Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Death By Living

Death by Living, written by N. D. Wilson, is a reflective look at life, and his perspective on how life and death intertwine and give each other meaning.download

 

In the form of stories retold, the author places memories of his childhood, his relatives, and his own children under the microscope lens and dissects how the moments captured have spiritual value.  He awakens in rich detail the telling of everyday events, happy moments and sad, the joy of new birth and childhood fun, as well as the bittersweet farewells of final days on Earth.  He emphasizes how our individual and unique life experiences deeply connect us to each other and to God.  God’s Sovereignty and grace are predominant themes, and the author wants us to realize that the richness of life is realizing that God is the one who gives meaning and purpose to every facet of its continuum.
I enjoyed reading this book when I had ample leisure time to savor the storytelling aspect. The author uses a lot of colorful, descriptive wording that many may find distracting and not easy reading.  There are many layers of reflection and spiritual significance explored, that are nice to chew on in small segments at a time.  If you are a deep thinker, and like finding spiritual nuggets in the everyday circumstances of life, then you will enjoy this author’s deeply reflective and philosophical style.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.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

 

Book Review: Downside Up

No one likes rejection, yet we have all experienced rejection’s unavoidable bitter sting._225_350_Book.880.cover
 In her book Downside Up, Tracey Mitchell offers a new perspective on rejection.  She suggests that rejection is a powerful tool that once conquered, can become “the greatest motivator in your life.”
Her book explores all the negative aspects of rejection and the damage that rejection can do to a wounded heart.  It exposes all the ways that unchecked rejection can fester, and warp our self-worth.  At a spiritual level she reveals how rejections taints the positive affirmations that Gods wants our identity to have.  Her encouragement: “to begin retraining your mind to think positive thoughts, to speak God’s Word, and to embrace His will for your life.”

The book details how to begin retraining your mind so that you can combat being prone to perfectionism or crippled by fear.  It teaches you how rejection can help you identify positive healthy relationships and protect yourself from abusive, manipulative relationships.  It also teaches you how to look beyond the negativity of circumstances and find positive outcomes.

I found the book interesting to read and it challenged my own interpretations of events and circumstances in my life.  It pointed me to the sovereignty of God and to trust in His ability to always be teaching me, molding me, and instructing me so that Christ might be reflected within my life.  I think all Christians struggle at times to keep their faith afloat in the midst of trials and difficulties, and rejection can be such a hard hurdle to overcome.  If you want to challenge and overcome your negative reactions to rejection, then this is a book worth reading.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.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

Book Review: Prayer Warrior Mom

 

God has gifted us with a lofty vocation, a glorious calling, and a high honor. -Marla Alupoaicei

Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei was a well written and organized book about why and how to pray for our children.  _140_245_Book.834.cover  She emphasized the importance of praying for our children’s spiritual growth and understanding, and for their protection in a world that presents many trials and dangers.The book is divided into 15 chapters that cover a specific topic.  The chapters provide scriptural references, real life stories reflecting the author’s experiences as well as others, and discussion questions at the end that could be used with a small study group.  Prayer examples are also provided to guide your thoughts and dialogue.
I found the book nice to digest one chapter at a time and thought it would be a great bible study to do with other moms.  I was renewed in my belief in intercessory prayer and how powerful and important the impact of prayer can be.  I felt that the author was passing on a legacy handed down from generations before that reflected the beauty of a God focused family.  I believe that the faith and prayers of people in my life had a lot of impact on shaping the course of my life, and I want to pass on such a privileged duty by praying for my own children.  It was reading books by Stormy Omartian that first inspired me to focus on praying for my kids and husband.  This book added a fresh perspective and will certainly be a reference I return to many times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.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

Book Review: Dirty God

Dirty God by Johnnie Moore is about Jesus in the trenches. As Johnnie puts it “This is a book about grace. And how grace split time in half and made a broken world a playground again for the goodness and kindness of God.”

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This book takes us into the amazing humanity and deity of God all wrapped up into the very personable and “down to earth” Jesus. The Jesus who could have come to Earth in full glory and honor, chose to make his entrance into our world as among the poor and common. He did this to show his ultimate love and compassion for all of humankind and not just the rich and famous. Unlike any other religion, this book points out that Christianity is different because instead of people clamoring for the attention of their distant gods, Christianity has a personable and available God who comes directly and personably to them. Jesus came to give us access to God as a free gift. Mr. Moore believed that if one could truly grasp the love and acceptance extended in God’s grace, their life would be radically changed and they would be able to understand how important their purpose in life could be as the extender of that grace to others.

As a fan of books about God’s grace, I have to add this one to my favorite’s collection. This is the first book I have read by Johnnie Moore, and I found his writing style pulled me in to the story as if written directly to me. In a style I could compare to Max Lucado, he has a talent for making Jesus come alive and walk off the pages of the book. I also liked learning that this author lives what he preaches and has made many travels to distant lands, seeing first hand and ministering to the suffering of this world that he writes about and wants to change. This book is a good read if you are seeking a personable relationship with Jesus and a better understanding of his amazing love for you.

Book Review: The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur

In his book, The Truth About Grace, John Mac Arthur says “grace is God presently at work in our lives.’ _225_350_Book.626.cover His book is a detailed account of how grace is God’s free gift to a fallen world that provides the only means for reconciliation with God and salvation from man’s inherent corrupt nature.  He explains how grace is fully orchestrated by God from beginning to end.  He contrasts the belief of a grace that is completely based on the saving work of Jesus on the Cross, and the false belief that human works and effort are requirements in addition to Jesus’s death for one to keep/earn/be worthy of salvation.   He does not embrace “cheap grace”, however, that would advocate a free license to sin. In sharp contrast, he insists “that ‘grace’ that does not affect one’s behavior is not the grace of God”.  He explains how that when God saves an individual, his Holy Spirit is always at work to mold and transform that person in to the likeness of Christ.  God’s Holy Spirit empowers a Christian to be Christlike and a Christian will not be able to freely immerse themselves in willful sin without conviction.  God’s grace does not fail, and it completes what it starts.

I kept this book as my Book Review book for many months, because frankly there was so much spiritual meat contained that I wanted to read it over and over again.  I read it through once, and then again slowly and methodically so that I could grasp the contents with better understanding.  Each time I have read portions of this book, I have learned something new and exciting.  This is a book full of information but it covers so many questions and explains so much about God’s grace.   I think the more you realize how unworthy of God’s grace you are, the more amazed and thankful you should become that you are a recipient.

Ascent from Darkness – Book Review

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The book, Ascent from Darkness by Michael Leehan tells his true story of becoming a Satanist and then slowly but surely being drawn to the light of Christ.  He explains the dynamics of his childhood that created the emptiness and restlessness that made Satanism attractive to him. Most of the book is a twisting tale of how he sunk further and further into Satanism and yet Christian influences were able to weave in and out of that imprisoned existence.  At first he could not see the true power and the peace that permeated the Christian life because the power of Satanism had blinded him. God, however, had his hand on Michael and was able to strip him of his dependence on Satan’s false power.  As Micheal despaired of being salvageable and was convinced Satan would take his life as punishment for abandoning his Satanic covenant,  God showed him that there was a way out that would give him new life and a new hope.

Through my life, I’ve become knowledgeable at a basic level of Satanism, which I feel every Christian should recognize as a definite evil religion practiced by many today.  It interested me most how Michael chose to attend churches and bible study groups to prey on the weaker Christians.  I wonder how many of us would even think about, much less recognize that a Satanist was present in our sacred, and seemingly safe church settings.  The perspective Michael offers is definitely not your everyday read. I think it will keep your interest and hopefully give you reason to take spiritual warfare more seriously.

I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

Book Review: The Grace Effect

Would the world be a better place without Christianity?  That is the question presented in this true story.

The Grace Effect by Larry Taunton was an eye-opening read into what a world without Christian principles would be like.  The story is told of how a Christian family decides to open their hearts and homes to an orphan girl in the post communist country of the Ukraine.  In sharp contrast to the USA, every step of the process reveals a lack of scruples, morals, reverence for human dignity or life.  The conditions of the orphanage also reveal a lack of value for basic human dignity.

But against  the cold, hardened, corrupt portrayal of a godless foreign land comes the beauty and hope of Christian love.  The author, being an apologist, is able to thoughtfully reflect upon the circumstances and share his insights into how grace is so critically needed by all of mankind.  Through Sasha, the young orphaned girl, he is able to show the tremendous redemptive and life transforming power of the Grace effect.

Because of the religious freedoms still enjoyed in the USA, reading about the contrast of Ukrainian culture was disturbing.  I dared to imagine how different this culture would be if our religious freedoms and the influence of Judeo-Christian principles were removed.   I think this book will give you a new perspective into the influence of Christianity and particularly the influence of God’s grace.    I challenge you to read this story and decide for yourself if you would really want to live in a godless, graceless society.

I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

 

HEROES & VILLAINS of the BIBLE

KID TESTED AND APPROVED!

Heroes and Villains of the Bible published by Tommy Nelson presents the beloved and cherished stories of the Bible in a format that kids and adults will enjoy sharing together.  Your eyes will be intrigued by the beautiful and captivating illustrations.  The stories stay true to scripture yet are presented in a format that a child can understand.  At the end of each story, the character(s) are discussed briefly and at least one attribute of a hero is emphasized.

I was interested in this book because my 7 year old loves to be read to and I wanted to share the stories and characters of the bible with her.  She loved the illustrations but she also paid attention to the stories presented and would ask for more stories to be read to her.  In her opinion, the book would receive a 5/5 star rating.

Although children under 5 would enjoy the illustrations, the wording is probably more understandable to a child 6 and up.  In this age of many wordly superheroes, it is a great concept to present the characters of the Bible as real life heroes that can inspire us today.  I highly recommend this book, and also think it would make a great Christmas gift this season.

Disclosure:  I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for providing my honest and unbiased opinion.

The Christian Zombie Killer’s Handbook

THE CHRISTIAN ZOMBIE KILLER’S HANDBOOK  Slaying the Living Dead Within
BY: Jeff Kinley

I finished this interesting book today, and coincidentally today is the launch date for its release to the public at large.  What a great read!  This book is presented in both a fictional and nonfictional format.  First, you read an Episode of the fictional (complete with blood and terror) zombie survival story.  Next, you read a Chapter of nonfictional biblical commentary from the author about how the zombie parallels our spiritual state apart from God…how our fallen nature makes us spiritually ” the living dead.”  It further explores the spiritual battle we face daily to deal with the zombie that wants to reanimate inside of us.  How hard it is for some of us to see our sinful state as a really detestable, horrible, and revolting condition.  It is in this context, that the biblical concepts about our struggle with sin are explained uniquely and logically through the zombie analogy.

In all honesty, I am NOT a fan of zombie stories, movies, etc. I was very skeptical when I decided to review this book because I thought it might be a shallow presentation geared toward teenagers as just a fictional entertainment novel.  Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the content had an intriguing fictional story line as well as an in-depth explanation of important biblical concepts and practical application to understanding and living the Christian life successfully.  I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would, and I would highly recommend it to those who need to understand the spiritual battle we face daily as a Christian.  The Zombie theme is a perfect analogy of our spiritual condition, and sadly, the Christian who would not even consider reading this book because it is about zombies, is probably the Christian who would most benefit from the concepts explored in this unconventional  analogy.

 I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

BONHOEFFER

    FAITH?….CONVICTION?….GOD’S WILL?…..PURPOSE?…..SURRENDER?….SACRIFICE?  These are the attributes explored in Eric Metaxas’ biographical account of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German martyr who gave his life to make a stand against the evil of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
In times of adversity, when being a Christian and taking action for your beliefs comes at a heavy price, men like Bonhoeffer reveal to us an example of a life lived for extraordinary purpose, and with extraordinary circumstances.  This book is a very detailed account of a brilliant and courageous life, a life that impacted millions and still holds relevant insight for the Christian of modern times.  It explores his passion for having a very intimate relationship with Jesus, and for teaching others how to separate from mere religious ceremony and regulation so that they could reach into the lives of others with purpose and compassion, and to make Jesus real and personable in everyday life.  It explores his thoughts on grace, and portrays how deeply a true understanding of God’s grace can penetrate a heart and feel it with deep conviction and purpose.  It explores the grey areas of decision that all Christians must face in times of war and unusual circumstances and Bonhoeffer’s deep convictions to honor what he believed God wanted him to do even if others misunderstood or did not agree.
I enjoyed reading this book, and found myself being able to relate to the time period and events through Bonhoeffer’s eyes in new and insightful ways.  It was quite disturbing to me, actually, to comprehend how drastically Germany changed in a very short period of time.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility that Christians today could find themselves in similar circumstances.  If such were to transpire, I wonder how many modern Christians would be able to come forward and embrace pending death for the cause of Christ with the conviction and gratitude that Bonhoeffer and his comrades were able to do.  I highly recommend this book, and believe it will challenge you to look closely at your own beliefs and convictions.

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