Living His Love

Wild Flower Presbyterian Church

Browsing Posts in Book Reviews

Invisible Heroes: Footsteps to the Cross
By Jim Lewis (brother to Jeff and Mark)

I would like to recommend the book, Invisible Heroes: Footsteps to the Cross, written by my brother Jim. We
have a signed copy in our church library that I hope everyone takes the opportunity to read. I could possibly be a little biased since the author is my brother. Nonetheless, I have read the book and feel that all who do will come to the
realization that there is more to being a hero than trophies, wealth and earthly accolades. The focus here is on the daily lives of others,–most of whom you will know–and how they inspire others through their friendship, words and actions while they take their own journey to the cross.
Each chapter profiles an individual whose caring, selflessness, discipleship, integrity, courage, compassion and repentance have made a difference in their own lives and the lives of countless others. Please take the time to read the book, and as you do, also take the time to reflect on how your daily life is an inspiration to others.

My nephew Jason (my sister Janice’s son) is a graphic artist and helped my brother by designing the cover. If you would like to purchase a copy, there are instructions on how to do so listed in the book. All profits from the sale of this book go to the church my brother and sister-in-law attend in Conklin, MI. The book will soon be available at Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon.com. Enjoy it – I did!

Jeff Lewis

The Man Who Knew God: Decoding Jeremiah
By Mordecai Schreiber

The Man Who Knew God decodes the complexities of the book of Jeremiah and argues that this prophet is the key figure in shaping Western civilization. Author Mordecai Schreiber posits that Jeremiah is not only the one
who eradicated paganism among the Hebrew people, but he can also be considered the founder of the post-biblical Jewish faith. Offering intriguing insight into Jeremiah’s role in the founding of Western monotheism and the
eradication of paganism among the Hebrew people, this book should be read by all those interested in Biblical
studies, Jewish studies, and religion.

Rabbi Mordecai Schreiber is the author of over 50 books on Judaic and linguistic topics. He is the author of
Ask the Bible and Light to the Nations: From Biblical Promise to World Peace.

Pre-publication praise for the book by leading Bible scholars follows:

“The Book of Jeremiah continues to sound its assurances and its demands in challenging, contemporary ways. Rabbi Schreiber here provides an accessible entry into this remarkable prophetic person, voice and tradition that
live in the extremities of faith. Accenting the key issues in this prophetic articulation, Schreiber shows the bold
way in which Jeremiah moves in revolutionary leaps beyond the closed tribalism of his antecedents. This wise
book merits careful and sustained attention. It will evoke conversation that will continue to vex and nourish
responsible faith, just the vexation and nourishment the prophet himself intended. The move toward an inclusive openness voiced by the prophet continues to be a demanding agenda for his present-day readers.”
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

“Rabbi Schreiber’s central idea, that Jeremiah was the model upon which the author of the famous Suffering
Servant songs in the book of Isaiah based these poems and which in turn, served as a significant inspiration for
Jesus’ ministry, is both elegantly simple and profoundly important for Jews and Christians. It is high time that we celebrate what we have in common rather than fighting over our differences. Rabbi Schreiber helps us to do that.”
Alice Ogden Bellis, Howard University School of Divinity

This review from Lexington Books was forwarded to us by email from one of our members

Feelings Buried Alive Never Die …
By Karol K. Truman

“When we are single-minded about what we desire in life, life works for us instead of against us. Because, the FEELING, or heart, always wins. What we feel is literally the “prayer of our heart,” and we always receive the “prayer of our heart!” Prov. 23: 7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Our thinking and feeling need to be in unison. If not, then what we are feeling will be the winner. Consider James 1:8 “A
double minded man is unstable in all his way.”
Fear is negative. Love is positive. If I pray with fear in my heart, I will bring that very fear upon me. When a person thinks God will answer
and feels that God will answer, he has a knowing that God has already answered his prayer.

[This is only a partial glimpse at one of many exciting concepts explained in this book.. It is a good friend that I go back to again and again. I recommend it.]

submitted by Leola Bergeson

Memories of God: Theological Reflections on a Life
by Roberta Bondi.

Roberta Bondi, professor of Church History at Candler School
of Theology, reflects on the stories of her life, both painful and joyful,
as she recounts the pilgrimage of her life and faith. She discovers
that what she regarded as her private and unique life events were
really not private or idiosyncratic but common to many people.
Bondi has a way of drawing the reader into her childhood and young adult world. She reviews her family, cultural and religious
experiences and expectations.
She challenges her readers to see their life history through the
lens of faith and wry humor. She concludes, “…if we listen
carefully to their (our family) stories, if we watch them go about
their days, we see our own sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, teachers and strangers, clothed like the mountains with glory, held
in life forever in the memories of God.”

Submitted by Pastor Steve Corum

Reading the Bible Again for the First Time
By Marcus J. Borg

Have you seen the movie Shrek?  Do you remember when Shrek tells Donkey that ogres are like onions–with lots of layers?  Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, you peel away another layer and discover something
different.

While he doesn’t talk about ogres and onions, in Reading the Bible Again, Marcus Borg helps peel away the layers of what we might think we understand about the Bible, and
introduces a different way to think about it.  Borg encourages us to move from a “literal-factual” way of reading the Bible to a “historical-metaphorical” way of reading.  In this way of reading the Bible, the point of the creation story is not how long each day was when God was creating the earth, but rather that God is the source of all that is.

Borg then helps uncover the themes that run through the Bible about what it is to be human and how our relationship with God affects our experience of life on earth.

Submitted by Ann Smith

The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
by Elaine Pagels and Karen King

In 2006 the Gospel of Judas, dating to the second century, was discovered in Egypt.  It received lots of attention in the scholarly world.  The authors reflect on this newfound discovery and how it helps us understand the story of the early Christians.  This gospel related how some of Jesus’ followers understood Jesus’ death, why Judas betrayed Jesus and why God allowed it.   For example, the concept of God demanding Jesus’ sacrificial death for our salvation is vehemently challenged in this non-canonical gospel. Reading The Gospel of Judas highlights the assumptions behind Jesus’ supposed teaching to Judas and shows how conflict among Jesus’ earliest followers contained doubt and disagreement.  Thus conflict, argument and lively discussion are essential components of faith, then and now.

Submitted by Pastor Steve

The Art of Listening in a Healing Way
By James E. Miller

The author is a writer, spiritual director, and grief counselor who lectures and presents in many areas of healing.  This is a book of 27 short chapters explaining the difference between hearing and listening.

Various encounters call for different ways of listening.  He mentions six kinds of listening:  “We listen casually, we listen for comprehension, we listen critically, we listen appreciatively, we listen therapeutically and the sixth kind of listening is healing listening.

What was the first time you felt really listened to?  Who did the listening?  What did you speak about?  How did you feel as the experience unfolded and afterward?  Why do you think this experience stays with you?

One chapter title is “Healing Listening is Founded on Wonder.”  Other chapters discuss the following, a healing listener stays in the moment; listens with the heart, listens through the soul and healing listening is an act of love.

It should be a challenge to everyone to do more listening and learning in our lives as we strive to understand and encourage one another to love and lift each other up for the healing that, many times, is necessary.

Submitted by Rev. Eugene DeHoogh

Dear and Glorious Physician
By Taylor Caldwell

A report will be coming soon of this book, but for now, we submit the following:

Lucanus (Greek version of Luke) was born a Greek to a freed-slave couple, and grew up as the stepson of a wealthy Roman soldier, Diodorus Cyrinus who was assigned to govern Antioch.

When Luke was ten years old he witnessed the Star of Bethlehem from a hilltop in his back yard in Antioch.
He knew it heralded the “Unknown God.”  He consecrated himself to find the Unknown God, and to serve Him, and in His Name to serve man.  He knew he could best serve man as a physician.  At that young age certain healings were already attributed to him.  He knew the philosophers and physicians of Greece, and had read their books of remedies for the ills of men, both mental and physical.  He was learning other languages, including Egyptian and Aramaic, so that he could speak to sufferers in their own tongues.
The book follows his path, until just one year after Jesus’ Ascension he locates and interviews Mary, the
disciples James, John and Peter, and Paul with whom he travels.  He stayed in the palaces of both Pilot and Herod and heard their first hand witnesses of Jesus.

Submitted by Leola Bergeson   

Follow the Star

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Follow the Star — Christmas Stories That Changed My Life
By T.D. Jakes

Bishop Jakes is the founder and pastor of Potter’s House, one of the fastest growing churches in the nation, where he pastors an interracial congregation of more than 26,000 members.  He is the author of several books and has a daily morning show, The Potter’s Touch.

In this book, Jakes tells what Christmas is all about and how the Christmas stories touched his heart and shaped his life.  With gentle guidance and inspirational messages, Bishop Jakes takes us on a journey to Christmas past and present and leads us to embrace fully the magnitude of the miracle as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Some of the 20 chapter titles invite you to read it and take in the lessons, such as: Life is a Journey, You Have His Word on It,” “Angels Watching Over me, My Lord,”  “Be Careful What You Wish For,” “God’s Timing is Perfect,” “ God Always has a Plan,” and more.

It is easy reading.  The last paragraph is quoted here.  “As your life returns to normal when the Christmas season has ended, I encourage you to take the Gift wherever you go.  Oh, how I hope you will continue to unwrap His wonder in your everyday life and show Him off to those around you.  You know the world needs the Gift that you have, and in your own unique way, you can bring a little Christmas into every day.”

Submitted by Eugene R. DeHoogh

First Born Series

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First Born Series
By Karen Kingsbury

There are five books in this series:

Fame:  A story of hope, healing and God’s divine leading; even in the face of impossible circumstances.

Forgiven:  About God’s divine direction and the realization that peace comes only after forgiveness.

Found:  Again about God’s divine leading and the truth that God rewards those who seek Him with all their heart.

Family:  A story of the search for renewed hope and the desperate need to be loved and to belong.

Forever:  About surviving tough times and drawing strength and hope from family and deep faith.

Submitted by Diana Anderson