Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hope, Healing, And The Struggle For Justice In Israel And Palestine
by Mark Braverman

OVERVIEW: An American Jew, Mark Braverman was transformed by witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians to bring peace to their land. From the bustling communities on either side of the Jerusalem barrier, to the historical intricacies of the Holocaust and South African apartheid, to the foremost voices in conflict resolution today, Braverman outlines the conflict's origins, gives Christians a biblical and historical basis for supporting both the state of Israel and Palestine, and offers a path of action both at home and abroad to initiate peace. Illuminating and provocative, this book will challenge what readers think they know about Israel and Palestine, and inspire them to help bring God's peace to the Holy Land.
(From the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: MARK BRAVERMAN is an internationally known author and activist on the role of faith traditions in bringing healing and peace to the Israel/Palestine conflict. He is the author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land.

MY REVIEW: This is a difficult review for me to write. It is not difficult because I found the book difficult to read or because I do not understand what the author was trying to say. He is an excellent writer and his thoughts are easy to follow. It is difficult for me because I do not know how I feel about his opinions and what he offers as a way for hope and healing in the struggle for justice in Israel and Palestine. I wanted to read the book because I do want to understand a better way and the struggle has gone on far too long.

If I agreed or disagreed with Mark Braverman I would be happy to tell you that. And I do wish I held one or the other of those views. But I don't. I have read the book but I still don't know what I think about it. I am not a shallow person or thinker and most of the time I know what I think about a situation and state it openly. But today as I write this review, I am still confused about the right way to think about this conflict. I want to state again, Braverman states his opinions clearly I just do not know what I think about them.

My recommendation for this book is, read the overview I have posted and decide if this conflict concerns you enough that you want to spend time and money on this book to see if it will help you.

(I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Saturday, November 09, 2013

You Can Experience Real Love,
Acceptance & Guilt-free Living
By Joyce Meyer

OVERVIEW: In God Is Not Mad At You, Joyce will help those who haven't truly received God's love because they are afraid of His anger and disapproval. She explores the source of this confusion, so His genuine character can be better understood and His love can be experienced on an entirely new level. Chapter titles include: *Perfectionism and Approval *The Pain of Rejection *Guilt and Shame *Developing Your Potential *Run to God, Not from Him *Getting Comfortable with God.

AUTHOR: Joyce Meyer's TV and radio broadcast, Enjoying Everyday Life, airs on hundreds of television networks and radio stations worldwide. Joyce has written nearly 100 inspirational books. She travels extensively, holding conferences throughout the year, speaking to thousands around the world.

MY REVIEW: I like these words from Joyce in chapter one: "It is important for us to remember that God's anger is directed toward our sinful behavior rather than toward us. If you feel guilty right now and are afraid that God is mad at you, then you are miserable. But your misery can be immediately changed to peace and joy by simply believing God's Word. Believe that God loves you and that He is ready to show you mercy and forgive you completely. Believe that God has a good plan for you life. Believe that God is not mad at you!"

That about sums up what this book is about. Joyce points the way to real love, acceptance and guilt-free living. Now! Right at this point, I suggest you stop and read my DISCLAIMER at the top of this blog. Hopefully you will understand that I am not reviewing Joyce Meyer's doctrine, worldview or all that she says or doesn't say in this book. It shouldn't be necessary for me to say this, but I have found that some feel it is. My review of this book is simply that―a review of this book.

I like this book and believe it will be helpful to many. Do I think it will solve all of anyone's problems? No. I don't think any book does or that she thinks this one or that the other dozens that she has written does that. I like this book and I like Joyce. I recommend it for its intended audience.

(I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing From CaringBridge
By Sona Mehring

OVERVIEW: In May 1997, Sona Mehring created the first CaringBridge website when a close friend endured a life-threatening pregnancy and the devastating loss of her newborn daughter, Brighid. Over 500,000 people a day now use CaringBridge, with 47 million unique visitors over the past year. Through CaringBridge, Sona has witnessed thousands of stories of hope, loss, connection, and love among people struggling with stroke, cancer, organ transplantation, traumatic brain injury, and other life-changing conditions. Hope Conquers All shares some of the most impactful and inspiring stories, in the voices of those who have endured. (From the dust jacket)

AUTHOR: Sona Mehring is founder and CEO of the major non-profit organization CaringBridge. org. In 2011, she was a finalist for Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, was named one of Fast Company's Most Influential Women in Technology, and was highlighted by MSN.com as one of the nation's leading Women Working for Change. She lives in Eagan, Minnesota, and is the mother of three sons.

MY REVIEW: This is a book for anyone who is suffering. It's about bringing family, friends, and loved ones together when it matters. This is a book full of stories of love and healing.

The best thing about this book is that it puts you in contact with the website―CaringBridge. This website has become the vehicle for the emotional sustenance that so many desperately need. NBC News ran a story on NBC Nightly News about the site. Jonathan Alter has become almost evangelical about spreading word of CaringBridge. Unlike Facebook, CaringBridge isn't just about staying in touch; it's about staying in touch for a specific humane purpose.

There are over twenty stories in this splendid book and they all will inspire you. The families share their journeys of hope that occurred with support and love through CaringBridge, creating new and forever changed lives. Hope Conquers All is a testament to the strength of community, and a reminder that we can be a powerful presence for each other.

(I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Communion or the Lord's Supper is not something that most people go around thinking about. But reflecting on the Facebook question, "What's On Your Mind?" this is it―Communion. I have been meeting with other Christians around the Lord's Table and communing since I was seventeen.

Before I became a Christian I thought that communion was one of the strangest things going. People eating a tiny piece of unleavened bread and drinking a very small cup of juice didn't make a lot of sense to me.

Looking back over sixty-two years as a Christian and years of Bible study, I now treasure the opportunity to meet with other Christians and remember what Christ has done for us. I think of love, grace and mercy.

Over the years I have watched the protestant church put less and less emphasis on the Lord's Supper. In many cases, because of the size of the assembly, it is done quickly and without much thought. In too many cases it is being shuffled off to the side or forgotten all together.

1 Corinthians 11:23–26

23 For xI received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that ythe Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for5 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”6 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death zuntil he comes.

It seems to me, that when the church assembles for worship, we need to get serious about what our Lord said about this and give it the attention and reverence it deserves.