Lee Ann Marino’s Review Of: The Promises Of God Spiritual Checkbook

41jpv0f4x9l-_sx311_bo1204203200_The Promises of God Spiritual Checkbook

By: Abigail Lawrence

 

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Righteous Pen Publications (February 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197456
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches

 

What I like most about this book is that it is exactly what it sounds like: a little book perfect for remembering the promises of God in your own life and discovering a new way to remember how to apply them. Abigail Lawrence wrote this book based on a teaching of her husband’s that teaches how to apply God’s promises in life just in the same way that we would write out checks.

By looking at several key aspects of spiritual life, including remembering the spiritual things of God, coming to Christ, the difference between salvation and application of God’s promises, a clear-cut comparison (with illustrations) between checkbooks and check writing and spiritual promises, and a complete reference listing of over 500 Biblical promises that are there for believers to embrace and receive in their own lives.

Sometimes writers try too hard to make the concepts of God sound difficult so they can sound smart. This often causes potential readers to shy away, as they don’t think they’ll be able to understand the concepts. This book doesn’t do that. It’s readable, understandable, and something that everyone, from the newest believer to the most advanced believer, can gain from reading. The practical illustration of a checkbook is understandable to most readers, and is even explained for those who might not be familiar with check writing. It is also 5×8 size, meaning it is the perfect book for evangelism distribution, to take along with you in a purse or bag, or even keep in the front or back of your Bible for handy reference.

I look forward to seeing future writings from Abigail Lawrence, as it’s obvious she has a lot to offer us in the world of Christian writing.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Promises-God-Spiritual-Checkbook/dp/1940197457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486410766&sr=8-1&keywords=abigail+lawrence

 

Holiday Book List, #3

51w7saKMGLLFOR THE BIOGRAPHER: Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry

For that person in your life that loves to read biographies and autobiographies, we have the perfect book for you! Real Talk: Becoming A Woman In Ministry – Telling My Story The Way It Really Is – No Matter What! by Yolanda Y. Davis recounts the author’s riveting life which takes you from her childhood in rural Texas to her ministry call as an adult. Spoken from an honest perspective that gives insight into the difficulties many encounter in life, the author shows the realities of dealing with temptation, things church does not prepare us for in real life, divorce, remarriage, church hurt, and ministry.

https://www.amazon.com/Real-Talk-Becoming-Ministry-Telling/dp/1940197104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481741748&sr=8-1&keywords=yolanda+y+davis

Holiday Book List, #2

lgbt_cvr-3FOR THE ACTIVIST: MINISTERING TO LGBTs…AND THOSE WHO LOVE THEM

If you or someone you know has been touched by the LGBT community or the larger issues that relate to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, activists, or their families, look no further for the perfect holiday gift! Written for instructional practicality as much as discussion, thought, and education, Ministering to LGBTs – And Those Who Love Them by Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.Min., D.D. reveals a true heart and love for the marginalized and mistreated, and shows that love through Scriptural examination and ministerial service.

https://www.amazon.com/Ministering-LGBTs-Those-Love-Them/dp/194019735X/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1481582298&sr=8-9&keywords=dr+lee+ann+b+marino

Holiday Book List, #1

51hcaqz51hlFOR THE HOBBYIST: Put A Stamp On It!

If you know someone who is into stamp collecting, is interested in mail or the way mail has intercepted history, or who just enjoys a good read, check out Put A Stamp On It! By Herman “Pat” Herst, Jr. This book was brought into print by the author’s son, Kenneth Herst, earlier this year, and it has turned into a true fascination for those in the stamp collecting community. It’s still Cyber Monday; in fact, on Amazon, it’s Cyber Monday all week, so add this one to your cart!

https://www.amazon.com/Put-Stamp-Seventy-Seven-Showcasing-Intercepted/dp/1940197384/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480387624&sr=8-1&keywords=herman+herst

LEE ANN MARINO’S REVIEW OF: YOUR PERSONAL BEHAVIOR MAP TO SELF-FULFILLMENT

your_personal_behavior_map_book_cover-2Your Personal Behavior Map To Self-Fulfillment: A Book For All Families As Lessons From A Teacher, Coach, And Parent

By: Harvey D. Heartley, Sr., Forward by Dean Smith

 

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Lee Ann and Veronica’s Publishing (October 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197296
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

In his lifetime, Harvey D. Heartley, Sr. touched the lives of many as a teacher and a coach. With a true love for sports and inspiration for encouraging students to be all they could be, Coach Heartley made sure that those he taught and coached were touched not just as students, but as people, as well. Such is evident in his book, Your Personal Behavior Map To Self-Fulfillment: A Book For All Families As Lessons From A Teacher, Coach, and Parent. The book itself is a reprinting of Harvey D. Heartley, Sr.’s original book, A Book For All Families, that was brought back into print by his son, Harvey D. Heartley, Jr.

Written in a manner that sounds much like the advice a coach, mentor, or older friend would give to a student, the book provides the author’s life theories into twelve areas he calls “the real daily dozen:” Attitude, Relationships, Imagination, Socializing, Education, Mentality, Physical Fitness, Finances, Professionalism, Politics, Sexuality and Spirituality. Each of these areas provides information, advice, and guidance on how to navigate life through these different areas and how important and foundational they are to having a personal behavior map to a self-fulfilled life and discovery of purpose and ultimate happiness.

The advice presented in the book is not my personal style, and I will admit that, as a reviewer, I don’t agree with everything the author says or presents. Just because it is not advice I would give or follow, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right for everyone, or that nobody else can benefit from the book. Even if you don’t agree with the advice for yourself, it is good to learn and hear what others have to say, and I would definitely state that the book is worth a read and is worth discovering how you feel on each of the topics presented. The formatting is a high step up from the original book, and it is presented in a beautiful, easy-to-read format and font, and whether one agrees with the advice, or not, there are a few things that are quite evident in the presentation. The first is that the author clearly cared about his students, teaching, and about education. The second is that he obviously cared about his community and about making a difference in the lives of those around them. This means his ideas are worth a read, and he has a valid voice that should be heard.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Your-Personal-Behavior-Map-Self-Fulfillment/dp/1940197295/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477509597&sr=8-1&keywords=harvey+heartley+sr

 

LEE ANN MARINO’S REVIEW OF PUT A STAMP ON IT!

51hCAQZ51hL.jpgPut A Stamp On It!: Seventy-Seven Sparkling Stories Showcasing How Stamps Have Intercepted Historical Events

By: Herman “Pat” Herst, Jr. and Forward by Kenneth Herst

  •  Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Lee Ann and Veronica’s Publishing (June 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940197384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940197388
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

This book has an interesting history. The manuscript was discovered by the late author’s wife one day on a closet shelf, long after the author had died. It contains seventy-seven different stories about stamp collecting, about experiences in the stamp collecting world as a stamp dealer and enthusiast, and about the way that history and stamps often intercepted, even though we might never know otherwise how they were connected. The author reveals the connection between historical events and stamps in several countries, behind wartime and peacetime, and how interests in stamp collecting have brought people together, all over the world, in different times and seasons.

I am personally not real familiar with the ins and outs of stamp collecting, but I am a history nut, so the contents of the book were of interest to me, even though I am not a stamp collector. It was fascinating to hear the warmth, good humor, and insights as the world of stamp interests, histories, and even postal systems and mail have changed from era to era. I also was interested to learn about the interpersonal side of stamp collecting, which the author did well in promoting. When we stereotypically think of stamp dealers or collectors, we tend to assume that they are boring, stodgy people who aren’t interested in much that has to do with life or with dynamics. Herman “Pat” Herst proves this theory wrong, as he interjects real-life stories and situations into his understanding of stamp collecting and history: family incidents, family history, characters who dealt in stamp dealing in the neighborhoods, and a great attention to detail when historical events are told.

Overall, it is obvious to me that the book is a reflection of the true historical gem the author was to the stamp collecting community and to its history. He took deep interest in the hobby and in the business-side of the hobby as well, and this gem of a book reflects five-star purpose in its folksy, memorable, gentle story-telling style.

Book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Put-Stamp-Seventy-Seven-Showcasing-Intercepted/dp/1940197384/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477421872&sr=8-1&keywords=Herman+Herst+Jr

Autographed copies can be obtained from the author’s son at kenherstbook@cox.net

 

 

Lee Ann Marino’s review of Half The Sky

half_skyHalf The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide

By: Nicholas D. Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn

 

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307387097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307387097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches

 

As a women’s rights advocate, I took particular interest in Half The Sky because it looks at the life and conditions of women worldwide.  It has been critically acclaimed and even turned into a series transcending different media.  Because it was such a sweeping success, I was particularly interested in the solutions it would offer for the circumstances women live under.

The book is successful in presenting the conditions that women live under worldwide.  The stories alert and awaken the reader to the fact that many women still live in conditions of prostitution, death in childbirth, forced bodily mutilations, and abuse at the hands of unjust societies.  It also shows what some very special and unique women and men in our world today are doing to step up and offer assistance to women worldwide.

The stories are good; the awareness is good; the basic idea of the book is good. My major gripe with the book is that while it does beautifully cause us to be aware of what is going on, it doesn’t offer solutions to the problems.  The reason for this is, most likely, very simple: most of the situations that exist don’t have simple solutions, but at the same time, I don’t feel like the book gave us much hope for being able to offer help or assistance ourselves.  There was a long chapter toward the end of the book that detailed different ways to be involved, but most of those solutions involved governmental or political activism, which as a Christian, I do not believe is the solution to such problems.  There were also only limited examples of faith-based work in the book, and almost no faith-based programs that they recommended for overseas assistance or activism.  While I am very well aware that many faith-based programs often contribute to traditional problems, this is not always the case, and I believe it is safe to say that political activisms have certainly proven that they are not the answer, and tend to make the answer worse, in many instances, because they don’t meet the people where they are.  As the book does prove that individual interest in the problem and person-to-person activism is definitely the best course of action, it doesn’t tell us how we can take that kind of action ourselves.

The book is reasonably well-written (I did find a few typos), although I would say the presentation of the stories is a bit dry, at times.  It reads much like a journalist would write, and given some of the very personal and intense stories presented, I would have preferred a softer input at points within its presentation.  I also would have preferred the book’s text font to be a bit larger, as it contributed to an intimidating feeling in the text.  Overall, I give the book 4 stars. I think even though it doesn’t really offer an answer, it definitely gets us thinking about it and helps us to want to care about women worldwide besides ourselves.

 

Book Masters Magazine, February 2016

Book Masters Magazine, February 2016

Book Masters Magazine: Book Masters Magazine, February 2016

Literary magazine featuring the best in writing, editorial commentary, poetry, short stories, books, and publishing. Published by Lee Ann and Veronica's Publishing, an imprint of The Book Masters Group International. Feature interview: Veronica M. Downing, author of three devotional books with an…

Find out more on MagCloud

Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Book Masters Magazine: Book Masters Magazine, November 2015

Literary magazine featuring the best in writing, editorial commentary, poetry, short stories, books, and publishing. Published by Lee Ann and Veronica's Publishing, an imprint of Righteous Pen Publications. Feature interview: Maegan Hagan, a blogger, upcoming author, podcaster, and activist from…

Find out more on MagCloud

Lee Ann Marino’s Review of The Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

psychicsThe Truth About Psychics: What’s Real, What’s Not, And How To Tell The Difference

By: Sylvia Browne (with Lindsay Harrison)

  • Hardcover: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (April 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410424073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410424075
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches

I’ll start by saying that I was never the biggest fan of Sylvia Browne (1936-2013) when she was alive. I used to keep track of her predictions, particularly the ones that related to world events or to celebrities, and she had a horrible track record. I remember her accuracy being somewhere in the area of about 10%, which made me wonder why anyone would seek her out, let alone pay her tremendous amounts of money, for readings. Then when I found out she had her own Gnostic-based church, I really wondered what the draw was to her. I get that we are all curious about the paranormal and all, but to actually sit up under a woman who claims to have a “gift” that renders her inaccurate just seemed…well…unwise.

Alas, when I came across her book, The Truth About Psychics, I only bought it because it was a Bargain Book and I thought it might give me some insight into spirits that I was seeking to learn about. As a Christian minister, I find Christian books about spirits and witchcraft all have the same tone: they are trying so hard to make something seem spiritually wrong, they start giving out exaggerated or incorrect information that can be easily proven false. So, when I want to learn more about spiritual activity, particularly in the realm of witchcraft, demonology, or “alternative powers,” I try to read sources that are more about information than prevention. This helps me to better identify things I see in ministry, especially when they are different or manifest differently from what our often untrained experts tell us they are.

The book itself presents some interesting insights into the afterlife as is viewed in the major world religions. She also breaks down different forms of divination in a way that anyone who desires to learn more about it can understand. That’s about all I have to say about the book that is positive. The book itself really isn’t about psychics, but about the entire expanse of New Age paranormal studies, including past life regression, the modern history of the paranormal movement, and different tricks of the trade, but very little of it really focuses on psychics themselves. It also is very clearly written from the personal perspective of Browne herself, and is very opinionated based on her own personal revelations of these matters, rather than fact-based, on issues that pertain to the paranormal. For example, she adamantly opposes Ouija boards, feeling they invite any type of spirit into one’s life, but she is very much in favor of tarot cards. If Ouija boards can invite spirits, why does she think that tarot cards, or divining methods, or reading tea leaves, or even crystal balls are not door openers to the spirit world in a questionable way? Her inconsistencies in perspective as well as slanting of facts from her own clearly biased perspective make the book a huge disappointment.

I give the book one star, as the information on the afterlife and divination methods are decent and easy to understand. The book overall, however, just doesn’t measure up. If you are looking for a book on how psychics operate, don’t let the title fool you. This book isn’t it.