Monday, April 25, 2016

Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolf

This is a memoir, an inspirational story. Joni Eareckson Tada, the Director of the ministry Joni and Friends, endorses this book and opens this memoir with a Forward. Katherine opens the couplle's memoir with a Prologue. The book is arranged in parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four. The authors end with an Epilogue. The authors don't arrange this book by chapters. Instead, they arrange it by sections, starting with their respective signatures. They wrap it up with acknowledgements of all those who made this book possible. It ends with Bible verses cited in the third part of the book. The authors, Jay and Katherine Wolf, are the couple who tell the story of the near-tragic, massive brain stem stroke that almost ended Katherine's life. They share their message of hope in Christ and do so in many forums, with others.

I read this memoir through quckly. I pored over the photos of Katherine, after the injury, over and over. It's amazing how far she has come. This book shows that a will to live, combined with lots of outside support, are powerful. The book was all I expected it to be, inspirational, interesting, hopeful and God-centered. I was surprised that Katherine, who had suffered a major traumatic brain injury,was able to write so well in her segments. I looked to see if a ghostwriter had helped in the writing of this book. I saw no evidence at all of that. Frontal lobe functions, which control cognitive functions, memory, and all higher-order thinking, were unaffected. All of Katherine's disabilities, stemming from her traumatic brain injury, are solely physical. In a way, physical disabilities are easier to bear than mental or cognitive losses, whether stemming from developmental disabilities or traumatic brain injury later in life. Katherine and her husband, Jay, don't hold back in revealing their struggles and vulnerabilities. Yet in view of all their struggles, their hope in Christ is always in view. Many people with traumatic brain injuries often lose friends and relationships. This is because when traumatic brain injuries affect the frontal lobes and hence, memory, emotions and communication, relationships are affected. And these frontal lobe losses affect how a traumatic brain injury survivor relates to people. That has NOT been the case with Katherine, as all her higher-order thinking abilities are unaffected. If anything, she and her family have been overwhelmed with love, support, and friends from the beginning. Also, being conected with a church family was a big help and blessing. I was saddened when I read the part of the book about Katherine's rehab program. I read about her fellow traumatic brain injury patients and survivors. According to the account, most of them had cognitive and mental losses. Their ability to relate to people was dramatically affected. This book shows that if we trust God,we can be sure that He'll never let us down. It shows that what the world defines as beauty and success, are not what God defines as such. Another lesson is that while physical disabilities are certainly challenging, but mental disabilities may be even harder.

I recommend this book for everyone. I recommend it for all Christians, whatever stage of spiritual growth they are in. As this book has prolife and possible end of life themes, it is of interest to the prolife community. The authors make clear that every life is worth living. Non-Christians may benefit from reading this book, and be pointed to God Who doesn't prevent suffering but uses it for greater good. It doesn't pretend to have all the answers but invites readers to trust God. This is a book for all. Most of all, I recommend it for those who are facing loss and suffering, whoever you are.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a favorable review of this book.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ROOM FOR HOPE by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is a Christian novel. It's set during the Depression era. It launches into the narrative immediately. The author tells her story over 41 chapters. She wraps up her novel with Reader's Discussion questions about the characters in the book. The questions are meant to discuss the lessons of the character and how these lessons apply to readers' lives. At the very end she includes brief Acknowledgements, crediting those who helped make this book possible. Kim Vogel Sawyer is the bestselling author of multiple novels. These include What Once Was Lost and Through the Deep Waters. Room for Hope is her newest novel. She has sold more than one million books. She has won numerous awards. These include American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award for Excellence.

I finished this fascinating book today. It drew me in from the beginning. That's because the author doesn't start out, as many novelists do, by working up to the main plot. She starts out with the plot in the first chapter and I was left in a state of suspense until near the end of the book. There it become more predictable. Earlier in the book, I found myself peeking ahead to see what I was in for, but only a little. I found it hard tobelieve that the primary chacracter could work through her major heartaches with no counseling, and ultimately dealt with it all as she did. But after all, this is faction, and I don't see the way they worked out things, happening in real life. In so much of Christian fiction, we read of very rocky relationships and brokenness, and in the course of time, there are conversons at the end of the book. THose transformations are such that the characters are radically changed afterward. They don't struggle with the same sins. Much Christian fiction ends up being boring and predictable at the end. Happy endings don't always happen and not all issues or sins, are resolved. I did see one instance in this book, where the issue seems to have remained unresolved. These plots and subplots offer different lessons on trusting God with one's problems, resolving issues in one's family, turning the other cheeck, forgiveness, and placing people above business or material possessions.

I recommend this book for non-Christians, because of the way the book is written. I encourage anyone who wants an alternative to the shoddy fiction that is so prevalent, to read this book. This book provides a wholesome alternative and presents the Gospel in a few parts of the book. I don't think any of us Christians should use this, or any Christian fiction, as our primary spiritual nourishment. These works of Christian fiction, good as they may be, can make us dissatisfied with the people in our lives and with God's dealings with us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through BloggingFor Books, in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to give this book a positive review.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Guest Post: A Look At John Kasich by Cindy Lee

The Medicaid expansion in Ohio helped 500,000+ of Kasich's constituents, Saved many lives, provided healthcare to 40,000+ poor and unemployed VETERANS, provided drug treatment to keep people out of jail, Provided mental health treatment to thousands some of which would be in Jail, added thousands of new jobs to Ohio and boosted the economy. Kasich stood up to his own party in order to take care of his own people. That's what I admire about John Kasich. Putting people before party. God Bless Governor Kasich!

Governor Kasich does want to replace Obamacare with a program more practical. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

ALL POLLS SHOW KASICH BEATING CLINTON AND TRUMP LOSING! Click the link below to look at the polls. Take a look at the red color in the right column that says spread. The red means republican winner. John Kasich is undefeated in all the general election polls. Trump loses all of the GE polls. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

EDUCATED VOTERS for KASICH!!!! The New York Times Endorsed Governor Kasich. So far over 100 newspapers have endorsed Kasich Nationally. Newspaper editors are very educated and knowledgeable on the issues. They know Integrity when they see it. VOTE INTEGRITY VOTE KASICH!!! Kasich action plan. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

A divided nation will hurt the US economy, killing businesses, creating more unemployment, Crime, lowering wages, and raising the national debt. America Needs a Leader That Unites us, Kasich 2016!!!! I love this John Kasich speech at the '96 GOP Convention. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

John Kasich -""America: Never Give Up CLICK HERE TO VIEW KASICH, The Best Pick for Markets and the Economy CLICK HERE FOR MORE


Kasich helping Veterans! *40,000+ poor or unemployed VETERANS in OHIO now have healthcare because of Governor Kasich. Thank you for standing up for your constituents AGAINST the ESTABLISHMENT. You are an Honorable man Sir. God Bless Governor Kasich! John Kasich: We Need To Take Care of Our Veterans And We Will CLICK HERE FOR MORE


John Kasich: Here's how i'll replace Obamacare CLICK HERE FOR MORE

NOTES BY BLOG OWNER: Learn about any candidate in a search here.

Learn about John Kasich here

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi

This is a primer on Ilam, Muslims, radical Islam and a how to book. The author, Nabeel Qureshi, is a former Muslim. He grew up in a Muslim family. He left Islam to become a follower of Jesus. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the book Seeking Allah Finding Jesus. Qureshi is a speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He wrote Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward as a primer to introduce U.S. citizens to to the entire question of Islam, Jihad and how to respond to these serious issues facing the West. He starts this entire book with a Preface to tell the reader why he wrote this book, and provides background for why he believes this book is needed. He provides a brief Acknowledgments page to thank those who made this book possible. He provides a Further Reading and Indebtedness page, giving the purpose of this book. Qureshi then gives a few pages of introduction to this book. This book is oreganized in three parts. Part 1 is The Origins of Jihad. Part 2 is Jihad Today and Part 3 is Jihad In Judeo-Christian Context. Instead of chapters, Quereshi organizes this book in questions, 18 of them. He ends this book with four appendices that answer techical questions about Islam. He finishes his book with a Glossary of Islam-related terms. The book ends with a sneak peak into a forthcoming book by the author.

I found this book to be very informative. I knew of this author because I have his book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, which I haven't yet read. This book, Answering Jihad, packs a lot of info into concise text. I found it easy to follow, as he uses subheadings and uses a question format. I found this book to be interesting. It was what I had expected, sound, researched and based on his own life experiences. He has credibility because he is a Muslim-background Christian. I never knew that most Muslims are Sunni Muslims and that the Shia sect is only a small minority. Nor did I realize that Islam and radical Islam are connected. Radcal Islam, as the author points out, isn't a separate form of Islam, but radicalized Islam. I suspected, but didn't realize until I read this book, that radicalized Muslims derive ther ideology from the Quran itself. THe majority of "good, peaceful" Muslims are actually Muslims who don't take the Quran seriously or read it. Or, they are secularized. I have always heard either that "Islam is a religion of peace" or that "Islam is a cult of death" and that Muslims are dangerous as a group. The two GOP front-runners are both passing around the second error about Muslims being people who need to be banned from the country, or monitored. Our President and many others declare, Islam is a religion of peace." Qureshi shows how neither extreme view of Islam are both dangerous. He shows how relating to Muslims out of fear and hate is not only unwise but immoral. Many readers may not like his solution, based on Christ's teachings, that prayer, nonviolence and loving one's enemies is the approach to terrorism. This is based on the author's worldview and his faithfulness to the Bible.

This is such an important, vital book. I recommend it for everyone. I recommend it to every pastor. Each pastor needs to educate himself about Islam, Muslims, terrorism, and how to respond to it all. Christians need to know how to rise above fear and prejudice and reach out to local Muslims. This book will lay out general principles for pastors though it doesn't get specific. I suggest this book to every Chrstian in order to get educated about Islam, Muslims, terrorism and how to approach them. This book should be required reading in every seminary and Christian college. I recommend this book to any interested Muslim, who may be interested in the section about Christianity vs. Islam. Muslims may become educated about Christianity and how it different from Islam. Maybe a youth version of this book should be written. With the Muslim students in our schools, other students need to get educated about Islam and Muslims from a Christian perspective.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Booklook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to give a favorable review of this book.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

This is a biblical novel. It is about the sister of Moses. She is the primary character. The author, Mesu Andrews, is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels. She has also written The Pharaoh's Daughter. She makes the Bible come alive for readers, because of her deep understanding of and love for it. She has done extensive research for this novel. In her forward, she notes how researching this book has "taken her into another world." Mesu andrews opens this book with her Note to the reader. He begins her novel with a Prologue, and gives readers a feel for this book. This book arranged in three parts, over 60 chapters. Each chaper begins with a Bible verse the corresponds to the timing of the chapter narrative. This is obviously to enable readers to read her novel in context of biblical history. AS she says her objective is to get readers to search the Bible itself that inspired this novel. Mesu Andrews ends with an Author's Note with reflections about the novel. She includes a Reader's Guide to stimulate group discussion.

I read through this novel quickly. It was what I expected, rich in biblical culture and history. I was taken to another time and to another culture. As this time and culture are alien to me, I often got lost in the plots and scenes. As this is hstorical fiction, I expected this. Reading this biblical novel has made me want more of that. Mesu Andrews specializes in biblical fiction and making the Bble come alive for readers. This book did do this for me. As I read, I was impressed with the faith that Miriam exhibits. As is intended by the author, this novel gives me a new appreciation for the Bible and its riches and stories. For my upcoming birth, I may inlude on my "Wish List" a couple of biblical novels. I was aware of Mesu Andrews from another book of hers that I own, about Hosea and Gomer his wife of prostitution, called Love In A Broken Vessel. I figured out that most of these events happened during the slavery of the Israelities because of the Bible verses that began each chapter. I like the Reader's Guide at the end of the book, simply because it gives me some of my talking points for this book review. The use of El Shaddai and Yahweh for God, shows that people during these times had a much better sense of God's holiness and majesty than we do today. Yet the book throbs with the growing awareness of the people of the love and goodness of God in everything. I wish Mesu Andrews would write a sequel of the Israelites' experiences of their 40 years of wilderness wandering.

I recommend this book for all those who like to read novels. It will introduce them to God and Who he is. It's a page-turner. I recommend this book for non-Christian fiction readers especially, to encourage them to read the Bible. I don't think reading Christian fiction should be a primary source of a Christian's spiritual diet, however. That's because most Christian novels offer an unrealistic view of CHristian life and experience. They also offer an unrealistic view of characters. Not all stories have happy endings. This novel has a happy ending, as expected. REading too many Christian novels can make us dissatisfied with our real-life loved ones and experiences. Read in moderation, though, these Christian novels are much better than most secular novels, especially those filled with illicit sex or violence.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bloggingfor Books in exchange for my truthful review. I wasn't required to give a positive review of this book.

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