Spring Dawn (Seasons of Faith Book 3) by Rebekah Lyn ~ Review

Spring Dawn (Seasons of Faith Book 3) by Rebekah Lyn

Spring Dawn

Spring Dawn is the third book in Rebekah Lyn’s Season of Faith series. In Book 1, we meet Elizabeth, Ian, Jeffrey, Stephen and Michelle. Book 2 continues the story of these five friends. In Book 3, the main plot is focused equally between Ian and Elizabeth’s growing romance and Jeffrey’s life and spiritual growth as a new Christian. You can read my reviews on Book 1 here and Book 2 here. By the time I finished reading the third book, I felt these five characters were also my friends. And because they are, I can’t wait to see more resolution in their lives.

In looking back over the scope of the books I’ve read so far in this series, I could see a pattern. The first book was a book of disasters where many people were thrown together in an effort to survive the season’s group of hurricanes. Our five main characters meet under different conditions and in different capacities. The second book was a book of mystery and adventure where Ms. Lyn’s readers become better acquainted with the friends. This third book is a book of testing: testing character, testing resolves, and testing relationships. An example of this is in the development of Ian and Lizzie’s relationship. In the second book, the reader may conclude that their relationship was on solid ground. Yet this third book creates uncertainty, tests their stability as a couple and stretching each one individually. That makes for very good reading.

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Lizzie begins to put distance between herself and Ian, while simultaneously drawing closer to Jeffrey, especially after his car accident. Ian becomes jealous of Jeffrey when he finds out about this. Michelle, too, feels some envy at Jeffrey and Lizzie’s easy camaraderie. Ian is already frustrated with the slow growth of his design business. He begins to wonder if Lizzie is the One for him to settle down with. Lizzie is not aware of these undercurrents. She is battling her own fears about falling back into her past lifestyle which she has kept hidden from Ian.

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After going through a hair-raising experience in the second book, Michelle feels much less secure in the current book. She’s dissatisfied with life, leans a little more on her friend Jeffrey for friendship while at the same time nothing seems to go her way. This subplot left me yearning for some type of resolution for her.

Jeffrey shares the limelight with Ian and Lizzie. After the events of the second book, Jeffrey resolves to stay closer to God, stay dry and away from former relationships that could lure him back to his old ways. He spends a little more time with Stephen. At the same time, he also resolves to reach out to Michelle in an effort to “be Jesus” to her. Of course, most of these resolutions are tested repeatedly, creating a sense of mystery about his relationship with Michelle. His accident temporarily takes him out of Michelle’s sphere and into the care of his parents. Happily this gives him an opportunity to gain some peace with them.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. Rebekah Lyn’s writing style pulls us into the details of friendships and leads us to care for each of the five friends. The pace of this third book is slower than the previous books, which seems to be intentional in order to develop the tangled web of events, tests, and character development. If you enjoy delving into the details of life, watching how people going through life without God learn about Him and reach out to Him when others are not accessible, then you will enjoy this book.

Additional note: The fourth book in this series is soon to be released. Look for a December wedding!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Top Ten Reasons to Read the Bible Today: The Life Changing Benefits of Daily Bible Reading by Wayne Davies ~Review~

Top Ten Reasons to Read the Bible Today: The Life Changing Benefits of Daily Bible Reading by Wayne Davies

Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today

If you wanted to learn to ride a horse, you wouldn’t begin by standing on its back like a circus rider. If you had a desire to write a book, you would want to know some basic information like how to construct meaningful sentences, paragraphs and
chapters. And if you wanted to build the world’s tallest structure, you would probably not begin by slapping together boards and wires and pipes. You would need to study basic knowledge such as the physics and mathematics of creating a safe building, reading and learning to interpret blueprints. In essence, trying to accomplish something without learning the basics first used to be called “putting the cart before the horse.”

Using much the same thought processes as the eager beavers in the previous paragraph, many in Western society today seems to think they know God, understand what He’s like and how He wants us to live, without consulting the only written document we have that provides us all the basic information we need: the Bible. That is why I recommend this book by Wayne Davies. Just as you wouldn’t consult a cookbook to repair a computer, the author has not consulted our culture and society’s norms to help us understand God. Instead, he’s gone straight to the source many people call The Word of God. He then shares his story of discovery in “Top Ten Reasons to Read the Bible Today: The Life Changing Benefits of Daily Bible Reading” because what he experienced changed him. He shares with his reader his love/hate relationship with God.

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Wayne Davies begins his book by explaining why he wrote it and who should read it. His story is interesting to me because I can see some of my own life story in his. When he talked about different types of people groups who may need this book, I identified with at least two of the groups. The remaining pages are divided into ten short chapters representing the reasons and benefits for reading the Bible. I enjoyed reading this book for many reasons.

The first reason I like it is that Mr. Davies uses language that is straight forward and authoritative. He does use some “religious language”, but he explains the meaning of most of the terms very well. He was able to avoid, as much as is possible, loaded vocabulary that have vague or ambiguous definitions. His explanations are simple and clear of most cultural nuances. It’s nearly impossible to write a book of this nature without reflecting some cultural preferences. But it was obvious to me that his source of information is the Bible. Period.Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today quote2

The second reason I like this book is how it reflects the passion and heart the author poured into it. His excitement about the topic is the result of the journey he experienced and explained in the opening preface. There is no doubt for me that Wayne Davies wrote it out of a genuine desire to share what he discovered with his reading audience. I believe in his earnestness.Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today quote3

Finally, I can see many ways the short book could be useful for discipleship. Years ago I learned an acrostic applied to the letters that spell BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The Bible is essential to our knowledge of God, biblical history, God’s laws, the life of Jesus, and the early days of Christianity. This booklet is like a primer for young Christians or those who want a little more than a cursory explanation of foundational beliefs. Do you know someone seeking information on the basics of Christianity? Give them a copy of this book. Are you acquainted with some young believers who need a short, concise introduction to the basics about God? This would be a good book for them to read. Another way this work could be helpful is to aid in meditation on the foundations of what the Bible teaches us. Many Christians need that once in awhile. It serves as a plumb line to determine how far we may have drifted from the core issues of Christianity. I also feel this book is a good source of encouragement for young and mature Christians both. For all these reasons and more, I highly recommend this book.Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today quote 4

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author, Wayne Davies. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Beyond All Dreams: A Novel by Elizabeth Camden ~Review~

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Beyond All Dreams

A peek into the history of the Library of Congress, a mysteriously inaccurate naval document that no one would discuss, a particularly persistent librarian, timid but with fire in her blood, an annoyingly arrogant congressman from Maine, and the circumstances that precipitated the Spanish American War are all ingredients that make this book a fascinating read. Add a generous amount of romance and the book becomes irresistible.

Anna O’Brian was one of only a handful of female librarians allowed to work at the Washington D.C. location of the Library of Congress in the late nineteenth century. For her, it was a dream come true. Anna’s responsibilities were to care for the library’s maps and to conduct research for congressmen. Occasionally librarians even provided expert advice and testimony for congressional committees as well as for individuals. It was her attention to detail and her persistence that made her an excellent researcher. It also got her into trouble with the US Navy when she noticed an error in the reports of an incident that occurred 15 years ago. It also happened to be the same incident in which her father, a cartographer, disappeared with the ship he was sailing on. There was a definite mystery and she wanted it solved.

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Anna’s retiring yet understated fire also caught the eye of Lucas Callahan, a fairly new congressman from Maine. His youth, energy and brashness were all the talk of the town. His rivalry with the Speaker of the House got him removed from the US Budget Committee and reassigned to the committee on Fisheries. Their former war of words had hiked up a notch. But under all his fuss and blunder was a man with principles, who understood the hard-working laborers, the every day man, because his own roots were from the lumber industry. His family’s newly gained wealth was only a thin veneer that barely covered a darkness he wanted very much to escape. When he met Anna, he discovered her naturally placid nature brought a peace and calm to his turbulent one. But getting Anna to accept his suit was a challenge. It was not until he became entangled in her mystery document and the affairs of the Navy that she realized how serious he was. The truth behind the mystery had the potential to either drive them apart forever or weld them together.

What I enjoyed most about this charming historical fiction was the author’s use of wit and humor. Because of her nature, Anna just could not refrain from delivering a not-so-gentle reprimand to the presumptuous congressman who attempted to summon her services and expertise by snapping his fingers. Later, when he began to pursue her with the idea of courtship, she couldn’t imagine why. She described herself as a “short, ordinary girl who had a voice like sandpaper and the habits of a hermit crab.” Luke himself described her as his opposite. “She never did anything impulsively and liked the safety of her map room in the attic of the Capitol. She hid up in that room like a princess in a castle tower, surrounded by a fortress of books and maps.”

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Some of the historical events in the book are based on actual occurrences. The author created a personal link to the tragic loss of life in the event that eventually helped to fuel the flame of American sentiment against Spain–the link that lead to the Spanish American War. Anna’s father lost his life in that tragic event, creating an inner conflict between her desires to avoid war and the loss of more lives and revenge for such a loss in her young life. I was touched by the author’s empathetic writing. Many readers today will be able to relate to such a conflict.

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The author wasn’t heavy-handed with spiritual lessons learned during a character’s development, but it was there, nevertheless. One doesn’t have to talk about God’s work to know His Presence is evident through their thoughts and actions. Each of the people we grow to love in this book had to face basic personal challenges. Not only did God meet them in their growing pains, He used other characters to assist in bringing them to maturity faster, much like a jeweler chips away the dross to find the diamond inside. I enjoyed how the author made this happen with every interaction between Luke and Anna.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace by Timothy Lane ~Review~

Living Without Worry by Timothy Lane

Living Without Worry

Living Without Worry by Timothy Lane is a 140-page book published by the Good Book Company, a young up-and-coming book publisher who focuses on providing short, pithy materials for the young people of today. You should see my copy of the book! Its pages are so relevant and applicable that I have sentences underlined everywhere, brackets and braces, arrows, stars and notes in the margins and spaces. This one is destined to be one of my favorite go-to books that I will return to repeatedly.

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Timothy Lane gives his readers practical suggestions “how to replace anxiety with peace” within the eleven chapters of this book. With chapter titles such as “Why Not Worry?”, “Worry and Your Past (Parts 1 and 2)”, “How to Begin to Change”, and “How to Cast All Your Anxieties on Him”, it is easy to return to favorite sections you find most useful. Each chapter ends with “Questions for Reflection” where the author asks probing questions that can help you personalize your journey to conquer your anxieties. Best of all, you can immediately put the steps to practical use without wading through hundreds of pages of theoretical discussions (not that there isn’t a place for that elsewhere) about worry. The information conveyed is clear, easy to understand, and easily applicable.

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What I especially appreciate about the author’s writing is that in the brief opening chapters, he has convinced me that it is truly possible to set my worries aside. This is such an important part of writing a book on a topic like this. I get the impression that many of today’s young adults believe their emotions are uncontrollable, inevitable, and unpreventable. Many have no idea that emotions such as worry are often a result of unfiltered and poorly controlled thoughts. The biblical concept of taking our thoughts in hand is one of the first the author deals with in this book. His bold, practical, Christ-centered approach is completely doable; the way he presents his reasons is approachable and convincing.

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The second aspect I like about this book is the author’s candid and personable writing style. In an empathetic voice, he lets his readers know he is right down in the trench with us, slugging away at the temptation to give in to his worries and anxieties. He shares his successes with us. Not only does he commiserate with his readers, he has counseling experience which he draws upon for his guidelines. He has seen what works and gives us the benefit of others’ victories. The book not only teaches, but encourages. It’s not theory, but practical.

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One final point impressed me greatly. Mr. Lane points out that worry has a positive side to it. It’s like the flashing red lights on a vehicle’s dashboard. You can ignore the warnings and face the consequences (isn’t that why they are called “idiot lights”?) or heed the warnings and benefit. It’s your choice. If you want to understand the warning signs of worry, then read the book. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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About the author: Timothy S. Lane, MDiv, DMin, is the President of the Institute For Pastoral Care (www.instituteforpastoralcare.com) and a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) since 1991. Tim is the author of Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace. He is also the coauthor of the books How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making; coauthor of the curriculums Change and Your Relationships and How People Change; and author of the minibooks PTSD, Conflict, Family Feuds, Forgiving Others, and Freedom from Guilt.

Tim has thirty years of experience in pastoral ministry, counseling, teaching, and executive leadership. Tim is also adjunct professor of practical theology at several seminaries.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC)on behalf of the Good Book Company. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression by Zack Eswine ~Review~

Spurgeon’s Sorrows

Spurgeon's Sorrows

This review is being written from the perspective of a fellow sufferer of depression. The book discusses a condition I have had a bent toward from my early years. I am not a psychologist, theologian, pastor, therapist, counselor, Bible student, professor, or church staff. I’m just a garden variety human being and found this book very readable and appealing.

After reading through Spurgeon’s Sorrows a couple of times I realized that it is a bit different from other books I’ve read that focus on depression. There seemed to be a sub-text that I didn’t understand at first. The marked difference seemed to come from the heart of the author, Dr. Zachary Eswine. The writings indicated a poetic heart, a sensitive nature. What I was missing was the back story of the author’s life that uniquely qualified him to write this book.

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The pastors, professionals and Bible students who wrote the recommendations in the book’s opening said as much, but I had no idea what it was. So I spent a little time researching to fill in the gaps. For example, the preview says Mr. Eswine is the pastor of Riverside Church in St. Louis, Missouri. I also learned he was a professor of homiletics and a director of a doctoral program at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. To me, that translates as a pastor’s pastor. He has a community circle where he is known. That explained to me how he had become so thoroughly acquainted with Charles H. Spurgeon, a well-known 19th century theologian. But the author didn’t write this book with the voice of a theologian. His voice is that of an artist and poet.

Still not as informed as I wanted to be, I looked him up on Amazon and YouTube to find more of his back story. YouTube has a clip only four minutes long that provided the background I needed to understand the author’s perspective. I hope you find it useful as well.

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I am a person who lives with a condition called Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression. I experience different mood swings in spite of the use of stabilizing medications. In reading this book, I immediately recognized the author’s sense of empathy for those of us who live with depression as a matter of biology as well as for those who become depressed because of a sensitive nature or troubling circumstances. His non-clinical approach is a breath of fresh air. I didn’t find any judgmental attitudes in any of his chapters. He writes out of a sincere desire to lend a helping hand.

The author’s arsenal is twofold: a gentle nudge toward understanding, and a surprising revelation for Christians who may recognize the prolific works of Charles H. Spurgeon. In the author’s words, “How is it then that this preacher could stand up publicly in a congregation and talk so openly about depression? He was a mega-church pastor, one of the first ever. It was the 1800’s. He was British, Victorian, and Baptist. How was a guy like that talking so openly about a subject like this?” Apparently, there was as much need then as there is today for one believer to stand along side another believer, and any sufferer of depression, in commiserating companionship. It definitely doesn’t come naturally. We all need a push to get us moving in the right direction.

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The book is divided into three parts:

Part I: Trying to Understand Depression
Part II: Learning How to Help Those Who Suffer from Depression
Part III: Learning Helps–How to Daily Cope with Depression

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It contains numerous quotes from Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, cited at the end of each of the 12 short chapters. I think its greatest appeal would be for pastors, Bible teachers, therapists, counselors and theologians. However, excerpts are short and to the point. For a person studying the Bible and wants to understand how God views depression and sorrow, this makes a fascinating study.

One of the most impressive facets I appreciate in this book is the way Pastor Eswine gives us three godly examples of how depression, heaviness of soul, the troubled spirit and even the mentally ill ought to be understood. First we have Pastor Eswine himself, who has experienced deep sorrow and trouble in his life. Then we have the passionate, fiery, historical figure of Charles Spurgeon whose prolific writings and sermons inspire hundreds every day. Finally, both pastors point to Jesus, a “man of sorrows” who was sorely afflicted on our behalf. He knows and understands the burdens we carry because He carried them too once.

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One of my favorite aspects of this writing was learning of Spurgeon’s own torments and melancholy intensified by a tragic incident that occurred while he was preaching. This was part of his life I had never known about before reading this book.

Finally, Chapter 6 caught my interest. It explores the language God uses in the Bible toward the troubled, and the way He communicates His heart to us. He uses metaphors and similes to ease the suffering and help us understand. “Since depression is a condition that is almost unimaginable to anyone who has not known it, its diagnosis (and aid) depends on metaphors.” We endure winters. We are bruised like a cluster of grapes, trodden in the wine-press, waves of agony roll over us, and so on. The use of such word pictures and metaphorical phrases encourages our neighbors and fellow Christians to grow in understanding, empathy and helpfulness.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC)on behalf of Christian Focus Publications. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida ~Review~

Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida

Ordinary

What do you do when God reaches out and touches you in such a way that your whole world shifts on its axis? If you were Tony Merida, you would follow that nudge, change directions, and move full steam ahead. In his case, Tony planted a church where the mission and practices reflected this shift in paradigms. He and his wife also embraced a new emphasis in their family and adopted five orphaned and needy children, an action that reflected their new world view. Then he was urged to write a book about this experience. And it all began with a Bible study about the poor. Pastor Merida can’t remember if the study bore much fruit among the student campers he taught. But it blew him out of the water. It literally wrecked him! [Thank you, Jeff Goins, writer, for that colorful and aptly descriptive phrase.]

What does that have to do with this book? It is best summarized in this short paragraph. “Ordinary is a call to, like Job, wear justice. It’s a call to live with a social conscience at all times. It’s a call to care for the vulnerable, not merely on mission trips, but in the ordinariness of our days. It’s a call to conduct our everyday affairs with honesty and integrity. It’s a call to work the character of God deeply into our hearts so that we will care about what God cares about. But it’s not a call to be radical; it’s a call to be ordinary. It’s a call to a new normal.” One sentence in particular grabbed me. How many of us care about what God cares about? Apparently Job did. The author takes a few minutes in the Introduction of the book to allow us a peek into a conversation Job had with some of his friends. Up until the calamity that struck Job down, he was a man of integrity whom people of all ages respected. His conversation in chapter 29 reveals activities he considered normal. His passion for the fatherless, the blind, the lame, the needy, the sojourner, the widow, and the victims of injustice reflected God’s passion for the same. “I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth” (29:12-17). Job chapter 31 bears the essential contents of this book: neighbor love, hospitality, fatherless ministry, and advocacy.

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In the introduction of the book, the author explains what changed within him. He was already a Christian, a pastor, and a professor. “I was never opposed to orphan care or being generous to the poor, I was just very indifferent.” He explains why and how this changed suddenly for him. He points out what hinders others from grasping these concepts that, if we would only look, we would discover fill up both the Old and New Testaments. The five chapters he wrote subsequently are meant to aid us in overcoming our resistance to taking action. So with the groundwork laid down in the first fifteen pages, the rest of the book is imminently practical. Using Micah 6:8 as his template, the five remaining chapters provide us guidelines how “to do justice, to love kindness (mercy) and to walk humbly with God.”

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I love reading books where I can glimpse the spark of the enthusiasm with which the concept was caught, developed, and born into earthly fruit. This is such a book. There are enough practical ideas that no matter who reads it, there will be a seed idea you can germinate and cultivate that will fit you comfortably, because the emphasis of this book is that we are called to do the ordinary, something we can all grasp and attain.

Another thought mentioned by the author impressed me. Jesus had no problems encorporating his message of justice, mercy and redemption with his daily ministry of healing, comfort, acts of kindness, and compassion. So why do we Christians (especially we evangelicals) struggle to choose either the path of evangelism or public service? One of my favorite quotes in the book says, “I don’t think Jesus woke up and asked, ‘Should I do ministry of the word, or ministry of deeds today?’.” Doesn’t the same motivation, love, drive us to do both? Thought provoking, isn’t it?

In Chapter 5, the author uses the life of William Wilberforce as an example of God-centered humility (see Micah 6:8 again). The sub-title says it all: “How an ordinary Christian walked with his extraordinary God.” Guinness called him the most successful social reformer in the history of the world. Wilberforce fought against the slave trade and slavery itself for 46 years. Why did he take on this thankless task? At the age of 25, God grabbed him and shook up his life, changing him from the inside out. He saw the world from God’s point of view and he was in the right place at the right time to do something about it. That’s all that God asks of us.

Along with many seed ideas to implement, this short book is filled with pithy paragraphs. My copy of the book is all marked up so that my favorite ones jump out at me the moment I turn the pages. I think this book will be a blessing for many. I highly recommend it to anyone who is ordinary.

Ordinary quote3A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) on behalf of B&H Publishing Group. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Rushing Mighty Wind by Angus Buchan ~Review~

A Rushing Mighty Wind by Angus Buchan

A Rushing Mighty Wind

I first became aware of the author Angus Buchan, through the movie Faith Like Potatoes. The movie is based on his life as a young farmer in Zambia, Africa. Because of political unrest and land re-claims, he left the country to move south to KwaZulu Natal, South Africa to begin a new farm with his wife and children. Their struggle to get established was tense and desperate, but with the help of his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, they scraped by. Hardships and personal tragedy made Angus angry and disillusioned until he met Jesus. His life was transformed. I know that sounds cliche, but it isn’t in this movie. The movie is well worth your time to watch if you want to get the background on this preacher of God’s Word today.

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The book, A Rushing Mighty Wind, is one of Mr. Buchan’s most recent updates. I was very excited to have this opportunity to read and review it. He shares with his readers of an extraordinary experience that occurred at a Christian get together in Israel. Mr. Buchan, who by now is a popular conference speaker as well as preacher and teacher, was asked by the International Christian Embassy to be the keynote speaker at the annual Feast of Tabernacles for Christians held in En-Gedi, the Dead Sea, on September 30, 2012. This event hosts delegates from countries from all over the world to meet in a spirit of unity, to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, to worship God and to address world Christian issues and pray over them. 2012’s theme was taken from Zecharaiah 12:10, “The Spirit of Grace and Supplication.”

When Angus Buchan was speaking, a miracle happened reminiscent of Acts chapter two. There were over 4,500 people at the event who witnessed God’s affirmation and power. The first several chapters of the book provides us with a background of the Feast of the Tabernacles, a brief purpose of the Christian Embassy, a description of the events, testimony from several delegates who were there, and a heart-felt follow-up from Mr. Buchan on what he believes we can take from this experience. The book is uplifting and encouraging.

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One of the things that’s important to me when I read Christian non-fiction is to determine whether the book has established a firm foundation: the foundation being salvation through trust in Jesus Christ alone for reconciliation with God, the Father. When the foundation is firmly established in teaching books like this, then I look at whether the foundation is being built upon, using good material. I search to see if growth is encouraged through sound teaching from the Bible. Are readers urged to practice what they are taught? Are people led to maturity in their faith in the Lord, and in their walk with the Holy Spirit? Are they shown how to reach out to others in love? And finally, I observe to see if they are taught to be obedient to God in fulfilling His directive to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ “unto the ends of the world.” Additionally, I look to see if the truth is being diluted or if believers are being distracted by something that could be good on its own merit but may be misused, overemphasized or under-emphasized.

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In my opinion, this book demonstrates sound teaching from the Bible. “The Holy Spirit is regarded as a mirror. He reflects the glory of God. He will not try to take the place of Jesus; He is Jesus in the Spirit. This forms the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three are one and yet they are different entities.” The author does not emphasize one over the other as more important. He didn’t overemphasize or misuse the working of the Holy Spirit. Instead his book encourages us to develop an anticipation toward revival all around the world.

The author teaches others to teach others. One of the results of the modern day miracle of En-Gedi in 2012 was the creation of a new ministry that God led Mr. Buchan to begin: the Mighty Men Conferences. Part two of this book covers the exciting adventure God led the author through this ministry. People were being encouraged to mature in their faith in the Lord and in their walk with the Holy Spirit. The men returned home to become leaders in their own communities.

A Rushing Mighty Wind quote4

One powerful demonstration of leading others to reach out in love, was the story the author told about a special meeting in a city where there was labor unrest. The meeting went along as planned, there were no outbreaks in the stadium, and after the meeting where Mr. Buchan prayed for workers to give their all to their jobs and families, preached reconciliation, many people went back to work, and the entire work atmosphere changed positively. God can work in our hearts toward a spirit of cooperation and peace if we listen to Him.

I especially enjoyed the third part of this short 191-page book in which Mr. Buchan gives us an overview of some historical revivals from all over the world, a Welsh revival, an Indonesian revival and others. It reminded me that we need to keep praying for a revival right where we live as well as in our country and around the world.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) on behalf of Monarch Books. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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