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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Counseling Under The Cross: How Martin Luther Applied The Gospel To Daily Life

Robert W. Kellemen, PhD, is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chair of the Biblical Counseling Department at Crossroads Bible College and the founder and CEO of RPM Ministries. He is also the author of many books, including "Gospel-Centered Counseling" and "Gospel Conversations." Bob and his wife Shirley have two children and two grandchildren.
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Martin Luther not only reformed theology, but his understanding of the gospel revolutionized soul care.
In Counseling Under the Cross, biblical counselor and noted author Bob Kellemen explains how Martin Luther's gospel-centered and cross-focused pastoral care transformed his own approach to soul care.
As Kellemen mines Luther's own writings and other first-hand accounts, readers will gain a new understanding of how Luther richly, relevantly, robustly, and relationally applied the gospel to suffering, sin, sanctification, and our search for peace with God. Counseling Under the Cross will guide pastors, counselors, lay leaders, and friends toward a rich understanding of the gospel that will directly impact their personal ministry to others.
Through lively vignettes, real-life stories, and direct quotes from Luther, readers will be equipped to apply the gospel to themselves and others so together they find their hope and help in Christ alone.
My Thoughts:
I have been following Kellemen through his leadership at RPM Ministries and through some of his other books, he's written.  His ministry through both is gospel-centered and biblically sound.  Counseling Under The Cross was no different. 
Kellemen helps readers understand Luther's "backstory" if you will and how and what shaped Luther's beliefs regarding the gospel and how it changes everything for us.  Kellemen, in a very readable way, guides readers through Luther's theology of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding.  I especially appreciated how at the end of each chapter, Kellemen summarizes the information into a section called "Timeless Truth for Life and Ministry Today" and gives what he calls "tweet-sized" summaries.  Some examples follow:
"God's good heart always produces good purposes in our suffering:  He sometimes chooses to cure us; He always chooses to mature us.  God uses suffering to form and transform us."
"Progressive sanctification involves living out our justification, reconciliation, regeneration, and redemption (gospel indicatives) through faith in love (gospel imperatives)."

Counseling Under The Cross would be a fantastic choice for a small group book study but extremely useful for personal study and reflection.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Blessings readers,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Freedom's Ring

Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail.  She writes women's fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category.  She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.

Visit her online at

From the Boston Marathon bombing to the American Revolution and the Boston Massacre, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.

Boston 2015
Although two years have passed since the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David continues to be haunted by the call to be Boston Strong.  She cannot seem to release two burdens left to her that tragic day - guilt over a crippled niece, and an old ring that evokes a hazy hero's face.  But when she finds a business card with the same emblem as the ring, she's finally able to discover her hero...and the story of the woman behind the ring.

Boston  1770
As a single woman in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament.  When tensions mount in the form of the Boston Massacre, her world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray.  Overcome with anger at all redcoats, she plans to leave her employment at the British officers' home.  But upon her return, she is attacked by a roguish captain when Lieutenant Alexander Smythe isn't there to rescue her.  In her fury, she leaves the home with all of her possessions and a ring that belonged to her dear Alexander. Suddenly her atraction to him is tarnished y the uniform he wears.

The Boston Massacre sparked the American Revolution; the Boston Marathon bombing set a city on edge.  Both became the proof of where true strength lies.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoy a novel with a storyline from the past and one from the present and even more so when an author moves back and forth between the two fluidly.  Freedom's Ring is the first book by Heidi Chiavaroli that I have read and she does this with a masterful touch. Healing comes to both Annie and Brad through their discovery of the past and its tie to their present circumstances.  Their journey toward wholeness and love with the backdrop of Liberty and Lieutenant Alexander's story is beautiful.  Pain and heartache do not have to define us but can shape growth into a beautiful future.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading,

In The Shadow of Denali

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary.  Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series.  Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.

Visit Tracie's website at

Kimberley Woodhouse is a multi-published author of fiction and nonfiction.  A popular speaker and teacher, she's shared her theme of "Joy Through Trials" with hundreds of thousands of people across the country.  She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens in Colorado.

Connect with Kim at

Their future depends on unlocking the secrets the mountain holds from the past.

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley - Denali as it's still called by the natives.  John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook's assistant.  The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the busy days preparing for the President's imminent visit.  His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska.
Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father's death on the mountain years earlier.  His father's business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan's untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he knows for sure.  He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear and much more dangerous than either could ever imagine.

My Thoughts:
Peterson and Woodhouse have given readers a full plate in their combined effort of In The Shadow of Denali.  This is book one of The Heart of Alaska series.  Ripe with historical detail and obvious research, Peterson and Woodhouse capture the time period well with rich characters and description.  The story includes a tender romance, mystery, deception, faith, and hope.  You won't regret time spent in these pages.

* I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading,

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mercy Triumphs

Author of the captivating novel "Side by Side," Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.
Find out more about Jana at
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Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.
Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it.
Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, 
Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.
You can visit HERE to see what others are saying about the book.
My Thoughts:
I have so enjoyed this series by Jana Kelley!  Mercy Triumphs is the third book in Kelley's  series.  The previous two books were Door to Freedom and Side by Side. Kelley gives readers a bird's eye view of life in Sudan and surrounding areas. Readers also get a peek into missionary life as well.  The stories of Halimah, Rania, and Mia are challenging but encouraging at the same time as readers follow their journey with God.  This last book moved a little slower than the previous two.  I also am curious about a couple of places where Kelley seems to use Allah and God interchangeably as if they are one and the same.  In the end, readers will be encouraged and inspired.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Rule of Law

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel "Directed Verdict." In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors.
Find out more about Randy at

What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?
Visit HERE to see what others are saying about the book.
My Thoughts:
Randy Singer never disappoints in bringing readers who love a good legal thriller a white-knuckle read.  I could not put his latest, Rule of Law, down!  I've read many of his books and this may be the best to come from his pen yet.  With exciting characters and an electric storyline, Rule of Law combines Singer's typical legal flavor and adds a government and military component.  This was a "sit on the edge of your seat" read that I won't soon forget.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions shared here are my own.
Happy Reading,