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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book "Pray Big" by Will Davis Jr.

http://bookscrier.com/pray-big-by-will-davis-jr



About the Author: For more than sixteen years, Will Davis Jr. has served as the founder and senior pastor of the Austin Christian Fellowship church, a nondenominational congregation founded on the basic doctrines of the Bible. This congregation of more than 1,000 believers regularly receives Davis’ challenge for them to pray big—or more specifically, to pray with such focus as to pinpoint their exact needs. Prayer plays a vital role in the lives of those who attend Austin Christian Fellowship because Davis has been faithful to teach them the power of God’s Word and its impact upon the prayer lives of God’s people.

Davis is a Baylor University graduate who also holds a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Davis desires to make a divine kingdom impact upon believers by teaching them the biblical truths about the power of prayer and the necessity of living lives in constant communication with the Savior. Another God-given desire is to remain a faithful shepherd to a church he considers to be “the greatest in the world” and to continue to expand the mission outreach of the church members at ACF. Davis makes regular mission trips to Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, and other impoverished areas of the world to build homes, disciple his church members, and, above all, to share the gospel with those who have never heard Christ’s message. 

In addition to being the author of six books, Wake-Up Calls, Pray Big, Pray Big for Your Marriage, Pray Big for Your Child, Why Faith Makes Sense, and Faith Set Free, Davis frequently travels and speaks to audiences on the subject of prayer.

My Review: 
The author did a magnificent job showing us that the Bible is a prayer's guide and we should pray as a lifestyle. 
Accuracy matters. His concept of BHAP (Big Hairy Audacious Prayer) is well explained through personal examples. 
Dr. Davis talks about the importance of praying not only for others, but for ourselves, our spouse, our children. According to him, more people will seek God if we learn to pray big, strong and confidently. 
He tries to put to the ground old wrong concepts like "God's too busy", or "My prayer is too insignificant to merit God's attention", or "Praying about little things is selfish". 
This book gives prayer advices for every situation. It completely changed my view on prayers. We need to focus on the details. We really need to learn how to pray big.
Definitely this is a very important book to have if you want to take God seriously and if you want to create a relationship with God that will take you to another dimension of spiritual life.

This book was published in 2007 by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group and the team on The B&B Media Group was kind enough to send me one copy for reviewing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Virtual Book Tour "The Cassandra Prophesy" by Robert 'Doc' Gowdy

The plot: Called to action by a mysterious ancient Order - an ancient Order in cahoots with the Empress Flaccilla of the First Galactic Empire of Emperor Tulla - to help bring about the fulfillment of a long forgotten prophesy, the beautiful galactic pirate, Captain Bonny Morgan, sets out on her mission to successfully bring the prophesy to reality. By kidnapping the Empress’s daughter, Princess Cosette, Captain Morgan sets into motion an adventure awash in political intrigues, hidden agendas, unexpected revelations, and bold, daring gambits by those involved at every level of the conspiracy. Setting out to find her kidnapped sister, Princess Lysette, joined by her beautiful, mischievous, and extraordinary slavegirl, Tink, crisscrosses the galaxy in a bawdy, erotic, and often hilarious attempt to find Cosette. Along the way, Lysette and Tink fall in with a variety of extraordinary allies in their attempt to find Cosette, meeting the Lady Brit, Jon Black, Pirate Queen Colleen O’Malley, Gunns Mannigan, Buster O’Malley, the beautiful pirates Kana and Blaze, and Bully, the roguish owner of the pirate tavern, the Pretty Red.


About the Author: Robert “Doc” Gowdy is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Ph.D. in Literary Criticism and Theory and an emphasis on Nineteenth-Century British literature. His specialization in literary theory is psychoanalytic criticism and theory, particularly Lacanian psychoanalysis, with further emphases on Milton and Eighteenth-Century literature. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University where he teaches various literature classes. His interest in writing is long standing, but aside from academic writing his first novel, Captain Bonny Morgan: The Cassandra Prophesy is his first foray into fiction. Captain Bonny Morgan is based on archetypal themes and patterns from mythology, such as fairies, goddesses, and the Hero’s Journey, and based loosely on Doc Gowdy’s active duty service in the United States Marine Corps with special emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean at the turn of the Eighteenth-Century.


My Review: Captain Bonny is an intelligent and powerful pirate woman, with some very special abilities, hired to kidnap the Emperor's step-daughter, Princess Cossette. Princess Lysette sets-off to find her sister with her slavegirl Tink. In the middle of all this action, there is a prophesy to be fulfilled.

I am a science-fiction fanatic and this novel is really a masterpiece. The plot is phenomenal. The author was very detailing on the description of all the fascinating characters that compose this story, as well as the universe where the story develops. In the first couple of chapters I was annoyed by the pirate's language, but after you get used to that, you start expecting the pirate characters to talk like that and suddenly it is part of their style.

Although this is just the first full science-fiction novel for this author, his style and imagination is amazing and soon he will be at the level of the greatest sci-fi authors, like Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers), Philip K.Dick (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, a.k.a. Total Recall) , not to mention Asimov and Clarke or any other author from the first science-fiction team.
In my opinion, this is a book for adults. I would not refer it to my 12 or even to my 14 years old daughters, as it contains too much colorful descriptions of intimacies among the female characters.
I liked the cover, although if you are reading in public places you might get some strange looks from other people when they look at the cover... If you do not mind about that (as you should not), you are safe.
This book was written by Robert Doc Gowdy and it was published by Wasteland Press in 2010 and Pump Up Your Book was kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Virtual Book Tour Program.



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Captain Bonny Morgan: The Cassandra Prophesy Tour Schedule

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Monday, May 3 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, May 4 - Interviewed at The Writer’s Life
Wednesday, May 5 - Book reviewed at Must Read Faster
Thursday, May 6 - Book reviewed at Carol’s Notebook
Friday, May 7 - Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Monday, May 10 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, May 11 - Book spotlighted at Examiner
Wednesday, May 12 - Interviewed at Blogcritics
Friday, May 14 - Guest blogging at Night Owl Reviews “A Look Inside My Characters’ Lives”
Monday, May 17 - Book reviewed at The Distracted Librarian
Tuesday, May 18 - Guest blogging at The Naked Hero
Wednesday, May 19 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Thursday, May 20 - Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
Friday, May 21 - Book reviewed at Star Shadow
Monday, May 24 - Book reviewed at Jen’s Book Talk
Tuesday, May 25 - Guest blogging at Fantasy Pages
Wednesday, May 26 - Book reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews
Thursday, May 27 - Book reviewed at The Wayfaring Writer
Friday, May 28 - Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, June 1 - Guest blogging at Beyond the Books
Wednesday, June 2 - Guest blogging at Cafe of Dreams
Thursday, June 3 - Book reviewed at Deb’s Book Bag
Friday, June 4 - Interviewed at Working Writers
Monday, June 7 - Book reviewed at Freda’s Voice
Tuesday, June 8 - Book reviewed at The Cajun Book Lady
Wednesday, June 9 - Interviewed on Introducing Writers Radio Show
Thursday, June 10 - Guest blogging at Blogging Authors
Friday, June 11 - Guest blogging at The Book Connection
Monday, June 14 - OPEN
Tuesday, June 15 - Interviewed at Examiner
Wednesday, June 16 - Book reviewed at Faithful Finances
Thursday, June 17 - Interviewed on A Book and a Chat Radio Show
Friday, June 18 - Book reviewed at Books R Us
Monday, June 21 - Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Tuesday, June 22 - OPEN
Wednesday, June 23 - Book reviewed at Brizmus Blogs Books
Thursday, June 24 - OPEN
Friday, June 25 - Book reviewed at Pick of the Literate

Thursday, May 13, 2010

RREACHing one billon people with the message of Christ

Leading Pastors from 50 Countries to Converge in Dallas
for Launch of Global Proclamation Commission
From June 4-13, 2010, RREACH will host a strategic reunion to implement massive
10-year plan to reach one billion people with the message of Christ

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—On June 4, 2010, prominent and distinguished young pastors from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe will meet in Dallas, Texas, for a dynamic 10-day strategic reunion. These 100 leading pastors from over 50 countries are all graduates of RREACH’s GPA (Global Proclamation Academy) held on the historic campus of Dallas Theological Seminary each summer. They will initiate the Global Proclamation Commission (G-Pro Commission)—a human capital campaign to exponentially improve the quality of the proclamation of God’s Word and the perception of the Lord Jesus Christ to perpetuate spiritual health worldwide.

Over the next decade, RREACH’s vision is to fulfill Jesus’ Global Proclamation Commission (Luke 24:47) by strategically connecting, systematically uniting, and spiritually strengthening large numbers of pastors into a Global Proclamation Community. “Our ultimate goal is to connect, unite, and strengthen 100,000 pastors from 200 countries by 2020 for the purpose of influencing their congregations to reach into spiritually needy contexts,” says Ramesh Richard, Ph.D., Th.D., the founder and president of RREACH, which is the sponsoring organization of the GPA. “This global community will be made up of a few thousand pastoral cohorts with 25 pastors in each group, thus enabling us to reach our vision—to change the way one billion individuals think and hear about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Global Proclamation Academy was established by Richard in 2005 as a ministry of RREACH in concert with Dallas Theological Seminary where he serves as Professor of Global Theological Engagement. Its annual three-week summer program was created to strengthen and connect influential younger pastors from around the world by gathering them together to explore biblical spirituality, theological discernment, and effective preaching with experienced master-coaches drawn from across the United States.

“Since Christianity has now become a non-Western religion, younger pastors from developing economies need reinforcement and relationships in order to stabilize the future health of the global Church,” says Richard. “Before the Church in the West fades to the fringes of the Faith, the Global Proclamation Academy harnesses her leaders, resources, and institutions to invest in those already making a great and beautiful impact for the Lord Jesus. We must prevent churches from internally imploding wherever they are externally exploding.”

From June 4-13, 2010, a decade-defining reunion of GPA graduates from 2005-2009, along with many of their wives, will provide the human infrastructure to build an expanding network of influential and connected pastoral leaders who shape the future of the Church for effective ministry worldwide. Structured times for prayer, planning, instruction, and fellowship, along with a special program for the wives, will culminate in the launch of the G-Pro Commission during “Launch Weekend” on June 11-13 at DFW’s new Grand Hyatt Hotel.

For more information, please visit http://www.thegpa.net/

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Planning a Women’s Retreat? Why Settle for a Weekend Getaway?

Travel the world in seven sessions with Group’s new retreat kit



When most churches begin planning a women’s retreat, their first step is to track down a guest speaker. Next, they may book a fancy hotel or rustic retreat center for a weekend. Regardless of the venue, the outcome is usually the same: lots of sitting, listening, and note-taking. For churches willing to trade convention for adventure, the next women’s retreat could be a passport to another world.


Wonder Full World Women’s Ministry Retreat Kit, the newest retreat kit for women from Group Publishing, Inc., offers an affordable, fun-filled, interactive experience for churches of any size and budget. The retreat kit equips churches to create an experience for the women of their congregations using the talent of their own members rather than having a speaker come in for the weekend. Wonder Full World is more than just a weekend getaway. It’s an imaginative journey around the world and an exploration of the “I wonders” in a woman’s heart through in-depth Bible study, an unforgettable worship experience, and an open invitation for girlfriends to draw closer together and experience the vastness of God’s love.

With a Group retreat kit, churches have access to all the resources they need to lead a retreat and the opportunity to encourage the women in their own congregations to fulfill the leadership roles. As women take part in this imaginary world tour, they will ponder seven questions:

· I wonder if anyone cares about me…
· I wonder what it would be like to be royalty…
· I wonder if I matter to God…
· I wonder where God is when life is hard…
· I wonder if I can really rely on God…
· I wonder if I can make a difference…
· I wonder what’s ahead for me…

For $99.99, churches will receive everything they need to host the retreat, including a director’s guide, a worship leader’s guide, a custom CD with eight songs, seven leader’s guides (one for each session), a training and promotional DVD with three commercials, a CD-ROM with graphics and other resources, and travel themed audio tracks for each session. The kit also contains samples of the essentials and gifts for each participant attending the retreat: a journal, charm, music CD, tote bag, and swatch from the service project blankets. The basic cost for materials per participant is between $13.50 for the essentials (journal, charm, and service project) and $21.00 (which includes the essentials as well as a music CD and tote bag). Like Group’s VBS curriculum, each women’s retreat includes a service project. This year, participants will make fleece blankets to be sent around the world to those in need.

In a time when many young women perceive women’s ministry as an activity for their mothers, Group has created Wonder Full World Women’s Ministry Retreat Kit to connect with women of every age and walk of life, even teenagers. Nappa’s team has also taken care to make the materials accessible to women who don’t know Jesus.

Wonder Full World Women’s Ministry Retreat Kit

Group Publishing May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7644-7400-2/$99.99
For other product information, visit www.group.com/womensretreats

Contest#1 - The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews - ends Jun 09th, 2010. Open Worldwide

Constest open Worldwide
Synopsis (from the front and back flaps):

While digging up a withering wax myrtle tree besides his waterfront home on the Gulf Coast, author Andy Andrews unearths a rusted metal container filled with Nazi artifacts and begins an intriguing investigation that unlocks an unspoken past that took place in this backyard…literally.

In the summer of 1942, as the country gears up for a full-scale commitment to WWII, German subs are dispatched to the Golf of Mexico to sink U.S. vessels carrying goods and fuel for the war. While taking a late-night walk along the coastline, Helen Mason – recently widowed by the realities of war – discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the site of Josef Landermann’s uniform, Helen is prepared to leave the lieutenant to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind. Set in a period simmering with anger and suspicion, The Heart Mender offers the very real chronicle of a small town preparing itself for the worst the world has to offer. As cargo from torpedoed ships begins to wash up on the beach, Josef and Helen must reconcile their past in order to create a future.

Blending his unique style of historical accuracy with unparalleled storytelling. Andy Andrews offers a tale of war, faith, and forgiveness – illuminating the one principle that frees the human spirit.



Thanks to Kristi Johnson and the Thomas Nelson Publishers team, I have one (1) copy of this fabulous book to give away. Here is what you need to do to win a copy:

Giveaway Rules:

1- ) No purchase is necessary … :) ... (just kidding)… :) ...

2- ) Mandatory: Leave a comment with a valid e-mail address to enter into a drawing. Each comment is one entry and you can leave just one comment per day with your e-mail address.

3- ) You can enter an additional comment (another chance of winning!) if you are/become a follower of my blog (must be public profile). This is just one comment/entry during the whole life of this contest. It is not “one comment per day” opportunity, like item # 2.

4- ) If you have your own review blog, leave a link to your blog in a separate comment, to count as another entry. Same criteria as rule #3 apply here (Just one additional entry during the whole life of this contest).

5- ) You can enter an additional comment (another chance of winning!) if you are/become my follower on twitter. Same criteria as rule #3 apply here (Just one additional entry during the whole life of this contest).




All valid comments will be sorted by the order they were entered and they will be given a sequential number. The winner will be selected using the site www.random.org and they will be immediately notified by e-mail, so, no e-mail, no entry. Result also will be posted here in the day following the end of contest.

Contest ends June 09th, 2010 - 11:59 P.M., NJ time (e.s.t.)

Book will be sent by USPS Media Mail.

Book "The Heart Mender" by Andy Andrews



http://bookscrier.com/the-heart-mender-by-andy-andrews




This is a very touching story of a beautiful woman (Helen Mason) who lost all hope in life when her husband was killed by the Nazis in an air raid in London during WWII and how she struggle in life to learn to forgive. An opportunity came when she found a near-lifeless body in the beach close to the house where she lived. But she found out that the person she just rescued was a German soldier (officer Lt. Josef Landermann), in similar conditions of a broken soul as herself. He was in a German U-boat (submarine) in the warm waters of Golf of Mexico and was betrayed and shot by a Nazi-officer and left to die in the ocean, but ended up washing ashore and he looks to Helen for survival.


This is truly a story of loss and reconciliation, showing the power of forgiveness. The plot and characters are unforgettable. Main characters are Helen Mason, Josef Landermann, Hans Kuhlmann, Wan Cooper, Margaret and Billy Gilbert, Danny Gilbert, Harris Kramer and Ernst Schneider.

This book was written by Andy Andrews and it was published by Thomas Nelson in 2010 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

It took me about 7 hours to read this book.
My Rate: 5 stars

Monday, May 10, 2010

Movie "The History of Christianity - The First Three Thousand Years" (2010)


If you are into religion and want to know more about origins of Christianity, this is a must have Series in your collection.

With his passionate narration, Oxford’s History of the Church professor Diarmaid MacCulloch makes you feel like you are living part of the history. He is considered to be one of the greatest authorities on History of the Church.

He mentions that although Christianity is seen as a Western faith, its beginnings are in the Middle East. And to demonstrate his point, he goes in search of Christianity’s forgotten origins, and he lead us in a travel to different parts of the world, starting in Jerusalem and going to Syria, Damascus, Constantinople, Baghdad, going even to the far east, where Christianity was known as Religion of Light in China, where it was poised to triumph in the seventh century.

Watching the first DVD only makes you willing to watch the entire series, composed of six DVDs. It is a BBC co-production with the Open University and Jerusalem Productions (that says a lot by itself). The scenes are beautiful. The only minor detail is that I do not completely agree with the title of the series - The First Three Thousand Years – it implies that they are gone and as a matter of fact we are just starting the third of those thousand years…

The B&B Media Group was kind enough to send me the first DVD of this series for reviewing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Operation Kid-to-Kid




Operation Kid-to-Kid™ Blankets a Hurting World with God’s Love

Tonight in countries around the world, children will go to sleep hungry and cold, without parents, without homes...without hope. Now your ministry group can send a simple, tangible expression of God’s love to those in need.

Group Publishing, the premier publisher of children’s Bible curricula, including Sunday school and VBS, believes that some of the best ministers to children who are experiencing disaster and hardship are other children. Through the Operation Kid-to-Kid (OK2K) program, Group partners with nondenominational Christian ministries like Biblica (formerly International Bible Society) and World Vision to provide opportunities for children in North America to share God’s love with other children in difficult or disastrous situations. In 2009 alone, Operation Kid-to-Kid reached almost one million children. Since its inception 12 years ago, Operation Kid-to-Kid projects have impacted over 4.5 million kids and their communities all over the world. Highlights include:

· Over 100,000 care kits distributed to countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Albania
· More than 380,000 gift boxes sent to needy children worldwide
· Over 310,000 pairs of shoes and 200,000 pairs of socks given to orphans across the globe
· Over 1.5 million Spanish Bible books delivered worldwide
· More than a million cuddly prayer bears and copies of The Survivor’s Bible provided free of charge to underprivileged children all over the world

“Operation Kid-to-Kid is a great way to teach kids compassion and service,” says Joani Schultz, cofounder of Group and OK2K. “Children learn by doing. It’s one thing to drop a nickel in the offering plate, but when kids make a gift with their own hands, when they can be creative and personal, this leaves a real impression on both the givers and the receivers.”

This year’s OK2K project is a simple no-sew fleece blanket that proclaims “God Loves Me!” right in the fabric. Each 56” by 42” blanket will also include a hidden surprise—a little white heart concealed between the fleece layers. The heart is a sweet secret kept by those who create the blankets, one that symbolizes God’s love for the world and our love for others. Project participants are encouraged to pray specifically for the unknown person who will receive the blanket as they tuck the heart inside.

The OK2K blanket can easily be incorporated into any Sunday school or VBS curriculum. This year, the “God Loves Me” blanket is included as a special activity in Group’s two new 2011 VBS programs, Egypt: Joseph’s Journey from Prison to Palace and High Seas Expedition. The multi-generational participants will learn about the 40 million children around the world who are desperately vulnerable because of the AIDS pandemic and the effects of extreme poverty. Through Group’s partnership with World Vision, blankets created this year will reach children in Africa coping with the pandemic’s effects on their communities or families, including those who have been orphaned. Instructions for delivering the blankets to World Vision for distribution are included with each blanket kit. To make the gift extra special, churches can send a personalized “God Loves Me” coloring book with each blanket.

Over the years, OK2K has become one of the largest forces mobilizing children in serving other children around the world through gifts of school supplies, Bibles, hygiene kits, Christmas gifts, Bible coloring books, and socks and shoes. But the ministry opportunities are not just for kids. Between recent natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the lingering effects of the global economic crisis, there are more opportunities than ever for Christians to show the love of Christ to others in need—and not just for a VBS event. Operation Kid-to-Kid can mobilize service projects any time of the year. Because the “God Loves Me” blanket project is so simple and practical, it is a perfect fit for a variety of ministry opportunities, from youth or women’s groups and short-term mission trips to neighborhood outreach initiatives and ministry to the homeless. With a little imagination, a ministry group of any size and age can customize the project to support its own ministry vision.

“For many of us, a mission-focused heart is something that develops over time. Like any aspect of Christ’s character in us, loving others like Christ loves them takes practice. This is a lesson for adults as well as children,” says Schultz. “Hopefully, OK2K service projects like the ‘God Loves Me’ blanket will encourage Christians of all ages to commit greater time and resources to missions.”

To find out how you can get involved, visit http://www.ok2k.org/!

Book "Stuff Christians Like" by Jonathan Acuff

http://bookscrier.com/stuff-christians-like-by-jonathan-acuff


This book is divided in ten major chapters and the author writes about the topics in those chapters in deep details, giving his perception of many common situations that we see happening during services at Christian churches.

The author uses all his sarcasm to describe all situations that happen in a daily basis not only at the church, but also at the office, basically anywhere, that are related to the Christian faith. In one hand, this book is extremely funny and if you are willing to laugh out loud, you could not choose a better book. In the other hand, the author nails deep in our conscience. It is like a “wake up call”, and if we start thinking about what he is writing, instead of laughing we should be crying. He just describes the naked truth of the current status of situations happening inside our faith. He has a great sense of humor and perception. Some chapters are really hilarious, like how to handle the handholding situation during a service.

God is not a joke. We need to take God seriously, and that does not mean that we cannot have fun and laugh, but when we start judging people by what they do or what they don’t do, we start trying to act as God. Thanks to the author for allowing us to note and meditate on how several times silly things can distract us from the things that really matters.

This book is classified as a Humor/General Book and was written by Jonathan Acuff in 2010.
It took me around 7 hours to read this book.

My Rate: 4 Stars

If you want to buy this book, use the link:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book "Bible Jumble for Kids" by Christopher Hudson with Megan Chrans

In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transferred to: