Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh

Sheila Walsh’s latest book applies Scripture to challenging situations where provision, peace, confidence, love, grace, hope, and strength are needed. She devotes a chapter to each of those needs, plus a couple of more when there are no answers except that God can be trusted and will make everything right someday. The author’s writing is very comforting and centers on biblical promises and examples. Each chapter can stand alone.

Sheila Walsh always does a good job conveying biblical truth. She quotes often from Scripture and then explains or expounds on that. It can feel a little formulaic, with chapter after chapter of first Scripture quotation and then expansion by the author.

The author can make Scripture and one’s walk with God come alive. A highlight was in the chapter on love, where the author likened questioning God’s love to standing at the top of some stairs. As you listen to and incorporate that first lie, “God doesn’t care. There’s no hope,” you take a step down, and as you believe more and more lies, you fall to the bottom of the stairs. But if you reject the first lie and tell yourself God’s promises, you can escape. I thought this was a very useful illustration and wished the book had more of these practical tips.

All in all, this was a good book. It was pretty basic, but even so, it served as a good reminder of the faithfulness of God.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan

This book contains the story of the writing of 150 songs and hymns, including ones for Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. On the left page is the song, including the music, and on the right is a one-page narration about the hymnwriter.

This was an interesting book, reminding me of the long line of believers who encouraged generations with their words and music and impressing with the fact that many of those who wrote words and music sacrificed significantly to pursue their talent. A surprising number of these hymnwriters lived and died under tragic circumstances.

For the most part, the book was well written. The author carefully matched verses to hymns and so incorporated biblical truth. I would recommend this book to others.
It’s my perception that the average Christian has little to no interest in hymns. I hope this great heritage of hymns and spiritual songs will not be lost, but if the past few decades are any indication, there will be little call for books such as Morgan’s in the decades to come, a great pity and a huge loss to the church.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.