Book Reviews

The Torn Veil - Nancy Thomas

Feb 02,2017

“But for you who fear my name… ye shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” Malachi 4:2.

The Torn Veil is the biography of Gulshan Esther, a Muslim girl with a severe disability who was saved by God. She was a crippled child who was taken to Mecca, the most sacred place of the Muslims, in the hope that there she would be healed. However, she returned still crippled, to lead the life of an invalid, waited on by maidservants hand and foot in her wealthy father’s house.

After her father’s death a few years later, she felt sad and extremely empty inside. She started to look for comfort in the Quran, daily reading it with devout care. She started to notice the way the book spoke of Jesus. Her reading led her to pray to him for healing. One night, she had a vision in which Jesus not only appeared to her but healed her from her lifelong disability, and told her to be his witness.

Her very orthodox Muslim family did not like to hear her testify that she had been healed by Jesus. Within a month, she left home practically penniless. She went through many trying situations, including being put in prison and threatened with death twice. Yet she still had courage and trusted in God.

She found all houses closed to her, and employment also became difficult. Her one sympathetic sister who had become a believer in Jesus herself and been baptized was only too happy to offer her shelter. However, her brother-in-law was not willing to allow it. Finally she went far away from home to witness to people about her miraculous healing by Jesus. This led to her going to England where she afterwards traveled widely, witnessing to the people there.

This book is captivating in its simple style and clarity of truth. It shows how trusting in God can change a person even to the point of defying all doubt and fear. I was hooked from the first page. Read it and you will agree!




George Washington Carver - Nancy Thomas

Jan 20,2017

“With men it is impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible.”

George Washington Carver was just 12 years old when he left home to go to school, because no local schools would allow Negroes to attend. Also, he did not start college until he was thirty, because of his color. He finally enrolled in Simpson College, and then in Iowa State, one of the best institutions of the time. Later, he went to work at the Tuskegee Institute, started by Booker T. Washington, who had been a slave himself.

It was here that Carver noted that Southern farmers planted only cotton or tobacco. He showed them how legumes helped enrich the soil while cotton drains the soil of nutrients. His knowledge of plants and their care was astounding, as was his repertoire of plant uses. Yet it was with the peanut and sweet potato that he simply astounded the world. He made over 300 products from the peanut alone, and over a hundred from the sweet potato. In 1938, when he was 75 years old, his health became very bad. He could not travel to lecture on his work any more, and he wished to preserve his life’s work for the benefit of farmers by starting a museum. It was officially opened on the twenty-fifth of July, 1939. By December 1942 he was bedridden following a fall. On the fifth of January, 1943, he went to be with the Lord. This book shows in simple but highly enjoyable and informative style how God accomplishes his wonders through the weak, doing what seems impossible with men.  




The Hiding Place - Lucy Thomas

Oct 22,2016

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (C.S Lewis)

When suffering comes to those who do good, the first thing we ask is “What did I do to deserve this?” Yet, pain and loss take our relationship with God to greater heights than we could ever dream of attaining.

The Hiding Place is the autobiography of Cornelia ten Boom – the story of how God used a seemingly unremarkable family to bring life to countless people across the globe after one of the darkest times this world has ever known.

Cornelia ten Boom, or Corrie as she is known, leads a quiet life in the town of Haarlem in Holland with her aged father and sister Betsie. Their life in the Beje, as their house is known, revolves around their domestic affairs and their small watch shop which somehow encompasses the lives of all their fellow citizens of Haarlem.

But as the Second World War threatens, and Germans take over the country, Corrie and her family are forced to stand up for what they believe – that the Jews are God’s chosen people, to be protected at all costs. In the beginning, they only channel Jews to safe places elsewhere, but as time goes on, they realize that they too must start hiding Jews. So the Beje becomes home for those Jews who are most endangered.

At the peak of their work, they are betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo. Corrie’s Father dies in prison ten days later. Subsequently, under increasingly horrifying conditions, they are imprisoned in Scheveningen, a Dutch prison; Vught, a work camp; and finally Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women in Germany. As their suffering increases to levels unimaginable to men, as the cruelty and evil of man is at its peak, the light of God shines ever brighter as Corrie and Betsie live in God’s strength, ministering to their fellow sufferers, and unbelievably, their torturers.

Betsie dies in prison, and a week later, Corrie is released through a clerical error. After she returns to Holland to deal with the unimaginable horror she has witnessed and the loss of her family, she sets out to fulfill the divine call she received in prison - to proclaim throughout the world that “the light of Christ is greater than any darkness.”  Her ministry continues for decades as she travels the world, changing lives with her message.

The Hiding Place presents a paradox – man’s soulless inhumanity against the awesome power of the Lord’s presence in the darkest of times. Those who read it will truly be inspired and strengthened to face any situation, knowing that ultimately, God is in control.

 




William Carey - Kaushik Nagarajan

Oct 21,2016

“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”

18th century Paulerspury, England welcomed the birth of William Carey. As a young boy he was always busy either climbing trees or studying various plants and insects. When he was older, he became an apprentice cobbler and had come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Years later, moving to Moulton as a schoolmaster, he also became a pastor of a small Church there. It was here that Carey heard the missionary call.

By the age of 21 he had mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Italian and was never seen sitting without a book. The more he read and studied, the more he was convinced that “the peoples of the world need Christ”. He finally decided to oblige to his calling and go preach to the heathens. But he was met with opposition from his brethren as they suggested that “when God pleases to convert the heathen, he would do it without you aid or mine.”

This story is about his persistence and how he laid the foundations for missionaries from England to nations who hadn’t heard about Jesus. It’s about the trials he went through as he left everything and everyone he knew in England, to bring the good news to one of the most hostile settings of captured India. You will live through the years of discouragement (no Indian convert for seven years), debt, disease, his wife’s incurable illness, the loss of his sons, and the burning of his press - but through which he remained content and joyful in his service for Christ. You will inspired by how this humble man was used by God to translate the Bible into Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit.

This is the story of the preacher, translator, publisher, educationist, linguist, botanist, social reformer who gave India a Bible.

 




Jim Elliot - Kaushik Nagarajan

Oct 20,2016

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what which he cannot lose.”

Born in the early 20th century in Portland, Oregon to Fred and Clara, Elliot was a small boy who would soon grow up to be what Christendom would now term a modern martyr. Having received Christ at a tender age, he was brought up in the loving nurture and admonition of the Lord. As the son of an evangelist, he had plenty of opportunities to hear visiting missionaries tell their tales of life on faraway mission fields. Though intrigued by their stories, it made him sad that so many people in other countries died without knowing God and his love for mankind. As he grew, he knew he was to be in the service of the Lord. Though living in a country that gave him many comfortable pulpits to preach the gospel, he was still burdened by the fact that there were still scores of millions of people living in jungles and undeveloped cities with no one to preach the good news to them.

This book takes you through all the highs and lows of his life. It teaches you how to wait on the Lord as you struggle with Jim in finding out God’s timing for his marriage. You will be encouraged by the stands he took in college for his faith. You will learn about serving as you see how helpful he was to his hosts in all the places he stayed. You will learn about his determination as he learnt Spanish and then the native language of the Quichua tribe to preach to them. You will be moved by seeing how a white man and his wife, with their newborn baby, spent days in the wilderness alone in nothing but a tent. You will be moved by his selflessness as he poured his life into “Operation Auca” which was to bring the gospel to one of the most primitive savage people in the face of the earth. These very people whom he wished to evangelize would then murder and mutilate him when he was just 28. And finally, you will be challenged as you read the surprising sequel of the attack on this young missionary and his four colleagues.

”I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus”

This book will shed light on what the Lord meant in his great commission when he said, “…and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8 (NASB)

 




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