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.

Is God Really Good? By Bill Johnson – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Tough Questions Answered About the Goodness of God

Bill Johnson, the senior leader of Bethel Baptist Church in Redding, California and bestselling author, answers the toughest and most common questions about the goodness of God in his book “Is God Really Good?”

This book is based on the result of a series of interview questions relative to how this question is answered impacts the faith and life of the believer. Theme based chapters include questions on the subjects of:

  • Your Destiny
  • Intimacy with God
  • Disease and Pain
  • Evangelism
  • Dealing with Disappointment

Other chapters look at God’s goodness in the Old Testament, grace, poverty, the power of hope, and many other important biblical faith-building foundational truths from the scriptures.

Pastor Bill Johnson draws from his rich heritage in ministry in responding to each of these probing questions. A unique feature of this book is the confident relaxed conversational style and heartfelt passion that define Pastor Bill’s walk with the Lord. I felt I was in the room participating in a discussion with a small group of friends in a home Bible study, comfortable in the presence of the spirit of the Lord in our midst.

 “Is God Really Good?” will resonate with Pastor’s Christian counselors, church leaders, and parents, who will find the book to be a valuable resource for hurting parishioners, discouraged or disillusioned  Christians, and troubled teens.

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

Destiny Image Publisher, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768416114, $14.99, 2017, 176 pages



Unlock Your Identity – A 90 Day Devotional By T. D. Jakes – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Unlock Your Identity – Fulfill Your Divine Purpose

In his book “Unlock Your Identity – A 90 Day Devotional” bestselling author T. D. Jakes helps the reader discover their personal identity.  Each of the 90 Day Devotionals focuses on celebrating your identity, fulfilling your purpose, and becoming “the solution the world is waiting for.”

By incorporating these unique readings into my regular daily devotional time, I have my personal journey has taken on a new sensitivity and freshness. An important and unique feature of the book “is found in the section Keys to Unlocking Purpose Prayer Points. Every page is filled with life-changing potential.

 T. D. Jake’s television program the Potter’s Touch is viewed by over three million people weekly. He is a bestselling author on the New York Times Best Seller List and has written over twenty-five books. Jakes is a gifted communicator and popular conference speaker.

Readers uncertain about their life purpose or going through a dry spell spiritually will be inspired and empowered to overcome their difficulties and find life-defining direction for discovering their God-given identity.

Unlock Your Identity – A 90 Day Devotionalis an ideal gift for everyone on your Christmas list, a roadmap for beginning a new a new exciting year of devotion, discovery, and spiritual direction

A 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, 978-076841498, $14.99, 2017, 188 pages

History Maker – Arise and Take Your Place in Leading Change By Cindy Trimm – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Releasing Your Inner Strength – Leadership Principles for Becoming History Makers

In her book “History Maker – Arise and Take Your Place in Leading Change” Dr. Cindy Trimm uses real-life faith-based modern-day stories, deep Biblical truths, and perceptive personal observations to inspire and challenge the reader to make a commitment to join in a quest to influence and lead in bringing about changeDr. Trim is a gifted communicator, a former senator, a bestselling author, visionary, and empowerment specialist. She is recognized as a global strategist, and a noted for her cutting-edge message for this generation. She motivates her readers to grow to their fullest potential by unleashing their powers within to radically transform their future and influence change by inspiring and empowering others to become history makers.

“History Maker – Arise and Take Your Place in Leading Change” is a blueprint for the discovery of a transformational process for becoming agents of change. Social innovators, political and business leaders, and individuals looking for ways to make a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others will appreciate Trimm’s fresh viewpoint. She is known for her skills in implementing change with a message of hope.

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, 978-0768417081,$16.99, 2017, 252 pages



School of His Presence – Walking in Power, Intimacy, and Authority, on Earth As It Is In Heaven By Kynan Bridges – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Insights into Walking in the Power, Authority, and through the Confidence of the Spirit of God within You

International minister, pastor, and bestselling author Kynan Bridges passionately appeals his readers to pursue a lifestyle of the supernatural power of God available through his presence in our lives. “School of His Presence” puts an emphasis on practical teaching on how, as Christians, we can consistently experience the presence and power of the Spirit of God within.

Unique features found in “School of His Presence” include:

  • Highlighted keys to supernatural living
  • Prayers of Activation which result in enlightenment, understanding, and revelation
  • Probing Questions which lead to discovery, discussion, and interaction
  • Stimulating Practicums with exercises and applications for equipping readers for taking action
  • An inviting format style that offers the reader a continuous flow of stimulating insights and scriptural truths

Bridges writes with a dynamic style. His profound insights challenge the reader to adopt the principles of seeing through the eyes of Jesus, experiencing heaven on earth, walking in authority, the glory of God, intimacy with God, living in and from God’s presence, and many more.

“School of His Presence – Walking in Power, Intimacy, and Authority on Earth as It Is In Heaven” will resonate with readers seeking a lifestyle of experiencing God’s presence and power every day.

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

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768415001, $16.99, 2017, 198 pages



The Overcomer’s Edge – Strategies for Victorious Living in 13 Key Areas of Life By Paul Tsik with Dr. Ryan and Kameo Hosley – Book Review



Reviewed By: Richard R. Blake

Guidelines, Strategies, Principles and Valuable Counsel for Creating an Overcomers Edge

  • Do you struggle with Perseverance, the fear of crisis, or difficult relationships?
  • How are you handling the changing seasons of life?
  • Are you plagued by the fear of losing your dream, needless worry, and conflict?

Bestselling author Dr. Paul Tsika with Dr. Ryan Hosley, licensed psychologist, and his wife Kameo offer the reader,  guidelines, strategies, principles and valuable counsel in the areas of overcoming addictions and the trauma that accompanies betrayal, in his book is his book “The Overcomer’s Edge – Strategies for Victorious Living in 13 Key Areas of Life.

The book is made of thirteen chapters. Each chapter is filled with important step by step guidelines for evaluating problems, finding resolutions, and embracing life. The information is a melding of biblical example with sound psychological principles.

Chapters include an introductory story, common mistakes to avoid, or lessons learned, scriptural guidelines, and a final thought. Chapter endnotes bear evidence of the thorough research and careful documentation.

“The Overcomer’s Edge” opens the way to discovery for followers of Christ to live victoriously, and to walk in the power of God’s grace, His Word, and His Spirit.

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, 978-0768415872, $16.95, 224 Pages