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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wishing you a year of Fruitful Labor in the Flesh.

What a year. I tried repeatedly to start this blogpost but when the words wanted to come the brain shut down, and when the brain wanted to work the words refused to come. So I'm going to just let the sparking brain spark and the tired body stay tired. Sound like a plan?

[Amazingly as I went to add a few bulletin points they evolved into this]

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey

Pirate HunterPirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A highly enjoyable swashbuckling tale--in the chapters it actually was a pirate's story.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Corridor by Robin Parrish

Corridor (A MythWorks Novel)Corridor by Robin Parrish

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Corridor was imaginative, intriguing, and family friendly read. And at it's price, 2.99, a fantastic bargain.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Reckoning by James Byron Huggins

The Reckoning: A NovelThe Reckoning: A Novel by James Byron Huggins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An enjoyable novel by Mr. Huggins. The plot was very clear cut and very predictable, but in some ways, I'm not sure that worked against the novel. As it turned out my reading of the novel was driven almost singularly by the main character, Gage.

Keeper of the Grail by Michael P. Spradlin

Keeper of the GrailKeeper of the Grail by Michael P. Spradlin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Keeper of the Grail was reasonably enjoyable and written with an easy, casual, and well done 1st person narrative.

Knights of the Templar, crusades, and flashing swords make a great backdrop for any story.
Our protagonist was morally reputable and loyal.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Readers Dream Prizes...

Well the "Readers Dream" contest ended with Dean Briggs and I ended up winning two different prizes!
A signed set(of those released thus far) of his epic fantasy tale, Legends of Karac Tor. And..... a brand new iPod Shuffle.

Here's me and the prizes earlier(yet still late) tonight!

Check out his author page on Facebook as well as his website!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Hey there readers!

Most of you know to a certain extent that I've got some health issues. Varying by person I can reasonably most of you have a partial or whole awareness of this fact; if you don't this will make little sense.

My health is still a bit of a roller coaster. I'll have one day where I don't have any real bad moments and then the next four days will be one amalgamation of badness punctuated by relief. Currently I'm still reduced to reading when possible, some computer gaming, no writing and no editing :( :( and laying down off and on(depends on how long mom can keep me down!). Very little mass text processing as well. My brain just doesn't like trying to sort through strings of text.

My family is so accommodating without allowing complacency in these little mundane tasks in the day. They're superb.

No school or church, and no scheduled out of the house periods at this time. On good days, though, I  get out of the house and walk around the block. Depending on the weather that means seriously bundling up cause I don't do cold too well at the moment.

While the body "languishes away" I'm still doing my best to keep my mind from turning to mush(even with a brain that only sometimes works V_^)

Due to this endeavor I've read several thought provoking books recently, one of which was Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it. Another was Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion it as well as very stimulating both academically with all the obscure yet useful statistics it presented, and deeply probing causing worthwhile self examination(and change!).

If you are interested, you can track my reading on Goodreads.com.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enraptured by Orthodoxy

OrthodoxyOrthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Utter and inspiring brilliance. Sure to be one of my all time favorites and one I shall love to re-read. I can only wait with baited breath until heaven when I can speak with Gilbert Kieth Chesterton face to face.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

(why) You should applaud an e-reader.

This is just one more quiet, loud, egotistical, slightly tongue and cheek, flippant, forcefully humble voice in the ever going e-reading versus paper reading war; this voice is uniquely mine.

Depending on what circles you frequent, e-reading is stigmatized. That is a true statement. It's also ridiculous. It's unlikely that someone would directly insult or cast a slur on your reading just because you do it in E, but you still, almost without exception, feel that subtle “real reading is done in paper not E”. That unsaid statement

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Shadow and Night by Chris Walley

The Shadow And Night (The Lamb Among the Stars, #1-2)The Shadow And Night by Chris Walley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well I've been looking for Christian Science fiction for quite some time; what little I've found seems to center on Christianity being either non-existent or trying to make a comeback. Both worthy topics but slightly tiresome after a time.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New article released!

Always wanted to write a story but not sure exactly how they tick?

Have a story already in progress but fighting a flabby read?

Love to expand your writing repertoire?

New article up in the League of Scribes by yours truly, -So you want to write a story?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Coming soon

In the next few days, reviews of The Skin Map and The Bone House, both by Stephen Lawhead, will be finding their way here.

Reviews should be useful and at the same time presented properly; I believe you'll find mine are both.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Want to publish traditionally? Want to learn more about it?

 Want to learn about traditional publishing and how it works? Interested in getting published? Check out an article on it by yours truly!

Check out my article on this very subject at League of Extraordinary Scribes

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guest post by Matt Koceich: Agenda

Some years ago, I came across the phrase “agenda-driven fiction” and have built the following thoughts in reference to those three words. In particular, I want to share my opinion as it relates to writers of Christian fiction. Perhaps this can be a new manifesto of sorts. A creed that we can remember before we map out our next writing endeavor.
            Publishers might warn you that they steer clear of fiction that pushes religion on readers. I am here to encourage you to write the story the Lord has put on your heart. I spent the better part of six years trying to find a home for my first novel, The Sending. Now that it has been printed by the amazing Marcher Lord Press, I feel qualified to speak on the topic of spreading the Good News through a creative story.
            I’ll make three brief points and pray that something here resonates in your writer’s heart and will encourage you NOT to delete the parts of your story that might come across as ‘pushing’ your beliefs on the reader.
Jesus had an agenda
When Jesus began his ministry, he didn’t sugar coat his words. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” I’m grateful that He didn’t leave room for interpretation. I’m glad He wasn’t worried how it would sound. The Lord glorified the Father with every word and deed. Each step Jesus took advanced the Father’s kingdom. Throughout His ministry, Jesus was consistent in word and deed. The Good Shepherd came for the lost sheep.
            When I think about my stories, I want to be like Jesus. I want my writing to show the reader His love and His message. That’s an agenda worth sticking to.
Jesus had an audience
The crowds came to Jesus and listened to what he had to say. Years back, I remember thinking that my writing would get published when someone out there needed to read my words that pointed them to Jesus. I have to remember that one lost heart in need of the Shepherd, is more important than one New York Times Bestseller. Our Shepherd will make sure stories that bring the lost home are stories that will find the right audience. His audience.
Jesus had an agreement
Matthew 10:32 is a perfect verse for our topic. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Jesus was sending out his apostles to share and spread the Good News. Can you imagine if they only told people that Jesus was a wise man? Jesus was very specific with his instructions. The agreement was that the Twelve would go to the “lost sheep” and tell the people “the kingdom of heaven is near.”
What might our new Christian Writers Creed look like? I propose the following:
The Father gave us a story to tell that no one else can or will. As His children, we will remember the agenda and write it down. We will remember the audience our Father wants our story to reach as we proclaim His glory. And we will agree that by the time we’ve written the final word, Jesus will hold our hands and say, “Well done.”
            May God bless you and your story.
Special thanks to Mr. Koceich for his long suffering in the posting of this article. I hope it encourages all of the readers to examine their stories and take his words to heart; I certainly did. Follow him at his blog and check out his book The Sending at Marcher Lord Press!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Map Across Time

The Map Across Time by C.S. Lakin: This is the second book in the Gates of Heaven Series, however even without reading the first book I didn’t feel I was at a disadvantage reading this one.

The story encompasses a magic map that take you through time, the pure love of two siblings that binds them together through adversity, and an ailing kingdom with a curse upon it. The characters were believable and driven plausibly by their own motives toward a personal agenda. The plot was pleasantly fresh with its own small twists and turns, however several points in the book could be guessed well ahead of time due to a medium level of predictability. The predictability didn’t damage the book in my eyes, that was simply how it was.  Lakin did a good job keeping the plot moving to the 3/4s mark of the book giving us just about the right amount of action and plot to keep the story going. However, I found that once myself as a reader got to where it felt like the end of the book should come, it wouldn’t. Instead she prolonged the wrapping up of the story in a massive time travel chain and(I feel like) forced the ending. I believe she tried to connect too many loose ends in the last forty pages and instead of a mosaic, left us with a knot. This, in my opinion, was the greatest error of the book: The story ran its route well, it wanted to end; Lakin didn’t.

The book is mainly marketed as a fairy tale, but besides a talking pig, I thought it fit just as well into the fantasy genre; albeit strange fantasy, but fantasy just the same.

I’d give this book a 3/5 stars, if the book had ended 50 pages sooner it easily earns a 4/5.

I received this book  from AMG publishers and the views I expressed are  my own.

Find it here and more like it here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Promises for the American Patriot

God’s promises for the American Patriot:

When I picked up this book I was looking forward to: the timely usage of scriptures in conjunction with patriotism, interesting anecdotes about patriotism, and stories from patriots both young and old. Upon reading God’s promises for the American patriot I was able to find all these things in the book, as well as something I hadn’t considered. The book contained not just quotes and stories from our founding fathers, as well as more modern examples of patriotism, but it contained and provided excerpts from some of America’s most famous legal documents.

However, something I did not expect is that it would be a “thought-a-day” book; every other page containing a small written piece utilizing excerpts or perhaps a mini-biography of a patriot with scriptures on the opposing page. For the first fifty pages, I enjoyed the stories, informative pieces, as well as quotes from our legal documents. Unfortunately, after fifty pages I found it becoming rote. Perhaps due to the subject matter covered, there simply wasn’t much possible fluctuation in the material presented. I found the book lacked holding power for me to read, and regret I wasn’t aware it was a thought-a-day book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Find the book here and more like it here

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit Andy Andrews

The Final Summit is a self proclaimed:“Quest to find the one principle that will save humanity.” A seventy five year old man, David Ponder, is whisked away by the archangel Gabriel to a “summit” to decide the fate of humankind. Others who have traveled throughout time, as he has, are present as well. Meeting with David are figures such as Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and a cacophony of others. David Ponder presides over this prestigious group as the leader of the summit. He is in fact, the only person from the ‘current age’! The question they have all been summoned for is posed:“What is the one solution that will save humanity?”

The fate of humanity lies in the balance as the summit’s best and brightest join heads on the answer. Moreover, to complicate matters, the answer is  two words long.

My favorite part of The Final Summit was learning bits of information about the fellow five Travelers that were selected to aid him in his decision. The quotes and pithy phrases said in the discussions definitely bear thinking about. Instead of being a light read the book turned out to be one that sent my mental cogs turning!  

My only disappointment about the book was the answer to the question was(spoiler!) “do something”.(end spoiler!) When, at least to me, it seemed that it would have much more of a spiritual ending---especially in a meeting judged by an angel!

Find it here and more books like it here

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ale boys's feast Jeffery Overstreet

Reading The Ale Boy’s feast turned out to be a greater challenge than I imaged. I didn’t have my hopes high after having to set down book three in the series because of scruples, but I desperately hoped it was a fluke and that I would love book four. Well—I was partially right.

 Morally this book was much better, at least on the surface. However, plot and ideology wise I found it lacking. Much of the entire philosophy surrounding the Keeper and Cal-Raven’s mentor, Scharr, is destroyed and undermined! I found it absolutely intolerable that the book seemed to promote the idea that things you put faith in, while they may be false, aren’t in fact bad because they give you a vision and make you wonder, pursue your dreams. It was very much of a, “just hold to the idea because it makes you feel better/warm fuzzier”. I felt like character moral development was lacking and Cal-Raven seemed tossed and blown by the waves of what was happening around him. Auralia’s return could have been sweet but instead she is revealed to Cal-Raven at the very end of the book and we aren’t given much of a picture of the reunion. Simply..Cal-Raven has decided he loves someone else now, this someone else being Auralia. The ending to the book was a huge disappointment to me leaving a large amount of things untied off and seemingly letting the book go adrift in the final few pages. I realize much of this may be style of writing, however, it is not one I enjoy.

I appreciate the work the author put into the book, I’m sure it was a huge task, but in this case, I feel it fell short.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books and this review is my own unadulterated opinion.

Doing Virtuous Business

Doing Virtuous Business is a no nonsense look at how a business can be run with a spiritual background. The books’ message is to show how this background of spirituality will instead of hampering the company, improve it.

 Starting off with a dialogue on 'spiritual capitol’ and it’s reality; the books’ ground layer is a  pushe for the acceptance of such an important “product”. After this first chapter, Doing Virtuous Business speaks in “mini-sections” on: virtue, faith, hope, charity, leadership, courage, patience, perseverance, discipline, justice, forgiveness, compassion, humility, and gratitude. Within these mini-sections, it relies on the spiritual backbone of the book referring to Islam’s Zakat, Christianity’s teaching, and Sufi ritual, as well as other faiths or practices for reason to live by these  aforementioned scruples.

Regretfully I found myself losing focus while reading the book; it simply did not grip me. I believe some of this was directly related to the content. It takes a very special person to get excited about why spiritual business ethics are important. However, I feel that a few more anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book, instead of more concentrated doses of examples in a few sections, would have improved my reading quality. This being said, there were indeed a few sections that seemed to engage me as a reader more than others and my attention was grasped firmly during these.

In conclusion, I only recommend this book if you are extremely interested in business and how spiritual ethics and actions can play out in the “real world”.

I received this book free from Booksneeze and this is my own unadulterated opinion.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Offworld Robin Parrish

Offworld delves into a world where astronauts from the first Mars’ mission return to find earth empty. The one exception? A woman named Mae. Soon the astronauts and Mae are in a race for their lives as the empty appearance of earth changes and they aren’t as alone as they first feared—and now wish they were.

Three things about Offworld by Robin Parrish: It was recommendable, it wasn’t a thriller, and it’s not an easy read. Working from those points, Offworld was good. It was well thought out, and I wasn’t left ranting over plot holes.

Problems: For the first half of the book I felt like it lagged character wise. I could not get a feel for who I was supposed to cheer for and while personalities were reasonably defined in each astronaut, I struggled with attaching to everyone, including Chris. As well as a  few of the dream sequences with Chris feeling very repetitive. Also, I was looking for Christian content, found none.(Except a few extremely ambiguous comments at the end..from the grave of all things.)

Positives!: The blackout/dream sequences Chris has throughout gave us a good picture of how he survived that mission on mars and where he was for 18 hours of the mission. They added a huge amount to connecting with Chris as a character and were tied in wonderfully at the end—even if I don’t totally get it.
The big positive was, THE PREMISE. Finally someone had people on earth disappear without it being a covert governmental job(though a general was involved), without it being a virus, and without it being aliens!

This book was labeled as suspense but I feel “Speculative” fiction is much closer to the truth.

Conclusion: The book didn’t lend itself to easy reading or latching onto the characters, for the most part at least. But with a premise this good it is still recommendable/readable.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fight of Our Lives -Bennet and Leibsohn

When I finished The Fight of Our lives I had to take a moment and reflect on the book. It truly has been viewpoint changing. It was not so much of a revelation for me as a reiteration of things I already believed but now with facts to back them up. I was very pleased that the book wasn’t packed with rhetoric in the least, nor was it a “shock” read; instead it was a logical delineation of  cultural trends, Islam, and our response to Islam and the terrorism that reaches our shores. The book did an excellent job citing a variety of sources as well as quoting informed/well known public figures. This backbone of quotes and professional opinions added hugely to the credibility of the book as well as driving home the sobering message the book brought. The Fight of Our lives did not mince words nor did it seek to smear anyone or anything. Instead in a very candid way it removed the emotional opinions and rhetoric on both sides of the issues it addressed and level headedly laid down the truth of the matter.  I am very glad I read the book, and it unlike most books on my bookshelf, will no doubt be read twice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jonathan Miaocco

 Hey there! I am so excited to be able to interview Jonathan Miaocco!! I can't wait to let you read this and get excited about composing! Yes, I said that right, composing!! But first, find Jon at his blog and website and listen to some of his music. Or...better yet, listen to some of his music while reading this interview! That's sure to jazz you up :D

Me: For those readers who don’t know who you are, why don’t you give us a quick bio of yourself?

I am seventeen, I live in Atlanta, I have an awesome family, and I compose music. I’m a senior in high school, but I’m also taking college classes. When I graduate from college, I want to be a film composer. (Definition: a person who composes music to film).

Me:Before we get too far into this world of composing questions, could you give us a working definition of composing? When I think of composing, I think of a tuxedo-ed fellow bent over a blank sheet of paper! Tell me this isn’t reality!

Haha, no, that’s not the reality! (Besides, I hate tuxedos.) The dictionary defines composing as “writing or creating (a work of art, esp. music or poetry)”. While that is technically true, it’s not the reality. The true art of composing is translating emotion into music. Music without emotion is just noise.

Me:What first drew you into composing?

I honestly don’t know! Ever since I was young, I’ve loved all kinds of music. But slowly I began to realize that I liked more orchestra-sounding music. When I was twelve/thirteen, I realized that I wanted to compose my own “soundtracks”. Sure, I had plunked out a melody or two on the piano, but I wanted to really compose. And… the rest is history.

Me:As a composer, are there things you notice about the world around you non-composers might not?

That’s a good question! I think one of the biggest things is this: I constantly “hear” music. Like, when I see an incredible sunset, I’ll think-of/mentally-compose music that might fit that situation.

To help us get inside your head a little bit, what is the first thing you notice when hearing a song?

When I hear a song, the first thing I think is whether or not I liked it. If I like it, I’ll try to figure out why I liked it. For most soundtracks, I’ll try to figure out how the composer orchestrated the music, etc. And if I didn’t like the song, I’ll try to figure out why I didn’t like it. Also, when I first hear a song, I try to see if the composer created something original. Some film composers sound exactly the same from film to film (and song to song), which I think defeats the whole purpose of film composing.

Me:What do you enjoy most about composing music? What is the biggest draw for you when you aren’t composing? (What part draws you back to it the most?)

When I compose, I love the challenge of bringing across emotion in the form of music. Audible music isn’t something you can touch or see (unless you look at a score… but that’s besides the point.) You can only hear it. When I compose music, I want to inspire people. I want people to see or feel something that they can’t explain through my music. The biggest draw for me when I’m not composing is that all I want to do IS compose. What draws me back the most is the idea that I can compose something completely new every time I sit down.

Me:As a teen composer, do you think this puts you at an advantage or disadvantage?

Yes. Haha… Usually, my age is “my hook.” Example: someone listens to my music and thinks, “Eh, whatever…” But then someone tells them I’m seventeen, and they think, “Woah, seventeen?!?!” So my age definitely helps “promote” me. But my age is also against me. I can’t just leave for Hollywood tomorrow. I’m only seventeen for crying out loud! I’m still in high school. So that is definitely a disadvantage.

Me:I noticed you are a Christian on your blog, does that play into your composing? If so, how?

Yes, definitely! I know God gave me the ability to compose music, and I’m not going to sit back and not do anything with it. (If you get a chance, read Matthew 25:14-30. It’s one of my favorite parables. It’s always made me see that God’s gifts are not meant to be wasted.)

Me:If you were to speak to a would be, or starting composer in the reading audience right now, what would you tell them? Words of encouragement? Exhortation? To get off and start composing?

1.    Never give up. Composing music is something you have to work at.
2.    Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. I’m not! I would hate to look back and wonder, “What if?”
3.    Go at it with everything you got. Don’t light heartily skip around, barely putting any effort in. Actually stretch yourself and make yourself work. And this leads into my final piece of advice…
4.    Don’t limit yourself. Try to compose to every genre you can. If you can compose to a lot of genres, it will be extremely beneficial to you in the future!

Me:In conclusion, are there any last words you’d like to leave us with?

    First, I would like to praise my Savior for the opportunities He has given to me and my purpose in life is to serve and honor him with music. Second, if you get a chance, please head over to my blog (jonmmusic.blogspot.com) or my website (jonathanmaiocco.com) and let me know what you think of my music. I’m always looking for some advice! And finally, thank you so much for interviewing me. It was fun!

Wow! That was a sweet interview Jon! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, and God bless in your endeavors.

As a reader you can currently purchase Jon's music from his website, and even get a few free tracks for signing up!

Life Promises for Success Jim Tressel

Life Promises for Success is a small compact book, chock full of interesting stories and inspiring quotes. It has Bible verses on one page, and on the opposite page it contains little anecdotes from life and different speakers. I enjoyed reading through the book and learning new quotes as well as fun little stories. However, I found that the scripture verses used seemed to be more of an afterthought on the page when the “real” book was found on the stories and quotes side.

When I ordered the book, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into; if it would be Max Lucado like, or a ‘thought a day’ book. In fact, it wasn’t quite either. The book was definitely geared toward reading just a page or two a day, but reading it through in two sittings didn’t seem to dampen the effect of the book or cause it to feel redundant.  In conclusion, it was an amusing and sometimes though provoking read, but not deep by any means.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Walk Shaun Alexander

The Walk by Shaun Alexander is a spiritual walk book first, and an interesting sport and life experiences book second. Though written closely to and from Shaun’s life and perspective, it is not by any stretch an autobiography rather it uses illustrations from his life to exemplify the teaching in the book. The spiritual depth in the reading surprised me pleasantly but I still would be hesitant to call the book deep. The Walk dealt with stages in a believers’ life moving from Unbeliever through “Imparter”. Focusing on the different stages of spiritual development.

 I felt like the author dwelt more on “sins of the flesh” than perhaps was needed using them for several examples throughout the book. Those who hold to a Cessationist viewpoint will have objections to the book for the references to past prophecies Shaun has been a part of as well as other spiritual happenings.

All in all if you have a husband or brother who is a sports nuts but not usually geared toward thinking about their spiritual walk, this book may be for them!

Find the book at Deepershopping here
Find more books about spiritual living at Deepershopping here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Conversation with God Alton Gansky

A Conversation With God was a book I initially grabbed with great fervor, then prior to reading, but after a negative review of the book, cooled my heals before reading it. Honestly, it fell somewhere in-between either of these extremes I felt/encountered. Just like the title says, questions are posed and “God” answers them. We also have little tidbits of information from mainly well known Bible figures. For example, Jonah “spoke” in one section.

The positives: It was grammatically well written. It was clear in its statements as a whole and wasn’t verbose. It also answered some current cultural questions as well as questions people have been asking God for a long time. I could give this to a friend who was curious about some of the questions of them misunderstanding what the book  says or making sure they major in theology beforehand. Especially useful for someone coming from another faith I believe.

The negatives: Because the book was not wordy it sacrificed some of the deep thinking that many of the questions warranted; also suffering from dumbing down the subject matter to accommodate this succinctness. This was continuously prevalent in the answers from “God”. Also, since the book was written as a conversation with God I feel that handicapped the book from giving scriptural answers and instead  simply giving “good” answers,  but not allowing the believer to cross check the scriptures or even make sure things were Biblically based simply because “God” was talking. Lastly, in the back of the book there was a chapter index along with the scriptures they used in each chapter—however it was worthless to me when reading. Frequently I wanted to read the source they were coming from but having to flip all the way to the back of the book and find the chapter I was reading and then pinning down the scripture reference was too bulky and discouraged deeper looking.

In conclusion. I would give this to someone coming from another faith or very new to Christianity, but this is not a hard thinking  book for a mature believer.

Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."