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Archive for the ‘christian testimony’ Category

Dont Give Up, Don't Give In Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini.  Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life.  New York, NY: Dey Street Book, November 18th, 2014.  238 pp.

I had mixed feeling about the book.  There’s no question that Louis Zamperini lived an extraordinary life.  Louis Zamperini is an Olympian, war hero, celebrity and famous convert of Billy Graham’s ministry.  Here in this book Zamperini talks about his life in his own words.

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unplanned abby johnson

Purchase: Amazon

This book is an emotional read.  Abby Johnson tells her story of her work with abortion provider Planned Parenthood and how she crossed the “fence” (a motif and a theme that runs throughout the book) to the Pro-life side.  It is a moving story and it is quite personal.  What is unusual about her story from others who abandon the pro-abortion side is that Abby Johnson was a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic.  Readers will appreciate the first half of the book in which Abby describe how she came to work for Planned Parenthood and also the mindset of some of those who work for the abortion industry.  In the beginning of the book Abby makes it clear that she does not want to caricature or misrepresent any side and I think you get the sense in the book that she is genuine about that.  She is honest in her description of herself and some in the pro-abortion side are very sincere in wanting to help women.  What touched me reading this book is that it is a story that is about God’s work in her heart—and bringing her to see her sins.  I was also deeply moved reading the book with her account of interacting with pro-lifers outside her clinic who were gentle, respectful and winsome.  However being gentle and respectful does not mean one is not passionate or driven by conviction—it’s a case of both/and, not “and/or.”  She describe how convicting it was to see people passionately committed to pray outside the clinics and how uncomfortable it was for her to see pro-lifers who genuinely care for her—and the women who came to her clinic.  In some sense, her account validated to me the need for our pro-life effort to reach out to the workers also in a Christ like manner.  I don’t want to make out the book as all sweet—certainly there is the darker side of things that Abby Johnson also discussed in the book—the reality hitting her when she saw the ultrasound of an abortion for the very first time and being unable to deny what abortion really is anymore; then there is the reality that she had to face with those in leadership above her in Planned Parenthood who was pushing for more abortion and riskier abortion in order to meet the financial “bottom line.”  There is also the account of Planned Parenthood’s attempt to go after her legally and how frightening that was for Abby, especially with the lies and betrayal of those whom she thought was her friends and colleague.  This is the story of God’s work in freeing a woman from her own hidden sins of abortions—and how God forgave her.  I think this book is worth reading no matter where you land on this hot politic topic.  For those who are pro-abortion, I think you can see the perspective of someone who changed their minds and why.  For those who are already pro-life, you get a good perspective of someone who had an abortion and also involved with the industry.  For readers who are pro-life and have not been involved in the cause, this story should move you.  For those who are involved or who were involved with the prolife cause, this book will encourage you much.  I will be honest—I cried going this book because so many of the accounts she gave would be things those involved with the prolife cause see.  I totally recommend this book.

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Want to find a book to read this July Fourth Weekend?

I couldn’t stop putting this book down and finished it in one sitting (one day).

Fearless Adam Brown

Purchase: Amazon

An emotional biography of a SEAL TEAM SIX operator name Adam Brown, who was killed in August 2011. An incredible story: I don’t think I’ve ever read such a real and powerful account of drug addiction than I did in this book (which is worth buying the book in of itself) and how he failed so many times; yet, it’s also a story of faith and how Jesus Christ changed his life around, and through him others as well. Based upon interviews of SEALs, family members and his widowed wife, it is also balanced with official Navy record. Adam Brown was an incredible man of God, American, SEAL and human being. His battle with the inner demons of drugs, his entrance into the SEALs despite his small size is already itself an incredible story in it’s own right: But then we also learned that Adam Brown went on to try out and selected for SEAL SNIPER and a member of DEVGRU/SEAL TEAM 6 (the tier one outfit that got Bin Laden) despite the disadvantage of losing an eye and crushing his dominant hand (which he had to resort to shooting with his weak hand). I appreciated how this book shared so much about the wife’s journey as a NAVY wife, and how it was with the loss of her husbands with her kids. It’s indeed a story of faith but the author does a good job of showing how faith doesn’t sugar coat the harsh realities of this world: from disappointments and failure of kicking a drug addictions, the imperfection of believers, and the mystery of why God allow some to die and others to live. Reading this as a father of a one year old and a three month old, i can’t help tearing up especially towards the end of the book. As I have said in my reviews of other SEALs book, I believe every American ought to read a book like this–especially considering the small percentage today of those who serve. You would get a better picture and a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice of those who served and their families since 9/11. I highly recommend this book.

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NOTE FOR November 13th, 2012: For a limited time, download it for free on KINDLE by clicking HERE.

As I’ve stated in other reviews before, 2012 is the year of Navy SEALs autobiography and perhaps the Osama Bin Laden raid by DEVGRU might have had something to do with this sudden market and interests concerning the Navy SEALs. This is an autobiography of a Navy SEAL that became a Christian, though the book begins with the author’s high school days of teenage rebellion and silliness. I was surprised how much he spent in the book for that portion of his life. Then it turned towards the direction of how the author wanted to be a SEAL, his parents opposition, which led his dad hiring Scott Helvenston to physically train Chad Williams to be ready for the SEALs. For those who know anything about the SEALs, the name Scott Helvenston should ring a bell, since he was one of the youngest member to join the Navy SEALs at age 17 that became well known for the infamous incident in Fallujah when he and three other security contractors were brutally killed on March 31st, 2004. That event prompted a serious Marine assault on the city that April. Williams describe his sadness of the news of the lost of his mentor days before he left for the Navy, then goes on with his experience going through BUD/S. You wouldn’t want to put this book down; every SEALs biography about Hell Week and BUD/S makes me glad that there are some really tough men out there serving to protect our country and national interests. For a man so determine to be a SEAL, the author describes his sudden depression after having arrived at being a SEAL and his life’s downward direction before coming to Christ a crusade by Greg Laurie. This conversion led a radical shift in his life and the chapter on him being picked on and physically assaulted by members of his platoon was an unexpected turn in the book. It reminds us that being a Christian light in the military sometimes is it’s own war zone for the Christian. His tour in Iraq was mentioned only towards the end of the book. As I read this book I realized just how young this author is and how grateful I am for men like him who served in such a capacity as being a SEAL. I appreciate and was encouraged by his evangelistic zeal, nevertheless I am hoping that he grow deeper and deeper in the WORD of God as he ministers to people (not that I have doubts that he’s not, but just praying that he will grow). Too often we can see the Evangelical world be obsessed with young heroes and role models and set them up to fail when we don’t equally pray for them more than praise them. Again, this is a good autobiography and I read it under 24 hours because I can’t put it down and head to read late into the night and early morning

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