Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Today’s Moment of Truth: Devotions to Deepen Your Faith In Christ

Today’s Moment of Truth: Devotions to Deepen Your Faith In Christ
This devotional book contains 180 entries to explore many spiritual topics of faith, controversy, and curiosity. _225_350_book-1959-cover The 2 co-authors, atheist turned Christian Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg are both authors of multiple books and have been widely recognized speakers.  They have used their research and gained knowledge, much of which is included in their well-known publications to provide condensed daily thought provoking and faith building devotions. Their purpose is described in the introduction: “we start each reading with a short passage from the Bible that is relevant to the topic we will explore that day. Then we address the subject, often beginning by quoting a thinker who challenges the Christian position, followed by logic and evidence that show what is true and why we can believe it. Then we end each reading with a succinct summary, under the heading “Truth for Today.””

My personal rating: 4/5 stars.  I enjoyed this devotional book, finding that each passage did not require much time to read, but often contained a lot of thought provoking content to think about through the day.  The book covers many commonly asked questions through all of time: questions about the validity of the Bible, the validity of Jesus as the Promised Messiah, the origins of Creation, the importance of man and the soul of man, the validity and purpose of angels and the Holy Spirit, why there is pain and suffering, etc.  The devotions also discuss beliefs of other religions as well as the arguments of atheists and agnostics.  For the believer, the devotions also serve to strengthen your faith and understanding of God’s purposes for your life.  There truly is something for every inquiring mind contained in this great collection.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review:Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare by Coni Eavenson is formatted to be an 8 week Bible Study that is divided into 5 days of topical study each week. spiritual warfareThe Bible Study offers an in depth discussion and exploration of Ephesians 6:10-18.  In these verses Paul talks about spiritual warfare and putting on “the whole armor of God”.  The book delves into  the background story and agenda of Satan as well as the purposes of God and how the two opposing forces of good and evil impact each other.  The book then discusses each article of weaponry: The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation,and  the Sword of the Spirit.  The author also includes discussion on Prayer as a Weapon, referring to it as “the Lance of Prayer.”
When reading this book, I found that I liked the way the 8 week study was organized. Each day of each week of the study had great topic exploration, Biblical reference and applications to implement.  I liked the focus on every Christian being impacted and important to the dynamic of spiritual warfare. Christians were encouraged to understand topics of salvation, grace, spiritual maturing/growth and having a personal, growing relationship with Christ. This book serves as a great reference for those who want to be effective spiritual warriors, positively impacting the world and the lives of those around them.  I rate this book:4/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: One More Heartbeat by Carolyn Carter

In the book, One More Heartbeat, Carolyn Carter declares her purpose for recording her life events in a book.  _240_360_Book.1035.cover She sees God working as the author of a story to be shared: ” He has been writing the chapters of my life in a way that He knew someday would become the events and miracles shared with others through a book. In One More Heartbeat, I share the many ways God has walked beside me and performed miracles that can be explained in no other way.”  The book is her personal testimony to God’s faithfulness to her and her family through the years and ends with a personal life saving miracle that defies any other explanation but God’s intervention.
As I read this book, I found that I had a mixed feelings about the book.  The events portrayed in Carolyn’s life certainly are a wonderful testimony of God working in and through the ordinary events of a praying, believing Christian.  She has her share of trials, challenges and difficulties that many should be able to relate to and she has a great story to share of extraordinary circumstances as well.  My frustration with the book, however, is that the story was typically delivered in a very mundane, matter of fact, reporter -style dialogue. This is often hard reading for me in that I feel like I’m weeding through a lot of facts to find interest and connection in the story.  I never really felt like I had a good idea of the author’s personality or personal deep thoughts and reflections. I’m glad I finished the book, however because I almost missed the amazing story at the end of the book.
Many will find this book written in a format that doesn’t remain consistently interesting, but many will also likely find a great encouragement and testimony of God’s personal involvement in one’s life.  My rating for this book: 4/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The James Code

The James Code by O. S. Hawkins is a devotional gem.  He provides 52 Scripture Principles for Putting Your Faith Into Action, which can be read as a weekly devotional.  At the end of each section is a Just Do It application or challenge to put the principles learned into action._240_360_Book.1776.cover

The Book Of James is becoming one of my favorite books of the Bible and I found this book to be very valuable in my study of these practical passages. O.S. Hawkins points out that “in these 108 verses is a sort of code – a James Code- that outlines how we can put our faith into action in the normal traffic patterns of everyday life.”  He focuses on object lessons, commentary and practical steps that make the wisdom of the book of James very relevant to a Christian’s walk today.  The author states the goal of this book is to move the message of James ” from your heart to your hands, to move you from merely hearing God’s commands to actually doing them.”  As a Christian desiring to put my faith in to action that makes a difference in the world around me, I found this book to be a wonderfully inspiring resource.  The book is also beautifully designed, with a textured imitation leather cover that makes it an attractive book to display or give as a gift.
Rating: 5/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: NIV Bible For Teen Girls

The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is a true delight!image

This Bible is a hardcover book with a beautiful trendy cover.  The pages also boast contrasting feminine colors of black print with hot pink captions.  The translation is New International Version which is a version that is easy for even young teenage girls to read and understand.  Each Book of the Bible is introduced with the following topics: When Did This Happen?, Who Is In This Book?, and Verses You Might Recognize.  Throughout the pages of this Bible are over 300 devotionals designed to engage your teenager to reflect more on the passages being read.  The devotionals focus on the theme of Growing In Faith, Hope, and Love.  There are also feature pages on the Women of The Bible.  There are footnotes provided on each page for additional study information or clarity of meaning. At the end of this Bible are the following additional features:  a Table of Weights and Measures, a Topical Index, an Index of Women of the Bible, an Index of Devotions, and also a Concordance.

Although my daughter is 11 and not quite a teenager,  I wanted to review this Bible to see if it would meet her needs.  She had been expressing an interest in having a more “grown up” Bible, but she wanted to make sure it would be a Bible that she could enjoy reading and would understand.  This Bible proved to be exactly what she wanted and our combined review gives the NIV Bible for Teen Girls a 5/5 star rating.  I think this Bible would make an excellent gift for that teenage girl on your Christmas list who you want to encourage to study and learn from God’s Word.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: What Keeps You Up At Night?

We all have fears!   These fears can be paralyzing and keep us from fully living life and fulfilling the plans God wants us to fulfill. _240_360_Book.1584.cover What Keeps You Up At Night by Pete Wilson is a book for all Christians who want to know how to put fears in to the right perspective.   I found this book well written, and full of very practical advice.  The author states ” I encourage you to think of this book as a field guide to ruthlessly trusting God’s plan – even in the face of difficulty and uncertainty.”  There are 12 chapters to this book and each chapter has a summary of the main points at the end, as well as Reflective Questions for further thought or discussion.  

I found that I benefited from reading this book and would likely recommend or provide copies of this book to friends who struggle with fears, concerns, and anxieties and need to refocus on God.  The author encourages just that, to make the choice to focus not on the problems but on the One who is bigger than the problems and able to help us and provide the resources we need.  He states that ” the object is not to fear less; it’s learning to trust God more.  I found the illustrations from the Bible and modern times to be encouraging and supportive of the author’s perspective.  I found that he offered very practical applications for each Christian to use in having a more God-focused, victorious life in the midst of trials and challenges.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review – Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree

Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree by Bill Delvaux  is a book that explores a great divide that resides in many Christians lives. _225_350_Book.1522.cover It is described as “the gulf between the human head and the human heart. It’s the split between what we say we believe in our minds and what we really believe in our hearts.  This book is divided into 3 parts.  The first section takes a view of what the divide looks like and how it manifests in our lives, with modern examples and Biblical history/examples as well.  The 2nd section explores how to tackle the Divide to “expose the lies we have swallowed.”  It emphasizes the importance of self-examination to reveal lies we think, believe and act upon in our daily lives that keep us from embracing the truths that God wants us to build our lives on.  The third section discusses how to close the Divide. This section does not provide a cookie cutter magic formula for feeling more connected to God, but rather warns that we may initially feel more disconnected from God as old ways of thinking and acting have to die.  God ultimately has to do the work of closing the Divide and the author states ” the way Jesus comes to make His home inside of us is as unique as our stories, as different as our fingerprints.”

I enjoyed reading this book because currently there are many fragmented, confusing changes going on in the personal circumstances of my life.  What a comfort to know that other God seeking Christians struggle with this inner conflict between head and heart as well.  It is helpful to think about the causes of our disconnect from God and to have the hope of God working within us to knit us closer as He desires to be connected to each of us.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday

Simply Open is written by Greg Paul, a pastor who works with an inner city ministry that provides a Sanctuary community to some of the most hurting and excluded people in the city. _225_350_Book.1455.cover He lives out each day what it means to love perhaps even those considered unlovable, and He says he has learned to love like this by being open to God.

In his book Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday. he shares how we can experience more of God by being more open in our awareness of how God is revealing himself to us daily through our 5 senses.  “No matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter how busy we get, our senses are engaged – even when we are largely unconscious of them. Scripture makes it abundantly clear, as does personal experience at some level for almost everyone. that our five  senses, along with our minds and hearts, provide a path deeper into the great mystery of God.”  He spends time in each chapter discussing a different sense as it is experienced through our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart.  He provides a simple prayer to be prayed for God to open us to more awareness through each of our senses and provides beautiful illustrations and reflections about each sense and how it can connect us to a more intimate experience of God.

I enjoyed reading this book and highlighted many parts for further reflection.  This book seemed in many ways an elaboration of the meaning behind such timeless sayings as “Stop and smell the roses.”    I agree with the author that God longs to connect with us in many ways and through all of our senses.  It made me more aware of how much more open I could be in my daily life to all the simple ways God may be trying to connect to me. The mystery of God is revealed uniquely to each of us, just as we uniquely learn and experience through our senses and interpret these experiences differently.  This is definitely a book worth reading if you are at that point in your spiritual walk with God where you want to be taken to a new level of experiencing His spiritual mystery and feeling more intimately connected to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Book Review: Beloved Dust

I just finished reading Beloved Dust: Drawing Closer To God By Discovering The Truth About Yourself. _225_350_Book.1370.cover This book was co-written by Jamin Goggen and Kyle Strobel.   As a pastor and theology professor. these men are very involved in studying and teaching God’s word.  The book resulted from their own realizations that many Christians share a common lack of finding rest and true abiding in God.  This book is to encourage Christians, that although self-help strategies and personal resolutions may fail to draw you closer to God….Jesus will not.  By recognizing that we are dust, but not any dust….His Beloved Dust….we can embrace a different process of allowing Christ to draw us and knit us closer to God.

I give this book 5/5 stars because of the applicable truths contained.  Like so many who seek “something more” in relationship to God, I have chosen tactics of trying to draw nearer to God vs just learning to abide in God.  To see yourself as dust, your raw being, and to then recognize that no matter how broken or flawed you may be in your sin…..you are beloved, is freeing.  I learned more about what God’s idea of “rest” should be and how to truly abide and rest in HIm.  I also valued the impact this book made on my perspective about prayer.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: The Real House Of God

The Real House Of God by H. Dele Davies, MD is a very informative spiritual book that provides an in depth look at the Temple of the Old Testament and correlates it to the believer being a temple of God’s indwelling._140_245_Book.1005.cover

If you are like me, and have read through the long, very detailed passages in the Old Testament that talk about the Temple, you found the information hard to digest and the significance of all the layout and items hard to grasp.  In this book, Dr Davies, looks piece by piece at each described article and detail of the Temple and he takes the time to explain to the reader what the significance and purpose is meant to be.  He also relates corresponding scripture passages and events to further explain the spiritual importance and impact.

More importantly, he provides explanation of how the temple reflects Heaven as the dwelling place of God, and how the temple also reflects the current believer’s body as the new Temple and dwelling place of God. He provides significant applications for our spiritual understanding of grace and how to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

I enjoyed reading this book and plan to keep it as a valuable reference source that I will read again.  The author is passionate about the subject matter and passionate about providing a resource to help Christians grow in their understanding of God’s Word and His purposes for each of us.  My rating: 5/5!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

%d bloggers like this: