God is at Work – A Divine Appointment


We were returning a computer to Circuit City for diagnosis and repair. Thelma let me off at the customer service department and proceeded to park the car. I hurried into the store.

We were having problems with our new 1994 Compaq Computer. I resented the inconvenience caused by technology and the incompetence of the technicians who assembled the parts. The attendant ignored me. I was just about to voice my impatience.

Suddenly I remembered my prayer request earlier in the day. I  prayed “Lord, make yourself recognizable to others through my life today. The impatience, anger, and resentment begin to dissolve.

Once the transaction was completed I returned to the car. Thelma turned on the ignition. Nothing happened. The battery was dead. My resolve deteriorated and resentment again reared its ugly head. After a lively skirmish with the Spirit, He replaced the “Why” with a calm acceptance of seeing God at work.

Forty-five minutes later we were climbing up into the cab of the tow truck. The young serviceman had been unable to get our battery to take a charge; Three abreast, high up in the cab, we headed for CarTech Auto Repair.

Our conversation turned to spiritual concerns. Jeff was engaged to be married. Together we discussed the importance of the church to a new family. We invited him to join us for worship. Jeff expressed readiness and determination to return to church.

Computer replacement, car repair, and heart restoration achieved in one, chock full hour of God’s afternoon. Within minutes the mechanic at the garage had the car started and the battery charging.

I learned afresh the significance of recognizing God at work around me. I offered Him my thanks for answered prayer and praise for the way He responds to our prayers.

 

 

 

Gospel Fluency Handbook” By Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Gospel Fluency Handbook: A Practical Guide To Speaking The Truths of Jesus Into the Everyday Stuff of Life

The Gospel in Me, the Gospel with Us, and the Gospel to Others

“Gospel Fluency Handbook” provides in-depth studies of the Gospel with a concentration on helping the reader recognize areas of unbelief to strengthen and grow in their faith equipping the reader to live the gospel message as the central purpose of daily life immersing them in their local community culture. Practical and interactive penetrating self-examination questions call for a keen sense of honesty, transparency, and accountability among the participants.

Each of the eight-week chapters includes guided readings, reflections, group discussions, exercises, and suggestions for prayer. Themes are centered on foundational truths of the creation, the fall, redemption, the new creation, the fullness of Christ, and unity in the faith. The authors differentiate between “Bible Fluency” and “Gospel Fluency” to address topics related to culture shifts and demonstrate how the impact of “Gospel Fluency” becomes a life-changing reality. A helpful appendix explains over a dozen defining theological concepts.

The handbook is designed to be used in a group or community and is structured for interactive discussion which encourages personal Christian growth, application to daily life, becoming fluent in expressing and proclaiming your faith, and reaching beyond to the ends of the earth. Whether used in a class or as an individual learning experience, you will want to participate in a fellowship of believers to encourage you to share the good news of Jesus that can change lives forever.

Saturate Publishing, 227 Bellevue Way N. E. # 224, Bellevue, Washington 98004, 978-0996849326, $ 24.66, 2017, 262 pages

 

 

 

 

Questioning Evangelism – Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did – by Randy Newman – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did – by Asking Questions

In the book “Questioning Evangelism – Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did” Randy Newman asks his readers to look at evangelism in a new way; following the example of Jesus by asking questions.

Using examples from personal experiences Newman introduces an approach for designing questions that are more engaging and less confrontational.  He combines a balance of biblical theology, infused with compassion, in a distinctive merger of apologetic information and relational evangelism.

Newman teaches evangelism and apologetics at the C. S. Lewis Institute in the Washington D.C. area. He is a for a former staff member of Campus Crusade, and originator of Connection Points, which specializes in helping people of different backgrounds dialog in questions of faith.

“Questioning Evangelism – Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did” can be used for individual study and challenge or in an interactive group setting. A study guide is included to generate stimulating discussion and personal application.

I was personally challenged as I pondered the concept that: evangelism “happens” in relationships, developed through challenging questions while allowing me to: Declare the gospel, defend the message, and dialog the truth to a new generation. “Questioning Evangelism” has given me a new awareness of how I can more effectively share my faith in todays’ culture and within my community.

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

Kregel Publications, 2450 Oak Industrial Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505, 978-0825444289, $ 17.99, 2017, 268 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Presentation – Your Competive Edge by Ray Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall


The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge

By: Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Look at the Elements Involved in Effective Presentations

Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall collaborate in “The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” to provide the reader with a distinctive balance of step by step instruction and compelling illustrative stories that reinforce the essentials involved in effective presentations.

The authors help the reader learn and develop skills of communication that will result in a freshness and individuality to the manner and style of the readers presentations, will hone their effectiveness, and encourage them to become more accomplished platform speakers.

Other tips the authors suggest include: practice your skills by placing yourself in situations that provide opportunities to improve your effectiveness, discover your strengths, determine your brand, and filter your media presentation for” accuracy, bias, and perspective.”

Stovall uses the examples of Paul Harvey, Zig Ziegler, Will James, and others with inimitable presentation skills to demonstrate the art of crafting visual images as powerful “as great movies. The perfecting of this capability, the use of humor, and well placed emotional stories will insure powerful, memorable presentations.

“The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” will resonate with anyone concerned about their building self- confidence while improving their delivery and enhancing their stage presence.

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

Sound Wisdom Books, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-193787987, $ 21.95, 2017, 192 Pages