Ultimate Hindsight by Jim Stovall – A Book Review


Ultimate Hindsight – Wisdom from 100 Super Achievers, By: Jim Stovall

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768409611, $ 21.95, 2015, 272 Pages

Reviewed By: Richard R.

Hindsight – Personal Perspectives on Success – Looking Back – As seen through the Rear View Mirror

In “The Ultimate Hindsight,” New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Stovall has compiled compelling observations on success taken from personal interviews and correspondence with 100 super achievers, men and women recognized for their successful career accomplishments in the fields of entertainment, sports, business, medicine, law, the military, education, and religion; as well as everyday heroes who have become overcomers, meeting life’s challenges, and coming out on top.

In his interviews and correspondence Stovall asked for insight from his respondents in answer to questions of this nature: What are your thoughts on hindsight and what you learned from it that helped lead to your success? What is your viewpoint of success? What does success and happiness mean to you personally?  And what do you want to be remembered for?

I was deeply moved by many of the stories that accompanied these responses and how unique influences, experiences, and circumstances the established the life patterns and habits that determined the direction behind each success story.

In the process of reading the book, I noted there were various combinations of core values appearing within three or more responses. I began to filter these through my own set of values, goals, and the things that give me a sense of accomplishment, and satisfaction, that in turn make a contribution to others. Some of these are pursuits that have already become important to me. Others I want to incorporate as additional foundation stones in my own appraisal of success.

A passion for following my dreams, making the most of the moment, and enjoying the journey are all noble goals to pursue. Add to this perseverance, a positive attitude, a persistent faith, and enthusiasm for hard work. Other guidelines include: keep your priorities in order, make a difference, impact others, keep learning from life, obey God and count your blessings. I would like to be remembered as a man of character, integrity, generous, humble and compassionate.

Jim Stovall’s life models the lessons he has learned from his association with these leaders and influencers. Readers of all stages in life, and career fields, or those experiencing unique difficulties and circumnutates will be challenged, inspired, and motivated to learn from the “Ultimate Hindsight” and wisdom from Jim Stovall’s “100 super achievers.”

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

 

 

The Physics of Heaven, by Judy Franklin and Ellyn Davis – A Book Review


The Physics of Heaven

By: Judy Franklin & Ellyn Davis

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

978-04768407853, $ 15.99, 2015, 192 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Encountering Jesus – A Glimpse of Things to Come

In  their book “The Physics of Heaven” authors Judy Franklin and Ellyn Davis collaborate in this amazing exploration of  ways the elements of sound, light, energy, vibration, and quantum physics are being used to access a new realm of divine encounters today. The authors draw from interviews with and the writings of highly respected leaders in areas of spiritual warfare, gifts, prophetic dreams and visions, and supernatural experiences in the spiritual realm.

Bill Johnson, Senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California challenges readers to recognize “We have the opportunity to affect the direction and flow of history…to take hold of the future…The future is now, and it belongs to us.”

An interview with Larry Randolph, author of “User Friendly Prophesy” discusses Spiritual Synesthesia of how is at work through all of our spiritual, emotional, and physical senses. He believes we are on the verge of experiencing Pentecost on a whole new level.

Other contributors also point the way to multidimensional perspectives with regards to recovering our spiritual inheritance, discerning the authentic, and extracting the precious through a composite of insights discovered as through explorations into new paradigms of reality and a deeper understanding of God’s reality.

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

Jesus and the Jihadis – Confronting the Rage of ISIS – the Theology Driving the Ideology, by Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston – A Book Review


Jesus and the Jihadis – Confronting the Rage of ISIS – the Theology Driving the Ideology

By: Craig A Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 9780768408997, $ 15.99, 2015, 176 pgs

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Insight and Understanding into the Theology and Ideology of the ISIS

Professors Craig A. Evans and Dr. Jeremiah J. Johnston, New Testament Scholars, and highly respected thinkers collaborate in this important analysis of Mohammad, Islam, the Jihadis, and ISIS, their theology and ideology. They provide the reader with a fresh look at the growing terrorism, domination, threat of atrocities, destruction, and crimes against humanity, all in the name of Allah.

A review of Jewish history beginning with Abraham, their exodus from Egypt, and their conquest of the Promised Land, also details their expectation of a Messiah. They show how the life of Jesus, his ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing explain the reason for His death, and for His resurrection, which gave birth to the Christian Church.

A comparison is made with the origins, traditions, and teaching of Muhammad and the Qur’an, the basis for ISIS aggression, strategies, propaganda, and eschatology. The authors carefully document evidence that substantiate their position that the Islamic State adhere to and embrace the teachings of Muhammad as found in their Holy book and traditions

“Jesus and the Jihadis – Confronting the Rage of ISIS – the Theology Driving the Ideology” is highly informative and serves as a clarion call to Christians to take a stand for their faith, boldly proclaiming the message of Jesus, as the Son of God and the promised Messiah.

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

 

 

Snakes in the Temple – Unmasking Idolotry in the Church, by David Orton – A Book Review


Snakes in the Temple – Unmasking Idolatry in Today’s Church

By: David Orton

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

978-07684080010, $ 16.99, 2015, 268 pages

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

Holy Spirit Inspired Revelation – True Biblical Reformation

In the book “Snakes in the Temple – Unmasking Idolatry in Today’s Church,” visionary and prophetic teacher David Orton challenges his readers to consider the possibilities of reformation, revival, and worldwide spiritual awakening if the Christian Church of today were to restore its Biblical foundations, and to join the next generation in a commitment to see this come to fruition.

The book is organized into three sections. Chapters one through three explore the dream of future revival, while envisioning a spiritual awakening. Section two describes the present realities and a diagnosis of the idolatry found in the church of today. Section three outlines the steps needed for a spiritual breakthrough and a restoration of the glory of the Lord in the church of tomorrow.

Orton draws from spirit breathed scriptures to develop a thorough history of earlier revival in the church, which came about through restoration of worship, harvest, and awakening. He is genuine in his evaluation and in his analysis of the present status and decline of the church.

His conclusions, proposals, call to Holiness, and his prescription for renewal are well thought out, however, they may seem radical to some. Whether Charismatic, Evangelical, or Missional in theological stand, every reader will find practical principles for Christian living, spiritual growth, restoration of Biblical truth, and  revival in the Church.

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

 

 

Rapid Teamwork – 5 Essential Steps to Transform Any Group into a Great Team By: Sean Glaze – A Book Reviwew


Rapid Teamwork – 5 Essential Steps to Transform Any Group into a Great Team

By: Sean Glaze

New Shelves Distribution, 20 Office Park Way Suite 126, Pittsford, NY 14534

9780996245814, $ 16.95, 2015, 156 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, Richard330@yahoo.com

 

Transforming River Rafting Principles to Rapid Teamwork Realization

 

Sean Glaze has hit upon a fascinating approach to inspire, motivate, and transform disgruntled employees to productive, successful and, winning teammates. In “Rapid Teamwork” Glaze uses the platform of fiction to help readers discover, assimilate, and apply five ingredients important to building effective teams in today’s fast moving, ever changing economy.

 

A surprise visit by Matthew Patterson, president of CDI National, with Greg Sharpe, manager of the Memphis branch of CDI, puts into motion a river rafting retreat for Greg’s management team. Patterson uses his background as a basketball coach and Sharpe’s common interest and respect for highly respected basketball coaches, to put him in contact with Sofia Mitchell, his former basketball team leader, presently leading river rafting retreats with a focus on teaching team leadership principles.

 

By the end of the river rafting retreat every member of Greg’s CDI management team had a new understanding of and commitment to apply five G-R-E-A-T principles of “Rapid Teamwork.” They were each determined to become a amore effective team, and were ready to build a stronger, more productive and more unified workforce.

 

Glaze uses a lot of dialog and strong character development to move his plot forward and to accomplish his goal of teaching strong team building techniques. By the last chapter I had become deeply empathetic with, protagonist Greg Sharpe, as well as engrossed in the storyline. I was eager to discover how the multifaceted “team” would move forward and find closure to unresolved issues in their loosely connected relationships. I was not let down.

 

Sean Glaze is a professional team building facilitator leading interactive events in leadership development. He is a keynote speaker, inspiring “Rapid Teamwork.”

 

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

Hand on the Line by Steve Wisniewski with Jeff Rostocil – A Book Review


Hand on the Line – Challenging Men to Follow God’s Call

By: Steve Wisniewski with Jeff Rostocil

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 510, Shippensburg, PA 17257978 076840865, $ 16.99, 2015, 296 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Athlete on the Gridiron, and a Gladiator in Facing Spiritual Trials

“Hand on the Line – Challenging Men to Follow God’s Call” is Steve Wisniewski’s personal testimony of pursuing God with reckless abandon.

The book is packed with powerful analogies comparing the disciplines required for success in sports arena with those comparable spiritual disciplines and the cost of discipleship after becoming a follower of Jesus. He also discusses the similarity of camaraderie and the sense of community among team members and the common sense of brotherhood, unity, and shared devotion among Christian brothers who experience a mutual faith in Christ.

I especially like the “Chalk Talks” feature at the end of each chapter in which Steve asks the reader to consider “pointed questions” regarding handling routine matters like stress, disappointment, or failures. These questions follow the progression of Steve’s own faith journey with more probing questions of trust, commitment, finding God’s will, and an honest appraisal of personal  spiritual progress, counting the cost of obedience, and investing your life in God’s service. These questions become an excellent resource tool and can easily be adapted for mentoring, discipleship building, or for men’s Bible study groups.

Wisniewski is an advocate for a strong emphasis on the mission of evangelism as evidenced with a bold natural “overflowing” witness. The book is well written, deeply spiritual packed with stories and truths and insight into “football and faith” with practical personal life applications for men of every age and faith. Steve is open, genuine, sincere, and exemplary in his Christian walk.

“Hand on the Line – Challenging Men to Follow God’s Call” is a book I plan to recommend to my sons, my brothers, and my friends. It is a powerful testimony of finding and following God’s destiny, unique purpose, and life calling.

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

Breaking spiritual Strongholds in Your City by C. Peter Wagner – A Book Review


Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City

By: C. Peter Wagner

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

978-0768407693, $ 15.99, 2015, 222 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Principles, Practice, and Application of Spiritual Mapping

C.Peter Wagner in “Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City” alerts the reader to a new trend toward a movement of the Holy Spirit in preparation of the body of Christ for an unparalleled advance of the Kingdom of God. Wagner maintains that we are in a “new season” for reestablishing the Gospel of the Kingdom and that we are seeing a paradigm shift with an emphasis on the dominion mandate and apostolic church government.

The book is divided into three parts, the principles, practice, and application of breaking the strongholds in your city. George Otis, Jr. presents an overview of spiritual mapping. Cindy Jacobs examines nine strongholds that need to be broken down if we are to experience a fresh awakening in our cities and throughout the nation. Kjell Sjoberg explores the concept and principle of spiritual mapping for prophetic prayer actions.

Harold Caballeros, Bob Beckett, and Victor Lorenzo discuss the practice of defeating the enemy, community deliverance, and evangelizing a city dedicated to darkness. Mark McGregor and Bev Klopp specifically report on the results and application of mapping and discerning in the city of Seattle.

Reflection questions are included with each chapter. These questions help the individual reader assimilate the material and are an important resource for group discussion and classroom applications.

C. Peter Wagner is highly recognized for his leadership in the fields of church growth and spiritual warfare. The other contributors are known nationally and international for their impact on world evangelism and revival ministries. Their writing is clear, informative, authoritative, and the principles proposed have been proven effective.

This new edition of “Breaking Spiritual Strongholds in Your City” is an important resource for pastors, lay church leaders, and adult Bible class teachers in churches throughout the cities of our country.

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

From my Caregiver’s Journal – A Tribute to Caregivers – Friends, Family, and Community


From my Caregiver’s Journal

November 9, 2015

I am blessed and I speak for Thelma too.

We rely on a group of individuals, caregivers, whom I have come to think of as friends. These friends provide Thelma’s physical needs with a tender touch, a warm smile, and a genuine sense of sacrificial service and love.

Twenty-four hours, seven days each week, they help Thelma through her confusion, comfort her when she is lonely, and tenderly encourage her through her times of edginess, as well as her stubborn moments. They demonstrate compassionate care while monitoring her meals, bathing her, dressing her, making sure her colors don’t clash, brushing her hair, applying makeup, and attending to those inevitable “messy” unmentionables. They show their affectionate concern for Thelma’s comfort.

These acts of thoughtfulness and kindness do not go unnoticed. These friends specifically refer to the faithful team of caregivers on the Woodland Terrace – Magnolia staff.

There are others we think of as friends of Thelma, and friends of Magnolia Court. These are the other residents; some who hover over Thelma in a motherly way, comforting, touching, and affirming; others, as sisters, chatting, laughing, or exasperated, but always loving. There are also the family members of other residents, who, while visiting their loved ones, shower Thelma with smiles, love, and warm acts of kindness.

A core of healthcare professionals, therapists, hospice caregivers, and Woodland Terrace Administrative staff, while regularly serving other residents, offer Thelma, a smile a touch, or a word of encouragement.

I treasure each of these deeds of thoughtfulness as acts of love and friendship beyond what I can extend to Thelma by myself.

I also benefit from many of these same “friends” as they extend, to me, words of encouragement, as they express concern for my welfare, my physical health, and emotional needs.

I am blessed. I am also blessed with a community of friends who demonstrate concern and care. These include our church family, my Alzheimer’s support group, the Bridgman “Writer’s Group” and the many acquaintances who greet us with smiles and conversation while shopping, or eating with friends at nearby restaurants, and many others.

And lastly, my family, my four sons, Rick, Ken, Jim and Rob and their precious families; our extended family, those of my brothers and sisters, and their offspring, Thelma’s aunts, uncles, and cousins and their offspring.

And there is a friend that is closer than a brother; that friend is Jesus. We are truly blessed.

Receptivity -Tuning in to God’s Voice by Daniel K. Norris – A Book Review


Receptivity – Tuning in to God’s Voice

By: Daniel K. Norris

Destiny Image Publishers Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768407044, $ 15.99, 2015, 190 pages

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

An Invitation to a Lifestyle of Learning, Listening, Discerning, and Hearing God’s Voice

In his book “Receptivity – Tuning in to God’s Voice” evangelist Daniel K. Norris proclaims a life changing message which prepares the reader to actively pursue, identify, and hear the voice of God. He challenges the reader to move beyond being apathetic, lukewarm, and complacent to become an uncompromising radical believer and follower of Jesus.

I was captivated by Daniel’s powerful stories of miraculous ministry, select testimonies from thousands who received the message of salvation, and physical healing. I was also inspired by examples of spiritual mentoring and passing on the revival message to generation after generation to young evangelists as exemplified by Leonard Ravenhill, Steve Hill and now through Daniel Norris to another generation.

My spiritual eyes were opened to new insights and a clearer understanding of listening for God’s voice through seeds of truth while becoming more receptive to His Word. Daniel draws lessons from Jesus’ parable of the sower for keys to dying to self, becoming a selfless sower, and how to establish a mindset for drawing near to God.

Daniel’s writing is well articulated and spiritualy anointed; a must read for those fully receptive to hear and respond to the voice and will of God. “Receptivity” calls on the reader to tune in to God’s voice

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

On Fire at Work by Eric Chester – A Book Review


On Fire at Work, By Eric Chester

Sound Wisdom Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768408164, $ 24.95, 2015, 256 pages

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

Best Practice Strategies for Attaining Excellence in Recruiting, Training, and Retaining High Quality Employees

Eric Chester interviewed over 25 top business leaders to determine how they “ignite passion” in their people without burning them out. “On Fire at Work – How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People without Burning Them Out” is a compilation of the information he gleaned through these interviews. The information has been narrowed down to seven categories which today’s employers look at as the seven cultural pillars: Compensation, alignment, atmosphere, growth, acknowledgment, communication, and autonomy.

Chester uses case studies, models, and stories to explore and compare each of these pillars in depth. His assessment and sage advice of the non-negotiable character traits of potential employees is an example of his sensitivity, astuteness, and expertise in the field of behavior leadership, human resources. His writing is clearly articulated and powerfully focused.

A unique and stimulating feature titled “Igniters, Flamethrowers, and Burnout Extinguishers” provides thought provoking questions and related exercises which help the reader keep on target, assimilate the concepts and visualize how to incorporate and apply the principles and examples introduced within the chapter.

“On Fire at Work” is a timely and practical resource for the corporate manager, HR professional, for business leaders in large corporations or small businesses, and is filled with important strategies and concepts for implementation, that will insure excellence in recruiting, training, and retaining high quality employees.

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