Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have A New You By Friday - by Dr. Kevin Leman

My Thoughts:

As far as self help books go, this one was pretty good. It helps you see the problem areas and gives you practical steps to changing them.
Never having read any of Dr. Leman's books before I was properly impressed with this one. The author is a great storyteller and the book overall is very engaging and interesting. I would recommend this book to those looking to make a change in their life.

Have a New You by Friday, Dr. Kevin Leman, 978-0-8007-1933-3
You can change your life--in just 5 days!
How many times have you tried to change your own habits, only to find that changing yourself is even harder than trying to change someone else?
Now, what the bestselling Have a New Kid by Friday has done for families and Have a New Husband by Friday has done for couples,Have a New You by Friday will do for you. With his signature wit and commonsense psychology, Dr. Kevin Leman walks you through your own personal five-day action plan. You will come to

  • Accept the truth about yourself
  • Boost your confidence by identifying the lies you're telling yourself . . . and putting them to rest for good
  • Change your life by concentrating on becoming who you really want to be

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. He has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, including The View,TodayOprah, CBS's The Early Show, CNN'sAmerican Morning, and LIFE Today with James Robison. He has also served as a contributing family psychologist to Good Morning America.
A bestselling and award-winning author, Dr. Leman has written more than 30 books about marriage and family issues, including The Birth Order BookSheet MusicMaking Children Mind without Losing Yours, and Have a New Kid by Friday. He is coauthor, with his son Kevin Leman II, of a series of illustrated children's books for each child in the family. He is also featured on 6 video series on marriage, parenting, blended families, and single parenting.
Dr. Leman and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson, Arizona. They have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.

Monday, December 13, 2010

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

My Thoughts:
This was a fantastic book! I admit that right now in my life, as I look to the future and moving into a new position at work of leading teams of people to China for short term mission trips, I may be a little biased toward all things having to do with China. That possibility aside, the book was well written and it was a wonderful story that chronicled the lives of some extraordinary people and the sacrifices they made in order to do what God had called them to do! Inspiring! I must admit that I am glad that I did not live back in those times and had to go through the hardships that they endured. But I can say that I hope that I will have the courage to live my life as faithfully as these people did.
Thanks to Bo Caldwell for sharing such a tremendously wonderful story!

City of Tranquil Light
Author Bo Caldwell shares an inspired story of a young couple
whose marriage and faith are put to the test in Revolutionary China

City of Tranquil Light: A NovelBo Caldwell’s 2001 debut novel, The Distant Land of My Father, set in historic China and based on the story of her uncle, was a critical and commercial success—a national bestseller that was loved by critics, booksellers, and readers in equal measure. In 2002 Caldwell turned to the story of her maternal grandparents who were missionaries in China in the early 1900s. For years her mother had urged her to write about them and when she dove into the research she found their lives full of conflict, danger, and heartbreak, as well as joy and fulfillment. But life, in the form of a cancer diagnosis, kept her from her writing desk until 2006. When she returned, she completed City of Tranquil Light (Henry Holt and Company), a searing love story of a man and a woman, their God, and the country they jointly loved and a deeply researched and page-turning portrait of a country in utter turmoil.

At the center of the novel are Will and Katherine, two Mennonite missionaries from the heartland who have come to China because they feel called by God to serve the poor and spread the Good News. But this is more than a missionary story; it is really the portrait of a marriage set against the backdrop of a radically shifting nation that is plunging into revolution.

A novel based on her grandparents wasn’t Caldwell’s idea. “I’m embarrassed to say that before I had dismissed my grandparents’ lives as too dull and simplistic. But as I reread my grandfather’s memoir and began to ask my mom about my grandparents, I learned how wrong I’d been.” As she began to see her grandparents as her mother had seen them, and to read the biographies and autobiographies of other American missionaries in China, Caldwell found similar stories. “I saw a pattern emerge in the later lives of many of these men and women. Most eventually returned to the United States, usually to be near their children (now grown) and grandchildren, but also because of illness or frailty. I was moved by the contrast between their lives in China and their later lives in the U.S. After enduring decades of war, famine, illness, personal danger, and great hostility toward their work, these people settled safely in the suburbs where they walked in rose gardens and played with their grandchildren and lived out their days. I was struck by the sacrifice that must have been involved in leaving the people and work that had been at the center of their lives, even with the reward of the comforts of modern life. I also began to feel that missionaries often get a bad rap in fiction. While there were certainly those who exploited the people they had come to serve, there were also many who poured out their lives for strangers and for their faith. And I wanted to tell their story.”

That story is one of marriage, of leaving one home and finding another, and of faith. “When I began the novel, I tried to understand my grandfather’s faith and to present it accurately,” says Caldwell. “I tried to see the world through his eyes.” Then life intervened, including a battle to quit drinking followed shortly after with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Once Caldwell returned to writing two years later, she returned as a different person. The combination of sobriety and a serious illness had affected her faith deeply, and she was no longer writing about her grandparents’ faith. She was writing about her own.

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
Henry Holt and Company - September 28, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9228-8 – hardcover - $25.00

Choosing To See - by Mary Beth Chapman and Ellen Vaughn

My Thoughts: 
I was so incredibly moved by this book. Likely it's impact was heightened by the fact that I had just gotten back from leading a missions trip working with disabled and abandoned children in Changsha, the same town that the Chapmans adopted their children from, but it went deeper. This book is inspiring, touching, heartbreaking, raw, completely honest and so much more. The content of this book made me laugh and cry but more than that it carried some heavy life lessons, ones that I would not wish on any family and I applaud Mary Beth for putting it out there for all to see, so that others may know what God is doing in their lives. It's a bold move. I would like to thank her for all of it and let her know that it has changed my heart. 

Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth Chapman and Ellen Vaughn, 978-0-8007-1991-3

"Every now and then a book comes along that is not only great--it's a gift. An extravagant gift. This is one of those books."--Beth Moore
From the beginning, Mary Beth Chapman's life was not how she planned. All she wanted was a calm, peaceful life of stability and control. Instead, God gave her an award-winning singer/songwriter husband, crazy schedules, and a houseful of creatively rambunctious children. Most difficult of all, God's plans for her also included tragedy.
In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth unveils her struggle to allow God to write the story of her life, both the happy chapters and the tragic ones. And as the story unfolds, she's been forced to wrestle with some of life's biggest questions: Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive hard times?
No matter where you find yourself in your own life story, you will treasure the way Mary Beth shows that even in the hard times, there is hope if you choose to SEE.
"Mary Beth makes the deepest places of our being easier to embrace and grasp. I felt like I was looking at my own heart exposed on the pages of this book."--Denise Jonas, mother of the Jonas Brothers
"Mary Beth has an important story to tell that starts long before the accident. It's a story of heartache, betrayal, depression, and loss. Yet her encouragement to us is that there is hope--spring is coming."--Mark (of Casting Crowns) and Melanie Hall
"Mary Beth has opened the doors of her stories to us so that our deepest fears may be overcome with hope. And so that we can all walk in a deeper trust that God is good . . . all the time."--Toby (TobyMac) and Amanda McKeehan
"When the world is telling us to suffer alone in despair and hopelessness, the Chapmans are fixing their eyes on Christ and faithfully walking each step clinging to the Lord and the hope we have in the promises in His Word."--Bart (of Mercy Me) and Shannon Millard
"This tender story will capture your heart and point you back to the One who restores, replenishes, and renews . . . even when He asks us to do hard, seemingly impossible things."--Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International
"With a balanced combination of heart-wrenching honesty and absolute grace, Mary Beth shares her 'severe mercy.' I couldn't help but sense God's presence in every sentence."--Mary Graham, president of Women of Faith
"Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman are living their story in a way that brings glory to God and real, practical help to the body of Christ. You won't be able to put this book down until you've wept, laughed, and relished every page."--Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Mary Beth Chapman is the wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman. Together they began Show Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for the world's most vulnerable children by providing financial assistance to families wishing to adopt, as well as increasing awareness of the orphan crisis and funneling resources to orphans domestically and internationally. Mary Beth serves as president of Show Hope and is a speaker for Women of Faith 2010 with her husband. She is also coauthor with Steven of the Shaoey and Dot series of children's picture books. Mary Beth and Steven have six children: Emily, Caleb, Will Franklin, and adopted daughters Shaohannah Hope, Stevey Joy, and Maria Sue, who is now with Jesus. The Chapmans live in Tennessee.
Ellen Vaughn is a bestselling author and inspirational speaker. Her recent books include It's All About Him with Denise Jackson (wife of Alan Jackson), which debuted at #1 on the New York Timesnonfiction list. She is also coauthor with Chuck Colson of Being the Body. In addition to her nonfiction work, Vaughn is an award-winning novelist. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, Lee.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Recent info on Little Town of Bethlehem

Nationwide Launch of Film on Palestinian-Israeli Nonviolent Movement
Film Director Jim Hanon guest on FOX News HQ Sunday

Oklahoma City, OKEthnoGraphic Media (EGM) marked the United Nation’s International Day of Peace by kicking off a 12-day launch of its latest documentary, Little Town of Bethlehem. The standing-room-only event at Boston College was hosted by the Faith, Peace and Justice Program in the Department of Sociology. The film director, Jim Hanon was interviewed on FOX Americas News HQ with Shannon Bream on Sunday September 26th.
fox news photoFox News anchor Shannon Bream introduced the film as a documentary that imagines peace in the Middle East.  Showing several clips from the film, Bream and Hanon discussed the need to reach people, especially college age people with the message of nonviolence.

The film is being screened on campuses nationwide and internationally this fall, and as part of the nationwide launch, the audience was given an opportunity to dialog with the film’s director as well as representatives from both sides of the conflict. Sami Awad, one of the film’s subjects commented on the audience response, “Students less familiar were clearly moved to learn more about the conflict and what they personally could do. Conversely, some who were growing weary after decades in the struggle for peace in the region were reenergized.”

About the film.
Filmed on location in the West Bank, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, Little Town of Bethlehem brings awareness to a growing nonviolent movement in the Middle East that rarely, if ever, makes international headlines.

Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian whose grandfather was killed in Jerusalem in 1948. Today he is the executive director of Holy Land Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes Palestinian independence through peaceful means.
Yonatan Shapira is an Israeli Jew whose grandparents were Zionist settlers that witnessed the birth of the Israeli nation. Today he is an outspoken advocate for the nonviolent peace movement, both in his homeland and abroad.
Ahmad Al'Azzeh is a Palestinian Muslim who has lived his entire life in the Azzeh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Today, Ahmad heads the nonviolence program at Holy Land Trust, where he trains others in the methods of peaceful activism.

Little Town of Bethlehem was produced by EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), an educational non-profit organization exploring the critical issues of our time. For more information visit

Little Town of Bethlehem a documentary from EGM Films

My Thoughts: 
This documentary was amazing! It was well done, concise, interesting and engaging. I can honestly say that I learned something from this. It was interesting to get the story from all sides and have a deeper understanding of the difficulties that have gripped the Middle East for centuries. I was so very thankful for this information and will be actively looking for more information regarding this topic of violence in the Middle East and how peace can be brought into the situation.

Thank you so much B&B media group for supplying this copy for me to review. 

To view the movie trailer click the link below:

Is Peace in the Middle East Really Possible?
New film shares true stories of hope in the midst of violence

ltob coverThere is no shortage of opinions, emotions, and actions regarding finding “peace in the Middle East.” While some are familiar with the issue and others are personally impacted by the conflict, many more are unaware, uninformed, and unconcerned about this critical global issue. Little Town of Bethlehem is a groundbreaking new documentary that shares the gripping story of three men—a Palestinian Muslim, a Palestinian Christian, and an Israeli Jew—born into violence and willing to risk everything to bring an end to violence in their lifetime.

Filmed on location in the West Bank, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, Little Town of Bethlehem brings awareness to a growing non-violent movement in the Middle East that rarely, if ever, makes international headlines.

Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian whose grandfather was killed in Jerusalem in 1948. Today he is the executive director of Holy Land Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes Palestinian independence through peaceful means. Yonatan Shapira is an Israeli Jew whose grandparents were Zionist settlers who witnessed the birth of the Israeli nation. Today he is an outspoken advocate for the non-violent peace movement, both in his homeland and abroad. Ahmad Al' Azzah is a Palestinian Muslim who has lived his entire life in the Azzah refugee camp in Bethlehem. Today, Ahmad heads the non-violence program at Holy Land Trust, where he trains others in the methods of peaceful activism.

Little Town of Bethlehem honestly and respectfully shares Sami’s, Yonatan’s, and Ahmad’s stories. With all three men referencing both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi during individual interviews, it is clear that their words, thoughts, and actions on nonviolence are still profoundly impacting today’s nonviolent movement. The images of these three men standing firm in the face of overwhelming opposition are inspirational, but Little Town of Bethlehem is not just about inspiring viewers. The filmmakers also raise the question, “Can the cycle of violence be broken?”

Little Town of Bethlehem was produced by EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), an educational non-profit organization exploring the critical issues of our time. Other feature films and documentaries from EGM include The Grandfathers (2009), Miss HIV (2008), and the award-winning End of the Spear (2005) andBeyond the Gates of Splendor (2002).

Like all EGM films, Little Town of Bethlehem was created with a global youth audience in mind. But this film will connect with any viewer who desires a deeper understanding of conflict resolution. “The major themes in the film are universal and timeless. The desire to end violence through nonviolence is not a demographic phenomenon, though often it is youth that mobilize. The theme of this film is appropriate for anyone who deals with conflict. This hopeful message of equality is for all,” says Jim Hanon, chief creative officer at EGM and the film’s director. “Little Town of Bethlehem doesn’t focus on who’s right or who’s wrong. The focus is on three men from different places and with different backgrounds who struggle together toward this common goal through nonviolence. We feel that the nonviolent approach promoted by the film is a humanitarian message with the power to transcend religions, nations, politics, languages, and cultures.”  Watch the trailer at

Follow EGM on Twitter @EGMfilms.

To request a review copy, contact:

Audra Jennings
Senior Media Specialist
The B&B Media Group
1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104 -  ajennings(at)
Visit us on the web at or our blog at
We are also on Facebook and Twitter (audrajennings and TBBMediaGroup)!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Bishop - by Steven James

My Thoughts:

A brilliant book!!! The characters were amazing the story lines were riviting and the case, although decribed in graphic detail which I was warned ahead of time would be as  such, was very well handled. It was so well done it was like I was watching it on screen, not just reading. Very well done!! 

Thinking about it after, if I had not know it was graphic content and just stumbled onto content like this I may have been alarmed, however that was not the case. I found that the content was not sensationalizing anything but was just describing what was going on. 

So without giving anything away, if you like crime scene tv shows or movies then I think you will like this book. It is easy to get wrapped up in so clear some time from your schedule! It's a thick book to get through. 

Bishop, The, Steven James, 978-0-8007-3302-5

The game is on.
FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers's cutting-edge skills are about to be pushed to the limit. When a young woman is found brutally murdered in Washington DC, her killers continue a spree of perfect crimes in the Northeast. But with nothing to link them to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet--even as his personal life begins to crumble around him.
The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride.
 What everybody is talking about
"Be warned--James's books are not for the timid."--Mitch Galin, producer, Stephen King's The Stand
"Impossible to put down."--Kathleen Antrim, bestselling author,Capital Offense
"An intense, intelligent thriller. . . . Riveting!"--Karen Dionne, International Thriller Writers website chair
"James tells stories that grab you by the collar and don't let go."--Norb Vonnegut, author, Top Producer
"Absolutely brilliant."--Jeff Buick, bestselling author, Bloodline
"As thrilling and unexpected as any five-star action movie."--John Tinker, Emmy-award-winning writer

Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than twenty books, including the bestselling thriller series The Bowers Files. One of the nation's most innovative storytellers, Steven developed his skill as a performer at East Tennessee State University (MA in storytelling). He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Healer by Linda Windsor

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It was well written and so very engaging, by the end I felt like I had become good friends with the main characters. Through all of the twists and turns it was not totally unpredictable but it was a great Summer fun read, even though it took me till September to read it. 

I was also excited to see that this is actually the first in a series of books!!! I always hate when a good book ends so now I just have to be patient until the next one comes along. 

I would highly recommend this book, if you like old world Celtic books especially!!

A Mother’s Dying Prophecy. . . A Daughter’s Living Hope
An epic story of healing amid the chaos of warring clans

523 Healer bk coverSixth-century Arthurian Britain provides the backdrop for Linda Windsor’s latest novel,Healer. First in The Brides of Alba Series, Healer gifts readers with the story of Brenna of Gowrys, a woman orphaned during a twenty-year blood feud and destined to spend her life in hiding with only her wolf and her faith in God as companions. Brenna flees as much from her mother’s dying prophecy as she does from the clan that seeks her life and clings tenaciously to her faith in Christ amid the lonely hills of Scotland. When a stranger is left to die surrounded by the carnage of a nearby ambush, Brenna rescues him from certain death. However, the stranger’s delirious rants leave her to wonder if his spirit will survive the darkness that enshrouds him.

Brenna’s life is trapped between an enemy clan that wants her dead and her own clan who is seeking a warrior queen to lead them to military victory over their oppressors. The stranger who enters her life makes her believe that she has found the answer to her deep loneliness. Raised by a Sister of Avalon, Brenna harbors a firm belief in Christ and His forgiveness. Yet the more she learns of her wounded guest, the more she is left to wonder how God expects her to fulfill the strange destiny prophesied by her mother those many years ago. How can she possibly “bring a peace beyond the ken of [her enemy’s] wicked soul”? Unknown to her, the wandering mercenary to whom she administers her healing finds that his own heart is softened both toward Brenna and her God. The relationship that grows between them will provide answers that both of them seek.

Award-winning author Linda Windsor creates an epic tale of two desperate and lonely people whose destinies have been engineered by the church to preserve the ancient Davidic and holy apostolic bloodlines and their Judeo-Christian faith. This well-researched tale will introduce readers to little known facts of British church history, as well as provide information for an effective witness for family and friends misled by New Age and Wiccan theories. Fans of Celtic and medieval tales as well as lovers of Arthurian legend and Lord of the Rings-like settings will find much to enjoy in Windsor’s latest novel. Healer is a story that reveals God’s hand in the lives of broken hearts and wounded souls and the grace that will heal a land and a people, replacing darkness with His light.

The Healer (Book 1 in the Brides of Alba Series) by Linda Windsor
David C Cook/June 1, 2010/ISBN 978-1-4347-6478-2/351 pages/softcover/$14.99 ~ 

Book has been provided courtesy of The B&B Media Group
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Monday, August 16, 2010

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer

My Thoughts:
I was surprised by this book at how interested I became. I was not expecting great things as I often find romance books to be so predictable that they get boring very quickly. This one seemed to hold my attention right through to the end. There was a lot of language in the book that was time specific, and since I do not read many books from this time period I found myself loosing some of the meaning as I, like most people these days, did not have time to go search out the meanings of the words. Other than that one drawback I found the book light and fun to read and even thought provoking at times. I am amazed to know that this is Karen Witemeyer's first novel! Well done and keep up the good work! 

Tailor-Made Bride, A, Karen Witemeyer, 978-0-7642-0755-6
When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!
Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with Coventry, Texas's new dressmaker. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?
"Witemeyer's debut will grab fans in the historical romance crowd. She blends lively writing, storytelling prowess, and enough romance to keep readers satisfied. Hannah Richards opens her dress shop in 1881 Coventry, Tex., with little more than a dream to help women add beauty to their lives. Livery owner Jericho Tucker, however, finds nothing beautiful in her plans. Despite J.T's antagonism and Hannah's strong will, the pair find ways to meet in the middle and come out together. Sidelights include matchmaking on Hannah's part, a sinister rival, dangerous floodwaters, and two people who truly desire to follow Christ. Readers will ponder, with J.T. and Hannah, the difference between beauty and vanity: 'You may see a room full of harmless fashions, but if you open your eyes, you'll find that, in truth, it is filled with the temptations to indulge in sinful vanity,' he says. 'If God had wanted the world to be a somber, colorless place, he would have made everything in black and gray,' she says. Thought-provoking and entertaining faith-based fiction for sure." --Publishers WeeklyI found it hard to believe that A Tailor-Made Bride is Karen Witemeyer's debut novel. It is highly creative, has depth and emotion, an interesting supporting cast, and some of the most delicious bantering between a hero and heroine that I've read. I can hardly wait for Ms. Witemeyer's next book to come out. Be sure to check out A Tailor-Made Bride. This is one book you won't want to pass up. --Vickie McDonough,
"Readers of historical romance will be delighted to discover a new author who writes like a seasoned veteran of the genre yet with a freshness that is uniquely her own. Karen Witemeyer has penned a novel as fun and feisty as the cover suggests, with a innovative heroine determined to make the most of the blessings bestowed upon her and a hero who is as surly as he is good looking. With sparkling dialogue and a thought provoking battle of wits over vanity versus beauty, Karen is set to make a splash amongst readers who enjoy Deeanne Gist, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher. Karen has won me over and I'll certainly be on the lookout for Head in the Clouds, come this October." --Rel Mollet,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homecoming by Dan Walsh

My Thoughts: 

Homecoming by Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is a brilliant writer in my opinion. His book The Unfinished Gift was amazing and Homecoming is the sequel to that first book. Often sequels can be less impressive than the original, that is not the case here. Homecoming is engaging and emotionally packed. It was well written and researched on the technical side of things and gripping on the emotional side of things. You find yourself, as the reader, being drawn into the story so much so that you regret the need to put it down.

Thanks again for another wonderful work Dan! I hope to continue to reading more of your books in the future!

Homecoming, The, Dan Walsh, 978-0-8007-3389-6

A reluctant war hero returns home and encounters a new chance at love.
No sooner has Shawn Collins returned home from the fighting in Europe than he is called upon to serve his country in another way--as a speaker on the war bond tour. While other men might jump at the chance to travel around the country with attractive Hollywood starlets, Shawn just wants to stay home with his son Patrick and his aging father, and grieve the loss of his wife in private. When Shawn asks Katherine Townsend to be Patrick's nanny while he's on the road, he has no idea how this decision will impact his life. Could it be the key to his future happiness and the mending of his heart? Or will the war once again threaten his chances for a new start?
Dan Walsh does not disappoint in this tender story of family ties and the healing of a broken heart.
"One of the most delightful and touching love stories I've ever read. This heartwarming story of a little boy and his war-weary father left me with a lump in my throat and a smile on my face when I read the last page. Highly recommended!"--Colleen Coble, author, The Lightkeeper's Daughter and the Rock Harbor series
"Dan Walsh is a born storyteller . . . definitely a writer to watch."--Deborah Raney, author, Almost Forever and Beneath a Southern Sky

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What the Heck Happened????

I admit that it has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog but I had no idea that when I came back to it late last week it would look nothing like it did the last time I posted. I had it all fixed nice with matching colours and photo with appropriately coloured hair ... then it all vanished. Now I must admit that Summer for me is a much more hectic time due to the nature of my job, so I often skim emails and sometimes overlook notes or updates of all sorts. But I don't think I had any idea or warning that this was going to happen. Don't get me wrong, it's not the end of the world that his happened. I, for the most part, embrace change. I do however like to be aware of it before it happens. So I have just spent the last while trying to figure out what needs to be done to make it look aesthetically pleasing to me, and hopefully the other readers as well, few though you may be.  At any rate, time moves on and technology changes and so does my blog. Hope you all enjoy. If there is anything that you see that I need to change or that is irritating to you, let me know and I will try to figure out how to change it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hungry For Life - by Dave Blundell

My thoughts:
I have a bit of a unique perspective on this book and it's author as he and I have been good friends for many years and I now work for him at Hungry For Life International. 
Dave and I met at Bible college and have stayed friends throughout the years. He came to me about nine years ago and said that he had this desire to start a relief and development organization. As I sat and listened to his reasoning of how and why he wanted to start this I became more and more convinced that these were not just musings that had no valid basis in reality, but that it was God's voice whispering to him all the things that He had in store. I told Dave at the end of our dinner that I would come and work for him if he ever got it up and running. And here I am after having worked at Hungry For Life for the past four years and could happily make this my life's work. 
All of that to say that this book is a hard copy of all that is in Dave's heart and mind. This is the garden of his life and you can see all of the seeds that God has planted growing and coming to life on the pages before you. From the stories that he tells of himself as a child selling lemonade in an attempt to end cancer to meeting Dr. Job in India, or the harsh statistics that keep him working to make a change in this world, to the final "so what?" of this book, all of it, each word drips with his blood sweat and tears. I love this book and try to live my life by it's call because the call of this book is also the same call that God spoke into my ear many years ago when I chose to follow Him wherever He choose to lead me, even to the not so pleasant ends of the earth.
Thanks Dave for this book! 

Here is a book that might interest you. In Hungry For Life Canadian author Dave Blundell takes a unique approach to world missions by not offering a prescription for behaviour modification. Instead, he offers a call for renovation of the heart, building on the premise that a deeper global commitment is the by-product of deeper spirituality.

In explaining that the spiritual poverty of the Church affects global issues, Blundell states “There is a clear link between the spiritual health of God’s people and the social health of the poor. Throughout Scripture, when God’s people lost their first love, they failed to tangibly love those in need around them. God constantly points to social injustice as evidence of misplaced spiritual affection.” Noting that there are a number of books on social justice being released, Blundell saw the need for a resource for Christian leaders that would not simply criticize or condemn the Church, but one that would provide motivation and encouragement. Hungry For Lifeidentifies three priorities: first, identifying what is broken (global imbalance); secondly, an examination of what our world should look like (the biblical vision of a compassionate church); and thirdly, identifying how the Church can help right the imbalance through making strategic changes. Blundell firmly believes that “The Church has all the spiritual resources, through the Holy Spirit, and all the physical resources to transform the world – but most of us simply don’t know where to start or how to get strategically involved for long term impact.”  Encouraging churches to engage in global development as by-product of deeper spirituality.

Check out chapters 2&3 here on Google books.
Find Dave's website here and read about his other adventures and thoughts.

You can be Everything God Wants You to be - by Max Lucado

My thoughts:
This was a great little devotional book. It was encouraging and meaningful. It would be great as a gift to a recent graduate or for a friend who needs a helping hand. It was a pleasant and quick read if you choose too just sit down and read it but would be ideal for daily thoughts or meditations. 
Check out the first chapter here. Or comment and leave me a note if the link does not work... I am still new to this.
You can be Everything God Wants You to be - by Max Lucado
God made only one version of you. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment.
You are heaven's Halley's comet; we have one chance to see you shine. You offer a gift to the world that no one else brings. So find it and bring it! And when you do, both you and God will smile.
Yes, you can be everything God wants you to be.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Plan B - by Pete Wilson

I sit here with tears in my eyes as I write this review. Plan B is an amazing book! Who of us has never had a difficult or life changing event? Well even if your answer is that your life has never been anything but fabulous, this book will help you figure out all of us other unfortunate ones who have had our lives rocked by major catastrophes. As I am in the thick of walking through a major life changing situation this book has encouraged me and renewed me hope and trust! I would recommend it to anyone who can read, and for those that can not read, someone please take time to sit and read it to them, you will both be better off for the effort! 

You can check  out the video posted on Youtube as well:

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, IncAvailable May 2010 at your favourite bookseller. 

The Meeting of the Waters - Fritz Kling

This was a fascinating and helpful book. I work with an organization where we help facilitate groups to go on relief and development missions trips, so the global church is my everyday reality. This book was an encouraging and helpful resource that at times reinforced what I have been encountering in the church and at times it shed new light into a shadowed area for me. I have enjoyed this book a great deal! Fritz Kling has an effective writing style that I found easy to read and relate to my own life. I would recommend this book to those that are interested in current trends or those that work within the church who have ever wondered where it is heading or why. 

Seven Currents that are Changing the Global Church
A Breakthrough Book by Fritz Kling details the rapid transitionary forces facing Christianity today

491 Meeting of Waters cover-KlingTwo rivers meet in Manaus, Brazil, at the turbulent head of the Amazon River. The different-colored tributaries do not give way or merge, but instead strain against their common seam. For ten miles, they share the same channel but remain distinct like oil and water. 

Christendom finds itself at just such a murky and perilous juncture. The church is caught between its tried-and-true past and an all-bets-are-off future. Christianity throughout the world is stunning in its scope and spiritual impact, but what is happening to the Church as new technological, promotional, and generational shifts make their unavoidable mark? And what difference does it make for Christians in day-to-day life?

The Meeting of the Waters, a new book by Fritz Kling, identifies seven trends—including migration, machines, and the growing Mercy Generation—having an impact on today’s Global Church. Neither an institution nor a bureaucracy, the global Church is incredibly adaptive and vibrant.  It has long been the world’s most effective relief agent, meeting needs across the globe through justice advocacy, material aid, counseling, biblical proclamation, education, and more. But what forces are shaping the global church, and what will it take in this unique place in time for the church to continue its mission of hope?  Equal parts travelogue, character study, and global documentary, this breakthrough book seeks to answer these important questions and is written for anyone eager to make a difference in a changing world.

Kling’s experience as a foundation executive who has researched and directed investments to Christian ministries around the world has taught him how to “connect the dots”—to understand how forces secular and sacred, ancient and modern, spiritual and physical, domestic and international have informed Christian ministry. Over the past eight years, Kling has met with more than a thousand indigenous church leaders from forty different countries. He has made airlines re-think their frequent flyer programs, bounced through endless van rides, and drunk gallons of Coke and chai in both slums and skyscrapers.  Secular commentators have long written about globalization’s wake, but Fritz Kling has witnessed it firsthand—through a Christian lens. The Meeting of the Waters is the byproduct of these experiences and is therefore able to give an original and incredibly well researched perspective on the growing need to understand ministry in a rapidly changing world.

The Meeting of the Waters will be an important addition to the libraries of anyone who wants to make a difference for Christ in a global community. In particular, pastors, mission pastors, missions committees, seminary professors, missionaries, and mission agency employees will find this book a fascinating and useful tool.    

The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling
David C Cook/March 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6484-3/256 pages/softcover/$16.99

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A History Of Christianity; Episode One - Diarmaid MacCulloch

This is a brilliant overview of Christianity in the earliest days. It is fresh, interesting and insightful and presents many new sides of the story that, even in all of my church history classes over the years, I have not heard about. MacCulloch is entertaining and so well educated on the topic that this history class never gets boring! It seems strange for me to want voluntarily decide to watch a DVD on the topic of church history but I had seen MacCulloch on TV once before and was impressed, so I thought I would try this one out and I was not disappointed. It was interesting to learn new things and have just enough information given so I was not loosing interest in the information, but not too much to make me bored of the topic and wanting to be done with it. In fact I would even look forward to seeing more of these, and that is saying volumes!

Discovering the Surprising History of the First Christians
New DVD series examines Christianity’s global roots.

513 DVD cover-AmbroseDallas/Ft. Worth, TX—There are two billion Christians in the world today, a third of humanity—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, and many more. Though Christians, by definition, are well-versed in the story of Christ and the apostles, many have given little thought to the details of their Christian heritage—the miraculous transferring of their faith from the first Christians huddled at Golgotha, across two centuries worth of cultures and languages, wars, and the rising and falling of empires. How did this small, obscure Jewish sect that preached humility and personal sacrifice become the biggest religion in the world? The answer will surprise you.

A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years is a six-part series co-produced by the BBC, the Open University, and Jerusalem Productions and presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch, one of the world’s leading historians and Professor of History of the Church and Fellow at St. Cross College, Oxford. As MacCulloch reveals the true history of Christianity, he explores the question, “What does it really mean to be a Christian?”

While most Christian histories start with St. Paul’s mission to Rome, MacCulloch asserts that the Christianity stayed much closer to its Middle-Eastern roots and that, in fact, the first Christians actually took the eastern road from Jerusalem, spreading their faith across Asia, even to parts of China.

“Today, Christianity is seen as a Western faith. Indeed, many in the Muslim world would see Western lifestyles as Christian lifestyles. But Christianity is not by origin a Western religion,” MacCulloch says. “Its beginnings are in the Middle East, where there still exist churches which have been Eastern since the earliest Christian era. The story of the first Christianity tells us the Christian faith is, in fact, hugely diverse with many identities.”

MacCulloch is one of the most widely traveled Christian historians, and A History of Christianity is the first retelling of the Christian story that is truly global in scope. Filmed in high definition, A History of Christianity takes viewers on a 2,000-year odyssey that reaches the farthest corners of the world, from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century, and from San Francisco to Korea in the twentieth.

A scholar whose fascination with Christian history was cultivated at an early age, Diarmaid MacCulloch is the last in three generations of Anglican clergy. That personal connection enriches the storytelling, as he describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organization, and spirituality, but how it has changed our views on politics, sex, and human society.

“Religious belief can transform us for good or ill. It has brought human beings to acts of criminal folly as well as the highest achievements of goodness and creativity. I tell the story of both extremes,” MacCulloch says.

The twentieth century brought what many perceive to be the greatest threat to Christianity—skepticism and spiritual apathy. Still, MacCulloch contends that the future of Christianity is filled with possibilities.

The DVD set will arrive in stores, including Sam’s Club, in time for the Easter Season. The series will also be available on

A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years 6 DVD Set presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch
March 2010