Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: The Lifestyle of a Prophet

The Lifestyle of a Prophet
By James W. Goll
Chosen Books, 2013
English, 288 pgs

Accessible Guide from Bestselling Author for Embracing the Prophetic Calling

Internationally respected prophet and bestselling author James W. Goll offers a readable, practical approach to the prophetic gifting. Centered around a unique, hands-on 21-day guide, he helps believers develop the intimacy with God essential to hearing his voice clearly and correctly--and then proclaiming his words faithfully.

Through illustrations from his own life and those of John, Daniel, and Ezekiel, Goll exposes common misconceptions, the successes and failures of gifted people throughout church history, and wisdom from the trenches of the prophetic. Devotional prayers and reflection questions follow each chapter. A must-have resource for those in prophetic ministry and all who work with them.

I don't know what I was expecting when I chose this book to review for Chosen Books. I learned more than I thought I would and spent more time reading it than I typically do on a book review book.

The material is not light, but not dense. It's a challenging read but it's easy to grasp. I know that sounds like double talk, but I can't describe it any other way.

The book is divided into three major sections: The Lifestyle of Intimacy, The Lifestyle of Wisdom and The Lifestyle of Revelation. Each has seven chapters. The book is meant to be read one chapter a day, as a devotion. The actual reading isn't a long section, but do not skip over the questions at the end of the chapter. They really make you think about what you've read and what you believe in regards to what you read.

The Lifestyle of Intimacy is focused on getting closer to God. The other two sections are focused a lot on hearing God clearly and listening for what He tells you and how to pass on that knowledge and wisdom.

 I'm not sure the book was 100% "for me" but it was a good read and I learned a lot from the devotions. I'm very willing to recommend the book to other believers.

I received a copy of the book from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received.

Book Review: Defeating Jezebel

The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel
By Jennifer LeClaire
Chosen Books, 2013
English, 192 pgs


From the Back Cover

Is Jezebel bending you to its will?

What is the "spirit of Jezebel"--and what influence does it have on your life? Despite decades of teaching on this subject and specific warnings in the Old and New Testaments, the Church is still being distracted from her endtime purpose. This high-level principality fools sincere believers into directing their prayer power against controlling individuals in their midst, while the real enemy and its real purpose remain hidden.

Through Scripture, prophetic insight and practical experience, Jennifer LeClaire roots out the underlying workings of this evil spirit. Manipulation and control are just surface-level fruit. The devil's deeper agenda, she explains, is idolatry and immorality.

If you are a believer, then you are already being baited by this seductive spirit. This guidebook shows you how to identify the true enemy and engage in effective warfare. Here are the weapons you need to battle the Jezebel deception--and win.

I'm still not sure what I feel about this book. I cannot find fault in the Scripture references or the logic and truth behind the book. It is well researched and written. This is not a book you can "skim through" or read lightly. The material is dense and heavy and it will change a lot in the way you view others and their motives.

I appreciate that there is a chapter titled "Loving Jezebel Back to Jesus". This chapter redeemed a lot of the condemning tone of the book. There is not anyone too far gone for the love of Jesus. He died for all, including the person being controlled by this spirit.

I'm just not sure about this book. The author would probably say that I'm being too tolerant of evil because I'm hesitant to fully and completely agree with everything she says. Please know, I'm not arguing against what she said. But rather how she said it seems harsh.

It's a hard, condemning book to read. I think it could have been done in a more loving manner. Being a Christian isn't about condemning each other (Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus) or judging other believers (Luke 6:37 - Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.). It's about showing the love of Christ and allowing the Spirit to work in someone's life. We are not the harvesters. We are not the judges. We are not the jury. We are not the executioners. We are the planters. We are the nurturers. 

I received a copy of the book from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Review and Tour: Can't Stop Believing

Can't Stop Believing
By Jodi Thomas
Berkley, 2013
English, 320 pgs

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Harmony, Texas, in CAN’T STOP BELIEVING. The sixth book in her popular Harmony series presents a story where big dreams are brewing—and anything and everything is possible…

Cord McMillan gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Now, ten years later, he's about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can't refuse: If he'll marry her, she'll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to ex-plain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor.

He just has one condition--she has to sleep in his bed every night as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family's legacy--and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband by necessity, she discovers something unexpected--a love so deep it takes her breath away.

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 37 novels and 11 short story col-lections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY, the first book in the Harmony series, won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. JodiThomasAuthor

“Another winner...Fans will be delighted.”-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Compelling and beautifully written.”-Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling author

From the Author: 
From the day I started writing CAN'T STOP BELIEVING, I felt like I was surrounded by people I could love. These characters walked off the pages and said hello. I had to laugh when Martha Q, a widow seven times married, forms a writing group and then decides to help folks out whether they want it or not. I cried when Ronny first sees a love she thought she'd lost. And I fell in love with Cord and Nevada as they fought their way through all the baggage they both carried to find something worth keeping.

Amid them all, Cord McMillan tries to hang onto his farm in a town where no one will talk to him.  He made a mistake and hurt a deputy when he was 17, and now he believes everyone hates him.  When the first car in three years drives up to his place, he doesn’t trust his neighbor, Nevada Britain, or the bargain she offers him. He has nothing to offer in return, but he knows if he agrees he’ll step all into her plan, with no holding back.  If she doesn’t hold up her end of the agreement, he also knows she’ll break him completely like six years of prison never could.
As you read CAN’T STOP BELIEVING, you’ll find love so deep it’ll melt your heart.  So, come along with me to Harmony, Texas, a place where you’ll find a home.  I promise to keep you up late reading.
Welcome, step on in and meet the folks,
Jodi Thomas

My Review:
I love going home to Harmony. I have been reading this series since the first book and I love this look at small town life. I was so excited to see familiar characters, Tyler and Martha Q, as well as meet new characters, Cord and Nevada. There was a touch of mystery (with a bit of comedy) with Martha Q and her widows.

Of course, there is romance. New romance. Returning romance. Just starting romance. And it's all good. It's all heartwarming and touching. This book brought a range of emotions and I was so wrapped in the story line I didn't notice that I read right through time to cook dinner. Two days in a row!

The main story line is about Nevada and Cord. They grow so much over the story arc and I was really happy to see things turn out as they did.

One secondary story line is Martha Q and her widows. They just can't leave their suspicions alone. I can just imagine little ladies with trench coats trying so hard to be inconspicuous.

Other secondary lines include Ronny, Tyler and changes in their lives. I was really glad to see these story lines return to allow closure to the stories.

You just can't go wrong with these stories. Especially if you've lived in a small town and been part of a community where everyone knows everyone else.

I received a copy of the book from Ms. Thomas in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Many thanks to Ms. Thomas for continuing to include me in her blog tours.