God Gives Second Chances
By R.T. Kendall, Charisma House,
Softcover, 240 pages, $14.99.
As the church world in recent years has suffered public scandals involving ministry leaders, restoration has emerged as an increasingly relevant topic, not only for leadership but also for rank-and-file Christians who have fallen away from the faith. R.T. Kendall, author of Total Forgiveness and The Sensitivity of the Spirit, approaches the topic with grace yet biblical firmness in God Gives Second Chances: How to Get Up, Dust Off and Be Used Again by God When You Fall. Using scriptural and personal examples, he reaches out to those questioning a possible return to ministry as well as providing helpful advice on not succumbing to temptation in the first place. He addresses questions the fallen may ask, including "Why are some Christians exposed and others are not?" and warns about being spiritually derailed by personal success. Kendall closes the book with a study of the life of Simon Peter and parting points to remember. Kendall is careful to ground everything in the Scriptures, but at the same time speaks compassionately to the reader and puts a modern face on the subject by relating contemporary stories. God Gives Second Chances is a relevant book for both leadership and laity.
By Jean Krisle Blasi, Chosen,
Softcover, 160 pages, $12.99.
Jesus instructed His followers to tell others the good news, but the thought of talking to people about their souls makes many Christians uncomfortable. In Prophetic Fishing: Evangelism in the Power of the Spirit, Jean Krisle Blasi explains that evangelism is most effective if a believer simply uses the gifts of prophecy and knowledge and allows God to reveal the right opportunities and timing to speak to someone. Blasi relates many personal experiences in which God showed her a person to approach and gave her prophetic insight and details that were specific to that person. Blasi discusses how to hear God's voice, how to move in prophetic fishing (always motivated by love), and how to take the first steps. Prophetic Fishing takes the "scariness" out of evangelism by encouraging Christians to take the focus off their own inadequacies and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through them.
By Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda,
Chosen, softcover, 288 pages, $14.99.
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda remind Christians that Jesus Christ has already provided His warriors with the superior force over evil in spiritual warfare. The Chavdas describe the incredible power Christians can access to tear down satanic strongholds, defeat demonic activity and overcome any storm. They also explain how to prepare for battle and discuss rules of engagement and the importance of a vital weapon—prayer. The Chavdas' personal stories show the kinds of breakthroughs and victories God will perform through a person who knows how to listen to His voice and is obedient to it. There are many battles yet to come, and Storm Warrior is a perfect battle plan to assure total victory over the enemy.
A Divine Revelation of Deliverance
By Mary K. Baxter and George Bloomer,
Whitaker House, softcover, 224 pages, $12.99.
Mary K. Baxter and George Bloomer team up to ignite the church with a passion to seek deliverance. Baxter, who also wrote Divine Revelation of Hell, creates an image of hell so real and terrifying hairs will stand on end. The book overflows with strategies on how to wage a winning battle against the gates of hell. It details how to keep spiritually strong, recognize and counteract demonic attacks and win fleshly battles. The authors discuss how believers can guard their confession of faith, pray and use the Word to fight demonic deception. Ultimately, Jesus Christ is our deliverer and He has already won our victory. From vivid images of demons mocking and tormenting humans for choosing hell over Jesus to glimpses into the devil's nature, this book is full of practical help to find and maintain freedom.
Tracee N. Mason
By Kevin Max, Infinity.
For 20 years, Kevin Max has been on the forefront of Christian music as a member of multiplatinum group dcTalk and as a solo artist in his own right. But he's spent many of those years as one of the most maligned and misunderstood figures in the industry. Perhaps it's his quirky, artistic leanings that make this third studio solo album that much more intriguing. The Blood finds Max exploring his roots with the help of several close friends. He croons alongside dcTalk mates Michael Tait and TobyMac on "The Cross." Mary Mary's Erica Campbell joins him on the tasteful retread of Curtis Mayfield's hit "People Get Ready." Other highlights include an Andraé Crouch-flavored interpretation of "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power." Although some Kevin Max loyalists might find this project too eclectic, the 10-song exercise in gospel music history is well worth the time spent listening—especially for those looking for a nontraditional approach to traditional music.
By Sevenglory, 7 Spin Music.
On the surface, Sevenglory seems like another flashy pop-rock band with catchy melodies, above-average guitar riffs and a well-polished lead vocalist. But less than 90 seconds into the opening tune, "All You Want," it ups the ante with a slice of southern rock mixed with a touch of the early '80s punk movement. The surprises don't stop there. "Let It Be Love" is a power pop tune that serves as an ode to big '70s harmonies. "Just Me" takes a slight turn toward the funk, and "The Hope" shows off the band's piano-driven affinity for emo. Lead singer Fred Butson's vocals might remind some of Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba, but the music and lyrics are more hopeful and forward-thinking. Fans of The Elms, Jimmy Eat World and Downhere are among those who should give this refreshing young band a serious listen.
Tell Me What You Know
By Sara Groves, INO Records.
"Tell me what you know about human souls," Sara Groves challenges in the title track of her new CD. "I wanted to write songs that drew attention to people ... who know God deeply because of their suffering," she says. Groves has challenged herself to become part of the solution to social injustice in our world. Her involvement with International Justice Missions has drawn her into the lives of victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression. Each song shares a touching story about real people. In "Say a Prayer," it is Elizabeth, who was kidnapped and forced into prostitution; in "Love Is Still a Worthy Cause," it is the African village of children whose parents all died of AIDS; and in "The Long Defeat," it is Dr. Paul Farmer who is fighting a losing battle with the AIDS epidemic in Haiti but won't give up. You can hear compassion and hopefulness in every note of Groves' rich vocals. Her message is real and not for the faint-hearted but for the ones who refuse to "let [their] love grow cold."
I Heart Bloomberg
By Melody Carlson, David C. Cook,
Softcover, 288 pages, $13.99.
Kendall Weis is renting out her three extra rooms so she doesn't have to work. When the new renters realize their new house isn't as Kendall described in her ad, they make her commit to a new agreement. This spoiled, materialistic girl feels bullied, cheated and excluded. But eventually Kendall gets a glimpse of true friendship.
Road to Nowhere
By Paul Roberstson, Bethany House,
hardcover, 352 pages, $17.99.
Joe Esterhouse has served as a councilman for Wardsville, N.C., for years but has never seen a proposal create so much chaos. The completion of a road project would be profitable for some residents but cost others their homes. Now the community is divided. And it seems someone has gone as far as murder to make a point.
By Sharlene MacLaren,
Whitaker House, softcover, 322 pages, $9.97.
Emma Browning, 28, owns a boarding house. Plenty of suitors have tried to get to know this tough yet lovely woman, but none have been successful, until the new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, comes to live at the boarding house. Emma is moved by his faith and notices his influence on others. But she is still resistant to God's love—until she experiences a miracle: Her abusive, alcoholic father becomes a Christian.