Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ascent From Darkness by Michael Leehan

Wow! I had no idea what to expect when I began reading Ascent From Darkness by Michael Leehan, but once I started I didn’t want to put it down! I am amazed at Michael’s courage and humility to tell his story through this book. No Christian, let alone human, could ever be proud of the acts and lifestyle the Michael lived, yet remarkably Michael lays out the details of his life. The book begins with Michael’s early years and how he had turned from God and decided to make Satan his master. The story then unfolds to tell of his divorce and his sex driven, deadbeat, purposeless lifestyle that would revolve around self-emulation, sacrifices and a life devoted to Satan.
            Michael reveals secrets of his diabolical lifestyle and leaves little behind. Throughout the book we see godly people trying to bring him back into the light but to no avail. It isn’t until the very end that we learn how God had supernaturally saved his life before his suicide attempt.
            I recommend this book to EVERYONE. I truly believe this book could be made into a movie because it grips the reader and doesn’t let go. The whole way through I thought to myself “ok I know he is a saved Christian now, but how in the world did he get himself out of this mess!?” So I kept reading, and reading, and reading.
            One of the BEST books I have read recently, captivating, fascinating, intriguing, and most definitely a great BLESSING.
            This book has blessed me and I know it will bless you too. Read it. You have to, you can’t miss out not too. I’m not sure how the rest of you will feel, but my spiritual life and understanding will never be the same.
            This book has been provided to me by Thomas Nelson publishers for an honest review. I did not have to give a favorable review of the book and the opinions described above are 100% my own.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Journey To Christmas

Why should you watch this documentary? 

Visually this documentary is stunning! The sights and sounds are authentic, the tour is spectacular, immerses you into the culture, and one can really visualize what Christmas is truly about.
I appreciate that the documentary is not biased and has individuals of different backgrounds that contribute to the Christmas story each with a unique way of thinking.
I also enjoyed the bit of history and insight that is provided throughout the documentary of the different places shown. However, it is also the failure of doing this point well that might drive you away from enjoying this documentary (explain below).

Why you might not enjoy this documentary?

To complete the point I made about the history and insights in this documentary, I am glad that it is somewhat contained in this documentary, however, if you are looking for detailed historical analysis, this is not the documentary to watch. 
If you don’t like reality television shows, this is also not the documentary to watch. They have interviews (kind of like in survivor) where they have the people sit and talk about the experience and such. This is somewhat annoying especially if you are watching this documentary purely for a Christmas insight and to gain knowledge – I know the people I watched it with were annoyed at the “reality t.v.” feel.
The biggest reason you might come away disappointed after watching this documentary (as is the case with me) was the lack to biblical and spiritual content. It is interesting that though the documentary is about Christmas, the amount of actual scriptures read regarding Christmas was minimal. And spiritually? I did not come away enlightened or “blessed.”


If you would like a stunning view (tour) of the holy land, you won’t be disappointed. You will feel immersed in the culture, you will see the sights, hear the sounds, and could even smell the smells (with a little imagination).  This documentary provides a different view of Christmas and moves away from the commercialization of Christmas that the North American society has made the holiday to be. But ultimately, spiritually it does not contain much depth.  
I received this DVD free from Tyndale House Publisher for the purpose of providing my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Voice New Testament: Step Into the Story of Scripture

The Voice New Testament: Step Into the Story of Scripture by Thomas Nelson is truly a one of a kind bible translation. I have read plenty of Bible translations, King James, NKJV, NIV, NLT, RBS (Russian translation), and most recently The Message, from Genesis to Revelations. Unfortunately I only read the New Testament of this translation, but I hope to one day soon read the Old as well.

It is truly one of a kind reading experience for it presents the Bible to the reader in a form that we are all familiar with. We all watch movies, shows, and some perhaps read plays; well reading this translation creates a similar experience. The Voice is written as a narrative, it provides background information and fills the readers in on the gaps (some contextual, some from Old Testament, etc.) so the reader is never lost. But it is the actual writing itself that is so beautifully, and well written in my opinion. It is simple to read but never losses the initial intent of what is being said.

In the beginning the authors point out the reasons for writing The Voice and how exactly it was created. They do a beautiful job putting all the pieces together to actually give the reader a FRESH experience, read the Bible in a way like never before. As the authors point out this is both a word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation of the bible. It never twists or manipulates the words and is ultimately an exciting, simple, pleasant and informative way of reading the Bible.
In my opinion I believe EVERYONE should own and read a copy of this translation. It has improved my understanding and has given me a new way of thinking but some subjects. I highly recommend it.
Note: This Bible was given to me by the Thomas Nelson Publishers for a honest review. 5/5 stars!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey…On and Off the Road. By Dana Niesluchowski and David R. Veerman

The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey…On and Off the Road. By Dana Niesluchowski and David R. Veerman
I was really looking foreword to receiving this book. I was not disappointed. I love running, but I’m a fairly new beginner at the sport. I didn’t know techniques, equipment or anything… All I knew was how to put on my shoes, head band and out the door I went. I lacked the motivation to do it continuously, and when I did go out running I tried to put my thoughts on God and wholesome things. With my background I thought this would be a perfect book to read!
At first I thought “hmmmm, this book does not seem to be telling me anything I don’t already know” but that was not the case at all as I kept reading. The training tips are wonderful and encouraging. The best part is that this book motivated me to actually get out and run. Every time I read this book I wanted to go running.
The book others stories, training tips and advice, weekly logs, plans and put’s a spiritual component into each chapter. Although the authors went light on the spiritual aspect, nonetheless it was a pleasant little add-in to each section and tied in well with what the authors were communicating.
This book is meant to be read as a devotional, a weekly one (one chapter a week) not per day (although you can). I would recommend this book for anything seeking motivation, tips and advice, and a little change from the usual running experience. I have already passed it on to other friends and recommended it to all runners, I found it very helpful book and definitely received a physical as well as spiritual blessing from it.
Note: Tyndale Publishers provided me with this book for an honest review and opinion.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Has God Spoken? Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration

Has God Spoken? Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration by the Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff started out very promising. I loved diving into the book and seeing from the start that this man knew what he was talking about. He knew other religions and seemed to know his bible. He did a fantastic job describing the different archeological, anthropological, and sociological evidences that prove the Bible’s validity. Anyone who question’s the validity or authenticity of the bible will really have only their lack of faith to blame if they choose not to believe the evidence in front of them.
The problem I ran into was maintaining my interest to finish the book. Usually I have no problem, but this was a rare exception. Although the book started out fantastic and I was thoroughly impressed with Hanegraaff’s knowledge I got bored really quick. I love historical and archeological books (I’ve even gone on a few archeological digs in the Middle East) but this book lost it’s luster the more I read it. By the time the archeological evidence ended I was breathing a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t fresh for long.
Although I respect other’s interpretation of the Bible I disagree with how Hanegraaff almost bullies his ideas to the reader. I personally disagree on much of his interpretation of certain scripture, and being a theology major I have ample reason and proof to show where Hanegraaff is wrong with his interpretation. The bigger issue to me is that the way he presents his interpretations is “his way or the highway” and I don’t respect how he bash’s other religious groups who think differently then he does.
Overall the evidence is virtually spotless and I would say the validity is proven but the book has it’s downfalls. It all depends on why the reader is picking up this book: to find proof for the Bibles authenticity or gain a deeper theological/ spiritual understanding of God and religion – that you (at least I) did not get.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? By Alister Mcgrath

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? By Alister Mcgrath was a pleasure to read. Rather then disproving all atheistic arguments and delving deep into new atheism philosophy this book provided an excellent beginning to those that are not familiar (or semi familiar) with the new atheism movement today. Mcgrath began by introducing the four henchmen: Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennett and presented some of their claims. Mcgrath then tackled the issues himself with intellectual arguments and visible evidence. Being a philosophy student I was impressed with Mcgrath’s arguments. I enjoyed, for once, reading a Christian’s viewpoints on such a hotly tempered and debated subject all the while being so respectful of the other side. I am a Christian but I cannot stand ignorance or bashing someone’s ideas just because their beliefs are not inline with mine, this is why I came away impressed with how Mcgrath presented his arguments. His arguments were solid, granted not all subjects or atheistic claims were debunked in this book but it leads the reader in the right direction, essentially showing how flawed new atheistic claims are.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to understand what exactly new atheism is, has doubts after reading such books as “God is not great” or “God delusion”, or is simply looking for an interesting read and a new way of looking at an age old subject. Great book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the 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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

“Is the Bible reliable: building a historical case” from TrueU and Focus on the Family

In case anyone that reads this may not know, but at times I get material from publishers like Tyndale which ask me to give an honest review about the material. The last item I got from them were two DVD’s entitled “Is the Bible reliable: building a historical case” (released be TrueU and Focus on the Family) I don’t know about other people but I love diving into hard evidence regarding the bible and these DVD’s allowed me to do just that. They have been an absolute delight to watch and learn from. I have done a number of reviews so far, but this is one of my favorites. I know even before I get into the summery the DVD (+booklet), if you look into purchasing the DVD’s they are $40 which may seem like a lot but I would have to say they are well worth it! The information is fantastic, engaging, and well presented. These DVD’s take you through all the defining moments of the Bible and present unquestionable archeological evidence and provide great background information regarding culture and the times, further proving the Bible’s validity. The DVD’s are made in an excellent way that you can enjoy it either at home with family or make group studies with them. The book that comes along is a bonus already containing outlines for doing group studies and helping to cement the knowledge.
I am a student that has gone to a public high school and I have many unbelieving friends. At times I would share with my friends about Christ, I would sense that they wanted to be a part of God’s loving family but they had a difficult time accepting the Bible for they felt like there was no proof of the events in it. After watching these DVD’s, they’ll have all the proof they need. These DVD’s a great way to strengthen one’s own faith and provide answers to those with doubts.

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

I hate it when you pick up a book expecting something interesting, insightful, and intriguing; thinking I learning about either something I never knew before (whether it falls in line with my beliefs or not) or expound my knowledge about a particular subject. Today I finished the book “The Liturgical Year” a book about why we should follow the liturgical year festivals that the Catholic church follows, but unfortunately this was a book exact opposite of what I described above. I don’t know much about the “liturgical” year so I was interested to pick this book up to read. I love learning about other religions (not to convert, but to not be ignorant), however, I don’t know what category to place this book under. It does not explain much history but simply the surface information about a particular holiday or feast in the Roman Catholic Church, but does not go deep into any holidays and almost assumes the reader knows about the holiday/ feast already. However if I even was a Roman Catholic, this book would still be useless because I would assume I would already know much if not all the information covered in this book. I am not Roman Catholic yet I already knew most of the things (if not all) that this author talks about simply because it lacks so much depth, at least if it was interesting with maybe a few funny or insightful stories… but it did not have any of those either. I am so disappointed when I read such books. I want things that improve my spiritual life, and my knowledge and understanding of the world around me, books like this one seem to be a waste of time to read. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between a Man and a Woman by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

Today I finished reading `Couples Who Pray - the most intimate act between a man and a women’ by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt and I have to say I was impressed. The book can be summarized with the statement, couples who pray together stay together and the authors challenge couples to go ahead and try a 40-day prayer challenge with their spouse and watch the improvements in all areas of their lives together. The reason that I am impressed is because they take a simple statement/ challenge and they do a good job writing an entire book out of it! They encompass different areas of spirituality in the book and ultimately give all the credit to God of the wonderful things that happen to us. This book is not only for firm believers but also for those who are not followers because they can see through examples of many famed celebrities in the book that this is for real (so if you don’t think you need it, go ahead and get it for a friend my need it for their relationship, and at the same time they will develop a relationship with God). The book can greatly benefit many couples and even bring people to Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to all, believer or non, singles and married; I am only 22 and single myself but I walk away after reading this book with knowledge that will greatly benefit me in the future. Satan is defiantly out to get families and marriages, we can see it all throughout North America with broken marriages and home, if we can do something about it, why don’t we? This is a book that definitely gives us that advantage over the enemy. Before I close this this quick review I must mention that I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program and I was not required to write a positive review but write whatever I though, I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Max on Life by Max Lucado

Today I read Max Lucado’s “Max on Life”, this book was truly a phenomenal read. Max takes everyday questions from everyday people and answers them in a powerful and inspiring way. He deals with the aspects of hope for the believer and the sinner, conflicts and hurts that make us question and doubt, help found in seeking God, questions in sexual activities, the after life and everyday business from kids to finances and lifestyle. As I read some of the questions, I thought to myself oh boy it’s going to be tough answering that one, but then in less then one page Max not only answers the questions but leaves the answer seeker with a sense of God’s love, grace and joy.
I have read a number of Lucado’s book and I must admit, I didn’t like them all, but this one was spectacular book with encouraging and awe-inspiring answers. I am very glad to have read this book, it answers some of my questions I had in ways I never thought of. Of course depending on one’s denomination you might find discrepancies in what Max writes about Hell and death (as I do) but that does not stop me from being inspired and encouraged and furthermore blessed by reading his book.
Go and get this book and be blessed!
(By the way, I received this book free from the publisher through the 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)

Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer . . . One Patient at a Time by David Levy

Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer . . . One Patient at a Time
So I just finished reading an excellent book called Grey Matter by David Levy. It was an excellent and intriguing book about the story of a neurosurgeon  (David Levy himself) and his stand for faith. In today’s world it is hard, if not impossible, to share one’s faith with strangers, especially in the work place. David Levy’s story provides great examples of what sharing one’s faith can do for others. He lists countless stories and responses he has received and unexpected answers and response from patients that he asked to pray with. He recounts his struggle with accepting Christianity, then sharing his faith with patients, workers and all those around him.
It was definitely an interesting book to read. Having a brother neurosurgeon, and planning to become one myself it showed me how my future (hopefully) job, and any job for that matter, can become ultimately a way to lead people to Christ. The book virtually shows step by step how anyone can do what Dr. Levy has done by displaying one’s faith to others and yet not cramming it down their throat either. It is an excellent book to read for anyone that loves medicine or simply is looking to share their faith with the world. This book was sent as a complimentary copy for reviewing purposes from Tyndale house and everything mentioned above is my honest opinion. 5/5 stars.

Beyond Talent by John C. Maxwell

I love reading books that you can take and apply the message to your life rather than books that are abstract thinking (although those could be nice too sometimes). John C. Maxwell gives the reader excellent advice to change his or her life around immediately. The book extinguishes myths that talent makes people successful and makes it clear that focus, passion, initiative, courage, perseverance, among other qualities listed in the book make people successful. Maxwell brings out stories and examples throughout the thirteen chapters each with specific themes dealing with specific issues and leading the reader to a deeper truth and motivation to go out and succeed.
Look, not everyone has some great talent, we all know that and that’s why we aren’t in the NHL, or NFL, we aren’t hit move stars or singers, but yet we all posses something that no one else does. I personally look foreword to being a doctor soon enough and hopefully I can change the world that way. Currently I am studying for my MCAT to get into med school and this book is surprisingly inspirational and motivating. I’d encourage anyone who needs motivation or to be set straight to read this book. It is repetitive at times and sometimes simply stating common truths that most would know, however, I am sure some people need to be reminded of common knowledge sometimes too. A good read. By the way this book was given to me as a complementary copy by for an honest review of the book, check out to get involved!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Be The People" by Carol M. Swain

The latest book I read "Be The People" by Carol M. Swain is one of those rare books that you happen to pick up telling you many of the things you thought you already knew and then making them so much clearer. It tackles all the issues that are wrong with the U.S. From abortion, homosexuality, marriage, racism, illegal immigration, and anything else you can think of. What I really like about the book is that it takes all of these controversial issues and presents them in such a beautiful way, states exactly what the bible says, not tip toeing around the issues yet still not being hateful. It presents the issues with a lot of research, quotes, and reads as if you are reading a research paper (an interesting one) not simply an opinion.
Swain does a fabulous job telling it as it is. America and its morals have been falling apart at the seems and its getting progressively worse and worse, this book is written just in time, I just hope more people would read it. I enjoyed reading lies and myths being dispelled in this book regarding controversial issues, but most of all I enjoyed the fact that it is biblical!! Read this book and help make a change, if we all do it together we can restore that original faith.
This book was given to me as a free copy through and Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review.