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

 

 

 

 

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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

Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly, By Donna Gaines – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons from the Proverbs – A Transforming Journey of Faithfulness

Author, speaker, and founder of Arise2Read, Donna Gaines is known for her two passions, discipleship and literature. Donna’s new book “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” is a balance of the profound life-changing truth of the scriptures and practical applications.

As a discipleship tool, the book will equip the reader to:

  • Discern the voice of god
  • Experience the joy of wholehearted obedience
  • Allow God to help mentor other lives
  • Choose the path that leads to life

The appendices provide additional unique practical pointers and suggestions for:

  • Discipleship training
  • Discipling teen
  • Discipling women
  • Creating a Spiritual Legacy Journal
  • Creating a prayer notebook
  • Instilling Christian values in the home

The book includes important thought-provoking questions and helpful exercises that can be adapted for use as an individual study, as a study guide for small groups, or in a mentoring relationship.

Donna invites the reader to experience abundant life by embracing Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; hearts captured by Jesus, captivated in awe and worship.Although Donna writes primarily from a woman’s viewpoint, “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” can be readily adapted for family night devotions, as a resource book for a Bible study on the book of Proverbs, or for dads sharing Biblical principles with their daughters.

Abingdon, United Methodist Publishing House, 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. P. O. Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228, 978-1501834240, $16.99, 2017, 194 pages

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

 

Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa, By Sarah Thebarge – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons You Can Learn when Love Looks Around

After reading the editorial reviews on Sarah Thebarge’s new book, “Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa” I knew I had to read the book for myself. I thought I was ready to consider the hard questions we seldom want to face.

Author, Sarah Thebarge, a spokesperson for Compassion International, describes the seemingly hopeless conditions in Togo, West Africa, including the suffering, disease, the cultural conditions, and the discomfort of the climate extremities.

Chapter after chapter, Sarah kept me spellbound as she related her experiences. From baggage claim at the airport in Lomé the capital city of Togo, her first shift on the job at the Hospital of Hope in Togo, right on through her three months of Medical Ministry, I was drawn into the reality of a broken world and burdened by a deep concern to find my place in making a positive difference in the healing process.

Sarah writes with candor and an intense vulnerability that draws the reader into the conflicting reactions of the physically demanding, and emotionally challenging trauma of her experiences and in her search to find hope in an intolerable situation. Sarah’s writing grips your heart. Her sense of compassion becomes contagious.

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

Faith Words, Hattchet Book Group, Inc.1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N. Y., 10104, 978-1455553198, $20.00, 2017, 322 pages

 

 

 

Prophetic Break Through – Decrees that Break Curses & Release Blessings, By Dr. Hakeem Collins – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Declarations and Prayers That Release Heaven’s Blessing and Destroy Curses

“Prophetic Break Through – Decrees that Break Curses & Release Blessings” is designed to communicate, empower and equip the reader to better understand and recognize the importance of prophetic declarations in living out God’s divine purpose, and a life of overcoming spiritual warfare.

The book is divided into two parts. Part one includes instruction on prophetic breakthrough, prophetic vision, breaking curses, releasing blessings, waging prophetic warfare, and breaking ungodly soul ties. Part two is a 90 day devotional with activations to release blessing and break curses. Each of the devotionals contains a Scripture verse for the day, teaching and encouragement, additional Scriptural references to read, an awe-inspiring breakthrough prayer, and several powerful declarations or degrees for breaking curses and releasing blessings.

“Prophetic Break Through” is an important tool for today’s believer who is seeking to activate their faith, access the power of God, and experience fulfillment. Must reading for anyone feeling stagnant in their spiritual walk.

Dr. Hakeem Collins is a 21st Century prophetic and apostolic leader. He is recognized for his passion and his prophetic gift. He is in demand as conference, seminar, and church ministry speaker

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, 978-0768414806, $16.99, 2017, 208 pages

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

 

 

 

 

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

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.

God Encounters Today – Your Invitation to a Life Style of Supernatural Experiences By James W. Goll with Michal Ann Goll – A Book Report


Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768412406, $16.99, 2017, 248 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A New Awareness God’s Intimate Presence

“God Encounters Today – Your Invitation to a Life Style of Supernatural Experiences” is a balance of biblical truth with a prophetic message of signs, wonders, and the fullness of the spirit, of God through intimate encounters with him.

The book includes insights from the encounters of Jacob, Moses, David, and other men and women from the Bible as well as authentic real life stories of individuals changed by dynamic God encounters throughout history.

The Goll’s carefully present profound practical instruction on the great diversity of God encounters and the purpose of God encounters today. Each chapter includes a powerful passionate prayer for the reader.

James and Michal Ann Goll work as a team in equipping believers to understand the supernatural as conference speakers, authors, mentors, and through their God Encounters Ministries. Their dynamic teaching includes subjects in the realm of the prophetic, prayer, spiritual warfare, and spiritual growth.

“God Encounters Today” is a challenge and invitation for readers to break out of man-made religious boxes to join in a quest for a fresh life changing revelation from God to explore the unlimited opportunities available to Christ followers today.

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, 978-0768412406, $16.99, 2017, 248 Pages

Planting the Heavens – Releasing the Authority of the Kingdom Through Your Words, Prayers, and Declarations By Tim Sheets – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Powerful New Dimensions in the Power of Prayer

Bestselling author Tim Sheets’ in his book “Planting the Heavens” helps readers realize new dimensions in the power of prayer.  The book will resonate with readers praying for reformation in America and the need for awakening change throughout the world.

Powerful personal testimonies illustrate how the power of words influence and impact an individual’s life, their destiny, and vision. Dr. Sheets includes other real life stories that tell of miraculous experiences which reveal the result of supernatural faith, life changing potential, and the power of “spirit led” prayers.

Dr. Sheets describes how God germinates his nature as a seed in each of us as we take on the new nature the Apostle Paul describes in II Corinthians, chapter five. As his sons and daughters, we are to seed the world with his Word, speaking words of life and revival everywhere. The greatest days of church history are in our present day and in our future generations as we declare his message to the world.

Dr. Sheet’s writing is transformational, inspiring, filled with cutting edge teaching, and powerful challenges. “Planting the Heavens” is important relevant reading for these uncertain times.

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

Destiny Image Publications, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768412031, $16.99, 2017, 206 pages