Tea Light Moments to Refresh Your Day by Hope Lyda (Harvest House)
Tea-drinkers believe nothing refreshes more than relaxing with a spot of the soothing beverage. And what Christian doesn’t wonder at the 200-plus images of light in the Bible—from God’s command of “Let there be light” in Genesis 1:3 to the Lord’s final gift of light in Revelation 22:5.
Author Hope Lyda combines the two as she shares how the flicker of her tea light candle signals the beginning of refreshing moments of “observations, reflections, and prayers.” In Tea Light Moments to Refresh Your Day, Lyda encourages the reader to light her own candle as she leads her through 60 brief devotional experiences divided into ten topics, each beginning with the phrase “Light a Candle for…”
Lyda’s two-page meditations start with a Scripture or quote, continue with thoughts related to the topic, and conclude with “shedding light” questions and a prayer and afterglow. The afterglow provides an “I will” or “I won’t” statement that becomes a personal promise to God.
Tea Light Moments offers an easy, quick way to focus on “the Light of the World.” Although the slender, attractive volume appeals primarily to women, the book would be great for the traveler or anyone who yearns for refreshing moments with the Father.
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas
The King’s Game by John Nemo (JohnNemoBooks)
This novel centers on a momentous day in the life of Cody King. He is the starting pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series for an unnamed, perennial loser of a team. King, a veteran who is growing long in the tooth, has put together the greatest year of his career, and is trying to give his team a chance on baseball’s biggest stage.
King’s life, however, has been a series of highs and lows—mostly lows—starting at his birth.
The King’s Game follows his train of thought during the biggest day of his life. He remembers his good times and his bad. His wife’s testimonies of God’s goodness that King can’t make himself believe are among the flashbacks that race through his mind.
While a crowd of thousands in the stadium and many more on television focus on a game, King looks back and tries to make sense of a life and a God he can’t fathom.
King’s chronology of thought is not always linear, and it makes things hard to follow sometimes. Also, while much of the baseball seems true to life, some things about the game didn’t make as much sense as a sports fan might like.
Still, I would recommend the book more than anything for the Author’s Note following the book. Many might be tempted to skip that portion of the book, but in this instance, that note following the novel was what tied everything together.
It’s not a book without flaws, but neither is it a book without merit.
George Henson, staff writer
The Psalms: From the Heart of a Country Preacher by Neal Murphy (Xlibris)
Neal Murphy has produced a book of sermon outlines from his father-in-law, Clarence Howell, who preached these messages over a span of 75 years. Several photos dot the pages of the book that gives light into the heart of this preacher. The collection of more than 160 outlines is brief, with a sentence or two of introduction and a simple outline. The outlines cover 79 of the Psalms, often with several outlines on a particular Psalm.
The book captures in the outlines the heart of a man that loved the Bible and preached it with authority and insight. There is enough insight and direction in the book to help preachers, teachers and students of the Bible find sparks for their own hearts and sermon ideas.
This book is a tribute to the word of God, as well as a faithful servant whose ministry will live on through these outlines. It would have been nice to have added a bit of the illustrative wit of this preacher to the skeletal outlines. This would have given more shape to the life of this dedicated servant of God. The Psalms will be a good reference tool.
Leo Smith, executive director
Texas Baptist Men