Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Holy Land Key by Ray Bentley

The Holy Land Key - Ray Bentley with Genevieve Gillespie

             Bible prophecy is a fascinating subject that captures the hearts and minds of many Christians and non-Christians alike. An equally captivating subject is the geopolitical events that surround the Middle East. And when the focus is on the nation of Israel, the debate that connects the two subjects can become almost as heated as the daily drama that unfolds in this area, the most volatile region of the world. In Pastor Ray Bentley's new book, The Holy Land Key, he tackles these controversial areas by offering a non-traditional perspective on the subject, by exploring the people who live in the land, both Jewish and Palestinian.
             Pastor Ray Bentley has Pastored Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, part of the Calvary Chapel movement of churches, for decades. He has also spent many years exploring both the land and the people of Israel. Throughout the pages of his book, he offers a unique perspective of the importance of Israel, by painting the portraits of the people who live there and who have developed the land. Many of the stories he tells are of those he has known personally.
            The book is interesting and will challenge your perspectives. If you have a bias for or against any of the ethnic groups found in the land of Israel, you will have a hard time accepting his analysis. If, however, you wish to learn more about what the Bible states about the nation of Israel, how the groups living there interpret these passages in their lives, and how these truths should affect you, then I believe that you will find the chapters to be enlightening.
            I received this book for free through the "Water Brook/Multnomah Publishing Group" for this review. It was a little bit overwhelming with the information in a couple of areas. But I did enjoy it, recommend it for students of Bible prophecy. I particularly found fascinating the section on the 'Blood Red Moons'. I hope that you will choose to read it and will grow in your knowledge of the scripture and the nation of Israel. You can learn more about the book at

Friday, November 15, 2013

Let Hope In by Pete Wilson

         When trouble or tragedy strikes our life, it can be easy to lose hope. Many people, Christian and non-Christian alike fit that description. And, whether it's because of repeated loss and failure, circumstances that seem overwhelming, or not knowing where to turn for help, it can sometimes feel like hope is gone. Author Pete Wilson knows this, and his book Let Hope In is an encouragement that things can get better, you can have hope again and you can know how loved you are, but you have to make the choice to let hope in.
         Pete Wilson is the founding Pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served as the Senior Pastor for several years. Using the scripture and stories from his own life and others with whom he has interacted over the years, he shows both how we can feel like hope is gone and hoe we can let it back into our lives again. The four choices that will change your life, from the subtitle, are choosing to transform instead of transfer, choosing to be ok with not being ok, choosing to trust rather than please and choosing to free people rather than hurt them.
         The subject of hope is very important, and one that we all wrestle with at times, even if not chronically. So, I commend the author for addressing an important topic. However, I did not find the book to have engaged me as much as I would have desired. I found it to be strong on illustrations but not as strong on scripture. While stories make the material more personal, it is only God's Word that can offer us true hope. Jesus is our hope. This book does tell us that, but only in ways that are underemphasized to me. Still, it is an important topic and if you need hope, you may find a few keys inside,
         I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program for bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The views expressed are my own. You will probably find yourself needing hope sometime in the future. Don't choose to give up. Choose to let hope in and allow Jesus to transform your life. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Call To Resurgence by Mark Driscoll

              There are a lot of people who know how to complain about the church. However, upon closer examination, you will often find that their complaints evolve out of personal offenses or preferences in church styles and methods. Many times, the individuals who complain have done very little in church accomplishments and their credibility is flawed. So it's refreshing when a person comes not to complain but to exhort, not on the basis of personal offense or preference but on the basis of scripture, and not as one has sat on the recliner coaching the quarterback, but as one who has a proven Pastoral track record with many wins under his belt. Mark Driscoll comes as that leader and he raises a passionate cry for the church to be the church in his latest book A Call to Resurgence.
               Pastor Mark Driscoll is the teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, which he founded and has served for close to two decades. He is a best selling author and his latest book follows his typical humorous, Biblical and challenging style. The subtitle of the book, 'Will Christianity have a funeral or a future?', sums up the  direction the book takes in it's contents.
The prospects of a future for the church do not appear positive by cultural indicators, but that is why Pastor Mark exhorts his readers to change things by returning to Biblical truths.
                I honestly wasn't sure what point he was leading up to as I read the first couple of chapters. Focusing on areas such as how we got to the state we're in, how the church is divided into tribes and the importance of the Holy Spirit, although connected, seemed not to make a distinct point at first. However, by the last chapter, discussing Mission: Seven Principles for Resurgence, he ties things together in a clarion call to focus on what is the most important thing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
               Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book free as a part of their book review program for bloggers. I like everything Mark Driscoll writes so I am a little biased. I do not consider this book as his best work, but it is a worthwhile read and will give you many things to think about as you take up the calling to change the world by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. You can learn more about Pastor Mark, his ministry and A Call to Resurgence by visiting

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sun Stand Still Devotinoal by Steven Furtick

Sun Stand Still Devotional - Steven Furtick
             Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina has become very popular in Christian circles in the last few years. But, although he has authored two best-selling books already (Sun Stand Still and Greater), I had not yet read any of his works. His latest book is a devotional, the Sun Stand Still Devotional to be more precise. And, after reading it, I can see why he's a popular speaker and leader. I enjoyed the simplicity but directness of this book.
             Designed to be read in 40 days (I knocked it off in two hours). Each chapter is only three to four pages, with a single verse of scripture, a Bible reading from where the scripture was taken, and the devotional that connects to the main point the author is endeavoring to impress upon his readers. It is very easy to read, very simple to understand but very challenging in the applications he addresses. At the end of each reading is a short suggested prayer that he encourages you to employ.
              Based on the book by the same title, this book is an exhortation to imagine, pray for, believe and then do the impossible in your own life, with the help of God enabling the work to be accomplished. It is not a self-esteem boosting, locker room pep talk devotional. It is instead a call to be who you believe God created you to be, knowing that while only He can enable it to happen, only you can make the choice for yourself that you will be willing and obedient for it to happen through you.
              I received this book for free through the "Water Brook/Multnomah Publishing Group" for this review. This is not a theology text, it is a devotional, just as the title states. But, I believe if you will not just read it, but accept the challenges of faith the pages unfold, you can become more devoted to God and seeing His will fulfilled in your life.  You can read a free chapter here

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz

             Anyone who has spent time in a church setting for very long has probably learned that even among fellow believers, we can be hurt by their words and deeds whether intentionally or unintentionally. But, how we respond to those hurts can oftentimes be in manner that only festers the wounds, but does not provide the healing and reconciliation that is needed in our lives. Anne Graham Lotz writes of this subject in her recent book "Wounded by God's People".
             Anne has preached for decades, written several best selling books and is known as an international conference speaker. But, none of that means she is exempt from the same challenges we all deal with in the area of being wounded by others, and especially by those who profess the name of Jesus as their Lord. Through many trials in the area of being wounded and wounding others, by personal introspection and with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, Anne addresses the problems believers encounter in recovering from being wounded and wounding others.
              Using the Biblical story of Hagar from the book of Genesis, each chapter is woven around a segment of Hagar's life and traumas. The lessons are laced with personal stories of hurt and rejection that the author shares which illustrate the points effectively. The subject is certainly one that most people will most likely deal with at one time or another in their Christian lives. But, rather than just reminding others of how much it hurts, she offers the scriptural solutions to heal and provides the hope needed for many that they can be made whole again.
               I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program for bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The views expressed are my own. If you are in need of healing from the wounds of others, or a self professing wounder of others, you may be able to find hope and healing through the truths you apply in the pages of the book.