Friday, April 27, 2018

Is There Anything Too Hard For God? Ask These Seven People Who Have Experienced THE RESCUE!

“Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Genesis 18:14 (KJV)

We read stories like that in the Bible and say to ourselves (and to one another), “Yes, but things were DIFFERENT         back then.  When was the last time YOU saw something like that?”

Well, Jim Cymbala and Ann Spangler may not have witnessed a miraculous pregnancy, but they have seen God work miraculously in the lives of seven people.  They saw God working so powerfully, that they just had to write a book about it.  They called this book . . .

The Rescue.

Short.  Sweet.  And definitely to the point.  There is no other word for it . . . these individuals were rescued from circumstances that defy the imagination.  And they share their stories to remind you that God is still in the life-saving business . . . and that there really is nothing too hard for God.

The stories are written in the first person, and the “writers” don’t pull any punches.  They are brutally – sometimes graphically – honest with their experiences, so you might want to keep that in mind when considering younger readers.  And for those who have been technologically blessed (which is about everyone these days!) you can watch 5 of the stories contained in the book online at

Think you’ve strayed too far from God to be rescued?  These seven testimonies just might change your mind.

5 stars for a testimonial to the rescuing power of the one true God


Jim Cymbala, with Ann Spangler
Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
ISBN 978-0-310-35117-7
177 pages
$16.99 (Hardback with dustjacket)

Monday, April 9, 2018


I read a story one time, about a minister who was engaged in conversation with a good friend.  His friend was asking him about his sermons, and the minister replied,
          “Well, I study all week for my sermon.  And when I get into the pulpit, the sermon I prepared is a good sermon.  Then I start preaching, and it doesn’t sound anything like what I prepared . . . but it’s a better sermon.  Now, if you want to hear a really good sermon, walk home with me of a Sunday evening, and I’ll tell you what I should have said.”

That . . . in a nutshell . . . is what you have in your hands when you open THE VINE’S EXPOSITORY BIBLE.  You have over 60 years of blood, sweat and tears in the service of the Lord, distilled and distributed throughout the text of the Old and New Testaments.  The New King James Version enables the reader to engage the Biblical text without the sometimes confusing language of the KJV, while still remaining faithful to the Authorized Version. 

To this text Pastor Dr. Jerry Vines brings his magnum opus;  24 years worth of expository messages, from every book of the Bible, delivered from the pulpit of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.  Pastor Vines introduces each book, providing an explanation of the authorship, date, outline, and major themes of the book.  Then as the reader progresses through the Bible, Paster Vines provides numerous helps (I consider them “gems,” personally!):  Expository Messages (“PRESENTING THE MESSAGE”), word studies (“DISCERNING THE MEANING,”) application (“APPLYING THE MESSAGE”), and personal application and growth (“LIVING THE MESSAGE.”) 

This may seem “complicated” in this review, but in actuality it is practically seamless.  These “gems” are strategically placed throughout the text, so that God’s Word remains central.  The helps are actually in the right place; no flipping back and forth, no myriad cross references to distract you.  It’s the closest thing to “total immersion” in Scripture reading that I’ve come across in a study Bible. 

The maps are full-color, and the one on Jesus’ Ministry is especially interesting, with “text ballons” showing where various incidents in Jesus’ ministry took place, geographically.  Also included is a very nice (not exhaustive, but nice) concordance, and the Expository Bible Index, which will help the reader find all of the “gems” that are scattered throughout the VINE’S EXPOSITORY BIBLE.

If I don’t meet Pastor Dr. Jerry Vines in this life, I’ll certainly be looking him up in the next.  I mean, after over 60 years in the ministry, the man is working on his PhD at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  For fun.  I want to meet this man!

5 golden stars for a true expository Bible


Thomas Nelson
Bibles / New King James Version / Reference
ISBN 9760-718-09851-3
1965 pages
$44.99 (Hardback with dust jacket)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The KJV Minister's Bible by Thomas Nelson

As a minister, there is no such thing as too many Bibles.  “Specialty” Bibles are a real treat, and The KJV Minister’s Bible is no exception.  The LeatherSoft cover is soft and supple to the touch, and yet feels very secure in the hand.  I would feel very comfortable holding this Bible open in one hand, while preaching.  For the most part the KJV Minister’s Bible lives up to the claim of “lay-flat” binding . . . when one gets to Revelation, some “pressing” is required, which is to be expected.  I also enjoyed the “clean” text of the Scripture passages.  While I have a Thompson Chain Reference, and love it for the copious cross references and margin notes, sometimes it’s refreshing just to get alone with God’s Word, minus the distractions.  This is a three-ribbon Bible, which means you can easily mark your place for different portions of Scripture, depending on the service.

A convenient thumb-tab allows you to open the Bible easily to a real treasure:  the complete Nelson’s Ministers Manual has been inserted between the Old and New Testaments, making this one of the most “minister-ready” Bibles I’ve ever come across.  Two study guides are included:  30 Days With Jesus, and a One-Year Reading plan.  The eight pages of full-color maps are helpful, as well.

I’ve only noted two issues with this KJV Minister’s Bible.  I like to mark up my Bible . . . a lot.  The highlighters I use seem to bleed through more than I would like.  And the one feature that I sorely miss:  a concordance.  For the serious student of the Bible, a concordance is indispensible. 

All those positives – and only two drawbacks – make this a Bible that I feel is well worth the purchase price.

5 golden stars for a minister-friendly Bible


Thomas Nelson
Bibles / King James Version / Reference
1166 pages
$44.99 (brown LeatherSoft)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Aren't You Ready to MOVE INTO MORE? Choco De Jesus Shows How That Is Possible!

So .. . I've been invited to be a part of the "launch team" for the book by Choco De Jesus, MOVE INTO MORE.  If you are tired (as I am) of the same ol' same ol', if you go to sleep at night wondering "is this all there is?" then this book is for you.  It's becoming available April 24th, but you can pre-order it right now.  It is available on Kindle, in paper back . . . and as an audio book!

God's "more" has no ceiling, no baggage, no guilt, no shame, no ulterior motives, no strings attached.  God gives his "more" shamelessly, hilariously, in good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.  God's more is given as a loving father gives to his beloved child - only the best, and only with his best interests in mind.

Ephesians 4 tells us that God gave certain "gifts" to his beloved bride, The Church:  He gave them apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and pastors, and teachers . . . and he gave them for a specific purpose:  the edification of the Body of Christ.

And He gave those gifts for a specific time frame; "till we ALL come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Until His "more" becomes OUR "more."  After all . . . we WERE created in His image, and called to work His works after Him.

Interested?  Intrigued?  I hope so!  Pre-order MOVE INTO MORE today!  Here is a link to help you do so.   Pre-order MOVE INTO MORE

Here is a short "video introduction" link setting the stage for the book, MOVE INTO MORE.   YouTube Introduction to MOVE INTO MORE

Friday, March 23, 2018


Thomas Locke
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2387-3
293 pages
$ 14.20  U.S. paperback

"What's in a name?  A rose
By any other name would smell as sweet" 
William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Perhaps that’s a question that one should ask of Dally . . . orphaned by a fire that had robbed her of father, mother, and three brothers; serving in the kitchen of the Mayor of Honor under the cruel ministrations of Krim, his wife; and yet possessed of gifts far beyond the scope of normal humans.  Magic came naturally to Dally, and her abilities in far-seeing were kept to herself, for fear of superstitious reprisal.  Until the fate of the realm was suddenly laid upon her small soldiers.

Hyam, The Emissary, lay in the elven realm, stricken by a strange malady that threatens to claim his life.  In an effort to bring healing to Hyam – and to the realm – Queen Shona risks both life and crown and travels to Honor, Hyam’s hometown.  Here, plans will be made that, if successful, will bring hope and healing to The Realm.

If they fail . . . The Realm will be no more.

This is book three in Thomas Locke’s THE LEGENDS OF THE REALM series . . . and one that I felt in my bones must be “just around the corner,” I’ve been waiting for it so long.  In fact, 2 days before I received the invitation to review The Golden Vial, I had just finished re-reading both  Emissary and The Merchant Of Alyss, so I was more than prepared to “jump in” and finish this series.

But . . . it’s not finished, is it, Mr. Locke?

Rich in stunning visual images, full of complex, well-rounded characters that grow before your very eyes . . .and so full of suspense, intrigue, heart-stopping action and heart-breaking emotion that you will feel as if you are just one more traveller on a journey of a lifetime.  You will find yourself  
“Rejoicing with them that do rejoice, and weeping with them that weep.” 
Romans 12:15 (KJV)

5 stars for epic fantasy that captures heart, body and mind

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Dr. Ben Merrick has been having a rough day.  In fact, he's been having a rough few weeks.  And for the life of him, he can't figure out why.  Although he does have his suspicions.  It could all be filed under the letter “K,” for Dr. Kasner.  Ben’s ethics had compelled him to question Dr. Kasner’s treatment of a patient who had subsequently died.  Could Dr. Kasner be making this personal?

Ben’s fiancĂ©, Rachel Gardner, has her own packet of troubles.  Desperately hoping for a temporary truce between her mom and dad . . . at least until after the wedding . . .the 2nd Floor nurse received the rather cryptic news that her father had approached Ben for a large sum of money.  And he wouldn’t say why.  The wheels started spinning in Racehl’s mind, and the places it took her were not pleasant.

Are these simply a series of unfortunate events, or could there be some method to the madness, after all.  And will Ben and Rachel live long enough to uncover the truth?

Dr. Mabry writes medical mysteries that will keep you on the edge of your seat, while at the same time opening the reader’s eyes with a clear, unashamed faith message.  Dr. Mabry is a retired physician, yet this latest work clearly demonstrates that “retired” does no necessarily equal “dead.”  He kept me Googling subjects and terms that I have never come across in my life.  And while I took extensive notes throughout the book – I was STILL unable to discern “whodunnit” until the closing pages! 

5 stars for a page-turning medical thriller

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Dr. Richard Mabry
ISBN: 978-1-9795-3428-4
medical mystery / Christian fiction
CreateSpace / Independently Published
143 pages
$ 6.99  U.S. paperback