Category Archives: Book Reviews

Love by Calvin Miller

Love is a six-week Bible study that discusses the first of the Fruit of the Spirit, listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Each week, Miller explores one aspect of love in multiple ways – as a characteristic itself, as it relates to God’s kingdom purpose, as it relates to our relationship with Christ, its relevance to service in God’s kingdom,  and as it relates to personal worship. Miller expresses that love is the cornerstone of all of the other Fruits, and each week he teaches on one aspect of it through illustrative stories and discussion of different passages of Scripture.

As a whole, there were things I liked about this study, and there were things I felt were lacking. The organization was great – there was never a doubt about what aspect of that week’s characteristic of love you were going to study. On top of this, I felt Miller’s use of illustrations was very helpful in keeping my attention. I started the study with only a slight interest, but found myself looking forward to seeing how the author illustrated his points with short, interesting stories each day. Perhaps the best aspect of the study was that it effectively taught Biblical truths, capturing the fullness of God’s love without sacrificing the truth of His justice.  Those things said, I did feel that some of the reflection questions were weak. I would have liked to see the author give more Scripture for the reader to look up, and to use that as a basis for personal reflection, as opposed to some of the rather closed questions whose relation to that day’s lesson were not always readily apparent.

In the end, I would recommend participating in this study. I can definitely see myself going through some of Miller’s other Fruit of the Spirit studies, and I hope I get the opportunity to do so.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Uncle Sam’s Plantation by Star Parker

In Star Parker’s book, Uncle Sam’s Plantation, the subtitle says it all: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It. Parker outlines the major issues and resulting legislation that has come about over the last 150 years that has, in its own way, imprisoned the poor in our country. Whether the issue be welfare, abortion, education, or taxes, Parker argues that the so-called compassionate actions put forth by liberal government leaders has actually done nothing more than kept the poor living in poverty.  More than just a rant about liberals and big government, Parker takes the time to analyze each issue from it’s beginning to the current state of affairs in our nation, points out where things went wrong, and gives her opinion on what can be done to reverse these problems and get our nation back on the right track.

As a whole, I thought the book was great – eye-opening on the one hand, and quite startling on the other.  Admittedly, it did not hold my interest very well at first, but I can say that the cause of that was just as much my own lack of political understanding as it was the content of the book. I put the book down after the first 2 chapters, and a month later I picked it up again and started from scratch.  The second time I was able to keep reading, and after finishing, I can say that I enjoyed it, overall, and felt much better informed and better off for having read it.

Parker is the perfect person to write this book.  Coming from a previous life of carelessness, sexual promiscuity, multiple abortions, and living on welfare, she understands the mindset of the average person living in poverty, and how they become enslaved to the government through dependence on welfare and other government aid. And by struggling through the process of getting off of welfare and standing on her own two feet, she is in a unique position to help others to the same.

In today’s political marketplace, it can be difficult to discern what is truth and what is not.  I recommend Uncle Sam’s Plantation to anyone who, like me, doesn’t feel particularly well-informed about liberal versus conservative politics, or to anyone who would like an eye-opening explanation to many of the problems our nation is facing.  This book will help both kinds of readers, and the unique position Star Parker has as a welfare recover-er validates its message.  When you finish it, you’ll have a good idea of what is really happening in our nation, and can weed through a lot of the misinformation that many politicians throw at us.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Captured By Grace by Dr. David Jeremiah

No one is beyond the reach of a loving God.

Not John Newton, who for much of his life was in the profession of trading African natives as slaves to England and English territories like America.

Not the Apostle Paul, formerly known as the Pharisee Saul, who relentlessly pursued and arrested believers, even consenting to the death of some of them.

Not you or me, regardless of what we have done in our pasts. No one is beyond God’s loving reach.

Captured By Grace, by Dr. David Jeremiah, is part biographical, part spiritual guidance. Using the words of the timeless hymn, Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, Dr. Jeremiah weaves the life stories of both Newton and the Apostle Paul together, showing how these men of questionable pasts became two of the most influential followers of Jesus Christ and two of the most knowledgeable figures in Christian history when it came to the grace of God. And using their example, he shows us how we, too, can be captured by God’s amazing grace to cover the sins of our pasts, give us power for the present, and provide hope for our futures.

When it comes to reading non-fiction books, I’m usually very quick to lose interest, unless some factor motivates me to keep reading. The biographical nature of this book gave me that motivation – I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter to see more of the life of Newton and how he came to write the most popular hymn of all time. At the same time, Dr. Jeremiah teaches sound, Biblical truth regarding God’s grace that I am sure will impact how I live and how I interact with God.

At times, while reading it, I felt like crying because of my own wretchedness. At times I felt like getting up and praising God for His loving kindness. But I never felt like putting the book down. I would recommend Captured By Grace to anyone, especially anyone who feels they aren’t good enough to come to God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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