Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

December 2021Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds
Michael Knowles, political commentator and bestselling author, exposes the losing game conservatives have played against political correctness. He then arms readers to fight boldly for traditional standards based on truth.

Whether it is the war on Christmas, debates about sexuality and gender, ideas of tolerance, socialist ideologies, or more, Knowles dissects America’s political correctness. He lays bare why conservatives often lose ground despite increased fighting.

“Political correctness is a purely negative campaign to destroy traditional standards,” writes Knowles.

Even those taking a stand for “freedom of speech” put atheism, decadence, and nonsense on the same plane with faith, virtue, and reality. Those who refuse to stand? The Left wins there too.

Because of this, Knowles writes, “We will speak and act according to some set of standards or other, whether conservatives are willing to admit it or not. Political correctness has left us speechless, but the right to speak means nothing to those who have nothing to say.”

Regnery Publishing, 362 pages, Bookstores and online booksellers

Robert Youngblood

The Impossible Kid
Being a parent is simultaneously one of life’s greatest blessings and toughest challenges. With grace, humor, and painful honesty, Lucille Williams, pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother, shares practical advice for raising a strong-willed child in her latest book, The Impossible Kid.

Along with personal insight and scriptural wisdom, Williams shares reflections from her adult daughter Monica Welch, the real-life subject of The Impossible Kid. Be aware that Williams does not whitewash the truth of her parenting frustrations while raising a strong-willed child, but she also offers hope in Christ and joy for the journey.

Barbour Books, 223 pages,

Joy Lucius

The Prayer Life You’ve Always Wanted
Prayer is one of the most important aspects of a Christian’s walk with Jesus. Yet many believers fail to understand the value and power of offering up thanksgiving and petition to God. In his book The Prayer Life You’ve Always Wanted, Pastor Thomas J. Ramundo issues a radical challenge to the reader.

“You’re only as strong as your prayer life,” he says, pointing out that often when it comes to prayer, Christians have not because they ask not. Paired with powerful testimonies from his personal experience as a pastor and a father, Ramundo draws from Scripture to address the difficult questions often raised about prayer. “What if God says ‘No’?” “What if my prayers go unanswered?”

As Ramundo points out, “The only prayers that go unanswered are the prayers that go unoffered.” This book is a refreshing look into the often overlooked power of prayer and how it not only strengthens one’s relationship with Christ, but also makes an incredible impact in the lives of others.

Westbow Press, 120 pages,

Canada Burns

Jay is a master of battle strategy, specifically in the video games he plays in the middle of his high school homework time. But then he suddenly finds himself recruited to become a Decurion, the leader and strategist for a team of angels fighting against the forces of darkness. He soon finds there is more to winning battles than kill counts and hit points.

In Decurion, author Mark Randall offers an intriguing story of speculative fiction that pictures the supernatural forces of God and the power of prayer in the setting of a strategic command center. The angels in Jay’s team are imagined as mighty warriors from cultures across the world with special abilities and skills that help them to fight the forces of darkness and aid the followers of Christ around the world.

This book is perfect for video game-minded teens who want to grow stronger in their prayer life. The story offers powerful, Scripture-based lessons on the power of God paired with exciting action, battles, and unique characters.

Covenant Books, 135 pages. Online booksellers

Canada Burns

Love Like You Mean It
What is the greatest significance of 1 Corinthians 13? In Love Like You Mean It, author Bob Lepine takes verses from this passage – often called the “love chapter” – and delves into their deeper meanings. Looking through the eyes of marriage, he focuses on many characteristics mentioned in the passage such as patience, kindness, and humility.

However, Lepine goes beyond the wedding day and discusses in depth what love truly means. He uses the attributes cited in this chapter to encourage couples to incorporate a love that honors God in their daily lives and their lifelong relationship as spouses.

In each chapter of the book, he includes questions urging couples to talk about the principles taught in the Scriptures. Lepine is the longtime co-host of FamilyLife Today, a weekday radio broadcast.

B&H Publishing, 224 pages,

Hannah Meador

The Bethlehem Midwife
In The Bethlehem Midwife, Mark Randall, M.D., offers just what the title promises: the story of Jesus’ birth retold through the eyes of a midwife. His creative narrative is effectively informed by some “inside information.” As a youth, Randall had a front row seat to observe medical practice and midwifery in a Third World setting, as his father was a missionary physician.

In this short book, Randall weaves an imaginative version of the Nativity from the perspective of a fictional seasoned midwife named Rachel, who helps deliver a baby in the most unusual circumstances. Later, when local shepherds begin searching for that baby boy, Rachel learns he is rumored to be the promised Messiah.

Thus, Bethlehem’s beloved midwife is soon forced to make some choices: Is this the Savior of the world? If so, will she help protect the babe from those who threaten his life?

WestBow Press, 92 pages,

Randall Murphree

Books for Kids & Parents Just in time for Christmas

My First Advent Storybook 
When is the right time to start sharing the Christmas story with infants? In My First Advent Storybook, author Laura Richie answers that question by creating an Advent tale for the littlest of listeners. This engaging board book tells the story of the promise, the hope, and the birth of Jesus. It is completed with beautiful illustrations from Ian Dale that showcase Abraham, David, Moses, Mary, and Jesus. My First Advent Storybook is a great gift for any young child ages 0 to 3. 

David C. Cook, 16 pages, 

Hannah Meador

Bedtime With Mommy 
In this sweet board book, Bedtime With Mommy, author Nancy Sanders and illustrator Felia Hanakata use animals to showcase the importance of a mother’s love. Perfect for infants ages 1 to 4, the tale includes captivating illustrations of animals from around the world getting ready for bed with their mother.

Sanders imagines that even animal bedtime routines are not complete without prayers and cuddles from their mom. Bedtime With Mommy helps mothers incorporate faith into stories that make bedtime a fun, furry, and meaningful time.

End Game Press, 18 pages,

Hannah Meador

Simply Christmas
Christmas can be crazy – especially for moms. But Tama Fortner wanted to take time amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to help moms remember the meaning of Christmas. In the 31-day devotional book, Simply Christmas, Fortner writes short and sweet devotionals that encourage mothers to look back to Bethlehem.

Each day has a “Reclaim Christmas” section with helpful tips and tricks moms can apply to help simplify their Christmas to-do list. The devotionals are written in a conversational voice that feels as though Fortner is a friend. The daily readings can be completed in less than 10 minutes, so even the busiest mom has time to read. Fortner leaves readers with the “invitation to slow down and savor this time with the Savior.”  

Ink & Willow, 128 pages,

Hannah Meador

The Expected One
What does the Old Testament say about Christmas? In The Expected One, Scott James presents a beautiful revised Advent book that highlights the promises of the Old Testament and how they pointed to Christ’s birth, life, and return.

Each one of the 25 devotionals contains a verse, questions (and answers) to “connect with kids,” moments of reflection, and prayer points to help guide families closer to the Lord during the Christmas season. James keeps the readings brief but hopes they will remind families that Jesus’ birth was promised long ago.

For the Easter season, James has written The Risen One, a volume with the same goal of helping families celebrate the season in deeper ways.

B&H Books, 144 pages,

Hannah Meador