Deep Under Cover: Review

Well-written, well-told true story of an enthusiastic young East German Communist willing to risk his life for the propagation of what he thought was the ultimate socialist life for the world.

Jack Barsky, with the assistance of writer Cindy Coloma, recounts with vivid detail, his double life in America living out the assignment of gathering useable information to exploit the weakness of capitalism and democracy as played out in America. Much to his eventual surprise, American life was far from despicable but enviable. And, as he was forced to see with clarity, Communism fell far short of the model government and guide for the world. It was clearly the opposite, favoring those in the upper levels and ignoring the masses.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

David Nelson

Book Review (Bible)

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I love books! I delight in their look, feel and smell. Each new book is not only a reading pleasure but a tactile one as well. Since becoming a Christian, Bibles now rank at the top of my favorites. Joyfully, Bibles come in all manner of sizes, shapes, covers and styles. My copies are dominating my book shelves. And just when I assumed I would not be adding to my collection in the near future, I am offered a free HCSB Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible in return for an unbiased review. Imagine a very broad smile across my face! Out of the blue comes a unique, well-planned Bible with a modern translation, artwork for those who love coloring in designs and lined sections throughout the Bible for taking notes. My copy is a Tan, bonded leather one, easy to carry.

In case you were not aware, Holman Bible Publishers are the oldest Bible publishers in America! Surprised? I was. Not only that, they are also part of LifeWay Christian Stores who are their publishers.

The HCSB Notetaking Bible begins with “God’s Plan of Salvation” on the first page, clearly showing their vision for redemption of all readers. Throughout the Bible, which is printed on cream colored pages, the reader will find alternating columns of designs for coloring and lined spaces for taking notes. Either this will appeal to you or not. However, many people will be attracted to the clever designs and various font-verses that need colored pens or pencils to fill them in. As for the notetaking columns, they are perfect for ideas, highlights and reference points. Although the font is 8 point, it is cleanly laid out and easy to read.

For continuity, Holman has included bold-faced section headings from Genesis to Revelation. These headings provide continuity for the reader which, in some cases, may help clarify the message of that section. Following Revelation is a Daily Bible Reading Plan laid out by weeks. The plan alternates back and forth from the Old to New Testaments. To help remember what you’ve read, there are check boxes to mark.

Surprisingly, the HCSB Notetaking Bible did not leave out a Concordance, which many Bible readers consider essential. Lastly, the publishers have included a few beautifully designed Bible maps which divide equally between the Old and New Testaments.

Coming in two colors, black and tan, I highly recommend this Bible for anyone who can’t resist taking notes and/or coloring in their Bibles but don’t want to carry around a heavy cumbersome version which is better suited for the desk at home.

 

Book Review: “All Authority”

513i9UKoJ0L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I read several books each year and not all are noteworthy. This one is. “All Authority; How the Authority of Jesus Upholds the Great Commission” by Joey Shaw stands out as an in depth study of the authority and power of Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Redeemer.

Shaw’s chapters are filled with Bible verses to emphasize his reasonings and to encourage the reader to be in The Word. His book takes any emphasis away from himself as he points to Our Redeemer.

Shaw deals with forgiveness, discipleship, obedience and Christ-given power to name a few subjects. His book is not intellectual or theological, it is practical for the readers who wish to walk with Christ as Lord and Savior. For me, proving points about the Bible is not nearly as effective as showing how lives are changed by faith and obedience. Shaw does an excellent job at the latter, using his own experiences to help the reader grasp the life-changing nature of literally giving one’s life to Christ.

Take time to read Shaw’s powerful, Christ-like book and you will be challenged.

Book Review: SNAPSHOT by Lis Wiehl

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 BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Fort Worth, Texas, 1965. Two little girls on a concrete pedestal, a big parade, shots ring out, confusion reigns and lives are changed forever.

 

The story unfolds by setting the scene for a murder which took place in the past. A federal prosecutor, her father who is a retired FBI agent, their fractured relationship and various other friends, relatives, law enforcement officials interweave throughout this compelling tale, partly fact and partly fiction.

 

A mysterious key reveals ties to JFK, his brother Bobby and a handmade cabinet from our distant history. The key will hopefully shine the penetrating light of truth on a powerful, dangerous family who walks the pages of this novel.

 

Wiehl draws authentic characters for the reader with real-life problems known to the readers. There are no super heroes in this novel which makes it better, more authentic and believable.

 

Although her characters are realistic, she does not take anyone down dark, depressing paths of self-loathing but rather shows normal frailties and quirky behavior, common to most people.

 

The story also has a built-in timeline which focuses on a planned execution of a man accused of murdering someone at the parade back in 1965. Once everyone involved in the investigation comes onboard, their personal and professional struggles add tension to the tale.

 

There is one more ominous thread woven through this story and that is a man whose dark past brings life-threatening elements in the background. Wiehl sets this man up with the potential of changing everything for the main characters with his deadly tentacles reaching into the highest levels of power in government and business. The reader is constantly concerned about this man and what he might accomplish.

 

SNAPSHOT is an interesting and compelling book, worth a read. I think this would be a very good movie.

 

For links, cover images, guides and more, also check out the reviewer resources for this book.

<http://www.booksneeze.com/blogger/resources/9781401689520>

 

Book Review: The Jesus We Missed by Patrick Thomas Reardon

If The Jesus We Missed were the biography of an ordinary man who walked across the pages of history, a clever and intense man, I would say, “Good job and entertaining.”

 However, Jesus is more than a clever human, he is, after all, God–who came as a man, leaving His indelible footprints across the pages of history.

 In some of Reardon’s  scenarios I kept looking for the application of divinity and the movement of God’s Holy Spirit guiding Jesus but Reardon seems able to divide from God, leaving us with a loving normal Middle-Eastern family, experiencing typical behaviors, absent the Spirit’s moving.

 Even a cursory reading of the New Testament gives the reader absolute assurance of God’s communication with Mary and Joseph as they prepared for the upcoming blessed event. I have no reason to think that God dropped out of sight until later. Let us not forget the 12-year-old Jesus and his disappearance.

 I don’t think Reardon successfully made a case for anything Bible readers may have missed about Jesus’ personal life. The point of studying about the Lord is to enhance our spiritual being, to experience His magnificent gift of salvation at the cost of his own life. BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

STRANGE FIRE: OPINION

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A friend asked me if I had read John MacArthur’s latest book, Strange Fire. What follows is my answer:

Well, I read bits and pieces but finally gave up. I have been in Baptist, Assy. Of God, 4 Square, Nazarene, Non-Denominational and Presbyterian churches since I’ve become a Christian and find that within each one, there are some precepts or dogmas that I do not line up with. I’ve also discovered that no matter which denomination we talk about, there are extremes. And that is what MacArthur has focused on in this book. Of course the people he listed are loose cannons, idiots, charlatans, heretics, etc. God will certainly sort the Wheat from the Tares on that final day or perhaps before that final day.

I do not understand devoting an entire book to this issue. It is clear that the Gifts of the Spirit has caused dissention and sides to be drawn over the years but has it taken away someone’s salvation? I think our time is better spent pointing people to the elements of Christianity that will shore up our faith, increase our love, teach us to pray and remind us of the fact we are new creations in Christ Jesus.

Just as I would not read a book telling me I have to be Baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I don’t want to read MacArthur’s book pointing out the fallacies in what we call the Charismatic movement. Let’s write books and preach sermons that will unite the Body of Christ.