February 2004 – AFA Journal asked several AFA and American Family Radio (AFR) staff members to recommend a good book they’d read in the past year. The following mini-reviews offer a variety of titles to meet various needs.
• A Caring for Your Elderly Parent
Publisher: Real Solutions Series, Vine Books, 2003
Authors: Dr. Grace Ketterman and Dr. Kathy King
Reviewer: Kathy Coats, AFR Announcer/Producer
My main reason for reading Caring for Your Elderly Parent was the author, Dr. Grace Ketterman, who wrote the book with her daughter, Dr. Kathy King. Both are counseling professionals, and their new book can help identify and prevent potential problems dealing with aging parents.
The book discusses decisions we all have to deal with – in our own lives or our parents’ lives – to quit driving or not; where to live – their home, ours, assisted living; finances – social security, health insurance, bills; common health problems and not-so-common personality changes. It is a book of few pages with information that is worth gold.
The great idea behind this book is that it helps you plan – something I often forget to do. We can know in advance the issues our families will face and discuss them before the fact rather than trying to discuss them after.
Ketterman and King offer assurance that, during the aging process, we still can, with insight and joy, honor our father and mother.
• The Sovereignty of God
Publisher: First published 1930, Baker Books, 1984
Author: Authur W. Pink
Reviewer: Jeff Chamblee, AFR Production/Commentator on AFA Report
My wife and I have two completely different ideas of good nighttime reading material. She can usually be found reading a biography or historical fiction, while I’m drawn to books that answer the hows and whys of the Christian faith. The Sovereignty of God is such a book.
Perhaps one of the most difficult questions for the believer is, “How can free human will co-exist with an omnipotent Creator?” While it’s certainly not an issue that can be fully addressed in this book’s 261 pages, the author offers compelling Scriptural support for the fact that God is indeed in complete control of everything – even our desires and actions.
This book is written in language easily grasped by the layperson while at the same time satisfying even the most serious student of Scripture. The Sovereignty of God will challenge some readers to have a much different view of God, but will ultimately give them a deeper gratitude for His incredible salvation.
• Grace Matters: A True Story of Race, Friendship, and Faith in the Heart of the South
Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2002
Author: Chris P. Rice
Reviewer: Jennifer Parker, AgapePress Associate Editor
Sojourners magazine columnist Chris P. Rice tells a dramatic true story about crossing racial boundaries and tearing down walls – even one’s own inner walls – to build true friendship and multiracial community. Grace Matters is the story of Rice’s own journey as an idealistic young white man working in a predominately black church in a poor neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1980s.
The son of Christian missionaries, Rice grew up in the Northern U.S. and overseas. He came to the South with his own ideas about race, justice, power, and social change, and his memoir speaks vividly of how the people of Voice of Calvary Fellowship – and particularly a charismatic black man named Spencer Perkins who became his friend and ministry partner – changed his life and his perspective forever. In this moving and inspiring memoir, Rice shares his insights from those life-changing years of hard-won racial harmony.
• Mission Compromised and The Jericho Sanction
Publisher: Broadman & Holman, 2002-2003
Authors: Oliver North and Joe Musser
Reviewer: Marvin Sanders, AFR General Manager/Co-host of Today’s Issues
I enjoy military/spy thrillers. Oliver North and Joe Musser, co-authored Mission Compromised and The Jericho Sanction, two among the best of such novels. A third title in the series will be released this year.
In the books, Lt. Col. Peter Newman, USMC, is assigned to a dangerous clandestine mission in the mid-1990s, only to have his cover blown by superiors in the U. S. president’s administration.
Newman has friends and enemies in high places, and is put in the position of having to prevent World War III while staying out of the reach of the not-so-friendly friendlies who want him dead. Sound outrageous? Consider this: The authors say (in Mission Compromised) that the events described actually took place, though details and people are well disguised.
I had a sense that I was getting a glimpse at the ugly underbelly of American government run by people with a disdain for American sovereignty and the American military. How much is fiction? I am disquietingly unsure.
• The Treasure Principle
Publisher: Multnomah, 2003
Author: Randy Alcorn
Reviewer: Dick Lankford, AFA Vice President of Development
As the development officer for the American Family Association, I am increasingly struck with the realization of just how powerful material things are in our lives and just how much they have a grip on us.
In The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn writes of John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men who ever lived. After Rockefeller’s death, someone asked his accountant, “How much money did John D. leave?”
The reply was: “He left … all of it.”
If that point is clear in your mind, you’re ready to hear the secret of The Treasure Principle. It proposes a revolutionary concept based on the simple old adage “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.”
This little book can change your life. You can read the first chapter at Alcorn’s Web site, www.epm.org. It should be mandatory reading for every serious Christian. Embracing it will give you an everlasting vision of