Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christmas Stories : A Review

Though I have not read a great deal of Max Lucado's work, I have enjoyed what I have read. Similarly, Christmas Stories does not disappoint. It is a collection of short stories, many (if not most) pulled from previous books and sources. In some way, each story points us back to the manger in Bethlehem that day so long ago. But he also points us to an eternal story – not one merely rooted in history, but one that stretches across the ages: from Bethlehem, to rural England, and to the Midwestern USA. Though fiction, the book introduces us to men, women, children, and angels, who may have been effected by the coming of the Christ child that first Christmas day.

If you like Max Lucado, you will like Christmas Stories. If you like Christmas, you will like Christmas Stories. If you like inspirational Christmas stores, you will like Christmas Stories.

This review is based on an electronic copy of the book
provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
There was no obligation to write a positive review.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Heart for Freedom : A Review

A Heart for Freedom
Chai Ling

It was the Spring of 1989 and a group of students were beginning to explore how to bring democracy to mainland China. In the midst of the protests that would define much of that Spring in Beijing, a number of students rose to positions of leadership that neither they nor their world would have expected. Chai Ling was one of those students. And A Heart for Freedom is her story.

In 1989, the events on Tiananmen Square, seemed far away. But in those days, God was shaping the heart of a young lady – not only to provide leadership to the students of China, but also to serve Him.

A Heart for Freedom provides a look at the students, the leaders, the history, that defined much of the world's attitude toward China for the last 20 plus years. We see the fear, the frustration, and the concerned that defined the student leadership of those events.

But A Heart for Freedom is more – it is also the story of a young woman growing up in a traditional Chinese home who matures as a student leader, completes her education in the United States, and starts a highly successful business. As the book ends, we find that she has also come to understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That journey is just starting for Chai Ling, but it may be just as exciting as the first 40 years of her life. For the answer to that, we will have to wait for Part II of her memoirs.

This review was based on a pre-publication copy of the book supplied by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review but have willing done so.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moses Standing Before the Burning Bush

What God Promises to the Israelites:

1. Deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians
2. Bring them out of that Land to
- a good and broad land
- a land flowing with milk and honey
- the place of
the Canaanites,
the Hittites,
the Amorites,
the Perizzites,
the Hivites,
and the Jebusites.

God promises all this to Moses as he stood, bare foot, before the burning bush. I wonder how Moses felt - meeting God for that first time. He had heard stories about others that had met God. People like Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He had probably heard of Job and all of his problems and how God had broken into his life. And now God was breaking into His life. And it all started when Moses was willing to say, "Here I am". (Cp Is 6:1-8)

Have I said, "Here I am!" to God? Have I?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Realms of Thereunder

I am writing this review with some trepidation.

I downloaded The Realms Thereunder for review from the publisher’s website; but having started several chapters, I know that the book is not going to be a pleasant read for me.

I have a couple of options, the best would be to request to be released from my obligation to review the book. Though that is my preferred option, it is not likely to happen.

The other is to write a very biased review. I generally have not liked fantasy/supernatural fiction (I have read the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, but have avoided the Left Behind series like the plague), but had recently read a couple of books from this genre that I did enjoy so I thought I would try another. This option did not work. However, I don't wish to penalize the author/publisher because of my personal reading interests.

Hence, I am posting this brief response to the book. I do not expect my lack of interest in this book to generate much feedback, but it is an honest attempt to explain my response to the book. I do wish I could have been released from the promise I made to review the book; in lieu of that, I post this minimal response to the book. I do hope that others, who are more familiar with the genre can give it a more informed review.

This review is based on a free, electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating an unbiased review.

After posting this review I did receive permission to not review the book. In a second e-mail, I also receive a request to remove this review from my blog. Because the review was posted before I received any response to my request to be relieved of my obligation to review the book, I have chosen to retain this review on my blog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kisses From Katie
A Review

Kisses From Katie is an encouraging book about a young girls journey of faith. It details Katie Davis' transition from high school student to being the adoptive mother of 17 children and “Aunt Katie” to hundred of kids in war torn Uganda.

I have enjoyed reading her story and have found it to be uplifting to see what God can do through one committed individual. The author makes it clear that the choices she made were not always easy, “hard” is sometimes an overused word – though how these difficulties were evident in her life is not always spelled out. Having said this, it becomes clear that God has worked through those difficult times and used Katie in some truly miraculous way.

It has been some time since I picked up a true missionary's story – I am glad that I picked Kisses From Katie up and spent time reading it this summer.

This review is based on a free, electronic copy of the book
provided by the publisher for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Chair
James Rubart

A Review

What does on do when an elderly woman brings in a chair made by “most talented tekton craftman the world has ever known”?

I was drawn to The Chair by James L. Rubart because of his earlier work, Rooms. It too held my attention, but not to the extent that this current did.

The story that unfolded from that event in chapter one to the restoration of the chair and the restoration of the book's characters is a gripping novel that leaves the reader laughing and crying throughout the book. Life is not always what it seems – and we need to leave the hard stuff in God's hands.

We are in a position to miss up our lives – God is in the position to restore us, if we are willing. James L. Rubart delivers that truth well in his current offering, The Chair.

This review is based on a free, electronic copy provided by the publisher
for the purpose of creating this unbiased review.

Code Word:Geronimo
Captain Dale Dye and Julia Dewey Dye

A Review

I am not a soldier. I have never been in the military. Though I have learned to appreciate the gift that America's soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, etc., contribute to my life, as I picked up Code Word:Geronimo, I was not sure how I would react.

I found this graphic novel to be encouraging and uplifting. It provided insight into the teamwork, skills, and operations of an army unit in ways that I had not previously seen.

The book is really two books. The first 80% is composed of the graphic novel which illustrates the work of Seal Team 6 on May 1, 2011, in dispatching Osama Bin Laden as he slept in the upstairs bedroom of his home in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The second part of the book, a narrative, describes the selection, the training, and the character of the men and women who make up Seal Team 6. The Navy Seals are a unique group of soldiers – Seal Team 6 consists of the best of the best Navy seals.

Code Word: Geronimo by Captain Dale Dye and Julia Dewey Dye is a relaxing read of a very tense day in the life of the American military. The work they accomplished in May 2011 was amazing and made me proud to be an American.

This review is based on a free, electronic copy provided by the publisher
to allow preparation of this unbiased review.