Book Review: Murder is No Accident

murderMurder is No Accident by A.H. Gabhart is a part of the Hidden Springs Murder Mystery Series, a series about the life and crimes in a small town full of big characters. The book doesn’t hold back as it launches the reader into the world of a “whodunit” murder mystery that gets the investigation juices flowing.

As the narrative unfolds the reader is introduced to a town full of suspects and potential heroes. Along the way, the author takes time to develop the life and struggles of the protagonist and his somewhat meddlesome family and friends. Though the book seems to sidetrack at times on the love life (or lack thereof) of the protagonist almost to the point of distraction at times, the overall plot of the books moves swiftly but not overly predictably.

The book is  a good read if you want to relax or stay up later than you expected due to feeling a need to read “just one more chapter.”

Disclosure: I received this book free from Revell Books through the Revell Reads program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225.

Book Review: The Gospel and Marriage

gospel for lifeThe Gospel for Life Series: The Gospel & Marriage by Russell Moore and Andrew Walker lays out a view of marriage as seen in Scripture, in culture, and in the church. The compilation of authors explore the beauty of marriage as laid out by God in the beginning of creation before the Fall and conclude with the dark contrast of the state of marriage (and lack thereof) in the United States today.

While the book does a good job of showing the gospel and its impact in marriage, at times it can feel like the authors are driving home a socio-political view talking about the state of marriage in this country. If the book focused more on how the beauty of the gospel as displayed in marriage through the church could declare the glory of God to the world around us which is going in the opposite direction, that would have made a more intriguing read at times.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B& H Publishing Group through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: Meet Generation Z

generation z.jpgMeet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World by James Emery White gives a look into the upcoming population of religious “Nones” in the United States from a sociological, spiritual, and philosophical perspective.

The first part of the book is intended to give a dose of reality to anyone who may be in denial of the shifting spiritual culture in the younger generation. While trying not to come across as a “sky is falling” report, White may still come across as heavy handed.

The second part of the book looks into ways to reach Generation Z for Christ, based largely on his success in his church and biblical principles. The strength of the second part of the book is the hope that it gives and that it doesn’t really advocate for any special techniques of outreach fads that will likely fade away. The weakness is that many churches may look at his outreach advice and say, “We already do that. What else can we do?”

One of the best parts of the book are the three sermons transcribed in the back that displays how he puts the principles of Generation Z into practice from the pulpit.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Katharina and Martin Luther

Luther.jpgKatharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk by Michelle DeRusha gives a wonderful insight into the lives and marriage of the famous Reformer and his incredible wife.

The author does a beautiful job of piecing together the scraps of history and writing that reference Katharina in order to compile a composite view of her life from childhood until death. Using her skill and resources, DeRusha avoids painting an overly glorious view of Katharina and Martin while als
o avoiding an overly criticizing approach.

DeRusha is very helpful in her ability to immerse the reader into the life and times of the era to assist in the understanding of elements that may seem foreign or hard to grasp for modern readers.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Grace is Greater

grace.jpgGrace is Greater by Kyle Idleman takes the beautiful biblical concept of God’s grace and shows how it applies to our lives in down to earth ways. The author does not hold back in describing his own shortcomings and need for grace throughout the book – practically in every chapter – so that the reader does not come across with the thought that the author is speaking down to them through the text.

While making grace something that the reader longs for and would desire, the author also does not withhold challenging the reader in areas where we hold ourselves back from receiving grace and giving God’s grace to others.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: The Prince Warriors (Volume 3)

prince.jpgThe Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema (Book 3) by Priscilla Shirer is a wonderful third installment in the series. The author continues her skill of building up the lives of her main protagonists in a story of adventure, trust, failure, redemption, and courage. Like the other two books in the series, the plot keeps the reader tearing through the pages while at the same time prompting pausing to think about how the story intercepts the reader’s own life in its principles.

The book, and the series in general, is well worth reading and rereading for preteens, teens, and even adults who enjoy young adult literature.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B& H Publishing Group through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: Your Next 24 Hours

24-hoursYour Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything by Hal Donaldson and Kirk Noonan has one main point that is hammered throughout the book: live intentionally each day with your eyes open and hands ready to get involved in someone else’s life in an area of need. The book is filled with story-after-story of true life stories of people whose acts of service and care impacted people’s (often complete strangers) lives for the better.

If you are looking for a book that advocates compassion and inspiration for acts of love for one’s fellow human being, you have found a great little book.

If you are looking for a book that links the heart of compassion and love to the love of Jesus Christ for people and how these acts could potentially open up doors to let a person know about God’s love for them and to be able to share the good news of the gospel out of an eternal love for the person – this is not your book. The book quotes the book of Proverbs here or there and makes the occasional Bible reference, but on the same level as it quotes and uplifts non-Christian movie stars, Oprah, non-theist CEOs, and other secular sources as the reader’s ultimate source of inspiration and example.  While looking at non-Christian sources for inspiration and example is certainly not a bad thing or something to be avoided, the author’s don’t even link these actions as being an expression of the image of God built into every human being.

As a book for inspiration to do good works, this book is great; as a book to teach how good works can be and ought to be a normal part of walking in the good works of God (or as a way for the gospel to be introduced), this is not the book for you.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255