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onheaven



Blurb: From the man who became Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio shares his thoughts on religion, reason, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century with Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and biophysicist.

For years Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka were tenacious promoters of interreligious dialogues on faith and reason. They both sought to build bridges among Catholicism, Judaism, and the world at large. On Heaven and Earth, originally published in Argentina in 2010, brings together a series of these conversations where both men talked about various theological and worldly issues, including God, fundamentalism, atheism, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and globalization. From these personal and accessible talks comes a first-hand view of the man who would become pope to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world in March 2013.

Review: On Heaven and Earth is a wonderful insight into the views of Pope Francis I and Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

The book covers a variety of topics (from views on same-sex marriage to fundamentalism to euthanasia to different conflicts) and not only shows the two men's views on each individual topic, but their personal histories, how their faiths are similar and divergent on the topic discussed, and how people can work together to bridge their differences toward a common goal.

A very enlightening read and highly recommended.
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Blurb: Who among us doesn't desperately need... Love. Period.

Love without conditions ... acceptance that will change the world. Every one of us wants to be more than just accepted; Rudy shows us how to love people who are not like us. By truly understanding what Jesus meant when He said love is the greatest commandment of all, we learn how to love people—of different races, backgrounds, economic status, physical or mentally challenged, or dependent. Love. Period. is a message demonstrating the only way we get that kind of love is by giving it to others.

Review: I found the book to be interesting and very engaging.

What I took away from it is a better awareness of myself and others. Part of that came about from Mr. Rasmus' personalization of the points he was making.

Very good read and highly recommended.

Received book from publisher for review.

(Cover photo and blurb (c) Worthy Publishing.)
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Blurb: Something Is About To Change

Inspired by NASA projections and recorded history, Pastor John Hagee reveals direct connections between four upcoming blood-moon eclipses and what they portend for Israel and all of humankind.

Over the last 500 years, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover three separate times. These occurrences were connected to some of the most significant days in Jewish history: 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were expelled from Spain), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence) and 1967 (the Six-Day War). Every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God, which signals coming events to humanity. There are no solar or lunar accidents. The next series of four blood moons occurs at Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015. In this riveting book, Hagee explores what these blood moons mean and why Christians must understand these signs and what they bode both for Israel and the world.

Joel 2 and Acts 2 both state: "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness [eclipse] and the moon into blood [eclipse] before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."

Review: Mr. Hagee certainly presents an interesting viewpoint in Four Blood Moons.

His style is engaging and will keep the reader's attention until the end. While Mr. Hagee backs his points up very well, I would have liked to see a wider variety of sources for the historical points.

Four Blood Moons is the first book that I have read of Mr. Hagee's. Even as I found it to have made some interesting points, and has a certain appeal, I think I will let it percolate for the time being before I look into any more of his books.

(Image and Blurb (c)Worthy Publishing)

Giveaway: Two print copies are available to those who comment on this post. Please note: Please leave your first name and initial of last name as well as an e-mail address within the comment. Comments that do not contain both will not be considered. The giveaway will run through Thursday, November 21.


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Blurb: "This guy has no mother" is an old Spanish saying used to refer to boys who seem bent on evil and destruction. I remember it well from my childhood in Puerto Rico, because people would often use it when referring to me.

Nicky Cruz knows all about the power of the devil. Since his own dramatic conversion in the 1960s from a life of crime as a New York gang leader, he has met and heard the stories of suffering of many ordinary people, as well as some of the worst prisoners in high security prisons around the world.

Drawing on his spiritualist childhood, his life in New York, and his knowledge and experience of over four decades of spiritual warfare since that time, The Devil Has No Mother shares Nicky Cruz's hard-won understanding of how the devil will try everything possible to gain power in this world--but also shows clearly that it is God who will win the day.

Review: I received this book from the publisher after reading an e-mail sent from Worthy Publishing about the blog tour that this post is a part of. I must say that the title and blurb intrigued me.

Having read the book, I found myself in a bit of a waffle, hence why there is a 4.5 lily rating.

Overall, I found the writing compelling and impassioned. Mr. Cruz's sincerity and passion for his mission comes across in the book - I admire and respect that very much.

What may have me waffling is the tone. This is possibly the case because I want to compare it to On Heaven and Earth by (then) Cardinal Bergoglio and Rabbi Skorka. Granted, I have only started reading On Heaven and Earth and am not, as yet, even a third of the way through, but, to me, the tone is suited more to my tastes.

That is not to say that there is anything inherently wrong with the tone in Mr. Cruz's book. This being my first read of any of Mr. Cruz's writings, I do not have a comparison to his other works, I would like to believe that it conveys the author's passion for his message and for seeing as many people as possible receive it.

Great read and great message as well as a recommended read.

Giveaway: Two print copies will be sent to two commenters on this post. Giveaway is open until 11 P.M., Saturday, November 2 and winners will be notified thereafter. Please leave your first name and e-mail in order to be considered for the contest.

Cross-posted to Facebook, Amazon and GoodReads.

(Image and blurb (from back cover of book) (c) Worthy Publishing)

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Blurb: Beth Moore joins her dear friend Travis Cottrell in showing you how to fully experience God’s presence at surprising times and places in your own life.

According to Cottrell, God’s goodness is predictable. His mercy is dependable. His ability to work in every moment of every reader’s life, leading them to him, is unfailing. But often in those moments, even the most devout are distracted by great distress, failing to see or acknowledge God’s presence and provision. Cottrell reminds readers that God is the hope, strength and deliverance we desperately need. In every circumstance, especially those moments when we least expect it, God’s voice can be heard and his presence discerned. He Knows Your Name is a beautiful, 2-color gift book sure to be treasured.

Review: Like The Power of Ordinary Prayer, He Knows Your Name is a wonderful read for a variety of reasons.

What stood out for me is that the authors (in the introduction and in the main portion of the book) used not only examples from Scripture, but from their own lives as well. The message is put forth in such a way that the reader can relate to it and does not sound "preachy", even while putting forth a powerful message nonetheless.

As in The Power of Ordinary Prayer, there were questions at the end of each chapter to make the reader think about each chapter, about themselves, and how they can improve their lives.

The only minor issue I had is that there were a couple grammatical mistakes - at one point the word "would" was used when I think "wound" was intended, but they do not take away from the overall presentation.

Wonderful read.

(Image and blurb (c)Worthy Publishing)

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Blurb:A touching gift book that helps readers understand the power and beauty of prayer and how it can transform our hearts, so that we can be a catalyst for transformation in others. Many of us seek to be blessed more than we seek to bless others. It’s our heart aligned with the heart of God that brings blessing, because He is by nature extravagantly generous and loves giving gifts. No matter where readers are on their journey with God, they will be motivated and inspired to open their hearts and discover the abundant joy and peace that can be theirs through the power of a simple prayer of blessing.

Review: The Power of Ordinary Prayer is a very moving read about how prayer can affect the way we live our lives.

There are a couple of things that stand out for me about the book. One is that it reads like a conversation between the writer and the reader - I find that to be a gift. Two, the message does not come across as "preachy", but rather as one person trying to bring forth a "here, try this out, could very well improve your outlook" message to another person. Another thing that I really like about the book is the "pauses for contemplation" (at least that is how they come across to me) at the end of each chapter that asks questions of the reader to reiterate the message.

There are one or two more things that stand out about the book for me, but those are the main points. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, regardless of what particular faith he or she might be.

(Cover image and blurb (c)Worthy Publishing)

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Book Blurb: In Inner River, Kyriacos Markides - scholar, researcher, author, and pilgrim - takes us on a thrilling quest into the heart of Christian spirituality and humankind's desire for a transcendant experience of God. From Maine's rugged shores to a Cypriot monastery to Greece's remote Mt. Athos and, ultimately, to an Egyptian desert, Markides encounters a diverse cast of characters that allows him to explore the worlds of the natural and the supernatural, of religion and spirit, and of the seen and unseen.

Inner River will appeal to a wide range of readers, from Christians seeking insights into their religion and its various expressions to scholars interested in learning more about the mystical way and wisdom that have been preserved in the heart of Orthodox spirituality. Perhaps most important, however, is the bridge it offers contemporary readers to a Christian life that is balanced between the worldly and the spiritual.

Review: I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading this book as I have had a mixed experience reading books that were, in some way, labeled "Christian" themed - I either liked them or was put off by them because they came across as, well, "preaching to the choir." This is why I found myself really enjoying the book because it reads more like a conversation between two people sharing views without the need to insist on changing your views unless you really want to do so. The book gives a wonderful insight - at least it did to me - into Orthodox views and certainly gave me some food for thought.

I found Mr. Markides writing style easygoing and engaging and will look into finding his other books to read as I would like to read more of what he has to say.

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