Book Stop
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Book Stop

Book reviews, book excerpts and author interviews.

Posted 4/22/14 at 2:16 PM | Book Stop

Christians Care About the Earth Too: Earth Day Reads From the Creation Care Movement

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Do Christians Celebrate Earth Day? Yes, some do in fact participate in the April 22 observation supporting for various environmental protections. Groups such as Evangelical Environmental Network and Blessed Earth work year-long to support and promote laws, regulations and lifestyle changes to fight against growing mercury levels, conserve energy and protect the earth's natural resources among the Christian community. Their goal is spur men and women of faith to better care for creation. This Creation Care movement is rooted in God's Gensis 2:15 command to tend the earth.

Here are some Creation Care Resources:

Serving God, Saving the Planet

Serving God, Saving the Planet; A Call to Care for Creation and Your Soul by J. Matthew Sleeth

In this book Sleeth, the executive director of Blessed Earth, shares the joy of adopting a less materialistic, healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and richer spiritual lives. With the storytelling ease of James Herriot and the logical clarity of C. S. Lewis, Sleeth lays out the rationale for environmentally responsible life changes and a how-to guide for making those changes FULL POST

Posted 4/18/14 at 9:34 AM | Book Stop

Conversations of the Crucifixion Brings New Perspective to Easter

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Adapted from a 2011 Palm Sunday play, Conversations of the Crucifixion changes Christians’ understanding of Easter by examining the symbolism that surrounded Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Darrius Jerome Gourdine, well known for his soap opera about historically black fraternities and sororities “As the Sand Burns,” gives voices to 30 items and individuals from the crucifixion including whip, hammer, nails, cross, crown of thorns and spear. Each of the items/individuals lead readers into a deeper understanding of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

In this edited interview with The Book Room, Gourdine shares what led him to write Conversations of the Crucifixion and why the church needs to take a renewed look at the Easter holiday.

TBR: What led you write about the crucifixion in such a unique way?

Gourdine: I can't actually claim the credit for the idea...I have this pastor friend up in upper Marlboro Maryland. He knows that I am a writer, I do writing for the church, called me and said I have this idea that I want to do as a sermon illustrated on the stage for Palm Sunday. This is 2011. So he called me and said I want to have six things on stage--items-- and if they could discuss the crucifixion what would they say. The hammer, the nails, the whip and so I said that's an interesting perspective so I wrote it. I wrote the play and they rehearsed it and everything and that day they performed it, it was awesome. We had five items and the roman soldiers was [sic] number six and the altar call afterwards was tremendous. I think about 200 folk came to the altar. People were crying I mean it was ridiculous. So some of the things I wrote in the play, I guess just resonated with a lot of people. They were like I never thought about it that way before. I never thought the crown of thorns could see His thoughts. So people just ran to the altar. FULL POST

Posted 4/18/14 at 9:00 AM | Book Stop

Handy Bible Answers About Easter

Book cover of The Handy Bible Answer Book

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Adapted from Jennifer R. Prince The Handy Bible Answer Book (Visible Ink Press), here are the facts behind the Easter tradition and what it means to the Orthodox Christian community.

Why is the Celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection Known as Easter?

The name Easter was derived from the name of a Saxon goddess, Eostre, who was associated with fertility and springtime. As to why the church chose the name Easter, and not say, Jesus’ Resurrection Day, is not clear. Typically Easter is celebrated with joyous music, prayer, and Liturgy.

What Were the Dates of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?

No one knows for sure. Today the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is known as Easter. Easter does not have a fixed date. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full Moon after the spring equinox. In the early days of the church, Christian Leaders wanted to honor the death and resurrection of Jesus soon after Passover, because the Bible describes how Jesus’ death and resurrection took place following Passover. The Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles, so the date of Passover changes every year. To make sure the date of Jesus’ resurrection always came after Passover, the church made that changeable as well. FULL POST

Posted 4/17/14 at 11:59 AM | Book Stop

New Book 'Spoken For' Helps Women Discover God's Love and Share it With Others

Spoken For book cover

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Seeking real love and acceptance? Authors Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke want young women to know they do not need to look any further than the God found in the pages of the Bible. Their Bible study Spoken For: Embracing Who You Are and Whose You Are (Waterbrook Multnomah) shows young ladies that God loves them and wants a relationship with them.

The authors know just how transformational God’s love can be. In the book Gunn and Bethke reveal how seeking fulfillment from boyfriends left them feeling empty, confused and hurting. Gunn shared how she was crushed after her college boyfriend and fiancé rejected her. Bethke wrote about her dating troubles as well as developing an eating disorder in college.

Both women found healing by pursuing a deeper relationship with God. Now they want others to experience the same thing. FULL POST

Posted 4/15/14 at 4:02 PM | Book Stop

'Prone To Love' Author Wants Christians to Break Free of Dysfunctional Relationships with God

Prone to Love by Jason Clark

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

Pastor, singer, and author Jason Clark wants Christians to know that they do not have utter desperate prayers in order to get God’s attention or affection. Instead Clark says Christians must find security in God’s love.

In Prone to Love, Clark shared how God’s love broke through his own insecurities as a Bible college graduate. Despite his education, the North Carolina pastor thought himself to be a “spiritual dwarf.” He describes God later speaking to his heart saying it was illegal for him to entertain such insecurities. “Either agree with Me or call Me a liar,” he hear God say.

Clark writes that in those words he found an invitation to “know God in a way I never had before” – as a perfect father whose love he did not have to chase after or beg for because “God is love and He is always good.” FULL POST

Posted 4/14/14 at 12:19 PM | Book Stop

Murder Simply Brewed - A Mystery Novel about Faith in the Midst of Uncertainty

(Photo: Zondervan)

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

God is sovereign even when surrounding circumstances are beyond your control. This lesson is evident in Vannetta Chapman’s latest book Murder Simply Brewed (Zondervan). Amber Wright and Hannah Troyer find their faith tested when there is an unexpected death at the small shopping center where they both work. The death sets off a series of unexplained events. Normally efficient and organized, Amber struggles to control the atmosphere the Amish Village shops. Hannah, who first discovered the body, is overcome with anxiety.

Every Christian faces uncontrollable circumstances; Chapman’s novel shows how to deal with those trials. We see Hannah, a young Amish woman, reading the scriptures and praying with her bishop. Hannah's prayers are answered with an unusual friendship with her "Englischer" boss Amber who encourages her to embrace new responsibilities and use her gift of perception. FULL POST

Posted 4/9/14 at 2:22 PM | Book Stop |

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God is Not About Control

Photo: Christian Schnettelker - Creative Commons
"I believe that control is as counter to God’s nature as darkness is to light."

(This article was originally posted in The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

By Jason Clark

Over the coming months I hope to write a series of articles that address the misunderstanding that the sovereignty of God has something to do with control.

There is a lie regarding God’s nature that can be traced back to the Garden of Eden. It’s the lie that God is about control, and a great majority within the church, and therefore the rest of the world, believes it.

The idea that God is controlling is the most disempowering religious thought on the planet. The idea that God wants control is the birthplace of religion. A controlling god has no other plan but law.

The law of the Old Testament was never meant to reveal God as controlling, it was meant to reveal humanity as in need of a Savior. And when the Savior came, He didn’t come to control us, He came to give us the authority of Love so we could control ourselves. It’s called grace. FULL POST

Posted 4/7/14 at 1:36 PM | Book Stop

How to Navigate Difficult Conversations

Tim Muehlhoff

(This article comes from The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

By IV Press

How do we communicate with people who disagree with us? Communications expert Tim Muehlhoff provides a strategy for having difficult conversations in his new book I Beg to Differ. He uses insights from Scripture and communication theory to provide practical ways to manage disagreements and resolve conflicts, helping us to move from contentious debate to constructive dialogue.

In this interview conducted by InterVarsity Press and reposted to The Book Room with permission, Muehlhoff shares why he crafted this unique communication tool and how important it is to acknowledge the other person's story and cultivate common ground during a difficult conversation.

Q: Why did you decided to write a book about having difficult conversations?

Muehlhoff: When I first started thinking about writing this book, a friend asked me why this topic? This is how I responded in an email: FULL POST

Posted 4/4/14 at 1:31 PM | Book Stop

Emmy-Award Winning News Correspondent Hattie Kauffman Finds Her Life 'Falling Into Place'

(This article comes from The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

After a second failed marriage, Emmy-award winning news correspondent and author Hattie Kauffman began to re-examine her life – from her childhood living in poverty with alcohol-addicted parents to her teenage years living with a kind aunt who taught her the 23rd Psalm.

That memory helped Kauffman, who describes in her book Falling into Place feeling an aching emptiness inside despite her successful career, to recognize the redemptive work God had been doing throughout her entire life and ultimately find her faith.

Falling into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming gives readers an inside look into the events that shaped this remarkable woman who thought she'd left the ghosts of childhood behind her.

Here is an excerpt of from the second chapter of Falling Into Place: FULL POST

Posted 4/1/14 at 4:08 PM | Book Stop

Coffee with Jesus: The Perfect Blend of Faith and Humor

The book Coffee With Jesus features comics with a message.

(This article comes from The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)

April 1 – April Fools’ Day – is a day for comedy, mischief and Tomfoolery. Certainly not a day Christians, right? After all Jesus never told jokes, right? Well Coffee with Jesus cartoonist David Wilkie would argue that not only does humor have a place among Christianity, but Jesus did tell a joke or two during His ministry.

He explained, “When I read the gospel, I see a little bit of the jokester in Jesus. The classic example is of course is as He’s talking to the Pharisees, He [says they are] straining the gnat and swallowing the camel. We’ve read that and heard that so many times but we forget it’s actually a joke. You know that’s a line that probably got a pretty good laugh from the farmers and the shopkeepers and peasants standing around listening – Haha, did you hear what he said? He said they’re straining a gnat and swallowing a camel – that’s a good line and it’s kind of sarcastic.” FULL POST

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