Review – Unceasing by Billy Humphrey

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Book description

Why night-and-day prayer? What are the biblical precedents for night-and-day intercession? Those who desire a greater understanding of the prayer movement that is sweeping the earth will find Billy Humphrey’s Unceasing to be an invaluable resource. (Previously published as Until He Comes)

First impressions

If you’ve been reading my reviews then you’d know I like to read authors from the International House of Prayer, a.k.a. IHOP. I had the chance to read Unceasing by Billy Humphrey expecting a great message on prayer but my expectations were half met.

Content

This is a small book but it goes straight to the point, the importance of unceasing prayer, its Biblical background, its presence around the world, its consequences in the corporate and in the private life.

The content is well organized and easy to understand. The message is clear and simple. Then what’s the problem? Well, there’s no really a problem, it’s just that each chapter is so small that the deepness of the message feels a bit shallow.

Being a re-release I’m pretty sure the author had the chance to expand his vision and give more insight into every chapter but this edition just has 31 more pages than its predecessor and a prettier cover.

Conclusion

Unceasing definitely has a great message that each christian should know and practice. It’s worth the reading and it won’t take you more than a couple of hours.

Rating: 

I received a copy of this book for free from Forerunner Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Both of Me by Jonathan Friesen

bothofme
Book description

It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years. (Full description here)

First impressions

I had only heard about Jonathan Friesen for another novel of his novels called Aquifer, a dystopian novel I never read. Both of Me on the other hand is not dystopian and the premise sounded really interesting, plus the cover and the trailer are amazing.

Story

I gotta say I had a hard time with the introduction of Clara in the first chapter and with the story in the first chapters. After I finally caught up with the story I couldn’t stop reading. I blame my lack of YA reading in the past months and maybe the author’s style, which after a few chapters is easy to handle.

I’ve said it before and that’s why I don’t use the next word that often, but atmospheric is the word I’d choose to describe the sensation while reading Both of Me. People and places felt so realistic to me that I could place myself within the story with the characters and feel certain familiarity.

Characters

What can I say? Friesen makes a believable and enjoyable voice for a girl, which is not so common. Clara is a British girl with a background story that adds credibility to her present state. While Clara’s conclusions about herself were changing along the way, I liked the way Clara’s personality remained intact, infusing emotion to the plot.

Elias is a unique character with dissociative identity disorder. I don’t know why some people have said it was confusing to know when he or ‘the other’ were speaking, far from the truth. Each of Elias’ personalities had their own character traits, and they were easily recognizable. Elias’ intervention in the story is balanced with Clara’s and their stories are developed at the same time making the story more interesting.

Conclusion

I’m not into YA fiction so much, it’s not my cup of tea, although after reading Both of Me this may change. Elias and Clara’s story is refreshing, emotional and inspirational. Both of Me is a strange but enjoyable mix of reality and fiction, of emotion and strong convictions.

Rating: 

I received this book for free from the Booklook Bloggers program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Simply Good News by N.T. Wright

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Book description

The bishop, Bible scholar, modern heir to C. S. Lewis, and revered author of Simply Christian and Simply Jesus offers a fresh look at the Gospel, explaining why Jesus’ message is “good news” and why it is more timely and transforming today than we know.
The Gospel means good news. But if the message has been around for 2,000 years, what makes it significant today? What’s so “good” about stories involving damnation, violence, and a God who sacrifices his only son?

First impressions

This is my first book by N.T. Wright, but after I made some research I knew I had to read it. Wright is a well respected scholar and having read good reviews from his past works, not only by random people but by people I trust, it was an easy choice.

Content

While the focus of Simply Good News is to develop the idea of the Gospel in detail it seems to me that the intention of this book is not to evangelize or to spread the word about the Gospel. It can surely work for that purpose, but the author gives the impression to be talking to someone that already knows something about the message of the Gospel or to someone that is even familiar with the topic.

Wright uses common examples of daily life to communicate his conclusions about the Gospel. From the very beginning he establishes the meaning of news. According to Wright:

For something to qualify as news, there has to be

1. An announcement of an event that has happened

2. A larger context, a backstory, within which this makes sense

3. A sudden unveiling of the new future that lies ahead, and

4. A transformation of the present moment

p. 23

With this easy explanation Wright goes on to develop different misconceptions about the Gospel in history and also in our culture. Every time he throws something hard to understand, he goes back to the beginning and put everything into context so it’s easier to understand.

Just as there are chapters dedicated to show what the Gospel is not about, there are plenty of space where Wright explains what the Gospel is really about, but also why it’s important and relevant to us today.

As he puts it:

The good news was, and is, that all this has happened in and through Jesus; that one day it will happen, completely and utterly, to all creation; and that we humans, every single one of us, whoever we are, can be caught up in that transformation here and now. p. 55

The final message is for us to become good news people, to embody the Gospel just as Jesus did. The book finishes with a practical guide on how to pray The Lord’s Prayer which will allow us not only to know and believe the good news but to become part of it ourselves.

 Conclusion

These quotes are but just a little fraction of all the gems you’ll find in Simply Good News. This is not only a book about good news, it’s also a good book. I definitely recommend this book to every christian out there, not to only understand what the Good News are about, but also to share the Good News as Jesus and the Apostles originally intended. You may not agree with everything, and that’s fine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find invaluable revelation that could change the way you’re living right now.

Rating: 

I received this book for free from HarperOne for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Fallen by Annie Lobert

fallen

Book description:

After more than a decade as a victim of the commercial sex industry, Annie Lobert shares not only her redemption story but those of others involved in sex trafficking.

Annie Lobert was not so different from most girls. She grew up in a small town and had common struggles with friends, school, and boys. Her home was filled with turmoil, and, as happens far too often, she was sexually abused by a family friend. She knew heartache, but she didn’t know love. Sadly, Annie’s story is not uncommon. (Read the full description here)

First Impressions

I knew about Annie through the sex trafficking documentary called Nefarious. Her story and ministry impacted me a lot so I didn’t hesitate to enter to this book tour for her book called Fallen.

Content

Fallen is read as a powerful testimony about Annie’s life. Though sex trafficking is real, sometimes we cover our eyes trying to cover the issue from our lives. It feels so foreign to our everyday activities. Unless we personally know someone that has been through this problem, our attitude tends to be that of indifference.

Through Annie’s eyes we read a story that doesn’t start in the drama of being abused by a pimp. She boldly lets us have a glimpse into her childhood, into the interaction with her family. And no, not because it’s the introduction to her life it means it was a happy or easy life, on the contrary, it was a hard one. If you read with a pessimistic view you can easily feel overwhelmed by the many troubles Annie faced when she was young. But as you go through the pages you’ll notice the importance of this experiences being told. You’ll notice a great story of redemption that starts to unfold.

Annie’s experiences as a call girl or sex worker when she was under the control of her pimp, are the central content of Fallen. But believe me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This story not only serves as a great demonstration of how sex trafficking works or how you can avoid it, but it’s also a great example of God’s love into action in the life of anyone that is willing to accept it.

I’d like to point to the strong, detailed and obvious situations that are mentioned in different parts of this book that some people can find extreme, offensive or unnecessary. I strongly believe they are completely necessary to illustrate the reality we’re living as a society and many of us is not willing to accept. One the other hand, I’d suggest guidance through the reading if you’re underage as many questions and doubts may arise.

Conclusion

Yes, Fallen is a book about sex trafficking but it’s also a book about God’s power to deliver those in bondage, to embrace those who feel unloved and to give purpose to those who feel trapped. Annie’s story is a reminder of man’s evil, but most important, of God’s goodness. Make sure you stop by Annie’s ministry, Hookers 4 Jesus to know more about sex trafficking and how you can get involved.

Rating: 

I received this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Reseña – RVR 1960 Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris

RVR60_RainbowBible_HC_r4.inddarcoiris

Descripción

La característica principal de esta biblia es la codificación de los versículos en 12 colores, que representan diferentes temas bíblicos tales como Dios, discipulado, amor, familia y profecía, entre otros. Además esta biblia cuenta con el plan de salvación, una armonía de los Evangelios y las palabras de la Trinidad subrayadas para darles mayor énfasis. Introducción para cada libro de la Biblia, mapas en el texto, concordancia, ocho paginas de presentación y registro familiar, selección especial de versículos para memorizar, palabras de la Trinidad subrayadas, referencias en columna central, bosquejos de los libros, 365 citas bíblicas populares, calendario anual de lectura bíblica diaria, el plan de salvación, concordancia de 88 páginas, cinta marcadora.

Primeras Impresiones

La Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris es una Biblia bastante conocida y que lleva años en el mercado. Me llamó la atención la presentación de esta nueva edición. Una Biblia de Estudio de pasta blanda no es tan común de encontrar y mucho menos que sea de un tamaño práctico para uso diario.

Características Especiales

La descripción del principio resume bastante bien las características de esta Biblia y al tenerla más de cerca pude comprobar que no exagera ni minimiza ninguna de ellas. A pesar de ser una Biblia de Estudio, es bastante accesible para el lector común.

Tomando de ejemplo la introducción de cada libro, uno se puede dar cuenta que la intención de esta Biblia no es la de ser tan exhaustiva ni detallista, sino la de dar un vistazo general al lector con puntos y palabras clave para una mejor comprensión.

Presentación y Diseño

La Biblia viene en una caja de cartón grueso bastante llamativa pero que cumple con la tarea de proteger bastante bien el producto. Aunque no soy partidario de la práctica, he visto como muchas personas llevan su Biblia en su caja para que no se maltrate. Sin duda esta es una caja bastante resistente.

Esta edición es de pasta blanda con diseño de portada como la de la segunda imagen del inicio. Esta hecha de símil piel y cosida lo que garantiza una Biblia de buena calidad. He usado Biblias similares por más de cinco años (dándole un uso normal) y aun conservándose en buen estado.

El interior es sin duda lo que más sobresale. Todas las páginas están a color, con tonos diferentes de acuerdo a diferentes temas. Viene incluido un separador con el índice de colores para tenerlo presente en todo momento e identificar fácilmente la relación de color-tema.

Siendo una Biblia de Estudio, también incluye referencias en una columna central y en algunos casos también incluye mapas entre los párrafos, haciendo mucho más fácil ubicarse en tiempo y espacio.

Conclusión

La presentación y contenido de ésta edición hacen de la Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris una herramienta de estudio ideal para aquellos que están interesados en ir más profundo en su lectura sin perder el enfoque en el texto. Cada una de las características son bastante útiles sin ser abrumadoras como en muchos casos. Si estás buscando una Biblia para regalo, está nueva presentación junto con su distintivo colorido la hacen una buena opción.

 Aclaración: Recibí una copia de este libro gratuitamente de B&H Publishing Group a cambio de una reseña honesta. Todos los pensamientos y opiniones expresados son propios.