Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gorgeous! Israel - God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel - by Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett

Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel 

(Skypics Israel, November 2016)
Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.

The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.

My review:
This is an absolutely gorgeous book!  The pictures are breathtaking and it's amazing to see these historical sites from a bird's-eye-view.  I was actually able to visit Israel a couple of years ago and it was very cool to see some of these sites again, but from a different viewpoint.  There was also a lot of beautiful scenery and some photos of modern life.  I would love to be able to have some of these pictures blown up on my wall.  The devotional thoughts tied in to some of the pictures and were short and to the point.  The thoughts that stood out to me were on leaving a legacy and freedom in Christ.  They made a nice addition, but the photography was really the main focus.  I would highly recommend this book if you like photography.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
About the authors:

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company,, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. 

Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Martin Luther In His Own Words: Essential Writings of the Reformation - by Jack D. Kilcrease & Erwin W. Lutzer, Editors

Cover Art

About the book:

"Didn't he write the Ninety-Five Theses?"
Though most Protestants--approximately 900 million believers worldwide--trace their spiritual roots back to the Reformation, many people today have only a vague knowledge of Martin Luther's extensive writings. Jack Kilcrease and Erwin Lutzer step into this vacuum with Martin Luther in His Own Words, a carefully selected collection of Luther's works.

Organized around the five solas of the Reformation (sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, sola Christus, soli Deo gloria), the selections offer readers an accessible primer on works that are foundational to the theology of Protestantism in all its forms. An introduction to each writing includes an explanation of its historical context and theological significance.

Students of the Bible, pastors, teachers, and seminary students will find this collection an enlightening introduction to Luther in his own words and a useful addition to their libraries.

My review:

This was an interesting and informative book featuring some of the key ideas Martin Luther wrote about.   I really appreciated the introduction to each chapter that gave some of the background and circumstances surrounding the writing along with a short summary.  A lot of the things he said were pretty amazing considering the time in which he wrote them.  He didn't mince words calling out the pope. priests, etc., for the way they were leading people astray, especially for saying we depend on works to get to Heaven, instead of on God's grace.  I knew his life was in danger, but hadn't realized how confrontational he was.  I also never knew that he wrote so much or that he translated the Bible into German, the language of the people.  I also found it interesting to learn about some of the practices the Catholic Church was enforcing, such as not being able to eat certain foods at certain times of the year and actually calling it a sin if you did so.  I learned a lot about some of the theological views present then and now; this book really made me think more deeply about my faith.  My favorite chapters were about freedom, the views of Christ's suffering and how Christ took our sin.  I would recommend this book if you're interested in Martin Luther, the Reformation or theology!

I received this book free from Baker Books.

The Authors

  1. Jack D. Kilcrease

    Jack D. Kilcrease

    Jack D. Kilcrease (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of historical and systematic theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology. He is a church elder at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. He is the author of The Self-Donation of God: A...
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  2. Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer (BTh, Winnipeg Bible College; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. He has led tours to the sites of the Reformation in Europe, including Wittenberg, Worms, Geneva, and Zurich. He is the ECPA Gold...
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Monday, June 19, 2017

A Love So True - Teaville Moral Society 2 - by Melissa Jagears

Cover Art

About the book:

Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.

Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?

My review:

This was a wonderful story with an intriguing plot and characters I loved.  Evelyn was a selfless, caring woman with a painful secret that caused her to push men away.  David is drawn to Evelyn despite her distant demeanor and wanted to help her with the women and children of the Red Light District.  I loved how he jumped in even though he was new to town and new to this kind of ministry. He really seemed to care about both their physical and spiritual needs.  He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty.  I also loved that he liked and knew how to cook!  He did struggle to stand up to his father, however, who he worked for.  I really admired Evelyn's selflessness and her belief in a good God, no matter what she was going through.  She really had faith and believed that if God said no, it was because He had something better planned.  I got a little frustrated with her for listening to someone who did not have her best interests in mind, but it all worked out for the best.  I liked the theme of waiting on God's perfect timing.  It was nice to see characters from the previous book, which I also loved, but this worked nicely as a stand-alone.  There's some romance.  I highly recommend this well-written historical novel!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers.

 The Author

  1. Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears

    Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series, the Teaville Moral Society series, and Love by the Letter, a...
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