Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fire of the Raging Dragon by Don Brown - Book Review by Marcus

   Don Brown has written a masterpiece.  This is one of the best action novels that I have ever read.  The book begins with plenty of action and suspense and continues all the way through the last page.
   Fire of the Raging Dragon is Book 2 of the Pacific Rim Series.  The story revolves around a conflict that takes place in the South China Sea.  Every aspect of the conflict is covered, from the egotistic, power-hungry president of China, the president of Taiwan, the President of the United States, the Captains of the various ships involved, the fighters pilots, Navy personnel and many more.  It's an amazing page-turner.
   There are many decisions to be made by the many characters portrayed in the story, every moment of decisions leaves the reader in suspense.  One of my favorite aspects of the book is the very real feeling Don Brown gives to the scenario.  He makes it feel like it is actually happening at them moment.
      In that feeling of this is actually happening, he gives the President of the United States one of the hardest moral choices that a parent would ever have to make-would you put your morality aside for the sake of your child?  Would you sacrifice your child for the sake of the country and the world?
   This book is an amazing suspense that actually leaves you with a profound respect for all of the many service men and women who put their lives in danger everyday.  It leaves you with a respect for the many military leaders who must make hard spur-of-the-moment decisions.  It leaves you respect for the very difficult job of Commander-in-Chief of the United States.
   The one negative I had with this book was the one or two curse words that were in it.  Seeing as this was a Christian author and publisher, I was very disappointed.  
 
   God Bless,

   Marcus

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill - Book Review

   All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill, Seven Essentials to be a Hero to Your Kids.  A great book that I would recommend any dad to read.  It's full of great insights, inspiring thoughts and plenty of examples of lessons that were learned the hard way.
   Mr. Merrill often quotes examples from well-known men such as Tony Dungy, Dan Cathy, J.C. Penney, Michael W. Smith and a whole lot of others.  The book covers topics such as being a role model, being a good husband, quality time verse quantity times spent with you children, knowing the message and values that you are going to teach your kids, overcoming obstacles from your past, just to name a few.
   A neat feature of the book is Huddle Up and Ask Your Children which appears at the end of every chapter.  It offers questions such as How can we make God first in our family?  What is the most painful thing that has ever happened to you and what did you learn from it?  Do I act the same way no matter who I'm with?  When I'm wrong about something, do I apologize?
   This book is very thought provoking and presents a challenge.  I think Mark Merrill describes is well in his introduction:

 "During my twenty-one-year quest of being a dad, I've experienced the joy of standing on mountaintops and the pain of crawling through valleys...Fatherhood is full of fun, excitement, and adventure, but difficulty and pain in raising children may unexpectedly leap across our trail like a wild beast attacking us and our kids.  When they do, we need to slay them, push them off our path, and press on.  Our job as dads is to stay the course and to persevere when trouble comes our way, even during the darkest and most difficult hours of our children's lives."  

   This is the challenge that every dad faces.  Mark Merrill does a great job in this book of presenting ways to stand up to that challenge and win.
   I did receive this book from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review of this book.

God Bless,

Marcus

Thursday, November 1, 2012

American Patriots by Rick Santorum

   Amazing stories.  Unbelievable acts of patriotism.  Dedication to their country.  These are just a few phrases to describe the stories that you will find in American Patriots by Rick Santorum.  The people that are highlighted in the pages of this great historical book are people who were no different than us.  They weren't people with amazing powers or abilities.  They were simple, everyday people who loved America.  And they were people who loved this country enough to put their reputation and life on the line to fight for freedom and liberty.
   Mr. Santorum does an amazing job digging into the lives of people that most of us have never heard of.  There are a few famous names such as Nathan Hale and John Weatherspoon, but for the most part, these are people whose stories have long been forgotten until now.
    There are three sections to this book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  In those sections, Rick Santorum tells the stories of the brave men and women who made those things possible for all Americans today.  He weaves into the stories the proof that this country was founded on the principles of God's Word.                Overall, I give this book the highest rating available.  It easily could be required reading in history classes, but it also could be one of those books that just simply reignites the flames of patriotism in the common man.
   I did receive this book free of charge from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I encourage everyone to read the stories in this book and understand that our great country is great because people risked everything for freedom.

God Bless,

Marcus

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review by Marcus - Sacred Sex by Tony Evans

   I have to start by saying this was an amazing book.  There are a lot of marriage book on the market that try to help couples find fulfillment in their marriage, but none of them come close to this one.  Tony Evans literally goes to the heart of intimacy in marriage.  He points out the problems, the solutions and the results of a fulfilled marriage.
   God is the Creator of men and women.  God created us with sexual desires and needs.  The problem, as Tony Evans points out, is that man in his sinfulness has perverted that plan.  But God is powerful enough to keep us from sin, and He is powerful enough to lead us to the one true person that He has chosen for us.  Sexual purity before marriage and during marriage are a part of that plan.  
   But what stood out to me is the approach that Mr. Evans took in showing how to reach that place in marriage where sex is sacred.  Here are a few quotes from the book:
  "While sex is a wonderful and beautiful gift of God designed for human fulfillment, Satan has taken this God-ordained activity and has done with it what he does best.  He has counterfeited it and sold his cheap imitation as the real thing."
   "God's sexual standard outside of marriage is virginity, an extremely valuable gift from Him that you can give away only once and never get back again."
   "Sex is a part of your God-given DNA, but it was never designed to be your master."
   This book could easily be taken and used as a curriculum in a small group setting.  It has a message that teens, dating couples, newlyweds and seasoned married couples need to hear.  The message of the book is that intimacy starts long before anything physical.  It's possible to have a few moments of pleasure with another person, but that isn't intimacy.  When that happens you leave a part of yourself, and move on looking for the next "high" moment.  But true intimacy is sharing your thoughts, dreams, emotions, your whole life.           The author said sex is a covenant, an unbreakable bond.  And when you do it God's way, according to God's plan, you get to enjoy this awesome gift that God has given human being in a way that the world could never understand.  It becomes sacred. 
   This book was given to me free of charge by Moody Press in exchange for my honest review.

Awesome! Marcus' review of two Adventures in Odyssey Books!

   I just finished reviewing books 8 & 9 of the Adventure in Odyssey Imagination Station series.  Both books feature Beth and Patrick, two cousins, taking trips in the Imagination Station.  Book 8 called Battle for Cannibal Island sends two kids into the world of the Fiji Islands in 1850.  They are brought into the story of real life missionary James Calvert.  It is an exciting adventure that is full of suspense, while also teaching a spiritual and history lesson.
   Book 9 is called Escape to the Hiding Place.  This book sends the two cousins into the world of Nazi occupied Holland during WWII.  The kids experience what life as a Christian would have been like during that time.  Ultimately, they are forced to take refuge in the house of Corrie Ten Boom, the real life hero whose family saved hundreds of Jews from being taken to Concentration Camps.
   Overall, I give these books the highest rating available.  They teach life lessons while taking kids on an amazing adventure.  I let my 8 year old read them and she loved them.
  I received these books free of charge from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Unsatisfied & Disappointed - Book Review by Marcus

  I just finished reviewing Understanding Theology in 15 minutes a Day by Daryl Aaron, and I am unsatisfied and disappointed.  I must first say that there are good things in this book.  Chapters on topics like "How Do We Know the Bible Is the Word of God?" and "Did God Really Make Everything?" along with a lot of others were really good.  I am a pastor, so I have to be careful when I hand a book to a new convert.  And I had hoped when I first received the book that this would be a good one to give to people who had questions about Christianity, but when I began to read, I found out differently.
   The author said at the beginning that he hoped to keep his own personal view from coming through, but when you read through the various chapters of the book, you find that he not only shared his own personal view.  It is his book, therefore he is entitled to write what he wants.  And for the most part, this is an excellent book.  The author is a very good writer, and very accurately gives both sides of every argument.  There were just  few reasons why I couldn't recommend this to those in my church.
   I am unashamedly Wesleyan-Armenian in doctrine.  From reading this book, I conclude that the author is Calvinist.  We are both Christians.  We just have differing viewpoints.  He points that out in the book, but then in these few instances to try and prove why Calvinist are right.  That's my fault.  I would highly recommend this book had he given both sides of the argument and then let the reader decide which they felt was better, but in these few instances, he didn't.  So this isn't a slam against Daryl Aaron, just an honest review. 
   Just a few of the faults I find in this book are things like "Christians are still sinful." p. 130  Romans 6:16-18 says that whoever you choose to obey is who's servant you are.  Then Paul gives two choices, choosing to sin or choosing to live a life of righteousness.  He continued by saying that you once were a slave to sin, but you have been delivered from that bondage, and "And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."  So I'm not sure how a slave to righteousness, who Paul says has been delivered from and is free of sin, can be a sinful Christian, yet the chapter points out that Christians are sinful.
   On p. 154, the author talks about the sower and the seeds.  He specifically points out the seeds that fell on rocky ground, saying they never had been saved.  But Jesus said in Luke 8:13 "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away."  Paul said to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved."  Jesus said these people believed for a while, but they didn't finish the race.  They allowed the temptations of the world lure them back into a life of sin, thus losing their salvation.
   The last problem that I point out is the chapter on the ability to lose your salvation.  The author does give both sides of the argument   For the one side he quotes text like John 15:1-6 where Jesus said any branch that any branch that does not bear fruit is removed from the vine and burned.  Jesus said, He is the vine, those who have been saved are the branches.  Therefore, if He cast them away, then they are indeed losing their salvation.
   He also points out Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
   On the other side, he gives John 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand."
   But then the author, in what he calls a Heartfelt Attempt To Persuade, tries to convince the reader that you cannot lose your salvation.  He actually gives a much stronger argument for losing your salvation than he does for not being able to lose it, but yet he pushes those scriptures aside and tries to convince the reader to believe like him.
   I do not know this author.  I have all the respect in the world for him.  I have no doubt that he is a good Christian man that I will meet in Heaven, but I cannot recommend this book simply because of the bad theology.
   No one can make me accept Jesus as my Savior, and no one can take away my salvation.  Only I can do that.  It's my choice, my decision.  And if I choose to turn my back on God, I can.  And to be honest and truthful, if I took this theology and preached it, then my people could accept Jesus as their Savior, and then go out and kill someone that they hate, and then kill themselves and still go to Heaven.  It just doesn't make sense.  Therefore, I cannot recommend this book.
   Please take this review as simply my opinion on a theology, not a personal criticism of the author.  I did receive this book free in exchange for my HONEST review.  They in way influenced my review.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Everything The Bible Says About Prayer (book reviewed by Mandy)

Everything The Bible Says About Prayer is basically a reference type book about the subject of prayer. The book begins with a few chapters of generalized thoughts about prayer then moves to chapters focusing on different kinds of prayer. Prayer including those prayed for healing, for protection, for guidance, for forgiveness, etc... The chapters give examples from the Bible on each kind of prayer.
My favorite part of the book was the appendix titled Thoughts On Prayer by Classic Christian Writers. Great thoughts shared from Spurgeon, Moody, and others. Very convicting and thought provoking!
The one drawback for me was that the scripture verses included in the book were from various versions and paraphrases of the Bible - there was not one used consistently throughout the book.

*I received this book for free in exchange for my review from Bethany House publishers.*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Understanding World Religions in 15 minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan

This is a great little book with easy to read explanations of many of the world's leading religions. Garry Morgan does a great job of summarizing the various religions of the world without digging too deep into the theology of those religions. The author covers obvious religions such as Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism as well as the New Age Movement, Native American Religions, Sikhism, Baha'i and many others. If you're like me, and you like to have a little knowledge of other religions without having to deeply research them, this would be a great book to read. I did receive this book free of charge from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my unbiased review.

God Bless,

Marcus

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review by Marcus - Sneak, The Swipe Series by Evan Angler

Awesome! I think that is the best way to describe book #2 of The Swipe Series. This is a work of fiction that is set in a post modern time. Two evil men have taken over the world and are joining forcing to create a One World Government. The only way to by food, get a job, enter a building, ride a train or anything else is by scanning the mark that this government has placed on your wrist. In this world is a group of people called the Dust. People who refuse to take the mark. People who struggle to survive. This is their story. It's exciting, suspenseful, scary, chilling and easily believable.
I think what makes this book even more interesting is the idea that this book could become true. Following Biblical prophecy, something like this really could happen. The world full of people tired of economic turmoil, natural disasters, evil dictator's lured into an idea that all those things can be solved by simply joining forces with the rest of the world to create a world of peace and unity.
This is a good read. It's exciting, futuristic, Christian fiction at it's best. I was given this book by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review. They in no way influenced my review of this book.

God Bless,

Marcus

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review by Marcus of The Power of the Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee

When I first received The Power of the Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee to review, I wasn’t sure what it was all about. But as I began to read, I found that it is a very good book. I thought at first that maybe this was going to be another one of those pat you on the back, prosperity gospel kind of books. But I was amazed at the well researched, well presented look at examples of “prayers of blessings” given in the Bible. This is not just a pick me up and bless me kind of book. It takes you on a journey thru the prayers and blessings of many people in the Bible. Everyone from Abraham and God’s promises of blessing to him, to Jacob and his sons, to Jesus preaching the sermon on the Mount and taking the little children in His arms to pray a prayer of blessing over them.
For those who would like to take a trip through parental praying in the Bible, this is the book. For those looking for keys to prayer for spiritual growth, this is a good book to read. I don’t be any means endorse everything in this book, but I highly recommend it as a means of deepening your prayer life, not just for yourself, but for your family. I think the main emphasis I get from Mr. Hagee is the importance of praying for your kids. The importance of lifting them up to the throne room of God. And the importance of praying those prayers in their presence so that they can feel God’s presence while you pray for them. This book is a challenge for fathers and mothers to have family prayer. It’s important. It’s necessary if you want to see your kids succeed for God.
My favorite chapter of the book dealt with the promises of blessings that Jesus gave in Matthew chapter 5. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the pure in heart. On and on Jesus went and promised a certain blessing on people who had these spiritual characteristics in their life. It’s worth the book to read this one chapter. It’s not about theology. It’s not about whether you like the author or not. It’s about a simple challenge that Jesus gave to us.
Worthy Publishing gave me this book in exchange for my review. They in no way influence my review.

-Marcus

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield

The Mormonizing of America, How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture, is a well-written, well-researched, well-balanced page turner. Stephen Mansfield takes you through Mormonism from it's very beginning all the way through modern day. It shows both the positives and negatives of this religion by giving statements from both Saints and outsiders.
As a Christian pastor, I found the doctrines or as they say "revelations" of the LDS(Latter-Day Saints) to be a balance of offensive, comical and just plain ridiculous. Offensive in that is calls any Christian pastor a servant of Satan, or any church that isn't LDS a "false" church. It's comical and disgusting when Joseph Smith sees a fourteen year old girl that he wants to marry and all the sudden has a revelation that she is supposed to give herself to him. And then when his wife doesn't approve of him going out and marrying other women, he suddenly has a revelation that God will destroy her if she doesn't except polygamy. And it's absolutely ridiculous to think that God was a human who had sex with the Virgin Mary and conceived two sons named Jesus and Lucifer. It's ridiculous to think that Adam and Eve made a good choice in the Garden of Eden. And one of their key doctrinal statements is that "As man is, God once was. And as God is, man may become."
The author does a good job of pointing out that this book is built around one man's ideas and what outsides would call wild imaginations or even Satanic visions. Even the Mormon leaders of today admit that this religion is built on Joseph Smith. And the author does a good job in digging into the life of this man and finding things that really blow my mind to think about. He was a man who loved the occult. He almost worshiped Mohammad. He detested certain parts of Christianity. He spoke in tongues and had revelations that black people are demons. He invented nations of people for his book of Mormon. He believed that the New Jerusalem will be in Jackson County, Missouri. He plagiarized books and then called them scripture. He rewrote the Bible and then placed himself into the book of Genesis.
It sounds crazy and it is. But the author did a great job of balancing the Mormon point of view with their critics point of view. He allowed the Mormon people to speak freely in this book. He allowed them to argue their doctrine, to defend their faith without making them look like uneducated, backwoods kooks. He simply presented them as well-educated, hardworking, patriotic Americans who happen to believe in the divine anointing of Joseph Smith.
Overall, I am quite shocked at what I found concerning this religion. It's amazing that 14 million people believe this, including many prominent businessmen and politicians. As a Christian, to read of a religion that has it's basis in the occult, secret societies, and the "revelations" of man, I am troubled. And yet, I believe in freedom of religion. If they choose to believe that, then so be it. This is America. This is freedom.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing with the request that I write a review. 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

God Bless,
Marcus

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nothing To Hide by J. Mark Bertrand

Nothing To Hide by J. Mark Bertrand is a great mystery that is hard to put down. If you like CIA, FBI, local police and drug cartels all in one book, you will love it. This story contains a homocide in Houston that leads to a CIA project from years ago. As the story unfolds, the action builds and the harder it is to put down. This book is free of any cursing but does contain lots of violence, at times drifting into some pretty gory stuff. Overall, I enjoyed this well written book. The icing on the cake is knowing that much of the book is built around actual events. And knowing things like this really goes on behind the scenes gives you a greater appreciation for all of those who put their lives on the line everyday to protect our freedom.
-posted by Marcus

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tough Guys and Drama Queens (reviewed by Mandy)

In Tough Guys and Drama Queens, author Mark Gregston shares from his experience as director of Heartlight Ministries, a residential counseling ministry for teens, and as host of Parenting Today’s Teens radio show, to help parents as they guide their children through the tween and teen years.
His book is divided into three parts. In the first part, Mr. Gregston reflects on the culture of today’s world. He talks about the many things that young people are facing today and how it affects them. In the second part, there are chapters discussing parenting practices that should be avoided, and part three gives us some parenting practices that are successful.
As I read, there were two points that stood out to me as things that the author was really trying to drive home to parents. One was that above all teens need relationships. He points out that with the popularity of Facebook and texting, most relationships in a teen’s life are surface at best. Face to face communication is being sacrificed. Parents need to invest time in their children, developing a deep relationship with them and encouraging them to do that with other friendships. That brings out the other point that the author wants to drive home to parents. Spend time weekly , on purpose with your teen. In the appendix of the book, the author gives pages of suggestions of Conversation Starters to use as a springboard to get the conversation rolling with your kids.
While I did not agree with all of the author’s reasonings or guidelines, in this book, it did have some very helpful tips to remember in working with and raising teenagers.
*This book was given to me by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.*

Review of Traveler's Rest by Ann Tatlock (by Mandy)

A wounded soldier returning from Iraq very different from when he left, and a confused fiancee looking for direction in things she never would have imagined. This scenario could be repeated many times over in our world today.
In Traveler’s Rest, as her soldier fiancee, tries to deal with his life changing injuries , Jane begins searching for answers and hope in coming to grips with the changed circumstances in her life. Her weak faith is strengthened by the people she meets, mainly Dr. Rockaway, a retired physician. Unknowingly to both of them, Jane’s friendship helps bring healing and closure to some lifelong hurts that Dr. Rockaway has been harboring.
Author Ann Tatlock does a fantastic job writing a story that keeps you turning pages! I really enjoyed reading this book.
*I received this book in exchange for my review by Bethany House Publishers.*

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review - Grant, the Savior of the Union by Marcus

This is the second book that I reviewed in this series, and I must say I am very impressed. Grant has never impressed me, and still does not. In fact, this book paints an even darker picture in my mind of the man known as the Savior of the Union. As a person, I think Grant was probably not a very likable person. As a General, he had his strong points, but I came away amazed at his ability to send thousands of men into death traps just to test the enemy.
I also came away impressed at the author’s ability to balance the good characteristic’s of Mr. Grant with the bad. While not afraid to sacrifice his men by the thousands, he also had a great mind when it came to figuring out where and how to attack the enemy.
It is a very balanced read that I believe is great history and an easy reading. Like in the Jackson book, my stomach turns at the thought of so many thousands of lives being sacrificed at the simple guess of a Commander or General. And yet I understand that this is real history, not something watered down to appear politically correct. This is pure history at it’s best.
Overall, this is an awesome book. It’s not boring, but yet it’s very detailed history. Whether you like Grant as a General or President or whether you don’t, this book is great reading. It’s well written history! It’s a great well-researched window into the past. This book was given to me free by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review. They in no way influenced this review.


Marcus

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review - Jackson by Paul Vickery

Jackson by Paul Vickery was one of the best historical books I have ever read. Sometimes biographies tend to be very long and boring. This book is not one of those. There is nothing boring about it. From the moment I received this book, I haven't hardly been able to put it down. Not only it is great for understanding some of important events in the early days of our country and a lot of very detailed facts about the personal life of President Andrew Jackson, it is also great to understand the leadership methods that he used in his rise to General and eventually President of the United States. This book contains very detailed descriptions of various battles that shaped the beginning days of our country. From Jackson's time in the Revolutionary War until the days of the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars. I must say this book is very graphic in describing certain massacres and battles. At times, the details turned my stomach, but they were straight facts. Nothing watered down or passed over. Overall, it is an awesome book that is not only a good entertaining read, but also an awesome glimpse into the past. It's as close to being there as you can get. I received this book from Booksneeze.com in return for my review. They in no way influenced this review.
- Marcus

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Fiddler - book review (Mandy)

Amelia Devries and Michael Hostetler were two very different people, but the paths they were on were very similar. Both were searching for their own way in a life other than the one that was being laid out for them by the wishes of their parents.
A storm, a wrong turn, and a flat tire forces Amelia to seek shelter in a cabin where Michael Hostetler is staying as an escape from his father and a lifestyle to which he is not ready or willing to submit. As the storm continues the two share their stories. Amelia's parents want her to stay on the path to the top as a classical violinist, but Amelia enjoys fiddling. Michael's parents are ready for him to settle down in the Amish way of simplicity, but Michael has dreams of pursuing more education.
The Fiddler shares the story of Michael and Amelia as they search for answers in their lives. Circumstances, relationships, and friendships all help shape their lives as they pursue their dreams.
Beverly Lewis is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read. The Fiddler is no exception. The story will keep you hooked until the end. Amish Fiction has been a favorite of mine, and Beverly Lewis is one of the best!
*This book was given to me by Bethany House in exchange for my review.*

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book review - The Lordship of Christ by John MacArthur

I am reviewing The Truth About the Lordship of Christ by John MacArthur. I would give this book a 2 out of 5 rating. It’s a good little book, but not very easy to read. I found several areas that I feel are just a little theologically out of order, but overall a good little book. The author made a very good point in writing this book on the subject of what Jesus can do in your life. I believe that the Bible teaches that we can be completely delivered of sin. While the author tells about all of the wonderful changes that happen when a sinner comes to Christ, he stops short of teaching of the complete deliverance from sin and the nature of sin.
Other than that, I feel that the book did a great job in pointing out how important it is to completely surrender your life to Jesus. He was clear in teaching that surrender isn’t something that can be taken lightly, but it is a very serious matter. In fact, he went so far as to say that it is a life or death decision.
This little book wasn’t too long. In fact, it was a great length. It didn’t take a long time to read, yet it covered some important topics. The only problem that I found is that you really had to be interested in the subject in order to stick with it. There were very few illustrations. In fact, it really read more like a commentary. Overall, it wasn’t the easiest to read, but it was a great little book.
This book was given to me by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord - reviewed by Mandy

Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord by Dave Stone is an excellent book! Mr. Stone very practically addresses parents, reminding them of priorities that can be easily misplaced in the busyness of life. Priorities such as the importance of daily prayer, making Bible reading a habit and making sure our own spiritual lives are in order. He also reminds fathers and mothers of their roles individually as well as parenting as a joint effort.
One of the areas that parents struggle with most is talked about in the chapter titled “The Key”. Mr. Stone states that the key to successful parenting is consistency. Included in this discussion is the importance of consistency in discipline, which is lacking in many families.
This book gets an overwhelming 5 stars! If I could, I would give a copy of this book to every parent I know. This book should be read and re-read periodically as a reminder of our responsibilities as Christian parents who want to actively pass the faith along to the next generation, not just in words only, but it being lived out in their day to day life.
Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord is part of a set of books called Faithful Families authored by Dave Stone.
*This book was given to me by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.*

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Momaholic - reviewed by Mandy

Momaholic shares events in the life of the author, Dena Higley. The book opens at the lowest point of her story - a visit to the emergency room because of an overdose of alcohol. Mrs. Higley shares how being a “helicopter” mom led to some poor choices in her life, but also came to help her find some healthy boundaries in parenting.
I first thought this book was more about the do’s and don’ts of what has been defined as “helicopter” parenting. Even though it wasn’t what I had expected, it definitely had a lot to say about the “don’ts”.
The chapter titled “The Test” lists 15 things that may be happening in your life that will tell you if you are a “momaholic”.
I was extremely disappointed at the language that was allowed in this book. I am emailing the publishing company with my compliant. Curse words were used twice in this book and slang several times. One would expect this from a secular publisher, not from a Christian publishing company. The whole tone of this book was something that I would expect if I was reading a biography from a mainstream publisher.
Although, there were some good things in this book, overall, I would not recommend it.
*This book was given to me by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unashamed To Bear His Name - R.T. Kendall (review by Marcus)

Unashamed To Bear His Name by R. T. Kendall is a great book. It is a very challenging book. Are you really willing to bear His name? Are you willing to be laughed at, ridiculed, persecuted or even killed for the name of Jesus? While I do not agree with the Calvinistic doctrine that is given in this book, I would recommend it as a challenge to make you a stronger Christian. Rev. John Zechman always said, “Chew on the meat and spit out the bones”. This book contains some “bones”, but it is loaded with some great “meat”. So read it and let it challenge you to be unashamed to bear the criticism and sometimes persecution that comes with being a Bible believing Christian.
*This book was given to me by the publisher, Chosen Books, in exchange for my review.*

Spirit Wars (reviewed by Marcus)

This review is for Spirit Wars by Kris Vallotton. My opinion of this book is pretty simple. This is a reference book. It is there if you are researching his topic, but I would not recommend people to just pick this up and read it. My reason for this is simply because it deals with the spirit world, which in my opinion is not something to even research unless you are a very strong Christian. Again, I’m not even sure what I think about the ideas in this book, so I would only refer to it as a reference book.
*This book was given to me by the publisher, Chosen, in exchange for my review.*

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blue Moon Bay - Lisa Wingate (reviewed by Mandy)

Excellent book! Lisa Wingate successfully combines romance and suspense with a pinch of history and humor to create an intriguing story that is sure to draw you in and keep you captive until the last word!
In Blue Moon Bay, Heather Hampton never thought she would return to her hometown of Moses Lake. But as life seems to go, Heather was forced to return to convince her mother to sign the papers to sell the family property. After an eventful trip, unavoidable circumstances make it necessary for her to stay longer than she had hoped. Complications arise and a mystery emerges as her family appears to be hiding something from her. As Heather singlehandedly tries to unravel the mystery, she faces painful childhood memories that she had kept buried for years. As the danger increases, the healing process begins. With guidance from Ruth who had been a bright spot in her childhood, Heather finally finds the answers she had been seeking and truly finds her way back home.

*The book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.*

Thursday, March 29, 2012

1000 Days by Jonathan Falwell

I was excited to get my copy of 1000 Days by Jonathan Falwell and it only took a few pages of reading for me to know that I wasn't going to be disappointed. It seemed that literally every page there was something that stood out to me. I want to read this book again someday and journal those thought provoking statements that I found. The book covers the approximately 1000 days that Jesus spent ministering while He was here on earth. Each chapter covers a topic that Jesus taught about or an event that was a highlight of Jesus' ministry. Things like the restlessness of a person until they find new life in Christ, finding true and lasting happiness, finding peace, enduring temptation, braving the storms of life, hypocrisy, and other things all culminating to the cross and the resurrection. All important things beneficial to a new Christian or a seasoned saint. I also enjoyed the glimpses of the culture of Jesus’ day that add so much meaning to the familiar accounts of Jesus’ life, giving more depth to what we read. This book was simply written,easy to understand, but very challenging. I highly recommend this book!
*This book was given to me by booksneeze.com in exchange for my review*

(Mandy)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review - The American Patriot's Bible

This is my review of The American Patriot's Bible edited by Dr. Richard G. Lee. I have not read every single article or inserts, seeing as there are so many throughout this Bible. First off, if you are a patriotic American, a history buff or someone who doesn't know much about the founding of this great nation, this Bible would be an awesome book to have.
Not only is the full King James Version of the Bible printed here, but all throughout it's pages are little inserts and articles that tell the story of the founding of America. But more than that, it tells the story of how America was founded upon the scriptures. It lays out proof after proof that this awesome nation was founded as a Christian nation.
For example, when you first open this Bible, you find a list of the basics rights of all American citizens. In this list, you find what scriptures these rights are based upon. There are biographical articles detailing the physical and spiritual lives of many of America's founders and leaders. There are quotes from many of America's Presidents explaining why they believe the Bible is such an important book. Beside different verses scattered throughout, you will find inserts explaining how this particular verse of scripture impacted the life of someone or some event. For instance, above 1 Samuel 4:21, there is an insert explaining the impact this verse had on the life of Henry Ward Beecher. Above Psalm 121, there is an insert explaining that President Benjamin Harrison placed his hand on this scripture when he took the oath of office in 1889.
I really didn't know what to expect when I received this Bible, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have shown it off and talked about it to others. I've even used some of the articles as sermon illustrations. I would give this a 5 out of 5.
I received this Bible from Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.

Marcus

Monday, March 12, 2012

WWJD II, The WoodCarver

WWJD2, The Woodcarver was an awesome movie! It was good to sit down and enjoy a high quality Christian movie without having to worry about the cursing and other things that so many secular movie's contain. But more than that, it was wonderful to come away with a reminder of how wonderful it is to serve and live like Jesus. This movie dealt with a lot of issues that plague so many people. Divorce, teenage emotions, cancer, broken hearts and betrayal were just some of the issues addressed in this movie. I won't give the movie away, but I will say this is worth watching.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

God Bless,
Marcus

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Three Hearts DVD (Mandy)

Wow! This was amazing! Three Hearts tells the story of how the hearts and lives of three families were eternally changed. Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Billy Graham, takes a internship with the Children’s Heart Project, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Through her internship, she shares the story of three families who lives are changed by this ministry. These children are from the country of Mongolia and all three share a common heart defect which cannot be repaired in their country. The Children’s Heart Project makes it possible for them to come to the United States to receive medical treatment. This DVD chronicles their journey from Mongolia to America, from sickness to health, and ultimately to new life through Jesus Christ.
You cannot help but be touched as you watch the lives that are changed through this ministry. It is also a huge reminder not to take for granted the blessings that we enjoy daily and may not be as grateful for as we should be. This story is one that you won’t soon forget. May God bless this ministry that they may be able to help more children and more importantly that it may be used as a tool to bring more and more people to Christ.
*This DVD was given to me by Thomas Nelson, Inc. in exchange for my review.*

No We Can't by Robert Stearns (Marcus)

This is an amazing book based on the myth of co-existence. While at first it almost sounds rude, Mr. Stearns lays out a very clear argument against the idea that all religions and world views can co-exist in one great society. In the world we live in today, it is almost considered bigoted to say that one particular religion or world view has no place in society. Mr. Stearns points out reasons why religions such as Islam cannot co-exist in peaceful society simply because the goal of Jihad as defined by the Quran is to establish Islamic supremacy throughout the world by whatever means necessary. Other “religions” such as atheism, environmentalism, humanism, etc… deny God’s existence , promote “the greater good”, and degrade humanity by proclaiming that we are nothing more than just any other animal. Mixing any of these with Judeo-Christian values just does not work. This book is well researched, well-written, and is written from a heart of love for everyone no matter their religion or world view. The author very clearly points out that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for everyone. As Christians, even though we may be persecuted, criticized, and even killed by some of these very militant religions, we must still share the love of Christ with the worst of them.
*This book was given to me by the publisher, Chosen, in exchange for my review.*

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Miami Vineyard Live (Mandy)

I had vaguely heard of Vineyard before, but this was my first time to fully experience their music. That being said, I wasn't totally sure what to expect, so I listened... This CD would be what I call "peppy housecleaning music" :-) It did not create a very worshipful atmosphere for me, but it has some fun get up and go music. A few tracks were too heavy :-( Included were two familiar CCM songs and I enjoyed hearing something that I had already heard before. As promised, the CD did have a very multi-cultural flavor to it.
I would have liked to read the lyrics as I listened, but they were not included.
So my overall rating would be 2 stars out of 5.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Exceptional Life by Stephen Arterburn (Marcus)

First off, I gotta say, this book is full of great information. It deals with life issues such as guilt, shame, resentment, fear, anger, love, forgiveness and a lot of others. This book is obviously written from a counselors point of view, so it is a book that is written out of personal experience. Unfortunately for me, I found the writing style of this book to be very hard to read. I found that some of the little attempts at humor were more of an annoyance and sidetrack then a help in the reading of this material.
To be fair to the author, I understand that he was probably attempting to make some deep subjects lighter, but at times, it felt very distracting. Overall, from a ministry point of view, if you deal with people, the information in this book would be a great help in dealing with different situations. So while I wasn't exactly thrilled with the writing style, the information this book contains makes it a great book to have on the shelf.
This book was provided to me for review by Bethany House Publishers.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Real Marriage - Mark and Grace Driscoll (Mandy)

The book opens with Mark and Grace giving some of the background story of their personal lives. This gives the reader more understanding and appreciation for the truths and concepts that the authors are addressing. They are both very open and it helps you to know that the Driscolls really do know what they are writing about and that they are experienced and qualifed to teach on the subject of married life and all that it involves.
Real Marriage covers things such as the importance of friendship in marriage, what to do with baggage that one or the other of the couple bring to the marriage, questions about sex that some would consider “taboo” to speak about, and the harmfulness of selfishness in a marriage.
I appreciate the authors’ candid, open and tactful discussion of topics that others would shy away from addressing. Even though they deal with some sensitive topics, their compassion is very evident. There were a few times in the book that I did not agree theologically with the authors’ statements, but with that word of caution, I would recommend this book to any married couple or those involved in ministry.
*This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.*

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Promise of Provision by Derek Prince (Mandy)

I really enjoyed reading "The Promise of Provision" by Derek Prince. The author helps the reader to take a closer look at what God tells us in the Bible about His provisions for us and the abundant life He wants to give us. Many people have preconceived ideas about who, why, and how God chooses to bless. The author takes the Scripture and clearly lays out God's plan and promises for provision.
It was a very thought provoking book. Many times I would read a paragraph and then read it again to really get a hold on what the author was saying. It was easy to read and the author is very good at simply and thoroughly explaining what he wants to get across to the reader.
*This book was given to me by the publisher, Chosen, in exchange for my review*

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What A Son Needs From His Dad - Michael A. O'Donnell, PhD (Mandy)

I really enjoyed reading What A Son Needs From His Dad. It was written by Michael A. O’Donnell. It was easy to read and very informative. This book is great reminder of the important role a father plays in his son’s life. Each chapter addresses a different principle that is essential for a father to teach his son to prepare them for life. Essentials such as a good work ethic, choosing good friends, being a good citizen, preparing for marriage, growing spiritually, and others. I would recommend this book to any father, father to be, or any man with influence in a boy’s life.
This book was given to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my review.