Living Your American Dream by Marciniak – A Book Review


Living Your American DreamLiving Your American Dream

By Michael Marciniak

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411

978-1934759813, 2013, $ 14.95, 158 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Keys to Finding Success and Happiness by Living and Enjoying the Present

In “Living Your American Dream” Michael Marchiniak captures the essence of foundational core values and basic principles which when applied can create positive individual change. He brings an incredible insight into the importance of building a balance of fitness finances, friendship, family, and faith into any strategy for finding success and happiness.

Michael’s writing style resonates with me. He combines a warm sense of individual sensitivity leading the reader to feel the relaxed comfort of having coffee with a friend, sitting front row center in attendance at one of his seminars, or being present, one on one, with him in a life coaching or mentoring session. A gifted communicator, Michael brings together an underlying practicality to an inspiring, informative message backed with the experience of success attained by few, envied by many, and available to all who are “Living the American Dream.”

Michael skillfully integrates a program for finding success and satisfaction through personal accomplishment, valued relationships, and freedom from anxiety by changing your focus from attaining success to a focus on finding happiness.

Whether you are facing physical crisis, emotional struggles, a career change, seeking financial independence, or just looking for a fresh approach to meaningful change “Living Your American Dream” will meet you where you are and guide you on the path to a new level of enjoying the present.

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

 

 
 

Just Blow It Up – Firepower for Living an Unlimited Life – Book Review


Just Blow It UpJust Blow it Up – Fire Power for Unlimited Living
By: Dixie Gillespie
Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
978-1937879181, $ 14.99, 2013, 224 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Practical Principles for Creating Personal Success

“Just Blow it Up” is contains over 200 power packed pages of practical personal principles for creating and enjoying personal success. I found an applicable “take away” on nearly every page. Dixie Gillaspie provides the tools, ammunition, and a plan of attack for facing the insurmountable brick walls that keep you from accomplishing your life dreams and purpose.

Dixie inspires the reader to see and recognize the possibilities and opportunities around them that will help them move their dreams from fantasies to realities. The same principles apply whether your dreams are grandiose, your projects are major, or you are dealing with small routine speed bump size obstacles. I found her explanation of the process of vision, passion, and belief to be enlightening. She also helped me understand the importance of confidence, validation, and impetus.

Illustrations are drawn from Dixie’s own experiences and from shared analogies and examples from her Blast Thru Coaching sessions. Her writing is focused and articulate. She is highly respected among her peers as a gifted communicator.

The book is divided into four parts, in a logical sequence, equipping the reader with a “dynamite toolbox” to set off the four blasting caps to blow up the walls that have kept you from accomplishing your life dreams and purpose. Highly motivational – Highly recommended.

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

We Confess! The Civil War – The South – and the Church – A Book Review


 

We ConfessWe Confess! The Civil War – The South – and the Church

By: Deborah Brunt

WestBow Press, A Division of Thomas Nelson, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403

978-1449731786, $ 22.99, 2011, 284 pages

Review by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (4/2013)

 

A Clarian Call to Confession – With the Jarring Blast of the Shofar

“We Confess! The Civil War – The South – and the Church” carefully records a time line of the discovery, development, and history of the territory settled by Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto right up to the post-Civil War days. Deborah Brunt describes the mistreatment of the native American Indians, as well as the implication and reality of the injustice of the “Indian Territory.” 

Brunt goes on to address and openly discusses: The corporate sins of the nation and of the church; Jim Crow laws; the Civil Rights Movement; and unresolved issues prevalent today.

She evaluates bigotry and segregation, the Klan and the obsession with greed, power, and pride.  She calls attention to the immorality, violence, and intimidation, mobbing, rape, and violence ignored by society and the white church. The book is a well-documented detailed account of the influence of slavery on the founding and history of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Deborah Brunt’s historical research is thorough and meticulously documented. She reveals phenomenal spiritual insight into the issues facing the conservative church culture with specific attention to the southern church. Brunt is passionate about confronting the hard and difficult issues of how fear and pride, strife, and rejection have resulted in rebellion and bloodshed.

The themes of the Old and New Testament “Blood Covenants,” redemption, sanctification, and atonement accompany the message of the Gospel of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection throughout the entire book. The book is written as a call to establish unity within the church.

Brunt’s writing is disturbing, stirs the emotions, and is controversial. She writes with passion, is convincing and convicting. It brings a prophetic picture of the danger of building on a faulty foundation. I was left with the challenge to assume responsibility as an individual to make a conscientious effort to impact others in my own circle of influence to also take the message of confession, repentance, and renewal to their world. In turn we can all impact the molders of public opinion that represent us in government, and in the leadership of the church.

“We Confess! The Civil War – The South – and the Church” is a summons to action and calls for a response. Highly Recommended.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Heaven Invades Earth – A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles by Bill Johnson – A Book Review


When Heaven Invades EarthWhen Heaven invades Earth – A Practical Guide to A Life of Miracles
By Bill Johnson
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. , P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
978-0768442106, $ 16.99, 2013, 336 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Invitation to Experience Miracle Encounters in Jesus Name

“When Heaven invades Earth – A Practical Guide to A Life of Miracles” is filled with exciting real life stories of miraculous healing that bring a freshness to a faltering system of bias and the limitations of dogma; stories of transformation and renewal resulting from an intentional deliberate pursuit of ministry to the poor and a faith that includes the seeing miracles experienced. Bill Johnson’s writing transcends the natural and focuses on the supernatural.

The book is full of miracle encounters, tried and proven strategies to help create an opportunity for miracles, signs, and wonders to happen. Pastor Bill Johnson poses the question, “How dependent on the Holy Spirit are you willing to live?” In his preaching, teaching and healing ministry he challenges the reader to move beyond their deeply entrenched theological blinders to rethink their interpretation to re-examine the scriptures to see what they actually say.

This expanded tenth anniversary edition includes a 40 day devotional guide which includes a quotation from the text accompanied by profound questions for personal application, assimilation, and action, and a meditation for reflection and contemplation. “When Heaven invades Earth” is a wakeup call to church, and a guidebook to pastors, church leaders, and laymen desirous of encountering the miraculous in their ministry.

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

Leverage Your Laziness – How to do what you love, ALL THE TIME! by Jeff Goldberg and Steve Bookbinder – A Book Review


Leverage Your LazinessLeverage Your Laziness! How to do what you love, ALL THE Time!

By Jeff Goldberg and Steve Bookbinder

Sound Wisdom, 167 Walnut Bottom Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-1937879143, $ 9.99, 2013,       128 Pages

Reviewed by: Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Dynamic Strategies for Trading the Drudgery of Work into the Excitement of Accomplishment

Jeff Goldberg and Steve Bookbinder combine their wit, intellect, and common sense in this entertaining, data packed instructional manual. They draw on their personal insight, diversified experiences, and passion for life coaching in the writing and production of “Leverage Your Laziness!”  In this collaboration they introduce an approach designed to use leverage and laziness as a strategy for attaining effective performance with the least work and the added bonus of sensing the enjoyment of accomplishment.

Steve helps the reader discover how to recognize and utilize their strongest strengths in their personal strategy for success. Jeff introduces keys to focus on those things you enjoy most in your work to increase your personal productivity with the least effort.

Sixteen principles, dozens of motivational quotes from dozens of recognized leaders, and the opportunity for individual readers to get specific in applying these principles personally make up the format of this humorous, practical, and powerful guidebook.

Concise, and compact, yet comprehensive “Leverage Your Laziness!” is an important tool for the established entrepreneur, for successful leaders, for life coaches, and for those who “wanna be” rich and famous.

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


Hinds Feet DevotionalHinds’ Feet on High Places Devotional – the original and Complete Allegory with Devotional
By: Darien B. Cooper
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. 310 Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
978-076844202, $ 16.99, 2013, 232 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Invitation to Embrace the Unconditional Love of Our Heavenly Shepherd

“Hinds’ Feet on High Places Devotional” is designed to enhance and enrich your spiritual journey. Darien Cooper retains and expands the richness of Hannah Hurnard’s original allegorical writing in this devotional interpretation of the contemporary classic. The daily quiet time meditations and reflections renew the reader’s spirit from within encouraging a time of bonding with the Lord in an intimate relationship that leads to a sense of security, strength and peace.

Darien Cooper unlocks the subtle nuances of an individual’s spiritual journey as illustrated in Much Afraid’s flight from the negative influence of the Fearing family kinfolk to follow the Shepherd. The reader will be enlightened as they travel with Much Afraid throughout her encounters, detours, and ascent to the high places.

Insights in the devotional readings translate the mysterious metaphorical implications of allegory into to the reality of surmounting the obstacles of the present. Fear, intimidation, and shame are replaced with confidence, faith, and spiritual strength. The reader is challenged to press ahead; embracing the truth that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome through the love of Jesus.

“Hinds’ Feet on High Places Devotional – the original and Complete Allegory with Devotional” is a Clarian call to live in a godly manner, to live up to your faith, and always to be careful not to slip back into your old ways.

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

Even When Bad Things Happen, God is Good by Leary E. Bonnett – A Book Review


God Is Good

“Even When Bad Things Happen, God is Good – Trusting God When it Hurts the Most”

By: Leary E. Bonnett

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 9780768442090, $ 16.99, 2013, 236 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Sensitive Answers to Troubling Questions

“Even When Bad Things Happen, God is Good – Trusting God When it Hurts the Most” is a combination; theological treatise, an inspiration devotional guide, a motivational case study, and a spiritual discipline handbook. Readers can expect to receive insights from Leary Bonnett’s teaching that will embolden and stretch them in their faith journey.

Bonnett provides thought provoking, step by step. Rich and meaningful lessons and guidance on building character traits of : humility, hope, faith, patience, and love while developing spiritual discipline, and putting faith into action using examples, and principles rooted in God’s Word. These lessons are authenticated by his personal life and ministry.

I was challenged by Bonnett’s , Biblical authenticity,  articulate communication style, his  intellect, and credibility. I appreciated his careful detail in research and formatting , his descriptive word pictures, relevant examples and illustrations, and the continuity of his presentation

The thought reflection questions presented at the end of each chapter are designed to be used for personal mediation, spiritual mentoring, or as a small group discussion study guide.

“Even When Bad Things Happen, God is Good” is an excellent resource for Pastors, Counselors, and Laymen ministering to individuals and families who are facing crisis and difficult times.

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

The School of the Seers by Jonathan Welton – A Book Review


The School of the SeersThe School of the Seers- A Practical Guide on How to See in the Unseen Realm

By: Jonathan Welton

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

978-0768442144, $ 16.99, 2013, 272 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Exciting Eye Opening Adventure into Seeing Supernatural Christian Living as the Norm

This expanded edition of “The School of the Seers” includes three new chapters, and an Interactive Study Guide ideal for group use, and an Advance Seer Training Manual

Jonathan Welton brings a fresh presentation of revelatory teaching based on his personal experiences and careful study of the scriptures on the subject of: angels, spiritual warfare, prophecy, and the spirit realm. Jon’s writing provides the reader with vision, direction and encouragement.

“The School for Seers” is rich in instructional material, profound questions, and practical pointers for application. The material is well researched and thoroughly documented. The format is user friendly with definitive topical headings, intuitive instruction, and practical pointers for application.

Each chapter of the study guide is formatted to include: Teaching points, key chapter scriptures, and an activation exercise (titled: flipping the switch). Other features include: A stretching application, review questions, suggestions for journaling, and verses to “ponder and memorize.”

“The School of the Seers” is written: To give you the tools needed to sharpen your discernment, to create a hunger in you to pursue and experience the presence of God, and to provide a manual to guide the reader to open spiritual sight in the unseen realm.

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

 

 

 

The Prophetic Perspective by Mark Chironna – A Book review


The Prophetic PerspectiveThe Prophetic Perspective
By: Mark Chironna
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
978-0768442120, $ 15.99, 2013, 238 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
A Biblical Exposition on the Five-Fold Ministry of the Prophet

“The Prophetic Perspective” is a comprehensive study that addresses questions on the dynamics of the prophetic on the church, the individual and the apostolic reformation. In this in depth biblical exposition Mark Chironna explains the five-fold ministry of the prophet.

Chironna is a gifted communicator, highly respected as a prophetic minister. He writes with an understanding and intellect that unlocks profound truths for the theologian with a spiritual sensitivity and Holy Spirit anointing that will appeal to readers at every level of maturity. The book is an equipping tool empowering the reader for ministry. Mark demonstrates an acute awareness of the roles of the gifts of the Apostle, prophet, and evangelist. His explanations, illustrations, definitions, and word pictures combine to challenge the reader to further study and research.

The Pinpoint the Prophetic feature at the end of each chapter helps the reader explore and consider different, sometimes conflicting, viewpoints on Prophetic Perspective in light of God’s intended future to affirm or give a better understanding of long held personal views.

I especially liked the reader friendly format of the book and the organization of the material.

The sub title of “The Prophetic Perspective” become the underlying theme throughout the book “Seeing and Seizing Our God-Intended Future.”

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

Recovery for the Christian Family – Surviving Alcoholism by Chaplain Farris and Ruth Robertson – A Book Review


Revocery for the Christian Family Surviving Alcoholism

Recovery for the Christian Family: Surviving Alcoholism

By Chaplain Farris and Ruth Robertson

Recovery Literature, 217 W. Bennett Street, Springfield, MO 65807

9780911939026, $ 12.95, 2013, 168 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Recovery from the Bondage of Alcohol Addiction

“Recovery for the Christian Family: Surviving Alcoholism” is for families impacted by the addictive nature of the alcoholic.  Personal examples and Scriptural principles are used to illustrate and reinforce the complexity of the subject matter introduced.

Chaplains Farris and Ruth Robertson offer hope and recovery to the reader. They provide important information and detailed instruction on topics related to intervention,   the commonality of the addiction cycle, recovery, and answer dozens of “Why? When and How?” questions. They also include a matrix of issues regarding misperceptions of life, unrealistic desires, daily frustrations, genetic predisposition, and learned behaviors that the alcoholic deals with on a regular basis.

Chapters are packed with solid information on the importance of communication, the need for a spiritual connection, co-dependent relationships, relapse prevention, recovery models and family interaction. Each family member is faced with the need for commitment, sacrifice, change and perseverance if they are going to replace anger, shame, guilt and condemnation with love and acceptance.

The material is introduced in a logical progression with clarity. The Robertson’s write  convincingly, with compassion. The thought provoking visual illustrations and a complete index add to the value of the book as a resource tool.

“Recovery for the Christian Family: Surviving Alcoholism” is an important guide for 12 Step Recovery programs, Family Counselors, Clergy, and for every member of the family “Surviving Alcoholism.”

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