Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Sharing Christ with the Dying

Melody Rossi shares from her experience walking with people who are physically dying and spiritually awakening.  Her stories of “unlikely converts” are a reminder to all Christians to never give up on anyone while they still breathe.  As our Heavenly Father is always at work, we too should be doing the work He gives us.

 She emphasizes the power of serving those approaching the end of earthly life.  One chapter is devoted to preparing for serving by finding your path to service for a particular person.  Find their needs and determine how you can help in practical ways and through prayer support.

At the end of the book is a helpful chapter on “Grieving Well” for those who must carry on after a death.  This book is a resource for every church library as well as for individual Christians.

I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Free Range Humans: Can We Do It?

Anyone hesitating to start working for themselves doing things they love need only consider Cantwell's contention that working for an employer is like being self-employed with only one client.  Suddenly being an employee doesn't seem as solid and secure, does it?

The author leads the reader step by step through a discovery process and gives plenty of examples.  This is no reckless call to abandon all reason, but rather an argument for consciously evaluating your life choices and the trade offs you are already making daily and might be willing to make for a better life.

I received a free review copy of this interesting book through NetGalley.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rethink Success in Light of God's Definition

Heather Choate Davis contrasts God's idea of success with the model we often present to our children.  Why do we value constant, visible achievement over the inner life of finding God's calling for our lives?  What might our children grow up to be without SAT, ACT, AP, mandatory 4-year degrees, constant pressure to achieve material success.....?

Elijah is used as an example to counter our cultural view of success, thus the strange title.  This is recommended reading for parents and teachers, as well as young people.  I received a free review copy from NetGalley.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Timeline Resource for History Teachers

Publication Date Nov. 1, 2014

Timelines are essential for teaching history, especially for students who are visual learners.  This book strikes an appealing balance with informative text, captioned illustrations, and the timeline that graces the bottom of every page. As a home school teacher, I can say I would certainly have used this book with my own children in the elementary grades had it been available.

Use this as one of your textbooks while studying the colonial period through the American Revolution.  The colonies are grouped by the times they were first settled, from earliest colonies through the last of the thirteen, so it is easy to find a particular state of interest to supplement a state history unit as well--provided you are fortunate enough to live or teach in one of the original colonies!

I reviewed an advance electronic copy of this quality book through NetGalley.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib

Born into Islam, Samaa becomes a Christian as a young teen.  Her story of being a Christian convert caught in a war-torn country full of Sunni and Shia conflict is a testimony to the saving power of the gospel and the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit.

Can Samaa survive war in the streets, family conflict inside the home, and finally a church bombing by terrorists?  Badly burned in the bombing, Samaa gets a glimpse of heaven before she is returned to do more work on Earth.  Her joy amid horrible hardships is incomprehensible--unless Jesus really is who He said He is and the Holy Spirit really abides in believers as the Comforter.

I received a free review copy of this book from Chosen Publishers.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Historical Fiction Based on WWII

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke  is a work of historical fiction in which both the historical context and the fictional plot are well done.  Rachel, a fictional American woman is taken to Germany by her father.  While there, she finds a childhood friend in great distress because her Deaf daughter is in danger as the Nazi’s seek to rid themselves of all but the Nazi ideal.  The child’s father, an SS officer, wants to be rid of his “defective” daughter and marry a woman who will give him perfect Aryan children.

While helping her friend, Rachel meets a friendly American journalist, uncovers the history of her birth family, and learns she is an unfinished “project” of Hitler’s unethical doctors. Real events, people, and places are everywhere in the story: Deitrich Bonhoeffer and the confessing church, Oberamergau and the Passion Play, Goebbels, and Joseph Mengele to name a few.

My one concern was the part about the American journalist learning to sign from another American and then using that language with Amelie.  That journalist would have learned ASL, I assume: but signed languages are diverse, just as spoken languages are. In fact, the sign language used in Great Britain is a different language than American Sign Language.  In modern Germany, there are variations in the old East Germany as well as Austrian Sign Language used in the south of Germany.  So that one part of the story bothered me a little--it would not have been that easy.

Anyone who appreciates history should enjoy this blend of history and fiction.  It could also be a good book for homeschoolers in high school to read while studying World War II.  There are many great discussions this book could launch!

I received a free review copy of this book from Tyndale BlogNetwork via NetGalley.