Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

book cover
Dreams and Visions
by Tom Doyle
with Greg Webster

ISBN-13: 9780849947209
Trade Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: September 4, 2012

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.

Book Description from Booksneeze:
Jesus appears to be revealing Himself to Muslims through powerful dreams and visions throughout the Islamic world today, and the results are dramatic.

Eleven years ago, Pastor Tom Doyle felt God calling him to leave the pastorate and become a full-time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia. Through his extensive work in the region, which includes over 80 trips to places like Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey, Tom has met and recorded the stories of former Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through either a dream or a vision that powerfully opened their hearts to become followers of Christ. Though they live in the most dangerous places in the world for people who leave Islam and embrace Christ, their passion for the Savior is contagious and inspirational.

These are never-before-told stories from the front lines of the world of Islam. Through these unexplained supernatural occurrences, more Muslims have become believers in the last ten years than in the last 15 centuries of Islam.

  • Why would God use dreams to reach the Muslim world?
  • Can dreams and visions be trusted?
  • What happens after these people experience a dream or vision?

In Dreams and Visions, Tom Doyle takes the reader deep into the heart of the Middle East to meet believers who have been directly touched by the very hand of God.

My Review:
Dreams and Visions contains confirmed, first-hand accounts of Muslims who have dreamed about or had visions of Jesus. These dreams motivated them to seek out Christians and ask questions about Jesus and for a Bible to read. Christians have been able to use these visions as a way to lead Muslims to Christ. It was exciting to read about how God is powerfully working in the Middle East!

Do I believe God can send dreams and visions? Of course. There are examples of this in the Old and New Testaments, so I see no reason why God would stop doing so. I've read countless first-hand accounts from missionaries from all over the world throughout history where a vision of Christ prepared the people to accept the missionary's message.

For those who might find this a new idea, though, rest assured: No one in the book claimed that the dreams themselves caused a conversion, only that it opened the way for Muslims to start asking questions that they otherwise wouldn't have. The Christians were also careful to tell the dreamers to test what the Jesus in the dreams said against the Bible to make sure the dreams were truly from God.

The book also contained a lot of information about what it's like to be a Christian or to convert to Christianity in the various countries mentioned. The last section was about what Americans can do to reach out to their Muslim neighbors.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how God is at work and how to reach out to Muslims.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Big Book of History

book cover
Big Book of History
by Laura Welch

ISBN-13: 9780890516232
Hardcover containing fold-out chart
Publisher: Master Books
Released: October 2011

Source: Borrowed from my father.

Book Description from Publisher's Website:
Families, schools, and churches can unfold 15 feet of the most interesting history of the world. This easy to follow, color-coded, multi-stream timeline teaches six thousand years of world history to children ages seven through thirteen. These exciting facts and so much more wait inside:

  • who were the first emperors of China and Rome 
  • what discovery unlocked the secrets of a forgotten language 
  • how modern robotics had its roots in the tea dolls of Japan 
  • where Christians faced death for the entertainment of thousands 
  • why the languages of Greek and Hebrew were used to write the Bible and 
  • how the Age of Discovery meant wealth some, and the destruction of civilization for others.

Understanding how the past has shaped our future will inspire young learners to make history for themselves!

My Review:
Big Book of History is a timeline of earth's history that measures 14 inches tall and 15 feet long. It's folded up inside a hard cover book to protect the chart, but it can also be looked at inside the cover a "page" at a time. It covers history from 4004 B.C. for Creation to 2010 A.D.

The timeline covered significant Biblical events, world events, inventions, and beginnings of civilizations and empires. The date for each event is easy to spot, and the timeline is easy to follow. The events selected are important and interesting ones. The pictures and sidebox comments about timeline events were colorful and engaging.

The timeline seemed to use 3 or 4 different sources for the dates, though, including secular dates. This led to a few odd and incorrect entries. For example, we're told that the Great Pyramid was finished around 2500 B.C., and the Great Flood is listed after that at 2347 B.C. and the founding of Egypt is given after that in 2188 B.C. So we have the Great Pyramid built before Egypt. We have Solomon made king in 1015 B.C., the Divided Kingdom (which happened after Solomon died) as 975 B.C., and Solomon building the temple after that, in 957 B.C. The temple was actually started in the 4th year of Solomon's reign, not after he died and the kingdom divided. We have Jesus born in 4 or 5 B.C., his baptism in 26 A.D., the temptation that happened immediately afterward as happening in 27 A.D., and both John the Baptist and Jesus dying in 33 A.D. This is much longer than the usually quoted 3.5 years from baptism to crucifixion.

It's too bad that the obvious errors weren't caught and corrected as otherwise this would be an excellent timeline.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan

book cover
No Longer a Slumdog
by K.P. Yohannan

Trade Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Gospel for Asia Books
Released: 2011

Order Free Copy

Source: Ad offering free copy.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Those with no voice—the suffering children of Asia—tell their stories. And as you listen to them, you share their anguish and rejoice in their triumphs. The whole world seems to stop as you look on.

"You girls stay here. I'm going to get something to drink." But after a few minutes, the train started moving again, and Mom still wasn't back! Our hearts were racing. The train kept going faster and faster. Where was Mom?

Hope is growing in the hearts of those who never knew such a thing existed. In this truly gripping narrative, K.P. Yohannan shares their stories—stories of lives transformed, of families learning to love, of entire communities flourishing with new life. Witness as this next great wave of transformation sweeps the nations.

A new day is dawning in some of the darkest corners of the world.

My Review:
No Longer a Slumdog is a book about how God touched the author's heart for the Untouchables of India which lead to opening Bridge of Hope schools for these forgotten and often abused children. He tells their stories and gave surprising facts and statistics about the Indian culture. I had no idea that there were so many Untouchables.

I've read some autobiographies about Untouchables and about human trafficking in India, so I was familiar with much of the information, but it's clear that this author has a passion for helping them. His writing was very clear and touching. Best of all, he gave ways that people can get involved to help these children--though it's mainly through prayer and by supporting Gospel for Asia's Bridge of Hope centers. It sounds like God is really working through these people to really make a difference. Also, all the money sent to sponsor a child actually goes directly to support that child, which is nice.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone, and I've started sponsoring three precious girls so they can attend the Bridge of Hope centers. You can learn more at the Gospel for Asia website or by watching the videos below. Also, you can see what Francis Chan (author and pastor) had to say about this organization after having people check them out.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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