out called “Fifty Shades Of Grey” It has the subtitle “Exploring the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts”
It is common for human beings to have fantasies from time to time. There is no stopping the process. But it can be modified and controlled. And it is an area that Christians have to step lightly in.
Ethridge points out there are three levels of fantasy. There is the autoerotic, the erotic, and the illicit.. When a person is married the first two can be okay . The last one is never okay because the last one involves  demining behavior. It is explained better in the book than I can explain it.
God has made all of us sexual creatures and there is nothing wrong in proper sexual expression. Part of the proper expression of sex may be in our fantasy life if it is properly directed. Books such as fifty Shades of Grey is not one of those.
Ethridge is a life coach and a Christian. She spends seven chapters putting down the issue in a no holds barred manner.
I was glad to review this even though  there were places that made me a bit uncomfortable. It is not at all comfortable to be confronted with your fantasy in print. This book caused me to squirm a bit but in a good way. The information was presented in a nonjudgmental manner having at the same time a convicting tone.
This is a book that Christians have needed. I would recommend it for Church Counselors and pastors.
 I received this book complementary from BookSneeze as part of their book review on-line  program. I was not required to give a positive review. The views expressed are those of the reviewer and not those of the publisher.     

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sent by Hilary Alan

          Have you ever wondered what it would be like to follow God’s command to follow Him.? Did you ever sit down and think about what the cost would be to you and your family? Hilary Alan and her husband with their two children experienced just that.
          If we are Christians we have an obligation to live a different life. We all have gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit when we fist become Christians. and  God has a claim on our lives.
          “God is working in your life even if you don’t realize it.” Alan writes.
          This story is told in 241 pages following the Alan family from the comfort of the United States to a Muslim country in Asia for three years. They took Jesus’ invite to “Follow Me”  literally
          This book interested me and allowed me to see the costs and the thrills of serving God as He speaks through the Bible. It held my attention as Alan writes in an episodic manner about the challenges of going to a new culture and adapting your life style to become part of the mission field you are in. It is not watered down. The disappointments and challenges of serving in another country are detailed . The people she met and daily rubbed shoulders with makes an interesting missions story.
          I highly recommend this book for discussion groups in church who are interested in real life stories of missions being done today.
          This book was sent to me free from WaterBrook Multinomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are mine and don’t reflect those of the publisher.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lifted by Angels by Joel J. Miller

           There is a realm surrounding us of which we are not aware. From time to time there is an overlap and occupants of that realm around us visit not to influence but to act as messengers from the heavenly realm. This has been the experience in the past of many people recorded in the Bible. Mystics have reported visits. Artists have tried to depict their concept of angels.
This is a good attempt to inform us and keep us from wrongfully speculating about these creatures.. Miller has presented us with a small  7 chapter history on the concept of angels throughout  time.
He looks both at the saved and the fallen angels using writers in the early church  along with sacred scripture to fill out the story. He covers the purpose of angels when it cones to service.
His style of writing comes across as one of a person in awe. He is successful in bring the reader along on the journey. He acts like a tour guide and the reader is the  passenger viewing the landscape.  His attempt to record the early conception of angels and their service to man is well done.
            I found the book an interesting addition to the discussion of angels and their purpose. It broadened my study of angels without majoring in a minor doctrine. I would recommend this small book as a discussion guide.
   BookSneeze has provided me with a free copy of this book to review as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I expressed were my own.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Gospel Of Yes by Mike Glenn

             Our view of God determines our reaction to events in the world. Do we see God as a party spoiler and killjoy? Or do we see God as a caring deity? Have there been times when you feel God has considered what you were doing and decided to turn His back on you?
            What type of picture of God do you have?  Is He out to cramp your lifestyle?
            In this book Glenn  presents the reader with a God who is always reaching out trying to restore a relationship with his people.
            “Christianity begins with the unexpected and then keeps surprising us,” Glenn says. “One day Jesus appears to you. Jesus is alive, and you have to make a choice Is Jesus the real deal or not?”
Our view of God determines our reaction to events in the world. Do we see God as a party spoiler and killjoy? Or do we see God as a caring deity? Have there been times when you feel God has considered what you were doing and decided to turn His back on you?
            What type of picture of God do you have?  Is He out to cramp your lifestyle?
            In this book Glenn  presents the reader with a God who is always reaching out trying to restore a relationship with his people.
            “Christianity begins with the unexpected and then keeps surprising us,” Glenn says. “One day Jesus appears to you. Jesus is alive, and you have to make a choice Is Jesus the real deal or not?”
            In another place Glenn writes, “God in His mercy gives us limits for our own good. God says “:no” to us but the “no” of God is always positive.”
            Glenn presents this as a journey we are on to discover a God who is for us.
            This book seems to be written for small discussion groups who are asking themselves how does God relate to what I am doing. Is he a limiter or a liberator? Just what is God’s “yes”. For me?
            I would recommend it for such groups.
            I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review . The opinions offer are mine alone and not the opinions of the publishing group.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Once Upon A Secret By Mimi Alford

            Secrets when kept have a habit of destroying other relationships.
She was naive thinking that she could be alone with the president and he would not have sex on his mind.  She was only nineteen at the time and had no experience. It was 1962 and sex was not spoken of .She was able to hide it. deep in herself but it cost her dearly.
            This isn't just another tell all book. In fact I feel that  Alford would not be telling this today if she didn’t feel it was better to let the secret out.
            It overshadowed her first marriage and she admits that the secret hurt her marriage. “Tony was never able to trust me completely after that day”
It was while watching the funeral procession of Kennedy at Tony’s parents house that she broke down and told Tony of her affair. He told her to keep it a secret. She obeyed. Tony.
            It changed the way she acted toward her self and circumstances. It did not leave her happy. She had to learn how to hide her secret behind a placid fa├žade.
            The style of this book is easy to read. Alford leads you gently through the incident with Kennedy and the aftermath of the affair. This book is published  2012. From 1963 to 2012 she only let a few people know. It remained a secret. It continued to effect her life.
This book is a book for people who need to know what keeping a secret can do to a person. Alford is brave in finally sharing it..
           

Thursday, October 11, 2012

50 Things Liberals Love To Hate

   How is your blood pressure? It doesn't matter if you love or hate what Gallagher stands for, you have to be fair and allow him to speak out his belief. It is the right thing to do.

   It is thought provoking For too long the individual has been put down. 1984. What do you think when I say that?. Mind control?. Think speech? A book that you are not going to read?
  I know. You are saying, here is a book review by one of them. Hey, calm down and let your blood pressure settle.
    Written in a count down style, from 50 to 1 it is well done. I feel it is a book that must be read if only to see what it is the liberal thinking person is being said to be against. Some of the targets are right on. Others you aren't so sure about but with further thought it makes sense.
     Gallagher has his own radio program and is doing well. This book gets his message out in a more permanent way than just the program. What you can hold in your hand and read is more powerful
    .

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Match Day by Brian Eule

  This book follows three new doctors as they  do their first year as interns.
   Subtitled One day and One Dramatic Year In The Lives Of Three New Doctors, this bllook is a must read for everyone who wants to know what goes on that first year after the new medical student graduates and is sent to start their new life as a doctor.
   They do get a choice of where to do their training. Maybe they won't get the first choice, they can list three.
    This is a true story and the names have not been charged for the most part.. The reason is explained in the author's note at the end..
    It is hard being a doctor and it takes time away from persoanl life. In fact, the hospital becomes your home and your life is centered around your home. Eule makes no excuse for the choices they have to make. He realizes that it costs and not many can pay that cost.  But for those who stick it out it is worth it. At least that is the message I got from the book.
    It gets three stars from me. I don't give out stars on everything. Three stars is a must read.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Live Young Forever by Jack LaLanne

  He is gone now but on his 95th year he wrote this book. It is a good inforamative lifesytle plan.
   He wasn't always what you remember him as.. a brash but good looking fitness guru. He started out as an out of fitness kid. Eating the wrong things. Doing the wrong things. Until he attended a lecture on fitness that got his attention.
    It was LaLanne who introduced most if not all of our fitness equipment.
   It has the subtitle of 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness & Longevity. It includes an exercise workout in  drawings when you get to  chapter thirteen. The exercises look doable
  LaLanne was into juicing. As an aid he includes at the end of step twelve pictures and information on the fruits and vegetables and grains along with a glycemic index.
  Vitamins play a great part in his nutrition program.  For a look at available vitamins for sports and for exercing, the aminos you need, the other suppliments needed  you can go to www.vitaminspower.com.
   The web site is not affilated with Jack La Lanne but is an  independent online business.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Miraculous by Kevin Belmonte

Do you need to have your eyes opened to God’s working in the world? Are you  so jaded that you feel God is no longer involved in events?   Then you need to read this book. It traces God’s work known as miracles as seen in periods of time . What makes this so good is the book is not written as a theological explanation of God’s involvement in the world but as a historical  look at what God is doing. It starts with the biggest miracle of all, the creation of man.. It moves quickly through Abraham,. Moses, Elisha, into the incarnation, the resurrection. Then it moves into historical periods and people, most are well known.
  Belmonte  looks at miracles as consisting of five types. He sees confirmatory miracles where God is showing his choice  and support of certain individuals or groups. Then there is the judgmental miracle. These can be seen in the plagues. Thirdly there are miracles of mercy or miraculous healings. Fourth we have miracles of deliverance as seen  with Daniel and the friends in the fiery furnace.  And last of all he uses the lens of the miracle of divine vision
 As I read this book I found myself marveling  at what God has done and is still doing.    The point is God is not finished doing miracles. We still live in a world of  wonder. I found myself looking at things around  me differently.
I would recommend this book for those who need to have their vision of signs, wonders and miracles refreshed.
This  book was received free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of the publsiher.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dough, a Memoir by Mort Zachter

This is a delightful memoir of Zachter as he details his life as what he thought was a lower middle class Jewish child. It concerns his uncles and his family .
The title can be seen on two levels. Dough as in the bakery he grew up in or dough being the money he discovered his Uncle Harry had in stocks and bonds. Over a million dollars was invested But when  Mort finds out about the money Uncle Harry is suffering from Alzheimer’s and there is no way to ask why he was never told.
Then there was Uncle Joe who ran the bakery . By the time Mort learns of the money  Uncle Joe is dead.
          Mort grew up thinking he had to be careful with each penny he received. His life centered around the family bakery and all he knew growing up was hard work and  long hours, struggling to make it in America.. There never seemed time to do anything outside the shop.
          It was a good childhood. He wanted for nothing. He didn’t starve. Money was doled out for special occasions. It was a tight knit family. It was a hard life. One time the bakery was robbed but the robber was forgiven and charges never pressed. 
          This was the family he grew up in. All life centered around the bakery. The uncles never ventured out. They lived and breathed the bakery. Deliveries were made on time to customers regardless of the weather. Snow never stopped the delivery.
          It is a story of forgiveness and acceptance of the family you are born in. And of secrets that are kept. In the end there was nothing that could be done but accept the fact that what matters most is family.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Reason By William Sirls

In this fiction book of about 400 pages we are presented  with a story of faith and belief. A stranger comes to town, a carpenter, and where ever he is things start to happen. The question to ask is it believable?
 I got to thinking about the title of this book. Each author likes to title their books for a reason ( no pun intended.). What was the author trying to tell us by naming it thusly?. What is the purpose or reason for this book?
 The story concerns a group of people in a small town. A stranger shows up and things miraculous start to happen. The phrase “only Believe” is thrown  around.
 Are the characters believable? I mean, are they real or  merely stick figures?. I found the characters  to be subordinate to a message. The question thus is what is the message of this book?
 As I read it the feeling I got is that I can’t share this with my non-Christian friend.  The area of suspension of unbelief necessary in a work of fiction is handled well, but for a  person who is seeking answers, this is not that book they need.
 The message seems to be miracles happen when God is present.. The plot driven story is just too difficult to believe as possible.
The book as a whole was interesting.
This book was sent to me free from the publisher as part of the book review bloggers program of BookSneeze.com . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.                                                                                                      

Friday, August 31, 2012

Spark by Jason Jaggard

     If it were possible to impact your world step by step by taking small risks would you do it? If you could change your life by making one choice would you make that choice?
     Jaggard says that it is possible.  He states it will be stepping out of your comfort zone yet it will change you also. In this   212 page book called “Spark” Jaggard presents “a road map that leads to a more meaningful life and to challenge you top take the risks required to get there.”
    The world needs to be changed and set right. But nothing will happen if there are not people to risk things. Not big  things. Small things like talking to your neighbor about eternal things. Or helping out at the food bank.
    Jaggard wants individuals to know they can make a difference by being creative. It is so easy to sit back and let others do the work when all this time maybe the world is waiting for you to take that first step and they will respond.
    This book is an interesting charge to do something. It is not a typical self help book but when one reads and considers what is being suggested, it makes one eager to go out and make a choice and risk comfort. It makes me want to reach out and touch someone..
    I felt this book to be just the nudge I needed to risk stretching myself. I would recommend this for those who need  to transform their lives creatively.
  The video trailer that goes with this book can be found here..
  This book was  sent to me free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review and the opinions expressed are mine and not the publishers..
           

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Big Thing by Phil Cooke

            Have you ever wondered why you were created? Have you ever wondered  what you are here to accomplish? Do you wish to know what you  would do if you could be the best in the world at doing it?
            A whole new stream of thought is opened by Cooke in this book when it comes to life planning. Knowing and discovering your one big thing is important but only the first thing. Adding value to your purpose is also important.
            In twelve chapters and an epilogue Cooke presents a challenge to the reader to explore and discover the purpose that only they have that can influence the world around them. With influence will also come passion. With passion comes credibility.
            I found this book to be quite interesting. It covers an area in life that very few of us want to think about. We accept things as they are not realizing that maybe there is a greater purpose for us being here.
            It presents a challenge for the reader to do something about his present state. Cooke wants a person to be active not passive in life.
            The information was presented in a digestible manner. I would recommend this book for everyone who wants to explore the possibility that there is a purpose for existence.
 That means everyone.
 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect those of the publisher.
Great Book Site

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

   All of us need to have personal boundaries. None of us should be left with a sense of no limits.
When  a person is allowed to touch  you in a way that he or she shouldn't, a boundary has been broken or was never set in place. Everyone has the right to say no. When it comes to your skin, for example, no one but you and those who you allow to touch you has the right to do so.
   A boundary is how far you let a person go, A boundary is a limit.
   In this book Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend help you see and set up boundaries. Boundaries also limit our actions. You have to know when to say yes and when to say no and take control of your life. Boundaries help in this process.
    Boundaries are not just physical. They are also emotional and  spiritual. The complete person.
    The problem is that we are afraid of hurting someone if we say no. That should be the most distant thing from our mind. We must see ourselves as being important and also an individual. It is our right to be on one hand free and on the other hand to have limits to our action. Just as we are an individual so is the other person.
     I recommend this book for everyone.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey

     I stated as the purpose of this blog that I was going to look at books that I thought were important. I didn't state that they were all going to have the copyright of the present year.
    This is a book worth revisiting. In fact, Dave Ramsey even has now put his seminars on video tape for organizations that want to buy the program and go through the nine weeks, now it is nine weeks, it used to be thirteen.
    The essence of the program is here.
     Ramsey takes you through the program in twenty two chapters and an appendix. The appendix has the paper work you will need to do to follow the program.
     You start with the budget. You should be aware of where your money is going. You need to know where you are to start with and just how much you are going to allocate to each area. He also suggests you use an envelope system where you label each envelope (Food, Gas, Education, etc) and put money in each. When you need food money look in the food envelope. When it is all gone you can spend no more on food.
     When he takes about savings I wonder what he is looking at. He seems to think you can put away money in an account giving you 12% return. I don't know of any bank that is giving 12% interest on my savings. Maybe .01%
      He does that in his seminars also.. saying if you put away money in a saving account that yields 12% over time you can make x amount over time. In this I feel he is a bit out of touch. But if he is using exaggeration to make a point, than that is different.
      Ramsey wants to help people and I think this is a good addition to the genre of financial planning. I would recommend this for all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reunited by Pamela Slaton with Samantha Marshall

  Have you ever wondered just what a person who is looking for their birthparents is going through?
  Pamela Slaton is the person to ask. She is an adoptee as well as one of the people who makes a living looking and locating the birthparents.
   They first must want to be found. Some of the stories in here  are just that way. Some birthparents don't want to be found. Others are looking but don't know what to do.  Slaton tells both stories.
    I found this book to be very informative. There is a lot you don't know about the process. Some adoptees want to keep it quiet. Others actively seek. Some hide it because it is a family secret. Some just want to forget it happened. But for those who seek and find there is a form of completeness achieved.
    I recommend this book for everyone.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jackson-The Iron Willed Commander by Paul Vickery

Jackson          For people who like history, especially history that covers the early days of our nation , this study of one of our great leaders should satisfy.
            Andrew Jackson was truly a man of the land. He could be said to be a self-made man. That term is overused, I realize, yet Jackson did build upon his reputation. He was a strong military leader, known as Old Hickory , a superior court judge, and Indian fighter, a congressman, a senator and finally our seventh president. All through life he carried two bullets in his body.
            He was a mans’ man. He could be rough but fair. Compassionate but not a  milk toast. People wanted to follow him. He was  a leader.
            I enjoy history especially American history. I found this to be an interesting study of a man who molded the America we have today. The emphasize is on the journey of Andrew Jackson more than on the destination. Only one chapter is on the presidency. Then rest is on the formation of the man.
Vickery does a good job of research and has an easy to read style of writing. I would recommend this book for collateral reading in middle school.
 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own and don’t reflect the views of the publisher. I am disclosing this in accordance with  the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR  Part 255. .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Authors Wanted

   I realize that this is basicly a blog that covers books. But there is a need out there for writers.  I mean think about it, if there were no authors there would be no books and there would be no My Life With Books.  And if there were no books , well, it isn't anything that we need to concern ourselves about.
   There will always be books.  There will always be young adult  books. There will also be writing jobs   enough to go around. It is not a disappearing field. 
    There is even E-Book authorship if you so desire. But remember those who write for cyberspace aren't often read. Although I have in the past reviewed a few, it was hard for me as it is easier to read print than pixels.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What You Need To Know About Bible Prophecy by Max Anders

What You Need to Know About Bible Prophecy
       At last an easy to understand and follow explanation of one of the  basic doctrines of the Christian belief system.. eschatology. And not just eschatology but the subgroup of prophecy. It is laid out in twelve chapters  which can be used as discussion aids in a small group setting.
            Anders carefully presents the viewpoints that are around when it comes to the understanding of the subject of prophecy. He points out that none of the viewpoints keeps a person from heaven. They just act as grids to the understanding of what God says.
            My reaction is that Anders  walks the line between divergent views  on the meaning of prophecy in a way that allows the discussion to continue without major fist fights over small points. As he points out whether we hold to literal or symbolic  interpretation we can all agree that Jesus is coming back someday. Anyone reading this book and thinking about it will be challenged in his application of the truths. He will also be a little more understanding of those who differ in the minor points of prophecy.
            I feel the information was present in a nonjudgmental manner. I recommend it for small study groups who enjoy discussion.
        This book was given to me free by the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The viewpoints held are my own and not those of the publisher.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Illusion By Frank Peretti

What we have here is a space time distortion story. Peretti handles time lines in a suspenseful manner. Holding in mind that this is not a polemic on reincarnation or mind transmigration helps.
 The previous paragraph is because Peretti  is a Christian writer who has penned in the past stories of spiritual warfare. In fact the first stories I have read of his were the ones he is best known for, “This Present Danger” and “Piercing The Darkness” Therefore my first reaction to someone reappearing younger and still retaining memories of a former life was one of  appearance of  error. Christians are warned against any appearance of deceit. Yet if you realize Peretti is trying to tell a story using science fiction techniques you can suspend your disbelief long enough to get a good read.
            The title "Illusions" has to do with  stage magic where illusion is the purpose of the entertainment. Add to that a computer that can manipulate time streams- another illusion, and a race to set things right and you have the template.
            I feel this book should be approached with caution. Don’t buy into the eastern philosophy that threads through the book. It is a dangerous area for a Christian to be in. Peretti ventures in and will no doubt leave you wondering did he write this book for money or what? 
            I don’t recommend this book unless you are firm in your faith. Even then I would say approach with caution.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Redemption by Bryan Clay

Redemption          Just what can God do with a praying mother and a rebellious son? God is sovereign and is able to mold that rebellious child into someone who makes something of his talents.
            In this autobiography we see just that. Bryan Clay may have grown up to be an example but he was not anyone to follow as he was growing up. His birth father divorced his mother. He reacted to that lost. Even though he had  become a Christian at an early age his behavior did not show it. He wasn’t committed to following God.
              But he had a praying mother who saw potential in him. Clay went on to find his way to  work out his rebellion in track and field. From there he went on to become an Olympic contender.
            It wasn’t always easy. Clay shares his struggles. That makes his story an important one for young people.
            The title is a good one. As I noted, this story shows how God can use a broken life and make something of it. If Clay had a perfect life his story wouldn’t be worth reading. His humbleness shines through the tale. It is truly an example of what God can do with a praying mother and a person willing to be used by Him. Not everyone will become an Olympic contender. But everyone can be committed to God.
            This book was given to me free by Book Sneeze to be reviewed on their web site. I was not required to give a favorable review. The opinions expressed are mine and not those of the publisher.   

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When Work And Family Collide by Andy Stanley


            It is hard at times  to manage your priorities. You are aware you have to but somehow there just isn’t enough time.
            Priorities are what Rev. Stanley addresses in this small book on  setting the proper restraints on time obligations. In this little 131 Stanley gently nudges the reader to properly get things done in an orderly manner. To do so there are certain things a person must do or not do. I feel Stanley did a good job of detailing them.
            With a pastors heart Stanley guides the individual reader to consider demands and the reasons he has for doing things. The book even has a discussion guide at the end to be used in small groups or in self examination. It is laid out in  a four week plan.
            He is a story teller and in a non-threatening manner je leads you to make these teachings your own. He seems like a friend who is walking beside you and firmly guiding you.
            I found him and his book to be instructive. It got me to examining my own use of time. Priorities are the main theme of this book.
            The proper view of what Stanley calls cheating to gain time to do what one should do is presented in an easy to digest manner.
            I received this book for free from WaterBrookMultinomah Publishing group for this review. All opinions are the reviews alone and do not reflect those of the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mystery Writer- yes you can!!

Have you always wanted to be a writer? How about in the genre of mystery? I have a place you can go to and find out all you need to know about the subject. You can get the  needed information and sign up for the offer. Please feel free to do so. We need more good mystery writers. The genre may look well stocked, but there is always a new way to commit a crime.
    Maybe you can invent it. And we can buy the book and enjoy your story.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Swipe by Evan Angler

Swipe         This book set in the future not too long from now is a young adult book  for teens. It tells the story of  identity, of belonging to a group. All issues that young people face.  
          The story opens with a kidnapping. No one reports it. What is going on?
        What if you  saw your sister go to get marked and she never came  back? Now you are about to be thirteen and you feel you are being watched?  Why are you being watched?
Once you reach your thirteenth birthday you can get the mark on your wrist that will enable you to buy and sell without your parents authorization. You can  become your own person. Who wouldn’t want that? Everyone gets the mark. You can’t buy or own anything without it.
But you don’t want it. Do you have a choice?
There is a group of the unmarked. They must be hunted down and made to conform.
            Your best friend is acting strange. And there is that new girl who just came a few days ago from another city. She has the mark. Her dad works for the organization called Dome.
You have to find out what happened to your sister. Somehow there is a connection between the mark and her disappearance.
            This is a good beginning of a series. It shows a promise of  further adventure..
As we close the book the main character is on the run. The  building is burning. There is no turning back.
I am a reviewer for booksneeze and I received this book free from the publisher to be reviewed. I was not obligated to give it a positive review and the opinions expressed are the reviewers and not those of the publisher.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tender Warrior by Stu Weber

Tender Warrior - Stu Weber         Strong men should also have a tender side to them. It rounds out their manliness. Being tender doesn’t take away from but adds  to a complete man. 
            In sixteen chapters Weber maps out the need for completeness. He dissects the areas into personal, family, friends  and occupation. He ends each chapter with discussion starters for small groups or individuals who are using this book  He titles these A Man Faces Himself and A Man Meets With His Friends.
 Weber shares  his life with the reader. It has been said that a good example is better than any lecture. In this area he does fine. He also uses Biblical illustrations of  how men acted in the period they lived. He attempts to show you are an example to others.
It is a highly interesting book. I found myself stopping from time to time in the reading to think through what I have just read.  And when I came to the discussion helps at the end of each chapter I spent some time going over them. This is something I don’t normally do. But he has such a style of writing that makes you want to respond.
 It has been subtitled Every Man’s Purpose- Every Woman’s Dream- Every Child’s Hope.
   I recommend this for all men and maybe their girlfriends. It is also useful for a small group study. Take your time. Don’t rush it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

Empty Promises     We all seek our value somewhere. In fact, we were created to have value. We can get our value from others or from things or from God. When we seek value from other things and not from God, our creator, we fall into idolatry. And when we fall into idolatry we are pursuing empty promises. Wilson contends.
            It is so easy to get seduced by these empty promises. We were all created to have a need for worth and acceptance. We tend to fall into traps which Wilson points out.
            We can start to become like that which we seek after. If we seek after things like money, fame, and position we lose our purpose that God has created us for. It is so easy to allow subtle little idols to creep in to our daily existence. This book gives us things to think about.
            Empty Promises is written for the Christian. It holds your attention while at the same time making you consider your response. to God. We need to worship something. That which we dwell on tends to become our object of worship, Wilson points out .
The book  is filled with bullet point lists. It comes across as a lecture in places. It can be sectioned into two parts. The first half presents the proposition that we are making idols to take the place of our creator. The second half points out the solution using biblical snapshots to illustrate the answer.       
            Wilson does a fair job of presentation. I feel this book should be read by  the person who needs to be reminded just what he is worshipping. It helps set his mind on the proper object of worship.    

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Shot of Faith by Mitch Stokes, Phd

 
A Shot of Faith (to the Head)This is a book we have been waiting for. It will help the Christian confront the world view of the common man. By common I mean your neighbor maybe even those who read this book.
            The going explanation for things existing is something called Evidentialism. This is the reasoning that we can only know what we see. It states that  rational beliefs require sufficient evidence Yet we have been told by science that there is not enough or sufficient evidence for the belief held by Christians that there is a God. Stokes states and proves that that is just not true.
            The view taken in this book is a philosophical one. As you read it the tone draws you along. It is if a friend were walking beside you.
            I found this a very well written and easy to follow explanation. It ends with a look at science and evil mentioned as the two straw men the atheist  uses to prove their view of the world. Stokes shows how they are on unsteady ground. We need to stand our ground and keep a dialogue going with the non-believer. We need to be able to answer his explanation with a sound reasoning. We may not be able to convince him of our view of reality, but we should not sound unlearned.
            This book should be helpful  for everyone. I liked it and found it a good introduction to apologetics.
            I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own and not those of the publisher.