Prayers that Avail Much for the Nations – Powerful Prayer for Transforming the World By Germaine Copeland – a Book Review


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Partnering with God to Become an Agent of Change through Intercessory Prayer for the Nations of the World

Germaine Copeland’s book “Prayers that Avail Much for the Nations” provides the reader with powerful prayers for transforming the world and is a vital guidebook for becoming partners with God as agents of change in countries around the world in the midst of political upheaval, social injustice, and famine, and natural disasters.

The book is made up of five sections. Each section features a region of the world, country by country with powerful specific prayers. These prayers introduce the reader to particular areas of need in over 190 nations. Requirements may vary by region, including cultural differences, social issues, global causes, persecuted churches, those living under the threat of imprisonment for standing up for Christ and Christianity, refugees, poverty, and disease.

I was moved as the Holy Spirit unveiled God at work in our nation and the nations of the world giving a new perspective and worldview of my need to become involved in becoming a prayer partner with God; joining millions of others in daily, systematic prayers that will transform the world, and impact the ministry of world evangelism/

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, 978-0768418163, $ 16.99, 2018, 190 pages

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

 

 

 

 

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

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, richard330@yahoo.com

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

 

 

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

World View – Grace and Truth in Our Common Life – By Marvin Olasky – A Book Review


World View – Best  bestselling writer eking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life – By Marvin Olasky

New Growth Press, Greensboro, N. C., 978-1945270833, 2017, 200 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Guidelines for Developing a Discerning Commitment to Communicating the Christian Faith through our Conduct and Conversation

“World View – Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life” is made up of a collection of columns from World Magazine.  These theme-based articles challenge us as a reader to reexamine changes in institutions and causes we have advocated and defended, and to recognize where we may need to make changes in our perspectives.

In an era of insecurity, economic uncertainty, and widespread injustices, Olasky choreographs the reader step by step through the basics of demonstrating a Christian World View on the themes of institutions, racial reconciliation, environmentalism, and immigration.  He encourages the reader to consider being emphatic but passionate, with an emphasis on humility and humanity, while creating an atmosphere of harmonious tension.

Marvin Olasky, bestselling author and editor in chief of World Magazine, is also highly recognized for his excellence in journalism, educational endeavors, and leadership in community efforts.  Dr. Olasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion was named as one of “eight books that changed America” by Philanthropy magazine.

Dr. Olasky’s writing provides a balance of heartfelt conviction and reflective compassion, expressed through a genuine attitude of humility. Olasky’s Insight inspires the reader to take positive action, in areas of ethical commitments and biblical precepts.  His compassion captures my own, often unspoken, deep convictions.

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

http://litfusegroup.com/author/MOlasky

Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy By Becky Baudouin – a Book Review


Product DetailsReviewed by Richard R. Blake

Finding Hope and Help in Seasons of Grief and Suffering

Becky Baudouin was devastated when she learned of an inoperable tumor on her mother’s lung?  Her fear triggered an alarm, followed by apprehension and anxiety.

In her book “Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” Baudouin relates stories from her childhood, and expresses her fears and insecurities at home, in school, and in her relationships. She tells of how, as a teenager, she became a follower of Jesus and the impact this has made in her life.

A central theme of lessons learned from her mother is beautifully woven throughout the tapestry of the book. Each fast moving chapter is filled with faith building examples and scriptural promises.

Lessons I learned from reading “Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” include:

  • A willingness to become vulnerable
  • To respect the feelings of other family members
  • God never intended for us to walk alone
  • Our times are in God’s hands
  • To be joyful in hope and patient in affliction
  • The peacefulness of our mutual faith drawing together in a unique closeness
  • Accepting the process of death and the conflicting feelings of loss and agonizing dread, and the wonderful new life awaiting in heaven

“Cancer, Faith, and Unexpected Joy” is an important and meaningful resource for anyone experiencing suffering or facing the uncertainties and grief brought on by a terminal illness.

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

Kregel Publications, Inc., 2450 Oak Industrial Drive N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505,  978-0825444746, $14.99, 2017, 176 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.