Love By The Book by Walter Kaiser

book lov by book

Walter Kaiser has written many helpful works over a career spanning decades. I’ve enjoyed having many of them on my shelves. You know that you will get careful and capable help from a conservative standpoint. This work strikes me as him entering an area that differs from his usual academic work. In fact, the back of the book will show its classification as “Christian Life/ Love & Marriage”. Still, he can’t deny who he is and gives us something of a brief commentary on the Song of Solomon even as he attempts to give marital help.

As for the Song, he holds to a literal, non-allegorical approach that is most prevalent these days, though he is much more subdued than many such works in the intimate details. On the other hand, he presents a three-person interpretation (Shepherd, Shulammite, and Solomon) rather than the much more common two-person view (Shepherd and Shulammite). Though I believe some aspects of the allegorical view seeing Christ and His people must be true, and though I definitely can’t find my way around the difficulties of the three-person view, I found Kaiser clear and a good resource for me to check those competing views.

As for the marriage help, he holds to the traditional view of marriage that has been held up as the biblical position for centuries. He will have none of the radical trends pervading our culture and ensnarling the church. He makes a beautiful case for a superior way that is held up in Scripture.

My copy will be found on my Song of Solomon shelf, but this work can be used effectively in the “Love and Marriage” as well. How blessed we’d be if our views of marriage were what Kaiser champions here.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Walking Through Twilight by Douglas Groothuis

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This book grabs you. You pick it up, anticipate what you will find, and then get surprised. Though being real, or “raw” as they say, is all the rage these days, after you read this book you may decide, as I did, that you’ve hardly ever read something that’s “raw”. So much of the rawness of our day is merely façades more painstakingly crafted, but here the author detonates dynamite under his façades. He is a philosopher, an academic, an accomplished speaker, the man that is supposed to have it all figured out, but in the waves of bewilderment that crashed upon his soul as his wife descended into the twilight of dementia he found out he did not. What he could figure out when he forced himself to examine this bizarre, unexpected place is worth contemplating. It reminded me of my dark places, which were not as dark as his, and taught me what to examine the next time.

This effort is not along the same lines as the other titles Mr. Groothuis has produced, other than his quality writing skills. For example, I was greatly instructed by his “Philosophy in Seven Sentences”. He was able to marshal philosophy and especially the Bible for his struggles. He did it without an ounce of superficiality. He wasn’t able to tie everything up in neat little packages either. The profound part was that the more crushed he became the more sufficient his Savior became. I was moved.

Usually, when I review a book I overview the contents, but I think that would be a mistake in this case. Just experience it. Approach every chapter with a clean slate. You won’t regret it!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

That Rough Patch Called Transitioning To Adulthood

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I’ve been reminded of late just how tough that period in life where you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you grow up really is. I can remember that in my own life, but it seems so long ago that the memories are in black and white. My oldest, Briley, is at that place where she has to decide, and her brother, Caleb, the meticulous planner, is engulfed in it as well. Sadly, if anything, it’s harder to figure out these days.

An article in National Review by Oren Cass entitled “Teaching to the Rest” highlighted just how tough it is. According to the author, the 3 million recent high school graduates can be divided into approximately five equal categories. The first group didn’t even make it to high school graduation (remember one fifth of 3 million is 600,000!). The second group will pursue no further education. The third group will enroll in college but never graduate. The fourth group will graduate college, but will never work in the field they got their degree in. Only the final group will go through college and work in a field that they studied for. I don’t know about you, but those statistics shock me.

As you can imagine in that particular magazine, the article goes on talking about the political changes that need to be made in our educational system. The author’s ideas were wonderful, but excuse my cynicism in thinking that either the government or teachers unions would give his thoughts the time of day.

He alludes to, and you’ve probably heard it from other quarters as well, that there is a dearth of young people going into trades. In other words, a college education may not be the best case scenario as was universally believed when I graduated high school. Besides the fact that many public universities have lost their way and are so out of the mainstream that they actually steer young people away from success, there’s the issue that you might be financially worse off to go to college. On the one hand, many college students today embark upon their career with a disastrous financial situation because of college debt. A trade could be learned for a fraction of the cost with a similar starting salary but without the oppressive debt.

It grieves me to say this, but even for my children who want to follow my steps into the ministry, the possibility of making a full-time income from it over the course of their whole working lives seems unlikely. The rapid decline of Christianity in our day means that all in ministry may be tentmakers like Paul in the years ahead. That likelihood means even young people considering ministry will need a trade or profession to fall back on. I haven’t lost faith that the Lord can provide what’s needed for our calling, just that He he may actually start calling more to a bi-vocational ministry.

I’m totally sympathetic to my children. The gravity with which they view their choices for the future is commensurate to current events. I never want to be guilty of calling my children to the ministry or any other profession.

I’ve decided this rough patch of transition into adulthood is tough for parents too. You’d like to make it easier for them. You’d like for them to be able to pick it without reservations and feel perfectly at peace with their choices, but the reality is they go through all kinds of options. You have to balance telling them the ideas they have that probably will not work out well to not being overly controlling and telling them what they have to do with their lives. It’s tough. It’s times like this that I’m so happy that my children know the same Lord that I do. I’ve had times of not knowing the way and being afraid, and had to learn to wait on the Lord.

I guess this post is not really instructional. I really can’t see that I gave any good advice. But I guess I’m just putting in writing a plea to my children to trust the Lord with an acknowledgment that Daddy loves you and has confidence in you. I’m tempted to close my eyes and hide until the Lord grows your faith and leads you through this, but by faith let’s just go through it together.

A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue by J. A. Myhre 

Here’s a children’s book that will be loved in any Christian home. The plot is set in Africa and has the unique thrills of that continent. The author, J. A. Myhre, is a doctor in Africa. Her 20 years in Africa makes her able to visualize accurately situations there. The stories here began as stories for her own children and it’s a blessing that they are available for children everywhere.

The story transports us to the life of an amazing girl named Kiisa. She is dropped by her father at a school where she feels out of place and has to take a stand to do right and suffers for it. A little bird befriends her and encourages her. Later, the story becomes riveting when the school is attacked. What Kiisa does makes the story ( I don’t want to give away the plot!).

Beyond the gripping nature of the story itself is the description of the unsugarcoated nature of evil in our world and the right kind of courage in its presence. This story challenges our children to be righteously courageous in our world. I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Eternal Salvation–A Christian Movie Review


Eternal Salvation is an excellent Christian movie. The wooden acting that has plagued some Christian films is no where to be found in this movie. The plot will grab your attention throughout. My wife and children watched this film with me and we give it a family thumbs up. You will love this Dove-approved Eternal Salvation DVD.

The story is of an unsaved family man who is a high-profile investment banker. He survives a brain aneurysm, but faces struggles in recovery and with his job and protege. Through that difficult time and the help of a Christian friend he finds Christ. There are more issues after his salvation that help him deepen his faith. His wife and daughter find the Lord as well. There is fine drama in telling this story that makes for a fine viewing experience.

I might quibble over the portrayal of his daughter’s conversion. It was not made clear that she had to have  a personal faith herself. Plus my children all noticed that she was an older girl than the part she was playing. Still, this is a film I recommend for your family.

You can check out a variety of similar Christian DVDs here. Fishflix is allowing me to offer you a $5 coupon to their site if you join their email list. You can join by visiting or texting 5-GIFT to 44222. I get no kickback on this coupon, but am happy for other families to have this resource.

I received this DVD free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Ready To Return by Ken Ham


Ken Ham returns to a subject that he has written on before–our losing the younger generation from the faith. As you would expect from this famous creationist, he sees the denial of the historicity of the Genesis account as part of it. Still, he and co-author Jeff Kinley, assisted by researcher Britt Beemer, probe deeper to all aspects of moral relativism and an insufficient view of God’s Word that have brought on this problem.

The research is at once fascinating and heartbreaking. His assessments of why we are where we are seem spot on. When he shares that children being raised in Sunday School are leaving churches and the faith at a higher rate than those who weren’t, we get the greatest shock of all. His explanation that how we teach Bible “stories” is adding to the problem gets one thinking.

The book is excellent, the analysis keen. The only downside is there is a bit of repetition at times. Still, he looked at issues from several vantage points. Public school was shown to statistically predict a bad turnout for children. He well showed differences in only borrowing someone else’s faith. The chart on page 99 showing “renters” versus “owners” well illustrated the problem.

Chapter 9 was the best as he gave a plan that used the Bible as the basis for our raising our kids with results different than these dismal statistics he shared. His analysis of current trends nationally shared in appendixes was helpful. This book is a fine resource!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

George Will On The Government And Free-Range Parenting

I want to share one of the most brilliant, perceptive articles I have read in a long time. George Will has a great mind and I have enjoyed hearing what he has to say since I was a teenager.

He analyzes not only how the government is sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong, but also how we shelter our children from the wrong things. His best example is having no control over sex and alcohol in undergraduate studies while need to protect them from certain speech.

I had better stop talking and send you on to Mr. Will.

The George Will Article at National Review.

What I Learned And Received From My Mother

My mother, Patricia Reagan, is not the bragging type. She has always done helpful things for others. It seems my entire life she has always been responsible for taking people to town for shopping or doctor visits. Many of those folks were on my Daddy’s side of the family ( I have a lot of relatives that never learned to drive and others just got old).

I owe her a lot too. Every year older I get I realize more what a blessing I have had in my parents. I had a sheltered, carefree, and happy childhood thanks to them. Here are some of the things she gave me:

1. She told me about Christ.

From a very young age she told me about the Lord. She talked often of Him to me in our daily life. She had herself walked to church every Sunday as a child because her parents did not go. It was real to her. Not that she was perfect, but it was real to her. I firmly believe that moved my heart more than lectures that many parents give about a Christianity that has no impact on their lives.

When I became convicted about being saved she talked so carefully to me. She didn’t have enough confidence in herself and so sent me over to talk to my Grandfather who lived across the road. Then I came back and she and I went into her bedroom where I knelt beside her bed with only her with me and asked Jesus to be my Savior. That is, of course, the most previous memory of my life. She led me to Christ, which is the greatest thing any parent can do.

She also encouraged me to be a Bible reader. (I inherited a love of reading from her). She talked me into reading my Bible through on the one-year plan when I was thirteen. I made it to 1 Kings. That summer she was my VBS teacher and she was telling the class to be Bible readers. She also told them to not be like me and start and quit either. She was not one to ever publicly embarrass me, so this must have been incredibly important to her. I decided that day that if I lived to January I was going to start again ( I have no idea why I didn’t realize I could start then). I did read it through when 14 and have been a Bible reader since. In fact, I try other methods on occasion and always fall back on the one-year plan. You owe a lot to the one who teaches you to be a Bible reader.

2. She taught me about trusting the Lord.

When I was young she went through a period of panic attacks and depression in doubting her salvation. She talked openly of it but sheltered me from the harder parts of it. I remember her finding some good Christian materials. I remember Bible passages that she learned in her life that spoke to her problem. No one had ever trained this young lady (she is only 17 years older than me) about these spiritual truths. I saw her pray, I saw the Lord send help, and I saw her change into a happy Christian. Again, I saw that Christianity was not a game–it was real! Never once have I heard her brag on herself over this victory. She always just thanks the Lord for helping her.

She had to demonstrate this again when she battled breat cancer at 37, and ovarian cancer a few years later. She also lost three of her four siblings by the time they reached 45. She has had hard times. When I went through my own hard times at least I had had an example of trusting the Lord in a crisis.

3. She has loved and embraced my family.

It is a funny sight when we visit my parents now. There is usually one child in her lap and two snuggled up against her at all times. I imagine she is sore by the time we leave. As the kids get older I still see that they love to talk to her and tell her all about their lives and she is always ready for that conversation. I have always received unconditional love from my parents (they have never once failed me in this way) and they have passed it right on to the children.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you and thank you for all you have poured into my life.

Be The Dad She Needs You To Be by Kevin Leman


I certainly want to be the Dad she needs me to be, don’t you? Since three of my six children are girls, I was totally intrigued by Dr. Leman’s subject. Fortunately, the book lived up to its expectations for me. My wife has read several of his books, but this was my first one. He is worth reading! In an engaging, personal style, he gets you thinking on deeply important subject matter. I laid this book down with definate  knowledge of where I need to tweak my parenting of my daughters.

He masterfully explained how girls are so different, and so bewildering to we fathers, yet they need us so badly in their lives. The sobering fact that the kind of confidence she will have in life, and the corresponding choices she will make, particularly about relationships, will come from me. He then spends the balance of the book telling me not how to be a perfect Dad, but a good Dad. A Dad who really impacts her life to the good.

He leads past the idea that we can just criticize and command them to be the person we want them to be. We must purposely leave an “indelible imprint” on them. Sadly, we actually will leave one no matter what–that is why we must be purposeful. We must realize that every child we have is different so we have to know her heart. There is no foolproof little 10 Steps To Perfect Parenting. In the case of daughters, ours is the relationship that matters most.

He explained how we Dads are different, but that is good. She needs our approval, not another girlfriend in us. She needs me to live a “disciplined, balanced” life in front of her to give her security. He coached us in how to be involved in “the talk”. That is something we would rather pass off to her mother, but she needs to hear about men from me. If we don’t, some other guy will! He also gave counsel on when there are catfights under your roof–we can be a help!

There is so much more here. He has my ear even more because of how his daughters turned out, and how they now cherish him as father. What could be better than that? Thanks Dr. Lehman for an awesome book!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Related Posts:

The Good Dad by Jim Daly

Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson


The Good Dad by Jim Daly

Well, who wouldn’t want to be? If you are like me, you wonder often if you are a good Dad. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, is one I would want to hear talk on the subject. We need all the help we can get.

I’ll admit that I did not exactly expect what I read here. First, this wasn’t just straight principles. It wasn’t just a list of what you had better do either. It was Mr. Daly telling what he had learned from the three father figures in his life–his real father, his stepfather, and his foster father. They all bombed out and were gone from his life by the time he was twelve, with each one being progressively worse. Coupled with the death of his kind mother, these men inflicted great trauma in his life. It was the kind of trauma that speaks to what is at stake in being a father.

He quoted a few of the horrific statistics on “vanishing dads” and the far-reaching effects upon our society, but he clearly came from another direction overall. He explained how he felt when the Dads failed him. One on the football field when his Dad was the only one not there, later when his father was drunk at his baseball game, or when his stepdad left after his mother’s funeral, all the way to when his stepdad made a wild and false accusation, we felt the pain with him.

Why was this book helpful? He made us realize perfection was not ours to have. That viewpoint is more likely to make us throw up our hands and walk away. But we can figure out what is most important. We can focus there. We can learn to yell less, to stop overreacting and remember kids go through phases, and to make a big deal of only what is really big. We can decide which rules are important and let the others go.

His explanation on page 93 on four types of parenting styles–uninvolved, permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian–was profound. Three of the four are no good. Like the little bear’s porridge was just right, so is an authoritative parenting style. We Dads ever battle crossing over to the authoritarian mode, or maybe it’s just me!

This book succeeds because in a roundabout way it keeps grace and the gospel from being swallowed up in harsh law. Though it challenged me, it made me feel better instead of worse. That is a tall order for a book to Dads!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .