Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sometimes God Has a Kid's Face by Mary Rose McGeady

5 out of 5 stars  *****

A pleasant surprise that breaks one's heart once the homeless children accounts are read in Sister Mary Rose McGready's book, Sometimes God Has A Kid's Face. The author includes the writings of the Covenant House's temporary residents, wayward children and teenagers in America, who find themselves abused at home and then in the streets. This small book is an educational tool for those who are unaware of the tragedy growing in cities in Latin and North America, homelessness of a most vulnerable population who need love and kindness to have a chance at simply coping in today's world. Not every story has a happy ending but every youngster taken in by the Covenant House is privy to hear the Word of God, the Gospel, and have their basic needs met. Each resident leaves with a healthier, cleaner body and a rejuvenated soul. The Covenant House does depend on donations to survive and asks for the public's generosity so they can continue on their mission of caring for these dependent, fearful, and rejected young individuals. This mission extends into the source of the problem, the family; therefore, the last chapter of the book is a Family Survival Guide which teaches morality, coping mechanisms with children and teenagers, and what signs point to needing professional intervention. Every story is unique in the details but similar in basic human needs lacking in the lives of these poor and innocent.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heaven by Randy Alcorn (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars  ****

The least discussed subject in the Bible is adroitly presented by Randy Alcorn, an accomplished bestselling Christian author of 40 books. What separates Randy's book from other books about Heaven is the discipline he uses throughout the book keeping to scripture. The diverse opinions and perspectives of Heaven exist in the clergy as well as the general population. Without application of his personal imagination, Alcorn transcribes ancient writings that span thousands of years describing the same place. Then, to broaden the vision of Heaven, Alcorn asks a variety of questions about what it is like in Heaven. This portion of the book is interesting, as the author draws the most probable explanations from Bible verses in both Old and New Testaments, but it becomes a bit tedious, too. 

The influence of C.S. Lewis on Alcorn is apparent by his frequent reference to his writings. Narnia quotes enlighten this reader to the deeper symbolism Lewis uses about the Biblical message. Narnia is replaced by a new, brighter Narnia once the old Narnia dies. Narnia represents Earth as understood by Lewis and shared by Alcorn. 

The end of the book, Heaven, is particularly uplifting. The author describes how to explain death to children who are about to die before their parents, and how to comfort those who are older and afraid to leave this world. The dualism of Plato and the resurrection perspective by Christians are explained in an Appendix because there exists a prevalent combination of the two throughout the world. 

Heaven is a valuable addition to any believer's bookshelf, one that belongs next to their Bible. A change in the reader is promised once its contents are read, its context understood, so that the Great Commission can be shared by educated, searchers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.