Book Review: “Sherlock Holmes And The Needle’s Eye” By Len Bailey

June 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Len Bailey in his new book “Holmes And The Needle's Eye book coverSherlock Holmes And The Needle’s Eye” published by Thomas Nelson gives us The World’s Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible’s Ultimate Mysteries.

From the back cover:   Embark on a journey through the Old and New Testament with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they explore exotic and spice-laden places in search of clues.

The detective and the doctor travel back in time with the help of a Moriarty-designed time machine to investigate ten Bible destinations, unlocking clues to ten Bible mysteries. The most fascinating crime cases are those that are already solved, those that have been investigated by the police and brought to a swift, satisfying, and almost inevitable conclusion. So it is with Bible stories which the reader may consider familiar and unremarkable. But under close scrutiny these stories give up their hidden clues, their long kept secrets. Like a jewel newly polished, they sparkle and shine with a fresh, introspective light.

While traveling back in time to witness certain scenes, Holmes and Watson unravel ten different Biblical mysteries of which a sampling include:

· The Hanging Tree: Why did Ahithophel hang himself?

· Righteous Blood is Red: Is Zechariah the son of Berekiah or Jehoiada in Matthew 23?

· You Miss, You Die: Why did David take five stones against Goliath?

· Dead Man Walking: Why did Jesus delay in coming to Lazarus in John 11?

Let’s face it The Bible has some stories in it that leave us scratching our heads and wondering just what happened here.  In some places we are left with lots of questions and, most times, there is no place where we can go for the answers or at least some research that will give us a way to make a conclusion.  Len Bailey to the rescue.  Mr. Bailey has given us a very informative look at ten fascinating Biblical mysteries.  And he has given us this look in the persons of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  If you are any fan of Holmes this is the book for you.  If you are not a fan the investigations are just superb.  In addition to giving us a lot to think about at the back of the book is a whole section:  Investigative Study Questions, where Bible verses are given with questions relating to that particular chapter.  Have questions?  Want answers?  This is the book for you.

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: “Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate” By Diana Wallis Taylor

June 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Diana Wallis Taylor in her new book, “Claudia book coverClaudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate” published by Revell takes us back to Biblical times to give us a look into the life of a Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate, at the time of Jesus.

From the Back Cover: In a time of turmoil, one woman will search for love and peace–and find it where she never expected.

Claudia’s life did not start easily. The illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, who hates Julia, takes the throne, Claudia is wrenched away from her mother to be brought up in the palace in Rome. The young woman is adrift-until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea, Claudia does what she has always done: she makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find peace and rest in the teaching of the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?

Readers will be whisked through marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces, and idyllic Italian villas as they follow the unlikely path of a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts. Diana Wallis Taylor combines her impeccable research with her flair for drama and romance to craft a tale worthy of legend.

Rome, the Caesars, Pontius Pilate and Jerusalem.   This is a time for turmoil, royal intrigue, plots, murders and double-dealings.  And into all of this comes a young girl named, Claudia.  Eventually she is married off to Pilate and they travel to Jerusalem where he takes his office.  There the both of them learn about Jesus.  She tells her husband of the dream she had and he ignores her to send Jesus to the cross.   Claudia is only mentioned once in the Gospels so Ms. Taylor had a lot of work to do to give us Claudia as a real person with real desires and plans.  And she succeeded admirably.  Once again Ms. Taylor researched what life was like in Jesus’ time and came up with a full picture of what her life might have been like.  Of course, this is a work of fiction but based on Biblical events and is a sweet tale of trials, triumphs, and love.  And, of course, there is also Jesus appearing in the story.  Want to read a good book with events from the Bible woven into it then I recommend this book highly.

If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to where they are available On Demand.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell.   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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

The Art of the Follower, Using the Lessons of Jesus to Be the Follower God Wants Us to Be – by Dag Heward-Mills

June 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Dag Heward-Mills
and the book:
The Art of the Follower: Using the Lessons of Jesus to Become the Follower God Wants Us to Be
Carpenters Son Publishing (June 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

 As the author of more than 75 books distributed worldwide, Pastor and Medical Doctor, Dag Heward-Mills also leads a worldwide ministry and presides as Bishop of Lighthouse Chapel International, with almost 1,300 churches spread across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Australia, including 63 churches in 24 U.S. states.  Heward-Mills holds highly-successful evangelistic outreaches throughout Africa and other emerging countries and leads a myriad of other endeavors, including a Medical Missions Team, Bible training centers, schools, a hospital, an orphanage, church leader conferences, a host of media outlets including an on-line television site and more.

Visit the author’s website.


Some twenty centuries ago, Peter and his brother Andrew were the first to respond when they heard Jesus say, “Come, follow me …” Since that day, millions have answered that same noble call to follow in his steps.

However, in today’s Christian culture of shallow commitments and half-hearted discipleship, where many believers deem it their right to choose when, where and how far they will follow, unconditional obedience is often perceived as a legalistic and lifeless proposition. In his newest book, “The Art of the Follower” (summer 2013), Dag Heward-Mills, world-renowned pastor, author and evangelist, assures readers of the joys of unbridled pursuit of God and encourages them to follow from a sincere heart of gratitude for his great grace and love.


Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Carpenters Son Publishing (June 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0988396270

ISBN-13: 978-0988396272




Following is Eternally Significant


At first glance the practice appears innocent and simple enough.

. . safe . . . and usually rewarding. But, beware my friend! Following is actually a very powerful practice . . . frequently risky . . . sometimes life-threatening . . . and always consequential.

In everyday language we often hear and speak about following.  Notice these common expressions:

Follow the leader

You’re following too close Just follow me!

Don’t follow me. I’m lost too! (bumper sticker) Follow your nose

She/he has quite a following Follow the money

Follow directions

I think I’m being followed I was just following orders

Follow-up Follow-through

So, who are you following? I don’t mean breaking news, a favourite performer or sports team. I’m asking about the beliefs you follow — the ones that shape your personal values and attitudes. What defines the true significance of your life? Who do you look to for guidance? Which teacher has the answers that satisfy your soul? Whether intentionally or unknowingly, everyone is following someone.

If we’re truthful, the first answer is usually “me.”  I follow me! Indeed, every one of us begins in life following ourselves, our own wants, our desires, our personal passions. Eventually, most of us also notice the value in altruistic efforts that bless others. But, truth be told, without the “feel good” rewards of these activities, we eventually struggle to sustain them. For, at our core we are all sons of Adam and products of “the Fall.” Our carnal hearts march to the drumbeat of “self” — alienated from the Maker who created us to know and enjoy an intimate and personal relationship with Him. It is our untamed “me” — our selfish rebellion — that bars us from this righteous pleasure.

Paul declares in Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, no not one.” The prophet Isaiah penned, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Fortunately, he prophetically adds the solution: “but the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus said of himself in Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” You may have recited from your childhood the familiar words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This promise of salvation — the redemption opportunity each of us needs so badly — was fulfilled in the life and death of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. This salvation gift from God himself becomes real for you when you receive it. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Salvation cannot be acquired by working diligently to imitate Christ. Ephesians 2:8-10 instructs us, “For it is by grace [unmerited favor] you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God pre- pared in advance for us to do.”  When correctly understood, this amazing redemption and new standing with God daily motivates our love and obedience to Jesus Christ.

The true Christian believer “follows” Jesus Christ. And following him is serious business — a life-long commitment to being his disciple as a mature follower. Some twenty centuries ago, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew were the first to hear and respond when Jesus said, “Come, follow me . . .” (Matthew 4:19).

Since that day, thousands of millions have followed their example — heeding Christ’s eternity-changing invitation to “Follow Me!” Jesus is the only worthy one to follow because he is the Christ, the only begotten of the Father and the only Saviour of all mankind.

Over the next five chapters, I pray your mind will be illuminated and your heart will thrill to a deeper understanding of the Art of the Follower.


What Is The Art of Following?

Throughout your Christian journey, many leaders will request your allegiance. Always the first question you must ask is, “But, who are you following?” If, upon examination, that leader’s life validates that he or she is truly following Jesus, then you may follow safely. However, one must never lose sight of the truth that only Jesus Christ can forgive your sins and one-day present you faultless before the Father. So, first and always, follow Jesus!

Defining The Art Of Following

• The art of following is the art of copying

• The art of emulating someone

• The art of imitating something

• The art of trying to be like someone

• The art of reproduction

• The art of cloning

• The art of becoming a double

• The art of becoming a twin

• The art of catching up

• The art of surging forward

Success Follows Following

Children naturally and instinctively employ the art of following. By copying, children surge forward with leaps and bounds — learning to speak complex languages in very short periods of time. Following, copying or emulating accomplishes almost all the learning younger children do.

Following, however, isn’t just a personal practice of individuals. Many nations — rich for centuries — became so by following. Europe and America largely used the art of following to become among the oldest and most prosperous nations in the world. Through emulation, each European country became like their neighbours and developed into an almost identical wealthy state. Their roads, buildings, and other infrastructures are similar. Their banking and economic systems are almost identical. Their military capabilities match. The lifestyles of the people and the conditions of living are similar in each of these countries. Indeed, through emulation, the nations caught up with neighbours — refusing to be left behind in the race for prosperity.

Similarly, nations more recently rich also employed following. Taiwan, China, and Korea are well known for their ability to follow and copy. Indeed, most nations that have become wealthy in the last fifty years are masters at the art of following. These wealthy nations are well known for their ability to copy. Indeed, many of their products are clearly imitations. They produced cars that were virtually exact replicas of well-known European models. The Koreans are not embarrassed by modelling their Daewoo cars after Opel, and the Ssangyong after Mercedes Benz and the Hyundai after Toyota. Through their shameless copying, they quickly caught up and surged forward to become leading carmakers.

In almost every field of technology and endeavour, they have caught up and surged forward, creating wealth that others could only dream of. Those who were ashamed to copy could only stand by as the masters of copying surged ahead to become millionaires and billionaires.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Used the Art of Following

Jesus, too, used the art of following to transform illiterate fishermen into leaders and managers of a worldwide movement. If the Son of God would use the art of following as His method of training, it must be the highest and most superior method of learning, training and teaching.

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