Just Show Up, the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together, By Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn – A Book Review


Just Show Up – the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together

By: Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn

David C.  Cook, 4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

978-1434709530, $ 15.99, 190 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Parallel Stories of Friendship throughout a Difficult Journey of Suffering and Uncertainty

“Just Show Up – the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together” is packed with concrete, suggestions, supportive ideas, and meaningful information for reciprocal friendship during hard times and suffering. Authors Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn team up to share their story of a deep meaningful friendship throughout Karen’s life and death battle with cancer.

Kara and Jill explore the concepts of the long good-bye, the ministry of silence, and the gift of presence. They express them from two viewpoints, that of the giver and that of the receiver. Theirs is a story of nurturing friendship through pain and tiredness, insecurity and doubt, of unfathomly hard days, and the beauty and of being surprised by joy on a good day.

Careful consideration of the discussion prompts, are included for opening honest dialog in a group setting or for individual contemplation and will add to the personal impact and value of the book for individual readers; and immense help for anyone experiencing the process of anticipatory grief.

Anyone who had or is going through the suffering of a friend or loved one will find solace, comfort and support throughout the pages of “Just Show Up – the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together.”

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

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Untamed – A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Life by Jason Clark _ A Book Review


Untamed – A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Faith

By: Jason Clark

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768407631, $ 15.99, 2015, 232 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Making Vision a Reality – Embracing God’s Promises

In his book “Untamed – A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Faith” Jason Clark invites the reader to join him in experiencing the grand adventure of encountering God, embracing His promises, experiencing His presence, and seeing your vision become reality.

Each chapter if filled with personal stories. Jason tells of taking baby steps of faith, moving through the hurdles of disappointment, misunderstanding, and disasters, to discovering the exhilaration of a revelation of God’s love and the power of His promises.

Jason, combines lessons of modern day miracles from a South American MacDonald’s parking lot and the results of the affirmative faith to a lesson learned by a New Testament father when Jesus healed a tormented boy possessed by an evil spirit, and tormented by scoffing crowds.

Over and over again I was challenged by Jason’s stories of faith to continue dreaming; knowing I would be stepping out, just beyond my capabilities, forced to rely on the Father, trusting Him.

Author, singer, and song writer, Jason Clark is a gifted communicator and natural story teller. “Untamed – A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Faith” is seeking to move beyond “striving” for faith, to “experiencing” abundant life; to move beyond fear, and to live life as God intended.

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

Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer by Catherine DeVries – A Book Review


Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer

By Catherine DeVries, Illustrated by Ryan Jackson

David C. Cook, 4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

978-0781412698, $ 10.99, 2015, 12 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Emma Introduces Two of Her Special Friends to New Preschool Friends

Four year old Emma enters into a dialog with her preschool friends in this wonderful board book, written by Catherine DeVries and illustrated by Ryan Jackson. Emma’s innocence and openness allows her to freely talk about prayer, her friend Jesus with a sense of childhood awe and genuine love.

“Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer” will be enjoyed by toddlers through early readers and their parents and grandparents as they delight in the bonding experience of learning about Emma’s friend Jesus through words, pictures, and music. Ryan’s illustrations enhance Catherine’s story line and become unexpected openers for those impromptu teaching moments.

Every church school preschool class should add “Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer” to bookshelves and on their suggested list of books for family reading at home.

Catherine DeVries is an award winning author, an associate editor of children’s resources at David C. Cook, and has written over 20 books.

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

Claiming Your Inheritance by Cherrie Kaylor, A Book Review


Claiming Your Inheritance – Unlimited Access to the Voice of God

By: Cherrie Kaylor

Destiny Images Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768407983, $ 14.99, 2015, 152 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Keys to Hearing God’s Voice – By Combining His Word and His Spirit

“Claiming Your Inheritance” is a field guide to life; a spiritual pilgrimage, a holy quest. Kaylor writes with clarity and passion. Her writing is more than just interesting; she writes with excitement transforming the truths of the scripture while giving encouragement, edification, and comfort.

Kaylor introduces the concept of creating a Scripture book of your own. She carefully explains the value, the purpose, and the process.  I discovered some key action steps I’d like to develop as I start my “Scripture Book,” these include: read the scripture intent on understanding for illumination, insight, and revelation, leading to  personal transformation, life change and intimacy with God. The suggested categories provide a roadmap for finding topics that are specific for my journey.

The book is filled with practical tools, tips, and “take away principles” for personal application. I was reminded of the importance of drawing from the synergy of group dynamics, of relying on the Word as a weapon of intercession, as a counseling tool, and for receiving and giving prophetic direction.

“Claiming Your Inheritance” is a book for every Christian yearning for spiritual growth while longing for the reality of a deeper connection with God.  The reader will be empowered to access God more intimately and to experience a richer more personal relational life with God and an understanding of what it means to walk with Him.

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

Unlocked By T. D. Jakes – A Book Review


Unlocked – Step into Your Next-Level Moment

By: T. D. Jakes

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257978-0768408102, $ 9.99, 2015, 176 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Destiny Defining Moments – Be Ready to Respond

New York Times, bestselling author, T. D. Jakes opens the way for the reader to step up to a new level and potential for blessing in his book “Unlocked – Step into Your Next-Level Moment.” Bishop Jakes draws from the lives of Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha to illustrate how to recognize your life’s defining, next-level moment.

Elisha allowed his encounter with Elijah to transform his life, give him vision, and the power and tenacity, to pursue, God’s plan for his life. Reflective questions at the end of each chapter encourage the reader to respond to the challenge of finding, releasing, and fulfilling God’s destiny for their life.

A full chapter from Cora Jakes Coleman’s book “Faith It” provides an opportunity to examine practical and parallel challenges for moving beyond spiritual paralysis to free you from feelings of failure to step into life on a new level. Selections from Bishop Jakes inspirational book “Strength for Every Moment” are also included as a bonus to introduce new readers to his insightful devotional writings.

“Unlocked – Step into Your Next-Level Moment” redefines everyday living and empowers the reader for new levels of influence, ministry, and blessing.

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

Releasing the Divine Power Within, by Dennis and Dr. Jen Clark – A Book Review


Releasing the Divine Healer Within – The Biology of Belief and Healing

By: Dennis and Jen Clark

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

978-04768407488, $ 14.99, 2015, 176 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Integrated Look at the Physical Body, Emotions, and the Spiritual Being

In “Releasing the Divine Healer Within” Dennis and Dr. Jen Clark present a fresh new approach to understanding how Biblical truth and medical science interact in physical and emotional healing.

Chapters one through four become the foundation for grasping the concept of the biology of belief and healing. Chapter five introduces actual stories of healing experiences that illustrate the principles presented. Other testimonies also appear throughout the book. The final chapters deal with insight into how God’s creative power is integrated with the heart, the body’s cells, our emotions, genetics, and stress in the process toward health and Biblical healing.

The Clark’s write with clarity; the book’s format is reader friendly.  There is a natural progression of instruction for understanding, followed with examples for assimilation, with suggestions for action steps to personal application. The features “Practice” and “Troubleshooting” provide step by step ideas for entering into prayer, receiving results, and recognizing barriers. I appreciated the well documented chapter endnotes which provide the reader with a rich resource for future reading and study.

“Releasing the Divine Healer Within – The Biology of Belief and Healing” is an important reminder to every believer of the indwelling power the divine healer within each of us.

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

100 Days in the Secret Place by Gene Edwards – A Book Review


100 Days in the Secret Place

By Gene Edwards

Destiny Image Publisher, PO Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768407655, $ 14.99, 2015, 218 pages

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

Thoughts on the Deeper Christian Life from the Classic Writings of Madame Guyon, Francois Fenelon, and Michael Molinos

Gene Edwards features selections on experiencing the deeper Christian life from three highly respected classical writers of the 1600s: Francois de Fenelon a godly French Archbishop in the Catholic Church, Michael Molines, Spanish born, influential throughout Europe through his “Spiritual Guide,” and Jeanne Guyon, the most read woman in Christian history.

All three authors help the reader better understand elements important in a personal quest for embracing the cross, walking in God’s presence, and drawing into the inner chamber of fellowship with Him.

I especially liked Fenelon’s practical instructions in the devotional “Cultivating Silence.” Moline’s understands the reality of man’s nature. This comes through in the thoughts expressed in his writing on “Three Kinds of Silence.” In the final section “Stepping into His Presence” Guyon talks about how Godliness flows from within and of living in the abundance the spirit.

The rich look and texture of the quality binding, add a touch of worship and reverence giving a sense of anticipation of the spiritual experience ahead for the reader. “100 Days in the Secret Place” is an important addition to every Christian’s classic devotional library and as an ideal gift for every occasion. Highly motivational, practical instruction, and spiritual insight,

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own. Reading “100 Days in the Secret Place” is an exciting spiritual quest.

Clandestine – The CIA, a secret Partnership, and an Alliance to Topple a Government – A Book Review


Clandestine – The CIA, a Secret Partnership, and an Alliance to Topple a Government

By: Stella Francis Faulkes

Rock Creek House, 554 Mahard Drive, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, 978-0996510202, $ 10.99, 2015, 260 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Political Intrigue, Suspense in a Power Struggle between Labor Unions, Government Agencies and Humane Ideologies

In “Clandestine” Stella Francis Faulkes carefully introduces background material to establish a complex plot of international politics, government duplicity, maneuvers to counter attach terrorists, the Muslim brotherhood, and other extremists in an effort to gain dominance in the leadership of a one world government, in the guise of embassy business.

Andy Wayne, protagonist, an outstanding agent for Center for Labor Unity (CLU) is on assignment in Venezuela to bait and incite a revolution against their new president; who has overtaken oil operations belonging to U. S. companies, Joyia Gabreille, a stunning representative of Brazil’s national union, and Dane Sinclair, a seasoned operative, willing to resort to violence to get desired results, are assigned to aide Any in the effort.

Behind the scenes Ezekiel Jones and Koshka Whitehall, the CIA/ CLU, and Peter Abercrombie, President Barnard Christophe’s chief of staff, in an effort to divert adverse attention on the Venezuelan uprising before it starts;  contract Denise Menon, a former CIA agent, and freelance assassin, to  eliminate Andy Wayne, permanently.

Faulkes is careful to provide a balance of background information in an effort to set the scene for the story line.

Her multifaceted characters are believable. Her plot is complex with fast moving action and cutting edge themes of political intrigue, international economy and trade agreements, civil unrest, and revolutionary movements.

“Clandestine,” has potential to become a trilogy, with movie possibilities, or as a TV series and is destined to establish Stella Francis Faulkes as an award winning author bestselling author.

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

Living With Autism Day-by-Day by Pamela Bryson-Weaver – A Book Review


Living Autism Day by Day – Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage

By: Pamela Bryson-Weaver

Freedom Abound, Inc., 978-09936429906, $ 23.99, 2015, 448 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Daily Musings for Contemplation which Inspire Hope and Encouragement with Practical Strategies for Living Each Day with the Challenge of Autism

“Living Autism Day by Day” is a resource for parents and caregivers of a child living with autism. As a mother of a child with autism Pamela Bryson-Weaver understands what it means to be a caregiver of an autistic child.  As with any debilitating disease, loved ones and caregivers face each new day with the uncertainty of the unfamiliar, often mysterious twists and turns the day will take.

The book is made up of a reading for each day of the year. The daily readings include, a thought provoking quote offering inspiration, motivation, or affirmation with a message of hope and encouragement.

The author follows the reflection with a fresh thought to approach the new day. This may be in the form of a practical tip, an inspiring story, a humorous antidote, a community, national, or educational resource, or a strategy for the care of an autistic child. Space is provided for the reader to record an action to take in areas of: Autism awareness, self-awareness, or an insight into one of life’s blessings. Colorful photos of children accompanying the true stories and anecdotes add a dimension of reality and warmth to their story.

Pamela Bryson-Weaver is a parent of an autistic child, and an advocate and activist for children with special needs.

“Living Autism Day by Day” is an important resource for parents, family and professional caregivers. Highly endorsed by readers who are living with the daily challenge of raising a special needs child.

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