Category Archives: book review

Today, Anna’s Secret is Exposed!

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Anna L. Davis, is a believer, a godly wife, mother, daughter, sister, and my friend, but yet, she has a secret. One that was pretty much kept in the closet until today. In her words:

“I am (mostly) a mild-mannered editor for Henery Press. But by night and on weekends, I become a coffee-guzzling cyberpunk writer who feeds on biotech mayhem.”

A cyberpunk? For those of you who are not in the know about this term, it was coined in 1983 by Bruce Bethke, an award winning Science Fiction writer. And guess what? Bethke wrote this about Anna’s new novel:

Open Source hits the ground running and never slows down. If you like CSI: Cyber or </scorpion, you’ll love Open Source.”

Amy Rogers of ScienceThrillers.com said:

“In a plausible near future, in response to a terror attack, Americans must be microchipped if they want health care or a job. Privacy is a lie, digital torture is real, and the well-off choose to install enhancing hardware in their brains. One man rejects all this. When a NeuroChip is forcibly implanted in him, he learns the hard way about mind control from both sides. Open Source is a paranoid, mind-bending scifi thriller for our time.”

The reason why Bruce Bethke, Amy Rogers, and numerous others write glowing reviews about Anna’s new novel, Open Source, is that the story is so well-written. A page turner with conflict in almost every paragraph. The main characters – Ryker Morris, Rae, Sawyer, Nox, and Helen –are complex with a depth, which makes you want to know them even better.

My favorite character is Helen — “a grouchy person, bent over with age, carrying a brown suede purse, old ratty afghan, and a ready scowl.” In an early scene:

We both prepared to stand up. Helen may be grouchy and into all kinds of weird Voodoo stuff, but we had her back. She was one of us.

Pointing a wrinkled finger in the rich kid’s face, Helen swung around on her chair. “Don’t ever touch me again, son. You hear? I know things about these streets you might never learn. They’re haunted, yes. I do say, haunted! Soon enough, no. A kid like you? Ain’t you never gonna see. One minute, asleep. Next…cursed. No warning, no. Ain’t you never gonna see what’ll come after you. In the dark.” (Open Source, pp. 19)

If you enjoy scifi thrillers, you will enjoy Open Source. If you enjoy fast-moving, well written stories, you will enjoy Open Source. And if you’re a Christian, you will enjoy the redemptive story Anna threads throughout her novel.

My wife Carol says about Anna:

“She is a fantastic writer, but you know, she is really pretty, too.”

Open Source is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and iTunes. You can check it out here and check out Anna L. Davis here.

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Struggling as a Christian Writer?

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A  lifetime ago, I normally preached three times per week. Although I wasn’t a pastor of a church, I preached wherever a door opened.

Once, I taught a series on Christian business practices in a small Iowa town hall. On the second evening, I sat alone, wondering if anyone would show up. At five minutes till seven, a woman walked in and sat down in the middle of fifty chairs. The clock creeped forward, but no one else showed up.

“Sir,” said the woman, “will you be starting on time?”

I nodded my head. “Sure,” I replied, moving toward the stage.

At seven o’clock, I prayed and began teaching to an audience of one. My teaching lasted forty-five minutes and a few others arrived in the last five minutes of it.

I closed the meeting and asked the lady if she needed personal prayer. She did. When I prayed, she received a physical healing for a long term ailment.

Another time, I held breakfast meetings in a restaurant where I gave ten minute teachings. A discussion followed the teachings.

No one showed up on one morning. So there I was in the middle of a restaurant, a preacher with a Bible, a teaching, and no audience. I picked up the menu to check it out when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “I’m here. Start your teaching.”

I opened with prayer and taught my message while all the other customers in the restaurant looked on, probably thinking, “That guy’s a nut!”

Not exactly a successful prototype for others to follow, right?

Yet, I learned a valuable lesson through these efforts. I learned who I needed to please: Jesus. My calling, my ministry, and my life must be focused on pleasing Him. If others are blessed, it will be because I first pleased Him.

So, when the Lord told me to write books and blogs, I did. And of course, I’d love to sell thousands of books, but that is a distant second to pleasing Him.

Now here’s a nugget for us writers: “If an author is willing to go through the various dry seasons of being humbled before God and man, God will eventually reveal mysteries and secrets to the person which may catapult the author onto a gigantic stage.”

Yet, it all begins with just pleasing Him.

Are you willing to pay the price?

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Taco Tuesday Special! Free e-Book on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, a computer, or smart phone with Kindle apps on it, my e-book, Prophecy 101, is FREE April 16 – 17, through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

Do you prophesy? If not, why not?These may be questions you have never been asked before, or at least, not very often. But did you know that the Apostle Paul asked questions much like these of early Christians? He wanted all to prophesy.

Why?

Prophecy is a gift meant for each of us so we can help other people. (1 Corinthians 12:7 paraphrased)

The Apostle Paul knew the early Christians needed prophecy because of their perilous times. Famines, persecutions, wars, and even shipwrecks awaited many of them so they needed warnings from God. And one of the best ways to do that was through prophecy.

Okay, but what about today’s Christians?

On May 20, 1985, I was planning on committing suicide, but a businessman spoke prophetic words to me which saved my life.

As you can probably guess, I am fervent for prophecy and like the Apostle Paul, I believe all should prophesy. You see, just one prophetic word might change your life, a family member’s life, a neighbor’s life, or a stranger’s life. And who knows? Lives might be saved because you prophesy.Prophecy 101 contains 58 simple lessons that I have learned over the last twenty-seven years on how to prophesy. The book is filled with scriptural and personal examples in a quick reading style.

So, do you want to prophesy? The decision is yours.

Print Length: 231 pages.  File Size: 334 KB  Regular Price: $2.99

Free April 16 and April 17, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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The Road to Reality

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This morning I had one of those weird dreams which forces a person to ask, “Is this really from God?”

In it, I was smoking a pipe. Now, for your information, I smoked pipes for nearly twenty years, but I quit when the Lord delivered me of smoking, just a few weeks after my salvation on May 20, 1985. Yet, I was puffing away in the dream.

Someone in the dream asked me about smoking and my answer surprised me. “I’m giving up pipe smoking because the Lord wants me to deny myself and pick up my cross and follow Him,” I said.

The dream ended and I had no clues what it meant, if anything.

Later this morning, I drove to the grocery store. There I checked my list while walking down the aisle and noticed chewing gum on it. That’s when I received the interpretation for my pipe-smoking dream.

You see, I have always been an avid gum chewer, but even more so, since quitting smoking. A pack of gum usually lasted two days for me.

But standing there in the vegetable aisle, between tomatoes and lettuce, I knew the dream was not about pipe smoking, but instead, about gum chewing. The Holy Spirit then urged me to give up chewing gum, which I did.

So, is chewing gum a big deal to God? Is it a sin?

For almost everyone, chewing gum is not a big deal to God nor is it a sin. Yet, for me, it was an answer to the following prayer I prayed after reading The Road To Reality:

“Lord, show me how I can deny myself and be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission and advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth.”

As I stood there in the vegetable aisle, the Holy Spirit revealed my chewing gum habit cost over $200 per year. This money could provide six months of safety, food, and hope for an abandoned child through GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program.

I’m sure gum is only a first step and there will be many more, but I plan on embracing the life K. P. Yohannan outlined in his book.

The Road To Reality is 207 pages in length. You can download it free of charge or order a print copy.

I recommend the book to all who want to live with eternity stamped on their eyelids.

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No Longer A Slumdog

In 1995, a friend told me about K.P. Yohannan and his ministry, Gospel For Asia. She gave me a book which I quickly forgot about until New Years Day, 1996. On that particular holiday, I had nowhere to go and no TV to watch football bowl games. So, I hunkered down and read the book.

In one part, Yohannan wrote how overwhelmed he felt by the size of India and his meager resources. He cried out to the Lord and eventually the Lord spoke the following to his heart:

“I am not in any trouble that I need someone to beg for Me. I made no promises I will not keep to you. It is not the largeness of the work that matters, but only doing what I command. All I ask of you is that you be a servant. For all who join with you in the work, it will be a privilege – a light burden for them.”

Although I don’t remember the book’s name, I wrote the above response in my Bible. Then, I did nothing.

Fast forward until last year when I received a free copy of No Longer A Slumdog. The title caught my attention and I began reading it. Over the following two hours, I wept and asked forgiveness again and again as the book revealed my selfishness and hardness of heart.

There were stories about Muttu, Asha, Lata, Vichy, Tusli, and other names of poor children I can’t begin to pronounce. I read about a mother who sold her baby for ten pounds of rice. I learned about India’s caste system and how the lowest rung, the Dalits, comprise 20% of India’s population, or 250 million people, and are considered subhuman, worthy of being treated like a dog.

Every word in the book acted like a rock thrown against my plastic Western Christianity, creating cracks in it. Yet, it was this specific sentence on Page 31 which penetrated my heart:

“In India alone, there are 11 million children like Asha who have been abandoned, and 90% of them are girls.”

Afterward, all I could think about were the 9.9 million abandoned little girls. If I closed my eyes, I saw children, but their faces resembled my daughter when she was four years old.

This time, I could not ignore my heart.

My wife and I are now sponsors of children in Gospel For Asias’ Bridge of Hope program. Also, I am a volunteer advocate for Bridge of Hope and a Gospel For Asia Blogger.

In the Foreword to No Longer A Slumdog, Francis Chan wrote:

“I am very thankful for the book you are about to read. It has stirred my heart once again. Living in the West with all its affluence, it is easy to forget about others…”

I recommend this book to everyone and who knows? It may change your life, too.

No Longer A Slumdog can be reviewed and purchased on Amazon for $14.95. Or it can be purchased for a suggested $5 donation from Gospel For Asia.

166 pages.     Authored by K. P. Yohannan, 2011.     Published by gfa books.

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My e-Book, “Jonah,” is FREE Today. Get Your Copy Now!

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If you have a Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, a computer, or smart phone with Kindle apps on it, my e-book novel, Jonah, is FREE January 15 – 16, through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

The novel, Jonah, consists of two novellas written specifically for people who live in a post-911 America and who no longer see hope in a watered down, same-o same-o religion.

The main character in the first novella, “Jeremiah,” has his dreams wrecked by a late night visitation with an angel. Then, he receives a prophetic message for San Francisco. Will the city heed Jeremiah’s warning or is the city doomed?

In the second novella, “Jonah,” two prophets receive identical messages for the West Coast. Though each faces different struggles, it comes down to whether or not the people believe the prophets’ words. If the prophetic words are ignored, what will happen?

Fiction or prophecy? Time will soon reveal the answer to all of us.

Print Length: 225 pages.  File Size: 388 KB  Regular Price: $1.99

Free January 15 and January 16, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my four other e-books here.

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Book Review: “Finding God”

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Have you ever bought a book without thinking much about the reasons for doing so? And then, when you began reading it, you are thrilled with your purchase?

Finding God In The Storms of Life by Mike Jones is such a book for me.

In the INTRODUCTION of the book, Jones uses a special occasion card to state the underlying theme for his book. He describes the front of the card as showing two doors, one at each end of the hallway. The opening line reads, “When God closes one door, He always opens another.” But the tagline inside the card is the real reason why it is still on display in Mike’s home. It reads: “But it’s hell in the hallway.”

Throughout the book, the author uses the hallway analogy as a descriptive term for surviving the storms of life, especially during times of transition and change.

The book is written in a devotional format which offers hope via scriptures, prose and poetry to those of us who are in the midst of our own transitions and storms.  Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems, The Lure of Good Things:

It’s not just the bad that keeps us from God,

good will work too, and it’s more common than odd.

Good is so plentiful in these days that we live.

We have toys and church and tithes we give.

We think ourselves rich; that we don’t need a thing.

We’ve been lured into things, being our aim.

I’ll admit you have good, but it’s cost you My best.

Do you have an ear to hear the rest? (Finding God, page 21)

I really liked the book and look forward to reading more from Mike.

Finding God In The Storms of Life

Authored by Mike Jones; Published by Xlibris.

Trade Paperback; 107 pages.

You can check Mike out at his blog or read more about his book. To order a copy or if you have questions, send an email to: mikejonz@charter.net

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