Zondervan publishing

Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala

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By Jim Cymbala

Looking for a book to read one day, on Christianbook.com, I happened to see Spirit Rising was on special. I thought: “Oh neat, a book on the Holy Spirit. I’ve always wanted to learn more about that.” (since in most Christian circles the talk is usually about Jesus or God, but not on the Holy Spirit.) I ordered it, because I wanted to learn more on a subject I admit I’m not as experienced in as I probably should be. When I received this book, I thought an endorsement from Francis Chan was especially interesting so I began reading Jim Cymbala’s book.

Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit is a book, which as you probably are able to imagine it is, about the Holy Spirit. Jim opens the book on expressing a thought which I expressed earlier in this review: various Christian circles neither understand nor talk enough about the role of The Holy Spirit and that needs to change. The meat of the focus for Mr. Cymbala’s book is The Holy Spirit, his church in Brooklyn, and testimonies from a few of his own parishioners. Does Jim speak of The Holy Spirit in a heretical way? And how insightful is Mr. Cymbala’s book concerning The Holy Spirit? Spirit Rising does a good job getting started on helping a Christian become more in tune with The Holy Spirit, but it is a light dusting of the surface readers are craving.

I am glad Mr. Cymbala did not promote anything heretical within his book, because the very phrase: “Tapping into the power of The Holy Spirit” is a risky phrase some might misinterpret as a piece of lingo from the heretical Immergant Church movement. I also appreciate the testimonies his parishioners gave for Spirit Rising, because some are very inspiring to read. My favorite testimony to read was concerning the woman immigrant from Latin America; though at times sad the ending is encouraging. Though these things are good, I also felt there could have been more to this book, because there were some unanswered questions… The book seems primarily focused more on trying to convince you into agreeing The Holy Spirit is a neglected teaching and ought to be further pursued through the example of his church in New York, rather THAN actually teaching you things about The Holy Spirit itself… Though I learned some things while reading Mr. Cymbala’s book, I was a little disappointed that time was more spent on talking about Brooklyn Tabernacle than The Holy Spirit itself…

Book Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


What Happened to My Little Girl? by Nancy and Jim Rue

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I am not yet a father, but someday while I am married I would like to become one. In the past, my fiance and I have baby-sat children of various ages including a couple of tween girls. Like Nancy and Jim Rue, I feel it’s very important for a man to know who their kids are and how to handle them properly without being a jerk or folding under pressure.  This is a nonfiction book specifically written for Dads, both single and married, who have tween daughters. Although this was written by a Christian couple, the knowledge within this book ought to be applied by all fathers.

What Happened to My Little Girl? is a guidebook meant for educating Dads on a girl’s tween phase which is between the ages of 8-12 years old; some might prefer the term ‘preteen’. One good thing to note: never do Mr. and Mrs. Rue suggest there is such a thing as a perfect Dad nor do they suggest their book will perfectly lay out everything about all the little women out there. What Happened to My Little Girl? teaches fathers about what their daughters are going through, a bit of their psychology, things Dads should avoid saying, it also provides quotes from “little women”, and talks about how dangerous the world is for them today. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It was educational, humorous, and I felt sad while reading some of the quotes from the “little women” I had no idea there were so many workaholic Dads out there… I only had two complaints for this book. 1) The Rues barely provided scripture and when they did it was always in the MSG (the message) translation; I’m just not a fan of that particular translation but I’m not a KJO person. 2) They feel spanking is never appropriate, but I feel it is fine under extreme circumstances; but again this is a personal opinion. Despite those two minor objections, I feel this is a great book for Christians and unbelievers alike!

Book Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Zondervan Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Zondervan Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”