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

November 2021Shh … Baby Jesus Is Sleeping
Lisa Tawn Bergren authored this beautiful bedtime board book for ages 0-3. In the loose retelling of the Nativity, the reader is taken through each of the animal characters in the stable as they fall silent in reverence of the baby Jesus.

Little ones wind down while enjoying illustrations by Laura Watkins and the poetic verse that goes with each picture. Shh … Baby Jesus Is Sleeping is an ideal resource for parents to begin teaching infants and toddlers about the gift of baby Jesus at Christmastime.

WaterBrook, 30 pages,

Canada Burns

Black Belt Discipleship
Pastor Gino Mingo uses Jesus’ model as the foundation for his creative martial arts analysis of the steps that guide a believer “to understand the essence, the true nature of a disciple-maker, and what it takes to become one.”

Dr. David Jeremiah commends Black Belt Discipleship: “This is not a martial arts book, but a metaphor that takes you on a journey to becoming a mature maker of disciples.”

Black Belt Discipleship pairs each belt (on the road to a black belt) with a trait of a true disciple-maker. For example, he begins with the white belt – Lordship; next is the yellow belt – self-denial. Other traits include accountability and reproduction.

Mingo’s apt personal illustrations and plentiful biblical truths merge for a wealth of inspiration and aids for spiritual growth.

Now Found Publishing, 222 pages, online booksellers

Randall Murphree

Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin
Mildred Schindler Janzen and her family survived the hardships of World War II as best they could on their remote German farm. But just when Hitler’s crushing reign ended, Mildred and her family were captured by Russian soldiers from Stalin’s Red Army.

With the help of author Sherye S. Green, 92-year-old Mildred recounts her harrowing journey from Hitler’s Germany to Russian work camps and eventually to America. Readers will gain a deep appreciation for Mildred’s unwavering faith, courage, and strength, as well as her gratitude for the miraculous gift of freedom

Sunbury Press, 276 pages,

Joy Lucius

God Made Me in His Image
Authors Justin S. and Lindsey A. Holcomb give parents a thoroughly entertaining and Scripture-filled way to help young children recognize the beauty of God’s design for their bodies. When a group of students and their teacher travel to a zoo safari park, they encounter Africa’s “Big Five” wild animals.

The kids begin to understand that God created each animal (and each child) with unique purpose. Young readers can search colorfully illustrated pages for hidden images of Africa’s “Little Five” animals.

Additional resources offer aids on how to ensure that children acquire a healthy, God-centered body image.

New Growth Press, 32 pages,

Joy Lucius

God Made Me for Heaven
For parents seeking sound answers to their children’s questions about death and heaven, Marty Machowski has written a poignant story of Leo, a child whose grandfather recently died. But do not be fooled by this story’s whimsical illustrations. Machowski shares deep theological truths while using Scripture after Scripture to tell the story of Leo and his friends as they celebrate the first day of summer.

Their excitement is surpassed only by the joy of Leo’s grandmother, even as she shares the truth of her loss and her hope of heaven, with a well-explained invitation for the kids to live eternally in heaven.

New Growth Press, 27 pages.

Joy Lucius

Pure Religion
In the foreword to Pure Religion: My Personal Journey, Donald Todd challenges readers: “Pure religion … involves allowing God to take you off the spiritual throne in the control room of your heart and will, and place Christ on the throne.”

Pastor, missionary, evangelist, and chaplain, Todd is also founder of Memphis Inner City Outreach. His book shares personal stories from decades of ministry that will move the heart and challenge readers to greater commitment. Each chapter ends with a probing question, e.g. “When have I ever felt left out and that I did not matter?” or “Do I find that I’m sometimes wanting glory for myself that should belong to God?”

Todd prays that his experiences will move others to share the gospel actively, especially to prison inmates, the homeless, and juveniles.

Xulon Press, 201 pages,

Randall Murphree

The Listening Road
For 18 years Pastor Neil Tomba had a dream: to bicycle across America from coast to coast. Given today’s cultural climate, he also dreamed of starting honest conversations and breaking down walls that separate people. And from those dreams came a 3,000-mile journey that tested Tomba’s body and spirit in ways he couldn’t have imagined.

The Listening Road relates the incredible experience of Tomba and his team biking from the West Coast to Washington, D. C. The goal was simply to listen and plant seeds of the gospel in people’s lives.

Tomba and team encounter people from all walks of life – from atheists to evangelicals, from the broken to the comforters of the broken. They learn that sometimes all people need is a listening ear and a helping hand to open their hearts to Jesus Christ.

On a couple of cultural issues, Tomba lapses into political correctness. However, even though he didn’t travel as an evangelist, he plants those seeds, routinely introducing Jesus into his conversations.

Nelson Books, 303 pages,

Canada Burns

A Season on the Wind
Award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher has written several heartwarming novels featuring Amish characters, but her latest is anything but a predictable Amish tale. A Season on the Wind tells the story of Ben Zook, a renowned bird photographer, who returns to his childhood home in hopes of catching a picture of the white-winged tern, a bird rarely seen in North America.

Zook ends up at the home of Penny Weaver, a girl he once cared for, and her brother Micah, a respected birder who has supposedly seen the rare bird. As they search for the allusive tern, all of Fisher’s characters find unexpected treasures and learn about numerous birds from the detailed entries in Micah’s bird-watching log.

Revell Books, 295 pages,

Joy Lucius

God and Cancel Culture
Founder and CEO of Charisma Media, Stephen E. Strang wrote God and Cancel Culture to help Americans understand the seriousness of today’s culture war and better equip them to respond to the nation’s ever-growing chaos with hope and purpose. In 10 short chapters and through true-life stories, Strang outlines various liberal tactics used to censor and cancel out the voices of conservative Americans. He then offers practical strategies to counter this ever-growing storm of cancel culture, emphasizing the need for Christians to unite and fight cohesively in this culture war. Strang also examines end-times scenarios through the lens of the Bible, reminding readers of the ultimate victory found in Christ.

Charisma House, 221 pages,

Joy Lucius