Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Learning about the Flood (Children's Book)

A Patch on the Peak of Ararat, by Gary Bower is part of the Children's Books in the A Faith that God Built Series.  It is wonderfully illustrated by Barbara Chottiner.  I found the book entertaining as one to read to younger children.  There are rhymes on every page which makes it a little more fun.

As in any children's book, there will be ad-libbing to fill in the blanks in the story.  At times it seemed that some of the words were a little advanced for younger children, and some explanation may need to occur, but overall, this is a fun book, which any child will enjoy, especially looking at the great pictures and gaining a small understanding of the story of the flood. 

I didn't expect this to be a complete theology or explanation of the flood, simply a story that opens the eyes of a child to what happened in one story in the Bible. 

I received this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Living the Great Life

Jason Mitchell’s book, No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life, was a very easy to read and very good book.  He begins by asking some very simple rhetorical questions.  The same questions apply to you and I.  Do we believe in eating right and exercising?  Most of us would say yes.  The same holds true for the question - - about our belief in Jesus.  We know faith is more than simply believing with head knowledge.  We are called to follow Jesus.

Mitchell has broken the book down into 10 chapters - which are calls in our lives to let go of the “good life” and follow Jesus, so we can experience the “great life.”  At times this book hit home because we have all bought into the idea of living the comfortable life.  But Mitchell wants us to move beyond the comfortable . . . and those become the very difficult life choices which create life change.  Living the easy life, the so-called satisfied life is not necessarily the best life.  In fact, it usually is not the best life.

Jesus has promised us we can live the abundant life, but we choose the life of less than, and we become depressed and disappointed life has not turned out better for us.  He uses personal examples and stories to help the reader better identify with him.  He uses additional illustrations and stories to help make his points.

Overall, this is an easy to read book which may help someone move off their comfortable chair, and become invested in life.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Experiencing the Spirit

What do we do when we want and hope to experience the power of the Holy Spirit, yet, find ourselves and churches void of the Spirit of God?  That’s part of the purpose of this book by Sam Storms, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in your Life.  I was taken back by the book because I was expecting it to be about all of the Spiritual Gifts, not a focus on the charismatic gifts alone.

Yet, I was not disappointed in the book.  Storms admits the book is geared to those who are theologically sophisticated, yet are yearning and hungry to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.  The book focuses on healing and prophecy more than most other charismatic gifts.  There is a theological and philosophical side to the book, yet, there is practical help for the reader. 

Many people want to experience the power of the Spirit more for their glory, than the glory of Christ, and Storms touches on that in the book, as he explains, sometimes God tells us to be grateful for the gifts you do have, and stop asking for what you do not have.  It is implicit throughout the book that Storms believes it is still possible to receive these spiritual gifts.

He explains the greatest way to experience these gifts is through prayer and fasting, yet again, the reminder if you are not receiving what you have prayed and fasted for, then God has given you an answer and humbly be thankful for the gifts you have received.

Overall, this is a very good book for those who are interested in learning more about the charismatic spiritual gifts.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Angels are Real!

I really appreciated Scot McKnight's book, The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around us.  This is a grat resource book, which will be used often by me.  There is such a fascination with angels, and most people do not know if angels are real or not, and McKnight answers this question on biblical grounds, saying, "Yes, they are real!"

The book is in four parts, with 23 chapters in the book, each averaging about 8 pages each.  So, it's an easy to read book, which I believe can be used as a devotion as well. 

The 4 parts are as follows ~
1.  In Defense of Angels
2.  God's Loving Presence In Angels
3.  God's Loving Advocacy From Angels, and
4.  God's Loving Transformation Through Angels

My greatest appreciation is that McKnight moves through scripture to prove the reality of angels.  At one point he explained if we don't believe in angels, they how can we believe in the Bible, since the Bible declares angels are real.


He used a great deal of scripture which was very helpful and helped his argument.  Overall, this was an easy to read and excellent book.

I received this book from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.

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Power Through Weakness!

In their new book, The Way of the Dragon or The Way of the Lamb, Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel have written an excellent and timely book.  The purpose of this book is a call to the church to return to the type and methodology of acquiring power. 

Jesus' way of power is the counter-intuitive way.  By becoming weak, becoming human, He gained power.  It's a call to Christians to turn to God's style of power, not the power of the world. 

The authors question power and authority as they see it in our world, especially in the celebrity pastor culture.  In order to address their questions and concerns, they turned to many leading Christian authors . . . asking about power.

They sought wisdom from the likes of J.I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Marva Dawn, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, James Houston and Eugene Peterson.  They seek to dispel the quick fixes too many people seek in order to acquire power.

They speak about their own struggles, those of colleagues and are refreshing in their approach, without being preachy.  It always comes back as a reminder that we must follow the ways of Jesus, not the ways of the world. 

This was a very informative and at times difficult book to read, but worth the read!

I received this book from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hope Reclaimed!

I have been skeptical for awhile about faith issues in the White House and thought this would be an excellent book to help me.  In his book, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America, Michael Wear has written an excellent book which is very helpful to all people who want to better understand the Obama Administration as it pertains to religion.

Wear has written what I believe to be an unbiased, objective book, for someone who was close to the Obama administration.  He includes stories, humor, and anecdotes.  This book is part memoir / biography and it is also a call to action for Christians.  Wear served President Obama in faith based outreach in the White House and in his Presidential campaign.  Wear describes himself as a Conservative Christian Democrat.  Something I don't think we hear of very often.

Wear sees the convergence of politics and religion and embraces it.  He actually is optimistic about the future.  He is not a black and white thinker, instead he calls for the people, especially Christians to embrace and both / and partnership between the church and government.  It is a different way to look at the church and politics, but one which has merit. 

This was a well written book and helpful to read as well.

I received this book from booklook bloggers in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Excellent Family Devotional

The Kingdom Family Devotional: 52 Weeks of Growing Together is a wonderful devotional which is designed for families.  Tony and Jonathon Evans have written a devotional which covers 5 days per week, for 52 weeks.  They cover a multitude of themes and topics.  As the topic is discussed over a 5 day period.  I like the fact that there is prep work the parent / guardian needs to do.  There are some things to do in the family which help unite the family, including fun Fridays.

The hope / purpose of the book is to help families be and stay together through the use of this devotional.  This doesn't solve family problems, but helps bring families together for a time of prayer, Bible reading, reflection and hopefully fun.

The book is well presented for a devotional, with a nice hard cover.  This would make a nice gift to a family.

I received this book from www.tyndale.com in exchange for an honest review.

A Lenten Journey

Devotions for Easter is a wonderful devotional book designed for women for the Lenten season.  The book is comprised of 40 short devotionals with great pictures (photographs) throughout the book.

The goal of the book is to help prepare the heart and mind of the reader to celebrate the risen Savior.  The reader is encouraged to take the time to stop and discover the ways Jesus is showing His love for you.  In remembering His Easter story—the greatest story ever told—your own will become that much sweeter.

In forty days of warm, inviting readings, prayers, scriptures, and beautiful images the reader will draw closer to God, through Christ’s journey toward the cross and the miracle of His resurrection. 

This was a very nice devotional, easy to read, but insightful!  I recommend this devotional.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.


A Very Powerful Book!

Sometimes war books are difficult for me to get into, but TOUGH AS THEY COME was not one of these books.  This was a hard to put down book.  It chronicles the life of Travis Mills.  Travis is only 1 of 5 wounded veterans who is a surviving quadruple amputee among all of the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He was injured in an IED explosion.  His unit was assigned the task of clearing a field and his unit missed one.

Mills has endured many surgeries and remains active and passionate about life.  He is a motivational speaker who drives own car, participates in sports such as running, cycling and skiing; he is also an active promoter of programs to rehabilitate others.  He also started the Travis Mills Foundation which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans.

His story seems surreal.  His attitude is what stands out.  He speaks about the choices he makes, the choice to be angry or happy, the choice to live life or die.  He speaks about living and using humor as a coping mechanism.

The first 2/3 of the book chronicles his life before and during the war, while the final 1/3 of the book looks at his life since his injuries occurred.  Overall, this is a moving and powerful book about one man’s attitude in the face of some of the worst adversity one can imagine.

I would highly recommend this book.

I received this book from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an open and honest review.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Very Informative book about the 3 Mary's


I had the pleasure of reading an Advance Review Copy of The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs.  Admittedly, I ordered the book so I could begin Easter preparations and thought this may be an interesting way to approach Easter.

Liz Curtis Higgs helps the reader along as she sets the context for each of the Mary's.  Without doing this, the book would be less complete and feel fractured.

She discusses Mary of Bethany's annointing of Jesus for His death and burial; Mary of Nazareth, His mother's constant devotion, even in the midst of not understanding who Jesus was, she was there from start to finish; then Mary Magdalene who was delivered from 7 demons and never stopped following Jesus.

There is a nice section in the back of the book, which has a study guide and questions for review.  There are a number of footnotes, which showed the research put into the writing of this book.

Overall, this was an easy to read and informative book.  I would recommend it to those wanting to learn more in a user / reader friendly version.

I received this book from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an unbiased review of this book.

Blog? Want free books? Let's chat.

Excellent Devotional!

I was looking forward to reading the devotional, Jesus Today: Experience Hope in His Presence, by Sarah Young, after hearing about her previous devotional, Jesus Calling.  This devotional contains 150 one page devotionals, which are supported by scripture on the second page.  There is also a scripture index in the back of the devotional.

The book was written during a difficult period in Sarah's life and you could feel the power and courage, as well as the personal feeling from her.  At times, it felt as if God's words were being written or gently spoken through her.  The book is filled with images of grace, power and hope.

This would be a great devotional book to read for people that need extra doses of encouragement and hope.  Really, this devotional would be a great present for anyone who wants to be encouraged through Scripture!

I received this devotional book from from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an unbiased review.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Powerful Book about CTE

I read with interest the book, After the Cheering Stops, by Cyndy Feasel.  I love football, I coach football, and I have a son who plays high school football.  This was definitely a very powerful, at times, very scary book about the nature of football and the brutality of football.  We all know it is a violent sport, but the devastation and toll to some, is frightening.

 Cyndy wrote this book about life with her husband, Grant Feasel.  He was a former NFL football player who played center with various teams.  He had a long and successful career, but after he retired, he made many poor decisions due to an incurable, unforgiving and vicious disease, CTE - -  chronic traumatic encephalopothy.  The sad thing about this disease as it related to Grant, is that he never knew it.

This disease impacted his decision making, his mood, his activity with his family and ultimately it led to his death.  He died due to liver failure at the age of 52, which was the result of alcoholism.  Ultimately, it is believed the alcoholism and more were the results of his CTE.

This is also a book about faith and hope.  As Cyndy and Grant were / are Christians.  Overall, this is a very descriptive book about the life of Grant Feasel.  It's well written and if you appreciate football, and understand the violent nature of the game, you may enjoy this book.

I received this book from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Great Devotional for MEN

There are very few good Men's Devotionals out there.  When I saw this book, I immediately wanted to get it.  In Roger Patterson's A Minute for Vision for Men: To Kick-Start your Day, was a very good devotional especially geared toward men. 

I have found over the years, that men want to grow in faith, but have fewer resources to do this than women.  This devotional is written with the hopes that men will be drawn in and engaged; which will lead to greater Christian maturity.  This book, as Patterson states, is to kick-start your day, and not be a replacement for Bible reading.

There are 365 daily readings, each ending with a scripture passage.  Most devotionals are sports related.  Because I am a sports enthusiast, this book drew me in.  There are quotes and illustrations used by Patterson to help make his points.

The cover is nicely done and this would make a very nice Christmas present.

I received this book from www.tyndaleblognetwork.com in exchange for an honest review.

Important Book for Kids

I don’t read very much fiction, but this book just seemed to jump out at me, and I was really glad I read it.  Larger-Than-Life Lara, written by Dandi Daley Mackall was very well written.  This is a book which drew me in, it was a quick to read book at under 200 pages, but had a great, deep message as she tugged at my heart.

In short, the story is about Laney Grafton who is a 10 year old girl, who does not have a very good home life.  Then one day a new girl shows up in her class, named Lara.  Lara is larger than life in her appearance, and the fourth graders go at her and bully her.  Yet, Lara will have none of it.  She doesn’t fight back as we think of fighting back, instead, Lara smiles and smiles.  Laney was picked on before Lara arrived, and she finds this a reprieve, but learns through the way Lara handles herself.

This would be an excellent book to be read by 3rd through 5th graders in school to help them understand bullying and how to deal with it.

I received this book from www.tyndaleblognetwork.com in exchange for an honest review.

Excellent Reading!

I had not read anything from O.S. Hawkins and I have now become a fan.  The book, The Daniel Code: Living Out Truth in a Culture that is Losing its Way, was an exceptional book.  It is 25 chapters long, but each chapter is only about 8 pages.  This book would make a great Christmas present, as it has a signing page and has a great hardcover.

Hawkins chronicles the life of the Old Testament prophet Daniel to help the reader better understand and learn how to go against the culture and demonstrate our faith in Christ to the world. 

This book was easy to read, but it was very thought provoking.  I used it for my devotions, as there is a Bible verse to begin each chapter.  Even though Hawkins is talking about culture wars, the book is very encouraging and not demeaning to other groups.

Hawkins writes from a conservative Evangelical Christian worldview.  This book is also helpful to understand the way the world reacts to Christians who are willing to speak about their faith or speak on issues they support, while the world is against them.

Hawkins has written a number of other “Code” books, which I look forward to reading. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Seeking Your personal Vision!

I enjoy listening and reading books by Andy Stanley.  Having read, Make Vision Stick, I was looking forward to reading this revised and updated edition of his book, Visioneering.  This was a very good book, informative and engaging.

Stanley uses the story of Nehemiah to illustrate how a person can seek to fulfill their God-given vision.  In a sense, the main point or thesis of the book is his point that everybody ends up somewhere, but not everyone ends up somewhere on purpose. If we would seek God's presence and God's vision, we have the potential to end up in the right place with the right God given purpose. 

In order to tell the story about personal vision, Stanley uses his engaging style of telling personal stories, sharing various illustrations, using humor; all in a down to earth style which is easy to read and follow.

He asks the reader to seek, inquire, learn, discern what is it that you have always been dreaming about.  What is it that makes your heart skip a beat.  He wrote about how the Wright Brothers got started, wanting the reader to look at their own life and follow their passion and seek the dream God has placed within them.




This was a very good book, one I would recommend to someone who seeks to better understand or even discover their purpose.

I received this book from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.