Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan

The title is telling the truth! You really can understand the religions of the world in 15 minutes a day and even less. As a Christian, I desire to be able to share my faith in Christ with all people. To do so I need to understand where they base their faith and what their beliefs are. I also want to respect their beliefs as I share mine.
I was able to get a basic over all view and not have to wade through lengthy books. The author has done all the hard work and research! Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism are covered in more than one chapter as their belief systems are much more complex to understand. I appreciate how understandable and easy to read the information is.
This book has common religions I was most familiar with and many I had never heard of. I did not even know that Jainism and Zoroastrianism existed! I even learned some interesting information about some of the ones thought I already knew about! From a Christian viewpoint, I was given not only their beliefs, but also their history, and how their faith is practiced. This book such a great resource! I only wish Mr. Morgan had written it years ago!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

The Donkey Who Carried a King By R.C. Sproul

This book is destined to become an Easter classic for families and children! I loved the way it combined so many wonderful lessons and spiritual truths and shared the Easter story in such a unique way.
The story begins when a young boy named Reilly is talking to his father and grandfather about his problem of picked last for games. His grandfather sympathizes and tells him of a little donkey in Jerusalem named Davey.
Davey was sad because he had never been called to do any job. He just stayed in his pen all day. The other donkeys tell him about famous donkeys in history: Balaam’s donkey and the one that carried Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of Christ.
One day his life changes and Davey’s master chooses him to carry Christ through the streets on Palm Sunday. After carrying a king he becomes very prideful and is unhappy with the regular jobs assigned him. One day while working, he witnesses Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion. Davey is upset that the King would have to do such a demeaning job. An old donkey tells him how Christ was being a servant to mankind. Davey realizes if Christ can bear His cross then he can bear his loads without complaining.
Reilly’s grandfather not only uses Davy’s lesson to teach him about being grateful for what he is chosen to play but also being humble and not always expecting the best places. Mr. Sproul beautifully shares not only Christ’s death and resurrection, but also the plan of salvation.
At the end of the book, there are wonderful questions and answers about the story to help children to understand the story and apply the truths in it. I can’t emphasize enough what an outstanding delightful book this is! One every parent and grandparent will want for their library.
I received this book free from the Reformation Trust Publishing in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Cruel Harvest: A Memoir By Fran Elizabeth Grubb

I have read several books in the past about cruelty and mistreatment people have endured during their childhood. I did not read them, or this one, because I enjoy the suffering of another, but rather to better understand how they overcame such abuse and became productive, healed adults.
I must admit this is the best one yet. Ms. Grubb’s style of writing was captivating. She openly yet tastefully shared her years of growing up a victim of her father’s emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Her childhood was made even more difficult by the fact that they were migrant workers, constantly traveling, missed years of education, and no home to call their own. She lost her innocence, her childhood, and eventually many members of her family. I was amazed by her compassion, love, and kindness for her siblings when you would think she would be bitter and self-absorbed.
My heart was broken and shocked at her sufferings at the hand of her father but also the horrible physical deprivation she faced. Her strength, courage, and perseverance were amazing. It seemed every time her life began to look hopeful, things took a turn for the worse. A maternal aunt that should have been a rescuer turns out to be an abuser in different and even crueler ways than her father. A children’s home where she found love and happiness is snatched from her. Her mother who should be her provider and protector abandons her. Yet she never shows any bitterness or resentment. Her faith in God never faded as a child and later as an adult.
Her beautiful spirit is further shown in later years as she not only seeks to reunite with her siblings but also her ability to forgive her father at his grave. Others blame God and grow bitter against Him for such minor inconveniences in their lives. Ms. Grubb’s testimony of faith puts such an attitude to shame. She trusts God even further by leaving tragic unanswered questions in His hands.
Experiencing the atrocities through her eyes opened my own even further to the heart and mind of a child in this situation. I saw more clearly, what they feel but also their deepest longings for a normal life and family. We who have been blessed with loving families and nurturing tend to take those blessings for granted.
This book also alerted me to many subtle signs that a child is being abused that like some adults who came into Ms. Grubb’s life, totally missed. Thousands of children live like this today right under our noses. I believe Cruel Harvest will help raise even more awareness to the plight of such children. I applaud Ms. Grubbs for her transparency, honesty, beautiful writing and sharing a very private part of herself with others.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255