Book Review: Understanding Bible Mysteries by Ira Milligan


Understanding Bible MysteriesUnderstanding Bible Mysteries

By: Ira Milligan

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.

P. O. Box 310

Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310

978-0768402964, $ 15.99, 2012, 216 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Practical Guidelines for Biblical Studies

Best-selling author Ira Milligan examines theological tenets frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted in his book “Understanding Bible Mysteries.”  In his exposition he brings new insight into topics of tithing, the Rapture, predestination, and church structure along with other important issues relevant for today’s Christ followers.

Each chapter contains a set of carefully chosen frequently asked questions for further consideration. Milligan challenges the reader to be like the New Testament Bereans, who were commended for their personal study of the Scriptures.   He also provides some practical guidelines for studying and interpreting Biblical passages. Comprehensive and Concise.

I found the recommended reading suggestions and the end notes to be an excellent source of material for further reading and study.

Milligan’s conclusions add clarity to each of the topics considered. His writing is articulate and authoritative. “Understanding Bible Mysteries” is an excellent resource for every Bible teacher, small group facilitator, and serious Bible student.

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

Book Review: Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels


Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels

By: C. Peter Wagner

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768402988, $ 16.99, 2012, 334 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An In Depth Study of Power Evangelism and Spiritual Warfare

C. Peter Wagner has compiled the works and observations of highly respected participants in a symposium representing Pentecostal, Charismatic, and traditional Evangelical institutions of higher learning who convened to consider significant issues on teachings regarding the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, and prayer.  John Wimber of the Vineyard Ministries presented the keynote address titled “Power Evangelism: Definition and Direction.”  John Wimber’s address set the theme for the symposium.

The twelve chapters in this book “Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels” are gleaned from Wimber’s address, those of many other recognized participants, and responses to the presentations. Wimber opens by describing his own “spiritual pilgrimage;” he goes on to consider how Jesus evangelized, and His commission to the disciples, and then introduces the concepts of Kingdom conflict, power encounters, and supernatural insights.

I particularly found Ed Murphy’s contribution on Spiritual Warfare, Neil T. Anderson’s “Finding Freedom in Christ,” and the chapters dealing with the Wesleyan understand practical and helpful. I also looked forward to the summaries and conclusions to the teachings on exorcism, and demonic influences.

Participants of the consortium went back to their institutions feeling that the general consensus and response to the symposium opened the door to academic pursuit to further study, and provided an equipping tool for equipping students, in subjects related to the supernatural power of God in Church ministry and world evangelism.

“Supernatural Forces in Spiritual Warfare: Wrestling with Dark Angels” is destined to become the principal work on the reading list of every academic class on the subjects of the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, prayer, evangelism, and missionology.

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

Book Review: Exploring your Dreams and Visions by James W. Goll


Exploring your Dreams and Visions:  Receive and Understand your Dreams, Visions, and Supernatural Experiences

By: James W. Goll

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O.  Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-07684-03152, $ 15.99, 286 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Adventure in Receiving, Understanding, and Journaling Your Dreams, Visions, and Supernatural Experiences

“Exploring your Dreams and Visions” is an exciting adventure in understanding; filled with dynamic truths and examples from scripture, personal experiences, and illustrations from the ministry of national best-selling author James W. Goll.

Goll helps the reader discern and understand the mysteries of personal dreams and visions, and encounters with God; carefully defining dream symbols and then clarifying how to interpret them, and recognize their fulfillment.

The format and organization of the content of the book are reader friendly. I found the prophetic guidelines with insights into the terminology and use of images, symbols, and colors to be especially helpful. I also learned from the insights Goll reveals in prophetic ministry, intercessory prayer, and the spiritual discipline of journaling. Another helpful tool is the basic alphabetical and topical listing of terms with their interpretations.

Dr. Goll’s writes with clarity and authority. “Exploring your Dreams and Visions” is an interactive journal, a step by step process, designed to help the user record, interpret, and understand the purpose and meaning of specific dreams or visions; an excellent resource tool with practical guidelines, and applications for every Christian today.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Prayer Changes Things, a Compilation by Beni Johnson


Prayer Changes Things: Taking your Life to the Next Prayer Level

By Beni Johnson

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 098-0768402995,  $ 15.99.  2012, 188 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Amazing Compilation of Effective Secrets for a Powerful Prayer Ministry

In “Prayer Changes Things: Taking your Life to the Next Prayer Level” Beni Johnson, co-senior pastor of Bethel Church, has compiled important secrets from the writings and lives of nine influential Christian leaders recognized for their example, understanding ,teaching, and exercising the power and authority of prayer in their ministry.

Beni Johnson’s role as overseer of Bethel’s intercessors and Pray House has given her keen insight into many facets of prayer. She discusses the role of personal righteousness in receiving answers to prayer, and gives the reader exciting glimpses into the deep communion, ecstasy, and experienced in the spirit realm by the Mystics, as well as examples of meditation leading to contemplative prayer.

I personally appreciated Don Nori Sr.’s practical lessons on interpreting the scriptures in light of the living word, and, James Gall’s discussion on Spirit empowered; Spirit led prayer, directed by the Holy Spirit. He also gave examples of intercessory prayers that plead the promises of God.

The book is formatted with the reader in mind, frequent side bars highlight important truths for ready  assimilation and inspirational quotes from classical writers on prayer, including: E. M. Bounds, Teresa of Avila, S. D. Gordon, Andrew Murray, and many others. Suezette Caldwell provides prayers and examples from the scriptures with references, accompanied with exercises assist the reader in drawing from the “Power Source.” Mahesh Chavda captures the life-changing benefits of fasting in a study from Isaiah 58.

“Prayer Changes Things” is power packed with practical lessons on “taking your life to the next level of prayer.”

Book Review: Kisses from A Good God by Paul Manwaring


Kisses from A Good God

By: Paul Manwaring

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768403091, $ 15.99, 2012, 184 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Personal Journey in the Midst of Unexpected Detours

“Kisses from A Good God” is Paul Manwaring’s story of a personal journey through suffering that turns tragedy to triumph and victory.  Paul guides the reader through Abraham’s inspiring journey of faith. He helps the reader learn from the life of Moses, and the Psalmist as they experience periods of waiting. He teaches lessons from the example of Job through his trials and ultimate twofold restoration.

Manwaring’s writing is genuine and authentic, filled with encouragement, solid biblical principles, personal experiences, and practical applications. His writing is both profound and inspiring. Paul is transparent as he offers fellow travelers on the path of suffering and trials a message of hope and healing. His life is a portrait of “theology in action” relevant to all of life circumstances, faith and character. Paul details the dangers of allowing feelings of shame to keep you from letting God manifest his love. He describes the melding of medicine and the miraculous as he relates his story of being diagnosed with cancer, subsequent surgery and miraculous healing.

“Kisses from A Good God” is filled with examples of God’s promises of love in the midst of a personal battle against pain, distress, and suffering. This is an important book for believers going through illness and suffering or other trials common to life.

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

Book Review: Nothing is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller


Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith and Power

By: Rose Marie Miller

New Growth Press, 1451 S. Elm Eugene St., Suite 1102, Greensboro, N. C. 27404, 9781936768684, $ 15.99, 2012, 252 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

The Ministry, Outreach, and Vision of World Harvest Mission

In her book “Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith and Power” Rose Marie Miller shares a collection of personal meditations, journals, Bible studies, and stories of ministry experiences with her husband Jack. She tells of experiences during the years of ministering in the New Life Presbyterian Churches, and in the vision, formation, and outreach of the World Harvest Mission.

Miller’s reflections include profound insight in Bible studies on forgiveness, a good conscience, and an in depth study on learning to pray. She tells of facing loss, her transition while moving beyond grief, and of discovering open doors of ministry. I enjoyed the balance of sound theology, practical in depth teaching on discipleship living and the stories telling of unique opportunities open to her through the World Harvest Mission.

Rose Marie’s writes with candor and humility as she relates her feelings of a dark cloud of guilt hovering over her in the early days of her faith and ministry.  Her focus is always on the power and grace of the gospel of Christ.

“Nothing is Impossible with God” a testimony of learning to trust God, to rely on His strength in impossible situations. Timely and relevant.

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

 

Book Review: Old Story New Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski


Old Story New: Ten-minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God

By: Marty Machowski

New Growth Press, 1451 S. Elm Eugene St., Suite 1102, Greensboro, N. C., 978-1936768660, $ 19.99, 2012, 418 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Family Devotionals That Teach

Marty Machowski skillfully blends the elements of suspense, drama, and mystery in telling the Gospel story. “Old Story New: Ten-minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God” combines a strong family focus with an emphasis on the relevance of Biblical truth and specific applications for all ages.

Each of the 78 Devotionals follow a five day plan beginning with a creative activity, exercise, or bit of trivia to introduce the passage, moving to a reading from the scripture, concluding with simple thoughtful questions which draw out the content and meaning the passage. Suggested parallels from the stories found in Machowski’s early “Bible Story Bible” add to the approaches available to make expand the usefulness of the book.

Marty’s writing is captures the imagination is clear, creating, and challenging. His content is theologically sound, rich in Biblical narrative, spiritual significance, and life transforming truth. Devotionals are made up of doable family worship practices, relatable lessons with Christ as the focal pointing to the need for a personal faith Old Story New: Ten-minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God is a rich, unique resource, filled with illuminating insights presented in an enjoyable style, designed to involve preschool, elementary children, pre-teens, and teenagers.

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

Book Review: Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 by Kim Wright Wiley and Leigh C. W. Jenkins


Fodors Walt Disney World with Kids 2013

By Kim Wright Wiley and Leigh C.W. Jenkins

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A User Friendly Definitive Guide

Whether visiting Disney World is a family tradition or if this is your first time visit with your family, Fodor’s “Walt Disney World with Kids 2013” will help make your trip more meaningful and memorable. Seasoned editors Kim Wright Wiley and Leigh C. W. Jenkins pack this edition with exciting touring tips and plans including visits to: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Animal Kingdom, Disney’s World Water Parks, Downtown Disney, and many other featured points of interest.

“Insider Secrets,” “Helpful Tips,” “Quick Guides,” and Maps are invaluable resources included in this user friendly trip planning guide. Every chapter focuses on making this an enchanting never to be forgotten family adventure. A comprehensive index, illustrated features, trip planning tools, and perceptive recommendations, all add to the practical value of this updated vacation guide to Walt Disney World.

The format includes shaded highlighting used as topical guidelines throughout the book. The lack of hundreds of colored photos, found in many guides of this nature, allowed for additional pages of more helpful tips and updated information as well as keeping the price of the book more reasonable for families on tight budgets. Important updated ticket price charts, advice on group travel, tips on maneuvering lines, budget schedules, ride recommendations by age, with information on height restrictions, are all designed to make your visit less stressful and more enjoyable.

I find “Fodors Walt Disney World with Kids 2013” to be a User Friendly Definitive Family Vacation Guide.

As reviewed for Amazon’s Vine Program. A complimentary coy of the book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

Book Review: Walking Thru Hale by Angie Pelphrey


Walking Thru Hale

By: Angie Pelphrey

Yawn’s Publishing, 210 East Main Street, Canton, GA 30114

978-0981867342, $ 19.95, 2009, 300 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Stories of Addiction, Bondage, Incarceration, and Redemption

“Walking Thru Hale” is a beautiful compilation of over 300 short fictional and nonfiction heartfelt stories of women who discovered freedom from lives of rejection, abuse, bondage, and low self-images. Angie became addicted to prescription drugs while being treated for the excessive pain that accompanies fibromyalgia. When her addiction became greater than that which could be handled through doctor’s prescriptions, Angie found ways to steal pills from her patients.  In 2004 she was arrested and sentenced to two years in the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

The book is written with refreshing candor, transparency, and humility in a conversational style that gives the reader a sense of visiting with Angie over a cup of coffee. Her narrative allow the reader to catch the glimmer of hope in a prisoner’s eyes as they discover personal freedom from the bondage of their addictions. Angie Pelphrey tells of her own struggle with addiction, of her incarceration, and of her redemption.

The book is filled with insight into recovery, new beginnings, with devotional inspiration, personal encouragement or spiritual applications. As I read the stories of rejection, anxiety, and fear, I sensed a plea for understanding, empathy, and intercessory prayer.

Today Angie is the Recovery Administrator of New Beginnings Outreach Ministries’ Freedom Hall Recovery Center.  “Walking Thru Hale” is engaging reading made up of stories of survival in the cold, uncaring world of prison, of finding hope while incarcerated behind a razor wired fence,  and of ministering while living as a captive of prison.

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

Book Review: One Family’s Journey with Autism by Janelle Esker


ImageChosen: One Family’s Journey With Autism

By: Janelle Esker

Koozzz Publishing, 133 Colonial Woods Drive, Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050,

978-0983076070, $ 12.99, 2012, 140 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Family’s Journey with Autism from Diagnosis to Adulthood

“Chosen: One Family’s Journey With Autism” is the story of Mike and Janelle Esker’s journey with their daughter Kylie which began twenty-two years ago. Janelle shares the details of her feelings, reactions, joys and struggles she experienced; told from a mother’s point of view.

Janelle’s writing is heartfelt and transparent as she identifies with the others parenting special needs children. Over and over again she reminds the reader that they are not alone in their struggles. She discusses allergies in light of symptoms, reactions to medical treatments, prescription drugs, and special diets. Janelle is a strong proponent of advocacy for special needs individuals and introduces a wide range of choices available for management and treatment therapies, intervention, and support.

“Chosen: One Family’s Journey With Autism” like many other books available on Autism is situation specific based on the experiences of the author, the support of her husband, and the interaction and involvement of the entire family. A chapter of the book is devoted to a an unedited response from each of Kylie’s five siblings: Hannah, age 20, Andrew, age 16, Carrie, age 14, Sarah, age 11, and Fredy, age 22.

It is the prayer of the author that “Chosen” will be an encouragement to the reader to recognize that God’s ways are perfect. Janelle shares freely of her own Christian faith. The book is written in layman’s terms, told with tremendous insights into the role of parenting a special needs child.

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