Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby is an amazing look at the life of women in Yemen. In this book, Audra shares the journey her family takes from becoming missionaries through their time in Yemen. There are two things that really stood out to me in this book. First, God is always faithful and still works in many miraculous ways. Second, the life of Muslim women in Yemen is not what I expected. What many would consider degrading or abusive, they see as a way of life and honoring to God. I found it interesting that when the woman gather together and the veils come off, they are not drastically different than Western women. They share in each others lives. They discuss struggles and celebrate joyous events. They do everything they can to honor God and not bring shame to their families. However, their view of God is heartbreaking. Their god is not a loving god, but a vengeful god who is very impersonal. They fail to even get proper medical care at times because if it is God’s will they believe they will get well on their own. This book drove me to pray for God to remove the blindness these women have towards the true God. It also led me to give thanks for those going to foreign lands to bring the true God and the Gospel to those who need to hear.  This book was both encouraging and heart breaking. This would be a book I recommend for anyone to read.

 

I have received this book free for review from Chosen Books.

Our Last Great Hope is a good book on the Great Commission. Ronnie Floyd’s heart for this topic comes through in this book. In this book, you will see areas in your life where an urgency for the Great Commission should make a difference. Everything from our churches, to our families, to our desires, to our finances should look different if we embrace the task of the Great Commission.  As I read this book driven by an author motivated by this task, it made me examine how at truly felt about the call for Christians to reach the nations with the message of Christ.

While much of the book is not new material for someone with a passion for missions, it was a good reminder of many things we sometimes forget. However, there was one section in particular that made me think about things I had never really considered much. This would be the chapter about transforming our families. I was confronted with the fact, that in my home and in our churches, we are not doing a good job of training our children for the Great Commission. We are far too guilty of training them at being successful in chasing the American Dream. What if were more actively training our children to be future pastors and missionaries?  I came away from this book feeling encouraged, yet challenged. There is much work to be done, and my prayer is that this book will inspire people to the call placed before us. This is definitely a book that I would recommend.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Scroll follows the journey of Dr. David Chambers, a biblical archaeologist who agrees to on last dig. Chambers has lost his faith and his fiancee. Now he is called out of recent retirement for one last dig, only to be faced with his former faith and former fiancee. In the face of opposition for this dig, he must once again turn to these former things that he has left behind. While uncovering some of the greatest biblical finds ever, he also recovers a faith that is of greater value than any treasure.

I thought this novel was well written and interesting from beginning to end. The authors did an excellent job of including biblical history into this book. At times, I really felt taken back into the time of temple worship. The imagery and use of biblical text was great to read. So many times Christian novels have no visible trace of Christianity at all. That was not the case with this book. The faith of Dr. Chambers in this book is a central theme that is integral to the story. There were several times that I needed to put this book down, but couldn’t because the story was so intriguing at that point. There were actually times that I needed to pull out my bible to look up sections of scripture that were used. I actually learned biblical history from this novel. It has not been very often that I have found a novel that has accomplished that. This is definitely a novel that I would recommend.

 

I received this book free for review from Waterbrook Press.

When I received this book from Bethany House to review, I was interested to see what it contained. Not being the type of book that I would normally read, I thought I would give it a try. I was very disappointed by what I found in the book. While mentioning God many times, the book was very man-centered. God seemed to been thrown in as an afterthought after all the practical advice had been given out. God is usually mentioned in vague generalities, with the name of Jesus hardly even being mentioned at all. This book seemed to be a Christianized version of Dr. Phil or Oprah. Basically, I found it to be a self help book with a Christian label thrown on it. No problem is as easy as following 6 simple steps. And any solution that lacks a Gospel centrality will be found lacking. The reality of life, death and resurrection of Jesus and how it pertains to our lives today must be central to any solution. If not we are simply treating the symptoms and not the problem. I hate to give bad reviews to books that mean well.  However, I found this book to be nothing more that current day evangelical, purpose driven, therapeutic moralism. And for that reason, I can’t recommend this book.

In his book George Washington Carver, John Perry introduces us to a different look at the man most of us know for his work on peanuts. What we find is a man who was greatly motivated to learn about the amazing creations of God. Carver born into slavery grew into a man respected by both white an black alike. Carver, while not a vocal leader for civil rights,  chose to use his position and skill to show that his race was deserving of equality.  He was known for the vast amount of inventions and discoveries that came from his work, but he never was able to turn that into commercial success. Carver had his highest and lowest moments while serving on the faculty of Tuskegee Institute. While there he had many great successes, but also chaffed under the strong leadership of Booker T. Washington. The men butted heads on many occasions.  However, Carver always stayed in dedication to advancing the betterment of his race.

In reading this book, I enjoyed the historical behind the scenes look at a man that I knew little about. Mr. Perry does a nice job of keeping this biography interesting, which can sometimes be hard to do. While Carvers belief in God in creation is evident, I wish the book could have shed more light on how his faith impacted other parts of his life. Carver comes off as an inspirational character, yet at times also a man whose pride would get in the way. I found this actually refreshing to see how even someone as highly thought of as Carver struggled with sin. Would recommend reading this book to all.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

As I decided to read Desiring God Revised Edition by John Piper, I was not sure what to expect. This is considered by many a must read book of the modern era. I was greatly blessed by what I read. This book discusses how we are to be as happy as we possibly can in God. It goes into great detail to explain what exactly is what Piper terms a Christian hedonist. Piper then looks at how this applies to many different areas of our lives including worship, marriage, money, missions and many others.

Reading this book was monumental for someone as myself who has struggled to find joy in God at times. The phrase ‘that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him’ really struck home with me. The chapter on suffering was very encouraging and informative. As someone who always put sacrifice and suffering on the opposite end of the spectrum as joy, this chapter completely changed my heart and mind on this topic.  This chapter showed me how sacrifice is not the removing of joy from my life to please God, but how suffering and joy go hand in hand. For anyone who believes like I did that seeking joy was somehow worldly or wrong, every chapter in this book will challenge that view in one way or another. I am grateful that God placed this book in my hands at the perfect time in my life. I would recommend this book to all.

 

This book was provided free for review from Multnomah Books.

This book takes a closer look at the war on terrorism being waged by the United States. The Fight of Our Lives delves into the role of radical Islam in everything from not only to 9/11, but also to the incident at Fort Hood and the Iranian regime. While the Islamic terrorist have remained committed and resolute, this book also looks at how the American desire and will to fight seems to have waned.  This book also goes through many of the areas where errors have been made and leaders have yielded to the pressure for diversity. In an attempt to not appear bigoted, American defense has become weaker.

I enjoyed many aspects of this book, but found it lacking in some areas. I agree with most of what is portrayed in this book. The United States is weaker as a nation and we have work to do to prevent  future events from happening. However, this  book was a little more political in nature than religion based. Being listed in the Christianity/Religion section, I was hoping to find more than one chapter that was dedicated to that aspect. The book is well written and is easy to read, while offering a wealth of great information. If you are looking for something from more of a political or cultural view, this book is great. If you looking for something from a religious point of view, there just isn’t much here. Overall, still a good book with many great points.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Booksneeze Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.