Book Review: Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer


Take Ten for Writers

By: Bonnie Neubauer

Writer’s Digest Books, 978-1582975337, 2009, Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

1,000 Stimulating Exercising – Proactive Steps for Preventing Writer’s Block

“Take Ten for Writers” is a follow-up to Bonnie Neuberger’s “Write-Brain Workbook.”  The book is made up of 1,000 stimulating exercises designed to help you, the writer, maintain a momentum while avoiding writer’s block.

The exercises suggested provide:

  • A basic set up scenario
  • A starting phrase
  • A list of words to incorporate within the exercise
  • A suggested audience
  • A take-away for the potential reader

The concept of the book is a cycle of exercises based on a rotation of set ups as noted above. For me, this became somewhat repetitive. However, the concept remains a refreshing stimulus during dry periods when writer’s block rears its ugly head with any kind of frequency. In addition to the motivating exercises Bonnie’s suggested rules for writing are practical, helpful and relevant.“Take Ten for Writers” is an important resource for beginning writers as well as a seasoned writer faced with a sudden relapse into “Writer’s Block.”

Book Review: Five Minutes to Midnight Stories of God’s Faithfulness in Central Asia by Andrew Sieberhagen


Five Minutes to Midnight – Stories of God’s Faithfulness in Central Asia

By: Andrew Sieberhagen

Koozzz Publishing, 133 Colonial Woods Drive, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050, 9780983076049, $ 10.99, 2012, 154 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Ten Year Journey – A Glimpse into the World of Pioneer Missions

Andrew Sieberhagen reflects on his ten year journey ministering in Central Asia in his book “Five Minutes to Midnight.”  He shares memorable moments when God revealed Himself in times of crisis. In these incidents God used unexpected strangers and quiet miracle s as a sign of his faithfulness and intervention in answering prayer.

Each chapter includes a Scripture truth or promise, and inspiring story, motivating challenge, faith building instruction, or a life enriching lesson with a section titled “Points to Ponder.” Andrew is a gifted story teller and an articulate communicator. Andrew’s passion for missions and his commitment to following God’s call on his life come through in his writing.

“Five Minutes to Midnight” is compact in size, profound in content, and life changing in its impact. Highly recommended.

Book Review: Satan Thinks in Black and White – Racism in the Congregations of America by Ronald B. Jimmerson


Satan Thinks in Black and White – Racism in the Congregations of America

By: Ronald B. Jimmerson, Sr.,

Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 /s, Parker Rd. – 515, Parker, CO 80134,978-1-4327-8246-7, $ 14.95, 2012, 116 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Satan’s Strategy to Create a Schism in the Church – Racial Separation on Sundays

In his book “Satan Thinks in Black and White – Racism in the Congregations of America” Ronald B. Jimmerson, Sr. maintains that the first step toward stamping out racism in America is to understand the root causes that have resulted in the indoctrination of discrimination and prejudice prevalent in America today. Jimmerson challenges the Christian church to take the lead in building trust and unity truth, confession and forgiveness by actively addressing these issues.

Jimmerson’s writing is confrontational and disturbing, thought provoking and convicting. The format of the book is compact with a balance of narrative, illustrations, and topical headings. The copious use of Biblical references adds to the value of the book as a resource tool for future individual or group study.

The reader is encouraged to take a stand against racist ideas and to move along the continuum of the Christian Walk from being a natural, carnal, or social Christian to a Spiritual Christian acting in accordance with the Biblical principles intended by God.

“Satan Thinks in Black and White – Racism in the Congregations of America” takes a serious look at the inroads of Satan’s influence on the American church, culture, and history.

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

Book Review: Warding Off Demonic Attacks in Jesus’ Name by Dr. robert Peprah-Gyamfi


Warding Off Demonic Attacks in Jesus Name

By: Dr. Robert Peprah-Gyamfi

Thank You Jesus Books, P. O. Box 8505, Loughborough, LE11 9BZ, UK, 978-09570780417, $ 14.99, 2012, 198 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Divine Intervention and Healing in the Midst of Spiritual Warfare

“Warding Off Demonic Attacks in Jesus Name” is the amazing testimony of Dr. Robert Peprah-Gyamfi of his salvation, his medical training, and his call to writing. The book is divided into two parts. Part One gives a glimpse in to the author’s background and the events leading up to his “Amazing Testimony of Divine Intervention in Our Time.”

Dr. Peprah-Gyamfi, medical doctor and author of numerous books on modern Ghana, tells of his call and passion for writing. He shares from his heart as he candidly tells of the struggles to get his books into the hands of his potential readers. Every writer will identify with this part of his story.

Over the years Robert persevered in the face of discouraging deterrents within the publishing industry as well as experiencing excessive financial loss.  On the threshold of publishing success and attaining recognition for his books through the potential of large scale distribution, Dr. Peprah-Gyamfi is met with spiritual opposition in the form of attacks on his body, including burning-flesh sensations, dizziness, and an irregular racing heart rate.

After extensive medical testing provided no physical reason for these symptoms Dr. Peprah-Gyamfi attributes them to combat with demonic forces and Spiritual warfare seeking which were seeking to destroy him physically, discourage him emotionally, and bring to an end his calling as a writer, and the eradicate the impact of his message.

“Warding Off Demonic Attacks in Jesus Name” reveals how Dr. Peprah-Gyamfi choses to call on Jesus in a desperate prayer, to preserve his life, for physical healing, and to enable him to provide for the financial needs of his family.

Dr. Peprah-Gyamfi’s writing is engaging, entertaining, and instructive. I appreciated his insight into the publishing industry, and became highly interested in his explanations of medical terms, heart issues, and the steps he used in confronting spiritual warfare.

“Warding Off Demonic Attacks in Jesus Name” is an important and timely book for anyone experiencing demonic attacks or confronted by the techniques used by Satan to discourage and defeat Christians and their effectiveness in ministry.

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

Book Review: A Love Story: How God Pursued Me &Found Me by Samantha Ryan Chandler


A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me

By: Samantha Ryan Chandler

Crossbooks Publishing, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN47403, 978-1615077588, $ 11.95, 2011, 108 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Journey of Tribulation

“A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me” is the story of Samantha Ryan Chandler’s spiritual journey. A journey filled with hatred, betrayal, abuse, greed, and fear. It is also a story of emotional healing, enlightenment, forgiveness, and revelation.

Chandler writes from her heart, opening her soul to the reader to a point of being vulnerable, and misjudged. She acknowledges her literary limitations. This lack may frustrate some readers as the format at times is confusing. She relates her story as a memoir, records personal observations and opinions on life, in short chapters, filled with proverb like quips, and Biblical concepts. Some readers will miss her subtle sense of humor.

Samantha briefly introduces episodes from her early life, of poverty, abuse, and brokenness. She goes on to tell of being unfulfilled in a marriage of over twenty years, the birth of her three daughters, and of abuse from her husband,  that ultimately lead to separation, divorce, and of losing her children. She describes how God lifted her out of her period of deepest despair to give her spiritual healing and victory.

I was personally touched by the heartwarming stories of the ministry of Children’s Cross Connection, a ministry she co-founded, which ministered to hundreds of children with life crippling and life threatening ailments and afflictions from Third World countries, who were brought to the United States for donated surgeries.

It Chandler’s prayer that her book, “A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me” will be an encouragement to many who, like her, are in the midst of their own journey through tribulation.

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

 

Book Review: God’s Design for Dating and Marriage by: Chrystal Armstrong


God’s Divine Design for Dating and Marriage: A Perfect Love for Imperfect People

By: Chrystal Armstrong

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 978-0768439151, $ 16.99, 2012, 313 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Blueprint for Rebuilding God’s Radical Relationship Revolution

“God’s Divine Design for Dating and Marriage” provides a step-by-step blueprint for building relationships according to God intended pattern, for dating, marriage, and sexuality.  Chrystal Armstrong parallels God’s systematic model of the tabernacle in the Old Testament to demonstrate His love for His chosen people with His New Testament design for love and marriage, a plan which is still relevant and applicable today. Chrystal redefines “love as divine, marriage as beautiful, and sex as sacred.”

Candidly transparent Chrystal shares experiences of her own failures and frustrations through personal anecdotes. She also uses illustrations and stories of other indiviuals that reflect the pitfalls of relying on cultural influences and practices.

She warns of:

  • The impact of television on morality
  • The bold disrespect for the sanctity of sex in the lyrics of popular rap music
  • Demonic Influence
  • Dysfunctional relationships

She presents positive patterns for:

  • Comparing real love with its counterpart counterfeit love
  • Marriage love in light of covenant  love and typology of the tabernacle
  • A systematic approach to courtship and marriage

Armstrong’s work is thoroughly researched, well documented, articulate, and sometimes explicit. The book is an important expose and eye opening report for contemporary Christians.   “God’s Divine Design for Dating and Marriage” is a book for everyone: single, engaged, married, divorced, or separated.

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

 

 

 

Book Review: ETZ Chaim: Tree of Life – Lessons Learned from the Tree of Life by Messianic Rabbi Eric E. Walker


Etz Chaim: the Tree of Life

By: Eric E. Walker

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 978-0768441246, $ 15.99, 2012, 172 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Messianic Understanding of the End Time Teachings of the Torah

Messianic Rabbi Eric E. Walker introduces his book “Etz Chaim: the Tree of Life” with lessons from Genesis, Psalms, Jeremiah, as well as the gospels of Mark and John, and Revelation. He guides the reader through seven lessons learned from the “ground.” These lessons include profound questions for personal consideration, beautiful illustrative artwork, practical exercises for application, and comprehensive end notes which lend themselves to further reading and additional study.

Walker provides practical, easy to understand instructions for abundant living from the Torah. The book is presented in the form of an inspired parable. The seven chapters are based on the seven aspects of the Tree of Life: The ground, the seed, the roots, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, and the fruit. Each chapter culminates with seven life-changing conclusions drawn from seven lessons, broken down into seven parts, with seven exercises at the end of each part.

Walker delivers a powerful message challenging the reader to a personal examination of their spiritual status as a Christian in a writing style that is simple yet profound. It is inspirational and motivational.

Etz Chaim: the Tree of Life is Biblically based, true to the scriptures, providing understanding, offering hope, while revealing the end times teaching of the Torah.

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

 

 

Book Review: God and Psychobabble


God and Psychobabble

By: Kathy Martin

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17527-031, 978-0768441222, $ 15.99, 2012, 200 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Biblical Truth Refutes Pop Psychology

“God and Psychobabble” explores, exposes, and refutes the popular deceptions being promoted in today’s culture that lead to bondage, anxiety, and resentment under the guise of finding “success and happiness.” Kathy Martin points the reader to a journey of hope through answers leading to abundant life.

Martin explores how establishing a right relationship with  God is the only way to find true answers for individuals who are struggling with:

  • Depression
  • Codependency
  • Anxiety

Issues of:  Pschogenic Illnesses, Psychoneuroimmunology, panic attacks, and Agoraphobia are all described, as well as the side effects these have on our physical body’s functions.

Each chapter includes illustrations drawn from real life to illustrate misconceptions, truths, and information.  The narrative also includes instruction, suggests actions that can be taken to achieve freedom from these maladies.  These principles are re-enforced with thought provoking interactive questions for discussion, reflection, and action. These questions are designed to be used on an individual basis, in a one on one in a mentoring or counseling relationship, or in as a group study or in support group environment.

Martin writes with a simplicity and clarity that allows the reader to understand otherwise complex psychological principles which often lead to misconceptions and confusion which keep individuals in emotional bondage.

“God and Psychobabble” replaces the momentary relief, feel good remedies, and the quick fixes offered in today’s culture by TV Reality shows and highly rated TV personalities.  Martin presents Biblical truth which leads to freedom allowing the reader to experiencing the joy of an abundant life.

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

Book Review: 7 Secrets of a Phenomenal L.I.F.E. by Howard Partridge


7 Secrets of a Phenomenal Life – By: Howard Partridge

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Guiding Principle – A Spiritual Focus for Life

Howard Partridge challenges the reader to discover their individual inherent worth through universal principles of life and creation using the illustration of “The Wheel of Life with its Seven Spokes” in his book “7 Secrets of a Phenomenal Life.”

Over the years I have read a number of motivational books that have introduced important principles and solutions in specific areas of self-help, leadership roles, and success in business.  Often the principles are similar or the same simply repackaged in a new format. I have found these helpful in reinforcing and restating applications which I have already established or have put into practice on a regular basis. Howard adds an excitement in his fresh approach with a focus on the balanced life. He concentrates on seven important aspects necessary for success in both business and personal life.

The format of this book is designed for ease in reading, assimilation, application, study, reflection and taking action.  I particularly liked his various sequences of clearly numbered tips and steps, his pithy quotes, his effective use of acronyms, and his use of charts and graphs to illustrate the narrative.

“7 Secrets of a Phenomenal Life” is powerful in presentation of practical principles and successful steps for establishing a phenomenal life. Highly motivating.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Glory Within by Corey Russell


The Glory Within: The Interior Life and the Power of Speaking in Tongues

By: Corey Russell

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 978-0768441239, $ 15.99, 2012, 269 pages,

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Look at the Potential Power of  Exercising Your Personal Prayer Language

“The Glory Within: The Interior Life and the Power of Speaking in Tongues” describes a deeper relationship with Jesus in a growing intimacy through withdrawing to meet God inwardly. The narrative begins with a dramatic, powerful personal testimony of Corey’s conversion, including a comprehensive look into what transpires at the time we are bon into the family of God, and the progression of experiencing fellowship and communion with Christ, and moving on to a  fullness of the inner life, through meditation and a dialog with the spirit.

Russell unveils an incredible revelation into the nature, character and glory of God. I was captured by the thought of looking into the devotional life of the Apostle Paul – and amazing concept – what better example to follow?

The theme of the book concentrates on only one aspect of the doctrine of tongues as seen in the New Testament. Corey looks at benefits of Speaking in Tongues as a devotional prayer language.

These include:

  • To connect you to the heart of God
  • To build you up and to strengthen and edify your spirit
  • To give you a key to unlocking the power of God in your prayers
  • To enable you to stand against the wiles of the devil in spiritual warfare
  • For your sanctification

He also includes an excellent study on the roles of the Holy Spirit. Russell writes with: authority and clarity. He thoughts are insightful transformational, practical, and life changing.  His life and writing are endorsed by, highly respected, well known leaders in prayer ministries within the Charismatic community.

“The Glory Within” delivers God’s invitation to join His inner circle – in conversation and dialog with the Trinity. Be ready to be blessed with an intense reading experience.

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