Book Reviews




TITLE/AUTHOR:"Virtues Of Leadership" by William J. Bennett
PAGE COUNT:131 Pages/Hardback
YEAR/PUBLISHER: 2001/W Publishing Company
WHERE TO PURCHASE:Christian Bookstores, On-Line
Book Reviewer:
Mike Ramey

This is a story about lost love and the search to get it back. Sometimes the search went well and sometimes it didn’t, but it sure was a good read and a lot of laughs getting there.

Imagine yourself not knowing who your Mother or Father was and then imagine finding them and they deny the fact that they really are your parent, the person who was supposed to take care of you and nurture you and love you. Now read “Any Place I Hang My Hat” by Susan Isaacs and see how her characters deal with this dilemma.

What is to most of us a very serious subject is handled with compassion and humor by the author. Ms Isaacs is able to make her characters both believable and ones you want to know more about. For example, the main character, Amy Lincoln is born to two young people who never should have been having children, much less having children together. After less than two years of marriage and following a major felony, her father goes to prison and her mother abandons her. This abandonment is a recurring theme throughout the book and the device works most of the time. A second character in the story is Freddy Carrasco who meets Amy at the party where he is going to confront the father who abandoned him.

Several minor characters successfully carry Amy and Freddy on their searches for the love they never knew. There is Tatty, the rich, private girl’s school friend, who keeps playing match maker for Amy, and there is John, Amy’s on again - off again boyfriend who abandons her in her time of need. There’s that abandonment thing again.

In the end not all of these characters find what they were looking for, but the search was worth the read and the laughs along the way made this book one that I had a hard time putting down. Sit on your back porch or the balcony of your apartment, kick your shoes off and be prepared to be entertained.

This was the work that started it all for Ted Brooks, pastor of The Victory Life Church in Westlock, Alberta, Canada. "I Was A Flaky Preacher" is currently in its second printing, and may be heading for its third, based upon the dynamic information contained within the covers.

This non-fiction work is part biographical, but all in tune with the scriptures. Brooks details his own reflections on the Charismatic movement as it came to his side of the US/Canadian border, as a new pastor. At first, he went along with the advice and experiences of several 'elders' in the movement. However, as he began to have doubts about some of what was being offered as 'biblical', Brooks did his own study of the scriptures to sort out fact from fallacy. The end result is not a 'scathing' expose, but merely how easy it is for any Christian--even those who are in church leadership positions--to be 'sucked in' to things for the sake of 'harmony and fellowship'.

"What we must understand is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the

Holy Spirit walk in absolute agreement. They were all revealed perfectly through

Jesus' earthly ministry." (Brooks, Page 89)

Brooks is not encouraging an all-out mutiny on the Charismatic scene; but he is urging that more Christians--and especially more Christian pastors--be more selective in the types of organizations they 'side' with, or follow, when it comes to denominational practices.

Chapter titles include: "I Was A Flake, And Didn't Know It."; "Balaam"; and "Cleansing The Spots And Wrinkles." The book is written in an easy-going style, with plenty of scripture references (NKJV translation), behind-the-scene questioning of various popular movements of our modern day, along with some observations as to the need for congregations to be supportive and prayerful for their pastors, in they not lead them down the 'wrong path'.

I first discovered Brooks' work on-line a few years ago. Since the release of this initial work, the website has improved and expanded--along with his public visibility. If you want to know the truth about what you believe, this work will bring it home to you and is worth the investment.

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