Book Reviews


I’m currently enthralled in another Wilbur Smith novel called “Warlock”. An epic tale of Pharoahs and Egypt, I can’t help but think of one of the best children’s stories from the Bible and after doing some research it appears that Smith’s fictional stories are often more fact than fiction.

In the book there is one scene where the Warlock “Taita” turns his staff into a cobra and forces some priests to leave the building. At other times this man prays to the Egyptian god’s Horus, Seth and Lostris. It’s fascinating to think that at one time there were cultures that actually cultivated the supernatural forces around them, often times they were dark forces, but they believed in them and that gave them power nonetheless.

What I’ve found most interesting about Smith’s stories is his constant use of religion, faith, God and gods thoughout his novels. His protagonists are normally strong believers in one form of religion or another and that faith, whatever it may be, is passionate and devout. The prayers are constant, the offering of thanks incessant, the love immeasurable. It fascinates and shames me.

In every decision, big or small, i do not consult God for his advice. I do not seek his blessing and guidance for every path I choose. Instead I trust in myself and only when I think it truly necessary do I call on the Lord for help or assistance and even then it is with only a half-measure of faith that I truly expect him to come to my aid.

What if I was like one of Smith’s characters whose total focus, every thought, deed, or word was first passed through a filter of faith? What if I sought the will of the Lord and sat and prayed for hours until I received an answer?

We are an arrogant culture that quickly dismisses the spiritual and the supernatural. We are full of our own self-confidence and independence and we deny our need for a deity.  Instead we make our own way and when our world falls apart then we turn to God and ask Why? We shake our first and we place blame and we curse because we know what was right and it was God that failed us, not ourselves.

It might be a fools quest to chase a life that is greater than what the world around me is trying to sell me. I hope to achieve something great with my life even if that greatness is only noticed in Heaven.

In the future I’m going to make a concerted effort to seek God’s wisdom and his counsel. I’ve been going on 10 years now dealing with the same issues in my life and trying to handle them on my own. I’m tired and ready to ask for help.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places… EPH 6:12

Book Reviews Culture Relationships

Sex. Every Day. For One Year.

I hadn’t heard of this book 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy until I bounced over to Edgy Mama’s site to see what she has been up to.  There she talked about some of the hate mail her latest article has received and after reading the well-written article I don’t see what the fuss is about. Who doesn’t want to read a book about a woman who gifted her husband sex every day for a year?

How many women do you know what would make this sacrifice? (If you are out there and single, please post a comment immediately and include your phone number.)

As someone who has worked a myriad of Love, Sex, Marriage conferences I must admit that when it comes to Christians and Sex there are a lot of unanswered questions. Even more, it seems that sex is  quite possibly the one thing that men and women have in common that is often misunderstood – a need for intimacy without the fear of rejection.

I’m not married so I can’t even begin to understand what happens between couples after the rings are placed on fingers and the “I Do’s” are uttered, however, it doesn’t take a Sex Therapist to tell you that when it comes to intimacy our world is f*$*K’d up – literally.

So you married people, this book seems to be a challenge to all of you out there to step it up and as the author of the book says repeatedly, “It’s not a book about sex, it’s a book about marriage.”

As far as “The Gift” is concerned, I am sure that while we’d all like to chuckle and jab, in the end it is obvious that all of us could probably learn a thing or two from Charla and Brad.

Book Reviews

Gut Check by Tarek Saab

Tarek SaabI walked out to the mailbox on a Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. and found my copy of Gut Check stuffed snugly between my mortgage payment and my car payment. It is now 7:27 p.m. as I write this and I have already finished reading this book. It is 191 pages of some of the most useful information I have ever read. Pretty high billing? Maybe, maybe not. I’m an avid reader but my tastes normally stay in the realm of fiction. I like Koontz, Patterson, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, but it is rare that I pick up a “Motivational” or “Business Success” book and read it in one sitting.

While reading this book I did not stop to go to the bathroom, did not stop to eat, or check my BlackBerry for new emails – I could not put it down.

Tarek Saab immediately caught my attention by being very transparent about his years in college. He edits the language by say “S___” and “F—” so you get the full truth of the message without the crudeness. He speaks openly about the introduction of pornography into the college world in the 1990’s and the corruption that it has caused.

This book, unlike many books marketed to the masses, is simple black and white. You know where Tarek stands in his beliefs. He believes in God and makes it clear that happiness in the corporate life is not about making money and success, it is about doing what you do, whether you love it or not, to do it with love.

One of my favorite parts of the book is makes a brief outline of the man he wants to be:

The man I want to be is…

  • Prays, recognizing that his duty is to God first above all things.
  • Is articulate, communicating his thoughts and opinions intelligently and respectfully.
  • Respects women, directly, through honorable discourse and chaste living, and indirectly by his thoughts.
  • Defends the innocent, especially children and unborn life.
  • Is not addicted – whether to alcohol, pornography, or entertainment, and therefore truly free.
  • Is healthy, actively maintaining physical fitness and proper diet.
  • Holds convictions supported by reason and truth.
  • Is courageous, unafraid to defend truth in all circumstances.
  • Educates himself, not for the sake of accumulating factual knowledge, but for the advancement of wisdom.
  • Works hard, acknowledging that time is a gift to be used wisely.
  • Sacrifices his needs for the sake of others.
  • Is humble, possessing and honesty that doesn’t tolerate deception, and gratitude without envy.

No matter what your beliefs you can read through that list and see that it is an admirable, albeit somewhat controversial, set of goals.

Throughout the book there are numerous quotes from G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and passages of scripture that are extremely poignant and while written years ago are still relative today.

I saw Tarek speak just shortly after his appearance on The Apprentice. I went to hear him speak with very low expectations because The Apprentice had made Tarek appear cocky and arrogant. What I found was just the opposite. Humble and forthright, I listened to a man who didn’t stand up in front of an audience and talk about himself and his accomplishments, but instead shared real life experiences that were humbling. When I left the auditorium I felt elated and motivated to go out and work hard and to do my best, not to make more money, but because it was the right thing to do.

I put this book on the Corporate Study Guide list of links (right sidebar) because those books are “must-read” books for being successful not just in the business world, but in this corporate world known as “Life”. You can purchase the book on or at

Book Reviews Culture

“A scene worthy of Hieronymus Bosch on LSD…”

I’m reading True Evil by Greg Iles and his protagonist uses this phrase to describe a lab that is full of primates that he plans to set on fire. I’d never heard of Bosch so I Googled him. His pictures depict images of sin and hell, I’ve never seen anything like them.


I am a fan of Greg Iles because he explores so many subjects in his novels. This particular novel goes into great detail about biological warfare and how America could one day be in a war against China, which is fast becoming a superpower like no other. So many of the scenarios in this book seem more likely than global warming. They are theories and postulations, but they are good ones.

I love a book that teaches me stuff and this is one that I can’t put down!

Book Reviews

Holy Discontent: Fueling the fire that ignites personal vision – by Bill Hybels

When I first read the title of this book I thought it was going to be about people who were discontent with their faith, it isn’t. It is a book about people who were unsettled by what they saw around them and they decided to do something about it. People like Mother Teresa who walked to school every day and passed homeless families on the streets. She couldn’t stand it, so she did something about it.

As I read the book I felt motivated, but this book is like many others in that it is just a book with a lot of great information. We can read books until our eyesight dims and we need glasses, but knowledge without action is about as good as a car without gas.

Personal Vision… what exactly is that? I look around and I don’t see many people with personal vision. Most people don’t even make small short time goals much less have a vision that is outside the scope of their wants and needs. I see people like Oprah, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Ross Perot, Steve Jobs – those people have vision, but what about vision that has nothing to do with personal gain and is only focused on helping the people around you for the glory of Christ? 

Give this book a try if you want to have your eyes opened to the way people have changed the world because of a little Holy Discontent.

Hybels book is available at