Hope for the Brokenhearted
From Mourning to Morning
By Harry and Cheryl Salem,
Harrison House, 244 pages,
With touching stories intertwined with profound wisdom, From Mourning to Morning by Harry and Cheryl Salem (Cheryl was Miss America, 1980) is an appropriate elegy to their daughter, Gabrielle, who died of cancer in 1999 at age 6. The book tells of the child’s physical struggle and victory, and the spiritual battle and triumph of those around her after she died.
From Mourning to Morning portrays Gabrielle Salem as an instrument of God’s peace and a messenger of intercession that affected everyone around her. Her struggle with cancer cut her time here short, her parents write, but never stunted her calling to impact others. The book is filled with letters from friends and family describing Gabrielle’s countenance, as well as vastly mature teaching on loss, grief and the power of God.
The Salems, who continue to believe the healing promises of Scripture, show readers how to cultivate and exercise true faith and how to grieve in a godly fashion even when they don’t understand their circumstances. The Salems’ book is a perfect marriage of teaching and counseling. Their personal and spiritual strength is exemplified perfectly through their own heartbreaking experience and serves as an instrument to minister to others.
From Mourning to Morning will bring readers to tears and draw them into a fountain of hope and healing regardless of what they are facing.
By Ed Silvoso,
Regal Books, 252 pages,
Ed Silvoso, founder of Harvest Evangelism and author of That None Should Perish, offers in his latest book, Prayer Evangelism, a glimpse into the vision he has been granted.
Beginning with a concerned sanction of the church for the hostile attitudes it often shows nonbelievers, Prayer Evangelism sheds new light on a well-known Scripture. Citing Luke 10:5, 8-9 as Jesus’ model for prayer evangelism, Silvoso entreats believers to speak peace to the lost, fellowship with them, take care of their needs and proclaim the good news–in that order. By doing so, the power of Christ is demonstrated.
Silvoso proves that this strategy works by including rich stories of dramatic changes in people and cities worldwide. Silvoso also exposes biblical truths that have been manipulated by Satan, discusses 10 current and emerging paradigms the church has embraced regarding prayer evangelism, and gives an easy-to-follow plan to implement prayer evangelism.
In using these tools, believers not only should see results but also should be challenged to “love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and love their neighbor as themselves.” In reading Prayer Evangelism, believers will be empowered to begin the process of changing the spiritual climate in their own cities.
The God Catchers
By Tommy Tenney, Thomas Nelson,
228 pages, hardcover, $16.99.
Easy-to-read and insightful, author Tommy Tenney’s The God Catchers reverberates with the same theme as Tenney’s previous book, The God Chasers: to desperately pursue God–this time, until you catch Him.
For those troubled with the assertion that God needs to be “caught,” Tenney clarifies that God doesn’t need to be caught, He wants to be caught. “God doesn’t hide Himself from you so that He can’t be found; He hides Himself from you so that He can be found,” Tenney explains. “He hides for the sheer joy of being discovered.”
Tenney sums up his passion in very simple terms: “Church really is all about Him. It’s all about worship and His presence; it’s not about us and our need for things.” Those who agree won’t want to miss The God Catchers.
A Glorious Church
Placed in His Glory
By Fuchsia Pickett, Charisma House,
171 pages, paperback, $12.99.
Fuchsia Pickett’s newest book, Placed in His Glory, woos readers into a divine romance with God. She imparts a sense of wonder as she writes of God’s glory–present in creation, in the incarnation and in redeemed vessels. After creating a thirst for God’s presence, she exhorts believers to yield to God more fully in order to receive Him more fully. As they yield, they become more like Him.
Pickett says Christians who have yielded have servants’ hearts, walk in humility, are faithful and have great joy. She then describes a vision she had of the church on the Mount of Transfiguration. She says as Jesus shone with glory, so is the church to shine with this glory.
This book is great for those seeking a closer walk with God or a deeper understanding of His gifts of salvation and sanctification.
–Deborah L. Delk
Children Can Praise God, Too
Shout to the Lord Kids!
By Kid Stuf Singers,
Shout to the Lord Kids! is smart, snappy and not too juvenile for today’s hip youth. Parents will sing along without cringing to overly sweet, slick professional kids’ voices.
Instead, modern worship leaders Steve Fee, Candi Pearson, Jeffrey Scott and Jennifer Carroza lead the talented Kids Stuf Choir from the North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., through rousing renditions of songs made popular by Hillsongs Australia, Integrity’s Vertical Music label and Delirious, among others.
“So Good to Me,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “All Things Are Possible” and the title cut all stand out, with adult and children soloists switching off on leads and the choir filling in background vocals and choruses for an enjoyable, energetic blend of live children’s worship.
Shout to the Lord Kids! is a musical praise experience the whole family can enjoy.
–Natalie Nichols Gillespie
Sounds of Praise
By Natalie Wilson & the SOP Chorale,
Gospo Centric Records.
Natalie Wilson and the Sounds of Praise (SOP) Chorale may be new to local Christian bookstores, but they’re not newcomers to gospel music. In their debut release with Gospo Centric, the “girl director” and her choir offer a fresh expression of contemporary gospel music, fused with mature ministry.
Drawing from the production talent of Natalie’s husband, Joe “Flip” Wilson, Girl Director incorporates a wide range of musical styles from hip-hop to stringed orchestration to a combination of the two. But the music merely serves as a backdrop for the choir’s pristine vocals, which shine on “Praise,” a worshipful cut that could be added to church choirs’ repertories.
“Crown,” featuring R&B songstress Faith Evans, is a beautiful ballad that tells of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. And in what may be an attempt to appeal to contemporary Christian music fans, “The Rock” has a distinct rock flavor, complete with screaming guitar.
Girl Director is an outstanding release that broadens the definition of “black gospel” music. Anyone who enjoys good music won’t want to miss this.
–Adrienne S. Gaines
By The Katinas, Gotee Records.
With their sophomore release, Destiny, the Katinas prove again that catchy pop lyrics, phenomenal talent and a passion to glorify God make a winning combination.
The pop-tinged opener, “If You Really,” can hardly be compared with songs from secular boy bands such as N’Sync or Backstreet Boys. But upon deeper listening, one hears the song’s penetrating message.
“Ain’t No Love” and “It’s Real” also are upbeat cuts that showcase the Katinas’ tight vocal harmonies. The release also contains several ballads that usher this band into their deep ministry time.
Capturing the energy of live performances, Destiny is a standout offering that showcases the Katinas’ talent without compromising the message of the gospel.
Hallmark Strikes Deal With T.D. Jakes
Bishop T.D. Jakes, best-selling author and pastor of the Potter’s House Church in Dallas, has reached an agreement with Hallmark Cards to develop a line of greeting cards based on his writings and teachings.
The “Loose Your Spirit: Messages of Faith and Inspiration” line, which developed after Hallmark executives attended the 2000 Woman, Thou Art Loosed! conference, was introduced in May from Mahogany Cards, a division of Hallmark that targets African Americans.
One card about healing reads: “Jesus satisfies every need and every yearning. He heals every pain and every affliction. Then He lifts every burden and every trouble in your life. Lord Jesus, Your loved one stands in need of healing. Please take away the pain, lift this heavy burden, satisfy each and every need. Jesus, bless Your loved one with a happy heart once more.”
The Hallmark deal is one of several multimedia ventures Jakes has pursued recently. The Storm Is Over, the debut release from his record label, Dexterity Sounds, a partnership with EMI Gospel, hit No.1 on Billboard’s gospel charts in early April. The release not only topped the chart, but also sold more units than any other gospel album to hit No. 1, selling 29,756 copies by its second week.
In addition, Jakes’ plays, Woman, Thou Art Loosed and Behind Closed Doors, which he co-wrote with playwright Tyler Perry, have toured 69 cities nationwide. T.D. Jakes’ Touchdown Concepts, a company that produces “empowerment entertainment,” is developing a new play for release in 2002 and working with Matt Crouch’s Gener8xion Entertainment on a film version of Woman, Thou Art Loosed.
–Adrienne S. Gaines
Discovering Your Heart’s Desire
John Eldredge is focused on getting to the heart of the matter. His books, The Sacred Romance (written with Brent Curtis), The Journey of Desire and Wild At Heart (all with Thomas Nelson), encourage readers to get back to the center of it all: the human heart.
“Everything that makes a life worth living flows from the heart,” Eldredge says. “Sadly, a loss of heart describes more Christians now than any other term. We’ve lost the life of freedom and adventure with God and grown weary through a Christianity of duty and chores.”
Yet the journey to get back in touch with all your God-designed desires isn’t easy. That’s why Eldredge is planning workbooks for Wild At Heart and The Journey of Desire. He completed a workbook for The Sacred Romance last year and discovered that people benefited from the extra guidance.
“People are thirsty… really thirsty,” Eldredge says. “We just weren’t made to spend our days under a heavy burden of chores, with broken hearts right below the surface. We don’t long for a set of doctrines or a list of things to do…we long for God, and for the life of intimacy, beauty and adventure He meant for us.”
After the workbooks are complete, Eldredge isn’t sure what’s next. “God hasn’t told me yet,” he says. “I can’t just crank out books, they have to come from my own heart’s journey with God. He’s got something up His sleeve; I know that much.”