Friday, September 23, 2011

Bethany House Book Review: Spiritual Warfare for Women by Leighann McCoy

Leighann McCoy is a sought-after speaker and writer. She is the prayer and woman's minister at a large Southern Baptist church where her husband serves as pastor, and she has written a number of devotionals and Bible studies for women.  She lives with her family in Franklin, Tennessee.

ISBN 978-0-7642-0890-4

This book was written as a means of equipping women in spiritual warfare.  Leighann McCoy wrote this book from her own personal standpoint with regards to her struggles with spiritual warfare. 

She stated in the Introduction, that while writing this book she was experiencing her own battle with spiritual warfare.  As she was diagnosed with colon cancer, her church faced $250,000 in flood damage, and her eighteen-year-old daughter had just moved in with a boyfriend. 

The book is written in four sections:

1.  The Most Powerful Weapon of All - the Love of God
2.  The Enemy Exposed
3.  The Targets in Our Lives
4.  Victory is Mine

Unfortunately,  I didn't find this book to be the best book I've ever read on the topic of spiritual warfare.  I honestly had difficulty reading this book as I thought it was a bit long winded.  However, on the upside, I can appreciate Leighann McCoy's transparency and humility in her writing.  She really conveys her heart and desire for women to really know who they are in Christ.  Her personality definitely shines through the pages and I took a liking to her as a result.  I also believe she is a good teacher.  I enjoyed how she incorporated analogies and also retold bible stories with her own creative twist which made the characters alive.

I would recommend this book to women who are new believers.  I believe it gives a good breakdown, helpful tools to memorize scripture and heartfelt prayers at the end of each chapter.

Disclosure: I want to thank Bethany House for sending me a complimentary copy of this book as part of their book reviewers program.

To order this book, please visit:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Discussion with Pastor Jon Tyson at Barnes & Noble

RUMORS OF GOD: Experience the Kind of Faith You've Only Heard About
Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson
Thomas Nelson
Christian Life/Spiritual Growth
ISBN: 9781595553638

Gabe Lyons Bio:

Jon Tyson Bio:

Recently I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing "Rumors of God".  On Thursday evening, I had the opportunity of attending the book discussion at Barnes & Noble with Gabe Lyons and Jon Tyson.  This was actually my first time ever attending something of this nature.

Gabe Lyons interviewed Pastor Jon by asking him some questions such as his book, reflections on 9/11 and then there was a question and answer segment.  I am going to share what I took from this book discussion and what touched me personally.

One of the things that Gabe Lyons mentioned was that there have been people that have said that 9/11 was a judgment from God.  He asked Pastor Jon what his thoughts were on this and he disagreed with this assessment.  Pastor Jon simply responded that Jesus is about grace and not judgment.  He believes that the Muslim extremists were attacking the worst of America as we have the highest suicide, divorce rate and poor quality of life, etc...

Pastor Jon also spoke about there being a clarity of perspective, in that our heroes went from being famous athletes to policeman and fireman.  I do personally remember everyone coming together on 9/11; helping, volunteering and serving in any way they could.  It was actually quite beautiful, I just wish it had lasted.

Pastor Jon mentioned that one hundred years ago America's reputation was one of great citizens.  However, today, America's reputation is one of great consumers.  I thought this was very poignant and sadly true.

The topic then moved from 9/11 to discussions about the book.  Pastor Jon mentions that a poll was given to see others perceived Christians.  Sadly, people voted that Christians are anti-gay, judgmental, hypocritical and too political.  Also, there is no tolerance for anyone who is different.   As much as this troubles me, I have to admit, they are right in their assessment.

During the question and answer segment, I was able to ask Pastor Jon a question.  My question was along the lines of how can we truly be authentic Christians today in this city?  Whereby people are basically being hurt in churches and/or by religious people, etc... How can the stigma of Christians being judgmental and hypocritical change?  I, for one, am truly passionate about seeing this change. My prayer daily is that others around me would see Jesus in me.  I don't want to come across as hypocritical or judgmental, but of one who is authentic and real.  I desire that people in this city experience His love and presence in such a powerful and life transforming way.  I was glad to have had the opportunity to articulate this to Pastor Jon.

His response was equally challenging in that he said, be what you want to see.  He told me not to focus so much on what I'm doing as much as being that person to others around me.  He's right.  It all begins with us, looking within and asking the Lord to change our hearts to reflect His love and grace toward others around us; i.e., our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers.

Yesterday while walking to Port Authority, I passed three teenagers, a young man and two young ladies, sitting to my left on the stoop of a boarded up Broadway theater.  One of them jumped up as I passed and said she would dance for a dollar.  I kept walking and then felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go back and give her three dollars.  I took a deep breath, turned around and walked back toward them, all the while thinking, I need to get home, I have so much to do, I have laundry and dinner to make.  But thankfully, the prompting of the Holy Spirit was much stronger... so I walked over to the girl that offered to dance for a dollar and handed her three.  She immediately thanked me and shared it with the other two.

I felt such a heaviness come over me, as I realized they bore a sign stating they were homeless.  So I asked if it would be ok to ask them a question and they all said sure.  I asked them why they were homeless.  The friendly girl who would dance for a dollar said that it's a long, long story.  The other two merely said they were traveling cross country.  My heart broke for them and I couldn't hide it.  I told them with tears in my eyes that I felt bad that they were homeless.  They all said, that was sweet of me and reached out to shake my hand.  They asked me my name and then introduced themselves.  I was so overwhelmed with emotion that unfortunately I don't remember their names.

The friendly girl finally said that she is homeless because she had to get away from her parents as they were crazy.  The other two just kept silent. The young man had a rat sitting and crawling on his head.  I looked into his eyes and saw such sadness.  The other girl was more hardened and quiet.  I just kept looking into each of their eyes and feeling such an overwhelming compassion for them.  Then I told them that I would pray for them and the friendly girl said that they'd pray for me too.  I thanked her and told her I could definitely use it.  They all chuckled... it was nice to see them smile.

I said goodbye to them and as I walked away I couldn't help feeling so sad.  I immediately started to speak to the Lord, telling Him how awful I felt that I couldn't do more for these young homeless teenagers.  There are homeless shelters throughout NYC but they are always full.  So that's why you see a lot of them on park benches, in the subway and living on the streets.  Homeless people actually feel safer on the streets than they do in homeless shelters.

But, there is something about seeing and speaking with homeless teenagers who ran away from home for whatever reasons.  I think no one should be homeless, but especially not vulnerable teenagers.  I am still not settled about this and am praying for these children and others who are in this same predicament.  I honestly wish I had the money to buy a building, take them all in and help them in some way.  It just seems tragic to me that these kids would have to live and survive on the streets.  It just doesn't seem right or fair to me. 

So there you have it...  

In conclusion, I want to take this opportunity and again thank BookSneeze/Thomas Nelson Publishers for blessing me with this awesome book.  And Pastors Jon Tyson and Darren Whitehead for writing it.

If you are interested in reading this book, here are some links where you can order it:

Barnes & Noble:

Christian Book Distributors:

Monday, September 5, 2011


MIKE GUZZARDO travels the United States and the world speaking to over 150,000 people per year inspiring them to a deeper commitment to Christ. He spent six years serving full time at Teen Mania Ministries where he helped mobilize students and young adults for short term mission trips. Mike is a frequent speaker at conventions and conferences such as Acquire the Fire. Mike currently resides in Texas with his wife, Alicia and daughter, Bella.

Life is so amazing.  I was able to read and review this book, thanks to Stephanie Smith's tweet on Twitter.  I now know it was the Lord's doing.  He made it possible for me to read and review this awesome book.   I want to take this opportunity to thank Stephanie Smith and Moody Book Publishers for the opportunity in sending me this free book to review. 

Have you ever asked yourself these questions:  Do you feel like you are missing out on something?  Do you feel overwhelmed by choices or temptations?  Are you spiritually dissatisfied?  Do you want to live an overcoming life?   Well then, this book is for you! 

I admit that for years I've asked myself these same questions and more.  Just prior to reading this book, I was thinking about how I wanted to experience joy and live a more abundant life in Christ.  But I couldn't for the life of me figure out how until I read this book.  Let's just say, that "All In" goes all in and then some!

This book was so tremendously helpful to me, that I want to read it again.  It is like an instruction manual on how to live a victorious life in Christ.  It was written with practical applications to make this a reality in your daily life.  I know this book was written with young adults in mind, however, even though I'm 44, I got so much out of this book that it was mind blowing.  I have to admit that it both challenged and convicted me. 

The subtitle "Finding true life on the path to total surrender", is the premise of this book.  It is in our surrendering that we find true freedom.  I so related to Mike Guzzardo's life story as well; one of the things he mentioned is how he struggled with insecurity and being accepted by others.

Mike Guzzardo takes you on a personal journey, that once you finish, you won't be the same. This book is definitely life transforming and I highly recommend it to everyone.