Tag Archives: God

Exposing God Amidst the Chaos

Exposing God Amidst the ChaosTitle: Exposing God Amidst the Chaos
Author: James Bars / Co-Author: Blake Bars
Publisher: Home of Love Publications
ISBN: 9780986239700

“Your personal understanding of God’s character affects your health, your happiness, your peace, and your joy, as well as your productivity and ability to cope with the struggles of life on a difficult, dangerous and rebellious planet,” James Bars and his son, Blake, write in their book, Exposing God Amidst the Chaos.

~ What ~
This seventy-page paperback targets those interested in learning about God’s everlasting love. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, the TNIV is also referenced.

After a dedication page that stating a percentage of book proceeds is given to a list of charities, fourteen chapters cover the topic, ending with Scripture notes and advertisements. No index or authors’ biographies are included.

In this short read, the authors not only explain how God is loving, wanting you to be happy, holy, and focused on Him, but it also describes the history of the fallen angel, Lucifer, and how Satan attacks us daily to make us think less of God and ourselves.

Reminding us that God is angry for not at you and that Satan distorts and promotes false propaganda, the book shows how we are dearly loved, and He wants the best for us. Correlating to diseases that can be cured, we can receive His treatment for healing.

~ Why ~
Being aware that the devil attacks us continuously and tears us down in our relationship with Christ, I appreciated the many written-out Bible verses.

~ Why Not ~
Those that, unfortunately, do not want to believe in Jesus may not want to get this to-the-point book about God’s incredible love. it may seem rudimentary and repetitive for those that know the Bible.

~ Who ~
Having served in the Vietnam War, James Bars is a human behavior consultant, Christian counselor, and board certified master life coach who currently lives in Oregon. His son, Blake, has a health food store, having worked in the Pacific Northwest timberland for over ten years.

~ Wish ~
This book rarely mentions that one has to believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to receive eternal salvation. I wish critical verses were included such as Romans 3:23, Romans 1:16, I Corinthians 15:1-4, Ephesians 1:12-14, Romans 5:888, Romans 5:20, and Romans 10:9-13 and the Sinner’s Prayer for those unaware of where they will be eternally.

~ Want ~
If you are seeking a way to know God loves you and learn about Lucifer, his fall, and his attacks, this would be a good starter book to read in conjunction with the Bible.

Thanks to the Book Club Network and Home of Love Publications for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on the Book Club Network and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, and Twitter.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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God Watches Over Me

Precious Moments: God Watches Over Me: Prayers and Thoughts from Me to GodTitle: God Watches Over Me
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7180-1108-6

“All for You, dear God.
Everything I do,
Or think,
Or say,
The whole day long.
Help me to be good.”
An unknown author is quoted in the children’s book, God Watches Over Me, published by Thomas Nelson.

With popular Precious Moments illustrations, this five by seven inch padded-cover boardbook of thirty-two unnumbered pages targets children one to four years old. Having no scary scenes, it is a book promoting security knowing God watches over us, even as little children.

Recognizable from the 1970s, the Precious Moment designs are adorable oversized-headed children with doe-eyes that grace one side of the open pages. The opposite side has a short poem and small drawing with a verse from the International Children’s Bible at the bottom.

Focusing on God, sixteen themes that cover two pages each concentrate on how He watches over us. Random topics include when one is hungry, playing, hurting, traveling, learning, and with friends, family, or pets. He guides when insecurity arises or needing to be brave. He keeps His eyes on everyone, every day, and all the time.

With the majority of the short poems from Jean Fischer, others are from Maryleona Frost, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Edgar A. Guest, John Leland, Leroy F. Jackson, and from an African-American spiritual. Short Bible verses are taken from Genesis, Deuteronomy, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, Mark, Ephesians, Philippians, Hebrews, and Revelation.

With the lovable illustrations of children playing together, eating watermelon, swinging on a swing, cheerleading, swimming, rafting, bicycling, and sleeping, young ones can view the detailed pictures while being read the poetry.

Meant to be read as the child progresses throughout a day, it motivates readers to remember God is watching. Feeling safe and secure hearing soothing rhymes before and after nap time and before bedtime, one will feel God’s love and consistent presence.

Although the artwork may seem dated and the writings are mostly by Fischer, the book may be enjoyed for preschoolers to first graders due to mentioning going to school. As a sturdy boardbook, it may be well-worn by those who enjoy hearing the poems repeatedly.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on BookLook Bloggers, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Astonished

Title: Astonished
Author: Mike Erre
Publisher: David C. Cook
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0537-2

“We can know God but can’t ever fully figure Him out. And so we walk by faith and not by sight. As we do this, God gets bigger,” Mike Erre states in his fifth authored book, Astonished.

This two hundred and forty-two page paperback targets those interested in establishing or recapturing an amazing, wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. Using mainly the New International Version of the Bible, the ESV is also used. With a short author biography on the back jacket, ending chapter notes are included.

Separated into three sections, discussed are the nature of God, the nature of faith, and the faith-filled life, concluding with knowing God more intimately. Often blending personal experiences of the author/pastor’s life, he tells of his appreciation of infomercials, his struggle with panic attacks, the frustrations giving sermons, his marriage, and loving his Down syndrome son.

In this book, Erre reiterates that many of us incorrectly relate to God as a consumer product, wanting to fill a void in our lives. When the dry, harsh times come in life, we assume it is not normal, but God hiding from us.

Examining the “why” of God’s supposed hiddenness, the writer reflects that we purposely hide from Him, His timing is different from ours, we do not want or need to seek Him or we fear He will not acquiesce to our prayers. We separate the sacred from the secular, looking for sensational to hear His voice.

While God works through our human weaknesses, not our human power, the author promotes He actually gives us more than we can handle so we learn to trust Him, which increases our faith. We need to wake up, notice God’s sign language by looking backward in our lives, and reconsider where our treasures are placed.

Biblical characters such as Jacob, Moses, Job, David, Jesus, and Paul are examined. M. Scott Peck’s stages of human spiritual development are listed as chaotic/antisocial, formal/institutional, skeptical/individual, and mystical/communal. Walter Brueggemann’s three categories of Psalms show how orientation, disorientation, and reorientation affect our relationship with God.

As Erre reminds us, by having faith that demands mystery, desperation, and surrender, through joys, sorrows, and lamenting, we will become more astonished of God, His wonder, and awe.

Thanks to David C. Cook for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Little Book About The Bible

Title: The Little Book About The Bible
Author: Ron Rhodes
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7369-5181-4

“From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells one primary story of redemption. This story runs like a thread through the entire Bible. Though the story includes many different people, we read of God’s redeeming work in each book of the Bible,” Ron Rhodes writes in his book, The Little Book About The Bible.

This sixty-four page notecard-sized hardbound book is targeted toward readers who want a quick overview of the Holy Bible that includes history, characteristics, inspiration, and application. With no profanity or violence, it references the English Standard Version.

Similar to other books in the series, it is divided into twenty-eight simplistic chapters, designed to be a daily four week devotional about a topic. Each two page chapter includes a “Big Idea” followed by “What You Need to Know” bullet points, one or two Bible verses, “Fast Facts” with quick one-liners, several “Points to Remember,” and a well-known author’s quote to consider.

Chapters range from technical topics about the sixty-six books of the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and archeological support to it being inspired, inerrant, and prophetic along with assessing objections, additions, and traditions. Quotes are written by preachers and writers such as Augustine, Bunyan, Chambers, Luther, McDowell, J.I. Packer, Sproul, and Swindoll.

One “Big Idea” example is “The Bible is a ‘Jesus Book’” with a reminder Jesus is the heart of the Bible since He is the ultimate revelation of God, the Creator of the universe, the source of salvation, and the Head of the church with verses listed from Luke, John, and Hebrews. “Fast Facts” is that we witness in Jesus God’s power, limitless love, and immeasurable grace. We should remember that without Jesus, Christianity would not exist, to know Jesus is to know God, and our Christianity should be Jesus-centered as the Bible indicates. Oswald Chambers is quoted, “Christianity is not devotion to work, or to a cause, or a doctrine, but devotion to a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

With several topics dealing with alleged contradictions, the Apocrypha, the Gnostic Gospels, and other “holy books,” this is a good source for quick Biblical answers. For those who have time constraints or need a quick recap with minimal study, this is a to-the-point gift book bringing into remembrance how the Bible is the greatest book in history.

This book was furnished by Harvest House Publishers in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Harvest House, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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52 Reasons to Believe – Concise Thoughts on the Christian Faith

Title: 52 Reasons to Believe: Concise Thoughts on the Christian Faith
Author: Gregg Peter Farah
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9849772-4-6

“Confront your questions, disarm your doubt, and strengthen your spiritual life. This book won’t provide all the answers, but it will give you concise thoughts on the Christian Faith …” Gregg Peter Farah states in his book, 52 Reasons to Believe: Concise Thoughts on the Christian Faith.

This two hundred and forty page paperback book is targeted toward Christians looking for confirmation that the Bible is true and the Trinity is real. Using mainly the New International Version, the King James is also noted. This series’ book is divided into four sections on the Bible, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. After curriculum ideas, a lesson template, and notes at the end of the book, another book in the series is promoted.

Similar to previous books about fifty-two topic ideas, this one focuses on twenty evidences that the Bible is true, twelve descriptions of God, thirteen characteristics of Jesus, and seven traits of the Holy Spirit.

Under each topic that covers four to five pages, the author writes several paragraphs including Biblical foundation, past world history, or current event correlations. There is a key quote from a famous author, writer, or pastor followed by a DYK – did you know – tidbit. The Link to Your Life applies the topic to the reader’s relationship to God. There is a small discussion, a key Bible verse, and a short prayer with room to add a personal thought.

For example: Reason # 21 is “God is … MORE Than You Can IMAGINE,” stating several of both Old and New Testament names of the Almighty. The quote is from D.M. Lloyd-Jones about desiring to know God. DYK explains how Yahweh was so sacred, it was not pronounced; the term Adonai was usually substituted until the sixth century when vowels were combined with consonants producing Jehovah. Linking to our lives, we need to know God as all powerful. In small groups, we should take time to thank Him. The key verse is from Isaiah 42:8 and the prayer is about God being wherever we go.

Although pronouns of Deity are sporadically capitalized, this is a helpful tool for a new believer or one who wants to hone in on a stronger, more solid belief in the Bible, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This book was furnished by The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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The Little Book About God

Title: The Little Book About God
Author: Ron Rhodes
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7369-5185-2

“One of the great things about God’s omniscience is that nothing in our lives will cause Him to change His mind about including us in His family. When we become Christians, God is fully aware of every sin we have ever committed and ever will commit. God knows everything about us and accepts us anyway, so every child of God can have a profound sense of security in salvation,” Ron Rhodes writes in his book, The Little Book About God.

This sixty-four page notecard-sized hardbound book is targeted toward readers who want a quick reminder of God and His wonderful ways and attributes. With no profanity, violence, or extreme use of negativity, it references mainly the ESV translation of the Bible along with the NIV and NLT versions.

Similar to other books in the series, it is divided into twenty-eight simplistic chapters, designed to be a daily four week devotional about a topic. Each two page chapter includes a “Big Idea” followed by “What You Need to Know” bullet points, one or two Bible verses, “Fast Facts” with pointers, several “Truths That Transform,” and a well-known author’s quote to consider.

Topics range from reasons to believe in God, the Trinity, and His many names to His omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and eternal sovereignty, along with His holiness, righteousness, love, and mercy. Quotes are written by preachers and writers such as Lewis, Packer, Ryrie, Sauer, Stanley, Tozer, and Watson.

One “Big Idea” example is the concept of God’s immanence and how He is actively present with us. Although He is transcendent, He is in heaven and on earth at the same time as explained in Deuteronomy 4:39, Psalms 139:8, and Acts 17:27. “Fast Facts” mention that Enoch walked with God, Abraham was God’s friend, Moses saw God in the burning bush, and all believers will be with Him in the New Jerusalem. We should be comforted knowing God is always near, wherever we go, especially when we are lonely, needy, or sick. The anonymous quote states, “The Christian finds safety not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.”

In addition to learning some names of the Almighty are El Olam, El Roi, El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, and Yahweh-Nissi, we should never forget His incomprehensible love, grace, and mercy. For those who have time constraints or need a quick recap with minimal study, this is a to-the-point gift book bringing into remembrance how truly amazing our God is.

This book was furnished by Harvest House Publishers in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Harvest House, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

Title: A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider
Editors: N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles
Publisher: That’s Life! Communications
ISBN: 978-0-9784963-1-0

“Would you like to take a break from your busy life, have a heartwarming conversation with a friend, and come away refreshed, encouraged and inspired?” editors N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles ask in the introduction to their book, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.

This sequel to their best-selling first book, Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul, is targeted toward readers who enjoy simple, quick yet effective stories about God involving faith, love and hope.

At three hundred and twenty-four pages, this paperback book begins with three pages of reviews, includes over fifty stories, and ends with thirteen pages of authors’ short biographies with black and white photographs. A separate one hundred and twenty page study guide for readers, book clubs, and small groups and speakers is also available that includes four to seven questions regarding each story.

Written by Canadian Christians who are members of the national association of The World Guild, there are thirty-seven authors who write fifty-one brief stories from one to eleven pages long about hope and encouragement. These authors come from various ages and walks of life such as pastors, missionaries, teachers, writers, editors, doctors, photographers and speakers and include names as Belec, Blenman, Cummings, Fast-Vlaar, Fawcett, Inman, Meyer, Payne, Phillips, and Sketchley to name a few.

Most of the stories are non-fiction, written in first person, covering the gambit from personal heartbreak of losing a child, having a stroke, or marital problems to quilting, using junkyard trash, or getting new eyeglasses. A few fictional tomes about sharks, farmers, dementia, a reunion, empty nest, and an awkward funeral are added with some poems and a short drama.

While all writings “stimulate the mind and delight the spirit,” the thread of God, His redeeming and cleansing love and grace weave throughout the tender stories, sometimes with Bible verse noted or written out.

Take the short story titled “Charlie” by Adele Simmons about a gruff old man in an assisted living complex. One day she walks into his room and he is not having a good day. After singing and playing guitar of country and World War II military songs, he slowly softens when he thinks of his past wife and two sons. By the end of the story, they both are singing “Jesus loves me” with tears in their eyes.

Not to be skimmed or placed on a shelf, this book is a wonderful, casual read to pick up at any time and be uplifted and refreshed, remembering how awesome, amazing and powerful our God is.

This book was furnished by Bookfun.org in lieu of an unbiased review.

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity

Title: The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity
Author: Alex McFarland
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-58997-678-8

“With some basic tools and a growing understanding of God’s Word, you can be ready for any spiritual questions your children present to you,” Alex McFarland states in his book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity.

This two hundred and eighty page paperback book is targeted toward Christian parents, teachers or pastors to help them when talking about God to young children, mainly those of the age of accountability and older.

After an introduction and techniques on how to answer children’s questions, the book is broken down into six question-related parts involving God the Father, Jesus the Son, the Trinity and Holy Spirit, the Bible, the Church and What Parents Ask along with an author’s question to the reader.

Within each of the twenty-three chapters, there are key concepts, a question recap with two to four bullet points, and a hope-filled answer. Some chapters also include highlighted suggestions of ways to further examine the question by correlating to projects such as doing a sugar test, growing plants, making bread rolls and designing a family statement of faith or conducting a Bible study.

McFarland suggest that if we listen to our children, point them to the right direction, offer tools, skills and basic information, they can search and find the answers about God themselves. He recommends answering a question with a question to promote more discussion, guide the conversation to God, do not give out too much information and readily admit when you do not know the answer.

While comparing to Bible verses and characters to simple items such as gold fish or a telescope, the author gives direction, confidence and pointers on how to express a true relationship with God.

If your children are asking questions such as “why does God allow suffering or why is He unfair?” or “did Jesus ever sin?” or “will the Holy Spirit leave me if I keep sinning?” or “are the Bible miracles true?” or “why do I have to go to church?” this is a great reference point for a parent to know in advance when answering. Being prepared, praying and promoting a relationship with Jesus are pivotal in a child’s life and questions answered in this book will propagate the seeds to grow in a young one’s inquisitive mind.

This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers for review purposes.

 

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

 

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Bedtime Stories and Prayers

Title: Bedtime Stories and Prayers
Authors: Dandi Daley Mackall and Kathleen Long Bostrom
Illustrator: Elena Kucharik
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8111-4

Bedtime is a special time for young preschool children, especially if it is a quiet time to be read to while looking at a picture story book about God. In Dandi Daley Mackall and Kathleen Long Bostom’s Little Blessings’ book, Bedtime Stories and Prayers, Blessings for Bedtime, the goal of focusing on God and His love is achieved.

In this hardbound, over-sized square book with one hundred and eleven glossy pages, illustrator Elena Kucharik does an excellent job providing colorful, descriptive drawings of children playing and praying on almost every page. As the well-known Care Bears artist, she paints fanciful illustrations that capture each story’s meaning easily. With no scary scenes or questionable situations, a parent can freely read with ease and comfort to preschool age or younger children while teaching them about God at the same time.

Concentrating on the Creator and His everlasting love, the book is broken down into four stories, two by each author. Author Mackall has written over four hundred books for children and adults, selling over three million copies while Bostrom has sold one million of her over a dozen children’s books. This is only one of the almost twenty books in the Little Blessings series.

In the first story, “Bedtime Blessings,” Mackall gently explains the process of getting ready for bedtime by the sun setting, cleaning up toys, having a snack, taking a bath, brushing teeth, saying prayers and being tucked into bed for a good night’s sleep.

Bostrom shows in “Thank You, God!” how to thank God for all the things He has given us like the land, sea, flowers, trees, moon, sun, stars, fish, wales, birds, animals, and all the different kind of people He has created.

“Blessings Everywhere” by Mackall concentrates on the eclectic and minute details that God has blessed us with such as ladybugs, hugs, caterpillars, forests, camping, bubble baths and the sky.

In the final story, “God Loves You,” Bostrom discusses moods such as being silly, merry, mad, grumpy, and glad beside physical attributes such as size, shape, and color, completing the tome stating that God loves you no matter what.

With the fun, detailed and expressive pictures with the rhyming stories, this is a nice, quiet and subdued book to read that reiterates God and His love for us that can be read over and over again.

This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for review purposes.

 

This review will be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com, http://www.tyndale.com and http://www.amazon.com with links on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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Path of Three Hundred

Path of Three Hundred (Volume 1)Title: Path of Three Hundred
Author: Greg Frucci
Illustrators: Katherine Gerardi and Greg Frucci
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1-4811-6315-6

“Petah quickly turned the boat, steering towards the gateway while his heart pounded with excitement. He looked down at his compass to see his bearing was three hundred degrees. The Voice inside him spoke again …” Greg Frucci writes in his book, Path of Three Hundred.

With one hundred and sixty-six pages, this paperback book has a drawing of a flying bird against the cloudy sky on the front cover. The tome is written from the author’s own experience sailing in his thirty foot sailboat from North Carolina to Bermuda and back but written in third person format as a tale. Italicized partial sayings are spread among the pages and the appendix contains over thirty pages of his complete poems. With little profanity, the misuse of punctuation and capitalization often deters from concentrating on the storyline.

In Frucci’s adventure, he writes as Petah, a wistful fifty year old soul searching for his true self as he is tossed to and fro in the sea of life. Working part time for a local hardware store and having recently ended a bad relationship, he leaves his beloved dog with friends as he sails off to the supposed peaceful sunset to find himself en route from Masonboro, North Carolina to Lisbon, Portugal.

Planning an initial six day jaunt to Bermuda, the simple and inexperienced sailor is caught up in a violent gale storm for eighteen hours of forty knot winds and twenty-foot waves where he questions his emotions, fears, negativity, anger and regrets of life choices. While whales in the indigo ocean and three unique birds keep watch over his safe passage, he contemplates relationships, religion and the existence of God. Exhausted and tired, he turns his battered boat into port to reassess life, beliefs and the past.

Months later, Petah flies back to the “island of the Soul in Limbo” to return his cherished boat to her home in America. Hoping the return trip is calmer and uneventful, he not only sees the same birds, but hears strange sounds in the Bermuda Triangle, finds respite in the doldrums and watches dolphins escorting him. But when his autopilot breaks, a mainsail tears, and thunderstorms rage around him, he finds solace in remembering his father’s words, thanks God and his vessel for passage and hears the Voice that guides him to his haven.

With writings and sayings confusing like a turbulent sea at times, the author expresses his angst, acceptance and awe as he searches for the way out of his own darkness when the God of the universe talks to him in a profound way.

This review will be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com.

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