Sunday, January 1, 2017

Simple Acts of Love

"Where Does Love Hide?"  Is a fun lift-the-flap book written by Mary Simon and illustrated by Hannah Wood.  This book is artfully created to depict easily recognizable scenes in everyday life.  Each page poses the question of where love is hiding.  Followed by a suggestion based on a Bible verse of how love can be put into action.

At first glance this book looks like another simple children’s book filled with fun pictures and a good general theme of God’s love.  But as you read through the scenarios it prompts the read to think about how love is acted out.  It also reinforces the fact that while God first loved us and we get to in turn love God and others.  I gave the book to my 6 year old son and after reading it he said with a smile.  “I like it!  It opens up inside and it has Bible verses.”  I enjoy hearing how my kids like to be Christ’s hands and feet of love toward others.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An interesting perspective

“Saving Casper” is a compilation of dialogs born out of a relationship between and Christian (Jim Henderson) and an Atheist (Matt Casper).  This is a follow-up to their first effort together, “Casper Goes to Church.”  In answering the question of Casper’s salvation they move beyond the typical stereotypes and expected dialogs these two groups usual begin with and that often lead to very abrupt and potentially terse encounters.  This scenario provides us with some insight into potential conversations we may have and aims to use this to give preemptive feedback so that we may learn from and engage others in a different manner.  That is mainly one that is more open, sincere and relational.  One that focuses on building friendships and values other from any walk of life versus simply focusing on a few core beliefs and writes others off if they don’t agree with our own values.

I found this book to be eye opening in some regards, especially in how those with different beliefs (like Atheists) view our comments and conduct.  I would agree that we need to choose our words more carefully and be more like Jesus in how we really care for others rather than settling for surface level interactions that may do more harm than good if we are making quick judgments.  I don’t agree with all of Henderson’s views or his theology.  But I do see that he really cares for others and for Christian’s and how we as believers choose to live and share our faith and I appreciate that.  I am reminded that we ought to try to see other’s as Jesus sees them and endeavor to have meaningful relationships as we share God’s truth in love.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Global assault on Christians

I have found myself spending more time with books focusing on Christian persecution around the world.  Persecuted: the Global Assault on Christians by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea was a welcome addition to my reading list.  In the past I have read books like Fox’s Book of Martyrs and Jesus Freaks which tell the stories of those who have stood for their faith in Jesus.  Persecuted was a change of pace in that it took a systematic approach in telling of the current persecution going on around the world today.  It also discussed the motivation behind the persecution and how that changes the circumstances for Christians living out their faith in those distinct areas.
It is so easy for born again Christians in free countries like the USA to take their freedom for granted.  While the stage is changing and intolerance for Christianity is on the rise here we still enjoy much freedom to worship Jesus without fearing for our lives.  It is easy for forget the trials of Christians around the world who live with the daily threat of persecution.  This book is a sobering reminder of what is really taking place.  It is a wakeup call for us not to live in ignorance or what goes on beyond our borders, but to be in constant prayer for our fellow believers with a willing and eager heart to serve Jesus with our whole lives.  I highly recommend reading this book.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.

Another Great Imagination Station Adventure

Hunt for the Devil’s Dragon is the latest book in the Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station series written by Marianne Hering and Wayne Thomas Baston.  The story continues to follow the cousins Patrick and Beth and their adventures in Mr. Whittaker’s imagination station.  However it departs from the previous storyline of trying to help save Mr. Whittaker’s friend Albert who has been captured by the mysterious Lord Darkthorn.
My now 6 year old son continues to enjoy these books.  This time having a setting in Roman times with soldiers and a dragon were especially intriguing.  While he was especially interested in the expectation of reading and seeing a dragon I especially appreciated the Godly character displayed by Georgius, the Christ fearing Roman soldier who was unashamed of his faith in Jesus.  This was a welcome talking point of how to behave around other who dismiss, mock or even persecute Christians for their faith.  I would recommend this book to young kids and to parents who want read short stories with their children depicting Godly men and women.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

I love the Bible and I love to read about men and women in the Bible to see how God used them and to learn from their stories.  So I was excited to read John MacArthur’s book “Twelve Unlikely Heroes.”  MacArthur is a good author and I was intrigued to see his take on some Bible characters… and he didn’t disappoint.

The twelve people that are highlighted aren’t obscure Bible characters and there isn’t some new outside source of information that has been used to dive deeper into the hearts and minds of these men.  These are characters that I would honestly hope all Christians are familiar with.  Macarthur takes men and women who I would say were more reluctant than others.  Men and women who if they had had their druthers would have lived a quiet and simple life, but God meant them for more and they answered the call.

I enjoyed MacArthur’s approach of simply taking what the scriptures say about these men and then meditating on them.  Going beyond dry words on a page and delving deeper to ruminate on what they may have written down in their journals.  Then to correlate this with other scriptures in an easy to read application so we as readers can connect with them.    I would recommend this book as a fine addition to a character study of these men and women in the Bible.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Les Misérables audio book

My latest review is of the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.  I find myself listening to more and more books as I find I have less leisure time to read.  Focus on the Family retells this story with a marvelous cast and superb sound and effects.

I have read this in the past, but it has been some time.  I was looking forward to seeing how Focus on the Family would bring it to life and I was very satisfied with their production.  Simply put, it was amazing.  I don’t remember being this engaged in the story the last time I read it.  But this time I was fully engrossed in the tail and it held my attention to the very end and left me wanting more.  I would highly recommend this series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.