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    $16.47 list($24.95)
    1. The Sins of Scripture : Beyond
    $15.63 $12.59 list($22.99)
    2. Captivating : Unveiling the Mystery
    $10.49 $9.37 list($13.99)
    3. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts
    $11.86 $11.35 list($16.95)
    4. The Hidden Messages in Water
    $17.13 $16.31 list($25.95)
    5. No god but God : The Origins,
    $15.63 $12.98 list($22.99)
    6. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
    $9.71 $7.91 list($12.95)
    7. The Four Agreements: A Practical
    $14.95 $13.25 list($21.99)
    8. Wild at Heart: Discovering the
    $12.23 $11.79 list($17.99)
    9. The 21 Indispensable Qualities
    $5.85 list($6.50)
    10. Mission: Irresistible
    $11.19 $6.29 list($19.99)
    11. The Purpose-Driven Life: What
    $9.75 $6.15 list($13.00)
    12. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following
    $23.10 $17.50 list($35.00)
    13. Angels & Demons : Special
    $10.17 $6.89 list($14.95)
    14. The Fred Factor : How passion
    $11.19 $9.37 list($13.99)
    15. For Women Only : What You Need
    $6.29 $4.24 list($6.99)
    16. Man's Search For Meaning
    $16.29 $14.46 list($23.95)
    17. The Present Future: Six Tough
    $6.29 $3.88 list($6.99)
    18. The Richest Man in Babylon
    $23.10 list($35.00)
    19. Salonica, City of Ghosts : Christians,
    $15.64 $6.95 list($23.00)
    20. What God Wants : A Compelling

    1. The Sins of Scripture : Beyond Texts of Hate to the God of Love
    by John Shelby Spong
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060762055
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 567120
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    Book Description

    In the history of the Western World, the Bible has been a perpetual source of inspiration and guidance for countless Christians. However, this Bible has also left a trail of pain. It is undeniable that the Bible is not always used for good. Sometimes the Bible can seem overtly evil. Sometimes its texts are terrible.

    Bishop John Shelby Spong boldly approaches those texts that have been used through history to justify the denigration or persecution of others while carrying with them the implied and imposed authority of the claim that they were the "Word of God." As he exposes and challenges what he calls the "terrible texts of the Bible", laying bare the evil done by these texts in the name of God, he also seeks to redeem these texts, hoping to recover their ultimate depth and purpose. Spong looks specifically at texts used to justify homophobia, anti-Semitism, treating women as second-class humans, corporal punishment, and environmental degradation, but he also delivers a new picture of how Christians can use the Bible today. As Spong battles against the way the Bible has been used throughout history, he provides a new framework, introducing people to a proper way to engage this holy book of the Judeo-Christian tradition. ... Read more


    2. Captivating : Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
    by John Eldredge, StasiEldredge
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $15.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785264698
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
    Publisher: Nelson Books
    Sales Rank: 152
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Every little girl has dreams of being swept up into a great adventure, of being the beautiful princess. Sadly, when women grow up, they are often swept up into a life filled merely with duty and demands. Many Christian women are tired, struggling under the weight of the pressure to be a "good servant," a nurturing caregiver, or a capable home manager.

    What Wild at Heart did for men, Captivating can do for women. This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be. By revealing the core desires every woman shares-to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure, and to unveil beauty-John and Stasi Eldredge invite women to recover their feminine hearts, created in the image of an intimate and passionate God. Further, they encourage men to discover the secret of a woman's soul and to delight in the beauty and strength women were created to offer.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars much needed
    this book has opened my eyes to see the fullness of God and His love for me that is so real. A new way of looking at the simple desires of women and letting me know that I am okay. There is so much good stuff in this book, I'm sure I missed some of it the first time through! I will continue to come back to Captivating when I am going through a time when I forget how God truly feels about me.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Read some excerpts
    This book is definitely written from a very, very Christian perspective.Some people may wish to actually read some excerpts from this book and definitely read the prayer in the back before deciding to purchase it.If you like what you read...buy it...if not...keep looking.This book will appeal to a certain audience.If you are not in that audience there are penalty of other books out there that can assist men and women in balancing the feminine and masculine aspects of their own respective beings.For those who decide not to purchase this book but are still looking for something from a Christian base, I would suggest something by Cloud and Townsend.If you want something Spiritual with a respective definition of the male and female roll, the Hindus may have some very good holistically spiritually based relationship books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Ever Read!!
    I have read everything that John Eldredge has written and have found each of his books enlightening and wonderful.That being said none can top this book in reaching women on a deep heart level.The female version of WILD AT HEART, this book explores the deepest longings of women to be seen as beautiful and to be desired for the person they are.Co-written with his wife, Stasi, for the female perspective it gives a full picture of the relationships between men and women.
    For that reason (and many others), men in particular would benefit from reading this book in order to understand the women in their lives.As the authors write at one point, "Women are a mystery to be enjoyed, not a problem to be solved."This directly addresses the problem most women find in their relationships as they are labeled too much of this or not enough of that (too emotional, too needy, not smart enough, not independent enough.)This book helps both sexes explore how the differences between men and women can be understood and appreciated in a way that edifies both.
    At the heart of this book are the principles at the center of each Eldrege book: that there is a battle for our hearts and that we must fight to regain the person that Christ died for us to be.Take the time to read this book and work through the guided journal when it comes out in July.I promise it will be a life changing journey that will open your heart more deeply to Christ and the ones you love.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Balm for a woman's soul
    "As a new Christian, the first book I picked up on godly femininity I threw across the room. I never picked it up again. In the twenty-five years since, I have only read a few I could whole-heartedly recommend. The rest drive me crazy. Their messages to women make me feel as though, 'You are not the woman you ought to be --- but if you do the following ten things, you can make the grade.' They are, by and large, soul-killing. But femininity cannot be prescribed in a formula."

    So begins (or very nearly begins) CAPTIVATING, written by John and Stasi Eldredge. The "I" in question is Stasi, but it's her husband John you are more likely to be familiar with. He's the author of THE SACRED ROMANCE, WILD AT HEART, and a number of other books that promote an adventurous and cathartic brand of Christianity. Whereas WILD AT HEART tailored that message for men, CAPTIVATING looks to tailor the message for women and is likely to have similar bestselling results.

    But even though femininity cannot be prescribed in a formula as the introduction says, CAPTIVATING's premise is that there is an essence that God has given to every woman. "We share something deep and true, down in our hearts," Stasi writes. And it's this universal feminine heart that CAPTIVATING hopes to expose, heal, develop, and celebrate.

    That this feminine heart needs healing is not hard for the authors to evidence. "Every woman I've ever met feels it --- something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough and I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeing on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone," writes Stasi.

    If that statement doesn't hold water with you, don't even bother picking up this book because it's an observation (and a foundational one for this book) that's only anecdotally supported. If you don't already believe it, this book isn't going to convince you it's true. But if this being both not enough and too much at the same time strikes a chord with you, as it does for me, you'll want to read on.

    When you do so, you will learn that every woman's heart longs for three things: to be romanced, an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and beauty to unveil. It's worth noting that in WILD AT HEART John Eldredge writes that every man's heart longs for three things as well: a battle to fight, adventure, and a beauty to rescue. Isn't that nice of God to pre-load both male and female hearts with desires that fit nicely in parallel three-point outlines?

    Snark aside, CAPTIVATING contains some truly moving stories of women, their anguish, and their beautiful blossomings into whole-heartedness. I especially appreciated a section about emotional promiscuity among young single men and women. And as in the books that John authored alone (or with best friend Brent Curtis), CAPTIVATING's imagery is steeped in nature, also something that I personally appreciate. I feel the closest to God under a West Texas night sky where the stars glitter like so many princess-cut diamonds (though admittedly, the site of Chicago's skyline under a full moon as viewed from Lake Shore Drive has been known to do a number on me too).

    The breathlessly romantic tone of CAPTIVATING will alienate some. But of greater concern to me is that, while Scripture is sprinkled around liberally, the real source material here for making sweeping statements about the needs of women is literature, movies, music, and nostalgia. And while all of these are beautiful landscapes to explore and traverse, given that they often offer potent glimpses of Truth, they aren't necessarily meant to be our spiritual base camps.

    Having said that, CAPTIVATING surely will be a balm for the souls of many women. And if you and/or the man in your life is a fan of John Eldredge's previous books, don't miss it.

    --- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel

    5-0 out of 5 stars It will change your life if you let it!
    This book is beautiful. Take your time to read the book. Let God speak. When she poses questions, take time to let them sink in, what is your heart saying in response? What is God saying? Remember that as you read that it is opposed by the Enemy. If you don't know this already, you will once you finish the book. The Enemy does not want your heart to be alive. Don't let him keep you from all God has.
    One thing should be said. In the book she delves into the wound, much like Wild at Heart. When she presented these concepts in the Ransomed Femininity retreats she made something clear that was not as clear in the book. YES, each woman does have a wound. NO, it does not have to be something that the world would recognize as tragic, just something "tragic" to you. Something that has tainted the way you look at the world, yourself, and God in some way. In the retreats she stated that when looking at your wound that your urge would be one of two. You would either thing that it was not a big deal, dismiss it, or you would consider it so large and become so engulfed by it that you would not truly believe God could redeem it. Be aware of your heart's response when reading about the wound and respond accordingly. I pray you are blessed! ... Read more


    3. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
    by Donald Miller
    list price: $13.99
    our price: $10.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785263705
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-17)
    Publisher: Nelson Books
    Sales Rank: 457
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    “I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. . . . I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.” In Donald Miller’s early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (32)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Real, true and inspiring. Great w/a vanilla latte
    I recently finished reading Blue Like Jazz, and was incredibly impressed with the vulnerability and honesty that was so endearingly expressed throughout the pages. Like many others, I too feel like if I met Don I could sit down and have a long conversation with him as if we were old friends.
    This is definitely the sort of book that I want every person I know to read. As well as every person that I don't know.
    It takes an honest look at Christian "religion" versus Christian spirituality and explores the differences and the way our society has twisted them both.
    Point blank, it is all so much more simple than people try to make it. God loves us.
    Jesus died for us. Jesus desires a relationship with us. Blue Like Jazz is a wonderful expression of this journey and gives the reader a taste of what life looks like when you let Jesus love you and love Him back.
    Thanks so much Don, this book was incredible blessing to me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ.
    In reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, I found myself laughing out loud and being deeply convicted within the same sentence. His words and stories are well chosen, without sounding stuffy, and his message is one which I have long wished to live out. This is one of the first books I have read in a long time that lets a man's faith be lived out honestly, out of the box, and still true to the centrality of faith: a love relationship with Jesus. I felt as though many chapters were telling my story. Thankfully, this is not your typical "Christian" book. Nowhere does Miller try to force you one way or another, but seeks to encourage readers to live authentic lives. Read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites
    this author is definitly one of my favorite authors of all time, along w/ mike yaconelli and phillip yancey. Donald Miller is honest and really makes you evaluate what it truely means to be into Christian spirituality. I love the fact that he tends to break all the rules, such as attending what is known to be the most secular college in the u.s. against the wishes of his christian friends, and how he impacted his friends there. the one story that stood out is that during one of the festivals during the school year when almost everyone on campus is drunk or high, and donald miller and his group of 6 or 7 christian friends set up a booth in the middle of the fair, "coming out of the closet", and declaring themselves as christians on campus...they wrote on the booth, "confess your sins"...but in actuality weren't telling people to come there to confess there sins, but so donald could confess his sins to the people for "being a bad christian" and apologizing for not living the way Christ wanted us all to. definitly for those who are sick of books that don't test you or teach you anything about Christ, but for people who live outside the lines of what is expected of you. i've bought several copies, and i've read it a few times now. give it a try.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I will never look at penguins the same way again...
    This is one of those book. You know, one of those books that you refer to as "One of those books" in that reading it is an experience and it has really spoken to you.
    Not only does Donald Miller have a tremendous sense of humor, he has the ability to find profundity in the most unlikely of things(penguine sex).
    This is a very funny as well as convicting book that will both challenge and encourage you to seek out God rather than establishments and conventions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Better read back to front
    I must admit I found myself growing weary of the author's musings. Okay life is tough and some people are hard to get along with and things don't always work out smoothly. Not everyone writes about it. The book does read like Annie LaMott's Tender Mercies in that both authors are very observant, sensitve, vulnerable and articulate. They also feel free to make numerous derogatory remarks about conservatives and republicans. Seems like everyone is supposed to be tolerant and accepting of one another but those groups are open targets. That got a bit old.

    The last few chapters were much better and I acutally found Miller's comments endearing. He truly loves Jesus and wants others to have a REAL life with Him. Those sections made me go back and read a few of the earlier chapters again in a new light.

    I recommend the book to anyone wanting to get a glimpse into the mindset of many believers today. I think Miller would be a great guy to hang with over a dark lager and a free-wheeling conversation. On the other hand I'd hate to have to count on the guy for anything! Since he talks openly about his love life let me just say I dread my daughter might be attracted to a guy like this. By his own admission he is self-absorbed. The girl that marries this guy better be made of hearty emotional stock. She'll be carrying him with little help in return. ... Read more


    4. The Hidden Messages in Water
    by Masaru Emoto
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.86
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582701148
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-30)
    Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing
    Sales Rank: 134
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Hidden Messages in Water is an eye-opening theory showing how water is deeply connected to people's individual and collective consciousness. Drawing from his own research, scientific researcher, healer, and popular lecturer Dr. Masaru Emoto describes the ability of water to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions. Using high-speed photography, he found that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward it. Music, visual images, words written on paper, and photographs also have an impact on the crystal structure. Emoto theorizes that since water has the ability to receive a wide range of frequencies, it can also reflect the universe in this manner. He found that water from clear springs and water exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns, while polluted water and water exposed to negative thoughts forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. Emoto believes that since people are 70 percent water, and the Earth is 70 percent water, we can heal our planet and ourselves by consciously expressing love and goodwill. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Research on Healing, Consciousness, & Energy
    This is a repackaged version of the research and photos of Dr. Emoto that were originally in a set of books that included a Japanese version of the text. This research has been popularized by a number of holistic health practitioners and new science/new thought metaphysical advocates. Emoto's evidence is very impressive, although I don't think he fully understands how the water reacts to its environment in some instances, such as the response of water to specific words. Words are energetically connected to human concepts, so the word actually transmits the concept/idea/feeling that people associate it with rather than the word actually having an energy apart from the consciousness of those who have used the word. If everyone suddenly decided that "satan" "devil" and "Hitler" were positive forces then those words could become positive influences on water. Water is inherently a neutral compound - neutral pH, etc., which is perfect for transmitting energy and information without corrupting the information. Emoto has done wonderful work examining water all over the world and seeing how water reacts to a variety of environmental stimuli. Follow-up controlled research would be useful to examine how human beliefs, intentions, and consciusness may influence how water responds to various tangible or recordable stimuli. This book is valuable even just for the water crystal photos throughout the book, and should inspire more people with materialistic, mechanistic views to expand their awareness.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pseudoscience at its best
    I first became aware of Dr. Emoto's claims through the subway scene in the movie "What the BLEEP do we know?" I applied several tools from Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit to the claims. I searched the peer-reviewed scientific literature in the PubMed database at National Library of Medicine and, among the 12 million or so articles there, I found a single report by Dr. Emoto in what appeared to be a reputable journal. However, upon closer inspection, the article was described in this journal as a "Photoessay" and did not even come close to meeting the criteria for a true scientific study. If anyone can validate the results of Dr. Emoto's version of homeopathy, James Randi may have a million-dollar prize for you. If you want to be truly inspired by the awe and mystery and spirituality of nature, check out Ursula Goodenough's book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This research shows how intention can change matter.....
    This book will get you to think about how our intentions can change matter. I've heard of a woman that heals only with water in Mexico, now I understand how she can do it. Water crystals are beautiful with good intentions and malformed with negative intentions. Mr. Emoto has proved water's structure can be altered with thought, pictures and music. Imagine what that can do for us considering we and our environment are mostly made up of water. It's an easy read and I highly recommend this book. ... Read more


    5. No god but God : The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
    by Reza Aslan
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400062136
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 554
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction to Islam
    This book is beautifully written and deserves to be the bestseller it has become. Aslan is trying to rescue Islam from the traditionalists who see it as stuck in the time of Mohammed forever. Instead, Aslan says the interpretation of what being a "good Muslim" is has been hijacked by a series of extremists, and now is the time to reclaim the hidden history of tolerance and diversity. I agree with other reviewers that this has a good chance of becoming the standard book on the subject. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars new contender for best introduction to Islam
    The best book I had found that introduces Islam to non-Muslims is Karen Armstrong's ISLAM: A SHORT HISTORY -- until now.Reza Aslan's book is slightly longer (270 pages to 190), but also more thorough and with a more up-to-date and hopeful perspective on the ongoing "evolution and future" of the religion.There are a multitude of prevalent misconceptions about Islam which these books correct, including 1) Islam is monolithic, 2) Islam is inherently violent, and 3) Islam discourages learning and critical thought.There is an entire right-wing fundamentalist christian industry that churns out such lies, and which tirelessly promotes a Holy War against the "Muslim infidels."The Christian fanatics are the mirror image of the Muslim fanatics!

    Aslan is a religious scholar, born in Iran, and a liberal Muslim, now teaching at the University of Iowa.His analysis, which I find quite convincing, is that we are now living through the Islamic Reformation, comparable to the Christian (usually called Protestant) Reformation.Just as many of the early Protestants were militant and intolerant, and engaged in Holy War against what they saw as the corrupt and oppressive Roman church, so today there are similar movements in Islam.And just as those movements eventually led to the Enlightenment and the development of secular liberal societies (which the christian fundamentalists would like to destroy!), so might the militant Islamic movements of our time lead to a similar development in the Islamic world to come.

    Controversial?Yes.Hopeful?Yes.And if you don't find his view of the future convincing, most of the book is invaluable nonetheless for its history of Islam in all its variety.I will very likely adopt this book as a text for either the Sociology of Social Movements and/or the Sociology of Religion next year.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightened Islam?
    The first thing that struck me about this book is how well-written it is. I am a writer with about 5,000 articles in print or online. I'm also an editor, and I am noted for my harsh evaluations of the writing of others--most people simply do not write well.

    Reza Aslan writes well. Extremely well.

    By the time I was into the second page of this book, I felt that if Aslan had written a book about navel lint--I would still want to read it.

    Couple the excellent writing with quality content, and you have a captivating book. When the subject is an authoritative explanation of Islam, the book becomes a must read for two groups of people: Those who are Muslims, and those who are not.

    Aslan takes us on a journey through time. We see Muhammad before he becomes the "messenger of God," and we see his struggles along the way. From this, you can understand how Islam got its start. And then we see the various forces that act upon Islam as a blacksmith's hammer acts upon hot metal, and we watch this religion take shape over centuries.

    Today, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. But, it's also a sharply fragmented religion. Aslan explain the origins of the various factions shaping Islam today. There's a strong parallel to what happened in Christianity. And, Aslan draws on this parallel to explain a core concept of the book--that Islam is far from monolithic. You have to remember that Christianity got a 500 year head start on Islam. Read your history of the West, and you can see Islam along the same trajectory.

    Americans, in the aftershock of September 11, generally felt much of the Islamic world had declared war on the West. In actuality, the war is between Islamic factions--just as there were wars between Christian factions five hundred years ago (and still are, today). The West is, to many of the warring factions, a symbol of power. An attack on the West is a way to demonstrate power to the other factions. Of course, there's also a hatred of the West--but that hatred isn't the core driver it's made out to be.

    Yet, that hatred is a powerful force in itself. Contrary to what many liberals have been spewing, this hatred did not arise from recent actions of any American political leader. Aslan destroys that bit of proganda by addressing the history of colonization--the enslavement, displacement, and impoverishment of millions of Islamic people.

    What about this interfaction rivalry? Islam is beset by three major philosophies. One philosophy seeks to keep the original vision of Islam pure--that is, to not deviate from the teachings of Muhammad. A second philosophy is that Muhammad was not pure enough, and so Islam must become more radical (think of the Taliban, here). The third philosophy is that Islam must change to adapt to the modern world--it must throw off the chains of ignorance and poverty. Aslan explains the thinking behind each of these philosophies, without preaching to the reader.

    Aslan's views come into play at the end of the book, where he ties everything together. But, you don't get the feeling this is the author trying to convince you of his own views. By this point, the reader already trusts Aslan and sees him as an expert. Now, the reader gets the expert's viewpoint on where Islam should head and why.

    The book carries the reader through many spiritually dark places, but emerges into the sunshine of hope. The end is inspiring and encouraging, and it carries a message for people of all religions. It is a message well worth taking to heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Impeccable narration of Shi'ite Islam
    In arguing the issue of coexistence of Islam and democracy, Aslan presents an overview of 14 centuries of Islamic evolution and demonstrates that Islamic debates had long preceded the American experience with more than a thousand year. Aslan does not only act as an unbiased observer of the history of Islam, but also takes sides, fictionalizes when facts lack, and sticks to his guns when clearly dead wrong, as follows.

    1) The author's young age helped in presenting cohesive, extensive, and rich narration of the overwhelmingly diverse cultures. Yet, it also contributed to his overreaching and imposing his own implausible explanation when matters convoluted.

    2) His deeply ingrained Shiite beliefs contributed to his unconscious misinterpretation of the Quran and historic events for the sake of defending Shiism.

    3) Growing up in America has influenced the author's writing style in many ways. He looks at the prophet critically, sometimes casually, other times even recklessly (welcome to America).

    A brief summary of the book is in order.

    Prologue: "THE CLASH OF MONOTHEISM", accounts for the struggle for reform between Islamization and democratization in the Islamic world that led to 9/11.The author dismisses the historicity of Moses' magic of parting the Red Sea, Jesus' miracle of raising Lazarus from death, and the revelation of Quran.A reasonable person would justify the inspiration of words of wisdom yet rejects magic and miracles, on the basis of breaching of reality.

    Chapter 1, "THE SANCTUARY IN THE DESERT: PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA", describes pre-Islamic Arabia when paganism centered on Mecca as a center of pilgrimage and trade. It covers Muhammad's birth and growing up when "Hanifism" was underway to restore Ibraham's faith and get rid of idolatry.

    Chapter 2, "THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS: MUHAMMAD IN MECCA", Describes the religio-economic system in seventh century Mecca before the revelation of Quran in the form of slavery, which Muhammad would soon fight and change, but not before emigrating to Yathrib and building new alliances.He relies on the English translation of Sura "al-Alaq" 96:2, in page 34, and misquotes the phrase "a clot of blood" for the correct Arabic meaning of "suspension" (clot is a dead material). He elegantly shows the mysterious power of Quran in its poetic vocalization.

    Chapter 3, "THE CITY OF THE PROPHET: THE FIRST MUSLIMS", describes how the first definition of Islamic nation, religion, and constitution had all started in the remote oasis of Yathrib (Medina). It covers the flourishing of egalitarian ideals of Islam. Although the author admits to lack of historic facts, he defends Aisha's marriage before age without even having definitive proof of her birth date or that of Muhammad.On the veil issue, the author overlooks the necessity for covering the face and head in the dry, hot, and sandy desert environment.

    Chapter 4, "FIGHT IN THE WAY OF GOD: THE MEANING OF JIHAD", depicts the clashes with Quraysh in defending Medina and shows the meaning of Islam "just" wars. He attributes stigmatizing Islamic fighters as "worriers" and "holy wars" to the Crusades and likens it with the stigmatizing Muslims as terrorists, in the present. He cites the Quranic verse 2:256 for forbidding compulsion in faith and contends that the Quranic order to kill infidels was meant by the Quraysh aggressors but was used by many for personal reasons other than intended.

    Chapter 5, "THE RIGHTLY GUIDED ONES: THE SUCCESSORS TO MUHAMMAD", contends that after the death of Muhammad, Ali was cheated of Caliphate. Although he credited each Caliph for their great contributions to Islamic growth, his bitterness for Ali's fate is evident, as follows.

    1- He claims, on Page 116, that the Quran itself repeatedly affirms the importance of blood relations (2:177, 215). Yet, the two verses from Surat "al-Baqqara" only deal with spending substance such as charity on kindred among others.

    2- He contends that the great prophets of the Bible were succeeded by their kin. Yet, Islam started by fighting bigotry and judging people on merits and deeds not or race or inheritance See Sura "Al Hujurat", verse 49:13.

    3- He accuses Uthman by claiming to be the "Successor of God" by mistranslating the phrase "Khalifat Allah" which in Arabic means "Caliph in the way of God".

    Chapter 6, "THIS RELIGION IS A SCIENCE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC THEOLOGY AND LAW" is the most intriguing chapter in the book. It describes the centuries-long debate on the myths and rituals of Islam. It describes the pillars of Islam and how and why Quran has captivated the souls of billions of people. It also describes the struggle between Rationalist and Traditionalist schools of thought in attempting to reconcile popular and divine sovereignty.

    Chapter 7, "IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MARTYRS: FORM SHI'ISM TO KHOMEINISM" describes the rise of Shiitu Ali in Kufa after the death of Ali and his sons Husayn and Hasan. It describes the emergence of innovative rituals distinct to Shiites that relate to their grievance. The innovation of "waiting Imams", made from light, infuriates Traditional Muslims. It shows how Khomeini like others manipulated the idea of Mahdi when confronted with real governing.

    Chapter 8, "STAIN YOUR PRAYER RUG WITH WINE: THE SUFI WAY", delves into the mystic life of Sufis and outlines its self-annihilation practice as a method of uniting with God by rejecting reason, law, and religion and indulging is spiritual love.

    Chapter 9, "AN AWAKENING IN THE EAST: THE RESPONSE TO COLONIALISM", discusses the impact of western colonization on the Middle East that ignited the struggle between Islamization and democratization. It outlines the movement of Islamic scholars from Iran, India, and Turkey to Egypt and Arabia that led to a new breed of Islamic organizations, in an evolving reform movement.

    Chapter 10, "SLOUCHING TOWARD MEDINA: THE ISLAMIC REFORMATION" describes the experiment of building a state in Islamic cultures after independence from western colonization. It contends that reformation is underway for human rights, pluralism, and democracy and suggests that violent and aggressive changes might parallel those of the Christian reformation.


    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview of Islam
    A few days after I was asked if I'd be willing to review Reza Aslan's new book "No god but God," and before I committed myself to doing so, I happened to catch the author's appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" where he and four other gentlemen were discussing the role of religion in current affairs. The panel included the author, two Protestant leaders, one Roman Catholic theologian, and an editor from a news magazine, and Aslan was by far the youngest participant. I was so impressed with his discussion of the topic, particularly in reference to the impact of Islam on the world today, its historical antecedents, and what is currently going on, that I immediately consented to read and review his book. I'm glad I did.

    Reza Aslan is a brilliant young scholar of Islam and also of comparative religion in general, just the sort that we so dearly need today when there is so much confusion surrounding one of the world's great historical religions and its theological beliefs and political intentions. Born in Iran a few years prior to the overthrow of the Shah and the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, the young boy was whisked out of the country and settled in the United States. Later, he studied religions at Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. At the University of Iowa he received a master's degree in fine arts and served as a visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. In my opinion, one of the advantages he has when speaking and writing about Islam for the American audience is that he is not only knowledgeable about his own heritage, but appears to be thoroughly acquainted with the Western religious tradition and the American culture. This places him in an extremely enviable position for a discussion about the impact of Islam on contemporary geopolitics.

    There is little doubt in my own mind, after listening to many Christian leaders and thinkers expound their views about Islam in the popular press (particularly after the 9/11 tragedy), that an unfamiliarity with the history, tradition, and beliefs of Islam abounds in the United States and, probably, in most of the West as well. (This, by the way, has always struck me as strange since I have always considered Islam to be a "western" religion, along with Judaism and Christianity, as contrasted with the "eastern" religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and so forth.) Anyway, some of the more recent and scurrilous attacks on Islam and its founder -- "Muhammad is a pedophile," for instance -- by some "leaders" of Christian churches, show an abysmal ignorance of Islam and its founder, not to mention a frightening lack of perspective in this age of scandals involving Christian televangelists consorting with prostitutes and perpetrating financial fraud and Catholic priests going to prison for the sexual abuse of minors. I won't discuss the Muhammad-pedophilia issue here as Aslan provides the explanation in his book, but the charge made against the founder of Islam, while groundless and misunderstood, is also very stupid.

    Most of "No god but God" is devoted to a history of Islam. But it must be understood that this is not a singular nor simple chronological presentation. I suspect there's a presumption among most Westerners, and particularly non-Muslim Americans, that Islam is a rather uncomplicated fanatical faith that is deliberately trying to destroy Western civilization and replace it with some sort of theocratic tyranny. Well, Aslan will straighten you about that. Islam is a very complex faith and his history of it is intertwined with accounts of internecine disputes over doctrinal and moral theology, over leadership and hegemony, over traditions as opposed to meeting contemporary necessities, and all sorts of other problems which any movement -- be it political, social, or religious -- is bound to face. These internal conflicts within Islam should not be a surprise to anyone knowledgeable about the history of Christianity. In fact, one of the things that intrigued me most about his account of the "philosophical" history of Islam is how it parallels in many respects the "philosophical" history of Christianity. After all, Christianity is hardly a "unified" movement and hasn't been for over a thousand years (think Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, just to mention three).

    Islam, contrary to the common view of most Americans, is not a unified religious force with a totalitarian script written by theocrats who want to dominate the entire world. There are various factions -- "sects," if you will -- within Islam opposed to each other. This appears to have been the case almost from the beginning. While some factions within Islam have striven to create theocratic states, others have supported the building of democratic, pluralistic societies. Think about the current situation in Iraq with the disputes between the Shi'ites and the Sunni, both religious factions of Islam. Then think about Wahhabism, another faction which arose in Saudi Arabia and is much more "fundamentalistic." Think "Taliban," probably the most extremist of the Islamic factions. Islam is hardly a unified movement, anymore than modern Christianity is. Aslan goes to great lengths in his book to explain all this and does a superb job doing it. And he shows, I think, that Islam can live and thrive in a modern democratic and pluralistic world, without being the "threat" that many have envisioned.

    I highly recommend this book. If there's one thing we need desperately today it is an understanding of other religions and philosophies. Islam is a mysterious faith to many Americans. Fear is most often founded upon ignorance. And there can no longer be a justification for ignorance about a major religion which is so impacting the world's stage today. The world is getting smaller every hour. Isolationism and parochialism are no longer viable options. We either learn to live together or we destroy each other. Read, contemplate, discuss, and understand. Aslan's book is a contribution to that protocol. ... Read more


    6. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
    by John C. Maxwell, Zig Ziglar
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $15.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785274316
    Catlog: Book (1998-09-18)
    Publisher: Nelson Books
    Sales Rank: 1339
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    John C. Maxwell offers lively stories about the foibles and successes of Lee Iacocca, Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, andElizabeth Dole in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Readerscan expect a well-crafted discussion that emphasizes the core attitudesand visions of leadership. Maxwell uses the same tell-it-like-it-isapproach that he honed in the bestselling Developing the Leader Within You. For instance, when explaining "The Law of Influence," Maxwell states that "job titles don't have much valuewhen it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointedor assigned. It comes only from influence and that can't be mandated."Even after Princess Diana was stripped of her title, Maxwell says shewas still able to lead a global effort toward banning land minesbecause of her sophisticated ability to influence others.

    If readersare looking for a step-by-step formula, Maxwell's list of "laws" willprobably seem too chatty and anecdote driven. There are no specifictips on what readers can do during the next workday to help them becomestronger leaders. On the other hand, Maxwell's background as a pastorgives him an inspirational voice and a spiritual context to leadershipthat many business and church leaders appreciate. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

    Reviews (138)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good beginning
    I liked the book, but like others I was looking for more application than theory. If you can get past Maxwell's logic on how the examples explain EVERYTHING and determine how to apply the laws to your own situation you will do well to read the book. One reason his book doesn't explain how to apply the laws is because he has published numerous video tapes, audio tapes, and other books that you can buy which do explain how to apply them. In the video series on this book each of the "21 Laws" has references listed (which are published by Maxwell, imagine that)which cost hundreds of dollars. If you bought all of them they would cost almost $3000! He has a good system but it is very expensive. THe book is not meant to teach you everything, it is only a beginning. Learning leadership takes a lot of time and money if you are going to learn it from Maxwell.

    If he put everything into one book it would be a VERY BIG BOOK and Maxwell wouldn't make as much money as he does from the complete series......

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book offers a background for successful leadership.
    John Maxwell's hard cover is available on audio cassette. It was a pleasure to listen to it in the car on my way to work. It is filled with bits of wisdom I found very valuable to have in my thinking. The narrator has a steady, pleasant voice. He explains each of the Laws clearly and understandably one at a time, thus allowing the listener to pause at each new law to reflect.

    There are many references to founders of popular businesses. I could relate to his success stories of well known companies like McDonald's or Apple Computer.

    Maxwell is himself a minister of a church which he built successfully using the laws he describes. Because he is a minister, he has the ability to communicate in layman's terms. The story like manner in which the book is written allows for stress-free listening and easy learning.

    I would recommend this book as an excellent supplement to any class in leadership skills or mentoring. It gives the reader a broad base to rely on when dealing with the long range goals.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The reality of leading in business
    This is an excellent book of legendary leaders and management. We gain the opportunity to see the "big picture", and learn from the successes and failures of others. If you believe that we should always be surrounding ourselves with more wise and experienced people, then this book will make sense to you. I will reiterate that this is not a step-by-step, tips, tricks, or get rich tomorrow book. Whether, you are an entrepreneur or climbing the corporate ladder, this book will help with your vision and relationships in business.

    3-0 out of 5 stars On The Soap Box
    Zig Ziglar has some good ideas, but the overall advice in this book doesn't offer clear tips to improve leadership skills in the short term. With elections drawing near, it reminds me of a dry, rambling political platform. Check out Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life, it has practical every day advice on how to be the leader of your own life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most concise and applicable book on leadership
    This book is the best book on leadership i've ever read. It seems to me that the negative reviewers of this book misunderstood this book. The book is not meant to go step by step through all 21 laws. The book is meant to tell you what the laws are of leadership, it's ur responsibility to find out how you can use these laws in your life. Honestly the laws are practical and simple and they can be implemented as soon as u understand them just by the way u speak , how much u read, how many seminars you attend and audio training material you listen to. All those things will help increase your lid of leadership but that won't happen until you know what u need to work on and this book pinpoints what a true leader is and does in the world as we know it. ... Read more


    7. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
    by Don Miguel Ruiz
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1878424319
    Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
    Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing
    Sales Rank: 196
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    Sit at the foot of a native elder and listen as great wisdom of days long past is passed down. In The Four Agreements shamanic teacher and healer Don Miguel Ruiz exposes self-limiting beliefs and presents a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors. Full of grace and simple truth, this handsomely designed book makes a lovely gift for anyone making an elementary change in life, and it reads in a voice that you would expect from an indigenous shaman. The four agreements are these: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. It's the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering. --P. Randall Cohan ... Read more

    Reviews (351)

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Hocus Pocus.
    So many "self-help" books are pure rhetorical tripe. Common sense, good manners, and sensible actions regurgitated. In "The Four Agreements," Ruiz does not break new ground but the simplistic and thoughtful nature of his message make this book a winner.

    Let's face it, experience and iteration (practice) will propel one toward their stated goals with certainty. To point, the four agreements, as simple as they may be, are tantamount to successful achievement of personal and/or professional goals:

    1) Be impeccable with your word - keep your word or your reputation will fail.
    2) Don't take anything personally - tough act to muster at times but possible (besides, its good for the soul).
    3) Don't make assumptions - those who assume will lose the benefit of fact and learning; check your facts--learn what is necessary.
    4) Always do your best - this is the most simplistic of the agreements but one that we all have a tendency, at one time or another, to allow to lapse; if you decide to undertake something, make it YOURS!

    So many people who read books such as this or "Who Moved My Cheese" (self-help genre) attempt to pick apart the conceptual nature of the message whether simple or complex. Certainly, many books of this ilk are not worth the paper they're written on but when you find a message that speaks to your intellectual being as well as your soul, you'd better listen. Riuz's message is poignant; follow these simple rules and create your own happiness.

    This isn't a "cure-all" book. If you read it without concurrent introspection, then you've done nothing more than read a short book espousing basic vitues. However, if one reads this book with an open mind and the congruous search for excellence, this will be a truly powerful experience. If one does not, then one has lost the message behind the words. Don't read the WORDS, absorb the MESSAGE!

    Jump in, both feet. You'll not be sorry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom for modern days.
    What a great book! "The Four Agreements" flows with a simplicity and honesty that caught my attention. I came away from this book feeling more at ease in myself. Perhaps the most powerful passage in the book for me was "Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are." I hadn't looked at this idea before, and when I checked with myself I found it to be true. Miguel Ruiz's book does a great job of describing the process through which we lose sight of our true selves. After that, Ruiz outlines the four agreements you can make with yourself to have a fulfilling life. They are simple and powerful and they can make a a great difference in the quality of your life.

    Gladly enough, when I found this book on Amazon and read the reviews to check it out, I saw a review for another book which I bought as well. It is Ariel and Shya Kane's "Working of Yourself Doesn't Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation." This book is about having a magnificent life and nothing less. And while it seems too good to be true, I found that the three principles of transformation the Kanes talk about touched me so profoundly that I HAVE discovered my own magnificence. No kidding! Just by being in the moment, life becomes magical. By becoming aware of the mechanical behaviors that keep us out of the moment, we regain our original freedom. My work is easier and I feel more connected to the people in my life. Read this book and the presence of the Kanes will seep through and you'll feel how true and powerful their words are, and how deeply they care about people and about the often-missed possibility of living with immeasurable joy, wellness, relationship, and satisfaction.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Agreements for Life
    This is a beautifully written book coming from the sincere and simple yet profound wisdom that will help many people if applied. I found this to be among the few books I have purchased where the solutions for humanity are filled with compassion, inspiration and expansive wisdom as well as compassion.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good ideas..remedial delivery...
    I enjoyed the book, but it was very repetitive and a little simplistic. Lots nifty ideas with a few interesting metaphors and insights... The book doesn't provide many revelations (if any). It mostly serves to re-enforce what we already know is right and true. We've all heard a million versions of the ideas delivered in this book. Stuff like:

    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say"
    "Assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME"

    You get the idea... Read this book as a reminder. Read it to gain an alternate perspective. I would recommend it to anyone who is on a path to self-discovery. Remedial or not, the toltec perspective referenced in this book is a valuable one...

    One thing I've noticed about most of the negative reviews. They all seem a little bit angry. Perhaps too angry to be receptive to a book with such a positive spin...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Making Assumptions
    By implementing the four agreements into my daily life I have been transformed. I took back my power by being able to 'see' other peoples parasite when it was exposed to me. I have been handling every situation in my life now with one of the agreements. I also recommend reading Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life by JoAnna Carey. ... Read more


    8. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul
    by John Eldredge
    list price: $21.99
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785268839
    Catlog: Book (2001-04-03)
    Publisher: Nelson Books
    Sales Rank: 418
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    If Christian men are going to change from a pitiful, wimpy bunch of "really nice guys" to men who are made in the image of God, they must reexamine their preconceptions about who God is and recover their true "wild" hearts, writes bestselling author John Eldredge in Wild at Heart: Discovering a Life of Passion, Freedom, and Adventure. Eldredge throws down the gauntlet--men are bored; they fear risk, they refuse to pay attention to their deepest desires. He challenges Christian men to return to authentic masculinity without resorting to a "macho man" mentality. Men often seek validation in venues such as work, or in the conquest of women, Eldredge observes. He urges men to take time out and come to grips with the "secret longings" of their hearts. Although the book succeeds best in its slant toward a male audience, it also strives to help women understand the implications of authentic masculinity in their relationships with men. Eldredge frames the book around his outdoor experiences and appealing anecdotes about his family, sprinkling the text with touches of humor and overlying everything with heartfelt passion. Even as he mixes eclectic ideas about masculinity from popular movies such as Braveheart with classic words from Oswald Chambers, and lyrics from the Dixie Chicks with stories from the Bible, he points to only one answer for men searching for their true wildness of heart. Writes Eldredge, "The only way to live in this adventure ... with all its danger and unpredictability and immensely high stakes ... is in an ongoing, intimate relationship with God." --Cindy Crosby ... Read more

    Reviews (310)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Radically Refreshing & Biblically Grounded
    John Eldredge's WILD AT HEART is one of the most refreshing and radical books that I have read. Why are so many men unhappy, un-fulfilled, in jobs they hate, and in marriages that are dead? WILD AT HEART seeks to answer those questions and restore the passion and God-given masculinity that so many men in today's world, and church, are missing.

    Some wrongly criticize WILD AT HEART, believing Eldredge is offering up macho, dim-witted masculine bravado, or they believe that this work will be a free pass for men to leave marriages in the dust on a search for lost dreams. Eldredge will have none of that, and says himself in the book that such men are "deceived about what it is they really want, what they are made for." Don't be fooled by the various criticisms that ignore Eldredge's real meaning. A real man's desires are shaped by the Lord.

    Instead, WILD AT HEART is about restoring a Godly dream in the soul of a man. A desire to truly be a man, rather than a softened-neutered-nice-but-restrained-guy that the world has somehow dictated that Christian males should be. Nice men may be socially acceptable but in creating them we have snuffed out the very fire that God would have us fan in our pursuit of Him.

    This is an attempt to re-kindle that flame. To restore the three longings that are at the core of each man: a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. Eldredge's arguments are firmly planted in Biblical principles, as well as his past personal experience. His writing style is very easy going, and he uses a lot of illustrations from popular culture, which makes the reading fun. I believe this book is an awesome wake up call to the church. For too long men have weakened themselves by ignoring our God-created passions. WILD AT HEART shows us how to restore them, and challenges us to take the right risks and live the adventure. It may be a bit scary (after all, did God give Abraham a risk-free offer on his call to leave Ur?), but there's no other way to reach the real fulfillment that God would have us find. I'm not a big fan of "men's books," but this is one that I am so glad that I did not miss. You shouldn't either. FIVE STARS.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Read For Men...and Women
    Following closely on the heels of his magnificent *Journey of Desire*, John Eldredge has written the "men's book" of the ages. In addition, female readers will not only gain insight into masculinity but will discover much about themselves and how God - and their men - play a role in their own personal dramas.

    Much will be said and written about this book, but one aspect that merits particular emphasis is Eldredge's uncanny ability to discern from the play of children the immense "Story" that God has placed humanity in - a story filled with heroes and villains, damsels in distress, sacrifice, and a happily everafter. The author demonstrates to the reader how little boys and girls innately understand the power of (and need for) a "battle to be fought, an adventure to be experienced, and a Beauty to be won." Such is the life at the heart of the Christian gospel. After all, Jesus himself said regarding children, "of such is the kingdom of heaven."

    Another key tenant of the book is that men and women must go to God individually, and not to each other, to gain validation. Eldredge stresses that true masculinity is "bestowed" from father to son. He poignantly explains, too, how Christ can take up the "initiation" of a wounded man into the fulness of masculinity (a special highlight is his inclusion of Ezra Pound's forgotten poem "The Goodly Frere", which offers an engagingly different picture of Jesus).

    Along the way Eldredge summarily debunks the "precept and principle" philosophies (which includes Promise Keepers) that have unwittingly robbed the Christian faith of its vitality. No "twelve steps" here - the focus is on life, not formulas. Filled with humor and remarkable frankess, this is a heart-warming challenge to join God in a wild, gut-wrenching, but ultimately triumphant battle.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Has its moments, but mostly empty
    As much as John Eldridge holds himself out to be an example of "wild Christian men" I found myself not liking him very much at all. In one key passage, he describes wanting to walk out on his own wedding. The purpose of the passage is to illustrate (unconvincingly) that he was under the influence of Satan and therefore was able to call on Christ to make his wife seem appealing again.

    Satan turns men into creeps, Jesus pulls them out. That's the underlying theme of the book, and in essence that's probably a truthful statement. But why oh why does Eldridge keep holding himself up as a role model when he's so obviously not an admirable character?

    Wild At Heart could just as easily be titled, "My Fantasy Life as a Burly Film Character." Towards the end he even describes his wife gifting him with a sword, along with a message describing him as a Braveheart. So the man went to grad school on someone else's dime and became a counselor... yay. That's hardly wild.

    The book does have some inspirational quotes, but mostly it's just phoney self-inflation. Eldridge comes across as the "poser" he so often denigrates in the text.

    Read it, but only with a critical eye.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life changing and Fresh
    Wild at Heart is by far the most life-changing, "hit the nail on the head" book I have ever read. John Eldredge offers up a thoughtful analysis of where men, especially Christian men, are today and what the heck is wrong. Before reading this book, I understood that there was a "boredom" in the hearts of most men. They are confined to a life of office work and an unwillingness to step outside of the box. Eldredge explained this notion to me and elaborated on it in his book, and I am confident that the Holy Spirit was talking through him when he wrote it. Eldredge shows how men try to force themselves into a safe world and how it ultimately leads to pain, sorrow, and sin. What he explains is that with Christ we are FREED from this and REGENERATED into a person who's mission is to follow Jesus into the wild of the world, into the dangerous parts. Perhaps his best connection, to me, is when he relates how C.S. Lewis depicted Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia as a lion who was not safe but good down to the bone. While some critics of the book bring up valid concerns, they wholly skip around what Eldredge is REALLY saying. Read the book, pray about it, and judge for yourself. God willing, I believe you will be a changed man (or woman!) afterward.

    5-0 out of 5 stars John Eldridge is JUST a man
    Please Ignore the "Star" rating - how unreal is this?

    Hello - Reading Wild at heart for me has been an inspiration. Now my belief for where exactly inspiration comes from is my own so I don't claim anyone else will have the same experience from reading this book. I wont say here what the book is about as the other reviews will explain and the only way to really know is to read this book. What I will say is that John Eldridge is just a man and not perfect so don't expect this text to be so in every way. This book contains many references to Art and popular film as well as bible text including his and other thelogians interpretations. It is clearly written, non judgemental and challenges our everyday lives and culture. Eldridge uses biblical context rather than single bible verse to explain points, something I cherish as translation can sometimes overshadow meaning. ... Read more


    9. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow
    by John C. Maxwell
    list price: $17.99
    our price: $12.23
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785274405
    Catlog: Book (1999-06-22)
    Publisher: Nelson Books
    Sales Rank: 1733
    Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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    Why do some people consistently inspire others to follow their lead? According to John C. Maxwell, author of 24 books and a regular speaker on the topic, it's the "character qualities" they possess. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Maxwell identifies these top traits as character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability, and vision--and then defines them in ways that readers can absorb and utilize. Each is covered in a separate chapter opening with a high-concept definition and continuing with relevant anecdotes, details on its meaning, suggestions for further reflection, and exercises for improvement. For example, in the section on vision ("You can seize only what you can see"), Maxwell describes how Walt Disney initially developed the theme-park concept after accompanying his daughters to a fun-filled but rather shabby amusement park. He then analyzes how Disney's resultant projects drew on his personal history while meeting other's needs, and explains how readers must "listen to several voices" to develop successful foresight in a similar way. Finally, Maxwell suggests methods to articulate these visions and measure their implementation. --Howard Rothman ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    4-0 out of 5 stars leadership simplified
    Written to complement The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, this book will help you identify and develop the personal qualities you need to become a more effective leader.

    Maxwell does an excellent job of getting to the heart of each quality in a few short pages. He starts with two relevant quotations to start you thinking. He then gives you a short real-life example of that particular quality in action.

    He breaks each principle down into specific applications, gives you a brief period where you can assess your own effectiveness, offers you concrete ways to improve yourself, and wraps each chapter up with a profound thought that will stay with you long after you have closed the cover.

    What you get out of this book depends on how you read it. This is a very simple read, and you may be tempted to race through it and miss some key points. Maxwell rightly suggests that you walk through each quality methodically, giving it the attention that it warrants based on your current level of competence.

    While the material warrants five stars, some spelling mistakes and the author's use of his own quotes dropped it down a notch for me. Otherwise, an excellent handbook for improving your personal leadership qualities.

    Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory

    5-0 out of 5 stars MAXWELL HAS A WINNING COMBINATION!
    Of all the books available on leadership, I have found this to be one of the best, and leadership is part of what I teach through my business management courses. This is by no means one of the lengthiest books or most in-depth books, but it says more in 157 pages than others say in 400 pages. The easy-flowing writing style creates an enjoyable reading experience which does not take an extensive amount of thought or time to comprehend. The end result is an accomplished, basic book served in a professional style.

    The author uses these twenty-one qualities for the basis of successful leadership: character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, attitude, problem-solving, relationship, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability and vision. What a sensational, winning combination! Each of these twenty-one components is discussed separately. While all of these elements are critical for strong leadership, if I had to narrow the scope down to five areas of particular benefit, it would be the ones on character, competence, listening, generosity and self-discipline. I particularly liked Maxwell's straight-forward approach and positive attitude exhibited throughout the book. One other book that rated at the top of my list, and one I would also highly recommend, is a favourite, all-time classic, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spot on!
    This is one of the best books on leadership I have read. It gives specific examples and motivational thoughts as to what it takes to live the life of a leader.

    The book is an easy read and can be used as part of a 21 day/week/month program to apply the morsals and maxims of leadership Maxwell provides.

    Now that my copy is all marked up, I can't wait to share it with my employees!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Qualities Every Leader Needs to Know and Apply
    I genuinely like this book because it causes the reader to BE the qualities of a leader. It addressed character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self discipline, servanthood - to get ahead put others first, teachability - keep leading - keep learning, and vision.

    This book will show you that every leader is a leader first to themselves, by integrating the above qualities into our consciousness, and walking our talk with others, and especially within our own selves.

    I recommend that the reader seeks to BE these qualities, and to integrate them into a positively focused life - from the inside out.

    This book is a wonderful contribution to embrace the highest qualities of genuine leadership, sans the ego's need to try to get others to follow you, but simply to be joyously immersed in BEING you.

    Highly recommended to bring out the leader in you.
    Barbara Rose, author of 'If God Was Like Man: A Message from God to All of Humanity' and "Individual Power: Reclaiming Your Core, Your Truth, and Your Life'

    5-0 out of 5 stars Foundational Leadership Information
    Dr. John Maxwell offers clearly defined and timely advice for leaders. This resource is based on ethical leadership and other foundational truths. You may refer to this motivational and inspiring resource numerous times in your career.

    Kenneth McGhee - Author
    Eleven Leadership Tips For Supervisors ... Read more


    10. Mission: Irresistible
    by Lori Wilde
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446615153
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Warner Forever
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    Book Description

    PR specialist Cassie Cooper loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned party. And the masquerade ball at the museum is her best yet. But one minute she's chatting with a mummy, and the next a legendary amulet is stolen partically from under her nose. There are times when a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. To find the artifact and save her job, Cassie turns to her nemesis: Dr. Harrison Standish. Standoffish as she likes to call him.

    Archaelogist Harrison has all the intensity of Indiana Jones, but his no-need-for-romance attitude could use some adjustment. Who knew it would happen while had and Cassie are chasing leads, dodging bad guys, and racing against the clock. Just when he needs his full attention on their mission, he's having the damnest time keeping his mind---and his hands--off her. They still have a shot at recovering the amulet but when it comes to Cassie, Harrison's already a goner. ... Read more


    11. The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
    by Rick Warren
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $11.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0310205719
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 47
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The spiritual premise in The Pupose-Driven Life is that there are no accidents---God planned everything and everyone. Therefore, every human has a divine purpose, according to God's master plan. Like a twist on John F. Kennedy's famous inaugural address, this book could be summed up like this: "So my fellow Christians, ask not what God can do for your life plan, ask what your life can do for God's plan." Those who are looking for advice on finding one's calling through career choice, creative expression, or any form of self-discovery should go elsewhere. This is not about self-exploration; it is about purposeful devotion to a Christian God. The book is set up to be a 40-day immersion plan, recognizing that the Bible favors the number 40 as a "spiritually significant time," according to author Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, touted as one of the nation largest congregations. Warren's hope is that readers will "interact" with the 40 chapters, reading them one day at a time, with extensive underlining and writing in the margins. As an inspirational manifesto for creating a more worshipful, church-driven life, this book delivers. Every page is laden with references to scripture or dogma. But it does not do much to address the challenges of modern Christian living, with its competing material, professional, and financial distractions.Nonetheless, this is probably an excellent resource for devout Christians who crave a jumpstart back to worshipfulness. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

    Reviews (548)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Supplement to the Bible for Direction and Purpose!
    Rick Warrren's new book is an excellent read for the person who desperately seeks direction and purpose for life. At the outset, Warren challenges us to believe that we were created for a far greater purpose than just the pursuit of happiness.

    The text is designed to be a 40-day ( a significant number in the Bible) devotion covering a particular topic and with a relevant Bible verse. Each chapter is around 10 pages and covers five major purposes: 1) You were planned for God's pleasure, 2) You were formed for God's family, 3) You were created to become like Christ, 4) You were shaped for serving God, and 5) You were made for a mission.

    Warren's purpose is to move the reader from a realization of being loved by God to challenging the reader to express gratitude by loving God and serving others in Jesus' name.

    Some of the more compelling topics covered were: developing a friendship with God (yes indeed, God wants to be your Friend!), finding a church and fellowship to belong to, dealing successfully with temptation, understanding how God shaped you, thinking like a servant, balancing your life, and living to please God and not man.

    "Purpose Driven Life" is helpful in that it validates what the Bible already said thousands of years ago. I am now in the process of writing what I believe to be God's purpose in my life. From now on, Lord willing, I will read this book starting January 1 of every year while expecting to learn new insights after each read.

    All in all, the book is highly recommended and is an excellent supplement to the Bible. Unbelievers will also be challenged to think deeply and critically about why they were created and what their purpose in life is!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding what the fuss is all about....
    I have bought five hardcover copies, plus the PocketPC version (for my daily reading). And I will probably pick up more copies.

    This book helps to focus your perspective on what really counts:

    Day 3: What Drives Your Life?
    This chapter sets the tone for the book and should provide the reader with enough information on what the remaining 37 days will hold, such as purpose giving meaning to your life, simpilifying your life, focusing your life, motivating your life, and preparing you for eternity

    Day 5: Seeing Life from God's View
    Talks of Life on Earth from God's perspective as a test, a trust and a temporary assignment.

    For me, the mundane activities of everyday life, that you would not give a second thought, now take on a new light. The simple act of coming to a complete stop at a stop sign now holds greater meaning and insight to my character.

    Day 25: Transformed by Trouble
    Bring out that everything that happens to a child of God is Father-filtered, and he intends to use it for good even when Satan and others mean it for bad.

    For me, this has been a mind-blower to understand that God has actually orchestrated life events that will strengthen my character, not tear it down.

    Day 26: Growing through Temptation
    For me, seeing temptation as an opportunity for growth in character was freeing. I have always viewed temptation as a deficiency in character, but now I view the decision made at this point to be the true indicator. People with a good moral compass will be tempted, but they resolve it in a manner that will be strengthen their character.

    Day 40: The book ends with an encouragement to create a life purpose statement. How working through a purposes statement can really help align your priorities to reach what really matters to you the most--your purpose or, as others have put it, the meaning of life.

    The books make strong defense for not focusing on the rat race, but taking inventory of your life to find out what really will matter at the end of your life here on earth in order to gain the fulfillment of a life well-lived.

    I hope this review helps to give light to what all the fuss is about...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual
    I usually run screaming from the room when self-help, religious, or "inspirational" reads are recommended by a friend. Usually I'm right. But in this case, and a few others, I was wrong. The Purpose Driven Life may not be the best book ever written, but it is full of some great ideas and elements that get the wheels turning. Certainly it's worth the price of admission. While it's not one of those fiction books that are inspirational, books like "The Five People you Meet in Heaven" or "The Bark of the Dogwood," it is nevertheless a good read and I have to also recommend it. Just don't run screaming from the room on me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful
    I think the reason that some people have given this book 1 stars is because it takes discipline; it takes discipline to pull away from the tv set or the pc and read a good book like The Purpose Driven life. It take discipline to design a life of purpose. It take discipline to practice God's word as advocated by Rick Warren.

    So I guess 1 star reviewers just lack discipline---too bad for them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
    I love this book. I am a Christian, but this book has helped me delve a little deeper into what God means for my purpose to be in my life and road to a closer relationship with God. I found that chapter 2 so far is one of my favorites. It does help to have a friend reading the book with you so you can discuss some of the questions at the end of each chapter, also just questions and thoughts in general from what you have read. This book also helps those who are looking for a different way to do a daily devotional to God.
    Just a suggestion: I went to the back of the book to find what scriptures the footnotes were refering to. I wrote next to eacg each number the book, chapter and verse it was referring to. It made it alot quicker to go through the chapters that way. Instead of focusing on what Bible Warren took the scritures from I just used my King James version. Also in the back are further questions for you to think about regarding each chapter.
    I highly recommend this book to Christians who are looking for a more structured way of finding out not only what God's purpose is for them in this life, but a bit more about themselves. This book isn't just a one time read, it is a good book to reread. It is also a good book to give to the Christian friend or family member that is trying to find their path and their personal journey on their walk with God.
    Take your time reading and enjoying this book. It doesn't have to be read in 40 days. ... Read more


    12. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
    by Paulo Coelho
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062502182
    Catlog: Book (1995-05-10)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 315
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world, and this tenth anniversary edition, with a new introduction from the author, will only increase that following. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (604)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Looking to follow your dream?
    If you are looking to follow your heart in a chosen path or seeking the truth then this book is for you. The book contains great insights and spiritual awareness but is written in a very easy to read style.

    I would strongly recommend that before you read this book to follow the principles listed in the Fit for Life books by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. This cleansing of the body will take several months but it is worth it, as then you can experience the insights and spiritual guidance for yourself.

    Another book I would recommend following the detoxification process is The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy.

    Good luck and God bless.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Oprah, please!!!!
    It it high time Oprah picked a Paulo Coelho. It is so much like the pseudo intelectualism she likes. This is highly recommended for whose have a lot of time to waste. I don't get why people read it with so many good choices to read instead... that's the ugly truth.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Herman Hesse Wannabe
    If nothing else, The Alchemist provided stimulation for me to search out more authentic sources on the topics it endeavored to attack (Buddhist philosophy, Arabian desert lifestyle, etc). And because it WAS a source of stimulation, and because I could not allow myself to group it with the 1-starred Stephen King or Danielle Steele 'novels', I give Coelho 2 stars for his effort.

    Basically, this is a simple story of a man on a journey through Arabian deserts; on his way he meets mystics, women, takes up odd jobs in glass blowing, caring for sheep, and such soul searching enterprises. Suppossedly by the end of his adventurous journey (which leads him to a "treasure") he 'learns'/attains the meaning of life.

    I do believe Coelho was a little theologically confused at the time he wrote this story. His main messages are:
    "Follow your heart", and "Learn the Language of The World"; but see, Coehlo and his main character are Christians; the boy travels through a (mainly) Muslim land, and though he ends up at the Egyptian pyramids, the preachings seem to be quite "eastern" in take (buddha comes to mind). But of course, the whole POINT of Eastern philosophies is that they cannot be described in words (Coelho constantly preaches about how things cannot be told, they must be experienced).

    For all that, Coelho does a lotta telling.

    The language is quite simple, which can be beautiful (read: Herman Hesse); however it comes off as quite redundant and sermonic. Every other sentence contains at least one reference to either "The Soul of the World", or "The Personal Legend", or "Follow Your Heart" with a big fat capital H. By the end of the novel I am skimming most passages.

    The characters are flat (I didn't really "feel" them, what they were going through, and there was no character development), and the storyline resembled that of a children's folktale (I like folktales).

    Overall, it was a worthwhile read given that it only took a couple hours, presented some interesting ideas (albeit, without illustrating any of them satisfactorily), and removed me to the Spanish countryside/Arabian desert for a bit (I am a sucker for folktales, and if this book is nothing else, it would make a BEAUTIFUL illustrated children's book-- I like that).

    NOTE TO ALL Reviewer-Reviewers: Please consider rating the reviews as helpful if they contain pertinent information on the item under discussion, not if you agree with what the reviewer has to say. I've noticed unhelpful one-liners get "helpful" votes (when the reviews were positive), and other, more full/explained (but more negative) reviews get NO helpful votes -- this IS NOT A VOTE on how much you agree with the other reader! Be FAIR :o)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable yet inspiring
    I really enjoyed this book. It didn't bog me down with a lot of details, it told a simple story, with a message. Kind of reminded me of myself and the journey called life that I go through. I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"
    THE ALCHEMIST is the story of a young Andalusian shepherd who pursues his dream to travel to Egypt where he hopes to find a treasure.

    Santiago spent two years at a seminary where he received an education. He left after he decided not to become a priest. He told his parents that he wanted to travel, and his father told him that poor people where not able to travel, unless they were shepherds. So, Santiago became a shepherd and moved his flock of sheep all over Spain. He learned a great deal from his sheep, but he made sure to keep reading and he always carried a book with him.

    He encounters many people on his journeys, including a king, a gypsy and a true alchemist. The alchemist tells Santiago to "tell his heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second encounter with God and with eternity." In the desert he learns to see with both his eyes and his heart, he also meets Fatima and falls in love.

    This book is simply written, but I can already tell that certain parts of the story will always remain in my mind. ... Read more


    13. Angels & Demons : Special Illustrated Collector's Edition
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743275063
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 450
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

    Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn ... Read more

    Reviews (1490)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Angels & Demons - The Best Book Ever
    The story starts with a mysterious murder of a famous Scientific Researcher at CERN. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and an ancient anti-Christian cult's symbol branded upon his chest. Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the scene of crime. He is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati which was dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and deviating from the blind religious faith of the Vatican, is alive and dangerously active! Leonardo Vetra's final discovery- the antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared, only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new Pope. Langdon and Leonardo's adopted daughter, Vittoria, start on an impossible journey and a frantic search throughout Rome's catacombs, secret archives, churches, to stop the dangerous game played by the illuminati. Read this amazing book by Dan Brown to find out more!

    3-0 out of 5 stars An Unfair Depiction of Everyone
    This book is an unfair depiction of Arabs, Catholics, scientists, security officers and anyone else open to naming.The Oriental assassin (wow, that's new) r*pes all his victims, the Catholic camerlengo leaves Langdon to almost certain death, scientists are referred to as creators of demonic horrors like nuclear weapons, and other characters are simply so blatantly stupid it's offensive.Of course, Dan Brown is a master of unfair depictions--the NSA in Digital Fortress is made to seem like a deceptive entity rather than an agency devoted to the safety of human life in America, and in a similar case victimizes the Delta Force in Deception Point.This book is exciting and fast-paced, and all the architecture mentioned in Rome exists, but being a Dan Brown book, it might make you a bit angry at times, at least as long as you live on Earth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
    This book is an amazig architectural and historical romp through Rome.If you love travel or Rome, pick this up today!Ironically,the author gives a full and rich account of the Catholic church and it's inner workings including the selection pf Popes.Very timely stuff!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new look at the Vatican
    This book gave me another point of view about the relationship between science and religion. I have always thought that science doesn't need religion, and that to religion, science is just a nuisance.This book taught me otherwise. There could be circumstances in which science proves an aspect of religion. This book made me want to go to the Vatican City and see all the churches mentioned in the book. It would be interesting to see how much of the book is accurate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Copacetic Book
    I recommend reading William Bramley's "The Gods of Eden" before taking on this book.It gives you some background for a lot of the things that pop up in there.The general themes of the books have nothing to do with each other, but the information is related. ... Read more


    14. The Fred Factor : How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary
    by MARK SANBORN
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385513518
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-20)
    Publisher: Currency
    Sales Rank: 1866
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Meet Fred.

    In his powerful new book THE FRED FACTOR, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is constantly going the extra mile handling the mail - and sometimes watching over the houses - of the people on his route, treating everyone he meets as a friend. Where others might see delivering mail as monotonous drudgery, Fred sees an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those he serves.

    We've all encountered people like Fred in our lives. In THE FRED FACTOR, Mark Sanborn illuminates the simple steps each of us can take to transform our own lives from the ordinary - into the extraordinary. Sanborn, through stories about Fred and others like him, reveals the four basic principles that will help us bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work: how to make a real difference everyday, how to become more successful by building strong relationships, how to create real value for others without spending a penny, and how to constantly reinvent yourself.

    By following these principles, and by learning from and teaching other "Freds," you, too, can excel in your career and make your life extraordinary. As Mark Sanborn makes clear, each of us has the potential be a Fred.THE FRED FACTOR shows you how. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "God works all things for good--even our daily jobs!!"
    If ever there were a 'feel good' book, that is, one that you're just glad you had the chance to pick up and read, this is it!

    Sanborn teaches us to appreciate what we miss in the ordinary course of a working day--the little things-that mean much to others-and even more to God.

    Just as we take for granted the beauty of a flower, and yet fail to see the intricacies of the tiny elements that make it special-so too, we fail to appreciate the many ramifications of what we are-and what we do-in the service of God.

    This book teaches us to look at life from God's perspective--not ours. It reminds me of another wonderful book "WITH JOSPEPH IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ADVERSITY" which in a similar way helps us to see that God is working all things for good in the lives of His children. The adversities, the mundane job we think we have--all things. RECOMMENDED

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
    This book was extremely helpful for me in identifying the importance of passion in my life. Also wonderful was a dvd I found here on amazn called "New Free Sex" which helped me to bring more passion into my most intimate areas of life, without being offensive or pornographic in ANY way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fred Factor hits the spot!
    I just finished reading "The Fred Factor" after returning from a wonderful conference where Mark Sanborn delivered an amazing speech! He truly does deserve to be in the top 20 best speakers in the country!
    I have found that this easy to read book (finished it on the one and a half hour flight home)explains in a simple yet challenging way how to really find purpose and meaning in what you do (no matter what your profession or job), and to live above and beyond that which is expected or required. If only there were more "Freds" in the world! I am thankful that I am married to a real Fred! (Yes, his real name is Fred and his character epitomises this great book!) Be inspired and motivated to enjoy life the "Fred" way! Get this book..you won't regret it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Find your passion!
    I just finished reading The Fred Factor on my way home from a business trip. It took less than 2 hours to read and they were 2 hours well spent. Mark Sanborn does a great job in using the example of Fred to help visualize what it looks like when someone in a very ordinary job takes an extrordinary view of their job. Fred is just a regular person and that's what makes this book so appealing. I don't have to be a super-performer to find my passion in what I do. We all see examples of poor service every day. I train thousands of people each year, many of whom are going through "rustout" instead of burnout. I plan to include this book in some of my workshops. This book has really inspired me to be a Fred to my customers! ... Read more


    15. For Women Only : What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
    by Shaunti Feldhahn
    list price: $13.99
    our price: $11.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1590523172
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-28)
    Publisher: Multnomah
    Sales Rank: 5514
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    Book Description

    What's going on in a man's mind? From their early days, every woman has struggled to understand why males behave the way they do. Even long-married women who think they understand men have only scratched the surface. Beneath a man's rugged exterior is an even more rugged, unmapped terrain. What bestselling author Shaunti Feldhahn's research reveals about the inner lives of men will open women's eyes to what the men in their life - boyfriends, brothers, husbands, and sons - arereallythinking and feeling. Men want to be understood, but they're afraid to "freak out" the women they love by confessing what is happening inside their heads. This book will guide women in how to provide the loving support that modern men want and need. ... Read more


    16. Man's Search For Meaning
    by Viktor E. Frankl
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671023373
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
    Publisher: Pocket
    Sales Rank: 518
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity's life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl's logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl's personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. "Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is," Frankl writes. "After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." ... Read more

    Reviews (174)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Provoke, What is Your Life's Meaning?
    I wish I read this 20 years ago, it would have created a whole new perspective on my life. I won't repeat what many of the other fine reviewers have mentioned, but will add the following:

    According to Frankl, man's search for meaning is his primary motivation for life, not a secondary rationalization.

    Existential Vacuum, in today's Modern Society, we all have basic food, and shelter, we all can survive (thank goodness we don't have to endure what Frankl had to), we are all comfortable in our existence, and yet this comfort creates boredom, and therefore, our search for meaning is even more compounded. Thus is what Frankl refers to as existential vacuum, we exist today day to day, but do so in a vacuum of existence, until we know our meaning.

    Man should not ask what is the meaning of life, but rather BE asked. In response, man must answer in his responsible, to whom is he responsible to, to what, to whom?

    True meaning is discovered in the world, not within man himself. Seek out your experiences, the meaning is out there in the world, not within yourself.

    You cannot avoid untentional suffering, but you can change your attitude towards it, to give suffering a meaning to you.

    Live your life as though you were living it the second time. View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.

    View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? what would you have wanted to accomplish but didn't? what were the happy moments? what were the sad? what would you do again, and what you wouldn't?

    A must read for anyone searching for a deeper meaning in life. The book won't give you the meaning, only you can, but it will certainly help you get started.

    5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL AND COMPELLING!
    I look with awe and reverence at those who have survived Auschwitz and similar death camps and am amazed beyond belief at how they managed to survive not only physically, but emotionally. I do not believe any amount of psychology could fully prepare one for the horrors inflicted on the survivors of such attrocities. Both my parents fought for their country overseas during the World War II and I heard, first hand, of stories that touch, horrify and will remain with me for a lifetime.

    Dr. Frankl developed an approach to psychotherapy known as, logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's motivational force is reaching for meaning. While this book is not one that could be described as enjoyable reading, there is something about the author's experiences that will remain with us long after the book has concluded. Frankl gives meaning to life, despite life's suffering, and in a thought-provoking manner leaves a lasting impact on the reader that could well change the path of direction you choose to follow and how you continue to live your life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars All have a unique meaning to life to personally discover!
    After years of hearing others praise this book, I finally read it for myself, and found it is worth reading! Dr. Victor Frankl, an author-psychiatrist, experienced first-hand the horrible atrocities that were forced upon the Jews in Nazi Concentration Camps, and lived to tell about it. He shares the truths he learned as a prisoner, including man's search for meaning in life, and his ability to survive extreme physical and emotional hardships, despite the odds. In the process he developed a new approach to psychotherapy, known as "logotherapy." At the root of the theory is the value of helping others find their unique purpose or mission in life.

    What was the key to the survival in the Nazi death camps? It wasn't survival of the fittest in the traditional sense of those who were the most physically robust of the human species. Rather it tended to be those individuals, described below, who found inner survival strength as follows:

    (1.) Those who had a meaning in life, a sense of purpose, or intent to accomplish a goal. It was Dr. Frankl's desire to survive the death camps so that he could write and publish his experiences and truths learned through his suffering.

    (2.) Those who had a spiritual belief in God and a faith that there was a divine plan for them. They believed God would help them through their difficulties. Dr. Frankl said: "In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen."

    (3.) Those who had an intellectual life to fall back on (in their thoughts) during the monotonous, strenuous, and most painful times of endurance. He states: "Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain... but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom." This was something their oppressors were not able to take away from them.

    (4.) Those who held on to the cherished bonds of loved ones. Dr. Frankl often found strength by carrying on imagined conversations with his beloved wife who had been taken to another death camp. His ability to communicate his love for her in his thoughts, and receive back her love, gave him the incentive to hold on to life during the toughtest of times. Unfortunately his wife was not able to survive, but he didn't know this at the time. (Perhaps it was her Spirit he was communicating with afterall.)

    I was impressed with the description Dr. Frankl gave of a few of the prisoners, who despite being in a starving and sickly state, managed to go around offering aid and moral encouragement to others. Such individuals often gave of their meager piece of daily bread to keep another fellow prisoner alive. Such selfless service in the face of death, was truly admirable.

    In the second half of Dr. Frankl's book he distinguishes the difference between his theory of logotherapy and that of traditional approaches to physcho-analysis. At the core of his theory is the challenge to help individuals discover for themselves their reason for being, even a worthwhile goal. He quotes Nietzche who said: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Dr. Frankl says: "The meaning of life always changes, but it never ceases to be." This book can be a great resource for readers to evaluate their own purpose in life, and perhaps in the process choose a path that is worthwhile not only to them but that will benefit others as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Both touching and helpful!
    This book was touching to the point that it was painful to read at times. Yet, the overall message of this book is wonderfully exhilarating. Whatever meaning you find in your life is your life. If that meaning gives you hope, you will have hope. If that meaning gives you despair, you will find despair. This is a fantastic piece of existential work! The whole idea in this book reminds me a bit of the concept of the self-system in Toru Sato's genius book "The Ever-Transcending Spirit". Now "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" is a much newer book but it is another truly excellent book that takes these things one step further by integrating these ideas with the psychology of relationships as well as transpersonal experiences. I recommend this Frankl and Sato's book very very much! They are both outstanding!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A monumental work of human courage
    This book would be instrumental to those who wish to understand the greater purpose behind their suffering. The author describes his enduring many horrific experiences of the Holocaust while discovering a greater meaning in these experiences.

    Viktor Frankl believes there is a deeper meaning behind the suffering many continue to experience. He also feels that it's one's personal challenge to discover the purpose behind the pain they feel. While being non-judgmental about human suffering, the author sees our pain as a source of strength rather than as a sign of weakness.

    This book is ideal for those who are seeking the greater meaning in their suffering. While much of his story takes place during the Holocaust, the lessons are universal to anyone who has ever experienced great difficulty. ... Read more


    17. The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church
    by ReggieMcNeal
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0787965685
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-19)
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass
    Sales Rank: 4004
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this provocative book, author, consultant, and church leadership
    developer Reggie McNeal debunks these and other old assumptions and provides an overall strategy to help church leaders move forward in an entirely different and much more effective way. In The Present Future, McNeal identifies the six most important realities that church leaders must address including: recapturing the spirit of Christianity and replacing "church growth" with a wider vision of kingdom growth; developing disciples instead of church members; fostering the rise of a new apostolic leadership; focusing on spiritual formation rather than church programs; and shift, from prediction and planning to preparation for the challenges in an uncertain world. McNeal contends that by changing the questions church leaders ask themselves about their congregations and their plans, they can frame the core issues and approach the future with new eyes, new purpose, and new ideas.


    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful polemic on the institutional church . . .
    If you are follower of Jesus Christ but disillusioned by the institutional church (not excluding evangelical churches), McNeal's book is for you. McNeal says "I am writing this book as a polemical volume. I want to galvanize church leaders to action before it's too late." He then challenges the assumptions made in the current "church culture" which are usually much more about "how to make the church better" instead of how to help advance the cause of Christ in the world. McNeal uses words like "missional effectiveness" and "apostolic leadership." If you feel like something is missing in your church (even a Bible-teaching, believing church) don't miss this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Getting Back To Our Founder's Purpose
    This superbly written book challenges the Church of the 21st century to return to her 1st century roots. In a day when the Church has become so easily distracted from keeping the main thing the main thing (obeying the Great Commandment and the Great Commission) Reggie McNeal through his provocative six questions calls the Church back to it's Founder's original mission to His followers - win the lost! Rather than settling for the status quo, this book challenges pastors and leaders of Churches to again understand the mission and calling of the Church in the 21st century. There is a rising up of leaders all over the world who understand what McNeal is saying and who will continue to be effective servants of the Lord. This book is an encouraging read for those who are keeping the main thing the main thing and will no doubt disturb those who have become sidetracked, and hopefully inspire them to get back on track! ... Read more


    18. The Richest Man in Babylon
    by George S. Clason
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0451205367
    Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
    Publisher: Signet Book
    Sales Rank: 393
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Over two million copies in print of the classicpersonal wealth parable

    Millions have been helped by the famous "Babylonian parables," hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on thrift,financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simple as the Bible's, this modern classic shows the way to the road to riches.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (227)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Old Book with a Fair Amount of Wisdom
    I often give this book out as a gift whenever a person younger than me asks for my advice on money. I always present this book to them saying "if you read it and do as it says, it will work magic." It really contains excellent, time tested advice, and would make a good gift for someone in their early 20s who is on their own for the first time, and struggling.

    The book is a series of parables about money written in the 1920s by George Clason. They were written as individual essays of a few thousand words, but the theme throughout them is consistent -- save 10% of your money, give 10% away, use 10% to reduce your debt load, and live on the remaining 70%.

    The stories in the book are entertaining; they are reminiscent of some of the parables in the Bible, such as the Prodigal Son or the story of the Workers in the Vineyard. I think this is intentional on the part of the author; certainly readers in the 1920s had an appreciation for "old fashioned stories with a moral" that people today seem to have lost. I enjoy the book greatly, though, and any thoughtful person who reads the book should find it interesting, especially if they are trying to get their finances in order.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This knowledge is Golden and Timeless
    This book is so beautiful in its simplicity. It provides the quintessential, capitalistic concept that the majority seem to miss- on saving and investing. This book is not the in-depth 21st century read about investing wisely in today's markets, rather it is the all time read to acquiring and investing your wealth. It shows how everyone, even a lowly trashman can one day retire comfortably as long as he learns the "ways of money". It provides the basic concepts and you apply your current scenarios. Every time, without fail, you will come up with one thing: how to build your wealth. This is the TRIED AND TRUE method to increasing your worth. This IS NOT the get rich quick book you might be expecting. This book teaches you how to save, make your money work for you and in general how to be a lord of your wealth (or wise in the ways of money), as opposed to your money ruling you. Timeless and priceless knowledge that every single person not living under totalitarian or communistic rule should know so that they can seek their own financial freedom.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless, simple truths...
    This incredible little book was recommended to me for many years because of the texts inspirational qualities, in terms of offering timeless simple truths concerning thrift, financial planning and the value of a good work ethic. The formula offered for financial independence is highly practical and workable. Promoted as success secrets of the ancients, the text is written in parable form, similar to the bible, which gives the entire work a credible quality. I know from personal experience, that with persisitence, a good work ethic and a strong will to succeed; one can achieve a modicum of financial prosperity. Which, by the way, includes enjoying the fruits of one's labours. "Enjoy life while you are here. Do not overstrain or try to save too much...live otherwise according to your income and let not yourself get niggardly and afraid to spend. Life is good and life is rich with things worthwhile and things to enjoy." (20) In other terms, the lesson offered is a practice in moderation, not letting one's behavioural pendulum swing too far either way, but earning well and living well in the mean is a key to achieving a happy life. If you read any 'financial success' book this year, let it be this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple wisdom but SO powerful
    First published in 1927 this is a parable, a story set in ancient Babylon, focusing on the simple ways to set yourself up for financial success. Excellent book.
    Lori
    www.communecate.biz

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading over and over
    I think that some people underestimate this book due to it's small size. This is NOT a book that you will want to read only once and put away, you will NEED to read this over and over untill the ideas saturate both your conscious and subscious minds and untill the ideas become habits. Then you will achieve some real results. ... Read more


    19. Salonica, City of Ghosts : Christians, Muslims, and Jews Since 1430
    by MARK MAZOWER
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375412980
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 85118
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    20. What God Wants : A Compelling Answer to Humanity's Biggest Question
    by Neale Donald Walsch
    list price: $23.00
    our price: $15.64
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743267133
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-22)
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 1218
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Be careful. This book is dangerous. It explores with startling freshness the most important question you could ever ask, and offers with breathtaking courage the most extraordinary answer you could ever imagine.

    That answer is so theologically revolutionary and so spiritually empowering that it could change the course of human history. If embraced, it most certainly will change your life.

    There are people and institutions in the world, long in place and long in power, that want neither of these outcomes to occur. They would rather that you put this book down right now.

    It's up to you. ... Read more

    Reviews (84)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great and insightful!
    This book gives us many things to think about.Don't put it down until you read the very last word.Some ideas may seem controversial at first but upon reflection they really make sense.
    Blessed be on your journey to enlightenment and oneness with God.

    4-0 out of 5 stars What God Wants
    This book merits at least four stars simply because of its content.Any piece of work that puts forth this type of message is an admirable one, in my opinion.That being said, there are some inherent aspects of this work that are bothersome.

    First and foremost is the overall tone of the writing.Again, the message is great, but NDW's writing style comes off as borderline overbearing, self-important, and narcissistic.The proclamation of it being one of the most "dangerous" books ever written is self-aggrandizing.Let's be honest, It was dangerous for Jesus, The Christ to put forth this message - to a world that was not ready to hear it - and was crucified for it.It certainly is not dangerous for NDW, who I'm sure will profit enormously (as is his divine right to - and good for him). His ideas of a "New Spirituality" are nothing new at all.The idea that God is a singular, divine, energy that is love, and that each of us is made up of that same energy - in effect that each of us is God, has been taught for as long as there have been people willing to listen.Unfortunately the message has been diluted and changed through centuries of mankind's interest in power and control over each other.

    Another bothersome aspect of this book is the author's failure to give any credit whatsoever to Ernest Holmes and his Science of Mind teachings.The content of NDW's book and Mr. Holmes philosophy/spiritual teachings are essentially identical, though Mr. Holmes was lecturing about this almost one hundred years ago.There's nothing wrong with having the same opinion, but I would find it hard to believe that NDW was not somewhat influenced by Mr. Holmes (especially since he was interviewed by Science of Mind Magazine).

    This - I admit - is like debating over Jesus or Buddha, however.The important thing is the message, and with that said, "What God Wants" is another important work in history reminding us that we are all in this together and that we should treat ourselves and each another with love, compassion, and respect.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The begining
    Thiugh this is the latest of Walsch's books in the CWG series, it should be read first as it provides a solid foundation for all the rest of the wonderful, truth revealing boods in the CWG series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not an end, it's a beginning!
    With all this hype about end of days. All the doomsay and conjecture, judgement and condemnation I thank God for writers such as NDW. Who said that God stops talking to us or only through people (usually men) thousands of years ago? Who says that superiority exists, that some races or people are better than others? Organised religions say such things.
    Thank God for such organistations I say. How else would we be able to see how not to be? Without the experience of relativity or the opposite how could we use this contextual field to experience our own divinity.
    These books urge us to be the change we wish to see in the world, to look around and see the beauty and perfection in all things great and small, pretty and not so pretty. Open your eyes to see God in all her glory, in the eyes of your children and loved ones, your pets and this amazing abundant and glorious realm of the relative we call earth. Lets not consider that it is over, it has just begun. We have it all here and now and thats what Neale's work shares with us. To love as a sponsoring thought, not to fear.
    What God wants is brilliant, though the first to say "Mine is not the only way, merely another way". All roads lead to God, lets take a pleasant road my friends, have we not made our journey tough enough so far.
    Love
    Andrew

    5-0 out of 5 stars A truly "must read" -Most Relevant Message - Dare to Read It
    Having read the reviews below, I can only add that, if you haven't read this author's other books, you will still be blown away by what this little book puts forth!You'll want to go back and read the others whilst going forward into a New Spirituality.

    For those who have already read his earlier books, this is Dynamite as well!

    It's Time.Thanks to the author for his Courage and Spirit!Bravo! ... Read more


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