Bergers Book Reviews

My Faith Journey: 52 Week Guided Devotional with Scripture


Author & Illustrator: Robin Pickens
Publisher: Quiet Fox Designs
Genre: Christian / Creativity
ISBN: 978-1-64178-002-5
Pages: 128
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Bible journaling has become very popular, as folks discover the joy of adding their own inspired art to Scripture. But if coloring in your Bible doesn’t appeal to you, My Faith Journey might be a perfect fit.

Each of the two-page spreads in this 52-week journal is designed to be completed in a week. A question opens the week as a prompt, with space below for making notes. The opposite page is a Bible verse or segment with illustration in pen and ink, which is meant to be colored.

Creating meaningful art can be difficult and time-consuming, but there is so much joy in adding color to God’s word. Spending time in prayer with this journal would be perfect for artistically challenged folks who want to experience Bible journaling in a non-intimidating manner. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 16, 2018 Posted by | art, Christian | Leave a comment

In the Flesh – My Story


Author: Michael Gabriele
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1979417297
Pages: 370
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The Gospels tell the greatest story ever told. But when we read these books, there are many things the authors have left out. Movies like The Passion of the Christ and Jesus of Nazareth show us some of the actions and scenery from this story, but there is still so much more to be explored.

In this first person account, we hear the Gospels as told from the perspective of Jesus himself. While some might see it as impossible or sacrilegious, Michael Gabriele handles this in a masterful way. The actions and thoughts of Jesus flow directly from the scenes portrayed, and they are completely believable to those familiar with the Bible. Jesus makes it very clear to the reader that His whole life is directed toward doing the will of the Father out of love for humanity.

It would be impossible to share everything from the Gospels in a work of fiction, so some of the parables and stories have been left out. A significant portion of the text is devoted to Holy Week, and reading it during the Lenten and Easter seasons is a powerful and moving experience. This beautiful novel makes it very clear to the reader just how much Jesus loves each and every one of us.

If you’re looking for a book that brings the Gospels to life in a new and exciting way, I highly recommend In the Flesh – My Story.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Christian | Leave a comment

Sacred Rest


Author: Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian living
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2167-7
Pages: 240
Price: $20.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Do you feel frustrated and worn out much of the time? Are you lacking enough energy for your own self-care? If so, Sacred Rest may be the resource you need to identify the areas in your life that aren’t working and where you need more rest.

First, begin with the rest quiz, which is found at the end of the book or at the author’s website, for a personalized assessment. Rest deficits fall into the following categories – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, or creative – and each manifests itself in a different way. While it’s easy to simply assume we need more sleep when we feel weary, we may be surprised to find that our lives are actually lacking other types of rest. An addition of some exercise, a creative project, or time in nature might energize us far better than a nap.

Sacred Rest reminds us that God commanded us to rest on the Sabbath, yet so few of us actually do. Incorporating some of the ideas presented in this book would go a long way toward restoring us to the wholeness God intended for us. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Christian, self improvement | Leave a comment

Restore


Author: Vince Antonucci
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Genre: Christian / Recovery
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1577-6
Pages: 304
Price: $15.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

In speaking with people who’ve successfully battled various addictions, Vince Antonucci discovered a common thread. They had all gone to rehab. But what about the people dealing with issues rehab doesn’t cover? Restore is rehab for the rest of us.

No matter what your personal problem is, Antonucci believes he can offer help and hope. This 30 day program walks you through his step-by-step process in turning your life around. Plus, a supportive community and a 30-day video and handout email course can accompany it, if you choose to participate.

Antonucci is a funny and insightful guide as he freely shares his own experiences in recovering from his own demons. This is such an enjoyable read that it’s tempting to read it quicker than the 30 day suggested pace. But if the reader doesn’t follow the actions he suggests, it may not have the same effects. Read it, take the necessary steps, watch the videos, and join the community for the best chance at overcoming your own problems. I highly recommend Restore.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Christian, self improvement | Leave a comment

Nourish

Nourish
Author: Katie Farrell
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian, Health
ISBN: 978-1-4789-7606-6
Pages: 208
Price: $20.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Katie Farrell knows what it’s like to struggle with weight issues. Unhealthy and destructive eating habits plagued her for years, until she discovered how to care for herself in accordance with God’s will. In Nourish, she explains how she was able to make peace with her body and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

Farrell shares the types of foods she enjoys along with those she tries to avoid. This may not be the same eating plan the reader follows, but can easily be adapted if necessary, since she doesn’t dwell on specifics. Some healthy recipes are provided, and the author’s website has more available. Exercise is also encouraged, but again, no specific plan is promoted. Instead, she encourages the reader to discover for herself exactly how God wants her to care for her body.

God’s word can be trusted to instruct us, and Farrell provides Biblical references she has used in developing her own self-care plan. If you’re looking for a diet and exercise checklist to follow, this is not the book for you. But if you’re looking for a spiritual mentor to lead you to God’s will for your life, Farrel is a wonderful guide. I highly recommend Nourish and the Dashing Dish website.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Christian, fitness, health, self improvement, spirituality | Leave a comment

The Listening Day Vol. 2


Author: Paul J. Pastor
Publisher: Zeal Books
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-9990557-0-0
Pages: 112
Price: $8.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

God’s voice comes to us through sacred Scripture, but many of us long to hear Him speak directly to us in our circumstances. Drawing on Bible quotes, Paul J. Pastor provides a simulated dialogue between God and the reader in a series of meditations.

These one page meditations resemble prayer, where the reader asks God questions and God responds. In this second volume, Pastor envisions Him speaking to us of His power and majesty, reminding us of our powerlessness without His loving care and forgiveness for our trespasses. The reader can enjoy them sequentially, or thumb through the book for the topic that speaks to him most in that moment.

In The Listening Day series, God’s perspective is limited by our human understanding, as interpreted by Pastor. But these words are powerful and full of meaning for all of us. I highly recommend these innovative and inspirational meditation books.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Christian | Leave a comment

You Are the Beloved


Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
Publisher: Convergent Books
Genre: Christian Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-101-90637-8
Pages: 416
Price: $26.00

Buy it at Amazon

Henri J.M. Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor, and pastor, who gained international renown as the author of over 30 books on the spiritual life, including such classics as The Wounded Healer, The Inner Voice of Love, and The Return of the Prodigal Son. In You Are the Beloved, editor Gabrielle Earnshaw has compiled some of his most inspirational passages into a daily meditation book.

Each day’s reading is one page or less, making it easy to squeeze into a busy day. These beautiful meditations focus on God’s deep and eternal love for us, and encourage us to see that God is more intimate, more loving, and more longing to be in a relationship with each of us than we have ever imagined. Reading these inspiring and uplifting messages would be a perfect way to begin or end each day. I highly recommend You Are the Beloved.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Catholic, Christian, inspiration, meditation | Leave a comment

7 Lessons From Heaven


Author: Mary C. Neal, M.D.
Publisher: Convergent Books
Genre: Christian / Inspiration
ISBN: 978-0-451-49542-6
Pages: 288
Price: $16.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

In 1999, Mary C. Neal died in a kayaking accident when she was trapped underwater and drowned. She tells of this experience in To Heaven and Back, but realized later that she left out important lessons that still needed to be shared – lessons that taught her how to live a joy-filled life.

As a medical professional, Neal first confirms that she had a true near-death experience (NDE). After exhausting all possible physical causes for what happened to her, she speaks with others who had similar experiences, and confirms that they’re all similar. She did have a true NDE. Next she describes her impressions of heaven and meeting Jesus, who was there at the time of her death to comfort her. Finally, she reveals some of the lessons she learned as a result of her NDE, and how she looks at her life today. Death holds no power over her now, and she guides the reader to see God in a new and wonderful way.

God is real, present, and working in our lives today. 7 Lessons From Heaven shows us just how much He loves us and wants us to share eternity with Him in heaven. I am so grateful to Neal for sharing this story with us.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Christian, inspiration | Leave a comment

God and Money


Authors: John Cortines and Gregory Baumer
Publisher: Rose Publishing
Genre: Christian / Finance
ISBN: 978-1628624076
Pages: 224
Price: $24.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Jesus cautioned his followers against the accumulation of riches. While He never preached that money in itself is evil, the excessive love of possessions can lead to a host of problems. So how does the average person handle this teaching? God and Money provides some ideas on this conundrum that the authors have attempted to implement in their own lives.

While many use the standard tithe (10%) as a guideline for giving, Cortines and Baumer suggest we can do much better than that. In fact, they recommend people set a baseline spending amount and a reasonable and prudent savings plan, so they can give away the excess. For those in the authors’ social class, this sounds like a wonderful philanthropic goal. But for the many middle to lower class Americans just struggling to survive, this is simply not helpful or feasible.

Those in the wealthiest segment of society who are active in their church and community will find this an interesting and informative read. The rest of us will need to look elsewhere for a book that speaks to our needs.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Christian, finance | Leave a comment

The Listening Day Vol. 1


Author: Paul J. Pastor
Publisher: Zeal Books
Genre: Christian / Meditation
ISBN: 978-0-9970669-6-8
Pages: 112
Price: $8.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

God’s voice comes to us through sacred Scripture, but many of us long to hear Him speak directly to us in our circumstances. Drawing on Bible quotes, Paul J. Pastor provides a simulated dialogue between God and the reader in a series of meditations.

These one page meditations resemble prayer, where the reader asks God questions and God responds. But rather than the harsh responses many expect, God reassures us of his love and care. Visiting topics such as pain and suffering, sin and repentance, relationships, and many others, Pastor shares the words God might say to us. The reader can enjoy them sequentially, or thumb through the book for the topic that speaks to him most in that moment.

In The Listening Day, God’s perspective is limited by our human understanding, as interpreted by Pastor. But these words are powerful and full of meaning for all of us. I highly recommend this innovative and inspirational meditation book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 2, 2017 Posted by | Christian, meditation | Leave a comment