Reviews by Mark Wheeler
On 4/12 Mark Wheeler wrote: Jim Burns, the president of HomeWord and the executive director the HomeWord Center for You and Family at Azusa Pacific University, has written a short, but helpful book on how parents can relate to their adult children. Since I have three adult children plus their respective spouses, I wanted to see ... How do you parent adult children?
On 3/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is there a cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s? Is it possible to regain lost memories? Is there a balm to heal broken relationships? These are the questions posed by author James Markert in his latest novel, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel. The story revolves around Vittorio Gandy who returns home after ... Exploring the mysteries of the mind
On 3/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Horst Schulze knows what he is talking about when he describes how to build an exceptionally excellent brand. Schulze is the co-founder and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the founder, chairman, and CEO of the Capella Hotel Group. He is a well-known and well-respected leader whose ... Strive for Exceptional
On 3/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: How can the average person know God’s will for their life? How can they learn to hear God’s voice in regards to making decisions? How can we train ourselves to slow down and wait on God for direction? These questions lie at the heart of Terry Looper’s practical instructions in his book, Sacred ... Learning to align your will with God’s will
On 2/15 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is it possible to turn back the tide in America from depravity to moral virtue? Is it possible to rebuild values into our culture? While the answer is “Yes,” it won’t come through government programs or education. It will only happen as Christians share the gospel and people are changed one heart ... Restoring biblical values
On 1/31 Mark Wheeler wrote: If Christ followers are to be salt and light in the world and to be a city on a hill—how are we doing really? Are we effectively advertising the gospel? Do our lives reflect Jesus and make Christianity attractive? Those are the questions that pastor and author Scott Sauls seeks to answer in his book, ... Does your life reflect Jesus?
On 1/25 Mark Wheeler wrote: While not a bad book, I did not find Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage: How Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity Can Transform Your Faith that helpful or interesting. As such, I read through the first half and skimmed the second half. The book is primarily about the author’s journey of faith. ... Should Christians Practice the Old Testament Law?
On 1/12 Mark Wheeler wrote: Are God’s blessings limited to the pleasurable? Does God only bless us with experiences that lead to prosperity? Might God’s blessings also include adversity? Can God bless someone with a disease, loss, failure, or tragedy? John Paine would argue for the latter. He can testify firsthand how God ... The blessing of adversity
On 11/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: In the same way that Jesus taught in parables to create an image to help his audience remember his teaching and the apostle Paul used the street language of his day, so Karen Sawrey has tried to combine both graphic images and text that can help people understand the message of the Bible. The author ... Getting the Big Picture of Scripture
On 10/30 Mark Wheeler wrote: A courageous mother dies protecting her four-year-old daughter during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Her grief-stricken husband hires a young Jewish lawyer to pursue justice on his behalf. So begins the plot of Chosen People: A Novel. It reads as if it were taken from the daily ... A novel ripped from daily headlines
On 10/26 Mark Wheeler wrote: Not many professional athletes walk away from their sport in the prime of their careers. Still fewer can explain why they made that decision and have their fans respect them for it. Beginning in 2012, NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr began suffering the effects of concussions from hard crashes on the race ... Why Dale Earnhardt Jr retired from racing
On 10/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: What would happen if you faced your challenges in the name of the Lord? What would life be like if your goal in every situation was to bring glory to His name? What would happen if you fully embraced God’s strategy for victory? If you did those things, you would be living as an Overcomer. And believe ... Put on the Armor of God
On 10/10 Mark Wheeler wrote: What prevents you from living the life of your dreams? How can you thrive in the midst of adversity, discouraging headlines, and daily challenges? Dr. David Jeremiah believes the answer is found in developing the nine character qualities known as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In A Life ... A plan for developing solid character
On 9/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: The Great Commandment instructs us to love God and love people. The first part is certainly challenging but the second part seems impossible because of the culture in which we find ourselves. Dr. Les Parrott believes that by following the example of Jesus, we can be successful in practicing this commandment. ... Treating People Like Jesus Did
On 8/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Praying the Promises: Anchor Your Life To Unshakeable Hope, by Max Lucado & Andrea Lucado looks to be volume in the “gift book” category. It is a resource you would use yourself and/or give to someone going through a challenging season of life. The book contains 30 of Max Lucado’s favorite promises ... A Hope-Filled Resource
On 7/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: Auschwitz Lullaby is a well written, moving, sobering piece of historical fiction. Penned by Spanish author, Mario Escobar, the book was originally published in Spanish in 2015 and only recently translated into English. The book tells the story of the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity. ... A moving story of sacrifice and hope
On 7/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: Fawkes: A Novel, is a confusing mix of history and magic. It is a piece of historical fiction based on the Gunpowder Plot involving Guy Fawkes and the failed attempt to assassinate King James of England in 1605. The main character is the drama is Thomas Fawkes, the son of Guy Fawkes. However, Thomas ... Confusing mix of history and magic
On 7/1 Mark Wheeler wrote: Everyone wants to be the hero of their own story. Everyone wants to land in the middle of the adventure. Those sentiments are shared by the two main characters in Rachel McMillan’s latest offering, Murder at the Flamingo: A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery. Set in 1937 Boston, it tells the story of an ... Be the hero of your story
On 6/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: “When did it become normal and routine for us to daily expect news of another terror attack, shooting, or act of evil?” With that opening sentence, pastor, journalist, and author John Dickerson launches an insightful, eye-opening explanation of the world in which we live, the trends we are facing, ... Is there hope for Christianity in a Post-Truth World?
On 5/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: Can Christianity survive a secular age? Can Christians live without compromise in an increasingly hostile society? And what if they’ve already given in to that society’s vision and values? Could the answers to these modern day dilemmas be found in an Old Testament book that was written almost 500 ... A new perspective on Esther
On 3/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: Far too many Christ followers are afraid to address the ills of society. They cower in the corner and hide from the attacks of the world. Rather than circle the wagons, pastor and author Michael Anthony believes we need to sit up, stand up, and speak out. He wants to mobilize and equip followers of Christ ... Speaking up about the ills of society
On 2/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: To paraphrase A. W. Tozer, the most important thing about you is what you believe about God, because what you believe about God determines what you believe about everything else. That statement summarizes both the title and the theme of J. D. Greear’s book, Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads ... Is your God big enough to …?
On 2/1 Mark Wheeler wrote: The Lord’s Prayer is so familiar that we often say it without engaging our brains. Sometimes it is done without any thought at all. If we took the time to really think about what we are saying, we would recognize how revolutionary the concepts and request truly are. This is the conviction and theme ... A new look at a familiar prayer
On 1/31 Mark Wheeler wrote: Everyone can become a better leader. That is the conviction of John C. Maxwell. Twenty-five years ago, he published Developing the Leader Within You in an attempt to change the conversion about leadership development. Rather than focusing on skill development, Maxwell aimed at character. With 25 more ... A guide to leadership development
On 1/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: “No thinking person chooses suffering. But we can choose our attitude in the midst of suffering.” This is one of the many truths presented in Joni Eareckson Tada’s latest book, When is it Right to Die? A Comforting and Surprising Look at Death and Dying. It could also serve as perhaps the theme ... Living and Dying with Dignity
On 12/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Fear may fill our world, but it doesn’t have to fill your heart. That is the theme of Max Lucado’s short book, Trade Your Cares For Calm. Many books on worry follow the pattern of “Don’t!” and give steps how to stop. Max Lucado wants to replace the wrong patterns of life and refocus our attention ... Find your oasis
On 12/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: Christian books tend to be written by megachurch pastors, people with an outstanding testimony, those who have overcome great odds to become wildly successful, and others who have a riveting story to share. While we encouraged and entertained by these books, many times we walk away wondering why we don’t ... Good news for the rest of us
On 11/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: Charlie Daniels was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, shortly before his eightieth birthday. In this memoir, Charlie shares his story from growing up in North Carolina in the late 1930’s and 1940’s to becoming a self-taught guitar, mandolin, and fiddle player. He describes the ... Insight from a Country Music Hall of Famer
On 10/30 Mark Wheeler wrote: If you are a fan of the HGTV reality show, Fixer Upper, you will enjoy reading Chip Gaines book, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. Chip shares honest and humorous stories about his successes and failures in life and business. The book is divided into three parts. In Part 1: ... Honest lessons about life and business
On 10/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is Islam a religion of peace? Does culture under an Islamic caliphate outshine culture under Christianity? Does Islam blend church and state or keep them separate? Is Islam a threat to the west? What do we need to know to understand Islam? Hank Hanegraaf serves as president of Christian Research Institute ... Making sense of contemporary Islam
On 10/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: I was first introduced to Josh McDowell and Evidence that Demands a Verdict in the mid-70’s when I was a student at Biola University. The book was instrumental in helping me get a better grasp on the trustworthiness of Scripture. His second volume, More Evidence that Demands a Verdict added and built ... Intellectual proof for serious questions about the Bible
On 10/5 Mark Wheeler wrote: When we experience seasons of loss—loss of a dream, death of a loved one, friends moving away, becoming empty nesters after a child’s graduation or wedding—we have to deal with times of grief. We also need to find a hope that will sustain us and help us move forward. What if someone told you that ... Hope that sustains
On 9/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: I was introduced to Gordon MacDonald’s work back in the mid-80’s when Ordering Your Private World was first published. I was in graduate school at the time, driven by my pursuit of education and starting out in ministry. His words were encouraging and helpful in laying a foundation for a sustainable ... Finding Sanity in a Frantic Life
On 9/1 Mark Wheeler wrote: An unarmed African-American teenager shot by a young, Caucasian police officer in a small town in Georgia. An African-American pastor rallying the community demanding justice. The DA determining whether or not to file charges. A young, African-American female lawyer recently fired from prestigious law ... A novel from the front page
On 8/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: Most of us would agree that we have not achieved our full potential. We would also agree that we aren’t sure how to find the path that will lead us to greater fulfillment. Consequently, we settle for good enough and go through life on cruise control. Mark Sanborn’s conviction is that no matter what ... Making your Best even Better
On 8/10 Mark Wheeler wrote: How many of us have created a mountain of heartache reaped a harvest of hurt feelings because we hurriedly posted a comment on Facebook, tweeted an inappropriate response, or vented in a blog post or email? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has written a very practical volume to help prevent that from happening ... Practical advice for good communication
On 7/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Jim Daly’s latest book, When Parenting Isn’t Perfect, is one of the more encouraging books I have read on the subject. It is helpful by virtue of the fact that it is real and honest. The very first chapter, “Not good enough,” sets the tone for the book. How easily we all slip into the trap of ... Don’t settle for a perfect family
On 6/24 Mark Wheeler wrote: I did not like the book. The book did not live up to its title. The book describes the flaws of a narrow slice of legalistic Christianity rather than stories of the benefits of religious practices. I do not recommend the book. These four statements summarize my evaluation of Zach Hoag’s latest book, ... A book that doesn’t live up to its title
On 6/15 Mark Wheeler wrote: If you major in art, you’ll starve! If you want to be a writer, you’ll never make a decent living! These are two of the myths that most of us have heard growing up. And they are the myths that author Jeff Goins wants to eradicate in his latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies ... Take a Risk and Become an Artist
On 6/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: How do you gain victory over your toughest challenges? How do you get rid of an adversary that constantly steals your joy and passion? How do you live a life of victory rather than succumb to defeat and give up? Those questions lie at the heart of author and pastor Louie Giglio latest book, Goliath ... Gaining Victory Over Our Toughest Challenges
On 5/19 Mark Wheeler wrote: If you asked a person about the word, “Amen,” most would respond by explaining it is a word you tack onto the end of a prayer. Most people think of it a form of punctuation. In contrast, author Beth Guckenberger views it as posture of life, or an attitude of the heart. This is amen: hands raised, ... Live a life of submission to God
On 5/6 Mark Wheeler wrote: David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, believes that the rule of generosity, the rule of giving, is the foundation for building a lasting legacy. In the early part of the book, he explains the concept of legacy. Leaving a legacy is about succession—those who follow after us… “When all ... Passing down a legacy of generosity
On 4/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: “Salvation is a creative work of God, not a do-it-yourself project for sinners.” While that quote sums up John Macarthur’s perspective on 2 Corinthians 5, it could summarize the message of his latest book, The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul’s Teaching. The ... The Good News of the Gospel
On 4/20 Mark Wheeler wrote: If a friend on their death bed asked, “Is belief in Jesus enough to get me into heaven?” how would you respond? That question was posed to pastor and author Randy Frazee by his mother. While he answered his mother with a confident, “Yes,” the question bothered him enough to do a thorough study ... What the Bible says about heaven & hell
On 4/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: What if you feel you are not enough—not smart enough, not attractive enough, not tall enough, not successful enough, not popular enough, not influential enough, not powerful enough, not strong enough, not anything enough? How do you deal with the problem of shame? Psychologist and author Kelly Flanagan ... Overcoming Shame
On 4/10 Mark Wheeler wrote: If you want to deepen your relationship with God, consider incorporating meditation into your spiritual disciplines. Before dismissing meditation as a New Age fad, consider that the words “meditate” and “meditation” occur 21 times in the Bible; the words “think,” “thinking,” and “thoughts” ... Using meditation to deepen your walk with God
On 2/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage, by Gary Thomas, is one of the better books on marriage I have read in recent years. The author’s premise is that The way we treat something acknowledges whether we cherish it or hold it with indifference or contempt… Cultivating a ... One word that will reinvigorate your marriage
On 1/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: During President Obama’s first term in office, Michael Wear served in the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He later directed faith outreach for the president’s 2012 re election campaign. Wear has now written a book about his experiences in the halls of power. The book is part ... The intersection of politics, faith, and culture
On 11/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: It is often said that communication is the key to building a stronger marriage. Marriage experts Jimmy Evans and Allan Kelsey go one step further by helping couples better understand each other so that they can communicate better. The premise of their book, Strengths Based Marriage: Build a stronger ... Keys to a stronger marriage
On 11/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: How do you get people to go below the surface? How do you promote intentional living? Pastor and author Judah Smith does it by asking the unique question, “How’s your soul?” His hope is to encourage people to let their soul find its ultimate fulfillment in a relationship with God. Only he can love, ... Getting below the surface in order to live intentionally
On 10/24 Mark Wheeler wrote: We live in a culture that has drifted from its moorings. Violence abounds. We tolerate and even praise what would once have been spoken of in embarrassed whispers. There are new assaults on religious liberties every day. How do we live out our faith in a culture headed the wrong direction? That is the ... Standing against the flow of culture
On 10/21 Mark Wheeler wrote: Moralism is the pervading belief that if we do enough good things, we will arrive and receive God’s approval. “Be true to yourself and don’t harm others, and the meaning, value, and significance are at your fingertips—or so we think.” Once you adopt that approach, it naturally leads to meritocracy, ... Stop Trying to Earn God’s Approval
On 10/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: Brandon Hatmaker has a written a book for those who desire “more” from life and faith. His conviction is that far too often we settle for a shallow religion that survives from event to event and program to program. A deeper faith is rooted in going deeper in our understanding of God and his word, ... Leave the shallows for a deeper experience with Christ
On 9/24 Mark Wheeler wrote: Dr. David Bradstreet is thoroughly convinced that God wrote two books—Scripture and creation. He wants people to take a minute or two out of your multi-tasked life every once in a while, take a deep breath, look up at the heaves above, and take in God’s handiwork. For the longest time, God has ... Seeing God through the Eyes of an Astronomer
On 8/30 Mark Wheeler wrote: When my children were small I felt that I had the whole mom-thing under control. While I wouldn’t say it was easy, I definitely found life with littles very manageable. Then before I knew it we were celebrating our oldest child’s 9th birthday and we had entered the “tween” years. Things quickly ... At the End of Your Rope?
On 8/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed? If there was even the slightest chance it was real, would you pursue it? How far would you go to find healing and wholeness? These questions form the premise of James Rubart’s latest novel, The Long Journey to Jake Palmer. ... How far would you go to find healing?
On 7/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: What if you witnessed what no one else could see? What if you had prophetic insight like the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-12) and your secret knowledge could turn the tide of battle for your nation? Would your prophetic gift be a blessing or a burden? The Witnesses is the latest novel from the mind of ... Is insight a blessing or a burden?
On 6/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: Dr. David Jeremiah has written a helpful primer on how to withstand the attacks of Satan. In his latest book, The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book, the author gives an overview of the basic information on the subject of spiritual warfare. Using a question and answer method, trusted pastor and author Dr. ... Protect yourself against Satan’s attacks
On 6/11 Mark Wheeler wrote: “The Ten Commandments, as taught by Moses and transposed by Jesus, are unquestionably the most renowned set of ethical statements in history.” This is the conviction of author John Dickson in his latest book, A Doubter’s Guide to the Ten Commandments: How, for better or worse, our ideas about the ... Do the Ten Commandments affect our lives?
On 5/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: Would you like your prayer life to be more than “Now I lay me down to sleep”? Would you like your prayers to go beyond, “God bless so-and-so”? Would you like to feel like your prayers are making a difference? If your answer is, “Yes,” to any of these questions, then consider reading Anne ... Do you want a more effective prayer life?
On 5/11 Mark Wheeler wrote: Some books are page turners. They grab you by the throat, whet your appetite, and keep you in your seat until the very last page. Others are yawners. They are well written with sparkling prose, but not that interesting. There Will Be Stars fell into the latter category for me. I found myself not caring ... A book I could put down
On 4/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: Code 13 is the second book in Don Brown’s NAVY JAG series. The title of the book refers to the Administrative Law Division of the NAVY Judge Advocate General corps. The division advises Washington activities and field commands on law, policies, statutes and regulations pertaining to Department of Navy ... A JAGged adventure
On 4/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: Do you know why God left you on planet Earth? Do you know how he has uniquely wired and gifted you? Do you know how to use your gifts and abilities to have the greatest impact? Would you like to be able to say “Yes!” to each of these questions? More: Find your personal calling and live life to the ... Finding true fulfillment in life through discovering what God called you to be and to do
On 3/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: Jesus Called, He wants his church back: What Christians and the American church are missing is one of the better books on the state of the church that I have read in recent days. Pastor and author Ray Johnston accurately analyzes the current state of our culture and the American church. He prescribes ... What is the church missing?
On 2/26 Mark Wheeler wrote: Culture preaches that we should strive for importance. We long to be a VIP—Very Important Person. We get caught up in the pursuit of wealth, status, power, and fame. We want to be “liked” on Facebook. But is that the best way to live? Author O. S. Hawkins takes a counter-cultural approach by encouraging ... Would you rather be important or influential?
On 1/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: Game Over is a fast paced, thrilling conclusion to Andrew Klavan’s Mindwar Trilogy. The first two books tell the story of Rick Dial, a former high school football star who lost the use of his legs in a car accident. After his accident, Rick tried to lose himself in videogames. His gaming skills were ... Another thrill ride from Andrew Klavan
On 1/8 Mark Wheeler wrote: With an opening paragraph like … I knew my chances of survival were almost nil the moment I saw the gun—and the expressionless look in the eyes of the turbaned Arab who had stepped out of the sand dunes next to our stationary, four-wheel-drive vehicle. My panicked thoughts and exploding emotions ... How do you forgive an enemy?
On 11/22 Mark Wheeler wrote: Dr. John Townsend has written a very helpful book aimed at correcting an entitlement mentality. The book can be useful for someone who struggles with that approach to life or for someone trying to help someone caught up in that mindset. For those not familiar with the concept, entitlement is the belief ... Practical tools for a life of success
On 11/6 Mark Wheeler wrote: If you are looking for a gift for a friend who might be seeking God, the consider giving The Case for Hope. While Strobel’s previous books are longer and more scholarly, this one is shorter and more personal. Filled with biblical principles and stories of transformed lives, it aims to help people find ... Finding hope that lasts
On 9/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Twenty years ago, not one nation on earth endorsed legal same-sex marriage. Now, access to same sex marriage is increasingly seen as a basic human right, one enshrined in law by the Supreme Court of the United States. In less than a single generation, Western cultures have experienced a moral revolution. ... Take a stand on moral issues
On 9/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Great leaders are not born. Great leaders are not made. Great leaders are developed through hard work, habitual work. This is the conviction of Brad Lomenick, former lead visionary and president of Catalyst, one of America’s largest movements of next-generation leaders. As the author explains, Leaders ... The habits of effective leaders
On 8/29 Mark Wheeler wrote: In 2013, I was introduced to Eric Metaxas inspiring book, Seven Men: And the secrets of their greatness. In this volume, I read about several men I was unfamiliar with. I found the book both informative and challenging. Metaxas has now written a companion volume profiling seven women of high character ... Great Stories about Great Women
On 8/10 Mark Wheeler wrote: If laughter is the best medicine, then reading Diary of a Jackwagon by Tim Hawkins with John Driver will set you on the road to good health. For those unfamiliar with the author, Tim is a Christian comedian you can find in concert or on YouTube. I was initially introduced to Tim through his YouTube video ... Prescription for a chuckle-filled afternoon
On 7/26 Mark Wheeler wrote: Pastor and author Roy Moran has written a book suggesting a new approach to doing church. Spent Matches: Igniting the Signal Fire for the Spiritually Dissatisfied challenges the traditional approach of inviting people to church. Rather than plant churches, the author wants to start a movement of multiplicative ... A new approach to doing church
On 7/19 Mark Wheeler wrote: Michael Kendrick’s book, Your Blueprint for Life: How to Align Your Passion, Gifts, and Calling with Eternity in Mind was not what I was expecting. It was encouraging, but not in the way I thought it would be. My assumption was that the book would be another volume on how to discover your spiritual ... Build your life according to God’s blueprint
On 5/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: “God’s mission in this world is to create the church where God’s will is lived out by all of God’s people. God’s new creation grace and love are experienced at the table of Christian fellowship and create a new people, a new community, and a new way of life marked by a holiness the Roman Empire ... A new perspective of the importance of the church
On 4/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: Suspected terrorists. GITMO. Overreaching bureaucrats. JAG lawyers. A Washington, D.C. whistleblower on the run from people in her own agency who want to kill her. The war on terror. Don Brown weaves all of these elements together in his latest offering, Detained. It is Book 1 in a new series, The Navy ... Seeking justice
On 1/26 Mark Wheeler wrote: The Leadership Handbook: 26 critical lessons every leader needs is a pretty typical offering from author John Maxwell. You will find good principles, funny stories, practical lessons, insightful quotes, but zero biblical content. He includes ideas like, "Don't send your duck to eagle school," "If it's ... John Maxwell on Leadership
On 1/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: By his own admission, Tim Stevens is not your typical leader. After high school, he joined a non-profit organization and rose through the ranks. He left it behind to join the staff of a church plant. He eventually served as executive pastor at Granger Community Church in Indiana. Stevens’ background ... How to be a more effective leader
On 10/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: How do you go from an elite warrior to a broken man? How do you find meaning and purpose when your body can no longer perform the skills that gave you an identity? How do you find support to endure rehabilitation and recovery? How do you go from being valued for your tactical skills to being unable to ... Where does an elite warrior turn when he needs to be rescued?
On 10/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: At the end of your life, what will you have to show for your efforts? Will you have a sense of accomplishment, or will you be filled with regret? These questions lie at the heart of Jim Grassi’s helpful book, Finishing Well, Finishing Strong (A Romans 12 Disciple). Through a thoroughly biblical and ... Run hard to the finish line
On 9/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: As we move through life on our journey toward authentic manhood, every man wants to hear encouraging words—“You are not alone. It’s not all up to you. You are going to find your way.” That is the theme of the joint venture by father and son, John & Sam Eldredge, Killing Lions: A guide through ... An invitation to a journey
On 7/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: “What if you had to sacrifice everything you love in order to save everything you love?” is the penetrating question that Rick Dial must wrestle with in MindWar, the opening volume in Andrew Klavan’s The MindWar Trilogy. The problem is that Rick has stopped believing in everything—himself, his ... What do you get when you cross Ender's Game with This Present Darkness?
On 6/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: Spirit Bridge is the concluding volume of James L. Rubart’s Well Spring trilogy. Since I was not familiar with the series, I took the time to read the first two books before the final installment. That proved to be a wise choice since the characters, their relationships, and the theme of the series ... Don’t base your theology of spiritual warfare on a novel
On 5/19 Mark Wheeler wrote: How do you measure the success of a leader? What makes a leader great? Is a leader measured by what he or she accomplishes, or is there another, perhaps more essential, yardstick for measuring effectiveness? Those questions serve as the launching pad for author, pastor, and college president Joe Stowell’s ... Becoming a leader of character
On 4/22 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is it well with your soul? When was the last time you contemplated the health of your soul? Pastor and author John Ortberg has written a thoughtful book that will cause you to think about how to keep your soul healthy. As the author explains, far too often we confuse the health of our soul with salvation. ... Is it well with your soul?
On 3/8 Mark Wheeler wrote: What would happen if oil was discovered in Antarctica? Would the nations of the world peacefully share the wealth? Or would conflict break out to see who could control it? Since the former would not make for a very good novel, you can guess the plot of Storming the Black Ice. The book opens with British ... What would happen if oil was discovered at the bottom of the world?
On 1/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: What we believe about the future determines how we live today. This is the premise of Skye Jethani’s latest book, Futureville: Discover your purpose for today by reimagining tomorrow. The author presents the view that our concept of the future gives us not only a sense of hope, but more importantly, ... What's your view of the future?
On 12/21 Mark Wheeler wrote: “Generosity changed the world once. What would happen if the church became known for inexplicable generosity once again?” The above quote lies at the heart of pastor and author Andy Stanley’s short book, How to be rich: It’s not what you have. It’s what you do with what you have. The author ... What are you doing with what's in your wallet?
On 11/19 Mark Wheeler wrote: Nightmare City is a well written, intriguing novel aimed at young adults. It starts out with the feel of a horror story. Tom Harding is a reporter for his high school newspaper. When he wakes up one morning and discovers the entire city is encased in fog, he doesn’t know what is going on. Soon, he ... Young adult thriller with thought provoking lessons
On 10/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: Go to any leadership conference and you will find a parade of successful, innovative leaders who take bold risks and live on the cutting edge. What the conference won’t tell you is that most innovators fail. Accepting and adapting to that one fact will set you on the road to bringing creativity and ... Becoming a more creative leader
On 9/10 Mark Wheeler wrote: What Haddon Robinson did for preachers, Ken Davis has done for professional speakers. Haddon Robinson wrote the definitive text on preaching—Biblical Preaching: The development and delivery of expository messages. Ken Davis has done the same for those who speak for a living in his book, Secrets of ... Speak up!
On 7/8 Mark Wheeler wrote: Pastor and author Craig Groeschel wants men to discover who they were created to be—a warrior. He believes God designed men to have the heart of a warrior, to itch for a fight. That doesn’t mean we were created to be “aggressive, alpha-bully punks.” Rather, God placed within the heart of each ... How not to be a godly man
On 5/20 Mark Wheeler wrote: For far too long, the local church has outsourced discipleship to parachurch organizations. Now is the time to “insource” discipleship and bring it back to the local church. This is the conviction of pastor and author Randy Pope, and the main idea of his helpful book, INsourcing: Bringing discipleship ... Life on life discipleship
On 4/20 Mark Wheeler wrote: Do we really need one more book about manhood? Author Eric Metaxas seems to think so because manhood is the theme of his latest book, Seven Men: And the secret of their greatness. In this encouraging and well written book, he seeks to answer two questions: What is a man? and What makes a man great? ... What makes a man great?
On 3/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: Taking a stroll through a Christian bookstore, the average person is led to believe that Christians are expected to be radical, crazy, missional, gospel-centered, revolutionary, and organic. Christian radio and TV adds another set of buzzwords to let everyone know “that our tribe is far more biblical, ... Can you be too zealous for God?
On 3/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: Does God allow rivals? Will God allow our spouse, career, children, pleasure, control, or any other activity or desire to supplant his rightful place in our life? These seem like rhetorical questions, with the obvious answer being “No.” But why do we allow them to push God aside? Author and pastor ... Does God allow rivals?
On 11/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: Picture yourself as a sixteen-year-old boy. Your parents are constantly fighting and you are afraid they are headed for a divorce. To escape from the chaos at home, you use your spring break to go with your church group to a third-world country in Central America to help build a wall for a church in ... Another winner from Andrew Klavan
On 9/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: Practical. Biblical. Encouraging. Helpful. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the latest offering from Max Lucado. Grace: More than we deserve, greater than we imagine takes us below the surface of the topic of grace. We know the word, but not the true meaning. We tend to think grace is limited ... Grace-full living
On 8/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: St. Iraneaus is credited as saying, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” The problem is that many people, Christians included, are living, but not fully alive. They are not experiencing the abundant life that God intended for them to live. At the heart of the issue is the fact that most people ... One man's journey to an abundant life
On 6/24 Mark Wheeler wrote: How can you survive in a world where every aspect of life is falling apart? How can you understand the times in which we live as well as know how to respond? What difference does the kingdom of God make in today’s world? Answering those questions is the theme of Wallace Henley’s book, Globequake: ... How the kingdom of God can stabilize your world
On 6/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: The Resurrected Ones is certainly not the story I expected. Rather than being pleasantly surprised, I found myself disappointed. The author’s premise is based on Matthew 27:51–53. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were ... An implausible, speculative tale
On 6/8 Mark Wheeler wrote: While the world cannot do without Jesus, the same can’t be said of the book, The indispensable Jesus. This is not a book I would recommend. In the introduction, the author says his goal was to present who Jesus is and how we are to relate or respond to him. The book is divided along those lines. While ... A forgettable book about Jesus
On 5/5 Mark Wheeler wrote: Building family ties with faith, love & laughter is the second volume in Pastor Dave Stone’s Faithful Families series. The first book in the series, Raising your kids to love the Lord, describes the end goal of parenting. Building family ties describes how to reach that goal. The author starts by ... Practical ideas to strengthen your family
On 4/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: What if dinosaurs were alive today? How would the scientific community respond? How would it affect the dialogue between those who support creationism and those who advocate evolution? Those questions lie at the heart of Jonathan C. Leicht’s novel, Behemoth. The book tells the story of two groups ... What if dinosaurs lived today?
On 4/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: When cancer rears its head, does God know? When financial security plummets, is God present? When disaster strikes, does he even care? When the storms of life rain upon us, where can we find answers? These are the questions asked and answered by Alexander Kumpf in his short book, Eye of the storm. His ... Where is God when life hurts?
On 4/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Crazy dangerous is a well written, intriguing novel aimed at young adults. Set in a small town, it tells the story of a 16-year-old preacher’s kid, Sam Hopkins. Whether it is training to become part of the high school track team or getting recruited by a gang of car stealing thugs, Sam desperately ... Just because you are hallucinating doesn't mean it isn't true
On 4/9 Mark Wheeler wrote: Most fathers approach parenting with the approach of a general contractor. They sub out the academic training of their children to the school systems and its teachers. They sub out the character development to coaches and peers. The spiritual development is left up to Sunday School teachers and youth ... What I wish someone had told me about being a dad
On 4/4 Mark Wheeler wrote: I was looking forward to reviewing this book the week of Good Friday and Easter because I wanted to be reminded of what Jesus did on the cross to forgive my sins. Once again, I was not disappointed by one of Max Lucado’s books. He Chose the Nails focuses on individual aspects of the scene that took ... Good Friday reading
On 3/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Crater, the first volume of Homer Hickam’s new trilogy, is a coming of age story that takes place on the moon. The main character is a 16-year-old Helium 3 miner by the name of Crater. An orphaned teenager with a brilliant mind, he is nonetheless content to work the scrapes as a miner. After saving ... Growing up on the backside of the moon
On 3/19 Mark Wheeler wrote: There are days when it is easy to praise God. And then there are the rest of our days—days when we get stuck in traffic, the baby gets sick, our boss chews us out, our friends forget what they promised, our spouse files for divorce, our kids disobey our instructions—you know, “normal” days. How ... Navigating life's rapids
On 3/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is it inevitable that we are defeated by temptation? Todd Hunter believes the answer is “No.” We don’t have to lose the fight. The essential problem with sin and temptation is that our lives are out of alignment with God’s purposes. Hunter refers to them as “disordered desires.” He explains ... Quiting sin
On 1/13 Mark Wheeler wrote: Being a fan of C. S. Lewis, I was intrigued by the title of Lindvall’s book. I wanted to learn more about the man behind the writings. While I learned more about Lewis than I knew previously, I can’t say that I enjoyed the lessons. The author takes his readers through an examination of the life and ... Insightful, but not enjoyable
On 12/21 Mark Wheeler wrote: In a church culture overly obsessed with leadership and success—seminars, books, techniques, tools, megachurches, celebrities, church growth secrets, etc.—Leonard Sweet sounds a call to return to becoming followers of Jesus. Rather than uncritically adopt the world’s view of leadership and success, ... "Follow Me"
On 11/17 Mark Wheeler wrote: Can you change the past by going to the future? What happens when the past, present, and future collide? The Future Door is the second book in Jason Lethcoe’s series about Griffin Sharpe, the world’s most secret detective. Griffin is a 12-year-old “genius” with good observation skills, and a ... What happens when the past, present, and future collide?
On 10/15 Mark Wheeler wrote: What is your church’s elevator story? In the amount of time it would take you to travel 17 stories up an elevator, how would you describe what your church is all about? If you were traveling with an investor, would that person want to invest in your church’s purpose after hearing your story? That ... How do you grow deep people?
On 9/24 Mark Wheeler wrote: “We find in the pages of Scripture that the stories there often mirror our own stories, and that we too need the very thing we do not deserve: the grace of God.” That statement summarizes the message and outline of Andy Stanley’s book, The Grace of God. He traces the theme of God’s grace through ... The panorama of God's amazing grace
On 8/25 Mark Wheeler wrote: A fine beginning to a thrilling tale. The Realms Thereunder is the first book in a compelling new trilogy written by Ross Lawhead. Having long been a fan of his father, Stephen R. Lawhead, I was curious to read Ross’ work. I certainly was not disappointed. Complicated, but compelling are the words ... Wowed and entertained by a new author
On 8/8 Mark Wheeler wrote: Leave it to an editor to describe Christianity with prepositions. That is the premise of Skye Jethani’s newest book, With: Reimagining the way you relate to God. Jethani uses four prepositions—under, over, from, and for—to describe faulty ways of relating to God while the preposition “with” ... How would you describe your relationship with God?
On 7/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: In a hectic, busy, fast-paced life, God is often pushed to the background. We hear people talk about the abundant life he promises, but it all seems like a distant and vague rumor to most of us. How do you develop a deeper, richer, and closer relationship with God in a frantic world? Most authors answer ... Where is the life God promised us?
On 7/16 Mark Wheeler wrote: “New Atheism” burst onto the scene in 2006, brimful of energy and passion. With infectious self-confidence, witty sound bites, prolific authors, and popular opinion, it was assumed that religion would not survive the scrutiny and wisdom of the New Atheism. Half a decade later, how do things look ... A primer on "New Atheism"
On 6/30 Mark Wheeler wrote: How do you discover your sweet spot? Where are you the most effective, the most satisfied, the most fulfilled? Begin by asking yourself two questions—“What do you do well?” and “What do you enjoy doing?” The answer may very well surprise you, but it will also help you discover how God has uniquely ... How do you discover your sweet spot?
On 6/27 Mark Wheeler wrote: “What Copernicus did for the earth, God does for our souls.” Prior to Copernicus, people believed that the universe revolved around the earth. Copernicus changed that belief by pointing out that the earth and the rest of the universe revolves around the sun. Many people have the idea that life and ... A Copernican shift in thinking
On 6/23 Mark Wheeler wrote: Surviving your Serengeti is a creative, well-written, inspiring book designed to help the reader discover their main survival strategy. Written as a fable, it tells the story of a couple who won an African safari in a sales contest. Facing business and career challenges back home in Los Angeles, they ... If you were an animal
On 6/15 Mark Wheeler wrote: Billy Graham in Quotes is a unique anthology of the thoughts of one of the preeminent Christians of our time. The authors have gleaned material from Graham’s seven decades of ministry, drawing from both his published and personal works. The material is then arranged topically for easy reference, covering ... The legacy of Billy Graham
On 5/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Having recently listened to The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, I was intrigued to read No place like Holmes, the story of the world’s most secret detective, and who just happened to live next door to Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous detective. No place like Holmes is the story of Griffin ... The world's most secret detective
On 5/21 Mark Wheeler wrote: The Seraph Seal is a well-written, intriguing, thought-provoking, and entertaining yarn. It has the flavor of a Dan-Brown-does-apocalyptic-literature-divine-conspiracy novel, yet it thoroughly entertains in a fast paced, page-turning, can’t-put-it-down style. The story begins with the birth of nine ... How will the world end?
On 5/2 Mark Wheeler wrote: I have long been a fan of Tim Downs’ writing, and especially his “Bug Man” series. I’m happy to say that his latest novel, Nick of Time, does not disappoint. It is a well written, thoroughly entertaining adventure. The main character of the series is Nick Polchak, a forensic entomologist, sort ... The Bug Man is getting married
On 4/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: Over the past two thousand years, Christianity has moved from a tribe of renegades to a religion of conformists. We have preached a gospel that says that Jesus died and rose from the dead so that you can live a life of endless comfort, security, and indulgence. We tell people that if they will believe ... Take risks in your faith
On 4/18 Mark Wheeler wrote: Honest questions. Insightful answers. Heartfelt problems. Biblical solutions. That describes Max Lucado’s latest book in a nutshell. As any pastor can attest, people ask questions all the time. Over the course of thirty years of ministry, Max Lucado has been asked countless questions. In Max on Life, ... Insightful answers to life's important questions
On 4/11 Mark Wheeler wrote: To be honest, I have decidedly mixed feelings about The Final Summit as I both liked and disliked the book. On the one hand, it is a well-written, fascinating parable that pulls you in and carries you along. The author’s device of using historical figures to convey pertinent information and lessons ... Climbing Cotton Candy Mountain
On 3/26 Mark Wheeler wrote: Is it possible to operate a successful business if you don’t put profit first on your priority list? Is it possible to create wealth through virtuous means? These are the questions tackled by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch in his book, Doing Virtuous Business. His contention is that “the creation of ... Can capitalism and Christianity work together?
On 3/14 Mark Wheeler wrote: Ten years ago, when radical Islamist terrorist used three U.S. airplanes to kill nearly three thousand of our countrymen, America was angry. It was a justified anger that gave focus and generated clear objectives and a willingness to meet them. Through ten years of practiced tolerance, political correctness, ... Reversing a downward trend
On 2/28 Mark Wheeler wrote: Beginning preachers are told to “keep the cookies on the lowest shelf.” It means to be simple and clear in your explanation of what a passage of Scripture means. Without becoming simplistic, a preacher should strive to make the difficult things of Scripture clear and understandable to his congregation. ... Have you ever wanted to ask God a question?
On 2/3 Mark Wheeler wrote: When the economy gets tight, when job are scarce, when debt rises, when families have a difficult time making ends meet, charitable giving is one of the first things to get subtracted from the budget. Does tithing really make sense today? Author Douglas Leblanc answers that question by exploring Malachi ... Is tithing practical today?