Thursday, November 15, 2018

Godwink Christmas Stories by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

Rushnell and his wife have been collecting inspiring stories of “coincidences” better understood as events in which God has a part. They call these Godwinks, thinking back to when a parent might give you a wink across the dinner table. It signified recognition and affection. The authors liken these “coincidences” to a wink from God.

This collection of true stories centers on Christmas. Twenty-one of the stories are new while nine have appeared in previous collections. One of the stories is from Rushnell and explains how the whole idea of Godwinks came about. He also includes a reflection after the story to help readers explore how God moves in the lives of people.

These stories are nice, encouraging and rather generic. They would be appreciated by anyone who believes in God. While there is a Christian emphasis in the book, Rushnell does not restrict God's involvement to Christians. He writes in his Introduction, “This book proves that Godwinks happens to everyone. They are universal – crossing every border, every religion ...” (xii)

These touching stories remind us to pay attention to our lives. There are probably many times God has been involved and we have missed seeing it. People who like the kinds of stories in Guideposts will like this collection.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Squire Rushnell is a New York Times bestselling author, a former television president and CEO, leading Good Morning America to its #1 spot. He is the author of six titles in the God Winks series and has a monthly “Godwinks on Today,” one of NBC Today show's most-streamed segment.
Louise DuArt is a comedic impressionist. She hosted Living the Life talk show on ABC family for eight seasons. She and her husband, Squire Rushnell, live on Martha's Vineyard. Photograph © Gail Daman


Howard Books, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When I Spoke in Tongues by Jessica Wilbanks

I found this to be a very interesting memoir of one who had embraced Pentecostal faith as a child and let go of it later in life. Though Wilbanks describes herself as one who no longer believes, she is generally respectful of those who do believe.

The part of the book I appreciated the most was her experience in Nigeria. She had come across the Redeemed Church in east Texas. Its origins were in Nigeria so she managed to do research there for her thesis. I really liked her information about Christianity in southern Nigeria. I learned a great deal, such as about Helen Ukpabio and supposed children witches. Another part of her book quite informative was her investigation into the history of Pentecostalism in America.

I recommend this book to readers who would like to know what it was like to grow up in a Pentecostal home and then experience the struggle of giving up that faith. She takes us through her childhood, her later years as a questioning college student, and finally finding her own place. Wilbanks writes very well and the book is easy to read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jessica Wilbanks is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize as well as creative nonfiction awards from Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Redivider, and Ruminate magazine. In 2014, she was selected as a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Journalism. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Houston, where she served as nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast. She lives in Houston with her husband and their son.

Beacon Press, 272 pages.

I received a complimentary egally of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B Jenkins

This novel did not grab me. There was no tantalizing opening to capture my attention. The narrative jumps around to three time periods. The connection between the contemporary story and the one from 2000 BC was not established early and I was still left wondering at the end. Apparently some meaningful artifact will connect the two stories in a future book.

The contemporary story involves Nicole, an archaeologist who is awaiting permission for a dig in Saudi Arabia. The novel opens with Nicole being notified that her mother has fallen and broken her hip. We do find out later that there was foul play. The contemporary story really has no suspense, moved slowly and the foul play has a resolution that comes out of left field.

The historical story involves Terah, father of Abram. The time is 2000 BC in Shinar, Mesopotamia. We learn about Terah's service as an adviser to King Nimrod and that his wife will be giving birth soon. There is some intrigue in this part of the novel.

The third story takes us back to Viet Nam as we learn some about the experiences of Nicole's father while there. I didn't think it had much to do with the contemporary narrative and only served to provide a slightly touching scene between Nicole's parents at the end.

The character development is sufficient. My favorite character was a secondary one, the detective investigating the foul play.

I may be picky but I was surprised at one lack of attention to historical detail. Terah, living in 2000 BC, refers to a height saying, “More than a mile and a half?” This is in response to another speaking of “more than eight thousand feet.” (p. 300) The term “mile” did not come into use until the time of the Romans. It is from mille passus, a thousand paces. The term would not have been in use or even known in Terah's time. The same seems to be true of the use of “feet.” Romans and Greeks used the concept but older civilizations used the cubit.

We get a hint of what future novels might contain but I would have liked a stronger hook at the end of this book.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Jerry B Jenkins' books have sold more than 70 million copies. Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. He and his wife have three grown children and eight grandchildren and live in Colorado.

Worthy Publishing Group, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren, 10th Anniversary Edition

Christmas is a special time of celebrating good news. It can also be an exhausting or depressing time. Warren invites readers to slow down, read this short book and enjoy the gift of Christmas.

It's been ten years since this book first came out. It is still timely and inspiring. We are reminded of the importance of celebrating the good news of Jesus' birth, God's love and God's presence. Warren makes sure we understand Christmas is about salvation. He is clear as to why we need salvation, using stories and illustrations to explain the gospel. In case we forget, Christmas is also about reconciliation and restoring peace with God and man.

I like Warren's book. It would make a nice gift for a loved one. The text and illustrations are inspiring. It helped me slow down and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of the largest churches in the world, with campuses in the US and around the world. He is the author of The Purpose Driven Life, one of the bestselling nonfiction books in publishing history. He founded The PEACE Plan, which Plants churches that promotes reconciliation, Equips servant leaders, Assists the poor, Cares for the sick, and Educates the next generation in 196 countries. Warren can be heard on his audio teaching called Daily Hope. You can find out more at https://pastorrick.com/ where you can also sign up for his free daily devotional. Photograph by Patrick Ecclesine

Howard Books, 144 pages.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Unannounced Christmas Visitor by Patrick Higgins Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor  
Author: Patrick Higgins  
Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas  
Release Date: November 18, 2014

What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.

Click here to purchase your copy!


My Review:


I liked this short novel containing several powerful messages. Through the actions of the characters and their dialogue, we gain insight into the world of the homeless. It tugs at our heart to hear their stories and to find how they appreciate simple gifts or help. We see examples of people who go to church for motives other than to worship and serve their Lord. We are taken into the heart of a family transformed by a mysterious homeless man. We share in the struggles of a troubled husband and father, hoping he submits his life to the Lord.

I recommend this novel. You'll be introduced to some sweet characters. You'll see God's transforming power at work. You'll hear some good sermons. You'll be reminded of the true Christmas story. And you just might be inspired to care for the stranger in your midst, knowing you might be entertaining an angel without knowing it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author


Patrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”

Guest Post from Patrick


Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!


Blog Stops

Lighthouse Academy, November 10
The Power of Words, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
Bogging With Carol, November 12
Moments, November 14
Mary Hake, November 15
Inklings and notions, November 16
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
Vicky Sluiter, November 18
Godly Book Reviews, November 19
Luv’N Lambert Life, November 20
Texas Book-aholic, November 21
Janices book reviews, November 21
Carpe Diem, November 22
Bigreadersite, November 22
amandainpa, November 23

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Beyond the Truth by Bruce Coffin Blog Tour and Giveaway

Beyond the Truth

by Bruce Robert Coffin

on Tour November 1-30, 2018

Synopsis:


In this latest enthralling mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.
When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to find the missing pieces.
And when an attempt is made on the officer’s life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.

My Review:


I liked this novel of precise police procedure. I can tell Coffin was on the force for decades. His attention to detail is very evident. It added a sense of reality to the action. And I liked the personal aspect, following the life of Detective Sergeant Byron. He is fighting his own battles as well as trying to find the truth behind a difficult killing. Coffin's experience also shows as we read about interference from a persistent reporter and from a superior whose aspirations for advancement hinder Bryon's investigative work. And then there are the suspects and their loved ones who lie.

I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy getting caught up in a captivating plot with characters you'll care about. This is a good police procedure novel from a talented writer.

My rating: 4/5 stars. 

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Number of Pages: 448
ISBN: 0062569511 (ISBN13: 9780062569516)
Series: Detective Byron #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
 

Read an excerpt:

Veteran Portland police officer Sean Haggerty trudged across the deserted parking lot beneath the bright sodium arc lights of the 7-Eleven. His breath condensed into small white clouds before drifting away on the frigid night air. The thin layer of ice and snow covering the pavement crunched under his highly polished jump-boots as he approached the idling black and white. Only two more hours until the end of his overtime. After four months in his new assignment as School Resource Officer for Portland High School, it felt good to be back in a patrol car, even if it was only one shift. Balancing a large styrofoam coffee cup atop his clipboard, he was reaching for the cruiser keys on his belt when static crackled from his radio mic.
“Any unit in the area of Washington Avenue near the Bubble Up Laundromat please respond,” the dispatcher said.
The Bubble Up was in Haggerty’s assigned area, less than a half mile up the street, but Dispatch still listed him as busy taking a shoplifting report. Someone had snatched a twelve pack of beer.
Haggerty unlocked the door to the cruiser then keyed the mic.
“402, I'm clear the 10-92 at 27 Washington. I can cover that.”
“Ten four, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Standby. 401.”
“401, go.”
“And 421.”
“Go ahead.”
Haggerty knew whatever this was, it was a priority. Dispatch did not send two line units and a supervisor for just any call.
“402, 401, and 421, all three units respond to the Bubble Up Laundry at 214 Washington Avenue for an armed 10-90 that just occurred.”
As Haggerty scrambled into the cruiser, the styrofoam cup tumbled to the pavement, spilling its contents. The coffee froze almost instantly.
“Dammit,” Haggerty said.
He tossed his clipboard onto the passenger seat, then climbed in. Allowing for the possibility of a quick exit, he ignored the seatbelt requirement and threw the shift lever into Drive. He powered down his portable radio and reached for the microphone clipped to the dashboard. “402, en route.”
“421 and 401 responding from the west end,” the sergeant said, acknowledging the call for both backup units.
Haggerty pulled out of the lot onto Washington Avenue, and headed outbound toward Tukey’s Bridge. He drove without lights or siren, in hopes of catching the suspects by surprise.
“402,” Haggerty said, his eyes scanning the dark sidewalks and alleys. “Any description or direction of travel?”
“Ten four, 402. We have the victim on the phone. Suspects are described as two masked males. Suspect number one was wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, carrying a dark colored backpack. Suspect two was dressed in dark pants and a red hoodie, with some kind of emblem on it. Unknown direction of travel.”
“Is the victim injured?” Haggerty asked, trying to decide whether to go directly to the scene, securing the laundromat, or take a quick spin around the area first to try and locate the suspects.
“Negative, 402,” the dispatcher said. “Just shaken up.”
“What was the weapon used?”
“Standby, 402.”
Haggerty caught a flash of red up ahead in the beam of the cruiser’s headlights as two figures darted from his right across Washington Avenue down Madison Street. He accelerated, flicked on the emergency lights and siren, and keyed the dash mic again.
“402, I have a visual on the two suspects near Washington and Madison. They just rabbited into Kennedy Park.”
“Ten four. 401 and 421, copy?” the dispatcher said.
“Copy.”
Braking hard, Haggerty spun the steering wheel left, making the turn onto Madison. He knew if he didn’t stay right on them that he would lose them among the project’s many apartments and row houses. The hooded figures sprinting down the hill were already several hundred feet ahead. He punched the gas and the cruiser shot after them. He was beginning to close the gap when they cut left in front of an oncoming car onto Greenleaf Street.
“Greenleaf toward East Oxford,” he shouted into the mic, trying to be heard above the wail of his cruiser’s siren as he raced through the built-up residential neighborhood.
The Ford skidded wide as he turned onto Greenleaf. Haggerty fought the urge to over-steer, waiting until the cruiser’s front tires found purchase on a bare patch of pavement and it straightened out.
The two figures were clearer now, about fifty feet ahead. He was nearly on top of them when they turned again, west, running between rows of apartment buildings.
“They just cut over toward Monroe Court,” Haggerty said.
“Ten four,” the dispatcher said. “421 and 401, copy?”
“Copy,” 421 acknowledged.
Haggerty accelerated past the alley the suspects had taken, hoping to cut them off by circling the block and coming out ahead of them on East Oxford Street. He turned right onto Oxford just in time to see them run across the road and duck between yet another set of row houses.
He rode the brake, and the pulse of the anti-lock mechanism pushed back against his foot. The black and white felt as if it were speeding up. Ice. Shit. The rear end started to swing to the right toward a line of parked cars. He eased off the brake and the Ford straightened out but was now headed directly toward a snowbank in front of the alley—an ice bank, really. Still traveling about five miles per hour, the black and white smashed into it with a crunch. Haggerty jumped from the car and gave chase, the door still open, the siren still blaring. He would have to answer for a mangled squad car later, but there was no time to think of that now. The snow piled against the apartment building walls seemed to dance in the flickering blue light of his cruiser’s strobes, making the alley look like a disco.
Haggerty could just make out the two hooded figures in the bobbing beam of his mini MagLite as he ran.
“Police! Stop!” he yelled. They didn’t.
He was gaining on them when his boot struck something buried beneath the snow, and he sprawled headfirst to the ground. Scrambling to regain his feet, he stood and quickly scanned the area for his flashlight, but it was gone. He turned and hurried down the dark alley, keying his shoulder mic as he went.
“402, 10-50,” he said, referring to his cruiser accident. “I’m now in foot pursuit of the 10-90 suspects. Toward Cumberland from East Oxford.”
“Ten-four, 402,” the female dispatcher acknowledged. “1 and 21, copy.”
Haggerty heard the distorted transmissions as both units responded simultaneously, causing the radio to squeal in protest. He rounded the rear corner of a three-story unit just in time to see the suspect wearing the red hoodie stuck near the top of a six-foot chain-link fence. The other figure had already made it over and stopped to assist.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled as he drew his weapon.
Neither suspect heeded his warning. Haggerty was at full stride, gun at the low ready position, about fifteen feet from the fence, when the first suspect finally pulled the second one loose. Up and over they went leaving Haggerty on the wrong side of the barrier.
Damn! Haggerty holstered his Glock, then backed far enough away from the fence to give himself a running start. He hit the fence, left foot out in front, reaching for the top with his gloved hands, and then vaulted up and over it with ease. The suspect in the dark-colored hoodie turned and looked back, giving Haggerty a glimpse of what seemed to be a ski mask made to look like a skull. Thirty feet now. He was closing the distance again.
If they don’t split up I’ll have a chance, he thought. He heard a dog barking frantically nearby, and the distant wail of approaching sirens. The combination of the cold air into his lungs and the adrenaline surge were beginning to take their toll, sapping his strength. His arms and legs were slowing, despite his efforts.
“What’s your twenty, 402?” the dispatcher asked. His location.
“Fuck if I know,” he said out loud and breathless. He keyed the mic on his shoulder. “Back yards. Headed west. Toward Anderson.”
“Ten-four.” The dispatcher said. “Units copy?”
“1 copies.”
“21, I copy,” the sergeant said. “The call came in as an armed 10-90. What was the weapon?”
“Standby, 21.”
Haggerty lost them again as they rounded another building. He slowed to a jog and drew his sidearm again. The alley was pitch back and he didn’t want to risk running into an ambush.
“Units be advised, the original caller was a customer who walked in on the robbery. I have the victim on the phone now. He says the male in the dark-colored hoodie displayed a silver colored 10-32 handgun.”
“21, give us a signal,” the sergeant said.
“10-4,” the dispatcher said. The familiar high-pitched tone sounded twice over the radio before the dispatcher spoke again. “All units, a signal one thousand is now in effect. Hold all air traffic or switch to channel 2. 401, 402, and 421 have priority.”
Haggerty stepped forward carefully, not wanting to trip again. His lungs were burning. He attempted to slow his breathing while waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He froze in place as he heard a banging sound, as if someone were striking a solid object with a bat. The sound was followed by shouting, but he couldn’t make out what was being said.
Peeking quickly around the corner of the building, he saw the figure in the red hoodie kicking at the stuck gate of a wooden stockade fence, while the other had scrambled onto the roof of a junk car and was attempting to climb over the barrier.
“Freeze,” Haggerty yelled, aiming his Glock at the dark hooded figure standing atop the car. Red Hoodie stopped kicking, but didn’t turn back toward Haggerty. The suspect on the car, also facing away from him, didn't move. Haggerty approached the fence cautiously, making sure of his footing as he planted one foot in front of the other. His eyes shifted between the two figures, but he kept his gun trained on the suspect who was reportedly armed. “Let me see your hands. Both of you.”
Red hoodie raised his hands high above his head.
The dark figure on top of the car began to turn. His hands were hidden from sight.
“I said freeze.” Haggerty sidestepped to his left looking to regain some cover. “Goddammit, freeze!”
The dark figure spun toward him, bringing his right arm up in a pointing gesture.
Haggerty saw a familiar flash of light an instant before he pulled the trigger on his Glock.
***
Excerpt from Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin. Copyright © 2018 by Bruce Robert Coffin. Reproduced with permission from WitnessImpulse. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:


Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive. His first two books, Among the Shadows and Beneath the Depths, were both Maine Sunday Telegram #1 bestsellers.


Catch Up With Bruce Robert Coffin On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the Beyond The Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin Participants
 

Enter To Win!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Witness Impulse/Harper Collins. There will be 3 winners of one (1) print copy of BENEATH THE DEPTHS by Bruce Robert Coffin. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2018 and runs through December 2, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Basics for Believers (Repackaged Edition) by D A Carson

This is a reprint of a book originally published in 1996. It is an exploration of the major themes in Paul's letter to the Philippians. Even though this book was written over twenty years ago, the message is important for contemporary Christians.

Carson leads off early with an emphasis on the centrality of the gospel. He brought this home by writing about our relationships. The gospel should be at the center of our conversations when we get together, not sports or hobbies. Everything should revolve around the gospel. We should be encouraging one other and praying for one other. His emphasis clarified for me that the gospel was not at the center of my relationships and encouraged me to move to that end in the future.

The last major theme Carson explores is that we are to never give up on our Christian walk. It sums up all of Philippians four. It includes working toward being like minded with other believers, resolving to always rejoice, and more.

Carson's style is almost conversational and not at all academic. This is a good book for Christians who need to be reminded of the basic truths of the gospel and the kind of life that pleases God. Unfortunately, there are no questions included for personal reflection or group discussion. The book style lends itself more to devotional reading than to study.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

D. A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is emeritus professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books. He is one of the founders of The Gospel Coalition and an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world.

Baker Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Into the Deep by Lauren Gaskill Blog Tour

About the Book:


Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!

My Review:


Gaskill gives an inspiring personal account of her struggles and the lessons she has learned. About the first third of the book is her personal story. The rest of the book is encouragement to move out in faith, not letting fear have its way. She wants readers to live the life God intended, diving deep and swimming with Jesus.

I was impressed with Gaskill's personal account and her honesty about her struggles. She had stopped believing God's Word for her life. She reminds readers that there is a difference between knowing God and believing Him. Believing changes everything, she says. God did not take her problems away. Instead, He met her while she was a mess and began to change her inside.

I really appreciate the wisdom in this book. The teaching is great and very practical. The insights are wonderful. The questions at the end of each chapter are great for personal reflection or group discussion. I highly recommend this book.

Food for thought: “...when we choose to seek God more than we seek to have things go our way, something pretty amazing happens. (1221/2336)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:


Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast and Finding Joy Ladies Night Out events. After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, she made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy – no matter what life's circumstances might bring.
Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. She also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.
She lives in Raleigh, NC, with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Abingdon Press, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Read With Audra. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Read With Audra.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Life Beyond Amazing by Dr. David Jeremiah

Jeremiah looks at the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. The nine choices he writes about are the choices to express these character traits. We will have help from God but the work is still up to believers. “These nine qualities require commitment and effort.” (xi) Jeremiah tells many encouraging stories for each quality as well as provides some general suggestions in developing them.

My favorite chapter was the one on integrity. Jeremiah reminds us that this is an internal quality that starts with what we tell ourselves. We can lie and make excuses but God knows everything we think, feel, and do. (131) We can never fool God. I think I liked this chapter the best because integrity, adhering to moral principles and telling the truth, seems to be in such short supply in the current American political scene. My next favorite chapter was the one on compassion, a quality that seems to be missing in many evangelical Christians today.

All of these character qualities are to be evidenced in the life of Christians. They are, after all, the fruit of the Spirit. Jeremiah provides good examples and lots of encouragement to produce these godly qualities in life. There is no specific strategy provided, just general encouragement and suggestions.

I recommend this book to people who really want to express the fruit of the Spirit and just need some encouragement to do so. You'll read lots of examples of people who have lived out these qualities.

I also recommend this book to Christians who find that expressing the fruit of the Spirit is the farthest thing from their minds. You'll get a good dose of what your Christian life should really look like.

Food for thought: “Self-discipline is the secret ingredient to achieving a life beyond amazing.” (172)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point, an international ministry committed to provided Christians with sound Bible teaching through radio, television, the Internet, live events, and resource materials and books. He is the author of more than fifty books. You can find out more at https://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/default.aspx.

W Publishing Group, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.