Religion and Spirituality

Book reviews on the subject of religion and spirituality.

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    An inspirational learning tool

    One woman's near-death experience

    An Adult Christian Novella

    A couple embarks on a journey of spirituality and emerges with "The Manual for Spiritual Living: The Dawn of Awakening," the first part of a series of books. This book is written with the clear intention to make the world a better place through guided teachings and wisdom. The pages of the "The Manual for Spiritual Living: The Dawn of Awakening" give tools of transformation that facilitate the awakening process that brings out the co-creator in the reader. It removes the veil of illusion and sheds light on the great art of manifestation. The Dawn of Awakening offers unique and different approaches of thinking that allows for a path of taking personal responsibility for each person to reach their highest expression of consciousness.

    "The Lost Scrolls" is by Michael J. Scott. When Dr. Jonathan Munro's house is broken into, and his former best friend and colleague, archaeologist Stephen Kaufman, is knifed in the streets of Ankara, he is thrust into a world of international criminals who will stop at nothing to claim the priceless artifact Dr. Kaufman unearthed - a scroll revealing the location of the missing autographs of the New Testament. But is it the find of the century, or a costly fraud? As he flees with Isabel, Kaufman?s beguiling sister, Dr. Munro finds himself pursued by relentless mercenaries intent on seizing this incalculable treasure for themselves. Through some of Christianity?s most revered historical sites, he and Isabel must race to unravel the clues and find the autographs before they fall into the wrong hands.

    Many believe that God is far from them, but according to Doranda Jacques, that is so far from the truth. She knows God is always with us, seeing our pain and suffering, and willing to help us if we will only let Him by taking the first step to draw closer to Him. Jacques, a born-again Christian, knows the difficulty and the joy in taking that first step. In "Five Steps to Draw Closer to God," she offers her personal stories of her relationship with God to illustrate the five-step path she has found that leads to a meaningful relationship with the Creator.

    Expanding research on the themes of fear, mistrust, and even hatred of women that are prevalent in the Catholic Church and Hollywood. These deeply ingrained attitudes suggest that Catholic women still have a long ways to go in obtaining equality with their male counter-parts. In "Hollywood and Catholic Women," author Kathryn Schleich discusses eighteen films and two television series which were produced between 1943 and 2008. The first part discusses “Nuns and Virgins” on film. The movies discussed begin in 1943, with “The Song of Bernadette,” and continue through to “Doubt,” which was released in 2008. The second discussion covers “Mothers, Tramps and Even Some Good Girls.” The movies reviewed begin with “The Quiet Man (1954),” and go through to “Return to Me (2000).” The third part covers “Crime Fighters and Mob Wives – A Sampling of Catholic Women on the Small Screen.” This section analyzes two television series, “Saving Grace,” and “The Sopranos.”

    In "Are We Our Past Lives?," author Marie Gates discusses negative karma, emotional challenges, and the roles we play. Her book is very informative, and readers will need to read this slowly, jot down notes or questions, and do some research of your own. After reading this book, readers might be undecided as to what you believe - some of us are on the fence. Ms. Gates’ information, research, and excellent writing skills will give readers food for thought - this is a journey all should take.

    In "Giving God the Helm," author Mark Kuhne tells personal stories of adversities, highlighting them with tips, biblical stories and passages, and much advice and inspiration about how to deal with life’s adversities. Central to the biblical stories used is that of the evil Old Testament queen, Jezebel, whose spirit Kuhne sees as an illustration of the spiritual battles humans face, and how we can armor ourselves to overcome the forces of adversity, including anxiety, fear, and depression. Faith is the foremost weapon in the battle of adversity, and faith requires letting God be captain of the ship.

    To align our hearts with heaven we need the right images of heaven. What does it look like? What will we do when we are there? With a fresh approach that dispels our cultural myths and renovates our images of heaven, "Rehearsing for Heaven" by author Mark B. Reed nourishes our imagination about heaven's potential. Sharper images of heaven give us better focus in this life. Written in the format of a stage play, "Rehearsing for Heaven" describes both heaven and earth from heaven's point of view and will change the way you think about the afterlife and your life now.

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