I Saw Him in Your Eyes by Ace Collins (Zondervan)
This collection of brief stories looks at the lives of 20 influential Christians, from entertainers like Larry Gatlin and Pat Boone to business leaders like Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A. But rather than focus on the rich and famous, author Ace Collins asked one simple question: "In whose eyes did you first see Jesus?"
The result is a series of moving stories about people behind the scenes—parents, grandparents, spouses, teachers, pastors and neighbors whose charitable acts, positive words, prayerful habits and steadfast examples made an extraordinary impact on others. This easy-to-read, uplifting book emphasizes the importance of simple deeds of kindness, encouraging words, unconditional love and consistent faith.
Not everyone will be an award-winning recording artist, a bestselling author, a successful entrepreneur or the coach of a national championship football team. But every Christian every day has the opportunity to affect the life of someone else, and nobody knows in advance how God may use that person's life. Collins makes that point convincingly.
Ken Camp, managing editor
Red Ink: A Novel by Kathi Macias (New Hope, 2011)
In Red Ink, Kathy Macias pens a powerful story of two women on opposite sides of the world, connected only by Yesu/Jesus.
Zhen-Li, whose name means truth, grew up as the only child of Communist faithful. When a friend introduces her to the True One, the Chinese woman falls in love with Christ and a peasant Christian. Her parents refuse to accept her marriage or acknowledge their grandson.
Zhen-Li becomes pregnant again, and her father orders her kidnapped and the baby aborted. Instead of "learning her lesson," her witness grows. Torn from her husband and son for her faith, Zhen-Li suffers harsh imprisonment under cruel guards.
Meanwhile in River View Manor, Julia spends hours in intercessory prayer. After serving several months in China, she carries the people in her heart. She begins waking impressed to pray for a Chinese Christian woman in deep distress. Julia doesn't know who, but she clearly hears God's call and obeys.
The author skillfully moves the reader between two countries and the lives of two extremely devoted women. The well-written, fast-moving novel is not for the faint-hearted but offers a realistic picture of religious persecution while painting a portrait of grace and hope.
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Woman's Missionary Union of Texas
From Throwing in the Towel to Staying in the Fight by Harry Strauss (CreateSpace)
This book will bless and encourage the new servant of Christ, as well as the seasoned veteran servant. Based on personal experiences, Harry Strauss shares out of hurts and victories of his 30-plus years of pulpit ministry.
Strauss memorized 2 Timothy shortly after God called him into ministry, and it gave him the foundation upon which he fleshed out his calling. He states 80 percent of pastors have or will experience burnout, and 85 percent of all pastors' wives are depressed or burned out. He lists 25 reasons for this alarming statistic and walks the reader through 2 Timothy, giving help and hope. Strauss concludes each chapter with discussion questions for use in a group format or for your own use to help anchor the truths set forth. Cartoons put a humorous exclamation point to the message of most chapters.
From Throwing in the Towel to Staying in the Fight is a must for pastors or ministerial students. The wisdom of a ministry of years based on scriptural foundations will bless and encourage any reader to stay in the fight.
Leo Smith, retired executive director
Texas Baptist Men