Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat them

5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat them by Dr. Charles Stone is, in essence, a book for discouraged and burned out pastors. Through research, real-life stories and data, Dr. Stone reveals 5 categories that steal ministerial joy:

1. Head-in-the-sand mentality that denies existing problems.
2. Emotional investment in the wrong issues.
3. Unhealthy responses to ministry frustrations.
4. A lone ranger attitude that says, "God and I can handle this."
5. Attitudes and actions that lead to lonely, hurting spouses.

The book reveals some discouraging facts:
1. "A 2001 survey discovered that the average tenure of pastor's in America is 3.8 years," (pp. 43).
2. "1 in 4 pastors experience a forced termination according to a 1990's reported study."are dismissed" (pp. 43).

This book is a fantastic resource for pastors or families who are heavily involved in ministry and finding themselves tired and fed up with their work. It is also a fantastic book for any pastor that is looking to defend themselves from these common "ministry killers." A great gift book for your pastor, I highly recommend it. Also a great read for the regular church-goer who wants to better relate to their ministerial staff and know how to best encourage them, pray for them, and support them.

For more information on the Five Ministry Killers by Dr. Charles Stone or for your own favourite Christian fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

Review: Morning For Dove

I recently read Morning For Dove by Martha Rogers and was overall satisfied with this book. Martha Rogers is a former schoolteacher and English instructor who loves history. This is the second book in the Winds Across the Prairie series by Rogers, however this book is highly capable of standing on its own two feet, even if you haven't had the opportunity to read the first book.

Morning for Dove is the story about Luke Anderson and Dove Morris and their "forbidden love". Luke falls in love with Dove, a half-cherokee young woman, despite his mother's obvious prejudice towards her. Warring between his respect for his parents and his love for Dove, Luke is forced to choose between the two of them when a prairie wildfire threatens to destroy their homes.

Set in the 1800's in prairie country, the story is filled with romance and drama and the power of God to overcome all our prejudice and judgements. I found this book a little bit unbelievable at the very beginning, as the story begins with him mourning over the woman he thought he loved, who is getting married. He goes to her wedding and lay's eyes on Dove Morris, whom he instantly transfers his affections towards. However, the book does go on to resolve this by discreetly explaining that what he felt for the first woman was nothing more than tender affection.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction. I believe that the best audience for this book would generally be a teenager or young adult, however it is a great read for all ages!

For more information on Morning for Dove or to purchase your favourite Christian fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Disaster Status by Candace Calvert

Disaster Status by Candace Calvert is book two in the Mercy Hospital Series. Candace is "a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter, and faith are the best medicines," and this belief permeates throughout the story. Filled with humour, faith, romance, and drama, this book is sure to keep you turning the pages. 

The story center's around Erin Quinn, a spunky and somewhat stubborn ER nurse, and Scott McKenna, an ambitious firefighter who "goes by the book" in his life. Through a local disaster, these two characters meet and are drawn together in their mutual effort to help the community recover from its trauma. Two individuals with each their own personal struggles and issues to overcome in both their families and their faith, Scott and Erin's professional relationship quickly develops to a personal one despite their many differences. 

More than a story about two lives, this is a story about faith and trust in God despite the various curveballs that life throws at us. Centered around the value of prayer and the importance of being still and listening "with the ears of your heart", this book carries spiritual truths that go beyond a good read and have the ability to touch your heart. As an added bonus, this book has a variety of discussion topics at the end to facilitate book clubs and small group conversation with the invitation to contact the author so that she can join the conversation via speakerphone if time permits. This speaks to the devotion of Candace to her readers and the desire of hers to go beyond simple fiction and touch her reader's hearts.

In conclusion this book is interesting, well written, fast paced, and filled with a message of hope and faith that is truly inspirational. For more information about Disaster Status or to purchase your favourite Christian fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a free copy of this book through Tyndale House Publishers

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: A Surrendered Heart

I recently read A Surrendered Heart by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. This is the third and final book in the Broadmoor Legacy and the continuation of the story of Fanny, Sophie, and Amanda. The story revolves around Amanda's point of view as she is forced to decide between her family and her heart. The story is set once again in the thousand islands as the family flees to their summer home to escape a cholera epidemic. Filled with the charming elements of mystery, intrigue, and romance, this book promises to deliver.

Due to the continuation of character development, I found that this book was by far the most satisfying of the three. It ties together all the final strings of suspense threaded in the first two novels, and gives the reader a sense of finality. This book also had the greatest focus on faith as the family is forced to evaluate what it truly means to follow Christ. For a historical, Christian fiction: the details are accurate, the language is captivating and the narrative is one that is hard to put down. This book, like all in this series, is one that will add to any reading collection and I highly recommend the entire Broadmoor Legacy for anyone who enjoys Historical, Christian romance.

For more information on the book A Surrendered Heart or to purchase your favourite Christian books, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a free copy of this book through Baker Publishing Group.

Review: An Unexpected Love

An Unexpected Love by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is book two of the Broadmoor Legacy. This book continues the story of Fanny, Sophie and Amanda through their family drama. Focusing more on the story of young Sophie as she discovers who she is and what is most important in her life. Sophie is drawn into a relationship with a wealthy widower, however there seems to be some secret behind this man. Sophie is drawn to understand what it truly means to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Throughout her situation, her relationship with her cousins prevails.

Set in the 1890's and played out near the thousand islands, this narrative draws you in through it's flowing language and excellent character development. Although this book has the ability to stand alone, it is intricately tied in to the first series of the novels, A Daughter's Inheritance and the reader will benefit the most from reading the first book. All in all, I would highly suggest not only this book, but also the book before it in order to complete the experience.

For more information on An Unexpected love or to purchase your favorite Christian fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a free copy of this book through Bethany House Publishers.

Review: A Daughter's Inheritance

A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is a fictional, historical romance. Book one in the series, "The Broadmoor Legacy," A Daughter's Inheritance is the story of three young girls whose future is uncertain and friendship unshakeable. The story focuses on the lives of Frances, Sophie, and Amanda who are cousins and friends. When Fanny's grandfather dies she is left with a large inheritance, however her family's interference could cause her to lose everything. Romance, history, drama, and mystery, this book covers a little bit of everything.

I found the story interesting, the first book is very detailed which makes it a little harder to get into, however it is crucial to character development within the series. Although this book is labeled a Christian Fiction, I found there was very little to do with God and the Bible. All in all, the first book was not my favorite. However, the series gets more in depth and interesting as you go along. 

For more information on A Daughter's Inheritance or to purchase your favorite Christian Fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a free copy of this book through Bethany House Publishers.