Book Reviews

Some of you know that I not only write for Christian publications, but sometimes do book reviews as well. I do not get paid for writing these reviews for Thomas Nelson and Tyndale Publishing, but I do receive a copy of the book. I haven't posted many of my reviews on my site, but there are times when a particular book I am reading goes along with a study I am writing myself. When that happens I will post the book review here on the site and you can decide if it is something you would be interested in as well.


Which None Can Shut by Reeme Goode

Answering specific prayers that are prayed for non-Christian Muslims, by Christians; confounding the Islam mutawwas; showing Muslims they are told to read and believe the Bible by the Quran itself:
Reema Goode has in her book, given us an exciting look at how God is revealing Himself to a closed culture--not 100 years ago, but TODAY!

No one can show the power of God working  better than a person God Himself has sent to do His work. This book will strengthen the faith of any serious believer in Christ.

It is not as hopeless as American Christians have been led to believe. There are Muslims who are 'seekers.'
And Mrs. Goode shows us that God, ever true to His promise, is guiding those Muslims to the truth that is to  be found in His Word/Son - Jesus the Christ.
Excellent book.

Your Money God's Way by Amie Streater

The teachable principles in this book are practically endless. This would be a good Christmas present for anyone young or old! It was refreshing to hear sound biblical principles for handling money rather than the 'God's going to bless you if you fork over your money' recording that is so prevalent in our materialistic churches today.
God gives his children guidance on how to make money, how to spend money and how to save money to prevent incurring debt. Amie Streater has taken these principles and put them into her book"Your Money God's Way".

This is not just another book telling you how you should handle your money. Ms. Streater lays out the reasons Christians go into debt and the excuses they use for doing it;then through the course of the book using senario after real-life senario she shows what you did wrong and how it is never too late to correct it.

I would recommend this book to Christians who are serious about living within their means and debt free the way God meant for them to live.


The Devil in Pew Number Seven
by: Rebecca Nichols Alonzo and Bob DeMoss
Although this book started off slow to me: jumping from one part to another of her childhood events, once it finally settled down to narrative it was hard to put down. I should have known that when I saw my husband pick it up  just out of curiousity and then proceed to read it in one sitting. (Something he never does)

Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, and the author, Bob DeMoss do an excellent job of opening a window into the life of pastors and their families that few people ever see. From hate mail to bombs and guns, the violence is on a scale that most would find hard to believe in our America of religious tolerance. But this is not fiction: it chronicles real-life people with real-life anguish and real Heaven-ordained forgiveness.

Once you get into it, like my husband and I, you will not be able to put it down as you find  the God of the Bible  working His plan of grace and mercy in the lives of those involved. And even though it may not feel right, it may not seem fair; it works together ultimately for the good of all those involved, and to bring glory to the God of Heaven.

The lessons on forgiveness and why it was so important to her to forgive at the end of the book are priceless by themselves. I recommend it.

Beyond Opinion  by: Ravi Zacharias

When I chose this particular book to review, I was looking at it from a "desk reference" standpoint. I really was not expecting to be able to understand it, let alone enjoy it. I was surprised to find it kept my attention. There were many places I had to read more than once because the depth of the statements warranted mulling over, not because of the language used. There is a flow to the writing that you don't normally see when you have more than one author contributing. This shows the care taken to keep the writing styles close enough so as to help and not hinder the overall understanding of the text.

Multiple authors coming to the defense of the faith of the Bible, each from their own unique backgrounds, give almost any Christian who picks up this book for serious study something they can apply to their life: from impressionable youths going out into the world on their own for the first time, to converted Muslim extremist. This "been there, done that and here are the lessons learned to prove it" approach makes you realize that every Christian should seriously work to apply these principles in their life-- if they hope to stand for God in a fallen world.

I recommend reading "Beyond Opinion" by Ravi Zacharias and his team a section at a time, leaving space between for digesting and understanding the truths they put forth. Starting in the first section identifying those whose beliefs challenge our faith, then moving through the questions and motives behind them, this group of dedicated Christians and talented writers have woven the lessons for living the faith we defend and the apologetics that furnish the ammunition we will all need at some point when we are called upon to defend it into a conversational style of writing that simplifies a sometimes difficult topic.

                                    Change Your Church for Good

Pastor Brad Powell has place his finger on the pulse (or lack of) in American churches and has drawn a fairly accurate diagnosis of the problem that plagues them.
Many pastors know there is a problem, many know what the problem is, but few understand the details of what it will take to 'fix' it.
In this book Pastor Powell tells of his sucesses and his failures as a church pastor. Through the pages you can see his youthful mistakes and how through careful study of the scripture he realized them and worked to allow God to change him so that he could be the effective pastor and leader of God's people. By reading of his experiences in ministry, the problems, human errors and godly counsel you can get a better understanding of what it takes to help pull your church together so that you will be of one mind and one accord.

I would recommend this book to any Christian concerned about their church and the impact it is having on their community. How you can be a part of the solution in helping to put it back on track, instead of part of the problem that is keeping it derailed. As with any book written to help with ministry, never take someone- elses word for Bible truth - investigate it yourself and compare mans' word and way to Gods' Word and way to make sure they line up.


        Raising a Modern Day Princess
Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna have come together to help parents of young girls realize how important it is to make life and its changes cause for celebration in their daughters' lives. This book is a storehouse of ideas and inspiration to help your daughter understand just how important she is, to you and to God. In a society where the focus has been placed on female sexuality in all the wrong ways it is refreshing to read ideas of helping your children transition without the Hollywood stereotypes. By placing the responsibility for those lessons squarely where God intended for them to be: on the parents. This is one book that I recommend not only mothers should read, but there are parts that should be read-a-loud to fathers as well. No matter what ethnic background you will find ideas here to re enforce you daughters ability to feel good about who she is, and who God wants her to become. 

        Bibleman and the Commandant of Confusion

               This is a DVD for age group 6-12 years of age. I must admit this is the first time that I have watched any of the Bibleman material. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. As far as content, they have tried to present the gospel in a way that children can understand. I have never liked the idea of using "action figure" types to represent people of the Bible. The line between the fantasy of Hollywood is already too hard for children and adults alike to be able to discern.

  If all the DVD's are formatted in this way I would cautiously recommend them for parents. The action takes place on stage in front of a live audience of children and adults. The actors make a point of breaking away from the skits to tell everyone that the strength they are using to fight with is not theirs, but God's strength, and that they do not fight people. The actors they are fighting against are representations of evil and the scripture is given in Ephesians.

I don't want to give away the entire plot, but I would use this DVD to help explain the importance of memorizing the word of God. It is scripture truths and acting combined to present an entertaining yet to the point message to children.


The Vertical Self
by: Mark Sayers

This book by Mark Sayers and published by Nelson publishers is a fascinating commentary on modern day life. He explains the effects of the media of today on our personalities not just in his country of Austrailia, but worldwide. In today's society we are a consumer 'throw away' society not only when it comes to the things that we use daily, but also to our personalities. We have become able to pick and choose who we want to be for the day from the many models provided on TV, the movies, commercials, signs etc. We are given the opportunity to pick a personality to fit our mood, and then discard it when the mood changes: much the same as we change our shoes.
As a result, according to Sayers,we have an identity crisis. We have no idea who we really are.
The research Sayers has put into this book is certainly evident by the depth that he goes to explain how through time ,after the fall of Adam in the garden,culture has shaped our thoughts and lives to conform to the image of mankind and away from the image of God in which we were all made.  Then  starting again with the coming of Jesus, the second Adam, who came not only to die so that we might live eternally, but while He was here showed us how to 'live again in His image' as God intended, he points out how we as Christians can find our true identities in Christ.

This is a book that will take some time to get through I found myself having to back up at times to read again parts of it for understanding sake, but it is well worth the read. It's one that I will pick up and read again.


"How to Reach Your full Potential for God"
by, Charles Stanley 

I am currently studying what the Bible says about serving the Lord, and have posted several articles about that right here on my site.

 I want to recommend a book by Dr. Charles Stanley named "How to Reach Your Full Potential for God"  for anyone who, like me, wants to learn more about what it means to serve the Lord ; how the Lord himself will equip you to do the work that he has called you to do. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
I found it fasinating as it confirms many of the thoughts that I had gathered myself from reading and studying on this topic. Dr. Stanley is an excellent teacher and author and draws on his vast knowledge of the scripture and of human nature to give you a complete picture of how God places within each Christian what he or she will need to do the job that he has called them to do. I know that you are asking: "That's great, but how can I know what my job is?"

Starting with the natural abilities each person is born with Stanley explains that it is God's plan for each believer to develop those natural abilities or talents. For use in the service of the Lord.That is why they were given. Perhaps you have a natural ear for music, develop it to whatever level you can. God may want to use you to write the next memorable hymn to be sung in his praise!
Maybe you have a mechanical mind. Develop it! God may want to use you to help design and build a church for his children to worship in! Are you beginning to understand?

Next, our gracious God gives each new believer a spiritual gift when he or she becomes a part of his family. How can you know what your spiritual gift or gifts are? Are you willing to yield your life to the guidance, councel and direction of the Holy Spirit to find out?
In his book, Pastor Stanley breaks it down in simple steps that you can understand how you really and truely are able reach that full potential a loving Heavenly Father wants and has planned for you.

I would recommend this book as a valuable tool to be used in every Christian's service for the Lord. The clear concise teaching will help you look at your own life and find your natural abilities, as well as your spiritual gift then to discover your place in God's plan for the church and how each Christian young and old plays a key part.

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