Counseling Under the Cross – How Martin Luther Applies the Gospel to Daily Life


Counseling Under the Cross – How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life

By: Bob Kellemen

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

Martin Luther, Master Pastoral, Counselor

In his book “Counseling Under the Cross” Bob Kellemen draws from the well know biographers and the autobiographical writings of Martin Luther to describe and summarize Luther’s agonizing personal search for finding peace with a holy God.

In his role as Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries Bob Kellemen, PHD focuses on Christ-centered churches, and church-based counseling centers, with comprehensive, compassionate, and a culturally-informed approach, equipping them for biblical counseling, and spiritual formation.

Kellemen’s purpose in writing this book is to help the reader understand how Luther not only reformed theology but influenced a reformation in pastoral counseling. These changes have influenced Biblical contemporary pastoral counseling by instilling the value and relationship of God’s Word to be compassionately ministered to spiritually, and emotionally suffering persons.

Kellemen’s work is strong in presentation, unique in perspective, thorough in research, and careful in documentation. The extensive Bibliography is an excellent resource tool for pastoral counseling and recovery. The book is a rich resource tool for Christian historical research on the reformation, and theological study on grace, salvation, and the cross.

“Counseling Under the Cross” is endorsed by well-known university and seminary academic leaders, certified Biblical Counselors, and practicing theologians.

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

New Growth Press, P.O. Box 4485, Greensboro, S. C. 27404,

978-1945270215, $ 19.95, 2017, 246 pages

 

 

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Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol By Carrie M. Dameron – A Book Review


Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol

By Carrie M. Dameron

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

52 Inspirational Bible Study Devotionals – with a Passionate Cross Cultural Relevance

“Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol” by Carrie M. Dameron contains 52 inspirational devotional studies. Each reading offers encouragement to nurses, to strengthen their faith and to pursue the call of God on their life to recognize nursing as a ministry to the sick, the disabled, and to the mentally ill.

A unique feature of the book is the bilingual translation with a cross cultural emphasis. The English language is featured on one side of the page and a Spanish translation on the opposite page; an interesting practical approach for cross cultural training.

The book is designed to equip Christian  nurses to understand how to make spiritual applications in health care situations. Carrie offers practical instructions on to how to implement this concept into specific situations the readers are faced with on a daily basis in the lives of their patients and their families, as well as their colleagues.

Carrie has over 25 years as a professional nurse. She has served in the fields of acute care, home/hospice, and gerontology. She is currently teaching pre-licensure nursing students, and has a regular column in the Journal of Christian Nursing.

“Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol” is spiritually and theologically significant, inspiring, insightful, filled with practical golden nuggets; an ideal resource for use in a professional classroom, in a one on one mentor relationship, a small group study, or as an individual Bible study devotional.

Nurses for Him – 978-098883620, 2016, $ 5.95, 118 pages

 

 

 

 

Degree of Normal – A Woman’s Journey Out of Childhood Abuse – A Book Review


Degree of Normal – A Woman’s Journey Out of Childhood Abuse

By: Barbara Harken

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Trauma Survival –  Finding Redemption, Recovery, and Wholeness

Barbara Harken has chosen the platform of a psychological novel to relate her story of surviving childhood trauma, a story of abuse, rejection, and healing. Jocelyn Quint (the fictional Barbara) suddenly finds her defense mechanisms crumbling. Mounting trials follow the unexpected death of her mother.

A chance meeting with a fellow student, Alex Strumme, and the discovery of an unknown aunt, Paula, at her mother’s funeral, gave Jocelyn a ray of hope, the first step in breaking down the walls of recovery, and the possibility of finding emotional healing through redemptive love and courage. Small steps forward, then, another relapse into the fear of trusting anyone, and taking back the identity image of shame, pain and unworthiness; a cycle, repeated, over and over again; a stark look into the dark side of the multifaceted power of PTSD over its victim.

Barbara’s writing is punctuated with well-chosen descriptive phrases, gripping realism, and heartbreaking reality. Her story depicts the true picture of what dissociative identity disorder and PTSD is like from the point of view of the survivor. The book is designed to help these victims discover their own voice, their own strength, and their own pathway to healing and recovery.

Harkens has an ability to reach deeply into the soul of the reader and draw out an unknown sense of empathy for the hurting with understanding, the ability to listen without judging, and to listen with understanding, leading to self-discovery, and a personal sense of wholeness.

Barbara Harkens teaches writing at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. This is her third novel

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

Robert Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411, 978-1944297107, $ 16.95, 264 Pages


The Shattering II – Breaking the Silence

By: Marsha Barth

Reviewed By Richard R. Blake

A Memoir Written as a Novel – A Shattering Story of Child Sexual Abuse

In her book “The Shattering II – Breaking the Silence” Marsha Barth uses a fictional character, Julie, to relate her story of overcoming child sexual abuse. Through Julie, Marsha, tells how she tried to bury the hurt, pain, and heartbreaking trauma of parental verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

Marsha’s writing is candid, open, realistic, and forthright. She helps the reader understand the devastation and intense traumatic sense of shame and hopelessness of the victim of abuse. Marsha tell how the aftermath of abuse shatters the spirit, robs its victims of self-worth, value and inadequacy, and an understanding of the meaning of true love. The social stigma and emotional scars of shame and guilt that follow are demeaning and unspeakable.

Marsha Barth is an inspirational speaker, author, and advocate for breaking the silence of the ongoing cycle of sexual abuse. She offers hope to victims in their quest for wholeness.

“The Shattering II” is a story with spiritual implication, an amazing story of a survivor of the hurt, pain, and brokenness of abuse, of her steadfast faith and her determination to overcome the hopelessness of a being victimized to claim victory, inner peace, and healing.

Deeply moving, clearly insightful, an important relevant message at a time when there are reportedly over 60,000,000 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and countless other victims of rape, domestic abuse, and bullying.

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

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P . O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon, 97411, 978-1944297053, $16.95, 2017, 360 Pages

A  Pair of Miracles – A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting By Karla Akins – A Book Review


A  Pair of Miracles – A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting

By Karla Akins

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

An Extraordinarily Touching Account of Facing the Challenge of Autism

“A Pair of Miracles” is an extraordinarily touching account of a family faced with the challenges of Autism. Karla Akins tackles questions of faith, of wrestling with God, misconceptions about people with autism, community awareness, advice for parenting, and tools for ministry volunteers working with students experiencing the challenges of developmental disability.

Karla Akins, an advocate for parents impacted by the anxiety, frustration and despair of raising children with autism. Statistics indicate that an estimated one in 68 children are afflicted with an autism spectrum disorder. Akins writes to encourage the increasing number of parents feeling without help and alone. Her writing is filled with the compassion and understanding of one who has traveled the journey.

Karla is mother of five, including twin boys Isaac and Isiah, (now twenty-one years old), diagnosed with autism. She is a pastor’s wife, sharing in the ministry of the church and has nearly 40 years of teaching experience, including a degree in special education and a doctorate in Christian Education.

Each chapter of “A Pair of Miracles – A Story of Autism, Faith, and Determined Parenting” is filled with encouragement, valuable information on neurological or cognitive disabilities, functional skills, teaching strategies, important resources, and communication tips. An extraordinarily touching account of facing the challenges of Autism; highly recommended.

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

Kregel Publishing, 2450 Oak Industrial Drive N. E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505

 

 

 

 

Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor By Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos, PhD – A Book Review


Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor

By Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos, PhD

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Courageous Explorers, Pioneers, Settlers and Unsung Heroes of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Elaine Cotsirilos Thomopoulos has masterfully combined award winning photography with the skill of an accomplished writer in her book “Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.”

Choice historical highlights and biographical sketches of the early settlers, civic leaders, creative artists, and literary geniuses, bring to life the vibrancy and charisma of the individuals, who have impacted the development culture, vision, and mission of the region.

These snapshots reveal the contributions of the unsung heroes, past and present, who have transformed the natural history of the area into magical folklore, oral history, and reveal the genius of these legendary locals of the Twin Cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Thomopoulos’ impeccable research, colorful word pictures, and carefully selected photographs add a whole new dimension to the region’s intriguing history.

Well known contemporary personalities Pat Moody, Fred Upton, John E.N. Howard, Connie Yore, and others share the limelight with earlier legendary locals, Calvin Britton, Col. Worth Bean, newspaper editor Stanley Banyon, inventor F. P. Rosback, and Henry V. Tutton, M. D. I was also captivated by the flamboyant characters, Benjamin and Mary Purnell founder of the House of David and the magnitude of their leadership in the development of entertainment and recreational opportunities in the earliest twentieth century.

These biographical profiles’ of individuals, who have impacted the transformation of the natural topography of the area into the vibrant life, magic folklore, and genius of these “Legendary Locals” project life into every page

“Legendary Locals” is ideal for family time reminiscing, vision casting, to jumpstart stimulating discussion, and for the pure enjoyment  of paging through again and again.

Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 978-1467125161, $21.99, 2017, 128 Pages

 

A Practical Guide to Decoding Your Dreams & Visions – Unlocking What God is Saying While You Sleep – A Book Review


A Practical Guide to Decoding Your Dreams & Visions – Unlocking What God is Saying While You Sleep

By: Adrian Beale & Adam F. Thompson

Reviewed by: Richard R. Blake,

Dreams and Visions, Controversy , Purpose, Origin, Response, and Beyond

Bestselling authors Adrian Beale & Adam F. Thompson collaborate in the creation of “A Practical Guide to Decoding Your Dreams & Visions” an interactive course on how to interpret dreams and visions.  The manual develops material from their earlier book “The Divinity Code.”

This guide is designed to bring the reader into a new awareness of another realm of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Very informative, this is an excellent tool for understanding dreams and visions according to the Word of God with suggestions for avoiding common pitfalls

Each of the eight sessions includes:

  • Important Instruction
  • Pertinent Questions and Points to Ponder
  • A Summary to review what you have learned
  • A personal application

The final session “The Language of Dreams” is an invaluable source of additional background material and a helpful chart outlining dreams recorded in the Bible. The authors also equip the reader with important instruction on how to develop contextual insight.

Completing the valuable interactive thought provoking questions will lead to a better understanding and interpretation of the material provided and experientially your personal dreams and visions. “A Practical Guide to Decoding Your Dreams & Visions – Unlocking What God is Saying While You Sleep” can be used as a personal discovery guide or in a small group setting,

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

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 978-0768412307, $24.99, 2017, 156 pages

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Word for Every Need – Devotions from the Father’s Heart By: Dr. Mark Stibbe – A Book Review


God’s Word for Every Need – Devotions from the Father’s Heart

By: Dr. Mark Stibbe

 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Soothing Whispers from a Living, Loving God – Timeless Guidance for Every Day – Whatever the Need…God Has the Answer!

“God’s Word for Your Every Need” includes an important selection of Bible verses and inspirational messages that challenge the reader to move beyond the search for theoretical knowledge of God to an experiential relationship of intimacy with God.

Each of the two-hundred forty devotionals, are designed to lead the reader into a process of personal discovery for gleaning practical application and guidelines for daily living. Stibbe’s writing is rich in devotional thoughts that promote a profound understanding of God’s refining and maturing process. I also gained new insights and clarity regarding the difference between a holiness based on obedience as in a love relationship with Jesus, rather than a law based holiness.

Dr. Mark Stibbe is an award winning Christian author; whose academic books are on required reading lists in universities and seminaries worldwide. Mark is CEO and founder of Kingdom Writing Solutions, a complete service for Christian writers. He is a regular contributor at writer’s conferences and workshops.

Each devotional closes with a prayer for the reader. “Let God speak to your needs. Open your ears and heart. Let the Father’s tender voice transform your life.”

The beautiful leather binding on this edition adds to the personal value and enjoyment of reading and make “God’s Word for Every Need – Devotions from the Father’s Heart” an ideal gift for those special occasions. 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 17257,078-076841376, $15.99, 2017, 246 pages

The Altar of His Presence – Inspiring Intimate Encounters with the Glory of God By: Robert Stone – A Book Review


The Altar of His Presence – Inspiring Intimate Encounters with the Glory of God By: Robert Stone

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

A Transformative Discipleship that Results in Christlikeness

Robert Stone presents a blue print for entering into and experiencing intimacy with God at new levels. In his book “The Altar of His Presence – Inspiring Intimate Encounters with the Glory of God” Stone assures the reader that “the altar’ed life will alter everything about life.”

Stone challenges the reader to move beyond a rational theology – behavioral theology to a relational experience that will result in Christlikeness. Each of the fast moving chapters is comprised of background information, an application, a reflection, and a response leading to a unique look at the Altar’ed life:

I was personally challenged to establish my own “Altar of Promise,” a place, pattern, and purpose, where  I could be “Altar’ed” through a deeper, more intimate, relationship with, God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Robert Stone is an author, minister and speaker. His personal passion is to mentor people to a greater dimension of spiritual growth and fellowship with God.

“The Altar of His Presence will resonate with readers pursuing a desire to accept God’s invitation to discover the magnificence of the “Practice of His Presence” more fully.” Life Altaring.” 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, 978-0768412260, $l6.99, 2017, 264 pages

Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People Today – Making Sense of Trials & Tribulations in Your Life,” by Derek Prince – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

 

Comfort and Strength in the Midst of Life’s Greatest Trials – Lessons from the Book of Job

In his book “Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People Today – Making Sense of Trials & Tribulations in Your Life” Derek Prince addresses questions from the life of Job that you may have asked or are asking: If God is good, why is there so much misery, suffering, and persecution in the world today. Prince goes beyond the simplistic answers to explore Satan’s trap of the sin of independence and the trials brought on by righteousness.

Academically brilliant, scholastically trained in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, and in several modern languages; Derek Prince had a life changing encounter with God while with the British Army during World War II. Anointed by the Holy Spirit, Prince is a gifted communicator and Bible teacher. His ministry continues to impact people’s lives today. Prince’s non-denominational emphasis adds to the relevance and acceptance of his teaching to Christians around the world today.

“Why Bad Things Happen to God’s People Today”  reveals God’s intimate concern for his faithful, and has an important message for anyone facing grief, in times of testing, financial needs, or in tense relationships with family or friends.

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, 978-0768411973, $12.99, 2017, 170 Pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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