Shifting Atmospheres – Discerning & Displacing the Spiritual Forces Around You By: Dawna De Silva – A Book Report


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

New Vision and Freedom – A Strategy for Victorious Spiritual Warfare

In her book “Shifting Atmospheres” Dawna De Silva equips the reader with keys for taking dominion over your supernatural environment. She provides valuable lessons and practical instruction on how to:

  • Learn to use your weapons of spiritual warfare
  • Discern the enemy’s tactics
  • Transform your spiritual environment from darkness to light
  • Demonstrate the power of Jesus over the power of darkness
  • Discern and understand the meaning of spiritual atmospheres
  • Shift and displace spiritual forces

Dawna’s writing is well articulated, well balanced, passionately focused, and reflective. The narrative is rich in scriptural background and concrete examples. Well documented chapter end notes provide excellent resources and references; helpful tools for additional reading and study.

Profound descriptive phrases like “an atmosphere of praise” and “whispers of deception” remind the reader of the importance of praise and worship as a spiritual weapon against the forces of evil.

“Shifting Atmospheres – Discerning & Displacing the Spiritual Forces Around You” provides principles and truth with which to prepare readers to transform their personal environment by living victoriously through the power of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling spirit of Christ Jesus, in an intimate relationship with God the Father.

Author, and International Speaker, Dawna De Silva ministers prophetically out of Bethel Church in Redding, California, providing hope and healing while inspiring vision and freedom.

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, 978-0768415667, $16.99, 2010, 190 pages

 

 

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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

A Small Book About a Big Problem – Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace By Edward T. Welch


 

A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace A Small Book About a Big Problem – Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace

By Edward By Edward T. Welch

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

Tame Anger, Develop Patience, Pursue Peace

“A Small Book About a Big Problem” is made up of 50 brief reflections that address the subjects of anger, patience, and peace. These thought-provoking vignettes are designed to expose the reader to the destructive effect of anger and to set them on the path to exchange anger for patience and to experience the compassion of Christ leading to a life of peace.

Penetrating questions help the reader consider their issues with anger.

  • Does your anger hide behind more innocent words? What are your innocent words and what are they saying?
  • How does anger feel?
  • In your anger, what are you really saying to God?
  • Have you confessed your anger?

Ed Welch is a Biblical Counselor and licensed psychologist, author, and faculty member at Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Ed is highly thought of among his peers. His writing is based on Biblically sound teaching, helping the reader to take an honest look at how anger is impacting, family and social relationships, as well as the emotional, physical, and spiritual impact on health.

“A Small Book About a Big Problem” is described as: “rich, insightful, and piercing; as eminently probing and practical. The importance of God’s grace, mercy, and His plan of forgiveness through Jesus is presented with clarity. Think your reading as a 50-day adventure in overcoming the battle with anger.

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

New Growth Press, Greensboro, N. C., 27404, 978-1945270130, $ 17.99, 2017, 192 pages

Heaven an unexpected journey – One Man’s Experience with Heaven, Angels, & the Afterlife, By Jim Woodford with Dr. Thom Gardner – A Book Review


Heaven an unexpected journey – One Man’s Experience with Heaven, Angels, & the Afterlife

By: Jim Woodford with Dr. Thom Gardner

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

 A Compelling Story of Transformation and Hope – A Foretaste of Divine Glory

As a successful airline pilot and businessman, Jim Woodford had a lot going for him. a challenging career, a large home, an adoring wife, a young family, and financial security. Acquiring another new car, another new aircraft did not fulfill his inner void. Jim longed for something deeper.

Jim was never a religious man. Although his wife, Lorraine, was a vibrant Christian, Jim gave very little thought to religion, God, creation, or man’s purpose in life. Matters of faith just were not of much concern. He was motivated by an inner drive and motivation for acquiring more tangible possessions.

Suddenly Jim’s world was spinning out of control. The doctor’s diagnosis was Guillain-Barre ‘disease. He couldn’t work. His livelihood was gone. He has to start selling off assets to keep up his lifestyle, and then one night he ended up in the hospital, his life drained from him. That night he was pronounced clinically dead.

Jim describes the next eleven hours as being sub-consciously aware of being transported into the magnitude of heaven’s awesome splendor, and the horror of the deep blackness of the chasm leading to hell. He relates the reality of his extraordinary experience, the intense brightness, and spectacular sights of heaven, and the awe of being face to face with Jesus.

Jim’s consciousness returned. His life was changed forever. He had called out to God and found the answer to what his soul had been longing for. Jim is taking the message of his journey across America, sharing the good news of heaven, the grace and mercy of God, and the glory of His presence.

Each chapter includes a scripture refuge, profound thought-provoking questions, parallels from Jim’s career as a pilot, and a place for the reader to record or journal an observation, question, personal insight, and a spiritual application.

As you read and reflect on the scriptural you’ll discover, the life-changing message of forgiveness, wholeness, and freedom, resulting from Jim’s journey.

Jim’s story is compelling, and heart-stirring, a clear message with an eternal perspective; inspiring and challenging, a story that will resonate with anyone seeking to deepen their faith and experience a new awareness of Christ’s presence.

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, 978-0768414127, $16.99, 2017, 200 pages,

 

Accessing the Courts of Heaven – How to Breakthrough in Prayer By Robert Henderson – A Book Review


 

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

Practical Keys for Understanding the Three Dimensions of the Courts of Heaven Prayer Strategy

“Accessing the Courts of Heaven – How to Breakthrough in Prayer” outline and provides precursors to the “Unlocking Destinies from the Courts of Heaven” curriculum and subsequent books in the series.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One introduces the Courts of Heaven prayer strategy.  In Part Two Henderson shares the three keys that will help the reader understand and apply the concept of breakthrough prayer in the courts of heaven. Part Three presents a preview of “Healing from the Courts of Heaven.”

This compact concise edition is an ideal resource ministry tool. Within its pages, Robert Henderson presents a blueprint for approaching God as a father, friend, and judge. He has the unique ability to appeal to the intellect with information and the spiritual insight to transform the heart.

Robert Henderson is an internationally acclaimed apostolic leader, author, and speaker. He is recognized for his bold and authoritative teachings on prayer, spiritual warfare, and hidden truths of the Scriptures.

“Accessing the Courts of Heaven – How to Breakthrough in Prayer” provides a fresh mindfulness on the importance of perseverance in praying and how to “position yourself through a breakthrough in your petitions.

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

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768417401, $6.99, 2017, 110 pages

 

 

 

 

 

Success From Scratch – Mental Strategies for Success in A Survival of the Fittest Environment By: Nick Ruiz


Success From Scratch – Mental Strategies for Success in A Survival of the Fittest Environment

By: Nick Ruiz

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

How to Sculpt the Right Mindset to Produce Success and Opportunity

Nick Ruiz has packed his book “Success From Scratch” with concepts, and principles, for recalibrating your viewpoint and perception of the foundation of your success

In a natural progression, Ruiz leads the reader, step by step, to recognize how the influential people in their life have impacted their viewpoints and actions. This self-awareness will help you to recognize the success opportunities open to you; motivate you to move on to develop the elements of success within you, and to implement these new attitudes and strategies into your life.

Ruiz writes with clarity, freshness, and ease of understanding. An example of his practical valuable lessons for ambitious entrepreneurs simply states:  “One of the best strategies in the world is – choose to be around positive people.” I also benefited from Nick’s approach to creativity and imagination as I began to pursue my individual thoughts on success, and taking an entirely new approach to the legacy I pass on to my family.

Nick Ruiz is a twice self-made entrepreneur. “Success from Scratch” is an important resource and a must-have book on personal growth for everyone with a dream of experiencing a lifestyle of success.

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

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879877, $ 15.99, 2017, 208 pages

 

 

 

Dementia Grief – A Unique Experience – From My Journal


An entry from my journal – Saturday, May 13, 2017

by Richard R. Blake

Dementia Grieving

Today I talked to a bumble bee. Well maybe not a real conversation, I talked. He buzzed. I directed him to the red colored nectar in my humming bird feeder. Never once did I see his wings stop. I wondered if he, as I do, ever experienced shortness of breath. He left me to ponder this as the sun peeked out between the clouds in an unpredictable pattern above the trees.

I continued in my reverie as I relaxed in my pre-father’s day gift, a “slider rocker” stationed on our deck enjoying the peacefulness, and the stunning back drop of trees that surrounded me.

My thoughts turned to Thelma. She is fragile now, weighing less than 100 pounds. Attentive to my gentle words of encouragement, I softly urge her to share her thoughts with me. Her smile is my reward. Her way of communicating, “I do love you, Dick.”

In the midst of my loneliness, I sense the quiet gentle whisper of the heavenly father, through the cooing of a mourning dove.  I look up in awe at the thought of His waiting, too, for me to respond, maybe with a soft smile to acknowledge my love, and the awareness of His presence.

The shrill of a redwing blackbird, at the birdfeeder, calling for his mate, became another reminder of the wonder of God’s creation, and of His desire for our fellowship. The bumble bee returned, buzzed at me, flew on by, destination unknown.

I am now addressing the bee as “honey” as I smile – contentedly alone – but not alone. Thelma and I are still sharing the miracle of life, and I want to treasure these remaining days, weeks, months, or years, one day at a time.

~~~~~~~~

Alzheimer’s research and independent studies reveal a relationship of pre-death grief in the experience of dementia caregivers. These studies address issues of ambiguous loss, as this relates to the grief process brought on by stress, the burden of caregiving, and the consequent tendency to develop depression.

Ambiguous losses include the loss of friends, loss of social life, loss of flexibility, loss of aspirations, and the loss of hope. [i]

In the early days of our journey questions by well-meaning friends often threw me off guard. Questions begin with “Are you aware of Thelma’s (implying Thelma’s advancing stage of dementia)?” were asked at social gatherings or in a group setting including Thelma, I became deeply hurt or offended.  How could I not be aware? I lived with Thelma twenty-four/seven.

I tried to cover for Thelma’s inadequacies in similar groups. We both became pretty good bluffers. However, it became increasingly difficult to enter into meaningful conversations as the “breadth” and scope of our world continued to shrink.

I began to withdraw. Soon we were foregoing church dinners for our own private dinner dates at Denny’s, or the “all you can eat buffets.” Our dates often included a quick tour of the Dollar Store or grocery shopping at Safeway. I begin to withdraw.

Getting together with the family has taken on a new dimension.  The great grandchildren’s enthusiasm, high energy level, giggles and laughter bring pure joy. Fast paced conversations, catching up on family news, and lots of delicious food, are all important.  Little by little I am get recognizing a unique sadness, a missing piece, so close to my heart. Thelma is not with us. I miss her dearly.

Now that Thelma is in an Assisted Living Care Facility, I face new challenges. In social gatherings, I am no longer able to include Thelma. I become envious of those couples who sit by side by side with their wives in comfortable conversation, and I am guarded in my conversations with women in the group who have lost their mates.

I try to compensate for these loses by reaching out to others in the community with a sincere smile, a word of encouragement, expressions of appreciation, sharing a current story of ways Thelma can still express her love, her simplest needs, or maybe a humorous observation of how I may have displeased her in some small way.

Thelma’s example has taught me to recognize that there are no strangers in our world, only unintroduced friends.

I am intentional about building a balanced life, by putting an emphasis on the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional prerequisites of a well-rounded whole being. I keep hope alive by setting new goals, enjoying the natural beauty of Southwest Michigan, the lake, the wonder of the changing seasons, and I try to compensate for the demands of caregiving through the flexibility of retirement, the gift of imagination, and the rewards of self-discovery.

A positive look at these ambiguous losses have given me new hope, challenged me to be alert for opportunities that will nurture emotional stability, spiritual growth, and creativity. I continue to remind myself that caregiving is love in action.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Questions to consider:

  1. Have you found it harder to stay in touch with friends? How has this impacted your sense of loss?
  2. How do you meet your social needs?
  3. How have you built flexibility into your heavy responsibilities as a caregiver?
  4. Do you still have dreams, a “bucket list” for the future?
  5. Did you see yourself in my reverie and observations of the birds and the “honey bee”? Or did you feel, “I think Richard is in serious need of therapy.”
  6. How do you keep hope alive in these difficult days of “grief” over ambiguous loss?

[i] Ambiguous Losses come with Caregiving, Harriet Hodgson

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

 

 

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