Book Review: Author’s Take On Prayer Will Help Readers

Cover design by Faceout Studio, Jeff Miller. Cover imagery by Shutterstock.

 

Adam Dressler’s book this is how we pray: Discovering a Life of Intimate Friendship with God ( FaithWords, 2019) helps Christian Living readers in looking at the sometimes confusing world of prayer. Dressler answers questions and takes an everyday approach to the topic where some Christians get caught up in, and sometimes, due to leadership ideals, becomes hard when it comes to applying it to their own lives.

The book defines the word prayer in basic terms as “a friendship with God.” Each chapter walks through some of the ways a person can use prayer in their everyday lives. Does someone have to pray at length or under twenty minutes? What does someone do when they don’t know what do pray about? Is prayer just asking for things? What if the person is upset with God, and finds it hard to pray at that time? These topics are covered throughout the book (with the author’s personal experiences in covering these obstacles) along with providing Biblical text to back up his views.

Some of the chapters deal with praying with gratitude, how to deal with everyday distractions, what to do when the person praying feels like their prayers are not being answered, and being silent during prayer time.

One of the more entertaining parts in the text is the chapter titled “Others,” where Dressler tells about all of the stereotypical opinions that were given to him when he first became a Christian, which brings a humorous side to the book. Anyone who first becomes a Christian (or those looking back at the time when they did), can understand this chapter and the viewpoints, such as when they were told they had to read or pray for a certain amount of time, and getting up early at 5 A.M. to study (even if the person is not a morning person). A story about a friend of his who had a worn out Bible, stating that all Bibles should look like this, hit home here (especially since I don’t like when people write in their books, and as expensive as Bibles are, I’d always took care of mine-not let it get all worn with pages falling out).

The writing brings a more down to earth approach to the topic, as opposed to some books that seem to go over the heads of readers. This book can be geared for Christians on any level, not just beginners or only to experts. There are points that can be applied to anyone. Dressler’s writings does not come off as someone who is a pastor (although he is), and his admittance of failures in certain aspects are comforting. He is not a know it all writer. A few of the chapters, towards the middle, tend to drag a little for my taste, but the book is an easy read overall, where Christians can take away some relief if they feel their payer life is not prefect or up to what others may seem is the standard.

 

This review copy was sent courtesy of the publisher.

 

this is how we pray: Discovering a Life of Intimate Friendship with God by Adam Dressler (FaithWords, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5460-3504-6 hardcover, 978-1-5460-3503-9 ebook) can be found at http://www.faithwords.com

 

FaithWords is a division of the Hachette Book Group.

 

The Overall

Pages: 240

Language: None

Geared For: Young Teens and up

For Fans Of: Christian Living, Christianity

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Book Review: Stone Writes About Angels Among Us

 

 

 

 

Jacket design by Bruce Gore/Gore Studios, Inc.

# Sponsored by FaithWords

 

Most people think of angels during the Christmas season, either in the gift shops or in holiday movies such as It’s A Wonderful Life, where Jimmy Stewart encounters the angel Clarence. Angels are seen hanging in the lobbies of churches and all throughout the television screens (usually on the Hallmark Channel) during this time.

Perry Stone’s book, This Season of Angels: Angelic Assignments During This Prophetic Season (FaithWords, 2018), takes a look at what angels are, their role, and their powers according to the Biblical texts.

The word season is defined as a “set moment in time” in the book, and uses this concept to take the reader through the different types of angels, what each purpose is for them, and also tries to answers the limitations of the power of angels. The back of the book features something that could be considered a “question and answer” segment in the Appendix section , where Perry tries to explain some of the myths about angels that may be construed throughout people’s lives. Perry also uses personal experiences, including stories from his father’s life, with their encounters of angels.

Stone writes how some of the angel’s roles are to bring warnings, use prophecy, and bring blessings to people, using stories from the Bible to show the roles , and the limitations that they have in spiritual realm.

The first part of the book started off confusing, where this reader seemed to be bombarded with information, wondering if the book was over my head (and I have spent many years in churches and reading the Bible), but once the first few chapters settle down, the book ends up explaining itself nicely, without tons of Bible verses that confuses people when some Christian writers release books. The writer explains his topic, while using the Bible and some Greek definitions to help the reader. Some Biblical books go overboard with the verses, along with in-depth Greek and Hebrew history, but Perry’s use of these definitions are just the right amount (there are parts where he writes that he will not bog down the reader with twenty more verses on the subject).

Overall, the book is an interesting read, and those that like the subject of angels will enjoy the book. The chapters are mostly short, and if you can get through the first chapter or so, the flow comes together (maybe it was just the day that I started reading it that made it confusing, which happens as well). The personal experiences from Perry through friends and family members add a nice touch to the reading, and is not just all Bible verses. Even if you are not a fan of Biblical preachers, this book is still a nice text to read for those that want to discover spiritual entities.

 

This review copy was sent courtesy of FaithWords books, a division of the Hachette Book Group, INC.

 

            This Season of Angels: Angelic Assignments During This Prophetic Season by Perry Stone (2018, FaithWords) ISBN: 978-1-5460-3530-5 (Hardcover), 978-1-5460-3529-9 (ebook) can be ordered at http://www.faithwords.com.

 

For information about the author, go to: http://www.perrystone.org

 

The Overall:

Pages: 224

Language: None

Ages: 16 and up (depending on level of knowledge of the Bible)

Geared for: Christian Living, Spiritual, Supernatural, Religion

 

Book Review: Nature and Unity Combined in Book

#sponsored by faithwords.com

Jacket design by Edward A. Crawford. Jacket photography by Getty Images.

The dictionary describes the word murmuration as a flock of starlings. Other science sites define the word by a bunch of starlings that flock together, darting through the sky in unison. However the definition is used, it is a unique site in nature, with the birds all together in the same direction.

“Designed For More” (FaithWords, 2018) by Lucas Ramirez with Mike Devito, takes the theory of murmuration and applies it as a symbol for the Christian church as a call for unity and direction.

This Christian Living book takes one of the fascinating parts of nature, and encourages Christians to be more like the starlings, mentioning that if everyone is united , like the starlings, the focus and goals can be achieved for a better church. The book also looks into how the starlings approach murmuration, in regards to all being on the same goal and being unified, which helps prevent predators from invading the group.

Other concepts that Ramirez uses in his writings is the theory that even though members of the church have different opinions, they can still be a united front in the overall goal of the church, without fighting amongst each other. He encourages others to use these tools in the local communities , using some business techniques like “creative tension,” along with discussing egos and competition that creeps into the church, which divides the overall goal. “Designed For More” then goes in depth on 7 Principals that will unleash the movement of the church to become more united.

Ramirez’s and Devito’s book is an interesting and educational read. The word unity is used so much in today’s culture, especially in politics, that I almost was going to skip over this book when I was approached to review it. However, the creative symbolism of using the murmuration by the writers made the book appealing to me. Although it is a Christian Living book, that included Biblical verse in it (both writers are in the ministry), there are ideas in here that could be used for organizations and businesses as well. There are many good ideas in this writing, including the writers explaining the differences between discussion and dialogue, and other concepts that a person can use in any aspect in life, without having to be a church going Christian.

The publication includes bold type sentences to enforce the main parts of the section, along with Devito’s contribution to the work in a separate box on the page (both are nicely packaged for the book to make it easy to read and understand). There is not a bunch of deep Bible jargon as well, which the reader easily can apply the suggestions (and remember them), without being boggled down with in depth religious text that by the time the chapter is done, the reader can’t remember what the points were.

The only suggestion that I questioned from the authors dealt with what they called “Creating Seven Influential Neighbors.” The total idea is not a bad concept, but the writers make it out that the reader has so much free time in their world throughout the week or month that this is achievable. I understand changing priorities to help make the church and communities a better place to create unity, but this section, the suggestions are not possible to achieve between a person’s work, family, and church life to have that much time to spend monthly-something has to give. This is not a knock on the idea or the writers, but when reading the suggestion, this reader was questioning “How can all of this possibly be done in a month?” However this small part does not deter from the point of view the authors try to convey.

“Designed For More” is a book that should be read by church leaders, and even community organizers. Although it is a Christian book, there is great sections in here discussing the science (along with interviews with people who study starlings) that make it educational. The reader can take many things from this book, especially if they are struggling with where the goal of their church is heading.

 

This review copy was sent courtesy of FaithWords and Hatchette Books.

 

“Designed For More” by Lucas Ramirez with Mike Devito (FaithWords, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5460-3298-4 ebook: 978-1-5460-3296-0) can be found at : http://www.faithwords.com, @Faithwords (Twitter), @FaithWordsBooks (Instagram), and Facebook.com/FaithWords.

 

For information about these authors, check out: http://www.Lucasramirez.org, http://www.DesignForMoreBook.com, and social media: @thelucasramirez @mike_d_devito, and @DesignedForMoreBook.

 

Book Review: A “Lovely” Look At The World by Designing And Faith

Cover design by Aaron Campbell & Faithwords. Cover photography by Trina McNeilly.

#Sponsored by FaithWords

 

Trina McNeilly’s “La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty In The Everyday” (Faithwords, 2018) is a Christian Living book geared towards woman, filled with wonderful pictures and ideas about decorating and in life.

McNeilly is a blogger and decorator whose web page, “La La Lovely,” shows creative ways in designing homes. The creativeness is shown just in the book alone, which is beautifully put together, with glossy pages and artistic photographs throughout the easy reading. The writing encourages the reader to find beauty in everyday life, while McNeilly uses her past life experiences to help the reader go through their own dark times. She writes about trying to juggle motherhood while continuing her creative goals and dreams, her past heartbreaks in health related problems, and also discusses handling the divorce of her parents during another difficult time in her life.

“La La Lovely” gives decorating ideas throughout the book, as well as life lessons, where the writer uses symbolism of redecorating a living space with the human mind and body. A great story used by McNeilly is when she writes about how people in France used to walk turtles just to slow down their lives. Other interesting suggestions include people finding their own quiet place in their homes and asking God into that place, clearing mental clutter everyday (just like when a person’s home is filled with clutter) using bookshelves as a symbolic tool in dealing with past issues, and that a person must be “lost before they are found.”

Since the book is a Christian Living writing, McNeilly uses Bible verses and stories of her faith to help out in her journey. However, there is not much in depth detail in most of the Bible references, which is neither good or bad. If the reader is looking for detailed Biblical analysis, this book is not for them, however, if something lighter is wanted, along with down to earth examples, this is a good book for the reader. “La La Lovely” can be read as a whole, or as a devotional, reading one or two chapters a day. The writing is easy to read, with humor (at times), along with heart-filled tales added.

The layout of McNeilly’s book is artistic and creative. The reader can go back after reading and just look at the photographs throughout the book, or re-read the redecorating tips at the end of some of the chapters. This book is geared towards women, especially mothers. The Biblical aspect is not mind blowing academia based , which can be good for those looking for a lighter devotion. Overall “La La Lovely” is nice book geared for the specific audience it sets out to reach. Take the time to look for this book at the store, even just to admire the layout it.

 

 

Thanks to Faithwords Books and Hatchette Books for the reading copy.

 

“La La Lovely” by Trina McNeilly (Faithwords, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-4789-2076-2 eISBN: 978-1-4789-2077-9) can be found at : http://www.faithwords.com .

 

For more about the author, go to: http://www.TrinaMcNeilly.com or at             http://www.lalalovelythings.com

Book Review: Fields Tells a Blessed Story

In her book “Blessed Life” (FaithWords, 2017), actress Kim Fields ,with Todd Gold, discusses her career and life in Hollywood, having come to fame through television commercials that led her to the part of Tootie on the show “The Facts of Life.”

Fields takes the reader through a few stories on the set of the “Facts” show, where there were casting changes and mid season breaks during the first season, which eventually led to the show’s breakthrough. She tells about how in during Season Four of the show, a comment by Joan Rivers led to the show’s producers to start monitoring the weight of the cast members. The book walks through Kim’s career after the “Facts,” to getting a role on the show “Living Single,” to her work behind the camera and on reality shows and her love for spoken word poetry.

The book, at times, covers how Fields became a Christian at age 14, and how her faith helped her through some tough parts of her life, including bad relationships, and a time that she refers to as “The Dark Ages,” which a Liza Minnelli interview helped her get through this period of her life.

The book is a easy read and a quick read , which is good and bad. If the reader is looking for a bunch of behind the scenes stories about the “Facts of Life” times, they will not find a lot here. There are stories, but this period seems to be rushed through (either that or there was not much to tell on the set). Fields spends more time on her failed relationships (one interesting story involves having to choose between her church and her then boyfriend), along with her praises for African-American leaders like Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, and other social causes (which is not bad, it’s her book, but those wanting to hear more about the television career of hers may be let down a little).

There are some great stories in the book about her growing up with a young Janet Jackson and her family, and her career behind the camera with helping out other famous people with their acting, along with her thoughts on the TV Show “Friends,” which was being pushed by the same company that owned “Living Single,” which is very interesting.

This book is a different kind of Christian Living book, where although there are a few Bible verses put in the book, there are not many. The best part of the book is her discussing her “Dark Ages” period, which shows that even the people society builds up, have their doubts, fears, and disappointments.

Die-hard fans of Kim Fields will definitely enjoy this book. This is not a typical Christian book, nor is it a typical Hollywood tell-all biography, which each in their own right, has its unique qualities.

 

 

Thank you to FaithWords and Hatchette Books for the Review Copy.

 

 

“Blessed Life” by Kim Fields with Todd Gold (FaithWords, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-4789-4754-7 eISBN: 978-1-4789-4755-4) is a division of Hatchette Book Group , Inc.

For more information, go to http://www.Faithwords.com or http://www.hatchettebookgroup.com .       For more on Kim Fields, go to twitter @KimVFields.