The Glory of Living
By Myles Munroe, Destiny Image,
Softcover, 176 pages, $13.99.
Once again Myles Munroe delivers a powerful message on how to discover and achieve your purpose. In his latest book, The Glory of Living: Keys to Releasing Your Personal Glory, Munroe addresses ways to find your purpose in life and discover your personal “glory.” He says that every living thing possesses its own glory and exists to manifest that glory-meaning that we release our full potential by the work we do and by our personal holiness. Munroe's book is a page-turner, and he exemplifies a wealth of knowledge about his subject. This is a must-read for anyone who is searching for the inspiration to accomplish his personal, God-given dreams.
Tracee N. Mason
In His Image
By Kenneth Ulmer, Whitaker House,
hardcover, 224 pages, $19.99.
In this excellent study, we discover that “as God becomes more visible to us He also becomes more visible in us.” To help us experience this truth, Kenneth Ulmer discusses the various names and attributes of God while examining some of His key “physical” attributes. Examining such distinct features as the hand of God, the heart of God and the face of God, Ulmer brings readers closer to understanding that God resides in our hearts as a caring Father. Ulmer explains that “God wants to be within our grasp” and will use what's familiar to us to help us better understand His ways. Ulmer notes that revelation, recognition, relationship and reflection help accomplish this process.
J. James Estrada
By George Barna, Tyndale House,
Hardcover, 160 pages, $17.99.
According to demographer George Barna, there are more than 20 million souls spread across America, whom he calls “Revolutionaries,” demanding an authentic relationship with Jesus regardless of where it may be found. Labeling himself one of these counterculturalists, Barna lays out a strong case for his view that the traditional church is anemic. Whether he is measured by giving, servanthood, spiritual accountability or practicing faith in daily life, the “average” church member, Barna says, bears little evidence of Christ-likeness. In defense of traditional congregations, Barna says they cannot be roundly condemned for members' failure to embrace scriptural commands and live for Christ. Still, this book is likely to stir a national dialogue and force millions to re-examine their Christian walk.
A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians
By Jews for Jesus,
Purple Pomegranate Productions,
softcover, 198 pages, $10.
Jews for Jesus has created a field guide for evangelicals to navigate the Messianic movement. To clear up confusion and correct false assumptions about the nature of the organizations within the movement, the book makes a distinction between Messianic congregations, missionary outreach organizations, educational institutions and friends-of-Israel groups. Readers will be enlightened about some of the history, as well as the purpose and function of these groups, and also encouraged to use discernment to figure out which ones are biblical and open to Jewish evangelism and which ones are not. Many evangelical Christians, in their zeal to show love and support to Jews or the nation of Israel, have actually supported groups that restrict evangelism or have unscriptural doctrines and practices. This guide is a valuable tool for Jewish Christians and those who want to understand the Jewish roots of Christianity.
DEBORAH L. DELK
MUSIC Wherever You Are
By Third Day, Essential Records.
Wherever You Are
Third Day's Wherever You Are carries a theme of hope on each song-a move that makes the album feel complete rather than predictable. Lead singer Mac Powell says, “Wherever you are … whatever you're going through, God is ready to meet you right there.” This message helps listeners relate to the singable, all-out rock tracks “I Can Feel It” and “Tunnel”; strong ballads such as “Communion” and “Cry Out to Jesus”; and fun, up-beat tracks such as “Keep On Shinin'.” Some artists trade their music's original edge for polished studio production after a few successful albums, but the music on Wherever You Are sounds both professional and honest to the band's trademark guitar-driven sound. Creating an album with good music and a positive, Christ-centered message from start to finish, Third Day has succeeded once again.
By Ana Laura, Reunion Records.
Nineteen-year-old Ana Laura's self-titled debut is a collection of vocals-based, adult-contemporary and pop songs. Her voice is rich and compelling, certain to draw comparisons to counterparts Jaci Velasquez and Rachael Lampa. She excels in the mellow musical territory, with songs such as “If You Ever Fall,” the ballad “Completely,” the worshipful “Abide in Me” and the cover of Celine Dion's “Because You Loved Me.” The soft rock of “Don't Run Away” and the grand pop of “Sometimes I Fall” also show she can easily deliver the more contemporary song. Ana Laura's skilled vocal ability mixed with a good collection of songs make this debut a noteworthy release. Hers is a voice to listen for in years to come.
All the Earth
By Parachute Band,
New Zealand's Parachute Band recorded its first live project before a crowd of nearly 25,000 at the annual Parachute Festival. The subsequent album, All the Earth, captures the event's worshipful atmosphere along with the band's signature sound. The CD incorporates ballads such as “Complete” and adult-contemporary sounds such as “Shout” and “To Live Is Christ.” Other highlights include the pop-rock “Amazing,” the solemn “High Above,” the captivating reverent “Lord of the Heavens” and the traditional-worship title track. Because of an invasion of rock in the worship genre, the band's sound falls squarely into the mid-tempo territory of current CD releases but manages to make its mark with memorable songs and varying lead vocalists.
MOVIES End of the Spear
Every Tribe Entertainment,
PG-13, opens Jan. 20.
End of the Spear
A project seven years in the making, End of the Spear commemorates the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of five U.S. missionaries. Nate Saint, Jim Elliott, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian were killed in the eastern rainforests of Ecuador in 1956 by the Waodani tribe, who before their exposure to the gospel were the most violent society ever documented by anthropologists.
The film tells the story with a focus on Steve Saint, one of the slain missionary's sons, and his father's killer. It shows the events that lead to Saint's reconciling with the killer in 1994 and subsequently moving with his family to live and minister among the Waodani for 16 months.
End of the Spear is not overtly evangelistic. Rather, it is a story of courage, redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Although the story is raw at some points because of the once-violent nature of the tribe (spearings and machete slayings), humor is also woven throughout. Whether it is through scenes of the missionaries joking with one another or witty one-liners, the movie evokes the humanness of these slain heroes and the Waodani tribespeople.
Chad Allen (as Nate Saint and Steve Saint); Chase Ellison (Steve Saint as a child); Louie Leonardo (Mincayani); Jack Guzman (Kimo); and Christina Souza (Dayumae) bring forth a provoking performance that will move audiences to tears. The intense sequences of violence and some nudity earned the film a PG-13 rating, but there is no profanity or explicitness.
Moviegoers might feel fatigued keeping up with the rapidly paced subtitles that translate the Emberra dialect (the language of the Panamanian tribe who portrayed the Waodani). In addition, trying to remember the names of the Waodani, how each was related and what vendettas they held against one another could easily confuse some viewers.
Overall, these details do not detract from the plot and message of the film. End of the Spear will challenge moviegoers to live out their faith with boldness, courage, and conviction and with eternity in view.
Also releasing is Steve Saint's chronicle of his return to the jungles of Ecuador. His book End of the Spear (Tyndale House) is an update to Elisabeth Elliot's Through Gates of Splendor.
LORIE G. MUNIZZI
Fiction - THRILLER Showdown
By Ted Dekker, WestBow Press,
hardcover, 375 pages, $22.99.
Preacher Marsuvees Black comes to Paradise, Colo., offering hope and grace-but at a high price. Will anyone stand up to his charisma and charm? Meanwhile, 37 orphan children who have been raised apart from a sinful world and taught the benefits of selfless living face evil's lure. Can their faith save Paradise?
By Marilynn Griffith, Revell,
softcover, 320 pages, $12.99.
Raya Joseph and her fashion-business partners collaborate on a million-dollar wedding dress-for the woman who stole Raya's fiance. Will the project save their fledgling company? The first volume in the Shades of Style series combines multicultural characters with heartache, drama, humor and romance.
SUSPENSE The Witness
By Dee Henderson,
Softcover, 378 pages, $13.99.
For eight years Amy Griffin's two sisters believed she had been murdered. A witness to a killing, Amy had chosen to live in hiding to protect her family. Now she must come back, an act that puts all the sisters in danger. Is their faith strong enough to carry them through the dangers ahead?
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