Saturday, December 29, 2012

25 Principles For Leadership That Matters
By Albert Mohler

OVERVIEW: Let me warn you. The goal of this book is to change the way you think about leadership. Dr. Mohler reveals 25 principles to crystallize your convictions, revolutionizing your thinking, your decision making, your communication, and ultimately those you lead. At the age of thirty-three Dr. Albert Mohler became the youngest president in the 153-year history of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the driving force behind the school's transformation into a thriving institution with an international reputation characterized by a passionate conviction for truth. In the process he became one of the most important and prominent Christian voices in contemporary culture.

AUTHOR: DR. R. ALBERT MOHLER JR. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Southern Baptist Convention's flagship school, as well as a radio personality, blogger, and sought-after commentator. Hailed by Time magazine as "the reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S," Dr. Mohler has been quoted in the New York times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He has also appeared on such national news programs as Larry King Live, NBC's Today Show, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and The O'Reilly Factor.

MY REVIEW: I agree with Jim Daly, President―Focus on the Family who said, "Dr. Albert Mohler has written a book that shakes us up and challenges our thinking. The Conviction to Lead is poised to become one of the all-time classic works on Christian leadership." I'm not sure it will become a classic but I agree strongly that it is a book that shakes us up and challenges our thinking. That alone makes it an excellent and needed book.

Fred Barnes, Executive Editor―The Weekly Standard writes that this is a powerful book and gracefully written. Gracefully written? I had never thought of describing writing that way before. But he's right. This is a well written, powerful book that is easy to read and understand. I like the word grace. I think "gracefully written" is a good way to describe Dr. Mohler's writing.

Don't miss the word CONVICTION in the book's title. One of the best things Dr. Mohler says is: "Until conviction is transformed into action, it makes no difference in the world." If you are in a position of leadership―read this book.

(I received this book from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Friday, December 28, 2012

ALL TO JESUS--A Year of Devotions by Robert J. Morgan is a splendid book I received as a Christmas gift.

 The first entry in the book for Day 1 tells about missionary Amy Carmichael attending a meeting featuring the renowned preacher Dr. Andrew Bonar. He was very old and could not speak very plainly or strongly. She was near the back and could not catch a word he said except the word all. He read 2 Corinthians 9:8 and strongly emphasized the word all. She said she heard and forgot thousands of great sermons, but that all she never forgot.


God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Robert Morgan wants his readers to know that the words God is able is a divine promise that is mentioned over and over in the Bible:

*  He is able to establish us (Rom. 16:25).
*  He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
*  He is able to keep what we have committed to Him (2 Tim. 1:12).
*  He is able to aid us in temptation (Heb. 2:18).
*  He is able to keep us from falling (Jude 24).
*  He is able to deliver us (Dan. 3:17).
*  And He is able to make all grace abound to us in all ways at all times for all things.

(ALL TO JESUS --A Year of Devotions by Robert J. Morgan, best-selling author of Then Sings My Soul).


Thursday, December 20, 2012

By Bob Hostetler

OVERVIEW:  From the back of the book: People around the globe are talking about the end of the world as we know it. Movies and other media portray it as a dark and dismal catastrophe. And some believe it will happen soon. How to Survive the End of the World explores an ancient apocalyptic vision in a fresh and invigorating way. Instead of arcane theories and timelines, it approaches this two-thousand-year-old revelation of "the end times" the way it was meant to be seen and received―as a survivor's guide: an encouraging and equipping message that will prepare readers for the end...whenever it comes. Unlike most approaches to what many consider a confusing and frightening time, this book will bless you, inform you, and make your daily life better, fuller and richer.

AUTHOR: Bob Hostetler is a writer, editor, pastor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. He has written numerous books, two of those books have sold over 3 million copies. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Pres awards, and an Amy Foundation Award. He is a co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio.

MY REVIEW: You will find it hard to believe that I am recommending this book as a Christmas gift. And I didn't think I would feel that way about it either when I saw the title and before I read it. I wanted to read it because I have been interested in the Book of Revelation for many years. I have taught it in Sunday School classes and preached series of sermons on it. I have been interested in the theories about the book and the four basic views about how The Revelation should be interpreted. 

This book is very different from the many I have read about The Revelation. Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College is quoted on the front cover of the book saying, "A book of great hope and joy and blessing." Sounds a little like Christmas, doesn't it? And there's this quote from the back of the book, "...this book will bless you, inform you, and make your daily life better, fuller and richer."Give me a gift that will do that and I be forever thankful.

Yes, I like this book. This is one study of the Book of Revelation that you don't have to be a great theologian to understand and appreciate.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, December 17, 2012

When Generations Collide and Collaborate
By Dan Miller and Jared Angaza   

OVERVIEW: This book is about different generational approaches to work, money, education―well, just about everything in life. Dan Miller and his son, Jared want to share their stories―not with the expectation that you will duplicate their lives but as a way for you to see into lives that are dramatically different in observable details yet strikingly similar in values and heart issues. As you read this book it is their hope that you will take a fresh look at your principles and lifestyle and perhaps those of your children, your parents, your neighbors, or the people living on the other side of the world. Their desire is not that you question valued traditions but that you would perhaps be more open to acceptance of people whose experiences may be different from you own.

AUTHORS: Dan Miller, president of 48 Days, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He is the author of the widely acclaimed 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Dreaded Mondays. Jared Angaza is a branding consultant, philanthropist, and blogger. Founder of KEZA, an ethical fashion company, and Angaza Consulting, Jared consults primarily on the issues of gender equality, business development, and rebranding Africa.

MY REVIEW: I have got to stop doing this! Recently I have found myself beginning every book review by stating that this is one of the best books I have read this year. No, every book I have read this year has not been wonderful. But the last five or six have been. Really, they have been excellent and this book is one of the better ones. I have little colored tabs sticking out all over the book indicating where to find things I want to remember and quote.

Dave Ramsey, New York Times best-selling author said, "A solid, comprehensive plan for attacking your life and career goals." Kevin Miller who is Dan Miller's son and Jared's brother, who may be a little biased―but I don't think so, said, "The message presented in this book leaves the door open to two dangerous outcomes; continue a life of mediocrity or risk new possibilities. Either way, it's a risk. Which will you choose?" And then Andy Andrews, New York Times best-selling author of The Noticer and The Traveler's Gift, wrote, "This is the book you've been waiting for! Dan and Jared have created a treasure map just for you. Read and be amazed as they peel back the mystery of tapping into the wisdom and passion that you and I have overlooked for so long."

I was attracted to this book by the word Passion, written in red on the cover of the book. The title is Wisdom Meets Passion. Most of us know we need a little wisdom but all too many of us give little consideration to passion. One big thing I learned from this book was how to be more open to acceptance of people whose experiences may be different than mine. I have struggled with this  all my life and still do. But these men have helped me to move in the right direction.

(I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By Bob Hostetler

OVERVIEW: Quit Going To Church is about identifying and correcting the ways we have forgotten―or departed from―the way of Jesus. This book will ruffle more than a few feathers. At times, the going gets really hard, and you will be challenged and stretched, turned upside down, and maybe even broken. But the author is praying that when you are done reading you will be more in love with God than ever before and more active in bringing his kingdom in and throughout our communities.

AUTHOR: Bob Hostetler is a writer, editor, pastor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His twenty-seven books, which include the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) and American Idols, have sold over 3 million copies. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, three Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award. He is a co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife Robin have two grown children, Aubrey and Aaron.

MY REVIEW: Here I go again. Yes, this is one of the best books I have read this year. And yes, I know that I say that often and that I have said it for the last two or three books I have reviewed. Suspicious? You might say that. For the suspicious minded you might think that I am writing a positive review for every book I review to please the publishers. I can only hope that you know me well enough to know that I am sincere when I post a disclaimer at the end of every review stating that this is a fair and honest review and all opinions are my own. Now, getting that out of the way I want to move on to the review of Quit Going To Church which is an excellent book.

I agree with Leonard Sweet, author of Real Church in a Social Network World who said, " astonishing book...entertaining in its form, and profound in its argument." When I read the title, Quit Going to Church I didn't know what to think. I had no idea what that could mean. But it's so simple. Bob Hostetler is arguing that we should stop just going to church and be the church. I think you have to read chapter one to get the full impact of that statement. All of the chapters are as challenging: Quit Saying Your Prayers, Quit Reading Your Bible, Quit Sharing Your Faith and eight more just as challenging and instructive. I especially liked, Quit Trying To Be Good.

There is an Epilogue: "The Scandal of God's Love" from Bob Hostetler's upcoming book, How to Fall in Love with God. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Get this book, read it and start living it.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Theography
by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

OVERVIEW: Jesus is written for the average reader as well as scholars. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola (authors of Jesus Manifesto) unfold the greatest story ever told in a fresh and invigorating way. So whether you are a seasoned Christian, a new believer, or someone who is intrigued by Jesus, this book unveils the discoveries of a lifetime, transforming the tired and familiar way we have read the Bible into an electrifying journey of rediscovering Christ.

AUTHORS: Leonard Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University (NJ), a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Fox University (OR), and a weekly contributor to and the podcast Napkin Scribbles. With some of the highest "influence" rankings of any religious figure in the worlds of social media (Twitter,Facebook), and a pioneer in online learning, he has authored numerous articles, sermons, and more than fifty books. Frank Viola is a popular conference speaker and the best-selling author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life. His blog Beyond Evangelical is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today.

MY REVIEW: "In this compelling work, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola reclaim the entire Bible as a gripping narrative about Jesus Christ. Virtually every other "Jesus biography" begins with the nativity account in Bethlehem. In this groundbreaking book, Sweet and Viola begin before time, in the Triune God, and tell the complete interconnected story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus: A Theography is the first book ever written to combine historical Jesus studies with biblical theology, crafting together one breathtaking saga that tells the Jesus story in both Old and New Testaments. This flagship book demonstrates clearly that every bit of Scripture is a part of the same stunning drama, what the authors refer to as the theography of Jesus Christ."

I have been reviewing books on my blog for years and this is the first time I have ever started my review by quoting words directly from the dust jacket. But I am doing so this time because those words review this book in a way that I can not. I also am writing this review before I have finished reading the entire book. I am only half way through but I have stopped reading and started writing about this book for two reasons: I am so excited I can't wait to get this information out to my followers and I do not have to wait to see if my opinion changes. It will not. I recommend this book without reservation.

I preached for almost fifty years, my library shelves contain many books about Jesus―but none like this one. I have been reading this book slowly because I am underlining, high lighting and making notes on almost every page. "The Bible is often viewed as a disjointed array of stories, events, laws, propositions, truths, ethical statements, and moral lessons." But this book demonstrates that the sixty-six books of the Bible are woven together by a single storyline. It's the story of Jesus Christ.

I don't care how many books you have about Jesus. Buy this one! You need it.

(I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Thursday, November 08, 2012

When I was eleven years old I lived with my mother in a small apartment attached to the back of a grocery store. My mother rented from the friendly grocer and his wife.

One afternoon I came home from school to find my mother very ill. I asked if I could go to a friends house. And to this day, I am ashamed to say that I was very upset that she asked me to stay home. She was much sicker than I realized and the Dr. had her taken by ambulance one hundred miles away to Oklahoma City where she died a few days later.

She was my mother and teacher for only eleven years but during those years she taught me, among other things, to respect authority.

I respected her! I always said, "Yes mam, thank you and please." Out of respect to her I came directly home from school before going any other place.

I respected school teachers, principals, judges, lawyers, policemen, crossing guards, elderly people, anybody older than me----ALL ADULTS.

Did they all deserve respect? Probably not. But most did. Most did!

That was then. What about now? Do all adults deserve respect? No! How about most of them? No! And I'm sorry about that. But that's the world we live in. Some do deserve respect, of course but not most of them.

I am being told to respect the office of President and I do. But it is extremely difficult to separate the office from the man.

I see Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with his pants unzipped, you know what hanging out,  and and a young girl doing you know what to his you know what.Trust? Respect? No. Hell No!! And this is the man that a few days ago told his audience they shouldn't trust Republicans because they were liars. And yet this President was impeached for not telling the truth under oath.

And now there's Obama. I believe that at the worst he allowed those Americans in Bengasi to be killed and at the least he is lying about it, and I have no doubt about his lying. IF there is nothing wrong with his school records he would not spend thousands of dollars to keep them secret. I believe he knew about and maybe authorized the Fast And Furious fiasco that resulted in the death of an American security guard. The list of his failures goes on and on. So no, I do not respect him as President.

"Well Clif, surely you respect mothers just because they are mothers, don't you?" No!

I know mothers who have let their good for nothing, low down boy friends sexually molest their little daughters---not once, but again and again. Respect? If I had my way they would both be hanged in the town square.

I'm one of the most respectful people you will ever meet. But I am sick and tired of mealy mouthed, gutless
people running around smiling in the face of EVIL and thinking they are modeling Jesus.

Jesus would have taken a whip to Bill Clinton and the mother's boy friend---and especially the mother.



Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I never thought I would live to see the day. Yesterday we turned our backs on Mom and apple pie.

Why did Mitt Romney lose the election?

He is too decent. He believes in the old fashioned values of hard work, honesty, kindness, courtesy---saying, "Yes mam," "Thank you," and "Please."

Many today think nothing of defecating on a police car, having sex in public, and telling anybody who doesn't like it to go to hell.

Mitt Romney would have put people back to work and therein lies the rub. WORK?  It scares people to death.

In my mind I keep hearing a black woman's voice saying loudly over and over, "Obama gave me a phone, Obama gave me a phone, Obama gave me a phone."

He bought you a phone did he? Well, most of us worked for the money to buy our own phone.

There was no way Romney was going to defeat Santa Claus Obama.

Too many today want "stuff" given to them. Don't talk about work. That's scary.

Obama intends to take from those who work and re-distribute to those who refuse to work. He says, "It's the fair thing to do."

The values I grew up with are dead and gone. I don't see them returning in my lifetime.

I got my first job when I was in the ninth grade. I worked my way through college. Nobody gave me a dime.
I preached for fifty years and when I retired the churches had not provided me with a retirement plan. Charlotte and I live on Social Security and what we were able to save. Needless to say I don't want Obama taking anything from me to distribute to anybody.

Charlotte and I have always been givers. We give to the local church, to missions, to benevolence around the world. We have gone to mission points to help with famine feeding and drilling for water.

We don't want the government that can't handle anything right to take money from us and waste it on crazy projects.

Shows like "Father Knows Best" and "The Bill Cosby Show" have no place in today's society.

I know a wonderful mother who's daughter talked to her like she was a dog and then pinched her until she had big marks on her arms. So much for showing respect. Yet this daughter says she respects Obama.

Apple pie? Well, that used to stand for the American way. You remember: "As American as Mom and apple pie."

Well my friends, those days are gone.

Today it's "I'll screw anybody, anytime I want to and I want you to pay for the condoms that is if I bother to use one. If not, I want you to pay for my abortion. If I get aids I want you to wring your hands, weep and feel that you failed me in some way. And no I don't want to work. I want you to work and share with me. I need a color television, the newest and best phone and whatever else you have, I want it too."



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How I Learned To Stop Being Religious So I Could Follow Jesus
By Jon Walker

OVERVIEW: While poring over the classic writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer every day for a book he was writing, Jon Walker found his own world going through a storm of upheaval. After almost twenty years in ministry, he was laid off twice, lost his home and savings, and was diagnosed with bipolar ll disorder. And then his wife filed for divorce just a few days before their twenty-fourth anniversary.

Reading like a non-fiction novel that is both heart-breaking and heart-warming, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer reveals how God used the writings of Bonhoeffer to rescue him from a failing faith, where God's plans seemed more evil than good.

If you've ever felt abandoned by God or doubted his plans for your life, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer will help you see that God stays with you step-by-step. Here's a moving story of loss―and unexpected gain―that will deliver hope and renewal for fresh faith and a new day.

AUTHOR: Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor at, later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church. He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's Homelife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox. He is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary view of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (2010) and In Visible Fellowship:A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together (2011).

MY REVIEW: He's done it again. Jon Walker's new book, about how with the help of Dietrich Bonhoeffer he learned to stop being religious so he could follow Jesus, is a winner. The book was dropped at my door one morning when I was "under the weather." I really didn't even feel like reading but because I'm always excited to venture into a new book, I opened it slowly and began to read. That evening before bed time I slowly closed the book and smiled. Reading this book had been like being on a terrible journey. It was bad. But it was also good. This tough but honest book reminded me again and again that God is good. That God will never abandon us.

I agree with Mark Kelly, editor and publisher when he writes: "I don't know when I have read such raw, powerful stories filled with such profound, real-life spiritual insight...The greatest treasures in Christ are gained by those who persevere through the most dire tribulation. In these pages, Jon shares the treasures he has found."

Jon Walker is an excellent writer. I not only want to recommend this book I want to also recommend two more of his books that I have reviewed: Costly Grace--A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship  is also an excellent book as is In Visible Fellowship--A Contemporary View Of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work Life Together.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All Opinions are my own.)


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Just as man is destined to die once,
                                                       and after that to face judgement.
                                                                                        Hebrews 9:27

Peggy Lee is not the only one to ask the question, "Is that all there is?" I have a friend who is a professor and  philosopher who has spent much time pondering the question of life after death. He is liberal in all of his thinking. He seems to have a ready answer for most of life's questions. But this one has him stumped.

Most of us long to live with certainty. We want to know without a doubt that we know the truth and that no surprises await us on the other side of eternity. But even with deep faith, there are doubts. Yes, doubts. I have had doubts all my Christian life. But in spite of that I have faith and I live by faith. 

Three men are in a plane: a pilot, a Boy Scout, and the world's smartest man. The engine fails, the plane is going down, and there are only two parachutes. The smart man grabs one. "I'm sorry about this," he says, "but I'm the smartest man in the world; I have a responsibility to the planet," and he jumps out of the plane. The pilot turns to the Boy Scout and speaks of how he has lived a long, full life and how the Boy Scout has his whole life in front of him. He tells the Boy Scout to take the last parachute and live. "Relax Captain," the Boy Scout says, " The world's smartest man just jumped out of the plane with my backpack."

John Ortberg writes: "Our world is full of smart people jumping out of planes with backpacks. One thing is for sure: sooner of later the plane is going down. We all are on the same plane. Smart guys and Boys Scouts alike: everybody has to jump. Everybody has to choose a parachute. No one will know who chose wisely until after the jump." But jump we must! I choose to jump believing God is there and that life goes on with Him. 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They
can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.
Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body
                                     in hell.                           Matthew 10:28

I can't help but want to say in response, "They can only kill my body? And this should be a relief to me?"

Jesus' words reveal that there is something far more important to him than protecting us from physical harm. His agenda is Kindgom advancement. His cause may cost us our lives, and evidently he is okay with that.

When I say he is okay with that, I don't mean he is passive about it or applauds it. He cares deeply about what happens to us, and we need to hear him say that, too, in the very next verse:
What is the price of two sparrows--one copper coin?
                                          But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground
                                          without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs
                                          on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid;
                                          you are more valuable to God than a whole flock
                                          of sparrows.
                                          Matthew 10:29-31

Do you hear Jesus speaking to you in this, making your hear how valuable you are to him, how carefully and lovingly he knows you? We can never think he is uncaring about the difficulties we face as we live in this world for him.

(These are not my words. They are from the excellent book, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie.)


Friday, September 21, 2012

14 Types of Biblical Rest that will Transform Your Life
by Denise George

OVERVIEW: The best overview of A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO REST comes from Diane M. Fink, Director Aglow Institute of Ministry: "Based solidly on the Scriptures, and personalized through real-life experiences we can all relate to, Denise leads us on a journey to discover fourteen specific types of biblical rest that is sure to impact every reader's life. You'll find practical tools to use in your private devotional time as well as helps for interactive group study."

AUTHOR: Denise George has ministered to women through speaking, teaching, and writing for more than three decades. She is the author of 25 books and more than 1500 articles in both Christian and secular magazines. She has traveled the world, and spoken to and met women from many different cultures.

MY REVIEW: This is a wonderful book! There. I said it. No 'beating around the bush" and waiting until the last sentence of the last paragraph. This is a wonderful book!

This book is especially for women. But not just for women. I'm a man and I found something of value in every chapter and almost every page. Denise George has great insight into the type of rest God's Word clearly teaches. I confess I did not have that insight until I read her words describing that rest in such an informative and interesting way.

As a Senior Minister for close to fifty years I studied the Word of God with sincere dedication. Yet, as I read this book I kept saying to myself, "Why didn't I see this before?" As I read from chapter to chapter I would be thinking, "This must be the best chapter in the book." But then I would move on and read the next chapter and rethink my decision. "No, this is the best chapter." I ended up with: "They are all great chapters."

The sub-title says the 14 types of Biblical rest will transform your life. Will they? I think so. I really do.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Monday, September 17, 2012

Solid Grounding for a Growing Faith
By Adrian Rogers with Steve Rogers

OVERVIEW: Whether you are just beginning your faith journey, or have been a believer for decades, What Every Christian Ought to Know will help establish you in the core Truths of the Bible, equip you to confidently articulate your faith, and empower you to live a dynamic Christian life. In his refreshingly relatable style, Dr. Rogers covers essential topics such as salvation, eternal security, prayer, the Holy Spirit, resisting temptation, and finding God's will, and unpacks their practical application for your every day Christian walk. One of Adrain Roger's most popular books, this new edition includes an introduction from Steve Rogers, president of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute, plus discussion questions for personal reflection or group study.

AUTHORS: ADRIAN ROGERS was one of America's most respected Bible teachers, communicating to millions through his Love Worth finding radio and television ministry that continues today. He was also senior pastor of the 27,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tennessee, and a popular author whose books include Unveiling the End Times in Our time and The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority.

STEVE ROGERS is president of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute.

MY REVIEW: Christians need solid grounding for their faith. This book will help with that. I say help because I believe that saying, help establish your faith is closer to the truth than saying, will establish your faith. I have great respect for Adrian Rogers and what he teaches in this excellent book. I do not however, agreed with every point of doctrine.

It is not my place in this review to state the few points of doctrine I disagree with. Not because I do not strongly disagree ―because in a few places, I do! But this is the kind of book you need to read with an open mind and study the Scriptures and the interpretations of the author and decide for yourself what is truth.

This is a book that I gladly recommend as one that will help you become a better student of the Word. There are study questions at the end of every chapter which makes the book a good resource for small study groups.

(I received this book from The B & B Media Group, Inc. in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Saturday, September 15, 2012

We have enjoyed the redneck jokes for years. It's time to
take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture that
values home, family, country and God. If I had to stand
before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I'd
choose a half dozen or so rednecks to back me up.
Tire irons, squirrel guns and grit -- that's what rednecks are
made of . If you feel the same, pass this on to your redneck friends.
Y'all know who ya are

You might be a redneck if:
It never occurred to you to
be offended by the phrase, 'One nation, under God..'

You might be a redneck if:
You've never protested about seeing
the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a redneck if
: You still say ' Christmas'
instead of 'Winter Festival.'

You might be a redneck if:
You bow your head when
someone prays.

You might be a redneck if:
You stand and place your
hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem

You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces
veterans with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You've never burned an
American flag, nor intend to.

You might be a redneck if:
You know what you believe
and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a redneck if
: You respect your elders and
raised your kids to do the same.

You might be a redneck if:
You'd give your last dollar to
a friend.

You might be a redneck if: You believe in God & Jesus and believe that others have the right to believe in which ever God they believe in as long as their God does not tell them to kill anyone who does not believe the same as they do!!!!!

God Bless the USA


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

100 Places To Eat In The South
Before you Die (And The Recipes That Made Them Famous)
By Chris Chamberlain

OVERVIEW: Thirteen states, 100 chefs, and 134 recipes later, one thing is clear: the food of the American South tells a story that spans the distance from New Orleans to Louisville. Little Rock to Charleston, Nashville to Dallas, and every city in between. The Southern Foodie explores a hearty swath of the South's culinary culture, following its roots and exploring its evolution in the region's best restaurants. Meet the people who are keeping the tradition alive and reinventing the flavors of the South. The Southern Foodie shows you where the South eats and how to create those distinct flavors at home. You're sure to rediscover old favorites and get a closer look at the delicious new traditions in Southern cuisine.

AUTHOR: Chris Chamberlain is a food and drink writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene and their "Bites" food blog. He has also contributed to the Nashville City Paper, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, 200l Edgehill and at Chris is the Southern correspondent for Food Republic, a national website dedicated to "Drinking, Eating and Living the Way a Man Should."

MY REVIEW: Growing up in Oklahoma with parents from Kentucky and going to school in Texas I grew up eating a lot of southern food. I'm a diabetic and my doctor would love to wean me off "comfort food." After years of trying, I think he is giving up. 

I usually sit down with a new book, thumb through it reading a section here and there and then return to page one and read through to the last page. This is not that kind of book. I opened it up and found that when I looked at a section I couldn't stop reading until I had read that entire section, including the recipes. So I went to the index and picked out the states and their recipes that I wanted to read first. I chose Kentucky, Texas and Tennessee for the first three and then moved on to others.

I have not finished reading the entire book yet. Usually I do read all of the book before I write a review. However, this time I do not need to do that. I will be reading and re-reading this book for a long time. By this time you have a good idea what the book is all about and can determine if you are interested. Needless to say, I like it a lot. It is not just about fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and pulled pork. No, the chefs in this book can whisk together a perfect red-eye gravy but also a delicate mushroom bordelaise sauce.

(I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Saturday, September 01, 2012

A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day
Experiences of God's Power
By Tim Stafford
Senior Writer For Christianity Today

OVERVIEW: Award-winning journalist Tim Stafford shares captivating stories of modern-day miracles, wrestling over what is credible and what isn't. But more than that, he offers wisdom and insight to help you figure out the role miracles should play in your faith. Should you expect miracles? Ignore them? Pray for them? How active is God in the world today? And could he be more active in your own life?

AUTHOR: Tim Stafford is a lifelong professional writer with more than twenty published books. Tim serves as senior writer for Christianity Today and has published hundreds of articles in that magazine as well as in other publications.

MY REVIEW: I believe God can still do miracles. But I have not always felt this way. I should say I have not always believed that He wanted to do miracles today. I knew He could if He wanted to! For a long time I was what Tim Stafford calls a "Semi-Believing Doubter." Oh, I wanted to believe in miracles today but I just thought that God's purpose for miracles had passed.

So yes, I believe God still performs miracles today but of all the stories I hear about miracles I don't know which stories are true. However, I no longer concern myself with acting as an FBI agent and digging for the truth of every experience. Because there are shady faith-healers, and gimmicks like holy land water it's foolish to believe every miracle account we hear. So how do we discount the fakes without missing out on the real miracles in the process?

Tim Stafford's excellent study helps with that. I agree with John Ortberg who said, "Tim has taken on one of the most important and fascinating topics in the world and written with learning, honesty, faith and grace." This book helps with learning how to explore this subject with wisdom and honesty, growing your faith and hope along the way. Craig Keener has recently written a two volume work with the title MiraclesThe Credibility of The New Testament Accounts  that is receiving much praise. I plan to purchase and study those two volumes. But even so I know this small volume will remain at the top of my list for value and help.

(I received this book from Bethany House (A division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.)


Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Three Mexican Fishermen Who Came Back
From The Dead Changed My Life And Saved My Marriage
By Joe Kissack

OVERVIEW: In The Fourth Fisherman Joe Kissack thoughtfully with candor and humor weaves together the incredible true voyage of fishermen adrift in the sea and his own life's journey as a man lost in the world.

It was the subject of headlines around the world: Three Mexican fishermen in a small open boat without any supplies, drifting for more than nine months and 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean. Through blistering sun and threatening storms, they battle starvation, dehydration, hopelessness, and death. Their lifeline? An unwavering faith and a tattered Bible.

Thousands of miles away, Joe Kissack, a successful Hollywood executive, personified the American dream. He enjoyed the trappings of the good life: a mini mansion, sports cars, and limousines. He had it made. Yet the intense pressure of his driven and high-powered career sends him into a downward spiral, driving him deep into suicidal depression,addictions, and alienation from his family. His lifelines? A friend and a Bible on the table between them.

AUTHOR: Joe Kissack is a speaker, author, screenwriter, film and television executive, publisher, and entrepreneur. His job descriptions cover a wide spectrum, from working on a farm and cleaning out refrigerated beef trucks to serving as a senior executive for Sony Pictures. His speaking engagements also vary, as he provides inspiration for charities, churches, and business conferences. Joe lives in Atlanta with Carmen, his wife of more than twenty-five years, and their two daughters.

MY REVIEW: This is an amazing book. One of the most interesting I have read this year. And I have read and reviewed several interesting and challenging books this year: Hell A Final Word, A Woman Called, Coming Apart and others. My interest in these books tell me that I am, now more than ever before, interested in books that answer questions about serious subjects. Subjects like, is God really there when we are lost at sea? Will he really help save us? What is hell like? What can women do in the church? What is the state of America, and today I started a new book about miracles―another topic I have a great interest in.

For me, the most impressive quote from the fishermen lost at sea for more than months is, "We each came to a moment of brokennesswhat we found there was God. And he was enough."  That's wonderful and uplifting. I agree with New York Times best-selling author Lee Strobel who said, "You'll be inspired by this passionate tale of intertwined lives, touched by the author's unvarnished honesty, and challenged to trust God in fresh ways."

Think about: men in a small boat with no food or drinking water adrift for over nine months. There were five of them who started out but two of them died. How in the world did these men survive? They had their faith and a Bible!

Joe Kissack? Well his story is a kind of miracle too. You need to read this book!

(This book was provide to me free for this review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.)


Friday, August 03, 2012


LUISA WEISS, Creator of THE WEDNESDAY CHEF, an award winning food blog is a splendid writer.

  When My Berlin Kitchen--A Love Story (With Recipes) was offered as a free book with no obligation for review, at first I wasn't interested. I like love stories as much as most men. No, I like love stories more than most men. But the fact that it was a love story with recipes seemed strange to me. But it also made me curious. So, I said to myself, "What the heck. You read everything else. Why not this." So I did!

I like this book a lot. I really like it! Luisa writes the way I would like to write. I became interested in her, her love affair with New York City, Berlin and life in general.

What about her recipes? Well, I find most of them "strange" and different from what I am use to. But in a funny kind of way, I found them interesting. 

What I like most about the book is her writing style, her love story and her descriptions of New York City, Berlin and the people who live in those places.

I did check out her blog and I can't wait to make (or Charlotte to make) a recipe I found there---Banana, Coconut Bread.

Luisa Weiss was born in West Berlin and spent her childhood between Berlin and Boston. She started The Wednesday Chef, an award winning food blog, in 2005, when she decided to cook her way through the stash of recipes she had been collecting over the years. She has worked as a cookbook editor in Paris and New York and now lives in Berlin with her husband, Max.

Again, this is not a book I had to review but one I wanted to share with you. I think you will like it.



1. If you open it, close it.

2.If you turn it on, turn it off.

3.If you unlock it, lock it up.

4.If you break it, admit it.

5.If you can't fix it, call in someone who can.

6.If you borrow it, return it.

7.If you value it, take care of it.

8.If you make a mess, clean it up.

9.If you move it, put it back.

10.If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission.

11.If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.

12. If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.

13.If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

14. If it will brighten someone's day---say it!


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Marriage? It's when a man and a woman decide to live together and vow to be faithful to one another for life.

Everybody I knew believed that. That is until about 1963. In my mind, the change came around the time President Kennedy was assassinated---November 21, 1963 to be exact.

Today our young people would look back to 1963 and say there wasn't much going on compared to now.

Most major cities had only four channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, and a nonprofit station of some sort) at most. 

Popular music consisted of a single Top 40 list, with rock, country, folk, and a fair number of Fifties-style ballads lumped together.

People drove cars made in the united States. Foreign cars from Europe were expensive and rare. Cars from Japan had just been introduced in 1963, but had not been greeted with enthusiasm.

The typical American city of 1963 had appallingly little choice in things to eat. In a large city, you would be able to find a few restaurants serving Americanized Chinese food, a few Italian restaurants serving spaghetti and pizza, and a few restaurants with a French name. Sushi? Raw fish? Are you kidding?

No Chick-fil-A.

Marriage was nearly universal and divorce was rare across all races. 

"It was taken for granted that television programs were supposed to validate the standards that were commonly accepted as part of "the American way of life"---a phrase that was still in common use in 1963."

Yes, I'm saying that things have changed. Many for the better. But not all. 

The definition of marriage is one of those things that hasn't changed but some want it to.

A man named Dan Cathy just simply voiced his opinion that he didn't think it should be changed.

All hell broke loose! 

But Mr. Cathy didn't change his mind. And neither did millions of others who rose up to support him.

Today and from now on, millions will eat at Chick-fil-A restaurants to take a stand for truth.

Chick-fil-A is now a name heard around the world! 


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Maybe you heard these words when you were a child and believed them:
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.
 Sugar and spice and everything nice? Well maybe, when they are little girls.
But little girls grow up and some people think they are not so nice―some of them!
I have been reading the book Mean Girls At Work―How To Stay Professional When Things Get Personal by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster. Katherine and Kathi are the authors of Working With You Is Killing Me.
Let me quickly say, "I have worked with several women, but never a mean one. But I do believe that some people have to and that they need to learn to make the best of the worst situations with other women in the work place.
I decided that since it is mainly women who read my reviews and see the books I recommend on Facebook that I would read and review this book for them. So here is my recommendation: If you are in a woman-to-woman relationship in the workplace that is complicated―read this book. 
The eight chapters are: 1 The Different Faces of Mean; 2 The Meanest of the Mean; 3 Very Mean; 4 Passively Mean; 5 Doesn't Mean to be Mean; 6 Doesn't Know She's Mean; 7 Brings Out Your Mean; 8 Group Mean.
"Sugar and spice and everything nice." Really? After reading this book, I have been made to wonder. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Lunch has always been a happy time for me. As far back as I can remember I have always been ready to eat at lunch time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I was young I didn't like being called to dinner but now I love that call.

But then there's the matter of breakfast.

Growing up I didn't care for it at all. I usually just skipped it. "You mean you didn't eat much." No! I mean I skipped it. But sometime during my teen years I came to my senses and realized that I should be eating something for breakfast--but what?

I never liked cereal and still don't. I didn't care much for eggs. Pancakes and waffles weren't on my wish list either.

At some point in my quirky life I "woke up" and discovered I like a BIG BREAKFAST: Eggs, bacon,sausage, or ham and especially hash browns. Biscuits and gravy found their way to the top of my list also.

Charlotte gets up in the morning with a smile on her face. Eats her shredded wheat and begins her day whistling a happy tune. I know she cares for me or she wouldn't have stayed around for fifty-four years. But she never bought into the idea of cooking me a BIG BREAKFAST. Most of my life I haven't wanted to cook anything and certainly not breakfast. So I have just drug along being a bit bewildered about breakfast.

But recently I discovered a breakfast casserole that I like and I don't mind making. It's eggs, sausage, cheese, butter, milk, cheese and hash browns. I bake it. I cut it into portions, wrap it, pack it in a container and freeze it. 

I get up in the morning half asleep, bring in the newspaper, turn on the T.V., make a pot of coffee, and pop a portion of casserole in the microwave.

After reading the paper, drinking a cup of coffee and listening to a little news on the T.V. I enjoy that delicious breakfast casserole. 

I'm no longer bewildered by breakfast and Charlotte's glad to be alive, this is the day the Lord has made mood is rubbing off on me.  


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All my friends at Abilene Christian wanted to "kiss me good-bye." I was on my way West—going to L.A. All hope was gone. They knew they would never see me in heaven.

In Abilene in 1957 we were still discussing the sin of mixed bathing. Occasionally someone who had good sense would remind us it wasn't actually mixed bathing people were engaging in but mixed swimming.

They were right about me. One of the first places I headed after landing in L.A. was the beach.

Oh, how I loved it! And I still do.

Yes, my old bones love the warmth of the desert but my heart belongs to the ocean. 

Even in 1957 it was smoggy in L.A.—really smoggy. But you know what, I didn't mind it too much.

I hated the cold, blowing wind that just cut right through me in Abilene. Most days in L.A. were beautiful and still are.

Great weather, great restaurants, great beaches, great sports—the list goes on and on. Great!

L.A. is a great place for preachers. There's a lot of sin there. California is the Corinth of the Bible.

Looking for looney? Head West. Yes, I admit we are looney in the Southwest but they are loonier in L.A.

L.A.—land of the loonies. I have been gone from there for over forty years but I still miss it. Do I want to live there again. Absolutely not! I just want to dream about it.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stockton, California!

Yeah that Stockton. The one that went bankrupt. The largest city in the nation to do so.

I lived there just shy of twenty years. I loved every year I lived there accept the year I was being "run out of town."

Some―many in fact, would say it was an honor to be run out of Stockton. To them Stockton is Nowheresville.

One lady visiting from L.A. said she viewed Stockton as the armpit of the nation.

I'm the kind of guy that if I had the money I would love to live in a different city every year or two. And yet I'm a stayer. I'm loyal. Although the average stay for a minister is two years or less, I stayed at my first church for eight years, my second one six years, the third one a few months short of twenty years and my last one fifteen years.

Central in Stockton was my third church and my did I love it. I loved that Christian family with every fiber of my being. And I loved the city of Stockton. I could write a dozen blog posts on the good things about that city.

But there's a lot of bad there too. I could also write a book about that but wouldn't want to. Why would I?

So much of what I loved happened right there in that city. I'm a sentimental sap and my head and heart are filled with memories.When I drive through the city a memory pops up at every corner.

I have that sentimental feeling about almost every place, even when I'm just visiting. Whether it's leaving a little village in Ethiopia, a fish and chips restaurant in Boston, the Taj Mahal in India, the theater in London or the cable cars in San Francisco, I always think, "This is my last time for this moment. I won't ever do it again."

Yeah old bankrupt Stockton. Poor leadership. That's what caused it. Isn't that always the case?

Nowheresville. But I loved it just the same.

Thanks for the memories Stockton.