The Bankruptcy Alternative By Bruce Bowler – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Business Management Tips, Tools, and Principles

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is Bruce Bowler’s unique and unusual story of his 50-year career, in fields of mortgage banking, manufacturing, and as a champion nitro-burning dragster driver.

Fast moving chapters describe an almost unbelievable account of a passion for drag racing, the security of working for Dad in the family business; winning after losing, the importance of decisive action, and the sense of accomplishment of a job well done.

The book reads like a novel, told from the protagonist’s point of view. Bowler is reliving his business journey. Bruce relates the setbacks and the progression of rebuilding, to another level of success. He carefully describes the “S Curve of Business” beginning with the self-determined forces and the external forces.

In an emotionally charged narrative, Bruce tells of the enthusiasm and expectations of starting a new company, moving from a dream to reality, a slow upward trend, becoming somewhat stable and the twilight of decline. The economic crash of 2009 led to the decision of closing Phoenix Custom Apparel.

Step by step Bruce describes his experience of recognizing “when to pull the plug,” selling assets, paying off debts, adapting the “Company Story Board Concept”, the decision to self-manage liquidation, and the steps that followed in closing the company.

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is written to encourage readers in the midst of similar situations with “a message of “hope and resilience…and the challenge to never give up.”

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

Bowler Enterprises, Inc., 2175 South Jasmine Street, #105, Denver, Colorado 80222-5700, 978-0998632810, 2017, 156 pages






The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition Elmer Towns and Lee Fredrickson, Co-editors – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Jesus’ First Person Account of His Life and Ministry on Earth

“The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition” is a paraphrase of the Gospels written as a first-person account – Jesus Himself, the Son of God, sharing His story of His walk on earth as a man.

Jesus’ sermons, His miracles, and His example take on new meaning and become personal as step by step, day by day Jesus relates his story in such a personal way that the reader is transported back to the day and locale of Jesus’ walk on earth. A flawless selection of well-chosen, well-placed, photos, enhance the message of the text and strengthen the remarkable word pictures and action of the narrative.

A unique format feature is the inclusion of brief highlight, commentary statements, which refer directly to Biblical truths found in other passages of the scriptures. These are depicted as quoted by Jesus to reinforce a promise, to challenge a specific action, or to provide additional insight.

An example of this is found in chapter thirteen of Matthew. Immediately following the miracle of feeding the 5,000, reference is made to Jesus as the Bread of Life. He reminds the reader of His promise to provide his followers physical food when they are hungry and with the Bread of Life when they are weak spiritually. These short intimate, asides, become messages which can be readily adapted into a personal application.

Elmer Towns, Vice President of Liberty University and Gold Medallion Award-winning author has collaborated with Dr. Lee Frederickson, career publisher and founder of 21st Century Press, in co-editing this paraphrase of the Gospels. Endorsements by well-known pastors and Christian educators describe the book with words and phrases including: “heart-stirring,” “life-changing,” and “amazing.”

“The Bible by Jesus” is a reading experience I will not soon forget. I identified with the disciples as one by one they responded to the call to “drop what you’re doing,” and follow Him.

I plan to incorporate reading “The Bible by Jesus” through again and again in my Scripture reading plan for 2018.

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,
978-0768419894, $ 19.99, 2017, 350 pages

Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter By Jack Frost – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Ministering Out of the Deep Experiences of God’s Affectionate Love

“Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter” is compiled from the writings of Jack Frost, as a legacy of love.

The personal nature of these devotions, drawn from the Frost’s experiences over the various seasons of his life and the stages of his ministry are written and arranged in a progression that becomes a springboard for the readers to examine and experience the same life-changing encounter.

Jack Frost, known as “Top Hook” is credited with being the most successful fishing boat captain on the south-eastern coast. At the age of 27, Jack was set free from a life of addictions through a miraculous life-changing encounter with Jesus.

Jack shares incidents from his story of ministry that followed, and of the events that led up to the founding of Shiloh Place Ministries, a ministry to help others overcome past hurts, live with purpose and connect to God and others.

Frost’s unique writing style of openness and vulnerability touches the reader where they are; enabling them to recognize the heavenly father’s, love, peace, and comfort; to identify and make applications in a similar way in their personal spiritual journey. Each devotion ends with “A Prayer to Encounter the Father.”

These are rich devotional readings that empower the reader to become representative of Christ to the world.

“Experiencing the Father’s Love – A Daily Devotional Encounter” challenges the reader to restore the image of God as a loving Father.  And from that foundation, to restore and improve relationships with those we love.

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

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

978-076841484, $16.99, 2017, 380 Pages





Dementia Grief – Unspoken Feeling, By Richard R. Blake

Journal Entry – November 18, 2017

Thelma makes a sound, an unintelligible attempt to communicate. I smile looking into her eyes. “Tell me what you’re thinking,” I ask. “Let’s talk some more about what your day has been like.”

Thelma laughs a combination grin and giggle. Our eyes meet as Thelma smiles in a warm, self-satisfied way. I gently touch her hand.

Her eyes close. I quietly watch Thelma rest, her face relaxed, peaceful, tranquil, and serene. I find paper and pen and begin to write.

Her eyes open briefly. She watches my pen as I scribble words on the page. I tell her, “I’m painting with word pictures, as I create your portrait on my paper. She seems to like this idea. Her face shows a kind of curiosity, love, and acceptance. I have come to understand that our inner feelings do not always have to be expressed vocally. Thelma’s eyes and her smile say it all.


I understand it usually takes about two years to work through the stages of grief. It isn’t often you can share this grief together with your loved one. Thelma and I are traveling that journey together, one day at a time.

I am learning new lessons all the time as I relinquish Thelma’s care into the hands of others while I deal with the apprehension and anxiety that accompany the uncertainty about the future of this journey.

I am getting a better understanding of the truth that God never intended for us to walk alone and that our times are in God’s time. I am learning to be willing to become vulnerable and to respect the feelings of others as well.

I am finding a new closeness to Thelma, as we share quiet moments, allowing our mutual feelings blossom into a joyful hope. I continue to accept the process of death and the conflicting feelings of loss and the agonizing dread of that day.

I draw strength from our assurance and the blessed promise of a wonderful life awaiting us in heaven in the presence of the Lord Jesus.


Questions to Ponder:

  1. Can you identify with Richard and Thelma’s unspoken sense of communication?
  2. Are you familiar with the book “The Seven Stages of Grief?”
  3. At what stage are you in on this journey as a caregiver?
  4. Do you understand the term Ambiguous Grieving?
  5. Are you familiar with “Palliative Hospice Care?”

More Questions to Consider:

  1. Do you have a Health Care Team?
  2. Are you officially designated as a decisive health care proxy for your loved one?
  3. Are you familiar with the term Health Care Advance Directives?

Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair By Steve and Mary Prokopchakm – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Equipping Couples for a Lifetime Marriage Commitment

In their book “Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair” family marriage counselors Steve and Mary Prokopchak equip their readers with workable solutions for dealing with issues of insecurity, healthy boundaries, finances, intimacy and other equally important concerns for enjoying a lifelong marriage together.

The book integrates creative practical principles tools and Biblical teaching with probing questions and assessments to help couples work together at building or rebuilding a successful marriage relationship.

A varied selection of thought-provoking quotations from recognized leaders and celebrities, in all walks of life, are uniquely used to provide “nuggets” of wisdom for introducing chapter contents.

Each chapter introduces an important focus using examples from their own marriage, of more than 40 years, or a true life story from other couples; whose marriages have endured after finding solutions and healing by putting into practice the application of these principles.

I found the chapter suggesting “The Twelve Values Found in Healthy Marriage Relationships” especially helpful. The chapter contains important values for every married couple wanting to create an environment for personal growth, individual maturity, and transparent relationships.

“Staying Together – Marriage a Lifelong Affair” is an excellent resource for use as a weekend mini-retreat for couples to be intentional in working through the many assessment exercises, evaluating together their individual discoveries.

Highly recommended.

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

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.  P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768414905, $16.99, 2017, 238 Pages

New Covenant Culture – Redefining Normal Christianity – By Dr. Jonathan Welton

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Experience the Fullness of Your New Covenant Identity

In his book “New Testament Culture – Redefining Normal Christianity” Dr. Jonathan Welton, founder of Welton Academy Supernatural Bible School Online, a best-selling author, and founder of the Better Covenant Theology, calls readers to embrace their full New Covent identity, and experience the supernatural in their concept of living the “normal Christian life.”

Unique features of the “The New Covenant Culture includes concepts of:

  • The importance of taking personal responsibility for sustaining revival
  • The unconditional acceptance into God’s family
  • Walking in the full truth of the freedom that Jesus provides
  • Praying bold authoritative prayers

“New Covenant Culture – Redefining Normal Christianity” is not a book for casual reading. Readers will want to preview the chapter titles and subheadings within each chapter to get a glimpse of the panoramic view of the Better Covenant Theology and the Five-fold Covenant, five myths about revival, and the family paradigm, before beginning a serious reading and study of the book. It is a great resource for small groups or individual study.

Dr. Welton writing is well organized, providing summary statement conclusion, backed by scripture, with activation exercises, examples from the lives of Biblical characters, and interesting insights into historical perspective, and prophetic interpretations. He includes a chapter with compelling teaching on the resurrection of the dead.

“New Covenant Culture – Redefining Normal Christianity” will resonate with Dr. Welton’s earlier readers and a new generation of Five-Fold ministers

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

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768417528, $16.99, 2017, 214 pages


















Encountering the Goodness of God – 90 Daily Devotions By Bill Johnson – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Daily Reflections on the Goodness of God

In a culture of world turmoil, fast-paced living, family, and social pressures Pastor Bill Johnson, of the Bethel Church in Redding California, challenges the reader to begin a 90-day devotional adventure by following the principles introduced in his book  “Encountering the Goodness of God.”

Each day’s reading includes a significant Scripture, powerful insight into experiencing God’s goodness, and an invitation to claim the rest, peace and encouragement available in Christ, whatever your circumstances.

Unique features of “Encountering the Goodness of God” include;

90 Selected relevant Scriptures centered around the theme of God’s Goodness

  • Guidelines for experiencing a sense of personal encounter with the God of Creation, and the challenge of being directed to fulfill a specific purpose to live out for him daily
  • Prayer Prompts with blank ruled lines for the reader to complete a personalized prayer response
  • Pastor Johnson captures the essence of biblical truth with insight and clarity while creating an intimate conversational atmosphere for communicating an important application, principle, or promised blessing.

“Encountering the Goodness of God” is designed for those seeking to see things from God’s perspective, to live as Jesus lived, to be “at home” in His presence, and to encounter more of his boundless goodness.

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

Destiny Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768414868, $15.99, 2017, 192 pages

Vertitas Pictura By Don Smarto – A Book Review



Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Absolute Truth versus Relative Truth – Apologetics – A Comprehensive Treatise using Full-Color Photography

Prolific Writer, National Radio Show Host, Popular Conference Speaker and Award-winning Photographer Don Smarto combines his distinctive gift of photography with his writing skills and his  psychological, theological, and political insights in his book “Veritas Pictura.”

Smarto begins his treatise with by establishing the premise “that when it come s to the foundation of your moral and legal choices, knowing the truth is crucial.”  He helps the reader formulate the important questions that lead to finding truth and purpose.

“Vertitas Pictura” is more than a book. It is an experience; touching the reader’s emotions, the intellect, and the spiritual. Unique features of the book include:

  • 300 hundred striking photos
  • 50 Pages of Probing Questions
  • 60 Pages of Inspiring Quotes from the Scriptures
  • A Comprehensive Treatise on Absolute Truth versus Relative Truth

Smarto’s writing is filled with penetrating thoughts, insights and personal examples which inspired me to continue in my pursuit of intellectual curiosity while holding steadfast to the unchanging value of truth.

I cannot adequately describe the impact of Don Smarto’s award-winning photography. He elicited my deepest feelings as I looked into the faces portraying the pain and sorrow of physical suffering, the deprivation of unmet needs, the discouragement of loneliness, and the hopelessness of depression. Other pictures were arranged in a way to stimulate feelings of joy, celebration, and hope by finding answers, truths or promises from the scriptures, or from quotes by historical leaders, contemporary thinkers, philosophers, theologians, and educators.

Frontline Press, P. O. Box 764499, Dallas, Texas 75376-4499,  978-0989357913, $22.00, 2017, 800 Pages

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