No Turning Back: The Epic Lives of Elijah and Elisha (book review)

Title: No Turning Back: The Epic Lives of Elijah and Elisha
Author: Joseph Szabo
Print: Amazon Kindle, 2021

This is a short novel covering the lives of Elijah and Elisha. This author does an excellent job at keeping the story inline with the Biblical narrative of the two main characters and those they interact with.

It begins with Elijah getting ready to anoint Elisha as the next prophet. As it goes along, there are some flashbacks to various events in the life of Elijah.

As a novel based on some biblical characters, the author does take some liberty to add in words and events that are not found in the Bible. With this liberty, however, the author does keep true to the biblical narrative.

The story moves along with a good pace, never getting boring or dry, but not overloaded with extreme excitement or adventure. It also gives what the characters may have been feeling or thinking in during the various events.

This is an early first edition that does have a few grammatical and spelling errors. The author is in the process of correcting these and getting the online version updated correctly.

I highly recommend reading this book, if you like short novels and narratives of biblical characters. It is a good book for middle school and higher aged children to read for a look at the lives of Elijah and Elisha that covers between the lines of the Bible’s narrative.

Alligator Jazz (book review)

Alligator Jazz book

Title: Alligator Jazz
Author: Samuel E. Pittman II
Illustrated by: Sheila Bailey
Print: Gretna, Pelican Publishing Company, 2018

This book is a short children’s book about an alligator that plays a saxophone. His saxophone gets stolen by a weasel. After finding the weasel playing the saxophone, the alligator gets it back and forgives the weasel of doing wrong and they begin to work together.

The story illustrates the goodness of forgiving someone when he asks for forgiveness, instead of fighting back and getting revenge. It also describes the challenges of change and doing what you love to do with the best of your abilities. It shows that when you do something great, not everyone will like it and some will be jealous and try to take it from you.

This book is an excellent book for younger children–28 pages. It is a large size, hard back book with full page pictures in color on each page. Sheila Bailey does an excellent job with the illustrations. They are well detailed, but not overly done. With all of the colors and animals in each picture, they will draw the attention of little children.

The story is written on a level that a 9-10 year old could read on his own. Younger ones will just enjoy the large pictures and great story.

Samuel Pittman is a middle school English teacher and track and field coach. He wrote this book with struggles in mind that people sometimes have to go through.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with children, or grand-children, that love to read or hear stories.

The City At World’s End (book review)

Title: The City At World’s End
Author: Edmond Hamilton
Original Print:
1950

This book is a science fiction book that takes a different type of look at a nuclear war. A small town is directly hit with a nuclear bomb. They are not destroyed, but moved into a future time, several thousand years later. A lot has changed and they must start everything new.

As they meet ‘people’ in the future who come to help them. They begin with distrust and treat them badly, because they are different. This book shows some of the horror of racialism and prejudices that people tend to have against new or different people.

Although this has a great story about overcoming and moving on with life, it has nothing to do with God. Although there are a few references of people who believe in God, there is no overall belief in Him. One of the quotes a person says in the story shows this very well: “Leave us to work out our own salvation.”

This quote is something that the world tries to say all the time. They do not want God or Jesus in their lives and try to work out their own lives. Many believers in God also attempt this. They try to live a good life in order to be on God’s good side, rather than trusting the salvation Jesus provided and His grace and mercy.

The author does a great job at presenting a different outcome of a nuclear bomb, than the standard death. He also does a good job at presenting how people are with unknown or different people, how people can be prejudice and cruel to others. However, there are several curse words used in the book that did not really need to be used thus lowering its overall value to me.

I cannot highly recommend this book, though it is good to read and see the philosophy and thoughts of mankind without God.

Exceedingly Growing Faith

Title: Exceedingly Growing Faith
Author:
 Kenneth E. Hagin
Publisher: RHEMA Bible Church
Date: 1983
Pages: 102

Faith is something that every believer knows about and wants. In this short, easy to read book, Kenneth talks about what faith really is.

He points out that often people feel as if they really do not have any faith and need to get some. It states in the Bible that every person is given a measure of faith by God. It is not something that a person needs to seek to find, but has to exercise what he has.

Kenneth uses a variety of examples from the Bible to show how people had faith to receive healing. Many scriptures are quoted throughout the book, instead of just being paraphrased.

Faith in the Bible was not just something believed in the heart. It was something that was spoken out loud and acted upon.

Jesus did not just pray quietly for a person to be healed, He spoke healing into the life of the person. It was the same way when God spoke the earth into existence. Words have a powerful impact in the life of a person, both positively and negatively. This is where faith comes in. Speaking God’s words into your life, as fact, brings about His power.

My favorite quote of this book is: “The God-kind of faith is the kind of faith in which a man: (1) believes in his heart, and (2) says with his mouth what he believes in his heart, and (3) it comes to pass.” (page 96)

I recommend this short book to read. It will help you see what faith really is and how to apply it in your life. I enjoyed the amount of scripture used. There are very few pages that does not have at least one verse quoted. It is short enough to read in just a few days, if you take your time and are a slower reader.

The Risk Factor

Title: The Risk Factor: Crossing The Chicken Line Into Your Supernatural Destiny
Author: Kevin Dedmon & Chad Dedmon
Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers Inc
Date: 2011
Pages: 205

Kevin and Chad are a father and son who work in ministry together. They chose to write this book to encourage people seek out their spiritual destiny. They equate faith with risk. Having faith means that there is a risk involved.

They point out how Jesus had allowed Himself to be led by His Father and would not do anything without His leading. Every believer is to live their lives in the same way that Jesus did.

One of the things that Jesus (and the Father) did was take risks. He went up to the lepers and touched them. He called and trained some men to take over His ministry when He left the earth. Jesus told Lazarus to come out of the tomb after being dead for several days. He allowed Himself to be killed on the cross. God took a big risk at sending Jesus to the earth to do a work. What if Jesus would have backed out and refused to die on the cross? All His work would fall apart.

Each of these things were a risk. What if something did not happen? Or if it backfired and did not work out the way He hoped for?

In the same way believers are live their lives as a risk. The authors described ways in which they felt led by God’s Holy Spirit and took a risk in doing something. In the end there were many times where God showed up and lives were changed.

An example of their risks was going up to a person, in public, on crutches and asked if they could pray for healing for the person. The person was immediately healed. Then many others in the store would hear of it and ask for prayer. Many people were healed and many gave their lives to Christ.

They point out that there is always a level of fear and that they have to push through the fear to see what God can and will do. One of them talked about the fear of extreme downhill skiing. Each time they just have to go over the edge and get going. Once they get going, the thrill of the ski trip becomes a reality, despite the fear.

As believers learn to step out in faith and take a risk for God, they must be given room to make mistakes and learn. Often people do not step out in faith because of fear of being wrong or rejected. God never said that you would do everything perfect, but He does expect you to step out in faith and try.

Very few people try to do anything great for God, yet Jesus said you would do greater things than Him.

In this book, the authors challenge the believer to take a risk for God. Step out and be the light of this world. Be willing to give the message God has for all people. See what God can do through you. Be a world changer.

The chapters are easy to read and short. They use real life stories and ask many of the questions most people would ask in taking a risk.

It will challenge your faith in God. Is your faith alive and active–doing things for God?

Or is it dead, just believing God, but not doing anything for God?

One quote from the book I like: “Whenever the enemy tries to shout at me with the accusations of intimidation and fear, I take courage because I know my destiny in God is getting ready to be revealed.” page 141

I recommend every believer to read this book. Take a serious look at your faith in God and determine if it is alive or dead. Then ask God to help you take the steps of risk to be used by Him in mighty ways.