Tag Archive: graf-martin

Matt Mikalatos retells the story of Acts in a contemporary setting (e.g. what would be Dr. Lucas’ conversations with the various characters in Acts if it happened today). He doesn’t just retell the story; he delves into some of the historical and cultural nuances to add flavour and a clearer understanding of key passages. The book can be used as a  study with the discussion guide at the back.

I found Matt’s take to be refreshing. He paints a picture of the life of the 1st century church, but in its original context and how it could have been like today. His argument is the primary character in Acts is the Holy Spirit (in which the book could have been called “Acts of the Holy Spirit” vs “Acts of the Apostles”). I would recommend this book for others consideration.

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-MartinCommunications and BakerBooks in exchange for an honest review.



I started to read this book when I had a dark period of my life. When I started, it resonated deep within my soul. That feeling that sometimes God is distant, is unaware, is gone. As the title suggests, it’s as if we’re left in the dark by ourselves and no idea what to do.

Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin share their experiences in moments like these not in a flippant way. They don’t nonchalantly skim over their dark moments but allow you to dwell with them, perhaps feeling your own darkness in that time. Their answers are simple (maybe a bit too simple). Some of their reflections on scripture don’t delve into the intricacies of the issue. For example, there’s a reflection on Judas and how he basically never knew Jesus even though he did everything the disciples did (including miracles as implied). I think the context surrounding Judas is more intricate than that.

In the end, Kluck ends his section stating “it’s only natural that a book on doubt/struggle would end here. At repentance. At joy.” They are right in that in those dark moments, we don’t necessarily abandon hope, but we abandon God (not the other way around). And like most things within the Christian faith, it is simple but definitely not easy.

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Chosen Books (a division of Baker Book House Company) in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Michael Sedler’s book “When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up” does just that: to discern moments when silence is best and when words need to be spoken. Sedler provides fundamental reasons why one is best suited over the other in different circumstances. Yet too many times, we seem to misjudge the situation and take the wrong course of action.

Sedler’s book may seem at times seem too rudimentary. While he does provide some practical tips on how to discern when one should be used over the other, those insights are not applicable to every situation. Sedler does emphasis that: 1. when we do mess up (and we will), we must seek forgiveness and reconciliation  Sedler exemplifies this through his own experiences of “messing up”. 2. Discernment is something that one must work at and continue to work at. It doesn’t come naturally in all circumstances, so continued practice is needed.
This book is a good preliminary source for people to build their skills of discerning when to speak up or shut up. It’s a relevant book for family members, friends and colleagues.
Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Chosen Books (a division of Baker Book House Company) in exchange for an honest review.
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