Category Archives: Christian Living

Humanitarian Jesus by Christian Buckley & Ryan Dobson

This is an amazing thought provoking book. I liked it, but I didn’t at the beginning. I thought this is another one of those books where the authors tell you all the good things they and their organization is doing for the poor and the environment. As I turned the pages I begin to understand how all the organizations are working throughout the world helping to alleviate some of the poverty. I did not always agree with their views or those of the interviews, CEOs and President, of various humanitarian organizations. You probably won’t either, but they will get you thinking about the world’s problems.

Jesus was and is the most humanitarian person ever. He fed the multitude, healed the sick/lepers, raised the dead and gave sight to the blind. He also walked away from a number of people without doing anything for them. Jesus did not come to feed the poor or take care of the environment. He came to save our souls (forgiveness of our sins) so we may have external life with our Savior. His main purpose was to proclaim God’s salvation and His Kingdom. Jesus said there will always be poor among us.

As one interviewer pointed out – when we look at human suffering, we react, we don’t respond, Most of the time this doesn’t help. Another stated – don’t look at the issue – look at the people. People are living in trash dumps, being sold into slavery, prostitution, dying daily by the thousands for lack of clean water, AIDS, etc.

The question is: do you feed the hungry and then talk about Jesus and forgiveness or do you talk about forgiveness and then fill their stomach. Maybe you feed them, plant a well for clean water and let someone else worry about their salvation.

Some churches are beginning to take creation seriously – they are concerned about the environment, we must look at the people – not the issue. We must take everything to God and let the Holy Spirit guide us. We must step outside the four walls of the church. Jesus commands us to go out into the world and be disciples.

Highly recommended. The book will certainly get you to thinking – is there anything I can do – can I do more or am I going to ignore the problems and let someone else do the work?


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler Ph.D

This is an amazing book! Did you know that Jesus had a nice side and a salty side? He was not nice 100% all the time. He rebuked people, but always in love. Have you been taught the watered down version of Jesus or the 360 degree Jesus? Today’s Pastors only want to teach the one-sided Jesus. They tend to skip over the scriptures where Jesus was assertive. They want you to believe that Jesus was/is always gentle, meek and mild. That is not true – Jesus could and was assertive when it became necessary for him to do so.

Girls are taught from a early age that they should be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. In other world be passive, keep silent. don’t raise your voice or get angry – never say no. Christian Nice Girls (CNG) are just this. They believe God wants them to be nice to everyone – do what anyone wants and don’t make waves. Are you a CNG? This is now what God wants of you. He wants you to be a God’s Good Woman. A woman who courageously walks with integrity and purpose. She is not a doormat – letting people walk all over her. She can be like the 360 degree Jesus – she can be salty. She can say no, be assertive with love and still be a good Christian person. She can be bold and assertive – she does not have to be a people pleaser who tries to do too much. There are many women in the Bible who were God’s Good Women – are you one?

The Bible states that a woman should be submissive to her husband. Read 1st Peter, Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. How do you interpret these scripture? CNGs literally live their life this way. What God wants you to be is more honest, assertive, and truly loving inside your marriage and with others. The higher power is God.

Highly recommended. The authors give you precise directions on how to change from a Christian Nice Girl to a God’s Good Woman. Are you willing to change? You will probable displease some if you do, but the reward is worth the change – a more fulfilling life.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

This is a very intriguing and thought provoking book. Who are these characters? They are Moses. Esther, Paul, Peter, Job, the rich young ruler, Lazarus – to name a few. They are you and me. They were not a list of “Who’s Who in Purity and Sainthood.” Their live were marked by scandal and intrigue. These are people of the Bible – famous biblical characters. They had problems just like you and me. They were very human and imperfect just like you and me. Guess who was there to make everything right. Jesus – that’s who. He will make everything right for you and me -all we have to do is ask and believe. Jesus (God) is the hero of all. He is the God of second chances – our Maker – our Savior – our salvation. When we try to do it our way – it is impossible, but all things are possible for God.

Highly recommend you read this very interesting book, Lucado is an excellent author. He puts you right in the picture – you are there in the tents, tending the flock, and yes, even with the shepherd boy – David – on the battlefield when he slays the Philistine giant Goliath. And in the midst – hovering over us all is GOD.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

If I Could Ask God Anything: Awesome Bible Answers for Curious Kids by Kathryn Slattery

Summary from Thomas Nelson: If I Could Ask God Anything is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand.

This book was very cool. It answered a lot of good questions that a lot of people even adults would want to know the answer to. It was funny too. It answered funny questions like why people carry certain memory verses to football games. The question I liked the best was was Jesus’s birthday really December 25th (the answer was it may or may not have been. So His birthday could be today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, or in a year. No one knows when His birthday really was. I wonder why nobody back then wrote it down.)

I personally wouldn’t have picked up this book and read it on my own time for no reason. I think little kids would like to read it but definetly not people my age (10-11). The book was great but not a lot of kids my age are curious about this stuff. I think there are only a few who would pick this book up either. I am not trying to be mean or anything, I am just being honest. The simple thing I am saying here is I thought the book was okay for adults and kids. If you are wanting a pleasure reading book though you need to pick up a different book.


Arieltopia is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She is an 11 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult and Teen Fiction; an actual teenager’s perspective. Her blog is http://Arieltopia.blogspot.com.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

GiGi, God’s Little Princess: Gigi’s Big Break by Sheila Walsh

This is a 2-episode Christian live action & animated DVD about GiGi – an only child.

In The White Lie, GiGi gets herself into trouble when she accidentally breaks her mother’s vase and lies about it. She tells one lie to her mother and another to her father. When they inform her she needs to go to the police and tell them she saw a kidnapping, a burgery and how the cat broke the vase, she owns up to the lie. She asks her parent’s forgiveness and also God’s forgiveness.

In the Pink Surprise, when GiGi is told she is to be a big sister she is happy. However, she listens when one of her friends tells her that her parents will not love her as much, not have time for her and will spend all of their time with the baby. Thinking she will be second best, she decides to go live with her best friend. Her parents tell her there are other blessing in life than being first and there will only be more love in their home. Having a sibling is a blessing from God.

This is an excellent Christian video. Recommended for children of all ages. It can be used to teach a Sunday school class or just lessons about honesty and loving your siblings, as well as loving God. Lying is a sin, your heart will become heavy with guilt, but God will always forgive you – you only have to ask. Parents, as well as God, always have enough love for you. The video can teach our children to love God, their siblings and to always tell the truth.

This DVD was supplied by the publisher as a review copy.

Support BookGateway.com by purchasing this DVD from Amazon.com.

A Woman’s Walk In Grace by Catherine Martin

The author has written this book especially for Christian women. Grace – given to us freely by God the Father. Grace is received not earned. The author wants you to believe it – receive it – live it. She wants you to enter the “land of grace”. Have you ever walked in the “Garden of Grace”? Throughout the book. the author tells you about special people who not only received God’s amazing grace, but walked daily in the Garden of Grace finding the secure love of Jesus.

In the Garden of Grace is where we grow spiritually. The author wants each woman to be a “SWOG” – A Super Woman of God. In your quiet time is where you walk in the Garden of Grace. In order to do this you must prepare yourself. How, you may ask, can I do this? The answer – PRAYER plan. What is the PRAYER plan?

  • Prepare your heart
  • Read and study God’s word
  • Adore God in prayer
  • Yield yourself to God
  • Enjoy His presence
  • Rest in His love

The more you learn from God, the more you will grow. The author tells us to put on our royal garments as we want in the Garden of Faith. These are your royal garments.

  • put on a heart of COMPASSION
  • put on a heart of KINDNESS
  • put on a heart of HUMILITY
  • put on a heart of GENTLENESS
  • put on a heart of PATIENCE
  • put on a heart of ENDURANCE
  • put on a heart of FORGIVENESS

When you are clothed in these beautiful garments – one you will wear above all others is the love of Jesus.

The book is written for women, but I recommend it for all readers – believers and nonbelievers. For those who have already accepted Christ, you will grow more spiritually in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For unbelievers, who have doubts, take time to have a “quiet time” with Jesus, practicing the PRAYER plan and you too will become a believer as you walk in the Garden of Grace.

Highly recommended. Ms. Martin not only “talks the talk but walks the walk”. Ms. Martin, along with her other accomplishments, is a well know author and founder of Quiet Time Ministries. Recommend christian women read other books she has written to help you grow spiritually in the Lord.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Rewards of Simplicity by Pam and Chuck D. Pierce

The book is about simplicity in your life – both physical and spiritual. Simply put – getting rid of the clutter. What is the book, though – personal confessions, a sermon, a bible study, a daily devotional, or two people’s unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ regardless of the circumstances and obeying His commands? It is all of the above. There are three keys to simplicity – faith, focus and function.

While the authors clearly outline how to simplify your life using the three keys, quoting scripture pertaining to each key and detailing personal experiences, I was not overly impressed. The book reads like a personal journal of two people trying to (or who have already) simplify their own lives, obeying God and strengthening their own faith. As such it is just not that interesting or deep. On the face of it, we all know that we live cluttered lives, but I found nothing here that surprised or added to what I already knew I should be doing. The Pierces have served the Lord for many years, have written several books, and are well known. People will no doubt purchase this book because of who they are; however, it is one I would not. I cannot in good faith recommend the book.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Lost Virtue of Happiness by J.P Moreland & Klauss Issler

The Lost Virtue of Happiness is about accessible, balanced Christian spirituality.

In a bipolar culture overrun by two diametrically opposed philosophies of happiness, Moreland and Issler offer an alternative. They assert while that happiness comes not through the mindless pursuit of pleasure through consumption, neither does pleasure darken virtue into shades of vice. They help us understand that true happiness comes from within, not without and that it is actually a virtue—the natural outcome of giving up the things that diminish our joy.

Having laid a strong foundation, Moreland and Issler move on to an remarkably simple presentation of how engaging our whole lives in spirituality through discipline is related to happiness. And then, chapter by chapter, they provide a framework of simple disciplines and suggestions to improve our relationships with God and others, focusing on opening our hearts, strengthening our minds, and taking risks.

There is even an entire chapter on applying some of these disciplines when dealing with anxiety and depression. While this particular application may not speak to everybody, it is certainly relevant in a culture where we are anxious for nearly everything.

I found The Lost Virtue of Happiness an intellectually stimulating, personally challenging, and practical book. It was easy to read and is well organized. But make no mistake, this is no “one-size-fits-all” self-help road map to supposed success. Rather, its goal is that we be united with God and formed into the image of Christ and enter into his joy.


Bryan Entzminger is a saxaphonist, supply chain analyst, elder at Springhouse Worship & Arts Center, and a superhero to his wife and daughter. His widely read personal blog is bdentzy – Thoughts for the Journey.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

Lost is a television phenomenon with strong cult following; combining strong character development with mysterious plot lines, bound together by strong writing. The premise of this book is to connect Lost to the gospel of Christ. The unsaved who follow this series might well be attracted to such a book and Mr Seay, for the most part, does a serviceable job of making this connection.

I say “for the most part” because several of the chapters involve something of a reach causing a few of the “connections” to feel contrived. Nowhere is this more evident than the chapter on Jacob where the biblical references even get a little fuzzy. Still, there is some good stuff here for a seeker.

Another group that might find this book worthwhile would be a gaggle of Lost geeks in search of material for a Bible Study / Lost discussion.

I basically enjoyed this read but couldn’t help the feeling that it is a bit premature. I doubt that the writers of Lost really have the gospel in mind and where they take this last season could completely undo much of this book’s premise.


Ronnie Meek is is a guy who likes to share good reads with other people and warn them about boring or bad stuff. His personal blog is It’s In There Somewhere where he is currently blogging through the New Testament.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

When Heaven Comes Down by Che Ahn

What drew me to this book was the promise of accounts of “firsthand experience of revival around the world.” By nature a skeptic, I want to believe more than anything! I want to see God’s face. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Mark 9:24, when a boy says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” I sometimes feel overburdened with knowledge about God and lacking (and craving) intimacy with God but not always knowing how to get that. Che Ahn does provide personal stories about encounters with God, but ultimately, I think he misses the mark by focusing – I think – wrongly on what he calls the Glory of God.

Ahn’s thesis is that we can invite God’s Glory (yes, capitalized) and in so doing invite supernatural healing, interaction, and intimacy. I found, however, that his evidence was anecdotal at best. On pages 62 – 68 he gives several stories of healing and even raising someone from the dead. But in none of these instances is there any detailed proof or evidence other than Che Ahn’s word. It isn’t that I think he is lying, but if this book was written to those who do not already agree with him – those like me who are seeking intimacy – then he failed as those who do not already agree with him are too skeptical to change their minds based upon the word of an author they don’t personally know. In fact, in one situation that really stuck with me was where he prayed for a person injured and looking dead from a car accident. Ahn admits that the man was not dead but does nothing to dissuade onlookers from thinking that when the man moved he was raised from the dead! It is that kind of trickery that I am disillusioned with.

Overall, an interesting look through the eyes of a very charismatic preacher into the world as he sees it, but not anything that brought me closer to intimacy with God. Ultimately, I believe the book failed to live up to its promise to show me how I could experience the Glory of God.


Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on anything he finds funny and Christianity, which sometimes overlap.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.