Monday, April 30, 2012

Route 66


Title:  Route 66
Author: Krish Kandiah
Page:  192
Year: 2011
Publisher: Monarch Books
Note: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel for this review.  The opinions expressed are mine.

When I took a look at the title of this book, I was immediately stopped in my tracks.  I thought to myself “I wonder what this book is about?”  Having now read it through, I can tell you it gives us a taste of the Word of God.  Of course, the author couldn’t cover each and every chapter of the whole Bible so it is more an overview that is meant to give us a glimpse of the Bible and leave us hungry for more.
This author wrote the book in a format that can be used individually, in small group settings or even for whole congregations.  His website http://krishk.com/route66/ lists resources for leaders, pastors, and for individuals to use as well.  There are PowerPoint slides, leader guide samples, and much more.  The website http://www.springharvest.org/route66 has resources to download as Spring Harvest has been using Route 66 as the 2011 Event Resources.  So don’t wait to download the material you would like before the year ends!
After each chapter, there is a “Travel Journal” in which the author asks specific questions on one chapter of the Bible.  Should a small group of seekers read this book together, the section entitled “Small Group Study” is very helpful and allows the seekers to deepen their journey.  I love how the author incorporates his life experiences with what we as a Body of Believers can learn about God, us, and each other.  I hope and pray you download the resources even if you don’t plan on using them right away.  It is nice to be prepared so when the Lord directs you to use this book, you have what you need to lead, follow, and learn on the journey.  Enjoy the Route!











                                                                                                                                                       

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Enza By Kristy K James


Title:  Enza
Author:  Kristy K. James
Pages:  334
Year:  2012
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Note:  I received a copy from the author for this review.  Other reviews are located at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/
               
                World War 1 began in 1914 and ended in 1919.  The United States was only directly involved in the fighting the last two years, beginning in the summer of 1917.  There are some who love history whether in a telescopic view or a microscopic view.  Some love to watch various programs on TV that share information on various facts of history.  There are other shows that give a viewpoint on a particular event of the past.  Within my family of four, there are three of us who know ancient history very well along with current events; I am the one who loves to learn about the Civil War in particular.  As a family we share what we learn or think about what we have read or heard via TV, radio or speaker.  I am constantly amazed at the amount of information my other family members know, but equally surprised to learn new things about the past too.
                Enza was a novel written by Kristy K. James, who’s a new author to me.  The neat thing about books and stories is that they never grow out of style, maybe out of print, but never without an audience.  Enza is a touching story about a little town with various types of people who live close to each other physically speaking, yet practically know very little about each other.  There is a family who has five children.  The father owns a shoe store that his father before him owned.  A minister named Colby is married to a woman who wants things not people and is so full of hatred it seems.  The postman’s name is Daniel and he meets a lady who becomes someone special to him.  There is a funeral director who becomes the father of two girls, twins to be exact, but he isn’t married so where did they come from?
During WW1 everyone in the community was learning how to live with various rations, making a living, raising kids and going to church on Sunday.  They knew the war was raging, but so few of the men from this town were overseas fighting.  Fiction can be fun to read for many reasons.  Sometimes stories teach us something we didn’t know and sometimes stories even make us cry.  I am not one who likes sad stories because there are enough trials in my life right now that crying seems to be all I do at times.  Yet Enza, though hard to read in some places because of the sad events, shows the faith in God woven throughout the pages that brings with it comfort as well as truth.  What truth is that?  Well, you have to read the story for yourself.  Enza isn’t simply about a small town existing during the First World War; it also includes a little known historical fact of something else that happened during the war.  Nope, I can’t tell you. 
                I really enjoyed the story.  I still am not sure why it is titled like it is, but the novel I just couldn’t stop reading until the end.  It receives a 4-star rating from this blogger.  You can connect with the author at http://kristykjames.wordpress.com/


               
               


Tuesday, April 24, 2012



Title:  Across the Wide River

By:  Stephanie Reed

Pages:  176

Publisher: Kregel

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel for an honest review.



I just finished reading a wonderful novel set prior to the beginning of the Civil War.  This novel though is very unique because it is a story about real people who dared to live by faith in Jesus Christ in a way that could have cost them their very lives.  The author did excellent research on a family by the name of Rankin, who served their Lord by saving at least 2000 lives.  They risked their lives not for just anyone, but those who escaped slavery to be free.  Wonder how?

Well, this family became part of the Underground Railroad.  The story is centered on a man known as Lowery.  It is a story of him living each day obedient to his parents, growing up and deciding to join the church, while continuing to search for his call in life.  Lowry views his “failures” in a way most of us even today would measure ours.  While there are some scenes not actually rooted in fact, most of who this man and his family were is very much rooted in history.

The author provides a way to connect with her and welcomes all questions, comments and feedback.  I wrote to her asking a question, not really expecting an immediate response.  I thought I might hear back from her sometime as she would be busy.  It was but a short time later the information she had was sent to me with an invitation to contact her should I desire more.

The historical witness left by this family both encourages and exhorts us to live lives totally surrendered to Him.  You will be able to connect with this author via Face Book, email her at stef.reed@gmail.com or look her page on the World Wide Web: http://www.stephanielreed.com/index.html.

When you are done with this book, know there is a sequel to this story entitled: THE LIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER.   I plan on reading it and hope you all will do the same!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Title:  From the Garden to the City

Author:  John Dyer

Pages: 192

Publisher: Kregel

Note: A complimentary copy was provided for this review.



                I was not sure exactly what I expected when I signed up to read and blog this particular book.  Perhaps one thing I was looking for was what perspective it would place before its’ readers.  I was not raised with a computer keyboard, but a typewriter.  I was not raised in a time when people sent text messages, but instead wrote letters, sent cards, or called.  Having to learn how to use a computer, how to navigate the World Wide Web, learn about various browsers, and so much more has been a long and continual process.  Yes, there have been times I wanted to throw the computer out the window!  That could be a little expensive to say the least.

                Over time I have started to see changes in the local Body of fellowship using new technological tools.  In the stores there seems to be someone talking all the time; it is a large screen with constant commercials.  Then people using their cell phones are not only talking on them, but typing on tiny keyboards.  I watch as people who are shopping walk the aisles and talk loudly enough so the person on the other end of the conversation can hear them, forgetting they have an unwanted audience in the aisle inadvertently hearing them.

                People wherever they are seem to always have something in their face, usually while they are trying to accomplish another task or tasks at the same time.  So how was this book going to address what I was witnessing in my everyday life?  I have to say this book is one everybody should read!  It deals with the deeper more prevalent issue, the life of a Christ-follower in an age of technology .

                                From the Garden to the City is a book well-founded theologically.  The author’s Biblical perspective helps everyone deal with balancing technology and being a Christian.  He explains profoundly how God creates and uses technology, but not as we think of it today.  Read this book and travel from Genesis to the present day for opinions regarding how we should view the use or non-use of the many mediums available to us.  The following list is a few of the websites cited.  Check them out!






               







                                                                       

Monday, April 16, 2012

13 hours to go for the drawing of an autographed copy of Echoes of the Titanic at

Sunday, April 15, 2012

1 day 7 hours left for chance to win autographed copy of ECHOES OF THE TITANIC go to

Friday, April 13, 2012

In Honor of Titanic

Title:  Echoes of the Titanic
Author:  Mindy Starns Clark & John Campbell Clark
Pages:  400
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Year:  2012
Note:  A complimentary copy was graciously by the author.

                So much happens in a day that to remember an event in the past, unless one is a student of history or events, is hard to recall for most people.  While I didn’t realize it, this year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  It was some time back when I was reading about the Titanic that I realized there still was much I didn’t know.  While this book is a work of fiction, characters and all, the event really did occur.  Most forget the names of those who perished or their age.  Most know that it struck an iceberg.  Yet, here we are 100 years later and still many are seeking to understand and know more about the Titanic.
                Some may be familiar with the writings of Mindy Starns Clark in the Amish fiction genre and other books.  For me, this was the first time reading one of her books.  What a way to start!  There is a mystery written in this novel of seeking to find the true identity of a woman who has been gone for some years.  Her fortune and legacy still live on, but there is an undercurrent coming from an unknown source that seeks to cause it all to come to an abrupt halt.  Kelsey is the name of the character who is a descendant of Adele Tate, one of the survivors of the Titanic who comes to America and helps others build their dreams.  Kelsey is said to have the same ability and touch as her great-grandmother Adele.  Involved in the family business of finance, Kelsey soon becomes embroiled in more than finance.
                Before launching on the Titanic, Adele wants to make an investment with money she has saved.  Her choice, though called into question by a man sent to escort her to America by her father, is made by her uncle for her by investing in wireless technology.  While on board the Titanic, Adele and her uncle are shown what other passengers never saw----the wireless being used on the Titanic!  It is an immense piece of equipment that takes up more room and uses more than one person to operate; Adele though believes it is the future.  She purchases 10 bonds in the stock of the Wireless Company, and 100 years later they are due to expire.  Where they are kept no one knows!
                On top of this, the Tate Company is going through an outside hostile takeover while trying to figure out who is working on the inside to bring the takeover to reality.  Not only that, many of the characters in this work of fiction seem to know more than Kelsey herself.  Unbeknownst to her, she is being used as pawn by those whom she believes have her best interests at heart.  With time running out there is much speculation as to the location of the missing bonds. 
                The novel takes many twists and turns to keep the reader not just reading, but on edge until the conclusion of the mystery.  There is more than one mystery here, and doubts about who really is Adele Tate.  Mystery, intrigue, relationships, murder, suspicions, and more abound in this novel that is breathtaking.  The novel is written with flashbacks used to help the reader not only understand the story, but also to perhaps figure out the truth.  The reader reads a journal entry written from long ago, and then is brought to the present day.  This is done throughout the novel.
                Sometimes novels have a way of igniting the reader’s imagination, and this one is tops for accomplishing just that.  You might find that after reading this novel you too will become a Titanic buff just like one of the authors.  Echoes of the Titanic gets a 5-star rating from me.  May you become as enthralled in the story as I was and am in the real Titanic stories that abound today.
               
               

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Liberating Truth...1 star review


Title: The Liberating Truth

Author:  Danielle Strickland

Pages: 160

Year: 2011

Publisher:  Monarch

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel for review.

When I first saw this title, I wanted to see if the author was putting forth a certain premise.  So much happens in our society today to which we need to pay attention.  The author makes the plight of abuse towards women as wrong in her book, which I agree with.  Secondly, the author brings forth how women as well as young girls are sold into prostitution, abuse, denied the basic needs for living and so much more.  None of this do I disagree with.  As members of the Body we need to bring these women out of such lives and into a life filled with all that Jesus has to give to them.

Unless one is rooted deeply in the Word, I would not recommend this book.  Yes, the Body still needs to deal with her sins, seeing them as Jesus sees them.  Yes, the Body shouldn’t excuse or deny the wrong inflicted against women, as they are made in the image of God.  No one should be treated disrespectfully or abusively.  Why?  All of us are made in the image of God that is why.  The Body does need to love each other as Jesus loves her because that will draw them to Him, not just to a religious establishment. 

However, in many areas of this book, I disagree with the conclusions the author was drawing.  Women can find fulfillment in their God-given roles without stripping men of theirs.  Men and women are co-heirs with Christ.  Christ showed all of mankind that women are people too, nothing less than that.  The author however quotes other men and women authors to establish a very mistaken view.  I hold nothing against the author as a person, yet her conclusions and call to what she believes is the right action I find to be non-biblical.  There is such dignity and value that God bestows upon women that they will find so satisfying if they operate within that calling, letting the men carry what God has called them to carry. The author alludes to conclusions others make about a section of Scripture without giving or making notation of where the conclusions are found so a reader may locate the source, read and see if the author is drawing proper conclusions.

I could go on and on as the author did in her book, with one exception.  I would quote more of the whole counsel of God and leave out the conclusions of others.  Scripture speaks and supports itself.  I would highly recommend reading faithfully His Word, and for yourself see what He has to say.  It is His Truth that will set all mankind free, indeed.
 

A fellow contributor writes:

I completely agree with everything expressed in the prior blog.  I agree with the author of this book when she talks about the abuse of women and the heinous practices against them.  These acts should be condoned by no one.  Jesus did value women at a time in history when most women were viewed as property.  It is our responsibility as Christians to do all we can to help bring women to Christ and His freedom.

I would not recommend this book either.  Unless you are truly well-grounded in His Word, you may come away from reading this book with the wrong impression of women and their roles.  A lot of problems can come about when women try to step into a role that is not theirs to assume.  Feminism has blurred and confused men and women as to what place each gender should occupy.

The author makes certain statements that pertain to Christians and their view of women as if that is how all Christians view women.  She makes several sweeping generalizations or states opinion as if it is fact.  I could state several examples of these generalizations, but there are too many to list in this blog. 

I just didn’t like the constant references to the “empowerment of women.”  It sounds too much like some feminist phrase and that could negatively impact readers or lead other readers astray if not well-versed in what Scripture says.  We must read critically, constantly comparing to what God says in the Bible to identify and verify if what is put forth is His truth.  The liberating truth is not that Jesus empowers women, but the truth is in God’s Word and that is what will set you free.

Monday, April 9, 2012

World Tilting Gospel

Title: The World-Tilting Gospel

Author: Dan Phillips

Pages: 320

Year: June 1011

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications.

When I first saw the title of the book, I was drawn to it. I have seen many changes within the Body of Christ universally speaking that I didn’t have a peace about, but why? In this book, Dad very adequately puts in words what I was experiencing. The Gospel is in itself and world tilting, myth busting, powerful Truth. Not because it is true, it is a Personified truth in the Person of Jesus Christ.

The author very well points out what is Gospel and what is not. It is a call for the Church to repent and awaken to speaking the Truth unashamed. It is a call not to fear man or fearing another person’s feelings, but calling them to see what is reality. The reality as God sees it and calls it. Though the reality would hurt and profoundly cause us to gasp, it would then wonderfully show us the Person Jesus Christ. While the world wants Christians to “blend in”, “shut up and sit down”, we need to stand up and make the Truth known no matter the cost.

Some think this means we are called to go overseas as missionaries, maybe some are. More profoundly though we are all called to be missionaries, ambassadors. We represent not a denomination, particular view of doctrines, programs but a Person. We must look at the Word and let Him show us where we fall short of living out a life that draws attention instead of repelling it. We need others to know there is someone, names Jesus Christ, who loves them. They cannot come to Him on their terms or in their own ways but in the only way a Holy God provides. No matter what the “world” or the “god of this world” says, there is one way and again it is Jesus. There is no other way, no way to work out through “good deeds” our way into heaven. We must bend our knee, humble ourselves not exalt ourselves. We must admit with all that is within us what a mess we are, hoe sin has utterly destroyed and separated us from a Holy God. It doesn’t matter to me whether people agree or not. Why doesn’t it matter that people agree? Truth is Truth whether people want to see Him, acknowledge Him as well as embrace Him. Turn away they can, ignore Him, curse at Him, deny Him none of this is new to Him, He has known this all before. He has experienced it as a man before. He sympathizes with our weaknesses, but He cannot turn away from it. He shed His precious blood so we can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Man has choice, free will. There are no other choices before humanity.

Whose Truth will you embrace? Is what somebody tells you or are you going to read the Word of God for yourself, check out, study it, believe it? He turned my world upside down several times since He and I first met in 1980. I know He will never stop, for I must become less in order for Him to become more in me. I am His, He is mine. What about you?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interview with Ann H. Gabhart and enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of her newest book. WORDS SPOKEN TRUE http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

Playing Hurt by Brian Goins

Title: Playing Hurt

Author: Brian Goins

Pages: 152

Year: 2011

Publisher: Kregel

Note: A complimentary book was sent by publisher for this review. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

This book is written for husbands so why would a wife want to read a book like this? First of all, I believe women can learn a lot from what a man reads. I will use the information presented to pray more effectively for my husband. It is a good tool for discussions of the heart, which is what most women want to know about their man. In a culture that is fast-paced, sex-saturated, not to mention a possible host of other stresses and challenges, having time to talk deeper is becoming even more important.

It is a book of hope. The author reveals himself and his struggles as part of human nature. He speaks compassionately yet pointedly. I found the book will not only challenge the husband, but any wife who makes time to read it as well. It is interesting that this book is published at the same time as a movie entitled COURAGEOUS is released and a CD by Casting Crowns entitled COME TO THE WELL, which both tie in well with the content of this book.

The song on the CD is called COURAGEOUS, and it is a call for men to stand up by kneeling with lifted hands. While many would agree that men have to change, women do to. In order for our husbands to take their place we have to be willing to let God tell us as wives how to get out of His way so He can work, how to not enable bad cycles, how to encourage them and not destroy them. So it is apparent if we listen to the Lord that both men and women need to be courageous in that they obey God’s Word and leading. We all have to be willing to be transformed more into the image of Christ. We must stop reflecting back to the world what it looks like, as we are to reflect the image of Christ, an image which is vastly different than the world.

It takes courage to stand up and whether others go or not, we follow the Lord. The beauty is that we are never alone for He has given to us a precious gift, the Holy Spirit. He is always present with us in our day-to-day activities. He hears all, sees all and knows all. May we all humble ourselves and let the Lord give us courage to be more like Christ and less like the world. Shut out and off all the electric stuff and reconnect with each other. It starts at home, and from there it ripples out. Remember it is not to just impact today, but future generations as well. So go ahead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you are transformed, so your home will then be also and the world will see that Christ is Who He says He is.