Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Spirit Contemporary Life by Leon Fontaine

           Leon Fontaine is the Pastor of the Springs Church in Canada, and the CEO of the Miracle Channel. His book The Spirit Contemporary Life is a look at opening your life up to the miraculous touch of God to flow not only to you, but through you to others. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at The views expressed in the review are my own.
           First, I do want to commend Pastor Leon for his understanding of Biblical ministry through the individual people who make up the body of Christ on earth. He emphasizes well the ability of anyone to tap into the miraculous and live a Spirit empowered life today. The first several chapters are laced with miracle stories that make the supernatural a simple phenomenon and not a special privilege reserved only for the elite. This aspect of the work I enjoyed.
          However, I also had some draw backs with the book. First, the Spirit Contemporary concept itself, in my eyes, is simply another marketing technique to say the things the Bible already says. The second drawback was his continued references to the The Holy Spirit as simply "Holy Spirit" without the modifier "the" (even though the Biblical text uses quite the opposite, but in his effort to help others understand the personal nature of the The Holy Spirit, he does not feel the modifier is needed). These are two minor points, but they only serve to underscore the overarching issue I had with it, that in explaining his church's approach to being Spirit contemporary, it simply makes pragmatism (ie - does it work) the standard for the model, rather than letting the Bible determine the model, though he and many others like him would say that is what they're doing.
          So, can you get a lot out of the book? Yes, you can. But, for me, it's not one I plan on keeping on my shelf for continued use. I hope that more people will learn that they too can see the miraculous in their life in a simple way. But, I pray that they also understand that the Bible and not our pragmatic expectations are what God chooses to approve of today. And may we live in the light of those truths in a truly Spirit Contemporary way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

With My Eyes Wide Open by Brian "Head" Welch

      Brian "Head" Welch, one of the main musicians in the rock band Korn, entered into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ several years ago, and soon after left the band. He later wrote a biography which chronicled his journey up to that time. But, now, a few years later, he's back with the band again, but with no less of an intriguing tale as when he first began his original steps of faith. His new book "With My Eyes Wide Open" tells of his journey back to Korn, and highlights the importance of family and being willing to do what it takes to save the ones we love.
      Much of the drama in the book centers around his journey after leaving Korn, trying to live a "normal" life, raise his daughter and begin a solo career. But, it also includes the troubles of adjusting in a world outside the music industry. The ups and downs of his own personal struggles, bad business deals that nearly left him destitute and the heartache of his daughter's own struggles are chronicled in the pages.
   What I appreciated most about the book was his honesty about the struggles he faced. And I felt the pain he endured over his daughter, and her struggle just to survive. His failures are life lessons to not let the circumstances keep us down. And, in restoring his relationship with the band Korn, he also shows us not to throw away the people we love the most. His victories are a sweet reminder that God can make miracles out of our mistakes and cause us to triumph in spite of insurmountable obstacles. I received this book for free as part of the book review program for bloggers, available at I hope that you will learn and grow from Brian's journey.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Rooted by Banning Liebscher

    Banning Liebscher is the founder of the worship group "Jesus Culture" and also the founder and Pastor of Jesus Culture Church in Sacramento. I received his book "Rooted" for free through the book review program for bloggers from Waterbrook Press available at And I was surprisingly impressed by this new release, particularly by the personal nature of Banning's writing style and his sensitivity to what really matters.
    Following the life of David, the author draws parallels from David's life that we can apply to our own, and stresses some of the important truths we can take away from these rich narrative experiences in the life of one of Israel's greatest leaders. Emphasizing strongly the traits of intimacy, serving and community, the book gives the reader plenty of food for thought in these important areas which impact all of us in one way or another. He illustrates with many stories form his own life experiences, making the lessons much more closer to us individually.
    For those who are expecting a deep set of verse by verse theology lessons from David's life story, you may find yourself disappointed by the material. But, for those who simply want to grow closer to God, to be a better servant in the world around them and become more connected to others in community, "Rooted" will be worth reading through. May you read and be rooted and grounded in God's love as a result of this author's work.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Man Myth Messiah by Rice Broocks

           Though the name of Jesus of Nazareth is known literally throughout the world, what people understand about him widely varies. But, to be certain, no other name seems to have the ability to evoke both strong positive or negative reactions wherever it is mentioned. Pastor Rice Broocks, from Bethel World Outreach in Nashville, Tennessee, has written previously about the truths of Christianity in "God's not Dead", but in his newest release "Man Myth Messiah" he tackles, head on, the claims about Jesus, examining who He was, in the light of both scripture and historical research. I received this book for free as a part of the book review program for bloggers, available at and the views expressed are my own.
     First, I previously read and reviewed Rice's book "God's Not Dead" on my blog, found at but I actually like :Man Myth Messiah" a little better. Both are well written and documented, but I think the author spent time focusing on the issues that surround Jesus rather than talking about the critics this time, more than in his previous effort. And, I commend him for it. The chapters include discussions on the Gospels, Jesus crucifixion, His resurrection and even the subject of miracles.
     Another thing I liked is that the author is not afraid to tackle the views of the skeptics, doubters and even atheists. He has obviously studied many of their arguments and does not dismiss them. He simply shares the opposing viewpoints and challenges the reader to evaluate the evidence. It is not an attack on anyone, but merely a presentation of Gospel beliefs.
     I think this book will be a good resource for anyone who has heard many of the common arguments against the person of Jesus Christ, stating that He didn't exist, or He didn't do what people say He did, or that He wasn't the Son of God. All of these opinions and others receive their fair treatment throughout the book. I also think it would be a good help for high school or college students who finds themselves consistently having to defend their faith against an onslaught of critical viewpoints. I hope that Pastor Rice Broocks writes more apologetic materials in the future, to better reach more unbelievers, who would benefit from his teachings, and to equip more Christians for works of service, to be better prepared to know what they believe and why they believe it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

    This is an incredible book! Why don't I just come right out and say it first. I loved it and was challenged by it. I still am dwelling on the simple concept espoused throughout the pages of this book, which the title spells out clearly, "Do Hard Things". I had received this book years ago, but I recently received a new edition with more material added for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at The views expressed are my own.
     So, a little background. At one time, Alex and Brett Harris were your average teenagers, trying to enjoy their summer, when their dad gave them a large reading assignment (think big books) for summer. In the middle of it, they began to wonder if there were more to the teenage years than pop culture suggests. This led to a few 'small' things that they would go on to accomplish, like starting what was at one time the largest teen blog in America (, interning for the Alabama Supreme Court in their teens, becoming the statewide directors for four Alabama Supreme Court Campaigns (yes, while still teenagers), writing two best selling books, and a host of other things from then until now. But, the book does not just share their story and ideas, as it also highlights the stories of others who took the challenge and did hard things in their lives also.
    There is so much to say about this book, but first my recommendation. This book is specifically targeted to teens, to dispel the myth of adolescence and the low expectations of teenagers that are created by themselves and others. However, I recommend it for anyone, at any age, because ALL of us undoubtedly have areas in our lives that we don't attempt to do, simply because they seem too "hard". Anyone can glean from thee pages and put the concepts into practice. It also includes discussion questions and, a feature I m glad they included, which was an invitation to meet Jesus Christ.
    Don't leave life on this planet asking the question to yourself "what if I had only,,,". Read this book, put the principles into practice and then realize that you did what you otherwise might never have done, and there will be no 'what if' at the end of your journey. My thanks to the Harris brothers for writing this book, May you do more works in the future, even if it's hard to do it again.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Touchpoint by Bob Santos


       We live in the most technologically advanced age in history. And, for the person who desires to learn about the Bible, resources abound everywhere that can help in this endeavor. But, sometimes finding a starting point can be overwhelming, especially for the person who is new to the Bible and wants to know where to begin. And, Bob Santos' new book "The Touchpoint" helps to ease the complications for those who are desiring to learn about the Bible, with one major difference from  other Bible study books...the author desires to teach you how the Bible is our touchpoint for connecting with God, who inspired the writers who penned the scriptures.
       One of the things I liked about this book is the emphasis in the first few chapters, on connecting with God. Though that  is the focus of chapter one, it is elaborated throughout the book in a way that is unique to most Bible study. Most Bible study centers around the tools and methods of actual Bible study. "The Touchpoint" does cover some of the common ways the study of scripture is approached, but it also emphasizes our heart's preparation in knowing God through the Bible, the authority of the scriptures and some basics you will need to know before you delve into the Bible in depth.
      The book is not meant to be a "one stop shop" for every subject. The point is to help you know God, who He is, what He said and what He desires. "The Touchpoint" does talk about Bible translations, context of scripture and other basic topics for Bible studies. But, it is only to give some basic overview so that you have a point of reference to study further. And, the author does talk about issues with subjects like science, but tries to avoid some of the debate which inevitably ensues when bringing up the "creation" word. 
    In spite of being basic, there is a lot of information in the pages of "The Touchpoint". I think it would work great for someone if the book is studied within a group setting, one chapter at a time, to maximize the material it discusses. This also could facilitate discussion for those just beginning to learn about the Bible, and Pastors or small group leaders should consider this as a book for study in their groups.
    This is the third work Bob Santos has written and he has so far chosen to address relevant and Biblical material. I hope that he will continue to write more in the future, to better equip future generations with knowledge of Bible truths. You can order "The Touchpoint" and other books and resources by Bob Santos at Search for Me Ministries ( and for today only (April 17, 2016) "The Touchpoint" is available for free at

After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller

After the Boxes Are Unpacked  -     By: Susan Miller

      After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller is a 20 year old book on the challenges of moving, that was recently revised by the author, Susan is an experienced mover and the founder of Just Moved Ministry ( She revised the book after the experience of the death of her husband, to whom she had been married for forty-five years. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at The reviews expressed are my own.
       This book was DEFINITELY written for women, and the author makes that abundantly clear. I chose to read it because: A. Our family has moved several times in 25 years, including a year ago to a new state B. My wife thought she would like to read it. So, I will give my synopsis review first and I will add my wife's comments later. With that being said, if you're a man, you may not identify quite as much, but it will help you to better understand your wife, your family and other families who have had to uproot and move.
    The book was VERY thorough, taking into account moving caused by every kind of conceivable circumstance, including job changes, upgrading, down grading, eviction, pastorates and military moves. The author has ministered to thousands of families over the last 20 years and has heard most of the situations which precipitate a move, and the upheaval that comes afterward. She offers a world of insight into the emotional turmoil that often accompanies the loss of family, friendships, security and familiarity. She also offers tips in the "Unpack Your Survival Box" section at the end of each chapter. It is a great resource for those who have moved or are getting ready to.
    My wife finished this book in three days, and she does not like to read a lot. My wife is a military child, who had several moves in the first 15 years of her life, then married an aspiring minister, who traversed the US with her to another state, two weeks after our wedding. In her words, this book summed up and healed 48 years of moving in one book. She shed many tears through reading it. She heartily recommends it and said she felt like the author was talking to her personally, face to face and was identifying with all of the feelings that she has experienced over the years. If you need someone who understands what it's like to move, especially a lot of moves, then this is a good choice for you.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Unqualified by Steven Furtick

(UN)Qualified by Steven Furtick

     I have done reviews on a couple of Steven Furtick's other books. So I was not surprised by his style of writing when I was given a free copy of his latest book "Unqualified" thought the book review program for bloggers available at And, as with his other works, his illustrations paint pictures that show his points very well. He is a gifted communicator who is transparent about his personal struggles, while offering Biblical hope for those seeking to be encouraged.
     Unqualified is a look at all of us and how we, in one way or another, are unqualified by the world's standards to be saved by God, loved by God, used by God and blessed by God. Though the thoughts in the book had been swirling in his mind for some time, it was only after hearing an interview with a theologian who, when asked to describe what he thought about Steven Furtick, responded disapprovingly with the word "unqualified". The author explains his response throughout the book, without attacking the theologian who made the comment.
     I like Steven Furtivk's ability to communicate and appreciate his way of using simple and even personal illustrations to draw out his points. This book does that very well. However, one of the areas that disappointed me was the lack of stronger scriptural usage to support his thoughts, particularly earlier in the book. He does use scriptural stories, like Jacob, and uses them well. But, I felt that he spent a lot of time discussing what he was trying to say, more than scripturally stating what the Bible declares.
    The book, however, is a vital subject for believers who struggle in any way with insecurity, identity, acceptance, belonging or the love of God. The Biblical texts he does utilize do help point believers in the right direction. Because, the fact is, we are all unqualified. But, as someone said years ago, and the author reiterates in the book. "God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Renovate by Leonce Crump Jr

      I honestly had never heard of Leonce Crump or Renovation Church, which he Pastors in Atlanta, GA, until reading his recent book "Renovate-Changing Who You Are By Loving Where You Are". However, I had heard of Matt Chandler, Pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, where I currently live. So, when I noticed that Pastor Matt had endorsed this book, I was interested to read it. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at and the views expressed are my own.
     The book is a look at changing our cities through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, it differs from other books in this regard by proposing not just having 'pity on' or 'helping' those that we consider less fortunate, but by becoming a part of their lives. As an example to help elaborate my point, Pastor Crump and his wife, along with many members of their congregation, moved their families into the urban inner city, only minutes from two of the worst crime areas in America. Some of you may be familiar with the Christian musician Lecrae, who is also a member of their church. They attract people from all walks of life, irrespective of social standing.
     It is hard to express in a short blog the ideas from scripture that Pastor Crump proposes. But, in sharing his ideas, he writes about learning to love where you are and how to become a part of the culture, rather than leaving it for a safer place. He exhorts his readers to recognize the hand of God in sending you where you are. The book pointedly addresses issues of transience, prejudice, poverty and racism, confronting the hearts of his readers to examine themselves in the light of scripture as to whether they are helping to change the problems, or may be inadvertently contributing to the factors that create division and perpetuate these areas (You'll have to read to see what I mean).
    All in all, the book is excellent. However, I did find some places where I felt the author was espousing his ideas without scripturally supporting them as well as I would have hoped. But, the book challenges the reader to become involved in making a difference. It is a call to renovate the places where we are, and in turn become more of who God made us to be. I pray that you (and I) will take to heart what is written and act on it to be ambassadors of the Gospel in the world in which we live.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi

       National political tensions in Western society could perhaps be speculated as being some of the highest that they have ever been. And, one of the key contributors to this struggle can be considered as the misunderstandings connected to the subject of radical Islam. With militant groups, such as Hamas, Al Queda and ISIS gaining national prominence, the media does not always clearly paint the pictures of each group and tends to throw them together, as though they believe the same. But, in his latest book, "Answering Jihad", best-selling author and speaker Dr. Nabeel Qureshi stresses that there are many differences among Muslim believers. And, he also believes that only by understanding what Islam is, what radical Islam is and the beliefs of the groups that compromise each element can we truly begin to bring love and truth to such groups, seeking a 'better way forward' as the sub-title says to address these issues.
       For those who are not familiar with Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, I would suggest reading his previous book "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus", which serves as an auto-biography of his life. As a result of reading the first book, I was looking forward to delving into his latest work, "Answering Jihad", which I received for free through the book review program for bloggers, which is available at . The views expressed are my own.
      First, Nabeel is very intelligent and his works are well researched. His personal background of having been raised as a Muslim gives him a great perspective about Islam. It is also his studious work that helps "Answering Jihad" to deliver a wealth of information for the reader. The book seeks to answer the majority of questions that people ask about Islam, radical Islam and the confusion that surrounds there subjects. Each chapter addresses one individual question and the response are not very long. They are filled with historical data to support the answers that the author provides.
     Again, it was very well researched. My only disappointment came because his first book was so well done that I expected much of the same impact. However, the author's first book told his story and this book seeks to give information by answering questions. Hence, it is not the same easy read as the other work. And, I found him being almost too careful in his approach to some of the questions, so as not to offend anyone. But, overall, it is still a good work and you are likely to learn much about what has been called the "religion of peace" as well as how to understand it's adherents so that you may love them and provide a better way than radical extremism, which is the way of love and grace.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Be Light by Samuel Rodriguez


      Though he has been in full time ministry for quite some time, one of the new emerging faces in the Christian media scene is Pastor Samuel Rodriguez. Samuel is the Pastor of New Seasons Christian Center in Sacramento and has just written a new book that is scheduled to be released in May on the subject, Be Light. I received a free copy of this book to review from the book review program for bloggers, available at The views expressed are my own.
       The book is divided into 30 chapters, in somewhat of a devotional format, with the chapters being about 6-8 pages each. Each chapter focuses in on a physical aspect of the subject of light and then uses that aspect as a springboard for the scriptural application of the topic. There is a reflection part of 1-2 pages that helps you to focus on the main thought, though I sometimes found the thoughts not related to the main point.
       First, let me say that I am not a very scientific person, and when discussing the physical attributes of light, I can get no further than the "on" button on a light switch. I also am a very simplistic person, and prefer when discussing scientific matters that you just skip the detail and give me the main point you're attempting to get across. Perhaps you're different and therefore this may be just what you need.
       I will say that the author definitely did his research well for the book and did great job of finding material for each of the 30 chapters that focuses on separate aspects of light. I will also say that his purpose is to inspire, as much as it is to inform and he does convey that well. The goal of the book is not simply to read about light but to actually be light in our world. I hope that if you read this book that you will take the time to meditate the material and apply to your life. May you shine brightly so all of the world can see Jesus in you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

21 Seconds to Change Your World by Dr Mark Rutland


       What do you think of when you think of th word 'prayer'? Do you think, that's boring or religious? Or are you one of those individuals who has a difficult time even trying to pray? What if somebody offered you a Biblical, time proven, simple prayer that takes about 21 seconds any time you pray it? Would you at least be interested to find out more about it? That is what Dr. Mark Rutland has done in his new book on prayer, titled "21 Seconds to Change your World". I was given this book for fee through the book review program for bloggers, available through and the views expressed are my own.
        Dr. Mark Rutland is the President of both the National Institute of Christian Leadership and Global Servants. He has served in the past as a Pastor, University President and best selling author. His latest work, focused on the subject of prayer, is a compilation of actually two prayers found in the Bible, both the Lord's Prayer as taught by Jesus, and Psalm 23, as recited centuries earlier by King David. It is the Lord's prayer that takes about 21 seconds to pray, but Dr. Rutland endeavors to help 'fuel your fire' t get started by telling of not only his own personal journey in learning these Biblical prayers, but of how others have been impacted also. The book is interspersed with stories of he and others who have shared the blessing of these vital prayers.
       The book centers around the two primary prayers, by taking a line or phrase from each one in separate chapters, and examining what their words actually mean. It's one thing to recite words in a dead, religious way, but it's another thing to understand what you're praying and, therefore, what to expect from you prayers. The chapters are very short and not too theologically complicated. It is very simple to follow the author's ideas and even simpler to implement them. It's a very practical tool for prayer, and Dr. Rutland does not say you only have to pray only 21 seconds a day, as he actually recommends using these prayers multiple times daily.
       At first, I was not very impressed by the book, by what I perceived to be it's lack of depth. I did not find the concepts terribly new, as Larry Lea and others have presented similar ideas in years gone by. But, as I pressed on and meditated on some of the concepts that the author presented, I found them easy enough to understand and implement, in about 21 seconds to be exact. So, as you read, don't discount age old, time proven truths. .Remember to put it into practice what you've heard. I believe it will aid you in growing in your prayer, even if it's only less than a minute more every day.