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.*