Strength for the Moment: Inspiration for Caregivers by Lori Hogan (Image)
At one time or another, most people find themselves responsible for a family member or friend during an illness or at the end of life. Others spend hours tending a disabled child or sibling. Each caregiver travels a road fraught with emotional decisions, emotional drain and physical challenges. Lori Hogan has penned a devotional book written just for them.
All 52 entries contain introductory information, a story, a Scripture passage and a prayer. Topics addressed include emotions, choices, changing relationships and daily living. The volume’s pages are filled with stories of family dynamics and changing relationships, particularly when choosing to sell the family home or moving parents or grandparents to live in a nursing home or with a relative.
Strength for the Moment offers comfort and support for caregivers and those who love them. The book also could aid those being cared for in understanding the feelings of the family members they love. However, before buying the book, the reader should be aware Hogan and her husband co-founded a home-care franchise that copyrighted the book and is mentioned frequently throughout its pages. That said, the title targets a unique audience in need of care.
Kathy Robinson Hillman, 2nd vice president
Baptist General Convention of Texas
Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball by R.A. Dickey with Wayne Coffey (Blue Rider Press)
The No. 1 draft pick for the Texas Rangers in 1996, pitcher R.A. Dickey spent most of his career in the minor leagues working feverishly to make it to the majors until being called up to the New York Mets in May 2010. Now 38, baseball’s best knuckleballer shares about his struggles, his faith in Christ and his pursuit of pitching perfection in this well-written autobiography.
Perhaps what might impact many readers is his account of suffering sexual abuse as a child and dealing with the pain through adulthood. Longtime Dallas sports talk radio host and respected author Norm Hitzges commented: “I thought it took tremendous courage for Dickey to come out and discuss the childhood abuse. … While others have done the same, one doesn’t think of athletes as such victims. I believe it’ll give others the courage to do so.”
A few facts that were unknown to Dickey when he wrote the book may elicit a smile from the reader. This book was released at the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, which subsequently saw Dickey elected to his first All-Star Game, set a Mets franchise record of 32.66 consecutive scoreless innings, become the first major league pitcher since 1988 to throw two consecutive one-hitters and finish the season with a 20-6 win-loss record. On Nov. 14, Dickey received the 2012 National League Cy Young Award, the first knuckleball pitcher in MLB history to win the prestigious honor.
Greg Bowman, minister to students
First Baptist Church
If God Made the Universe, Who Made God? by Holman Bible Editorial Staff (Holman)
If God Made the Universe, Who Made God? is a compilation of 130 arguments written to defend the Christian faith. Contributing authors include Chad Owen Brand, Charles Draper and Al Mohler from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and many others—some readers will know and some they will not. Topics are grouped into 10 subjects that begin with “Apologetics: Introductory Issues,” “The Existence of God,” “Science and Faith,” “Ethics,” “World Religions” and others readers will enjoy.
Paul Copan from Palm Beach Atlantic University expands on the title of this book by quoting Bertrand Russell, who mused, “If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause.” Copan goes on to say, “The question of who or what caused God is misguided.” The essays will stretch your thinking in many ways.
I found this book to be very stimulating. I believe it will challenge you to think about your own faith, which will be strengthened. I think you will be better equipped to give the reason for the hope that is in you. I also suspect you will read again many of these short essays throughout your Christian journey.
Leo Smith, retired executive director
Texas Baptist Men
No Man Left Behind by Patrick Morley, David Delk & Brett Clemmer (Moody)
No Man Left Behind emphasizes the importance of all-inclusive men’s ministry. Men’s ministry involves more than Saturday morning pancake breakfasts or big stadium events, the authors insist. Any ministry of the church that involves a man is men’s ministry. That means every man in the church is part of the church’s men’s ministry.
The authors—all from Man in the Mirror ministry—want to see churches build and sustain men’s ministry that makes passionate disciples of Christ. They believe all other initiatives of the church should serve the purpose of making disciples. No Man Left Behind presents a process for creating a system that moves men progressively into an ever-deeper relationship with Christ. While the authors cite helpful examples and illustrations, they do not pretend to offer a step-by-step approach to creating a disciple-making men’s ministry. Instead, they present principles to help churches develop their own ministries.
Each chapter ends with a list of bulleted “remember this” key points, “talk about this” discussion questions suited for small-group study of the book and “pray about this” guides to allow the Holy Spirit to lead churches in creating and nurturing ministries to make men into disciples.
Ken Camp, managing editor