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Monday, June 25, 2018

ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING by Amy Clipston


It has been quite some time since I have read a novel primarily because I a very picky about what I read. With nothing but junk on television and after years of reading nothing but non-fiction I decided I needed a break from reality. I chose to review ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING by Amy Clipston as my first adventure into the world of non-fiction because I am facsinated by Amish life and because I love a good love story.

ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING was an easy read and, despite it being 320 pages, a quick read. I would daresay anyone who is used to reading novels could finish it in a day but it took me three days to complete.

The plot was interesting and, yes, predictable as most love stories are. The development of the relationship between the main character, Laura, and  her best friends husband gets the readers attention pretty quickly.

One of the difficulties I had was the use of Amish words at awkward points of the story. At the beginning of the book there is a glossary of the words used in the book but who wants to keep going back to look at definitions. I guessed the meaning of words based on the context in which it was used but I would have personally preferred just not be used. It seemed weird to me for a person to speak English and through in an Amish word in the middle of a sentence; but that is me.  Never-the-less this is a great poolside book.     Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

HOPE OF NATIONS by John S. Dickerson

HOPE OF NATIONS Standing Strong in a Post-Truth Post-Christian World written by John S Dickerson is a strategically written book of a seminary trained former journalist. I struggled to read this book, mid-way through I realized that my problem was found in the title. “Hope” and “Post-Truth Post-Christian”, for me it was like telling me: Learn how to survive as you go to hell. I found it difficult to shake off this impression as I journeyed on.

This is a good book for intellectuals but not the casual reader.

In Hope of Nations the author succinctly details what the problem is with society today and why it happened. He details his opinion as to how a Christian should address this “Post-Truth” condition that we are all destined for, again this is his perspective.

The author uses historical data to justify his opinion and uses Scripture to validate what he has written.  His, the author’s, presentation of information though accurate plagues with my personal theology; I prefer to use biblical principles and precepts to analyze what has happened in the past as well as what is happening now. Far to many theologians justify their personal ideology by extracting Scriptures.

(To be fair John S Dickerson states this Post-Truth Post-Christian world “may happen’ not that it will.)

I have read the Book of Revelation as well as the rest of the Bible and I know that stuff has happened, is happening and will happen. The term “Post-Truth” bothers me because I believe that there will never be a time in which there is “post” truth. The truth will always exist but, as we see clearly in society today, it is not always acknowledged. (Romans 1:18:22)

One of the Conclusion found in HOPE OF NATIONS as it relates to “So what will we do?”  is: “We will resolve to live as though we are engaged in a spiritual war for the souls and minds of humanity.”  (Page 277) Since Adam at the fruit in the Garden of Eden we have been in a spiritual battle thus this is not what we “will do” it is what every Believer in the Trinity should be doing now.

The book does contain an excellent historical perspective of society in general. In order to present hope for any nation I would have preferred the writer discuss why God will heal the land and how, despite the adversities we see, God’s children always overcome.  If you read this book from a historical perspective you will find it interesting.

 I am appreciative of the opportunity to review the book.    written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through HANDLEBAR  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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KJV MINISTER'S BIBLE published by Thomas Nelson

If you are looking for a gift for someone you know who is entering the field of pastoral services, Thomas Nelson has published a KJV MINISTER’S BIBLE that is perfect. The box that this particular soft leather feel Bible is in service as a great holder for such a wealth of information.

I remember years ago someone asking me to perform the wedding ceremony between her and her fiance, I refused because I knew they were not ready for a marriage. I was not equipped at the time to facilitate premarital counseling. One of the many helps this book includes is an outline for six pre-marriage counseling classes.

The KJV MINISTER’S BIBLE is first and foremost the King James Bible. Included between the two Covenants are what I would call ministerial cheat sheets: Resources for the Minister. The resource categories include:  Weddings, Funerals, Dedications, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, Worship, and Pastoral Care. The section on weddings includes pre-marital counseling as I mentioned but vows as well. Pastoral Care includes: a Home Visitation Checklist, recommended Bible verses to read depending on the situation and of course a Prayer of Salvation.

The resource found within the Old and New Covenant is actually the Nelson’s Minister Manual. Whereas, a minister may own a Bible and the manual THE KJV MINISTER’S BIBLE is both which makes it worth the purchase and a great gift.   

By the way, the couple that wanted me to marry them: were divorced after 3 months.
                             written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CAN'T NOTHING BRING ME DOWN by Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs

I don’t recall the last time I was so excited about reading a book and became puzzled mid-way and then felt let down. CAN’T NOTHING BRING ME DOWN-Chasing Myself In The Race Against Time by Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs was supposed to be the biography of the first woman in history to complete a 100 meter race.
Shortly after the midway point of this 198 page book it seemed to me the tone change. It seemed that the book transitioned from being a biography with historical tid-bits inserted to a History book with biographical information added. (I am wondering what was edited out.) Though I read this book in a half a day I struggled with the last 50 pages.
Despite my disappointment in the book I do think it is well worth the purchase and something many women, of all races, should read. From a historical perspective there is a lot to learn from Mrs. Keelings life and what it was like being a single mother. From a biographical perspective her life reminds me of the Langston Hughes poem: “Mother to Son”  (see below)in the poem the mother says: “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
I suspect there are wounds that have yet to be healed in the heart of Ms. Ida Keeling and this is when history replaced words from the heart.                                  Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.

MOTHER TO SONBY LANGSTON HUGHESWell, son, I’ll tell you:Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.It’s had tacks in it,And splinters,And boards torn up,And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.But all the timeI’se been a-climbin’ on,And reachin’ landin’s,And turnin’ corners,And sometimes goin’ in the darkWhere there ain’t been no light.So boy, don’t you turn back.Don’t you set down on the steps’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.Don’t you fall now—For I’se still goin’, honey,I’se still climbin’,And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

TAILOR MADE by Alex Seely

When I began reading TAILOR MADE by Alex Seeley my first thought was Dr. Myles Munroe. Her inspirational words reminded me so much of his biblically based truths. As her personal story began to open within the biblical truths she presented I began to identify with her journey and thus the importance of this book was revealed.

TAILOR MADE -Discover the Secret to Who God Created You to Be by Alex Seeley is the best Bible based self help book a person could invest in. In fact I would go so far at to say: If you are a parent or plan to be one you need to read this book.

Other motivational speakers will challenge you to declare how great you are this book helps you why you doubted your greatness to begin with. Beginning with the introduction: “What Label Are You Wearing” the reader takes the journey of the author form wounded warrior to victorious child of God.

I am excited about this book! It is 196 pages of information as to how you go to where you are. Its’ final chapter “It’s Your Turn” makes the book personal. You write the ending, you determine which direction you will go. “No matter what your past looks like, remember that you are God’s masterpiece.” (page 197)

I was talking to my daughter a few months ago and I was giving her encouragement; as successful as she is she thought she had failed in a lot of areas. We began to talk about the things I might have said or the words of others that were seeds of failure planted in her heart. Some of the things she heard was not actual what was said; she began to uproot them all. I was able to help her because I like the author, Alex Seeley, had to uproot a lot of negativity that was planted in my life in order to believe that: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

As always when I like something I can’s stop talking about it!  Written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.

Friday, April 20, 2018

THE VINES EXPOSITORY BIBLE - NKJV published by Thomas Nelson

Gone are the days in which a person simple goes to a bookstore and grabs a King James or New King James version of the Bible. Once upon a time the only options a person had was the type of cover a Bible had. Today, the accompanying supplements to a Bible can make a person grab the cheapest Bible off the shelf and move on BUT DON’T DO IT!

Thomas Nelson publishing has once again present an option to those who want to read Scripture with understanding in the form of THE VINES EXPOSITORY BIBLE. Hmmm, that sounds like a pretty serious compilation of information, perhaps it is to much for the novice reader; it is not.

Expository: to bring clarity by presenting information in a more detailed way (my defintion).

The VINES EXPOSITORY BIBLE General Editor Jerry Vines, Pastor First Baptist Church Jacksonville FL, Retired, is a New King James version of the Bible that contains various Bible study helps. As listed on the back of the jacket the study helps include: 205 Presenting Messages, 148 Living the Message, 237 Applying the Message, 311 Discerning the Meaning, introductions to each book, a topical index and a concordance; and of course there are maps. I personally appreciate Bible application thus reading “An Anguished Cry” found in Lamentations (APPLYING THE MESSAGE| Lam. 1:12) was not only thought provoking but made the book all the more relevant to today. To discuss the sections entitled PRESENTING THE MESSAGE would make this review longer than it already is however I must say- if you are a Church Leader of any level you will definitely appreciate this discussion.

I firmly believe it is very important that people own a tangible copy of the Bible, for those who really want to know what ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ this is a Bible worth purchasing. -written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

NKJV MINISTERS BIBLE


Thomas Nelson’s NKJV MINISTER’S BIBLE is the first Bible I have reviewed that was not what I expected. What I thought I was going to read were commentaries that were historical in nature and suggestions as to how to present information. I anticipated seeing a lot of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words noted within the text. I did not see any of what I was expecting.

Tucked between the book of Malachi and the book of Matthew is what I would refer to as Pastoral cheat sheets. It is a book within a book containing “Resources for the Minister”; a compilation of how-tos. The sections include: Weddings, from pre-marital counseling to the actual ceremony; Dedications, Baptisms and the Lord’s Supper; Worship, including a worksheet to help plan the entire service; Pastoral Care, which includes ministering to the both Believer and un-Believer; Invitations, a.k.a. Alter Call; and of course Funerals. If you wanted to start your own church this would be a good Bible to get.

Personally, all book reviews are personal, I felt much of the Pastoral information presented was denominational. As I read some of the suggested plans/ remarks / ideas I thought: This sounds like what I have seen in a Catholic service. Other times I could see a traditional Baptist church flair. This is why Scripture instructs novices not to be in the ministry.
The NKJV MINISTER’S BIBLE is a great source and one I will definitely keep. For the experienced leader the information provided is a great guideline which can be adjusted according to one’s faith. There are Pastoral books that contain this information, having it in your Bible is a great idea.

This Bible is not for everyone but would make an excellent gift to one entering the ministry. Physically the Bible is beautiful enclosed in a unique box that you will not want to throw away. — written by Marsha L F Randolph

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.