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The Facets of Death

The Facets of Death by James Rondinone explores many questions people have about death. The author jumps into the topic of death by studying God’s involvement in death. James Rondinone looks at whether God prevents some people from dying and why God allows others to die. The author talks about his experience with a death in his family and shares his questions after the bereavement. This sets the book up well as it shows the reader that the author is another person on an investigatory journey.

The author looks at the death of Abel from the Bible. He discusses why God did not prevent his brother, Cain, from murdering Abel. James Rondinone then uses this example to look at the topic of free will. However, the author does not stop there. The author discusses complex issues like God’s role in allowing masses of people to die and uses the example of Noah and the flood. These situations are hard to grapple with, yet James Rondinone’s thoughts on the issues are well explained.

One of the most interesting things about the book is that although it was written from a Christian perspective, the author wrote it so that anyone grappling with the topic of death could read it and gain nuggets along the way.

Before picking up the book, I decided it would be a challenging and depressing read. On the contrary, the author wrote the book from a compelling point of view. He tackled a topic from an intellectual level instead of purely an emotional level. This allows the reader to look at death from a broader point of view and gain a bigger perspective. Even though the chapters are short, parts of the book felt slow, making me want to move on to the next section.

The Facets of Death is a thought-provoking book written for people from various walks of life. It contains numerous references from the Bible and deals with a tricky topic well. Even with the Christian references, the intellectual look at the topic makes this book a great resource for anyone looking for a different take on death and grief.

Pages: 130 | ASIN : B09TQ61M37

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God Glasses

God Glasses by medium Ann Monster encourages the reader to seek out a more profound spiritual and equally individualistic relationship with what they interpret as being God the Creator. Through her personal experiences talking with God about topics that weighed on her heart, she found clarity and meaning in her own life. She wants to share this experience with readers and help them gain the same healing she did.

Beginning with Monster’s own spiritual awakening. As a stressed thirty-five-year-old mother of two, she desperately needed a minute of relaxation. However, instead of a quiet moment of peace, she claims to have been greeted with a vision of Christ. This led to a noticeable self-transformation in the days following.

The book is structured meticulously. Based on the author’s conversations with God, she breaks down God’s perspective on highly controversial topics like race, HIV/AIDS, gender, and sexuality. These discussion topics span several chapters. Through the use of opening lines which form diary-like entries and provide everyday, real-world examples, the groundwork is laid for Monster to pose questions to ‘God’ as the basis of her chapter-by-chapter thesis items.

I particularly enjoyed one chapter which posed this question to the reader: “when does the natural and beautiful sexual desire that one human being can have for another become sin?” It considers how ‘sin’ has been redefined. Monster approached this sensitively and tastefully, bringing a welcoming and inclusive tone to God Glasses. This chapter assessed the literary interpretation of sin in accordance with the dictionary, then compared it to scripture teachings and how society has capitalized on sexuality through subliminal messages, which have caused humans to consider sexuality as the only facet of life that has any importance. It removed the stigma attached to pre-marital sex, sexual exploration, and leisure – it was not what I expected to see in a religious piece and was favorable.

God Glasses is a good balance of self-incitement and relatability; it does not aim to evangelize or coerce the reader. It would suit readers wishing to develop an intimate relationship with God but may be unsure that Christianity includes themselves.

Pages: 218 | ISBN: 153201774X

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The Unbelievable Truth

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is the encounter of a man that went from being a drug-addicted alcoholic to a member of the Church, thanks to a sudden and lucky encounter. It follows his path as he starts hearing God’s voice, anticipating seeing God in his life events, and guiding him through his faith.

Broadnax writes straightforwardly, not spending much time on each episode but clearly narrating all of them, helping the reader understand the miracle the Lord had realized for him. I appreciated the multiple quotes from the Bible, which gave more depth to the different stories and might inspire readers. The choice of verses underlines the attention to detail as the quotes all refer to the chapter in question or at least to one of the episodes narrated.

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is an inspiring story. It will guide people who might be looking for their own way or who might need a new perspective on life, just like the author did. I recommend this novel to any reader keen on religious and spiritual themes. Lastly, I would like to end this review with a quote from the author: “This book is about how God delivered me out of a twenty-three-year drug habit and how I have been free for twenty-four years.”

Pages: 52 | ASIN : B0BKNS5Z5L

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Peace, Joy and Love: Christmas in Africa

Author and traveler Terry Lister brings back the true meaning of Christmas in Peace, Joy, And Love: Christmas In Africa. In this short page-turner, we go on a journey across Africa and discover the Christmas traditions of African countries. From folklore-based traditions to unique holiday cuisine, there is something to learn on every page. Throughout the book, we are reminded of the true Christmas spirit and how to reshape how we view and celebrate the holiday.

We often forget that Christmas is more than Black Friday shopping sprees, taking pictures at a mall, and opening lavish gifts on a random December morning. If I could sum up the impact of this book in one word, it would be “enlightening.” Lister lays bare the wholesome, unique, and sometimes overly simplistic traditions of many impoverished African communities in an honoring and respectful manner. He does not see these communities as lacking but rather admirable. That gives the reader a more positive perspective on a Holiday that has been taken over by global marketing giants. I appreciated the respect he showed to each African community in his writing.

Lister does a fantastic job at sharing facts in a simplistic but entertaining fashion. It felt easy to retain the information; I often let chapters simmer in my mind before moving on to the next. The photographs were a beautifully added touch. Although many were not high-quality in the traditional sense, they showcased rawness and the natural state of these festivities as if they were happening in real-time. It also added a feel of a travel diary to the overall writing and book that I thoroughly enjoyed – we went on the journey with Lister to discover these traditions.

My reading of Peace, Joy, And Love: Christmas In Africa left me feeling humbled, joyful, and ready to enter the season ahead with a new perspective. If you are looking to switch up your holiday reading from the traditional classic tales, I recommend diving into the Christmas spirit-filled pages of this book.

Pages: 90 | ASIN : B0BGQGC82G

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Help Me Understand the Bible

Help Me Understand the Bible by Clarence Whetstone is an educational book which aims to help the reader understand the Bible on a deeper level. The book focuses on creating a new perspective of the Bible to enable readers to better understand the lessons contained within. It addresses the fact that people often look at the Bible from a Greek and western view. Help Me Understand the Bible helps the reader alter their mindset and view the Bible from the perspective in which many of the books it contains were written: Hebrew.

The author tackles the subject of perspective well by looking at individual words, phrases and imagery used in the Bible and looks at what they mean from the Hebrew perspective. The author also introduces each chapter well by beginning each section with two characters who have an initial conversation that will be unwrapped. Additionally, when looking at verses and parables in the Bible, the author gives the reader a clearer understanding of the passage it addresses and includes good references to other books in the Bible.

One of the most interesting parts of this book is when the author addresses the parable of the Good Samaritan. The author addresses the cultural differences between the people in the parable and then discreetly challenges the reader to use this story as an example of how Christians should break unhealthy social norms. 

This book conveys the information in simple to understand language. You don’t need a degree in theology to understand the ideas expressed in this book. I enjoyed how this does not reads like your average theological book. It feels much more like you are listening to a knowledgeable friend, minister, or pastor explain things to you on your level. The author raises valuable points throughout the book that offer plenty of information to reflect on.

I would recommend Help Me Understand the Bible to anyone who is ready to change their perspective on the Bible and is ready to approach the Bible in a new way. This is an educational book that can help modern readers understand the culture, language and time the Bible was written in, and in so doing it provides a better understanding of the Bible.

Pages: 294 | ASIN: B0792K88KM

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Onward, At Last

Onward, At Last by Kevin Howard is a thought-provoking exploration of modern social issues and shows how we can improve humanity and our interconnected societies. We analyze these issues through a series of commentaries divided into five volumes. Each chapter has a catchy title and is quite short. The arguments are always illustrated by current and historical events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the direct consequences of climate change, or the history of America’s economy. Howard’s main thesis is that he believes in “universal oneness”.

The strength of the book is that it takes inspiration from several religions and is quite inclusive in that respect. This illuminating book also provides rationale that is backed up by numbers or historical facts, ensuring the information is grounded as well as insightful. The author also raises an interesting issue in education where he sees a lack of preparation for children and teenagers becoming adults.

While the length of the chapters make consuming the information very easy, I would have liked to have taken a deeper dive into some subjects and taken more time to fully shape an assertion or commentary. The reader should be aware that, although the book offers answers, the examples and politics mentioned are centered around the United States.

Onward, At Last is a stimulating read that highlights contemporary societal issues and provides some answers. I recommend this book to readers in search of meaning in life, or to someone wondering how humanity can unite, or to anyone that wants to understand how we can improve if we join forces. I was able to find hope for society in this book, given the current events occurring around the world.

Pages: 196 | ISBN : 1639886303

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Grief

Grief: The Beacon of Love is a collection of 12 notes which provide insight into how to cope with the loss of a loved one. The text relies heavily on personal experiences but strives to be universal. The author, Carolyn Begley Daley, mentions medical solutions such as seeking a therapist’s help or taking medication are valid and sometimes needed. That said, this inspirational book focus on the use of faith and religion in order to deal with grief.

The last few notes focus on the grieving process many felt during the COVID-19 pandemic and how much it has changed people’s coping mechanisms. The author believes love is the answer to finding a path through all kinds of grief. As long as one loves God and the little things in life, one can push through anything.

Grief contains some beautiful ideas and will have the reader highlighting or underlining many sentences that will accompany them in their journey. I believe even a reader who is not grieving could learn from this book. The two main takeaways are that community is essential to people’s healing and that ignoring one’s feelings will eventually lead to anxiety and depression.

The 12 notes that his book revolves around are centered around Christian beliefs. Even if it appears as though the book is meant to be universal, all the notes’ conclusions refer back to scriptures and one’s relationship with God and Jesus. Additionally, many of the arguments are repeated throughout the whole book. I felt that it could be more concise and still give out the message it wanted to give.

Grief: The Beacon of Love by Carolyn Begley Daley is an inspirational self-help book that focuses on the reader’s relationship with God and Jesus. This relationship is the foundation for overcoming grief. It is an excellent book for someone who needs to understand that they are not the only ones going through this pain or looking for what steps to take in order to go forward.

Pages: 78 | ASIN : B0B7M47WXZ

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Rebuilt Rebuilt Recovery Complete Series – A Journey with God

Rebuilt Recovery: A Journey with God by Heather L. Phipps is a Christian self-help book created with the intention of being used as “a tool to help people find recovery from their mental and emotional pain and suffering by dealing with the root causes of their issues.” Well written, this book lays out a foundation of what it looks like to journey with God, while also addressing life issues and how to cope and triumph over the trials we all go through. The author outlines what faith and doubt are and also takes a step-by-step approach in how to check what is the root cause of many of life’s issues.

This book would be a great resource for people who are dealing with anger, anxiety, shame, pride, idolatry, and unwanted thoughts. Not only does this book outline strategies for overcoming these battles, but it also celebrates how life and faith are intermingled, and what a beautiful journey lies ahead for the Christian believer. Rebuilt Recovery is as informative as it is engaging. Each section comes with illustrations, boxed text, and prompts to work through as your journey through the book into recovery.

Rebuilt Recovery is a wonderful resource for anyone that is struggling to find the light in their life. This book deals with many of life’s issues and illustrates how to overcome them in a constructive and healthy way. This is a comprehensive book that feels long, but also leaves nothing out. I would highly recommend this book to Christian believers as a way to work through struggles and trials that may arise in life. This book is a must have in your library and will provide great insight into the root causes of the challenges that life throws at you. Whether you are walking with God, or interested in starting your faith journey Rebuilt Recovery will not leave you disappointed.

Pages: 518 | ASIN: B0BCWDFM2Q

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