Book Reviews: The Devil in Pew Number Seven

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The Devil in Pew Number Seven: A True Story by Rebecca Alonzo (Tyndale House Publishers)

A small-town pastor and his beautiful wife settled into a neat little parsonage with their firstborn child, a sweet baby girl. All was right with the world, until one man with an inexplicable grudge decided to slowly, methodically tear their lives apart.

Two years after the Nichols family moved to Sellerstown, N.C., to minister to the Free Welcome Holiness Church, 65-year-old Horry James Watts began doing his best to drive the family away, “crawling or walking … dead or alive.”

Over the course of five years, Watts terrorized them, using menacing phone calls, threatening letters, breaking and entering, drive-by shooting and 10 attacks with homemade bombs.

In a decision that would destroy his health, break him and test his faith, Robert Nichols refused to leave his church without a shepherd, standing firm and trusting God’s protection and sovereignty through it all.

Rebecca Nichols Alonzo documents the true story of the suffering her family experienced during those painful years. Lives are shattered, almost irreparably. But in spite of everything, there is forgiveness and a measure of redemption.

This is a well-written, suspenseful book, and Alonzo’s story is a powerful testimony to the grace, forgiveness and healing God offers.

Lauren Hollon

Communications Intern



Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson)

Before beginning Max Lucado’s Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, gather tissues and your calendar and checkbook. You’ll need all three as the Texas pastor applies concepts in the first 12 chapters of Acts to everyday life and ministry.

Lucado be-gins with a haunting, convicting parable. Aside from introductory and concluding sections, the central chapters explore specific verses, place the passages in contemporary context, offer related Scripture in various translations, and close with personal prayer. The former missionary fills the pages with touching stories, memorable quotes, and I-wish-I’d-thought-of-that moments. Detailed discussion and action guides complete the volume.

Early in the book, Lucado expresses his clear intent: “Here’s a salute to a long life: goodness that outlives the grave, love that outlasts the final breath. May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.” The author clearly practices what he preaches. All profits from the book will be used in ministry.

I would suggest you contact your local bookstore and reserve a copy right away.

Kathy Robinson Hillman,

former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Waco


One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing Group)

Priscilla Shirer shares her own journey from a “one-size-fits-all” Christian lifestyle to an exciting abundant life in Christ in One in a Million, using the biblical account of the Exodus, where God led 2 million people out of Egyptian slavery through a wilderness toward a land of milk and honey. Sadly, only two of the original 2 million actually entered the land of promise.

The author carries readers through deliverance from Egypt, through development in the wilderness into the destiny of a new and living way in Canaan. Each part of the journey is made personal and is fleshed out with grounded biblical teaching, as well as applications from real life today. Shirer has carefully documented biblical truth and beautifully illustrated this truth with living testimonies.

Each step of the journey is applied to how God was shaping Israel. Readers quickly will realize they also are on a God-chosen road where the Lord will help them really know him in a deep, personal way and not just know about him. Shirer writes that we often try to fix our wildernesses rather than yielding to where God is shaping us for his promised land.

One in a Million will challenge you. Shirer has done a masterful job. Readers will be blessed by her own vulnerability and keen insights to the working of God in her journey.

Be one in a million who moves from “the oasis of complacency” to all that God has promised. Enjoy the journey.

Leo Smith, executive director

Texas Baptist Men, Dallas



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