Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Review: Morning for Dove

Morning for Dove (Winds Across the Prairie) When I received this book from Glass Road PR, I viewed it with some trepidation. I'm not a big romance reader, so I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Morning for Dove by Martha Rogers, is Book II in the Winds Across the Prairie series. I haven't read the first one, but I now intend to seek it out.

Morning for Dove takes place in Oklahoma Territory, in the days before statehood. The story centers around a young man and woman that are involved in a budding, but complicated relationship. The girl, Dove, is half Native American and Luke is wanting to get to know her better. But Luke's mother was orphaned as a young girl by an Indian raid and can't bear the sight of Dove or her mother. As prejudice draws battle lines across their community, they must wrestle, not only with their own feelings, but also with questions of right and wrong, honor and loyalty. In addition, this is the time of range wars, with the ranchers and farmers at odds, with threats of violence.

When a series of crimes are committed, it threatens to tear the community apart and further polarize the opponents. Accusations fly and those committed to justice must seek out the real culprits to clear the accused. The strength of love and forgiveness bring them back from the brink of disaster. A plot twist toward the end was a nice touch to what would otherwise be a somewhat predictable storyline. This book was an enjoyable read and would be perfect if you like a light romance set in a historical background.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review: 5 Ministry Killers & How to Defeat Them by Dr. Charles Stone

Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them: Help for Frustrated Pastors--Including New Research From the Barna GroupI recently received the book 5 Ministry Killers & How to Defeat Them by Dr. Charles Stone. It was sent to me by Glass Road PR in return for my unbiased review. I began reading the book with great interest. While I'm not in full-time ministry, I have been in part-time ministry in the past, so I was interested in seeing what the 5 killers would be. The more I read, the more I realized part of the book would be great extracted and marketed to non-ministry church members to find out all the things they are doing to stress out and aggravate their pastor. I was taken aback at a few of examples and, at least once, at how the pastor reacted to the behavior.

Dr. Stone used new research from the Barna Group, as well as other well-respected sources to determine what frustrates pastors. At a time when pastors are leaving the ministry at an astonishing rate, pastors clearly need help and support. I believe this book is a great first step. It identifies the biggest problems and gives a lot of ideas for overcoming them. I believe the ideas in this book will help many who are burning out and looking for answers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Review: Plan B by Pete Wilson

“What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would?”  Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, asks this compelling question in his book Plan B. Pete Wilson is a pastor who struggles with the unanswerable questions just like we do. The book is filled with encouragement and advice for those times in your life when things have gone crazy. Our Plan B begins the moment we experience loss of love or a loved one, shattered dreams. disappointments, and times when life just plain doesn’t go the way we think it should. The book is filled with incredible stories of pain and loss that are almost breathtaking in their level of devastation.

What you won’t find in this book are slick, easy answers. If you are waiting for platitudes or pat answers, they aren’t here.  What you will find is hope and grace. You will find compassion and the cross. The last section of the book is filled with discussion questions for your own use or use with a study group. The book website located at, contains a sample chapter, more stories and some resource materials.

Most of us have either been through a paralyzing, life-altering event or we know someone who has. I am squarely in the target market for this book, as I’m currently walking through my own Plan B situation and, honestly, I had trouble getting through the book at first. Filled with stories of disaster, death and disappointment, both contemporary and biblical, the book is not an easy read, although the language and feel of the book are contemporary and light. I joked while reading that it should have come bundled with tissues. If you are going through one of those devastating times or just have a tender heart, some of the stories are hard to take. I started reading the book while riding in the car, but quickly figured out I needed to be at home with my box of tissues instead, lest I arrive everywhere with red eyes and nose.

That said, I’m glad I read the book. It helped to be reminded that God is there and He is not surprised by anything in our lives. His grace and love and care is still in place even when we are barely functioning. After all, it’s only Plan B to us, not to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”