In-laws, Outlaws and the Functional Family
By Harry R. Jackson Jr.,
Gospel Light, paperback,
192 pages, $11.99
The traditional Western family may perhaps be the next item to be placed on any endangered species list–with the culture of divorce; homosexual adoptions and child-rearing; violence, drug use and promiscuity among youth; and all manner of societal factors working against encouraging healthy families. Harry R. Jackson Jr. has worked to provide a resource with which to build strong families in In-laws, Outlaws and the Functional Family.
Jackson is the senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in the Washington, D.C., area. He focuses on offering a manual of sorts for individual families to use to develop a game plan to stop power struggles within marriage, raise each child to have a personal sense of destiny, develop strong values and principles in children, and help women and daughters use their unique influence to promote godliness.
Jackson uses his own failures and successes as a father and husband, as well as his years of pastoral counseling experience to navigate. He includes anecdotes from historical and religious figures to provide living color to his points. Jackson, who has earned an M.B.A. from Harvard, appears weekly on The Hope Connection, and the ministry includes a Bible college and an active missions ministry involved in sending worship and teaching teams to various nations.
In-laws, Outlaws and the Functional Family is a good read for anyone looking for advice on raising godly children and cultivating strong family relationships.
Tracee N. Mason
A Heart of Worship
Kissing the Face of God
By Sam Hinn, Charisma House,
paperback, 208 pages, $13.99
Worship leaders frequently liken a life of worship to conceiving a child. In order to have a productive relationship, one must embrace an unmatched level of intimacy. This is the type of intimacy God is longing for, writes Sam Hinn in his book Kissing the Face of God. Brother of well-known televangelist Benny Hinn and senior pastor of The Gathering Place Worship Center in Sanford, Florida, Hinn says God is beckoning His children into a deeper level of communion with Him through worship.
Hinn writes that God is giving His children a longing for Him, an unquenchable thirst. Through this thirst, we must long for God Himself–His presence, not His presents. Hinn goes on to highlight the hindrances of true worship, and discusses the importance of prayer and what can interrupt the smooth flow of communication between God and man. He speaks of the coming glory he believes God will be sending to His church.
Then Hinn closes the book with the poignant reminder that worship is meaningless if in the end it doesn’t burden our souls to reach the lost. This book is an essential component, not only for the worship leader, but also for the worshiper seeking a deeper intimacy with God.
Andrea R. Williams
Sixpence Sings of ‘Divine Discontent’
By Sixpence None the Richer,
Reprise Records/Squint Entertainment.
In 1997, Sixpence None the Richer climbed the charts with a song called “Kiss Me” that brought big success. But shortly after landing on top, the band was caught in limbo after their label splintered. After a long caught-in-limbo hiatus, the group is back with a new breezy pop album, Divine Discontent.
Lead singer Leigh Nash carries a soothing, melodic voice to breathe life and hope into lyrics that often express doubt, confess struggles and question life. The album isn’t overly preachy, but rather loaded with observations that carry double meanings.
“Breathe Your Name” could be sung both about an earthly companion and God. “Waiting on the Sun” could be restated as “Waiting on the Son.” Most of the cuts, including the upbeat “Tonight” and a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” could stand on their own as singles.
Overall, the album is more refined and studio-polished than their last recording but carries the trademark contemplative lyrics, clever hooks and pop sound that make this a great album.
By Tony Salerno,
Character Building Company.
Here’s a good CD to play for the kids while you’re driving or if you’re trying to emphasize good behavior in a classroom. There are even storybooks and activity books for visual accompaniment.
Tony Salerno has been creating character-building media for children for almost 30 years. Salerno created the award-winning Music Machine and Bullfrogs and Butterflies. His Character Building Company was formed to continue teaching positive character traits.
The Character Classics series uses classical melodies from composers such as Mozart, Bach, Mendelssohn, Strauss and Beethoven to teach principles that encourage good character. Captain Kind is a friend to everyone, saves the day and can stop a fight before it begins–all to music from the opera Carmen.
The orchestration is top quality and does not grow boring after repeated play. The recording artists bring such character to the lyrics, such as the bravado of Captain Kind, you will find yourself imitating them randomly.
It’s a simple approach, and there is nothing to substitute for being a model of good character, but these are abstract ideas and explaining them to young children is not always simple to do. The Character Classics series covers confidence, love, goodness, faith, honesty, responsibility, obedience and more.
But rather than being used to shame or scold children, the series seems aimed at getting kids thinking. Parents, teachers and even principals rave about the effect.
Putting these character goals in a fun package children can see and hear and draw makes them appealing, and there is nothing like music to fix ideas in your head.
Wells provide a life-giving substance that flows beneath the surface. With this imagery in mind, mega-church pastor Rod Parsley encourages Christians to remember the ancient wells that serve as the foundation of the Christian faith. In Ancient Wells Living Water (Charisma House), Parsley explores 10 wells of scriptural doctrine that he believes the church desperately needs to redig.
These include the one Martin Luther dug when he denounced the doctrine of salvation by works and reminded the world that salvation was through grace alone. Parsley writes also of John Wesley’s well of holiness, E.M. Bounds’ well of prayer, Charles Finney’s well of revival and John G. Lake’s well of healing.
“We owe an immense debt of gratitude to pioneers like these, who showed us the way to redig the mighty wells of doctrine so that we may drink freely of their cool waters in our desert of modern humanism, pessimism, New-Ageism and worldwide anti-Christian movements,” Parsley writes.
Parsley says people are thirsty for truth, purity and security. God has an abundant supply “if we return to the wells of our fathers, dig them free of the dirt of doubt and the rocks of religion and reclaim our spiritual inheritance.”
These truths can cause a spiritual rejuvenation, Parsley says, so that “the well of God in our hearts will fill to overflowing with His power, provision and presence, so we can rediscover God’s plan of redemption for mankind.”
Adrienne S. Gaines
Natural Health Remedies
By Janet Maccaro, Ph.D., C.N.C.;
252 pages; paperback; $16.99
Respected author and radio and TV personality Janet Maccaro offers a complete guide on natural remedies. She explains the body’s grand design, arms readers with necessary tools to prevent illness, explains why and how to detoxify the body, and much more. She believes now is the time to be renewed and restored to good health naturally.
The Word on Healing
By Richard S. Fleischer, M.D.;
Creation House Press;
133 pages; paperback; $10.99
Dr. Richard S. Fleischer says that we should not just believe the reports about medical conditions; we should also allow the Word of God to change those “facts” into the truth. Blending his knowledge as a Christian and physician, he has cross-referenced all the Scriptures on healing, including references on health issues such as barrenness, blindness, fear, anxiety, broken-heartedness and more. Fleischer wants readers to know that God wants to heal us spirit, soul and body.
By Jim D. Seratt,
Creation House Press,
156 pages, paperback, $12.99.
We must be wary of taking the route of comfort at the expense of missing the path of the Comforter, Jim D. Seratt writes in Another Way. He offers a prophetic challenge to live a life of the cross–fulfillment through self-denial rather than self-assertion. We must be willing to release control of our lives and understand that God can make so much more of us than we could ever imagine–if only we’ll choose to live another way.
Clean House–Strong House
By Kimberly Daniels,
224 pages, paperback, $13.99.
Jesus came to set us free! Kimberly Daniels’ book Clean House–Strong House is spiritual warfare training 101. Daniels clearly and simply explains that with God’s power and protection we can take back what has been stolen from us and kick Satan out of our lives forever.
Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished Battle
By Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D.;
224 pages; paperback; $13.99.
Former professor of Islamic history, Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., helps Christians understand the deep hatred between Jews and Muslims. Included in this book are chapters for Christians with information about the challenges of sharing the gospel with Muslims and Jews, testimonies from former members of the PLO and instruction on how to pray for Muslims and Jews.
To order these books call (800) 599-5750 or go to www.charismahouse.com.
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