Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Christian Encounters: John Bunyan by Kevin Belmonte; An Honest Review

Summary: 'John Buyan' is a biography about, namely- John Bunyan, the author of the timeless classic 'The Pilgrim's Progress'.

Product and Format: I would let you know that this is a very small book, as well as quite short. I had expected it to be bigger, so I was a little disappointed in it's size. Chapter lengths are 3-5 pages long.

Writing Style and Message: I enjoyed the writing style of this book is it's easy-to-read, as well as understand. It's almost as if it was written as a story, and I like a biography like that once in a while.
It gave an over-all view of Bunyan's life from birth to death, though not going into many specifics. I think this biography is perfect for junior high school age; it gives enough information, yet would still hold their attention. New-comers to the life and works of Bunyan would enjoy this work if they were just interested in some of his background and general knowledge of his life. I would recommend a more detailed biography to readers acquainted with Bunyan- there is nothing new here.
As far as I know the information in this book is fairly accurate, and is good for a small study.
'John Bunyan' would be a nice book to recommend to younger readers, or to assign to students. Adults might find it too short, as I did. Though I enjoyed reading it, I wouldn't buy it myself, as the price is fairly steep for so short a book.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh- An Honest Review

'Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God' is intended as a devotional and Bible study for women, and it's main point is how to trust God in diverse situations. The book includes an in-depth companion study for personal devotions and study groups.

Writing Style and and Product Description: The author, Sheila Walsh, writes in a very personal, heart-felt way which was easy to understand and relate to. She was real, and didn't use cliches or self-righteous comments. She was understanding as well as transparent- which I happen to believe as vital to a good devotional book. The product I received is a hardcover, beautifully made, of average thickness, with comfortable grip and hold.

Theological Elements and Teachings: In her book, Sheila Walsh delves into the immense struggle of trusting God in a dangerous world. She covers different situations with real-life examples from the Bible such as Tabitha, Paul, David, Mary and Martha, etc. Her questions and conclusions spoke true within me, and I related a lot to many situations. Topics such as: why someone is afraid, how they can overcome the fear through Jesus, and trusting God when it seems like He isn't there are covered in a beautiful, liberating way.
Also included is a Devotional/Bible Study, which I found most helpful. Study groups are able to use this, as well as someone in their devotional time. Sheila Walsh has taught me a lot through this book, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her works.

All in all, this is one of those rare devotionals to keep on the "re-read" shelf. It helped me grow closer to the Lord, and showed me a lot of issues in me that I need to give to God, and not only that, it showed me how. If you struggle with fearing life, fearing others' opinions, etc. read this book. You will be set free.
Highly recommended.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nelson's Complete Book of Biblical Maps and Charts- An Honest Review

  • Summary: 'Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts' is intended as a study aid for someone interested in knowing more about the Bible, and delving deeper into it's message. Complete with colour maps on nearly every other page, and an over-view of every book of the Bible, this product does just that, and more.
  • Writing Style and Product Overview: The over-all style of this Study Aid was quite versatile, making it easy to use when just browsing, and also informative and helpful with intentional Bible study. Nelson's provides colour maps, photos, descriptive paragraphs, as well as numerous charts covering each book of the Bible, all in order. Background on the author of every book is included, as well as available information on the date the book was written, and etc. Journeys of well-known people through-out the Bible are documented and mapped. The book that I received is a soft-cover, and though a good size, is not uncomfortable to hold and it's not too heavy.
  • Information Included and Application: I found all the information very useful, as well as interesting. I've always had a harder time reading through the books of the prophets; Nelson's gave me the clarity I've been looking for, and I loved reading about the background of the books, as well as their authors. There is also a lengthy section on the Pentateuch, which included charts and explanations of the feasts, traditions, and observances Isreal practiced in the days of Moses. Thorough details on the Gospels and the life of Christ was probably the best part of this entire work, and gave deeper insight into the parables Christ taught.
  • Summing Up: In closing, I would give this product above and beyond 5 stars. It's so versatile that it can reach a wide span of ages; pastors, college students, teens and even children ages 10-12. It gave a helpful overview of the Bible and dug deeper into it's past. I highly recommend it.