Friday, February 27, 2015

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand

5 of 5 stars  *****

Tortured for Christ is the story about the author's persecution in Romania under Communism and the Underground Church which evolved out of necessity. Unlike many so-called Christians, Wurmbrand never compromised his faith nor informed on any followers during his persecution. He writes about the martyrs who witness to Christ in the hours of suffering and at the moment of death. The Christians rise above the hate for the persecutors but disdain the Communism that turns men and women into minions of evil. Many Communist soldiers, jailers, and torturers convert to Christianity as a result of the Godly love the Christians exhibit, even for their enemies. Wurmbrand is freed only to return to prison after being caught teaching and baptizing in the name of our Lord. Eventually, his freedom is purchased for a sizable sum and he is brought to America where he writes about the inspirational life and death scenarios that go on to this day around the world. 

With $100.00 and an old typewriter, Richard Wurmbrand wrote his first newsletter, Voice of the Martyrs. His voice is the voice of the forgotten persecuted Christians who exist in Islamic and Communist nations. He and his wife, Sabina, established offices in these countries to provide the Underground Church with Bibles and pamphlets, as well as food and clothing, for secret distribution to those who cherish these items like he did; their efforts guided by his words, "Hate the evil systems, but love the persecutors. Love their souls, and try to win them for Christ." 

This is a book of selfless sacrifice and perseverance for one's deep abiding faith. The reward is eternal life with our Father, the Creator.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Explore the Bible Adult Personal Study Guide - Winter 2014-15 by Tony Evans

5 of 5 stars  *****

This winter Bible study is about simple people making major differences in the world by rising to the occasion when God calls. It encompasses the live's of Esther, an orphan raised by her uncle, Mordecai, whose beauty and bravery is essential to deliver her people out of exile; Ezra, a scribe who keeps the word of God and the Hebrew traditions alive with his education and devotion which restores the chosen people to God's plan; and Nehemiah, the food taster, who teaches the people in the restoration to drop their bad habits and foreign gods.  

Adversity causes these people to repent as they turn toward God to rebuild Jerusalem with its walls and gates among the unfriendly neighbors who live there. The stories of these three heroes in the Bible are remarkable in their demonstration of valor, sacrifice, faith, and love. When the fate of the Hebrews hangs by a thread, a humble, meek individual is chosen to become champion of the many.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan

4 out of 5 stars  ****

The author, Francis Chan, challenges the reader to identify the Holy Spirit in their life. Many people, today, have questionable religion; they attend church, do their demonstrative duty, but lack any serious consideration of God. This Christian book explains God as the Holy Spirit in us, whether ignored or not. For those caught up in the demands of making ends meet, the Holy Spirit gets lost, forgotten, without engagement with others. The Gospel teaches community participation in glorifying God. This is to keep alive His word in His children. The Holy Spirit works in people who know that life is not all about them. This Christian point of view is obvious on the pages of Chan's book. A sense of power is reassuring when readers realize their endeavors are more successful, more gratifying, when approached embracing God within them. Chan often refers to scripture to back up his claims. The book also suggests Bible studies and regular attendance of a church that teaches the word of God. This reader finds Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit a refreshing personalized presentation of the Holy Spirit. It keeps one honest and obedient. The book's lesson is to reverse the neglect and develop a personal relationship with God on a daily basis.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Truth Project DVD Set (Truth Project Series) by Truth Project Focus On The Family

5 out of 5 stars  *****

Review This project is the most profound, enlightening experience I can recommend. The group format utilizes DVDs and a workbook for individual reference. After each DVD, a class breaks up into small groups headed by a Truth Project prepared leader. A thought-provoking discussion ensues about the focus of the day's lesson.

Dr. Del Tackett is the professor who teaches a Christian Worldview centered around God, truth, man, and social order. Every session is a journey that includes opinions from professional and lay people around the world. The philosophical questions are deep and intriguing.

The subjects of the 12 chapters and their queries are: 1. Veritology: What is Truth? 2. Philosophy & Ethics: Says Who? 3. Anthropology: Who is Man? 4. Theology: Who is God? 5. Science: What is True? 6. History: Whose Story? 7.Sociology: The Divine Imprint 8. Unio Mystica: Am I Alone? 9. The State: Whose Law? 10. The American Experiment: Stepping Stones 11. Labor: Created to Create 12. Community & Involvement: God Cares, Do I?

The Study Guide refers to scripture used in each chapter and taken from the Holy Bible, NIV. I am a better man, a better citizen, a better family man, and a better Christian at the completion of this project. I apply the lessons learned to crises that befall me and I recognize, in others, the need for comfort found only in The Truth.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author), Emma Galvin (Reading)

4 of 5 stars  ****

Insurgent, second in a dystopian trilogy, finds Tris in love, orphaned, and dangerous. This sci-fi fantasy thriller is fast paced and holds one's attention during the make-shift world's collapse. Revolution and realigned allegiances create the mystery as to how Divergents fit into the disrupted world of a once ordered domain. The qualities of human nature blend during the insurgency for survival and discovery of the truth. Author, Veronica Roth, refuses to spare the heart of gripping emotions as family, friends, and lovers sacrifice themselves for their quest of being a free society that is not dominated by one faction or another. In the end, trust is suspect and hope hangs on a prayer while the unexpected revelation leaves the remaining inhabitants stunned before they roar.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

High Crimes The Overwhelming Case to Impeach by Grassfire

5 of 5 stars  *****

The book presents a compelling case to impeach Barack Hussein Obama for his high crimes and misdemeanors. The author of several other politically charged books, Steve Elliot (Grassfire), reports the Truth on issues, to the best of his ability, that span Barack Hussein Obama's time as President of the United States. Issues like Fast and Furious, Benghazi and its covert Lybian weapon shipments to Turkey for use in Syria, ignoring Constitutional laws to favor this administration's own agenda, the use of executive orders to rewrite laws without conferring with Congress, the FBI, IRS, NSA scandals that violate the Constitution and sovereignty of states, in addition to deceiving the American public with lies about Obamacare.

An explanation about impeachment is the first section of this book. People become aware that criminal acts are not necessary for impeachment but a poor representation of the office is all that is needed. Many feel there is a need to impeach right away when others feel it is a waste of time that will only hurt the party that calls for impeachment. The last explanation sounds like political correctness and not necessarily the right thing to do. This is why a book of this caliber is appreciated so much. Six pages of Endnotes provide 92 internet sites that cite the source of information contained in the text. To have a better opinion about such a grave step, impeachment of a president, it is best to investigate many sources to come closer to the Truth.

*This reader knows that Truth and God are one in the same, and this country is founded to glorify God. The only other nation founded on such a principle is Israel. To support that history, America rises to become the most powerful, wealthiest, most free nation in the history of the planet when God is in its laws, its schools, and its people. The further away from God America and its people are, the further away America and its people are from that pinnacle of greatness, the blessings from God.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author), Emma Galvin (Reading)

4 of 5 stars  ****

Another dystopian world, similar to Hunger Games, but with its own conditions, characters, and relationships. This reader thought the story would be a rip-off version but Veronica Roth creates a wonderful logical world that allows 16-year-olds to choose which quality group they will belong: "Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent)."

Beatrice and her brother choose different groups from each other and their parents. Beatrice changes her name to Tris as she struggles to be worthy of Dauntless. An earlier placement test reveals that Beatrice, Tris, is someone special; one who must be warned to never reveal her true nature, a Divergent. Tris is not even sure what that means.

The plot complicates when youthful attraction factors into teacher/student relationship. Tris must learn who her friends are while she struggles with her own maturing emotions. Her growth shows her personal bests in proficiency, physical prowess, and intelligence.

Tris's adventures, eventually, reunite her with her family, who are not who they seem to be, when the Erudite try to become the ruling faction over all others. This theme is ripe for the best and the worst of human nature to play out in the dystopian arena, the perfect stage for survival of the fittest; advantage, Divergent.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World by Billy Graham, Reathel Bean

5 out of 5 stars  *****

A pleasurable listen that applies the Bible, the Word of God, to everyday problems. Billy Graham is a devout, world renowned Evangelist who practices what he preaches. He applies the lessons the Bible teaches in his life and shares them with the reader. 

Situations in today's world are in serious need of divine intervention as Judao-Christian morals are under attack by foreign ideologies that are promoted by secular powers. Graham explains how imperative it is for people to turn back to God, He being the reason we exist, at all, to love Him, glorify Him, because He loves us unconditionally. 

Six considerations to revive the morality and personal relationship with Jesus Christ are: Commit every decision to God. Search the Scriptures for answers to specific issues/problems. Understand one's circumstances. Seek Godly advice for wisdom. Trust the Holy Spirit when one feels his presence within, even if they differ with one's desires. Trust God for the outcome, even though the results are not what one wants but are the will of God.