Grace Revealed – Finding Strength in Any Crisis By Fred Sievert



Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Sievert conveys the message of God’s grace, forgiveness, healing and hope through these awesome true stories of life-changing transformations experienced by people facing crisis and to put their trust in the unmerited gift of God’s grace for strength

I received my copy of “Grace Revealed – Finding Strength in Any Crisis” within days before my wife passed away. The stories, healing insights, and suggestions for personal reflection included in the chapter on grief provided an immense freedom to openly express my feelings of loss in any crisis.

There are common elements that run through the stories:

  • Conquering guilt
  • Overcoming Addictions
  • Healing emotionally and physically
  • Facing career-related challenges
  • Finding comfort and renewed purpose
  • Working through grief related to loss

I recommend “Grace Revealed – Finding Strength in Any Crisis” as a book that should be on the recommended reading list of professional counselors, pastors, and lay counselors.

Broadstreet Publishing Group, Racine, Wisconsin

9781424556380, $ 16.99, 2018, 240 pages


Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope with A Traumatic Death By Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D. – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope with A Traumatic Death is an exceptional tool or resource to help children understand and deal with loss and bereavement due to the death of a loved one.

We live in a culture where young children are frequently exposed to traumatic events, personally and through the media, Grief brought on by the loss of a loved one, family or friend, is never easy. Traumatic deaths, accident or violent, will create a new level of anxiety, fright, confusion, anger, and sadness.

The book’s tender, age-appropriate narrative and the suggested discussion questions will help children ages 3 – 8 open up and share their emotions, unresolved issues and questions about death and dying.

Suggestions for “interventions” offer parents, educational counselors, and other adult caregiver’s assistance for helping children draw out the child’s perspective on the sudden trauma of loss, or are aware of or have witnessed an accidental or violent death.

Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in trauma, loss, and child development.

The dramatic colored pictures reinforce the text and will leave the reader with a lingering sense of the emotionally charged sensitivity of Dr. Maker’s compelling message.

Aspiring families Press, 12625 High Bluff Drive, Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92130. 978-0996194112, $9.99, 2017, 40 pages






A Small Book About a Big Problem – Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace

By Edward T. Welch

New Growth Press, Greensboro, N. C., 27404

978-1945270130, $ 17.99, 2017, 192 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,


Tame Anger, Develop Patience, Pursue Peace


“A Small Book About a Big Problem” is made up of 50 brief reflections that address the subjects of anger, patience, and peace. These thought provoking vignettes are designed to expose the reader to the destructive effect of anger and to set them on the path to exchange anger for patience, and to experience the compassion of Christ leading to a life of peace.


Penetrating questions help the reader consider their issues with anger.


  • Does your anger hide behind more innocent words? What are your innocent words and what are they saying?
  • How does anger feel?
  • In your anger, what are you really saying to God?
  • Have you confessed your anger?


Ed Welch is a Biblical Counselor and licensed psychologist, author, and faculty member at Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Ed is highly thought of among his peers. His writing is based on Biblically sound teaching, helping the reader to take an honest look on how anger is impacting, family and social relationships, as well as the emotional, physical, and spiritual impact on health.


“A Small Book About a Big Problem” is described as: “rich, insightful, and piercing; as eminently probing and practical. The importance of God’s grace, mercy, and His plan of forgiveness through Jesus, is presented with clarity. Think your reading as a 50 day adventure in overcoming the battle with anger.


A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Family Changes – Explaining Divorce to Children By Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Illustrated by Polona Lovsin

Story Telling Technique for Helping Children through the Trauma of Divorce

In Family Changes – Explaining Divorce to Children Azmaira H. Maker uses a storytelling therapy technique as a tool to help parents and professionals to be responsive to a child’s feelings about family changes during the transition period of separation and divorce process.

Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in family relationships, working with children, parents, and families.

In a heartwarming story for children, Mama Bunny helps Zoey Bunny deal with questions regarding Daddy Bunny’s recent absence from their home and what it means to be separated.  Lovsin’s colorful artwork reinforces the emotions and feeling of the dialog and storyline.

Two additional features enhance “Family Changes – Explaining Divorce to Children” as a resource. A note for Adults introduces ways to use the book effectively. “Process Questions for Adults to use with Children” provides 20 examples of unresolved questions the child may be experiencing.

Highly recommended.

Aspiring Families Press

12625 High Bluff Drive, Ste. 104

San Diego, CA 92130
















Five Little Children at the Zoo By Elvy P. Rolle – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Return Visit, to the Zoo

Elvy Rolle’s has “Five Little Children at the Zoo” is written to inspire the child’s imagination and creativity. The repetitive nature of the storyline enhances number recognition and counting skills.

Throughout the story, the child is introduced to frisky kangaroos, vibrant peacocks, gentle doves, and mooing cows. The colorful illustrations reinforce animal recognition and the animal’s sounds and other characteristics.

In a notes section for parents and educators, Rolle suggests developmental learning areas and suggested activities for developing the child’s language and cognitive thinking and early literacy skills.

Author Elvy Rolle’s is a retired speech/language pathologist, and early childhood special education instructor.



F. I. T. For Success – All Things Are Possible if You Keep Going By: Adrean Turner

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Strategies, Tools, and Solutions for Developing the Six Most Important Building Blocks of Success

“F. I. T. For Success – All Things Are Possible if You Keep Going” is made up of remarkable stories, and stunning anecdotes telling of professionals, laborers, and entrepreneurs which illustrate Turner’s unique six point F. I. T., a model of coaching for attaining a lifestyle of success.

Turner’s six-point program emphasizes the importance of attitude, personal development, handling stress, relationships, celebrating individual uniqueness, building confidence, and setting and achieving goals.

The F. I. T. acronym incorporates the word “Fearless, Inspired, and Transformed.” The material is adapted from the T. I. P. Tips for Success Podcast. From the first paragraph of the introduction, Adrien makes it clear that her book “F. I. T. For Success” is written for readers eager to achieve their maximum potential, who are looking for “practical and precise principles for moving forward toward success in their personal and business life.”

Chapters are jam-packed with: benefits, and bulleted paragraphs, lists, steps, and strategies, suggestions, tips, and solutions, attitudes, passions, and action steps. These succinct introductions cover such important principles as planning, practice, and preparation, overcoming procrastination, finding focus, teamwork, and dozens more.

“F. I. T. For Success – All Things Are Possible if You Keep Going” is an important book for professional entrepreneurs, executive professionals, and should be on the reading list of Corporate Trainers, Career Advisors, and Professional Life Coaches.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879952, $ 15.99, 2017, 216 Pages

Gospel Fluency Handbook” By Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Gospel Fluency Handbook: A Practical Guide To Speaking The Truths of Jesus Into the Everyday Stuff of Life

The Gospel in Me, the Gospel with Us, and the Gospel to Others

“Gospel Fluency Handbook” provides in-depth studies of the Gospel with a concentration on helping the reader recognize areas of unbelief to strengthen and grow in their faith equipping the reader to live the gospel message as the central purpose of daily life immersing them in their local community culture. Practical and interactive penetrating self-examination questions call for a keen sense of honesty, transparency, and accountability among the participants.

Each of the eight-week chapters includes guided readings, reflections, group discussions, exercises, and suggestions for prayer. Themes are centered on foundational truths of the creation, the fall, redemption, the new creation, the fullness of Christ, and unity in the faith. The authors differentiate between “Bible Fluency” and “Gospel Fluency” to address topics related to culture shifts and demonstrate how the impact of “Gospel Fluency” becomes a life-changing reality. A helpful appendix explains over a dozen defining theological concepts.

The handbook is designed to be used in a group or community and is structured for interactive discussion which encourages personal Christian growth, application to daily life, becoming fluent in expressing and proclaiming your faith, and reaching beyond to the ends of the earth. Whether used in a class or as an individual learning experience, you will want to participate in a fellowship of believers to encourage you to share the good news of Jesus that can change lives forever.

Saturate Publishing, 227 Bellevue Way N. E. # 224, Bellevue, Washington 98004, 978-0996849326, $ 24.66, 2017, 262 pages





The Bankruptcy Alternative By Bruce Bowler – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Business Management Tips, Tools, and Principles

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is Bruce Bowler’s unique and unusual story of his 50-year career, in fields of mortgage banking, manufacturing, and as a champion nitro-burning dragster driver.

Fast moving chapters describe an almost unbelievable account of a passion for drag racing, the security of working for Dad in the family business; winning after losing, the importance of decisive action, and the sense of accomplishment of a job well done.

The book reads like a novel, told from the protagonist’s point of view. Bowler is reliving his business journey. Bruce relates the setbacks and the progression of rebuilding, to another level of success. He carefully describes the “S Curve of Business” beginning with the self-determined forces and the external forces.

In an emotionally charged narrative, Bruce tells of the enthusiasm and expectations of starting a new company, moving from a dream to reality, a slow upward trend, becoming somewhat stable and the twilight of decline. The economic crash of 2009 led to the decision of closing Phoenix Custom Apparel.

Step by step Bruce describes his experience of recognizing “when to pull the plug,” selling assets, paying off debts, adapting the “Company Story Board Concept”, the decision to self-manage liquidation, and the steps that followed in closing the company.

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is written to encourage readers in the midst of similar situations with “a message of “hope and resilience…and the challenge to never give up.”

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Bowler Enterprises, Inc., 2175 South Jasmine Street, #105, Denver, Colorado 80222-5700, 978-0998632810, 2017, 156 pages






The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition Elmer Towns and Lee Fredrickson, Co-editors – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Jesus’ First Person Account of His Life and Ministry on Earth

“The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition” is a paraphrase of the Gospels written as a first-person account – Jesus Himself, the Son of God, sharing His story of His walk on earth as a man.

Jesus’ sermons, His miracles, and His example take on new meaning and become personal as step by step, day by day Jesus relates his story in such a personal way that the reader is transported back to the day and locale of Jesus’ walk on earth. A flawless selection of well-chosen, well-placed, photos, enhance the message of the text and strengthen the remarkable word pictures and action of the narrative.

A unique format feature is the inclusion of brief highlight, commentary statements, which refer directly to Biblical truths found in other passages of the scriptures. These are depicted as quoted by Jesus to reinforce a promise, to challenge a specific action, or to provide additional insight.

An example of this is found in chapter thirteen of Matthew. Immediately following the miracle of feeding the 5,000, reference is made to Jesus as the Bread of Life. He reminds the reader of His promise to provide his followers physical food when they are hungry and with the Bread of Life when they are weak spiritually. These short intimate, asides, become messages which can be readily adapted into a personal application.

Elmer Towns, Vice President of Liberty University and Gold Medallion Award-winning author has collaborated with Dr. Lee Frederickson, career publisher and founder of 21st Century Press, in co-editing this paraphrase of the Gospels. Endorsements by well-known pastors and Christian educators describe the book with words and phrases including: “heart-stirring,” “life-changing,” and “amazing.”

“The Bible by Jesus” is a reading experience I will not soon forget. I identified with the disciples as one by one they responded to the call to “drop what you’re doing,” and follow Him.

I plan to incorporate reading “The Bible by Jesus” through again and again in my Scripture reading plan for 2018.

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,
978-0768419894, $ 19.99, 2017, 350 pages

Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter By Jack Frost – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Ministering Out of the Deep Experiences of God’s Affectionate Love

“Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter” is compiled from the writings of Jack Frost, as a legacy of love.

The personal nature of these devotions, drawn from the Frost’s experiences over the various seasons of his life and the stages of his ministry are written and arranged in a progression that becomes a springboard for the readers to examine and experience the same life-changing encounter.

Jack Frost, known as “Top Hook” is credited with being the most successful fishing boat captain on the south-eastern coast. At the age of 27, Jack was set free from a life of addictions through a miraculous life-changing encounter with Jesus.

Jack shares incidents from his story of ministry that followed, and of the events that led up to the founding of Shiloh Place Ministries, a ministry to help others overcome past hurts, live with purpose and connect to God and others.

Frost’s unique writing style of openness and vulnerability touches the reader where they are; enabling them to recognize the heavenly father’s, love, peace, and comfort; to identify and make applications in a similar way in their personal spiritual journey. Each devotion ends with “A Prayer to Encounter the Father.”

These are rich devotional readings that empower the reader to become representative of Christ to the world.

“Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter” challenges the reader to restore the image of God as a loving Father.  And from that foundation, to restore and improve relationships with those we love.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destiny Image Publishing, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,

978-076841484, $16.99, 2017, 380 Pages