Jolt! By Phil Cooke

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I chose this book, but it wasn’t this.  Jolt! is a self help book designed to help the reader deal with an ever-changing world with confidence and new direction.  Cooke offers 25 “Jolts” that anyone can use to bring innovative change to their life and/or their organization.

I found it hard to engage with this book.  It seemed like I had read it before, a hundred times in a hundred different self help books.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, or even particularly inspiring.  It was all hype but very little delivery.  I was disappointed with this book and had a hard time getting through it.


While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry

While the World Watched is the haunting memoir of Carolyn Maull McKinstry, a survivor of the KKK bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Carolyn’s story is an eyewitness account the chaos, violence, and hatred that abounded in the Jim Crow South. This book reveals our history in painful detail. It is a reminder of where we started, how far we’ve come, and how far we need to go in our race relations. If you are expecting a book filled with tragedy, hatred, and pain, you will find some of that here. However, the real legacy of this book is the hope, triumph and healing that is found within its pages.

A Conversation with God

A Conversation with God

If You Could Ask God Anything What Would It Be?

By Alton Gansky

Basically, the author has attempted to create a “conversation” between God and the reader regarding 55 common questions about God, Christianity, Jesus, humanity, sin, etc…  The reader (i.e. you) asks God a question, and God answers.

Now, I understand the author’s motive here, but what he accomplishes falls somewhat short of his goal.  The “conversation” comes off slightly hokey sounding.  The book offers some pretty basic theology for a new Christian in a format that they might find friendly, but a seasoned Christian will probably feel that this book is just a bit strange.

In a nutshell, this is a pretty decent book for a fledgling Christian, especially in the older teen/early twenties range.  It isn’t bad as a simple refresher on basic Christian theology, but it wont stand as a serious book to study.

I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Christian confidence

Do you fully realize what it means to be…

Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)?

Precious to God (Isaiah 43:4)?

Cared about since your conception (Isaiah 46:3)?

God’s child (John 1:12)?

Jesus’ friend (John 15:15)?

Chosen by Jesus (John 15:16)?

Loved dearly by God (John 16:27)?

Free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)?

A temple—a dwelling place—of God’s Spirit(1 Corinthians 3:16)?

Redeemed and forgiven of all your sins(Colossians 1:14)?

If we can recognize who we are in Christ Jesus, we will never doubt our own worth.

Three Generations of Women

Three Generations of women

Three lonely figures abide in shadows.

Mothers and daughters, each soul entwined.

Deceptions and secrets separate them.

Love and loyalty bind them together.

History and heritage bend and sway in lonely arrangements.

Echoes of the past drift into the future on sighs and whispers.

Each heart searches what went before and reaches for what will come.

Mothers and daughters yearning for understanding.

Three women, each one strand of the braid that binds them together.


In Dreams and Memories

I wrote this poem on the one year anniversary of my sister’s death (2006)

In Dreams and Memories

A memory so sweet

Of a smell so reminiscent

And a warmth so deep

And encompassing

It touches my soul.

Like a soft sigh

On a gentle wind

I still hear you

Smell you

Feel you.

In my dreams

I still hold you

Whisper to you

Know you.


Faith and Doubt

Doubt is the intimate partner to faith.  You cannot have a deep thinking faith without having wrestled with doubt.  Doubt inspires investigation and examination, and the faith that has never been closely examined, questioned, and investigated is not a faith based on reality.  God does not fear our doubts or our questions.  He wants His people to be thinkers.  He wants us to care enough about Him to look closely at who He is and what He claims.  Anything less than that is blind faith.  Despite what many may tell you, God does not expect blind faith from us.  He makes Himself known to us through His Word and He expects us to be knowledgeable about what He says and what we are to believe.  Don’t be an unthinking Christian.  It is time we began using the questioning mind that God created us with.  He made us curious beings because He wanted us to search Him out.  Believe me, a close examination of your faith will not result in disappointment.  It will strengthen and solidify your faith for you will find that God’s Word can stand up to the most minute scrutiny.

In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer

The Ancient Practices Series


This book was written in an effort to help Christians understand and reconnect with the practice of the daily office.  Many people understand the daily office, or fixed hour prayer, as a predominately Catholic practice.  However, Benson’s goal is to help ALL Christians understand this ancient practice as a method for all believers to practice worship and prayer.  It is his position that this is a discipline for all people and will help connect you more deeply to God.

The Book is well written and simple to understand.  Benson does an admirable job of explaining and decoding the practice of the daily office.  He speaks in lay terms and makes it easy for the non-Catholic to understand.  If nothing else, this book will help the Christian develop a richer, more meaningful prayer life.  For that alone, I recommend the book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


The Beginning Reader’s Bible

The Beginning Reader’s Bible – Illustrated by Marijke ten Cate

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s Bible in the tradition of the adult study Bible.  I love this idea.  The Bible is separated into three sections:

  • Stories from the Old Testament
  • Stories from the New Testament,
  • Resources to Guide your Children.

It includes many key stories from the Bible, including the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, a vital message that many children’s beginning reader Bible’s leave out.

The things that make this children’s Bible stand out are the other resources included.  First, this Bible uses actual verses from the International Children’s Bible translation, including the chapter and verse reference.  I think this is a great way to begin introducing children to the skills they will use in future Bible reading and study.  In addition, scattered in key locations throughout the Bible are memory verses, verses that can be used as prayer to God, and suggestions on how to apply God’s word to our daily lives.  There is a real emphasis on the importance of getting God’s Word into our hearts.  Plus, this Bible teaches kids about praying God’s Word back to Him, and the importance of doing God’s Word.

In the last section, Resources to Guide your Children, you will find many helpful tools in one convenient location.   This section covers many of the ideas from that Bible that are important to our Christian faith, such as:

  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Twenty-third Psalm
  • Selected Verses from the Book of Proverbs
  • The Lord’s Prayer

It also has a reading chart, a memory verse chart, a prayer of salvation, and other helpful resources for kids.  The format is simple and easy to follow.

One more thing to note – This book is big and sturdy.  Before I received it, I was expecting the typical smallish kid’s Bible that is so common.  This is a good sized Bible with sturdy pages that developing readers will not be able to easily rip or crinkle.  It is well constructed and beautiful to look at.

I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Corrie Ten Boom

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.  ~Corrie Ten Boom