Against the Flow – The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John C. Lennox – a Book Review


Against the Flow, The Inspiration of Daniel in An Age of Relativism

By: John C. Lennox

Lion Hudson Books, Oxford, England,b978-0857216212, $ 19.99, 2015, 434 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Christianity – Public Practice – in Light of Political Correctness

Dr. John C. Lennox, professor, author, and lecturer for Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, is recognized for his intellectual defense of Christianity. The opening chapters of his book “Against the Flow” introduce the background of the city of Babylon leading up to the time of the Biblical account of Daniel and the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 605 BC. He goes on to discuss Daniel’s interpretive evidence as well as his own position on the inseparability of faith and evidence. He addresses the teachings of morality and values in Hebrew history, the question of identity; Daniel’s resolve and protest, and the world view of Babylon during Daniel’s lifetime.

Appendix A includes an article The Nature of the Kingdom of God which clearly states Lennox’s position on the message of the Gospel, the first coming Christ and anticipated second coming. He also discusses the structure of the book of Daniel, Daniel 11 and history, the Dating of the book of Daniel. The comprehensive Bibliography and extensive index add value for ready reference and further study.

I found the questions for reflection and discussion, the comprehensive Bibliography, and the well documented chapter notes especially helpful. Other features of value are the illustrations, and photos of ancient documents. The material is relevant and timely; comparing our times to a modern Babylon through parallels. He challenges the reader to look for applications on what we can learn from Daniel’s life for our lives today.

“Against the Flow” is well-developed, researched, and documented; a scholarly approach to apologetics and eschatology.

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

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Gateway to Dreams – 3 Simple Steps to Dream Interpretation by Teresa Ward – A Book Review


Gateway to Dreams – 3 Simple Steps to Dream Interpretation

By: Teresa Ward

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0786407297, $ 15.99, 2015, 236 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Beginning Your Personal Dream Adventure

In her book “Gateway to Dreams” Teresa Ward helps the reader perceive dreams from a new perspective and gain a deeper insight and understanding into their meaning and interpretation. She carefully validates Biblical evidence of how God uses dreams, visions, and natural circumstances to reveal His hidden mysteries and communicate with His people today.

“Gateway to Dreams” is unique in that, although, the book is meant to be an introduction to dream interpretation, Ward goes beyond the theory and theology, to encourage her readers to follow the model not the method. Her writing style is intended to make reading the book fun, and interactive, resulting in a spiritual and growth experience.

In sections one and two Ward introduces the subject of dreams, describes their purposes, and categories, including: Prophetic, warning, instructional, and encouragement dreams. In sections three and four she goes on to present foundational elements of dream interpretation, a dream matrix, and symbology.

I found the “Jedi Dream Tips” and succinct summary statements to be a helpful tool for assimilation of the material within each chapter. Ward’s writing is straightforward, informational, instructional, and an uplifting reading experience

“Gateway to Dreams – 3 Simple Steps to Dream Interpretation” is an important introduction to a study of the spiritual impact of exploring the significance of God’s intent for dreams for communication with His people today.

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

Aligning with Heaven – Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest by Dr. David Herzog – A Book Review


Aligning with HeavwenAligning with Heaven – Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest

By: Dr. David Herzog

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-078407433, $ 15.99, 2015, 220 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Releasing Heaven’s Wisdom, Blessing, and Power in Your World

In his book “Aligning with Heaven – Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest” Dr. David Herzog reveals how by following the ancient paths of Moses, Elijah, and Solomon we can see unmatched signs, wonders, and miracles, by aligning ourselves with the “keys to the blueprints of heaven.” These same ancient paths opened the way for the Apostle Paul and the disciples to access the key to World evangelism.

Dr. Herzog describes how these ancient geographical portals accessible in the city of Jerusalem, Bethel, Galilee, and Eden as well as through the Jewish feasts: the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of the Tabernacles and the Passover are accessible to Christians today. These selected passages from Old Testament records, historical facts, archaeological findings, and scientific evidence of the advanced wisdom in Israel are powerful in implication, overlooked by many theologians, misunderstood by others, but worthy of study for all. We are living in prophetic times. Dr. Herzog reminds the reader that, as we align ourselves with the God of Israel, the people, and the land we will see the blessings, wisdom, and favor that reconnect us with God the creator and the resurrection power of His indwelling spirit.

“Aligning with Heaven – Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest” is written for those seeking a release of these ancient supernatural blessings experientially with resurrection power today.

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

Hidden Strength – Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have by Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell – A Book Review


Hidden Strengths – Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have

By: Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland, CA 94612 – 1921, 978-1626562837, $ 19.95, 2015, 88 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Step by Step Plan and Focus for Developing Hidden Your Strengths

Thuy and Milo Sindell, leading Silicon Valley consultants, the reader, identify and develop hidden strengths; strengths that will help you get to the next level of success and satisfaction, using their Hidden Strengths methodology. Their book “Hidden Strengths – Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have” walks you through the process step by step.

The Sindell’s emphasize the premise that to meet the challenges of the rapid changes in today’s culture the ability to adapt is critical and that identifying and developing your hidden strengths requires a you-driven approach to achieve your career goals and thrive in today’s workplace.

The authors provide the reader with four principles for professional development. They help the reader identify hidden strengths through a personal skills self-assessment plan. Through the use of case studies they help the reader examine their motivation, identify their goals, choose the hidden strengths they want to develop, turn these hidden strengths to learned strengths, and to evaluate the resuts/

I appreciate the author’s professionalism, their straightforward writing style, and their approach to inspiring and motivating the reader to stretch and grow. This is a book for “aspiring” leaders passionate and intentional about their personal professional development.

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

Prophetic like Jesus – Releasing God’s Heart to your world by Jeff Eggers – A Book Review


Prophetic Like Jesus – Releasing God’s Heart to Your World

By: Jeff Eggers

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

978-0768407204, $ 16.99, 2015, 238 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Practical Training for Cultivating a Prophetic Spirit

In his book “Prophetic Like Jesus – Releasing God’s Heart to Your World.”

Jeff Eggers presents a progressive plan for developing the basic principles of a prophetic heart and ministry

The book is divided into four sections. Section One defines the gift of prophecy, its simplicity, and the awe and wonder of the prophetic word. Section Two introduces foundational basics on how to cultivate a prophetic spirit and how to prophecy. Section Three explores “the gift of prophecy” from the perspective of building the church with a servant’s heart using the teachings of 1 Corinthians, chapters 12, 13, and 14 as for the key points in his instruction. Section Four addresses the pastor’s role in leading a prophetic people in a five-fold ministry; while developing a prophetic culture.

“Prophetic Like Jesus – Releasing God’s Heart to Your World” is more than a book for casual reading. The pages are filled with Biblical principles, Scriptural reference, and practical pointers for allowing the Lord to work out His Word in and through His followers. The “Getting Plugged In” questions and exercises are readily adaptable for interactive small groups, Bible study classes, or for individual study, contemplation application, and implementation.

This is a book for every Christian who is “thirsting” for a deeper revelation of the heart of God; desirous of growing into a mature usage of their prophetic gifting.

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

Purposeful Parenting: Six Steps to Bring Out the Best in Your Kids


Purposeful Parenting – Six Steps to Bring Out the Best in Your Kids

By Jean S. Barnes

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 147257

978-07684-02677-1, $ 15.99, 2015, 298 pages

Reviewed by: Richard R. Blake,

Biblical Wisdom, Guiding Principles, and Practical Tips for Putting Purpose into Parenting

As a veteran educator, educational psychologist, and mother Jean S. Barnes understands children. In her book “Purposeful Parenting – Six Steps to Bring Out the Best in Your Kids” she combines her practical training with Biblical parenting principles to help her readers put passionate purpose into their parenting:  to instill in their children a passion for: learning to love, develop self-discipline and character, accept responsibility, become competent, and persevere in difficult situations. Each of the six chapters in the book develops on of these principles.

Chapter titles clearly define the content to be considered; each chapter begins with a thought provoking challenge, topical headings, Biblical principles, and practical pointers. Features within the chapters also include “A Step Toward…” and “My Purposeful Parenting Check-In” exercises with a unique emphasis and chapter summaries.

Barnes sums up her conclusions in a closing section “Parenting Takes a Team” which clearly defines the working of parents, the school, and teaching and their interactive roles as a part of the team. She stresses the importance of developing friendships for social intelligence, the role of the church, and a reliance on God for instilling passion and purpose.

“Purposeful Parenting – Six Steps to Bring Out the Best in Your Kids” is a practical blending of Biblical wisdom and “best practices in psychology” on parenting. A valuable resource tool for every parent.

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

Non Negotiable – The Story of Happy State Bank & the Power of Accountability – A Book Review


Non Negotiable – The Story of Happy State Bank & the Power of Accountability

By: Sam Silverstein

Sound Wisdom , PO. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310

9780768407242, $ 24.99, 2015, 230 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Combine Absolutes and Accountability as a Standard for  Personal Non-

Negotiables

Sam Silverstein combines J. Pat Hickman’s strong commitment to a philosophy of absolutes with his own firm belief in the importance of “Accountability” in his the book “Non-Negotiable.”

Hickman had a long time desire and goal of owning a bank. When a small town bank located in Happy, Texas became available for purchase Hickman recruited a small group of investors to partner with him in the purchase of the bank. The story of the Happy State Bank is an amazing success story and demonstrates how implementing 20 absolutes or non-negotiables became the means of the growth of one small town bank with assets of $10 million dollars to a bank with thirty five locations and assets totaling over $2.5 billion.

Silverstein writes with clarity and conviction as he details the importance of each of Hickman’s 20 Non-Negotiables. He stresses the importance of finding and following your purpose, your core values, and formulating them into a mission statement for yourself and your business.

Reading “Non-Negotiable” has helped me intensify my focus and purpose and opened the door to implement a personal mission statement and to understand the importance of consistently and a consciously keep my word and my commitments.

Power to Heal _ Keys to Activating God’s Healing Power in Your Life by Randy Clark – A Book Review


Power to Heal – Keys to Activating God’s Healing Power in Your Life Power to Heal

By: Dr. Randy Clark

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768407310, $ 15.99, 2015, 248 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Eight Concepts for Releasing Supernatural Healing Power in our Life

Dr. Randy Clark, president and founder of Global Awakening has a passion for equipping Christians to pray for the sick and see them miraculously restored to health. “Power to Heal – Keys to Activating God’s Healing Power in Your Life” is designed to help the reader recognize the Holy Spirit’s healing power in and through their life. Dr. Clark stresses the importance of embracing the paradigm that a full gospel salvation includes growing in character, and obedience if we are to experience intimacy with God.

The book is formatted topically in a user friendly style. Chapters are filled with instructive guidelines, testimonies of miraculous healings, and scriptural truths for application that illustrate the dual nature of the Gospel message: in words and through the demonstration of God’s power. Dr. Clark leads the reader through a well-organized series of logical step by step progressions including the importance and relationship of prayer, testimony, perseverance, and faith. I found the 5 step prayer model, the 5 principles for healing, and the recommendations for further reading especially helpful.

Clark’s theological position and conclusions present a strong Pentecostal and Charismatic message. His teaching is instructive, convincing, and convicting.

“Power to Heal – Keys to Activating God’s Healing Power in Your Life” is a reminder to every Christian, “We are the vehicles and vessels God wants to use to release His divine healing power.”

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

Jezebel – Defeating Your #1 Spiritual Enemy by Bob Larson – A Book Review


Jezebel – Defeating Your #1 Spiritual Enemy

By Bob Larson

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, Jezebel978-0768407068, $ 15.99, 2015, 184 pages

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

Disturbing Stories of Stolen Destinies, Idolatrous Religions, Occultism, Fallen Angels, Witchcraft and Demonology

Rev. Bob Larson, internationally recognized for his books on Spiritual Warfare, Angelology, and Demonology alerts the reader to the evidence Christians must face; the reality that spiritual warfare is happening throughout the world today.

In his book “Jezebel – Defeating Your #1 Spiritual Enemy” Larson presents Jezebel as a fallen angel taking on the identity and spirit of the despicable Queen, wife of King Ahaz, in the days of the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Beginning with basic history and background during the period in Israel’s history from the Old Testament book of l Kings, Larson details lessons we can learn from some of the significant events that transpired in the nation of Israel, including: the confrontation of Elijah and the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, Naboth’s stolen vineyard and ruthless murder, Jezebel’s arrogance and tyranny, the death of Ahaz, and Jezebel’s dramatic demise.

Larson has a unique approach of using dialog with demon personalities as a process for determining the spiritual strategy to bring about resolution in the exorcism and deliverance process. He equips the reader with guidelines and spiritual weapons to recognize the “Jezebel spirit” as evidenced by abuse, generational curses, blood sacrifice and witchcraft. He goes on to explain steps to help victims break from bondage and move on to freedom and victory, to find peace. He also provides sample narratives for use in exorcism for deliverance.

These stories of stolen destinies, idolatrous religions, occultism, fallen angels, witchcraft and demonology are disturbing. They record actual spiritual battles of individuals documented in Larson’s archives of exorcisms. The nature of Larson’s subject matter of spiritual warfare will be interpreted differently by readers of various backgrounds and traditions.

“Jezebel – Defeating Your #1 Enemy” is a wakeup call for Christians today of the need to recognize the power of spiritual truth when facing supernatural spiritual battle.

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

Abandon, Laying Aside Your Plan for God’s Purpose by Tim Timberlake – A Book Review


Abandon, Laying Aside Your Plan for God’s Purpose

By Tim Timberlake

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,978-0768406719, $ 15.99, 2015, 176 Pages

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

Living Life as God Intended

Tim Timberlake’s “Abandon” embraces an affirmative message for finding God’s purpose which will resonate with today’s contemporary generation and culture. It is written for anyone struggling to find God’s intended destiny for their life.

Lessons are drawn from the circumstances, family, and culture that surrounded and impacted the life of well-known Old Testament patriarch Jacob. Timberlake carefully details the birth of twins Esau and Jacob, their natural inclinations, personalities, and their interaction with parents, Isaac, and Rebecca. He provides new insights into the formation of Jacobs’s early deceitfulness, shrewdness, fears, and his emerging sensitivity for fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.

Timberline translates examples from Jacob’s struggles into guidelines and principles to help the reader make personal application for facing life and forming values that will powerfully impact and transform their life to find a deeper awareness of closeness to God while discovering his purpose,

Some unique features of the book include innovative keys for making a difference in a changing digital age:

  • Perceptive “Abandon” statements designed to move the reader to make choices which include denying self to consistency in obedience to God
  • Thought Provoking Questions that encourage looking within to deepen your relationship with Jesus and create a hunger for God’s word
  • Relevant, timely applications for molding the reader into deeply committed followers of Christ

Tim Timberlake is a pastor, Bible teacher, and author, with a gift for cross cultural and intergenerational ministry. “Abandon, Laying Aside Your Plan for God’s Purpose” offers the reader heartfelt guidelines for turning life’s circumstances and barriers into blessings and fulfillment.

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