Monday, January 29, 2018

Book Review - "Loving Your Neighbor: Surprise! It's not what you think" by David Sanford

Loving Your Neighbor : Surpise! It's not what you think
by David Sanford,  2017

Reviewed by Diane Busch

Since loving your neighbor is a commandment Jesus gave to all his followers, believers should be eager to learn new ways of doing this. David Sanford gives you plenty to consider in this book, which he purposely doesn’t write like a typical book. It does not contain long pages of prose. Instead it contains 72 topical chapters, like short bursts of ideas, wisdom, scripture, and quotes by other people. This format can be easily digested a little at a time. It is almost as if the author breaks the rules of what is expected in a book, because Jesus broke the rules of what was expected in loving our neighbors.

I believe Sanford chose the subtitle “Surprise! It’s not what you think” because he shatters our misconceptions and broadens our view of what loving your neighbor may look like. He presents examples of how others have loved their neighbors in “out-of-the-box” ways. He encourages us all to find new ways of loving our neighbors. 

Keep reading till the end, because you won’t want to miss the last section of the book "Fourth and Long". This containers some great real life testimonies of transformation in peoples’ lives, when believers started loving their neighbors.

So. open up your mind and heart, throw away your pre-conceived ideas, and dive in.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Book Review - Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas

Martin Luther: the man who rediscovered God and changed the world
by Eric Metaxas
Viking 2017

Reviewed by Diane Busch

This is a comprehensive biography, maybe containing more details than one really needs to know, but interesting nonetheless and very informative. If the large size of the book seems daunting, listen to the audiobook which is read by the author and is performed wonderfully.

The author begins by dispelling some common myths surrounding Martin Luther. And then goes on to chronicle the life and ministry of this passionate follower of Christ. He was a student of the Bible, and felt compelled to speak out against practices of "the church” that deviated from scripture. His passion and love for God gave him the courage to write and speak with much risk to his life. He was humble and didn’t like for the people who agreed with him to call themselves Lutherans. 

Luther spent many years translating the Bible into German. In his forties, he married a former nun, Kate, who was 14 years his junior.

There is much to be admired in the groundbreaking work to which Luther dedicated himself. So much so, that centuries later a black minister in Georgia named Michael King, decided to change his name to Martin Luther King as he was a leader in the civil rights movement. He later changed his son’s name to Martin Luther King, Jr. and encouraged him to also become active in the movement.

Book Review - Mistaken Identity (by Van Ryn & Cerak)

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope  -     By: Don Van Ryn, Susie Van Ryn, Newell Cerak, Colleen Cerak

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

Howard Books 2008

Reviewed by Diane Busch

Not only is this an extraordinary true story, but it also is a huge Christian witness to all who read it.  Both families and their children are devoted Christ followers and they exemplify what it is to have faith in Jesus Christ in all circumstances of life.
The parents and family of the two college-age girls involved in this unfortunate identity mix-up, tell the story from their perspectives.  The car accident was tragedy enough, but then the mistaken identities and the following weeks of hospitals, funerals and grief are unfathomable. 
The reader will go on this roller-coaster ride with the families and through it all you will be amazed and inspired. 

Book Review - The Book of Mysteries

The Book of Mysteries
The Book of Mysteries
By Jonathan Cahn
Frontline 2016

Reviewed by Diane Busch

At first glance, The Book of Mysteries” is daunting due to its size. It’s almost like an encyclopedia of Hebrew facts, history, customs, symbolism, etc. It contains explanations for a plethora of things written in the Bible, which open up your mind and heart to new and fabulous understanding and awareness. The author's explanations of the Hebrew traditions and the true meaning of words and customs, etc. add so much to what we can only partly understand when we read the Bible in English, having grown up in our American culture. It's amazing how much more the Bible comes alive when you have greater understanding of the symbolism, the history, and the culture. To a Jewish reader, it is also very convincing that Jesus is the Messiah. 

Don’t be put off because of its size. “The Book of Mysteries” can be read as a daily devotional, reading just one of the 365 entries or mysteries each day for a year. It can also be read as any book, although I suggest taking it somewhat slow to be able to digest all the information. I also suggest marking ot taking note of a few of the revelations that are especially meaningful to you, because you won’t be able to absorb and remember everything.