Saturday, June 4, 2011

‘On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs and Heroes’ by Robert J. Morgan – Book Review

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I recently discovered a unique devotional – ‘On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs, and Heroes’ by Robert J. Morgan.

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Amazing Stories of Faith From Twenty Centuries of Church History. From the Roman Empire to the Reformation, St. Valentine to St. Francis, Martin Luther to Billy Graham, best-selling author Robert J. Morgan introduces you to a parade of preachers, popes, martyrs, heroes, and saints. Intriguing and inspiring stories from two thousand years of Christianity offer a glimpse into church history.
On This Day in Church History is an introduction to 365 of the most remarkable men and women of faith you will ever meet. Simple, colorful stories tell you about history-making events in the lives of people who loved God wholeheartedly. This unique devotional:
·         provides a rarely seen view of believers and their roles in the Christian church
·         offers daily Scripture reading from the Contemporary English Version
·         is a goldmine of speech starters – lessons and sermon illustrations for speakers, preachers, and teachers
·         includes a helpful index of selected topics
On This Day in Christian History brings a year’s worth of insight and spiritual challenge as you learn what some Christians endured because of their love of God.

Here is the biography of this author:

Robert J. Morgan, pastor of the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, is the author of best-selling Then Sings My Soul (volumes 1 and 2), Come Let Us Adore Him, From This Verse, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, and The Red Sea Rules. He conducts Bible conferences, parenting and marriage retreats, and leadership seminars across the country.

I always like to focus on important dates in my life when I review a book that is categorized by date – February 21 (my birthday), June 10 (our anniversary), and June 12 (my husband Fred’s birthday).

Interestingly, February 21 focuses on one of my favorite women in history – Jeanne d’Arc - also known as Joan of Arc:

A sorcerer or a saint? Spiritual forces were active in her life, but from what source? The French called her a godsend; the English burned her as a witch.
Joan was raised in a poor farming family in Champagne during the Hundred Years’ War when England was battling for possession of France. When Joan was thirteen, she was the first of many transcendental experiences, hearing voices accompanied by searing light. The saints, she determined, were commissioning her to save France. She set out to see the Dauphin (prince). He attempted to disguise himself, but Joan wasn’t fooled. “The King of Heaven send word by me,” she told him, “that you should be anointed and crowned in the city of Reims. You are the heir to France, true son of the king.”… (February 21).

At the bottom of each page/date, Pastor Morgan shares a complementary Bible passage. The one for February 21/Joan of Arc is 1 Samuel 28:5, 7-8):

Saul took one look at the Philistine army and started shaking with fear. Then Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who can talk to the spirits of the dead…” His servants told him, “There’s a woman at Endor who can talk to spirits of the dead.” That night, Saul put on different clothing so nobody would recognize him. Then he and two of his men went to the woman…

June 10’s entry is entitled ‘What Grace!’ – which happens to be one of my favorite spiritual topics! This entry introduced me to John Hus:

John Hus, born in a peasant’s home about 1373, worked his way through school and began teaching theology at the University of Prague. He was exposed to Wycliffe’s writings, and in 1402, when he was appointed preacher at Prague’s influential Bethlehem Chapel, his powerful sermons about justification by faith stirred all Bohemia. Church officials grew alarmed by the ferment, and in 1414, Hus was summoned to Constance in charges of heresy. On June 10, 1415, he wrote to his followers in Bohemia:…. (June 10).

I really appreciate this book. I plan to add it into our daily devotional circulation. Although it is not a traditional devotional, it is unique in that we learn a lot about Christian history. It is also very encouraging for the Christian who wants to live an honorable and God-glorifying life.

This would be an awesome book for some of the events happening at this time of year – as a graduation gift and as a great Father’s Day gift. Books make great gifts!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Thomas Nelson and provided by them for review purposes.

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