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Religion and Spirituality

Reviews of books on religion and spirituality.

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    A nice, inspirational book for all ages

    Review of The Shift

    This book is all about the difference between practicing religion versus living a personal relationship with God. Most people get the two confused or don’t even know it’s possible to have a relationship with God. This book charts the author’s story as an adopted cradle Roman Catholic who attended parochial grade and high schools in western Washington and who was dissatisfied with the state of his religious experiences. Throughout his journey, the author tells how he shifted from “doing the stuff” religion mandates to living a daily faith walk with God. This book compares Catholic tradition and spiritual practices such as indulgences, the rosary and the Mass with Biblical scripture and what faith and works really mean. Ther are nearly 500 scriptural quotes to support the author’s positions. Some of those positions will likely surprise both Catholics and Protestant Christians. The author also tells how he came by the nickname, “Speedy”.

    The Preacher and the Prostitute

    Author Brenda Barrett has done more than a wonderful job of helping the reader see life's difficulties at their worst and how faith and trust in God can see one through. While there are many circumstances that are found within the book that most every reader would relate to in some form or fashion, there are also blessings and hope for those who don't allow the circumstance to control them. When former prostitute Maribel changes her lifestyle, gives her heart to Jesus and begins singing in the local church choir she encounters the new pastor Mark Ellington. Mark is completely head over heels about Maribel until he discovers what she used to do before becoming apart of the church. This is a heart wrenching time for him as he is writing a book on forgiveness, yet he can't seem to get past what she has done in her past. All of this is exposed within Maribel's life because of a boss who wants his way with her and a nosy church member who wants her daughter to marry the new pastor. This book shares the conflict that many find in the corporate world as well as within the church. No one is immune to trouble and difficulty, it is how one handles it that makes them strong and the person that God intended them to be. Being in the church or without doesn't protect one from gossip and hurt, but having Jesus to turn to in the time of need is the difference maker. This is a very well written book from beginning to end. I desire to read more of author Brenda Barrett's material after reading this soul searching book. If you are looking for a book to stretch your forgiveness level this would be a great read to challenge you to become the person you should be in the area of forgiveness. 5 of 5 stars

    "The Lost Scrolls" is by Michael J. Scott. When Dr. Jonathan Munro's house is broken into, and his former best friend and colleague, archaeologist Stephen Kaufman, is knifed in the streets of Ankara, he is thrust into a world of international criminals who will stop at nothing to claim the priceless artifact Dr. Kaufman unearthed - a scroll revealing the location of the missing autographs of the New Testament. But is it the find of the century, or a costly fraud? As he flees with Isabel, Kaufman?s beguiling sister, Dr. Munro finds himself pursued by relentless mercenaries intent on seizing this incalculable treasure for themselves. Through some of Christianity?s most revered historical sites, he and Isabel must race to unravel the clues and find the autographs before they fall into the wrong hands.

    Megan's Christmas Miracle

    Megan's Christmas Miracle tells the story of how Megan Baxter’s childhood dream eventually became a reality. Over the years, Megan’s family had developed an unusual holiday traditions. The family was to spend Christmas away from the long-hours and hard work of running the family restaurant and travel to a destination chosen by a secret ballot of all family members. For seven years Megan had longed for her dream vacation to be chosen. Her choice was the same every year: Bethlehem - the birthplace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Year after year, her dream wasn't realized but in 1970, Megan’s father said the words she longed to hear. After such a long wait, she and her family were going to spend their Christmas vacation in Israel. And that was just the beginning of a dream that went far and above her childhood dream.

    Many believe that God is far from them, but according to Doranda Jacques, that is so far from the truth. She knows God is always with us, seeing our pain and suffering, and willing to help us if we will only let Him by taking the first step to draw closer to Him. Jacques, a born-again Christian, knows the difficulty and the joy in taking that first step. In "Five Steps to Draw Closer to God," she offers her personal stories of her relationship with God to illustrate the five-step path she has found that leads to a meaningful relationship with the Creator.

    How animals can teach lessons about life, faith and God's care for all of His creation.

    Expanding research on the themes of fear, mistrust, and even hatred of women that are prevalent in the Catholic Church and Hollywood. These deeply ingrained attitudes suggest that Catholic women still have a long ways to go in obtaining equality with their male counter-parts. In "Hollywood and Catholic Women," author Kathryn Schleich discusses eighteen films and two television series which were produced between 1943 and 2008. The first part discusses “Nuns and Virgins” on film. The movies discussed begin in 1943, with “The Song of Bernadette,” and continue through to “Doubt,” which was released in 2008. The second discussion covers “Mothers, Tramps and Even Some Good Girls.” The movies reviewed begin with “The Quiet Man (1954),” and go through to “Return to Me (2000).” The third part covers “Crime Fighters and Mob Wives – A Sampling of Catholic Women on the Small Screen.” This section analyzes two television series, “Saving Grace,” and “The Sopranos.”

    Pineal Gland & Your Third Eye is a guide on developing “conscious self” psychic abilities by Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler.

    In "Are We Our Past Lives?," author Marie Gates discusses negative karma, emotional challenges, and the roles we play. Her book is very informative, and readers will need to read this slowly, jot down notes or questions, and do some research of your own. After reading this book, readers might be undecided as to what you believe - some of us are on the fence. Ms. Gates’ information, research, and excellent writing skills will give readers food for thought - this is a journey all should take.

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