Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kingdom Prayer by Tony Evans - Book Review

   Tony Evans has a unique way of making a point.  In a world of sound bytes, he is a gold mine.  This book is the mother lode on prayer.  It is simple, yet deep.  Loving, yet hard hitting.  Profound, yet extremely intellectual.  In other words, this book is vintage Tony Evans, which is what makes it a wonderful resource on my list.

   The subject is prayer.  This is probably one of the most important, neglected, abused, misunderstood subjects in the Christian life.  Tony Evans said, "I must confess that it is a lot easier fir ne as a pastor to preach about prayer than to spend that same amount of time engaged in it."  The truth is that prayer is not an easy thing.  It takes work, determination, fight, tears, and trust.  Most of all, it takes faith in God.  This book dives deep into all of those issues and a whole lot more.
 
Here are some samples from the book:

"God is able, but you must be connected to God to tap into His power."

"God doesn't always deliver you from.  Sometimes He delivers you through, and sometimes He delivers you in."

"When two or more people agree on anything which God has authorized...and they ask for it - it will be done...That is why one of Satan's primary weapons in spiritual warfare is to create disunity...If successful, he can keep us disengaged on any real level in the spiritual realm.  He can keep our prayers powerless."

  I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  I love to read Tony Evans material.   One college professor taught us the philosophy of "chewing on the meat and spitting out the bones."  With Tony Evans, there is always a lot of meat.  This book is no exception.  So if you have the opportunity to get it, you will be blessed by it.

God Bless,

Marcus













Thursday, December 1, 2016

Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas - CD Review

   The chill is in the air.  Christmas decorations are everywhere.  Lights, trees, snowmen, and Christmas music is playing in every store.  I love it.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.  It's the time of year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One Who came to save us from our sins.  It's the time of year that we celebrate our purpose for living. 
   I love just about any Christmas music, basically because Christmas music kind of helps create that festive atmosphere that we are so used to in the month of December.  So I must admit I was excited when I was given the opportunity to review this Christmas CD by Amy Grant. 
   I got to admit that it was really cool to open it up and find a CD that actually looked like an old record.  That might not mean a lot to most people, but as a lover of the nostalgic, I loved it.  A quick glance through the booklet that came with the cover featured Amy Grant's family pics and Christmas memories that really gave this album a more personal feel.
   I popped it into the CD player and the first song that started playing was the classic Tennessee Christmas, which, in my mind, takes me to those beautiful Smokey Mountains.  Man, I would love to be there right now! 
   After Tennessee Christmas, it quickly moves to a modern contemporary Christmas song called To Be Together.  My favorite song on the album is the upbeat, lighthearted Christmas For You And Me.  It's the Christmas anthem of every couple at Christmas.  You love the romantic feelings that Christmas brings, only to be awakened at 5 A.M. by excited kids ready to open presents.  You're tired and running on coffee, and yet life is totally amazing.
   This album features the Christmas classics we've come to love: White Christmas, Joy To The World, Baby, It's Cold Outside(with Vince Gill), Christmas, Don't Be Late, and O, Come All Ye Faithful
   Also, be sure to check out Melancholy Christmas, December, I've Got My Love to Keep Me WarmStill Can't Sleep, and Another Merry Christmas.

   I am giving away a copy of this CD.  Anyone who comments on this blog in the next 48 hours will be entered into a drawing. 

  Also get a sneak peek at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUpIwK5Bxn8
 “To Be Together” Audio on Youtube:

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


God Bless,

Marcus

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl - Book Review

    Wow!  I love books.  I love excitement.  I love action.  I love suspense.  And when I picked up an started reading this book, I found all of that along with the very important message that God loves each one of us despite our past failures.  As far as I know, this is the fist book by Nancy Mehl that I have read, but I'm certainly hopeful that this will not be the last.  This book was amazing.
   This is Book #1 of the Defenders of Justice Series.  I've gotta admit, I'm excited about reading the rest of the series.  Fatal Frost is about U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan and the target on her back.  It is a book about Gangs, Cartels, the constant war on drugs and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep America safe. 
   In this book, Mercy's father has come back into her life, a fact that she is not happy about.  In this we find a story of past hurts, forgiveness, and the constant battle to maintain sometimes frustrating relationships.  Unfortunately for Mercy, her father's appearance in her life has led to the drug cartels putting her in their sights with a price on her head.
   If that's not exciting enough, add U.S. Marshal Mark St. Laurent, Mercy's ex-boyfriend.  He is not only a new Christian, he is not assigned to protect her.  The setting is a remote ranch and a blizzard that leaves the area without electricity and safe transportation. 
   This is an awesome story that is will keep you glued to it's pages.  It's well written, clean, and exciting.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller of a story.  I've got a lot of favorite Christian authors, but I've just added another to my list.  Great job, Nancy Mehl.  Can't wait for the next one.
   I did receive this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

God Bless,

Marcus

Friday, September 23, 2016

The ISIS Crisis By Charles Dyer & Mark Tobey - Book Review

America had a wake up call on Sept. 11, 2001.  Thousands were killed 
and injured.  Our generation had suffered it’s very own Pearl Harbor.  
Like that generation, we went to war.  Unlike that generation, we were 
not fighting an enemy in uniform, we were fighting an enemy that blended 
into the general population.  Unlike that great generation of Americans who 
weren’t afraid to call evil - evil and who weren’t prisoner to political correctness, 
we tried to fight a “clean” war.  Because of that, we have given rise to one of 
the most evil regimes in history.
This book dives deep into the details of how ISIS came to be.  It also details the key
Leaders and strategies of this very determined organization.  Some political leaders
 have called them “the JV team”, but they are not lightweights.  They are just as 
evil as Hitler and even more widespread. 
Deep topics were very well researched - Sunnis vs. Shiites, the Caliphate,
 the variations of Islam.  They even address the question, “Will ISIS lead to 
Armageddon?”
Overall, this is a great book to read and to have on hand for reference purposes.  
America is in the cross hairs of ISIS, so as Americans, we need to know this stuff.  
I give this a 5 out of 5 star review as a reference book.  I did receive this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

God Bless,

Marcus

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Disappearing Churches - by Mark Sayers - book review

   If you were to line up 20 people side by side, would you be able to tell which ones are Christians?  If you were to randomly follow church attenders around through their daily lives, how many would live distinctive, Christian lives?
   If we, the Church, would honestly answer those questions, we would have to admit that the Church is disappearing.  The everyday lives of today's Christian are really no different than the sinful world.  In many churches, sin is no longer called sin for fear of stepping on toes and offending people.  And in far too many churches, the Gospel of Jesus is so watered down that sin is now considered a normal part of the Christian life.  The writing of Paul to the Roman church is now long forgotten - "What shall we say then?  Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?  God forbid." 
    The divorce rate in the Church isn't much different than that in the world.  The rate of premarital sex among Churched teens is not much different than the world.  Cursing, drinking alcohol, immodesty, anger, bitterness, bad attitudes and a host of other things are not really that different between the people of the Church and people in the world.  Why? 
   I believe that Mark Sayers has identified the reasons why the Church  has blurred with the world.  We've long forgotten the real issues.  In  our quest to be relevant, we've become self-focused instead of God focused.  That's why so many churches are falling prey to entertainment rather than true worship.  Dynamic preachers rather than truthful preachers.  Great programs rather than old-fashioned moving of the Holy Spirit.  Decisions rather than praying clear through at the altar. 
   The ultimate problem is that the Church has lost it's respect for authority because they've become focused on the creature rather than the Creator. Sayers presents what he calls a "religion of self" that led to this whole movement of individual freedom.  He gives examples of this change of focus from God and His traditions, received wisdom, regulations, ect. to individual freedoms, happiness, self-definitions, and self-expressions.
   The last section of this book addresses what we, as the Church, must do to return to what we need to be.  It is summed up in these quotes from the book:
       "The only way to be truly alive, to produce fruit, spiritual fruit that lasts into eternity, is to remain in Christ."
      "To learn to abide in Christ, we also must break from the lures that surround us, while still offering good news to the culture that seduces us."
   You could say that the theme of this book is the words of Jesus - "If the salt loses it's saltiness, it is no longer good for anything..."
   I would like to thank Moody Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  I give it a 3 out of 5 given the fact that at times it is difficult to read just because of the depth of the content.  But overall, this book is worth the read.


God bless,

Marcus

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Would A Worm Go On A Walk? - Hannah C. Hall

Who can resist a worm with glasses wearing tennis shoes? ;-)  In this eye catching, brightly illustrated book, the author helps remind children that God has a special purpose for His creation and made them exactly as He planned including His masterpiece of creation - YOU!  I love how the author engages the children's imagination through supposed silly circumstances of different animals.  This book would be a great addition to any child's collection!