The Jesus Test: 30 days that could change your life by Robert Barge (Souljourn Publishing, 2009)
This book is a 30-day devotional book with a twist. While most devotional guides are intended to deepen a Christian’s walk with Christ, this one is intended for people who have not yet made the decision to follow Christ.
Each day of The Jesus Test takes less than five minutes to read but uses real- life situations to illustrate the attributes of Christ. A short Bible reading and a few questions or other instructions follows the text for each day.
The book is aimed at older teens or college-age students who haven’t said “yes” to the gospel, but neither have they discounted Christ. The book walks them through a 30-day journey designed to turn a seeker into a finder.
Barge, now an evangelist, spent many years as a youth minister and youth speaker and knows how to communicate his message succinctly and in a way young people will hear.
As a high school Sunday school teacher, I found myself constantly thinking of young men in my class who might benefit from this book.
Baptist Standard, Dallas
How Do I Love Thee?: A Novel of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Poetic Romance by Nancy Moser (Bethany House, 2009)
Many writers agree the most difficult books to pen are historical fiction. Within that genre, fictionalized autobiographies of real people are the hardest because every element must be true to the period and person. Nancy Moser chooses this challenging format in How Do I Love Thee? as she retells the amazing love story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning from the poetess’s point of view.
Bolstered by meticulous research and the 573 love letters the two wrote during their courtship, Moser details Elizabeth’s cloistered existence due to illness and an overbearing father. The author gradually paints a picture of the freedom she experiences through her poetry, Robert’s love, their elopement, and the miraculous birth of son Pen.
The “autobiography” ends when Elizabeth gives Robert her love poems, which later were published as Sonnets from the Portuguese. However, Moser includes an epilogue as well as sections acknowledging which events are fact and which are fiction. The text of the 44 sonnets completes the book.
How Do I Love Thee? qualifies as a Christian romance with a happily-ever-after ending because of Elizabeth’s strong faith, commitment to an active prayer life, and use of Scripture in her letters. Those who don’t already know the Victorian writer’s story will discover elements of mystery and intrigue. And those who do will find greater meaning and beauty in the sonnets after learning “the rest of the story.”
Kathy Robinson Hillman,
Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Waco
Just Enough Light For The Step I’m On by Stormie Omartian (Harvest House Publishers)
Stormie Omartian has opened her life experience and walk without God and now with God to produce a helpful handbook reminding the reader that God will be there with us all the time. She sees in her life experiences and uses biblical examples, like Israel, to show that God gives only enough light for the moment.
He does so in order that we will trust him to take the step we are on to get enough light for the next step on our journey. He is always with us on our journey. She reminds the reader that God is a redeemer of all things, even our past. God tests us—which usually comes just before the greatest challenges he will place before us.
If you have struggled with confusion, sins, doubts, disappointments and unhealthy relationships, you will find God’s light through this volume. The author places a “Prayer Light” after each chapter to lead you to focus on the next step on which God is shedding light.
Stormie Omartian quotes Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” You will profit from this truth being fleshed out throughout this book. You will be blessed as you read.
Leo Smith, executive director
Texas Baptist Men, Dallas