Christ's Bridge
A bridge to books and other knowledge about Christ.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross by Colin S. Smith (Book Review!)

Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross

Written by Colin S. Smith

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Heaven How I Got Here

Genre- Christian / Nonfiction

Published by- Christian Focus Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 95

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-1-78191-558-5, $8.99

Colin S. Smith has written a very interesting book from the viewpoint of the thief on the cross.  Heaven, How I Got Here discusses what the thief’s life was like, how he ended up on the cross, and how we can become a faithful Christians.

Smith combines the thief’s old faith, new faith, and what can happen to us if we believe and have faith.

Book Sample.

About the Author- Colin S. Smith has a daily radio program and is Senior Pastor in Chicago.  His website is www.unlockingthebible.org.

My thoughts-  I thought Heaven How I Got here, by Colin S. Smith, was simply going to be about the thief’s experience on the cross and nothing more.  I was wrong.  There was so much more about how and why we should trust in God.

The fact that the thief was able to be in heaven with Jesus that day should give all of us great hope.  He had faith and a desire to know Jesus.  The thief was not perfect and we do not need to be perfect to join His kingdom.  That is the most important thing we need to remember.  Jesus will take us at any stage.  We just need to believe in him.

I think one of the best parts  of the book is the Q & A section at the end of the book with Smith, because it explains why he wrote the book.

This book is perfect for those who want to know more about Christianity or need to come back to Jesus.  I highly recommend it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Heaven How I Got Here, written by Colin S. Smith, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  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.  All links were current when posted.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

God’s Battle Plan for the Mind by David W. Saxton (Book Review)

God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation

Written by David W. Saxton

(I received this book for review purposes.)

God's Battle Plan for the Mind

Genre- Christian / Nonfiction

Published by- Reformation Heritage Books

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 160

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-1-60178-371-4, $18.00

The Puritan pastors used to encourage their congregations to meditate upon God’s word.  David W. Saxton would like us to do the same.  He has written a book that shows us exactly how to do this based upon his ideas and those of other Puritans.

This book includes:

  • learning what Biblical meditation is
  • how to practice meditation
  • what subjects to chose
  • what benefits there are to meditation
  • and more

Book Sample.

About the Author- David W. Saxton and his wife have five daughters.  He is a senior pastor of Hardingville Bible Church.

My thoughts-  God’s Battle Plan for the Mind, by David W. Saxton, has convinced me that I need to dedicate more of my life to Biblical meditation.  Until I read this book I did not realize how I had been neglecting my dedication to God and his word.  I need to make sure I get up early in the morning when my head is clear and spend my time thinking and studying upon the word of God. 

Saxton did a wonderful job in researching and including the most important quotes from Puritan resources.  I really appreciate the list of resources in the back of the book.  The quotes helped me understand how important Biblical meditation was to the Puritans and how it should be to us today.

One of the best parts of this book was how Saxton included the role that technology and day-to-day life has played in the decline of our meditation.  He also talked about how meditation is not a bad practice.  It is important.

I think this is a very important book for everyone to read.  We all need to meditate upon God’s word.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received God’s Battle Plan for the Mind, written by David W. Saxton, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  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.  All links were current when posted.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Resurrection in Your Life by Mike McKinley (book review)

The Resurrection in Your Life

Written by Mike McKinley

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Mike Mckinley

Genre- Christian / Nonfiction

Published by- The Good Book Company

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 144

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-1-91030-703-8, $14.99

In a continuation from his first book, The Cross in Your Life, Mike McKinley discusses Luke 24 and Acts 1-2.  Each chapter begins with the Bible (NIV) text, continues with McKinley’s discussion and ends with a relevant poem written by different people, like Charles Wesley. 

Each chapter also contains relevant questions.

Book Sample.

About the Author- Mike McKinley is married with five children and currently lives in Virginia.  He has written The Cross in Your Life, Did the Devil Make Me Do It? and  Am I Really a Christian?

My thoughts-  The Resurrection in Your Life, by Mike McKinley, was a wonderful book.  There were many encouraging words to help me grow me in my relationship with God.

I liked the poems at the end of each chapter.  It would have been nice if they had been at the beginning of each chapter.  I feel that if they had been at the beginning of each chapter, they would put me in the proper mindset to read and study the chapter.

I liked having all of the Bible verses for the chapter in the chapter.  It helped the text flow into each chapter.  Using the NIV version was a good idea, because I find this version of the Bible the easiest to understand.  It also seems to be the most popular version.

As always I was grateful for the questions at the end of the chapter.  When there are questions, they help me think about what I read and how I can apply it to my life.

I think this book is perfect for new Christians and also for those who may want a refresh themselves on this important Bible text.  The death of Christ was not the end.  It was the beginning.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Resurrection in Your Life, illustrated by Mike McKinley, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  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.  All links were current when posted.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ordinary by Tony Merida (Book Review)

Ordinary by Tony Merida

Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida

Genre- Christian / Nonfiction

Published by- B&H Publishing

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 140

Age Group- Adult (older teen)

Description of book- hardback, list price $12.99, ISBN: 978-1783970438

Do you feel the need to be a flashy Christian and go to a flashy church?  Tony Merida shows us a different way in his book, Ordinary.

As Christians we need to live humbly and fulfilling lives with acts of hospitality, service, and neighborly love.  Merida show us how to do that with chapters focusing on hospitality, orphan care, advocacy, and more.

About the author- Tony Merida currently lives in North Carolina with his wife and five adopted children.  He is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church.  He has written several other books.

My thoughts- Ordinary might be small, but it contained more helpful information than many larger and longer books.  There are many books in the market that want us to be extrodinarely extraordinary, but Tony Merida wants us to be ordinary.  Do not worry, we can and should be ordinary in an extraordinary way.

We should be there for the widows and the orphans.  We need to be there for the less fortunate.  Merida gives us specific instructions and details on his life to tell/show us how to love our neighbors and care for those are unable to care for themselves.  There is a list of websites at the end of the book.  This list will give you a good place to start, so you will know who and how to support.

The one thing I would change about this book would be the addition of some awesome chapter questions to go with this awesome book.  The questions would help guide people in the right direction.  I know it would help me to know which way my family and I need to go.  I know there is a Bible study available from Lifeway, but questions would be able to help those who cannot afford the Bible study.

If you read one book this year, Ordinary is the one to read.  As Christians we need to help make this a better world and we can do it in very ordinary ways.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down, by Tony Merida, for free from Cross Focused Reviews. 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. All links were current when posted.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Salt, Light and Cities on Hills by Melvin Tinker

Salt-Light-And-Cities-on-HillsSalt, Light, and Cities on Hills by Melvin Tinker

Genre- Christian / Nonfiction

Published by- EP Books (Evangelical Press)

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 119

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, list price $10.99, ISBN: 978-1783970438

Salt, Light and Cities on Hills, by Melvin Tinker, discusses social action and evangelism in Britain today.  He uses writings from John Stott and Tim Keller.  He also references Isaiah and the Sermon on the Mount. 

Some questions answered are:

  • Can evangelism and social action work together?
  • Did the disciples use evangelism and social action?
  • Should we be doing what the disciples did?

About the author- Melvin Tinker is currently married and has three sons and six grandchildren.  He is the Senior Minister of St. John, Newland, Hull.  He is a speaker as well as an author.

My thoughts- I know this book is about the church in Britain, but I feel this book would work in any country in the world.  Our churches need to learn how blend evangelism with social action.  The disciples and those in the book of Acts knew exactly how to do it so all learned about Jesus.  This is something that we need to do as well.

I think this book would be good for ministers and those who are involved in evangelism and social action in the churches.  Some of the reading was tedious to me, but I knew how important it was and I kept reading.  I thought the last couple of chapters were the most interesting, because they involved Melvin Tinker’s opinions  I thought reading about his views were much more interesting than reading a discussion of the different view points of John Stott and Tim Keller. 

One of my favorite parts of this book were the notes at the end of each chapter.  I learned a lot of extra information about evangelism and social action.

I think Salt, Light, and Cities on Hills is a book that everybody who is involved with evangelism and social action in the church must read.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Salt Light, and Cities on Hills, by Melvin Tinker, for free from Cross Focused Reviews. 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. All links were current when posted.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Fatal Tree by Stephen R. Lawhead (book review)

The Fatal Tree (A Bright Empires Novel, Book 5)

by Stephen R. Lawhead

(I received this book for review purposes.)

The Fatal Tree

Genre- Fiction / Fantasy / General

Publisher- Thomas Nelson

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of Pages- 356

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- Hardback, $26.99, ISBN: 978-1-59554-808-5

The Fatal Tree, by Stephen R. Lawhead, is the final book in The Bright Empires Series.  There are some weird wrinkles in time all over the earth, that nobody can ignore.  Kit, Cass, and Mina are trying to come together to solve the problem at the Spirit Well.  They are having a hard time getting to the right time and place.  They are unable to get to the Spirit Well, because there is a very dangerous yew tree growing over the portal. 

Will they be able to save the world?  Will their nemesis, Lord Burleigh be able to help them?

About the Author- Stephen R. Lawhead currently lives in England with his wife.  He is the author of The King Raven Trilogy, The Song of Albion Trilogy, and The Dragon King Trilogy.

My Thoughts- The end of a series.  I have enjoyed reading the Bright Empires Series.  The fourth book, The Shadow Lamp, was very interesting and this one, The Fatal Tree, was excellent.

I really enjoyed having the list of characters and their descriptions.  It would have helped me if the people had been organized by their relationships or importance in the series.  I would have liked a complete table of contents, because there were a couple of chapters titles I could not read.  I also wanted to know what the titles were, because I wanted to go back and look some information up, I had to flip through the book to find it.

Now that I got all of the technical items out of the way, I can discuss my favorite parts.  My favorite character in this book was Lord Burleigh.  He was the antagonist throughout the series, but he changed thanks to the effort of Engelbert Stiffelbeam, the man he assaulted.  It was while Burleigh was in jail that Etzel, Engelbert, visited him once a week to bring him food.  Etzel was being a wonderful Christian, he was drawing people to Christ through his actions, not his words or lack there of.  I personally feel that is one of the best ways to draw people to Christ.  I thought all of the other characters were well developed, but they did not come close to Lord Burleigh and Etzel.

Since I had read the other books in the series, I knew the plot, what the ley lines were, and who the characters were, but I do not think this book would be hard to follow if you were new to the series.  You may want to start at the beginning though to get the whole story. 

This is an excellent book and I recommend it to all.  The book, Hood, from the King Raven series, looks interesting.  I was able to read a short excerpt in the back of The Fatal Tree.  I will be reading it soon.

Informational and Purchasing Links-

The Fatal Tree - http://www.amazon.com/The-Fatal-Tree-Bright-Empires/dp/1595548084/

Author Website - http://www.stephenlawhead.com/

Author Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-R-Lawhead/84503526872

My review for The Shadow Lamp- http://www.christsbridge.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-shadow-lamp-by-stephen-r-lawhead.html

Participants’ links:

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of The Fatal Tree, by Stephen R. Lawhead to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of CSFF Blog TourAll links were current when posted.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

God’s Super-Apostles by R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec (book review)

God’s Super-Apostles:

Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement

By R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec

(I received this book for review purposes.)

God's Super-Apostles

Genre- Christianity / Pentecostal & Charismatic

Published by- Weaver Book Company

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 160

Age Group- Adults

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-1-941337-08-0, $12.99

Do you know the name of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, Bill Hamon, or Cindy Jacobs?  Have you ever hear of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

God’s Super-Apostles explains what NAR is and how it is different from Pentecostal and charismatic teachings.  “Prayerwalking,” “healing rooms,” and “24/7 prayer rooms” are also discussed.  There are also chapter discussing what it says in the Bible about these different teachings.

In the back of the book there are different indexes, appendices, and a glossary.

Sample of the Book!

About the Authors-

R. Douglas Geivett currently works as a professor of philosophy in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.  He has written several other books.

Holly Pivec has written many different articles and has been the managing editor of Biola Magazine.

My thoughts- I thought God’s Super-Apostles was a very interesting book.  I have never studied or known much about NAR, but I know a lot more thanks to R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec. 

One thing I know for sure is that before I join a church or even after I visit one I will be studying the Bible to make sure what was discussed is also in the Bible.  I do not plan on staying at a church that believes so strongly in the apostles and prophets and teaching people spiritual gifts.

I really liked the examples of what happened to different individuals that went to different NAR churches.  I also liked the appendices, because they gave good advice to parents, pastors, and participants.  There was also a section about questions to ask the church and one about different names NAR individuals might call people, like critical spirit.  The glossary was also very helpful.

This book was well done, because it discussed what NAR believed, then what the Bible teaches, then compared the two.  I would highly recommend it to others.  I think everyone needs to know about NAR.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received God’s Super-Apostles, by R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  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.  All links were current when posted.

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