Monday, November 8, 2010

On This Day in Christian History by Robert J Morgan

On This Day in Christian History by Robert J Morgan states it is a compilation of “365 amazing and inspiring stories about saints, martyrs and heroes”. Each page is a short historical entry with an accompanying Bible verse. In the back there is a topical index so you can search for similar historical accounts. Overall the book offers a quick and easy read to get small glimpses into how others of faith lived.
I like history and I especially enjoy reading accounts of believers, so after reading the title of this book I was immediately drawn to it. I have enjoyed reading though the accounts and I have marked numerous entries for future reference. While it does not label itself as a devotional it is laid out in that manner, but I would not recommend this book as such. The accounts vary greatly in how “faith” is portrayed and I would not recommend them as all being good examples to model. As is the case with church history, much was done in the name of Jesus, but it doesn’t mean it was right. I was pleased that for the most part the accounts were written in a historical and objective style. In addition, I found many of the scriptural references to be a stretch with the entries. But in all, it is an enjoyable read.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Prophecy Answer Book by David Jeremiah

The Prophecy answer Book by David Jeremiah is a pocket size compilation of answers to common questions regarding Bible prophecy. It covers current events, the rapture, the tribulation, the Antichrist, the second coming, the millennium, and the new heaven and the new earth. Each section lists commonly asked questions followed by a brief 1-2 page answer. The answers are often tied to scripture references and historical evidence where applicable.
I have a few other Bible prophecy books by various authors and this is by far the most condensed. David addressed some of the most common questions considered the brevity of his book he does a decent job of providing insightful answers. There were several answers that left me wondering what his real point was, but for the most part that wasn’t the case. He seemed to contradict himself on separate answers regarding his belief of soul sleep. All in all I didn’t read anything really new or different given his pre-tribulation view. I do like maps and condensed lists of information and this book has some nice ones.
In the end I think this is a nice quick reference that will entice someone to do more homework and study further to understand the basis for the answers to these good questions. I would recommend this for someone who has studied very little prophecy, but for anyone who has already spent more time studying prophetic sections of scripture they will find this book to brief.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Soul of C. S. Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-Six of His Best-Loved Writings by Jerry Root, Wayne Martindale, and Linda Washington

This is a devotional style book that offers biblical insight and reflections on 26 of C.S. Lewis’ writings. Each sections starts by giving insight into that particular book and the authors’ interpretation of what motivated Lewis to write it. This is followed by specific passages taken from the work with a commentary and a Bible passage that parallels the message the authors feel Lewis was trying to convey.

I must say that I am a fan of C.S. Lewis and most of his books. I find them enjoyable and filled with some Biblical truths that Lewis approaches with allegorical creativity. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to any Lewis enthusiast. I was able to in a sense preview some of Lewis’ other writings that I have not read and I enjoyed seeing some that he wrote prior to accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior. That being said I am cautious of spending too much time finding Biblical truths in what men have written vs. the Bible. I take this book as fun and entertaining, but would otherwise note that the deeper meaning that is being drawn out is the speculation of the authors. So read it, enjoy it, but don’t take it too seriously.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

The Heavens Proclaim His Glory: A spectacular View of Creation Through the Lens of the NASA Hubble Telescope

This book is a compilation of pictures taken by the Hubble Telescope of our universe. Each picture is accompanied by a brief explanation or description of the picture. Along with this is a passage of scripture and a quote that expound on the brilliance and splendor of God’s creation. The quality of the book and the pictures are exemplary.

As I was reading the passages and looking at the amazing photographs I was reminded of how small I am in the whole of God’s creation. I am truly a speck, on a speck, flying around a speck in the speck of this universe. Especially when we remember that God’s hand alone spans the universe. What is man that God is mindful of him? It is amazing grace God would send His Son to die for me alone and that He has a plan for me, a future and a hope. These were some of my thoughts as I was flipping through the pages. I think this is a good book to help you gain perspective and appreciation for the hugeness of God and His awesome power.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

100 Prayers God Loves to hear, 100 Praise Songs created by Stephen Elkins &illustrated by Tim O’Connor

This is a children’s book that contains short prayers, a small explanation, a reminder and an accompanying song. From cover to cover this book emphasizes prayer and encourages kids to know that there is a real God who loves them and wants to hear their prayers to Him. Inside are inspirational, bible, and beloved children’s prayers. While you read you can listen to the accompanying CDs full of praise songs.

As I read through the prayers I also listened to the CDs to hear the songs as I read. From reading the title I thought all the praise songs would be directly related to the prayers. While some of them are more closely related, quite a few aren’t. I was disappointed when I couldn’t find the words to the songs in the book so we could follow along after we read the prayer. We put the music on for my 3 year old son, but he soon lost interest.

I do like how the book emphasizes the need for prayer every day from everyone. It emphasizes that we can express prayer for God’s blessing, for thankfulness, to praise God, to ask for comfort, and many more.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Portable Patriot: Documents, Speeches, and Sermons That Compose the American Soul

The Portable Patriot is a collection of documents that highlight the development of the American Revolution. It contains materials revealing the deep personal nature of cause and how it developed in the face of opposition. It also contains important historical documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
There are so many documents that represent the thoughts and feelings of those on both side of the American Revolution that to compile all of them in one place would take many books. The Portable Patriot is a simple 265 pages. However, I was pleasantly surprised in what was contained in the small pocket sized book. The content did a good job of portraying the hearts and minds of those dedicated to the cause of liberty. It also helped to convey the immense time, energy and care that led to the decision to break away from England.
For someone wanting to learn all about the American Revolution I would highly recommend getting more in depth reviews and accounts. But if someone if wanting to have a nice quick reference on hand I think this book would have a good place in their library.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Jesus Series: Life and Miracles: Read and Share DVD Bible

The Jesus Series: Life and Miracles: Read and Share DVD Bible takes the pages of the Read and Share Bible. There are 8 stories included in this DVD that together come to a 30 minute presentation of Jesus' ministry along the shores of Lake Galilee and the villages near Nazareth. The animation and storytelling is geared towards kids.
I watched this with my 3 year old son. I was impressed that it held his attention for a good length of time, but not through all of it during one sitting. However, later in the day he asked to watch it again, so I was glad to see that he enjoyed it.
I was pleased with the storytelling. I thought the voices, music and animation were all well done. While I already have my own vision in my mind’s eyes of how things actually played out. I was happy to see that Jesus appeared and sounded friendly and welcoming. It was interesting to see how the creators imagined how the stories took place with emotions, timing and facial expressions. I think the length of the stories was appropriate to keep kids engaged while including key passages from the scriptures. I like having another DVD that my kids can enjoy and that I know is teaching them about Jesus

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson sets out to give some perspective and some guidance for when things don’t work out the way we thought they would. It focuses on how much of our lives don’t follow our prescribed plan and that we aren’t the only one that is going through these types of situations. Pete writes in a very easy to read style with lots of examples.
While I believe that Pete is really trying to give people hope, I was disappointed with most of the book’s content. In the end of chapter 1 he says “So maybe, just maybe, there is some wisdom in these ancient scriptures that could help you answer the “What now?” question. Maybe there are some truths that will unlock hope in your life once again.” This is the pervasive attitude for most of the book and the last chapter. While I see that Pete is trying to sympathize with people who are dealing with doubt and struggling with life, he offers little in terms of solid Biblical truths that truly do give hope, comfort and ultimately a peace that passes understanding. The only redeeming chapters that do this are chapters 10-13. Then the last chapter returns to the attitude of as Pete puts it, “why do bad things happen to good people.” As Christians we need to remember that no one is righteous and the right question is “why do good things happen to bad people.” Then, while looking to the cross and Jesus we find abundant grace and mercy that is new every morning.
I read this book hoping for some insight in helping people who are dealing with life’s struggles as well as dealing with my own. To these ends I found the book lacking.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bible Jumble for Kids

Bible Jumble for Kids is intended for kids age 8 and older. It contains 200 puzzles that will teach them about Bible stories and characters. It contains traditional jumbles, mystery person jumbles, jumble detective, jumble criss-cross, find the fumbles and Bible passage jumbles. Each section starts in the beginning in Genesis and moves through the Old Testament and into the New Testament. There are clues or hints given for each one and answers are found in the back.

I have never reviewed a book like this before. I was intrigued by it as I have kids, I like fun facts and I like games. So I thought it would be a good fit and it was. We have had a fun time going through the puzzles and found it to be engaging as adults and potentially stimulating for fun Bible stories based on the people and themes that are the answers for the jumbles. Definitely more fun time are ahead and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for some fun games with the family.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is a look into what the author sees as God’s true design and intent for men versus what our worldly and cultural preconceptions of men are today. He looks to set men free from a world that would strip them of their God given purpose so as to allow them to thrive and find fulfillment and purpose. The basic assertion is that our current society teaches that being aggressive, daring, or brave is something that is OK for kids to do when they are playing games, but that it is something we are taught to grow out of as we mature into adults. The book is written in a pop culture style and is an easy read.
Overall I would say that this book has a good and well meaning message that would benefit many. I do think that to many men settle for much less than what God truly intends for us. As men we need to dream and pray and act. To often we dream, but don’t get clear direction because we neglect the prayer and we fail to act because of fear. That being said I think Eldredge's encouragement for men to be Godly men of action is good. However I would agree with others that Eldredge does give broad generalizations regarding men and his supporting evidence for all his points is somewhat lacking. So I see this book not as the final case building argument that substantiates the changes to be made in men, but more of a starting point. Being more useful as a starting point that gives men pause to consider where they are. And then to be encouraged to express their heart to the Lord as David would in the Psalms while seeking wisdom and direction to act in a manner that is fearing God and not men.

Note: I am a Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition

This is a Bible handbook that includes maps, charts, pictures and reference material. In addition you can go to and download additional maps and charts that accompany the book.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of information that is contained in the book. To me it is more than simply maps and charts as there is a good amount of reference material that goes along with the visual aids. It is formatted like a handbook as it goes through the Old and New Testaments which I found easy to navigate. There is a nice index in the back that also helps you find specific charts quickly. While the information in the book isn’t exhaustive, it is a nice place to start and is a welcome addition to my reference library. It has enough information to help you decide where to go for a more in depth study of whatever subject you plan to delve into.

Note: I am a Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Word of Promise New Testament Audio Bible by Falcon Picture Group

This is a NKJV Bible audio drama of the New Testament boasting a large cast, soundtrack and special affects. The CDs come is a nice soft case that zips closed. It is a reading of the New Testament and goes verse by verse with out commentary, but it doesn’t include every word. For instance it does not always include phrases like “and they said,” (Lk 19:34), but they generally are included if they infer movement like “But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them,” (Lk 19:33). This makes you pay more attention to the change in voice of who is speaking and the continuity of the conversation. And when you are following along in a program like iTunes you can select a chapter to listen to, but it isn’t possible to select a specific verse. Also, when certain groups of people speak, sometimes you hear multiple voices and sometimes only one. For the disciples they use the voice of Peter to speak for the group.

Overall I have enjoyed listening to this audio Bible. It is engaging and entertaining. It feels like you are listening in on a scene as it unfolds. I find it good to sit and listen with Bible in hand.

Note: I am a Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer:

Buried Alive by Roy Hallums

Buried Alive recounts the events surrounding the capture and eventual rescue of Roy Hallums in Iraq. Roy was held hostage for 311 days by his Iraqi captures. Roy is retired military and was working as a civilian during the time of his capture. He is one of the few Americans to have been rescued from being held hostage in Iraq.
The things he suffered and how he endured is impacting. I praise the Lord for his rescue and safe return.
As for the style of the book I was disappointed. While it read easily, I found that the retelling of his life events during his 311-day capture lacked depth. The author simply did not convey the depth and power of Roy’s ordeal. If I were to compare it to a movie, it felt more like a made-for-tv movie than a major motion picture. The book lacked the depth, feeling, and power that I would expect from a story as amazing as Roy’s. Also, I read nothing in the book of Roy’s faith in Christ. To be honest I was expecting the story, being published from Thomas Nelson, to highlight Roy’s faith in Jesus Christ.

Note: I am a Nelson Book Reviewer: