Sunday, September 2, 2012
Hagee’s new book brings a significant teaching and revelation to the body of Christ. Understanding the blessing that God breathed into the Hebrew nation is a timely reminder to us as His people, as we hold us His standard in the current situation. The structure of the book makes it easy to revisit as specific areas of your life require an infusion of the blessing of God. It is divided into three sections, and each section progresses through the intensity of the blessing. The book opens with defining the blessings, then specifically explains the prophetic blessings, and finally teaches how to release and receive the blessing. John Hagee, continuing in his familiar style as a renowned Bible teacher, does not only deliver a book that explains the blessing to you, but also teaches you how to bring that blessing alive in your daily life. Throughout the book, Hagee includes nuggets called Think on This. These are statements inserted in large boxes on the page that invite you to pause and meditate on a specific truth he introduces. These are great points within themselves, and could easily be written on note cards and put on your desk at work, in your Bible, or anywhere else you would see them often when you wanted to be reminded of them. Overall, Hagee’s book takes a topic that has become a buzz word in many Christian circles, and crafts a Biblical, revelatory, eye-opening teaching that brings us back to the basics that God introduced to His people in the early days of the covenant. This is a meaningful book, and one you will refer to again and again. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Handlebar Marketing and Worthy Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Here are some reviews of books that I received from publishers in exchange for reviews. Check them out! Captivating!, August 7, 2012 By Melissa B Rice - See all my reviews This review is from: Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown (Hardcover) Fearless is a great introduction to the life of a true hero. Heroes are not made in the event in which they gave their lives; they are made in many different choices throughout their lives. Such is true of Adam Brown. His background as a young boy and in the early part of becoming a man did not indicate his heroism. We learn through his life that second chances are always available, and that no one event can define a person's destiny. Eric Blehm gives a face and a name to the spirit of the Navy Seals. We learn about his personality, his family life, his education, his childhood antics, his mistakes, his marriage, his determination -- all of these factors added up to the person he became. Our country benefited from who he was, as he lived to give the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us. The book inspires us, since it focuses on the whole man that Adam Brown became. It does not focus on individual events, but on him. We become personally connected to him through reading about his life and the people whom he loved. Often Seals are mysterious, and anonymous, and therefore it is difficult for us to connect with them on a personal level. But in this book, through the story of Adam Brown, we do. And we are better for it. This is more than just a biography of a great man. It is tremendous encouragement for everyone who has met someone on the road to being a hero. We could each be part of that process for those around us. The people in Adam's life certainly were that for him. This is a feel-good book, not because it has a happy ending, but because there are great people in the world, and we get to spend time with one of them named Adam Brown! I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press in exchange for an honest review. Robert Whitlow crafts a provocative tale of love, dilemma, and regret in The Choice. The novel opens as a popular, energetic, high-school cheerleader discovers she is pregnant -- an unintended interruption to her carefully planned future. A strange encounter at a convenience store brings an ominous prophecy to Sandy. She moves to Atlanta to live with her aunt through the duration of her pregnancy. After her twins are born and placed with adoptive families, the novel moves forward thirty-four years when Sandy meets a young girl facing a similar predicament. This encounter forces Sandy to revisit her past, and her difficult decision. Since the birth of her children, Sandy has developed a disciplined, successful life in the same town in which she grew up. After a failed relationship in college, she has chosen to live alone, and not pursue marriage. The doubts and questions about those decisions she made during the tumultuous months before the twins' birth have been carefully kept below the surface, but Sandy is can no longer keep them tucked away. She deals with them as she helps this student face the same situation. Few Christian authors would tackle this topic and handle it with such grace. Robert Whitlow does so masterfully. Gone is the stereotypical judgment the church sometimes interjects in such stories. Instead, the issue has a face. The issue has a name. The pregnancy is a baby, not just a difficulty. My Big Bottom Blessing is a blessing to read! Teasi Cannon writes a refreshing and revealing book about the process we can undergo to learn to love our bodies. In a culture immersed in image and obsessed with weight-loss (and at the same time, junk food), Cannon's solution is not focused on an exercise plan, diet, or even discipline. Instead, she plants her focus exactly where we all need to: embracing ourselves and finding our value in Whose image we were created at the beginning. God says we have value. Period. How often we try to add our own rules to that value. Cannon strips all those rules away in her book. Yet she still manages to write a practical guide to the journey from here to there. She includes questions for the reader to answer at the end of each chapter, which cause us to reflect on our own issues and experiences as we read about hers. She describes her own process of change through anecdotes, which elicit our own memories. As far back as childhood, most women can find painful memories of being teased or feeling awkward about her appearance. Cannon also addresses the validity of feelings, but describes exactly what their role is intended to be in our lives. They are not the boss, she says, but only indicators that we need to do some work in our own hearts. She also mentions the big WWJFO for us to consider: What Would Jesus Focus On? This thought can keep us motivated not to get distracted from the higher purpose in our lives. She brings it down to a matter of perspective....will we believe the lies we have listened to before that led us to be dissatisfied with our bodies, or will be see ourselves as God does: valuable because He made us, He loves us, He wants us. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Handlbar Marketing and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Maybe you CAN go home again!, May 29, 2012 This review is from: Hope Springs (Paperback) Kim Cash Tate's Hope Springs is a delightful, yet meaningful, tale about loss, love, life, and family. The story revolves around three women who have individually come to "crossroads" in their lives. They all end up back in Hope Springs at Christmas, and find new meaning there. This is the first novel by Tate I have read. Her style is easy to read, and draws the reader into the characters from the beginning. The trials each experiences are normal, common, and presented in a believable way that causes the reader to befriend the characters, and join them in their journeys of discovery about the true value of family, love, friends, and each other. Tate does a good job of interweaving Christian principles into the story. Her references to prayer, faith, and Scripture do not seem out of place or forced, as sometimes happens in Christian fiction. The result is a meaningful story with an enjoyable cast of characters who stay with you like a visit from a good friend. The family is presented as having normal issues, far from perfect, and learns to work through those issues with communication and love. The author also decided to tackle some church issues through these characters. That, too, plays as another dimension of the challenges these characters are facing, and yet another layer of truth they discover on their journeys. Readers are challenged through this story to take on the layers of issues in their own lives, and are encouraged by the victories of these characters to press on to greater heights in God! Kim Cash Tate, and the town of Hope Springs, dispels the myth that Christians do not have problems. Instead, they partner with the God of ALL solutions! The publisher, Thomas Nelson, and Booksneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Finding Our Way Home: A Novel (A Snowglobe Connections Novel) by Charlene Ann Baumbich Great read for a lazy afternoon!, May 23, 2012 This review is from: Finding Our Way Home: A Novel (A Snowglobe Connections Novel) (Paperback) This book is the third in the snowglobe series, yet it stands alone as a great story if you have not read the previous books. This heart-warming tale centers on the debilitating disappointment Sasha, the main character, suffers as her fairytale ballerina career ends abruptly. She has defined herself, her future, and her entire life by this career, and when it ends, she is left without that identity to shape her. Her immediate reaction is to withdraw from those she loves, and she leaves a trail of devastation behind her. This includes the broken heart of her devoted husband, as she severs her ties after twelve years of marriage. At this point, pain is her only friend and her constant companion. Evelyn answers the ad Sasha places for a live-in assistant, and her bubbly optimism annoys Sasha, yet also challenges her. Their unlikely kinship forms the basis for Sasha's healing as they both undergo changes throughout the book. Sasha also watches a bird that comes to eat outside her window, and longs for the freedom the bird epitomizes. The element of the snowglobe is fascinating, though it raises questions about the spiritual element of the novel. This treasured ballerina snowglobe was a gift to Sasha from her mother on her fifth birthday. Her mother has since died, and the condition of the snowglobe has mirrored the physical debilitations Sasha would suffer in an oddly prophetic manner. It may send mixed signals to some readers who may interpret the presence of the snowglobe as a supernatural work of God. However, if you read it from a literary perspective instead, you see the snowglobe as a foreshadowing tool the author uses in the character's life. Overall, this is a happy story about restoration, love, and true freedom, which can only come from discovering who you really are on the inside, as you allow God to use those He places in your life to reveal that true self to you. I will be reading the previous books in the series now! I was given a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Spirit Fighter (Son of Angels, Jonah Stone) by Jerel Law Better than Percy Jackson!, April 16, 2012 This review is from: Spirit Fighter (Son of Angels, Jonah Stone) (Paperback) My twelve-year-old son devoured this book! He is a voracious reader of Rick Riordian's series, and was hooked on all of them from the first Percy Jackson book. This book, he says, is even better! It introduced him to Jonah, a thirteen-year-old boy, who believes he is an ordinary kid who encounters normal middle school trouble: bullies, disappointment, humiliation, and the like. In anger one day, he kicks a soccer ball and is amazed when it zooms far over the trees. His dad feels compelled to offer an explanation, and reveals to Jonah his true heritage: his mother is half-angel. There are so many Biblical references in this novel that my tween was turning to his Bible again and again, fascinated by so many things he had not noticed in there before. This story kept his rapt attention, and he could not wait to read more. He stayed up late, did not want to watch television, and retreated to his room every chance he got to watch Jonah fight these spiritual battles. He would enthsiastically share insights he had into other Biblical passages and run out into the kitchen to share them with me. This story is easy to follow, and believable, and drops the reader right into the action. At the same time, it engages these middle-schoolers with Biblical truth. This book opened up a whole new world for my son. He can't wait for another book in this saga! Keep them coming! I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ The Founders' Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It by Larry P. Arnn This is a must read before the next election!, March 15, 2012 This review is from: The Founders' Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It (Hardcover) Larry Arnn builds a fascinating, readable case for our founding documents in The Founder's Key. He takes the time to define and explain some of the terminology used in the Declaration of Independence, such as RIGHT. In our current culture, different groups and individuals name anything they want but do not have as a right: free healthcare, free housing, free food, a high-paying job, free college education, and even free birth control. Were these the rights our founders and early patriots risked their lives and futures for? This book dispels the myths that surround the meaning and intention of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Arnn explains why efforts have continued to treat these two documents separately, and explains the power of their "marriage." He describes their uniqueness, the significance of the language used in each, and the miracle that documents written that long ago have sustained this country and led it into the prosperity and strength that America celebrates. My favorite chapter was the one titled "All Men are Created Equal." Arnn addresses the complexity of this concept in a country where clearly we are all different, and unique. Many have therefore dismissed this claim of equality, assuming it is impossible to achieve. However, Arnn explains that we are all equal, just as cups are all equal, though one may be a golden chalice, and one may be a simple paper cup. We are still cups. In the back of the book there is resource information, with additional sources you may reference, in addition to some selected Federalist Papers, and James Madison's piece on "Property." This one book clarified issues for me that American education did not address. You will learn a lot; this is a must read before this next election! I was provided with a complimentary copy from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Relentless: The Power You Need to Never Give Up by John Bevere Will you be relentless?, January 6, 2012 This review is from: Relentless: The Power You Need to Never Give Up (Hardcover) John Bevere's Relentless begins with the premise that our end is more significant than our beginning, that how we finish is more important than how we start. Living a life that finishes strong despite obstacles requires a quality that few achieve -- it requires that we be relentless. Bevere concentrates on the positive side of this characteristic, one that empowers Chrisitans to follow God and His destiny for them without shrinking back or giving up. Relentless includes Biblical characters to demonstrate this quality. Bevere devotes an entire chapter to Jesus, and the way he modeled the relentless life as he walked on the earth. Jesus made a distinction between seeing the kingdom, and entering it. The difference? Relentless believers enter; they step beyond mere observation to participation. Jesus even said we were created to rule with Him! With his usual style, Bever instructs us in the relentless lifestyle throughout this book: how to pray, how to effectively resist the devil, and how to walk in humility. Bevere ends his book with a strong exhortation to pursue this relelentless lifestyle. His writing style is engaging and compelling, and he adds practical steps to help us achieve this overcoming lifestyle. Sprinkled within the chapters are memorable anecdotes and images that capture our attention. With Relentless, John Bevere continues to deliver material that reveals transforming truth to believers, then guides us by the hand to embrace it ourselves. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books and the publisher in exchange for an honest review of the book. The copy provided did not guarantee a positive review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated by Ecclesia Bible Society The Voice refreshes!, November 8, 2011 This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback) The Voice New Testament is a refreshing new perspective on the New Testament. The language this translation uses is modern, yet manages to retain depth of meaning. It includes further explanation in some places and does not assume the reader has read the entire New Testament previously. The introductions to each book are well-written and informative. They provide a historical context for us to frame the events each book contains. The introduction also give us the central themes, characters, and purpose for each book. The format used in this New Testament is also different. In the gospels, the text is set up in a similiar way to the script to a play. It gives the speaker's name first, followed by what they say. I am not sure I would recommend this Bible as the only Scripture source for new believers, but it is a great addition to your Bible shelf of other translations. Reading The Voice forces you to face familiar passages with fresh eyes and new ears. It can deepen your love for God's Word. Another addition to this work are the suggested readings for Advent, Lent, and Easter. Also, they include a reading schedule for reading the New Testament in 24 weeks, and a separate suggested schedule for "40 Days with God" for personal growth. I received this complimentary copy of The Voice from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review of the book. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books) by Randy Alcorn The Real Treasure Hunt, October 12, 2011 This review is from: The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books) (Hardcover) Randy Alcorn presents a clear, precise, accurate picture of God's financial plan for His people. He gives practical insight of how to get started, describes aptly the promised joy we experience as a result of our giving, and wraps it all in the allegory of finding a buried treasure. The kindgom is often out of our sights in our daily lives -- absent from our calendar, our schedule, our checkbook, and our goal list. Alcorn makes the case for changing that, and making God's kingdom a priority in our lives. It is the true treasure, after all, and during this time of economic difficulty, it is also the path to financial freedom. This is a quick read, but if we follow Alcorn's advice, the results are lasting. And we will find a true treasure, the promised treasure of God's everlasting kingdom. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Love at Last Sight: Thirty Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships by Kerry Shook Practical, yet profound!, May 8, 2011 This review is from: Love at Last Sight: Thirty Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships (Hardcover) Love at Last Sight, written by Kerry and Chris Shook, delivers practical, proven, simple steps to make every relationship deeper. Their writing style is fresh and conversational. They avoid the trappings of most self-help books, and offer a genuine handbook of specific things you can do regularly to enhance your relationships. The Shooks structured the book as a daily guide, spanning 30 days. Each day tackles a separate, specific aspect of relationships. Each week (a total of seven days' readings) is categorized as an "art of..." and highlight one central area of relational life. These areas include the art of being all there, the art of acting intentionally, the art of risking awkwardness, and the art of letting go. Uncomfortable areas are also confronted -- embracing conflict, really listening, having a vision, and being vulnerable. These issues often invite depth of relationships, but people often resist these courageous acts and settle instead for shallow relationships. The Shooks paint a clear picture of the rewards these brave steps yield, and invite the reader to join them. The premise of the book, as revealed in the title, promotes living our relationships so that they become more meaningful and fuflfilling over time. Instead of just finding love at "first sight," we find the deepest love at "last sight." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ No He Can't: How Barack Obama Is Dismantling Hope and Change by Kevin McCullough Edition: Hardcover Price: $11.98 Availability: In Stock 96 used & new from $0.01 2 of 3 people found the following review helpful Fascinating and Insightful!, May 7, 2011 This review is from: No He Can't: How Barack Obama Is Dismantling Hope and Change (Hardcover) Kevin McCullough's No He Can't is a fascinating political study of the historic presidency of Barak Obama. He begins by relating his observation of Obama's early days in Chicago, offering what he witnessed from the time Obama became a community organizer to his first run for office, which failed. More details follow for his senate run, and of course his subsequent rise to fame. McCullough predicted Obama's win of the White House as early as 2006. He explained at the time how and why this candidate would rise to power. Though his campaign speeches over-promised (and he has since under-delivered)and even included contradictory statements, still the voters responded by electing him. What followed was a series of broken campaign promises, and a failure to deliver on those guarantees. Logic predicted all along that none of those sweet words would come to fruition. This analysis is peppered with statistics, quotes, facts, anecdotes, and insights. This book follows a conservative viewpoint, but doesn't criticize Obama personally. Instead, readers will find genuine political analysis of the president's speeches and policies. No He Can't will intrique anyone who is interested in the political process or presidential matters. It also exposes what can occur when voters pay attention to personalities and promises, rather than scrutinizing character and positions. Booksneeze provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Page: 1 | 2 A triumph!, April 29, 2011 This review is from: The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity (Hardcover) We first met David Ponder in The Traveler's Gift. Now nearly thirty years have passed and he is once again facing a crossroads in his life. Time for another journey, and for David to discover again the values he has built his life on. This new treasure by Andy Andrews is a feast! Even if you are unfamiliar with The Traveler's Gift you will be enthralled with this book. Andrews invites us to an up-close-and-personal encounter with history's heroes. Some of these heroes are well-known and studied often, and others are obscure and unknown to the average reader: Winston Churchill, King David of the Bible, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, and many others. But they all share this common trademark -- the choices they made altered history. And our world is different, better, because of them. Through this book, as these figures grapple with the challenge of saving humanity, we eavesdrop as they share their secrets, their life lessons, their regrets, and their victories. And in those stories we each may discover strength, hope, inspiration, courage -- all the virtures we need to survive the myriad of challenges life delivers to us. They struggled, yet triumphed. And we can do the same! This would be a fantastic gift for any graduate. Young people will benefit from these pearls of wisdom as they are facing decisions, yet older people benefit too as they forge through new challenges they did not anticipate. This book is a winner for everyone! Comment | Permalink ________________________________________ Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny by Mark Batterson Edition: Paperback Price: $10.98 Availability: In Stock 73 used & new from $6.75 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful Step aside, self-help books!, January 21, 2011 This review is from: Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny (Paperback) Step aside, self-help books! Mark Batterson brings real help from the throne of heaven in Soulprint. He uncovers self-help as "nothing more than idolatry dressed up in a rented tuxedo" right from page one and reminds us that without God's intervention we are helpless to become the people He has designed us to be. Using the life of David as the backdrop of each chapter's principle, Batterson leads us on a journey of self-discovery. He reveals to us how even our past is part of who God has designed us to be. When we are good stewards of our pasts, even our memories, God can redeem even the unpleasant parts and use them to make us more of who He created us to be! Nothing is out of the reach of God's loving, capable hands when we place all of ourselves in them! Batterson discusses how God uses small victories in our lives to build a "holy confidence" in us. He shows us how important things become lifesymbols and what powerful tools integrity and willpower are. Soulprint will stir you to see yourself differently in the mirror of God's Word. Mark Batterson's effective, easy style will inspire you to allow God to shape you into all He's called you to be! I received this book free to review from Waterbrook Multnomah publishers. That in no way influenced my opinion or review of this book. This book will force you to think through your own perspectives, your own judgments, and replace them with grace. It is a must-read for all who work with teens: parents, youth pastors, teachers, principals, and more. It is a winner!
My love for libraries began as a child. My mom loves books, and reading, and faithfully took her children to the library. I learned early on that the shelves were filled with tales of treasures, adventures, and fairytales. Those books beckoned to me, inviting me to join those imaginary lands and lives through those pages. There was one particular book I checked out each week. It was small, with a yellow hardcover. I do not remember the title, or even the plot, but I adored it. It did not seem to bother me that the story remained the same each time I read it. Books have always been a luxury to me. The stories enthrall me, and still beckon me to experience new things, embrace new perspectives, and embark on new challenges. The types of novels I read change slightly as I grow older, but I still adore books. The feel, the smell, the pages. Here's to you, Mom. Did you know that first trip to the library would instill such a thrill for books in me?