December 2020 – Lord, I Need You
Lord, I Need You: Prayers from a Humble Heart is a devotional journal from Sandy Lynam Clough. At the turn of every page of the hardbound book, the reader finds one of Clough’s transparent brief prayers, for example:
“Lord, today I am desperate for a place of rest …”
“Lord, I am trying to trust You completely, but …”
Clough fills the rest of the page with relevant Scriptures from many different Bible versions. Each right-hand page is lined for journaling thoughts, writing prayers, composing prayer lists, or recording new insights.
She focuses on the need for prayerful dependence on God and invites readers to join her in praying to the only One who can change hearts and lives. The striking cover alone makes this a gift-worthy volume, but the true value is in its spiritual challenge. Available at christianbook.com.
It’s soulful, it’s solid, it’s soothing. No surprises here. Longtime Christian artist Lynda Randle offers songs of hope, calm, and peace in a new CD titled White Christmas.
Randle’s distinctive vocals may be most familiar via her frequent appearances on Gaither music videos. Her cover of “God on the Mountain,” is the most popular video on the GaitherTV YouTube Channel with more than 43 million views.
For this solo album, she chose from many decades of secular and sacred favorites (e.g., “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?”) The project showcases her strong, rich vocals and her command of various genres, as she travels seamlessly from country to traditional to classic to worship. Available at lyndarandle.com/store.
The Farmer and the Belle
After coming to terms with her faltering modeling career, Belle realizes she needs more than outward glamor, and she struggles with self-worth. The only thing that can help her regain confidence is a lost bracelet her grandmother gave her years earlier during one of her favorite Christmas events at Santaland.
In search of her bracelet, she sets off to Santaland. Through a series of events, she comes face-to-face with new purpose, some chickens, and a farmer who might change her life.
The movie seeks to empower young women and girls on the importance of inner beauty. The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is safe family viewing, and child actor Adele Chandler gives the best performance of the movie. It is free from violence, profanity, and sexual innuendo. Caution: One comedic scene features a kissing booth. Visit thefarmerandthebelle.net to find the film.
A Christmas Haven
In A Christmas Haven, co-authors Cindy Woodsmall and daughter-in-law Erin Woodsmall create an insightful Amish holiday story of love and acceptance. The two main characters, Ivy Zook and Arlan Keim, are both searching for a sense of purpose. Ivy thinks her career dreams can only be fulfilled outside her Old Order Amish community, while Arlan has no desire to leave the security of his ultraconservative sect.
But the sacrificial love of family forces both of them to abandon their own plans to help their siblings. Then, when their paths cross providentially, Ivy and Arlan begin a journey of discovery that ends with more than one Christmas miracle.
A Christmas Haven is available at christianbook.com and other booksellers.
In his latest book, Jesus Politics: How to Win Back the Soul of America, bestselling author Phil Robertson suggests it is time for believers to begin following a manifesto – a “Kingdom Manifesto.” Robertson asserts “the positions contained in this Kingdom Manifesto were not provided by any human,” but instead “come straight from the Almighty, derived from His Bible.”
The Duck Dynasty star tackles many of the hot-button issues in American politics, addresses the King’s answer to the problems, and culminates with a list he calls “The Kingdom Manifesto in Action.”
According to Robertson, the book “is a call to all citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth to wake up spiritually and politically and join in the battles.” Available at christianbook.com.
Inmillennialism: Redefining the Last Days
Author Michael Rogers demonstrates sound scholarship as he mines the gold of God’s Word in a desire to learn more, teach more, and challenge believers to be open to new insights into the Scriptures. Yes, he has coined a new term, inmillennialism, to articulate a model of the last days and the second coming of Christ. His model respects both the Bible’s teaching and doctrines of the historical church.
“This book must take an important place in the literature concerning the kingdom of God, the manner of Christ’s coming at the end of the age, and the nature of the blessed hope,” according to Dr. Tom J. Nettles’s glowing foreword. Nettles is a former professor of historical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1997 to 2014.
Rogers, a lifelong Bible student and retired engineer, did massive research for this well-documented volume. Redefining the Last Days includes an exhaustive bibliography and numerous appendices.
It is highly commended to students of prophecy and to all readers with high interest in the subject. Available at online booksellers.
Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable
In Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable, Dr. William H. Marty provides a short user-friendly Bible study for exploring the parables of the Bible. As he touches on a few Old Testament parables and then dives into the parables of Jesus, Marty gives insight into the context of each parable and how it would have been received by the people of the time and who specifically each story was directed toward.
He walks the reader through each parable in an interesting and concise way, considering the big picture of what the original storyteller seeks to convey. Each chapter includes the author’s takeaway, study questions, and a memory verse. This book is designed to be for personal use or as a small group resource and makes a great gift. Available at online and retail booksellers.
Against the Tide
Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science is a new documentary that pushes back against the culture’s rejection of all things biblical.
Actor Kevin Sorbo speaks with mathematician and philosopher Dr. John Lennox about how the Oxford professor maintains a strong faith in God and dares to stand against the tide of contemporary thought and disdain toward God.
Sorbo and Lennox begin their conversation in Oxford, England. Their dialogue, and travel, take them through the university hallways of Oxford and Cambridge, and ultimately to the Holy Land, where it culminates at Jerusalem’s Garden Tomb.
Lennox discusses the consequences of an atheistic worldview, and why he sees no conflict between intellect and faith. “I believe that the public needs to hear… there is evidence that God exists, and the Christian faith is true,” Lennox said.
The film can be a valuable asset to those involved in apologetics and to skeptics, agnostics, and atheists alike.
For tickets and viewing locations, visit againstthetide.movie. In theaters nationwide for one night only, November 19.
More Than Conquerors in Cultural Chaos
Among his personal core convictions, author Rick Deighton lists this one: “I believe that all Christians are commissioned to share the gospel and to be ready always to give an answer for the hope that is within us.”
To that end, Deighton wrote More Than Conquerors in Cultural Chaos, a valuable handbook packed with practical aides for the Christian who desires to amp up his or her application of scriptural admonitions to carry the gospel to all the world, including one’s own household and next-door neighbor.
Deighton’s ministry roles have included pastor, evangelist, counselor, and frequent author.
His writing style might best be compared to journaling. While he shares his thoughts in focused chapters, e.g., “Purpose and Passion” and “Perilous Times and Political Troubles,” each chapter is like a treasure chest packed with personal anecdotes, biblical insights, questions for meditation, and challenges for action. Available at online booksellers.
What a Beautiful Name
In What a Beautiful Name, writers Brooke and Scott Ligertwood, alongside Ben and Karalee Fielding, have written a children’s book based on Hillsong Worship’s Grammy Award-winning song “What a Beautiful Name.” The Ligertwoods and Fieldings tell the story of Oliver and his sidekick Leo.
The duo searches to find the “beautiful name” so often sung about in church. And their journey is captivating for all audiences. The book takes readers on a fantastic trip around the universe with stunning illustrations and storyline. Available for purchase at online and retail sellers.
Small Group: The Movie
Ballard Nelson, an anti-Christian activist, hires Scott Cooper, a producer, to come to Georgia and produce a documentary on evangelical Christians. Scott and his wife Mary are not happy to move to the South, but the cupboards are bare, and there are no viable options.
When Ballard clarifies what he wants is an exposé, Scott tries to resign, but Ballard gives him a $10K “signing bonus.” The Coopers are so broke, they cave.
The Coopers join an evangelical church, and then a small group. Scott records and secretly films their participation. The strategy seems to be working until Scott is moved by a mission trip to Guatemala, Mary experiences a risky pregnancy, and the small group’s support begins to have an impact. Subsequently, Scott makes plans to halt the film, but Ballard double-crosses him and releases a scathing, manipulation of truth.
The conflicts are resolved in some surprising ways, but there still must be a few cautions regarding one drinking scene, a violent scene, and a few uses of God’s name in vain (none by the solid Christian characters). Available at smallgroupmovie.com.
Editor’s Note: Apology
The Day God Made You
One couple, longtime readers of AFAJ, wrote to express concerns about our September review of The Day God Made You. While the book had no objectionable content, the author has become an advocate for the homosexual lifestyle. We apologize for dropping the ball on this one. We are always grateful for alert readers who help us try to stay on track.
– Randall Murphree, editor