Google+ Badge

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy

Brooklyn on FireSet in Brooklyn in the late 19th century, Mary Handley once again begins a new case. Mary is looking to set up her own practice as a detective when she is approached by a woman to look into the death of her uncle which occurred 20 years previously. As in the first Mary Handley mystery, there are many historic persons featured in the story including Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and the Vanderbilt family. Amid political corruption, class warfare, and a bit of romance thrown in, the case becomes much more involved than a simple investigation.

The mystery makes for enjoyable reading as well as some of the historical facts of life at that time in Brooklyn. Initially there were a lot of characters introduced without a lot of explanation, but eventually they all come together in the plot. The characters were interesting and did have some depth. There is a glimpse of the disparity between the different social status of people and how difficult it is to cross those barriers.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.      

Monday, February 22, 2016

Surprised by the Healer by Linda Dillow & Dr. Juli Slattery

Hope for your deepest pains abounds in God's Word according to the authors, Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery. In this book you will find you will the stories of nine courageous women who share their deepest pain and brokenness along with the hope and healing they found in JEHOVAH RAPHA, the God Who Heals. There are stories of sexual abuse, addictions and marriage betrayals to name a few.

We all are broken people, in need of redemption and the hope that God can redeem us where we are at. The stories illustrate that God can heal anyone in the midst of pain and hopelessness. The stories make for thought provoking and inspiring reading.  Also included is  a 10 week Bible study to do on your own or with a small group of women.

I highly recommend this book for women. I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review.    

He Will Be The Preacher by Erwin Lutzer

This inspiring and candid autobiography is a joy to read. The story of Erwin Lutzer's life from being a farm boy from Canada to the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago is one of God's providence in his life. His honest retelling of his life, both the triumphs and the struggles makes for an engaging read. The reader will learn about those who made an impact on his life as well as a glimpse of his relationships with his family members.

I highly recommend this book. I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird with Eve Claxton

This is a remarkable book about a daughter's search to know her father. Dr. Perry Baird was a brilliant physician and researcher who also suffered from manic depressive disorder. He disappeared from his daughter's life when she was six years old.

After his daughter, Mimi, finds a manuscript of her father's where he documented his experiences in various mental institutions, she begins to piece together the years she was separated from her father. His account of his treatment in these institutions in the 1940's is brutal and his account of  describing his feelings and experiences is riveting. He actually was researching a biochemical basic for the cause of the mania he was experiencing before the mania episodes became more frequent and incapacitated him.

His published manuscript makes for engaging reading and is a wonderful tribute to a father from his daughter.

I received this book from Blogging for  Books for this review.

The Centurion by Ken Gire

Lucius is a Roman Centurion who has always dreamed about bringing glory to the Roman Empire and some day traveling to Rome to meet the Emperor. One day he oversees the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and he begins to question his purpose in life. He meets Mary Magdalene and begins to meet with the other followers of Jesus following His death and resurrection. When new orders come in for Lucius to move to a different post, his loyalty remains with the Rome while Mary Magdalene's loyalty is in remaining and serving the risen Christ and her fellow believers.

Even though their journeys take different directions their love for each other remains. Lucius is involved with many battles and conquests and he becomes a hardened soldier who leaves no survivors in any battle. As he returns to Rome, he is lauded by Emperor Nero, but what he thought would bring him joy and happiness in the end proves hollow.

I really appreciated learning more about the Roman Empire in the first century and getting a glimpse into the life of a Roman soldier.  There was a lot of brutality not only in battle but in how Christians and Jews were treated in Rome itself.  At the end of the book there is a section dedicated to  listing all the sources used in writing the story. It was a very enlightening book and an enjoyable and fast paced read. I would highly recommend it.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

When a Nation Forgets God by Erwin Lutzer

This book is chilling in the similarities with Germany prior to and during Hitler's reign and the culture in America today. Erwin Lutzer discusses these issues with challenges to Christians today. Some of the most interesting aspects of the book included how Hitler used propaganda in swaying the popular opinion and how people in Germany were willing to give up their freedom of speech and religion in exchange for having a strong economy. Sanitized terms were used to cover up the most unspeakable crimes. Parents did not have the authority over their children, the state did. Certainly we can learn from what occurred in Nazi Germany and hopefully avoid what happened there.

As Christians, it is a good reminder that we need to live out the Gospel in our culture and not let the culture shape us. We have a higher calling to obey Christ and live out our faith with compassion and humility.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ignite Your Passion For God by Kay Arthur and Mark Sheldrake

This is a six week Bible study created to be done as a group and with no homework. It is described as a 40 minute lesson that is discussed each week. The topic of igniting your passion for God is divided up in six week focusing on igniting your passion for God's Word, prayer, worship of God, and sharing the Gospel. The last lesson is focused on how suffering ignites passion.

Using the Precept method for Bible Study, as you read the Scripture passage, you mark key words with specific symbols. It is a way of getting to the heart of the Scripture passage. A leader is needed to facilitate the group and the leader would need to be  familiar with the passage and highlight the key words prior to the lesson.

The study guide is designed to be used where groups are meeting for a shorter period of time (i.e. over the lunch hour, early morning meeting time, etc.). In leading a Bible study group, for many years, I am not sure that the material in each lesson can be covered in 40 minutes. You may have to divide each lesson to go over two meeting times. It would depend on the number of people in the group and the group dynamics.

It is an interesting topic and would make for an interesting discussion.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.