From Magic City Morning Star

Christian Book Basket Magic City (13)
By R.P. BenDedek
Aug 27, 2014 - 1:10:18 AM

On Sundays we publish the regular book basket which highlights (no more than 15) new book releases by providing publicity material sent by publicists.

It also features links to whatever articles book authors have sent in for publication that week, and additionally displays links to whatever book reviews have been published.

(No one at all at Magic City receives any financial gain from any of the services we provide in relation to new book releases or reviews.)

To ease pressure on the regular book basket, in March we inaugurated the 'Christian Book Basket Magic City' which is published irregularly on a Wednesday. In that basket we highlight whatever Christian books have come to our attention during the previous weeks. We also occasionally do a 'Childrens Book Basket.'

We offer all authors a "no-pay no-charge" self-promotions offer to provide 'stand alone' articles within which we will publish bios, book cover photographs and links to purchase pages for their book release. This is not an offer to rehash publicity material, but to offer our readers something interesting to read. As we have no regular contributor to our Christianity section, Christian writers are welcome to write on any Christian topic.

We have two regular Christian book reviewers; Laure McCourt Lopez and Estelle Parke.

Most Recent Christian Book Reviews:

R.P.BenDedek Book Review: "A Covenant People" by James P. Eckman
Aug 10, 2014

This book by James P. Eckman is a very informative and many faceted presentation of the history of Israel. If it were to be given a different title, then 'History of Israel 101' would be a very appropriate one. Because of my over-familiarity with the subject matter, halfway through I was tempted to write my review. I'm glad I didn't! Chapters 12 through 15 were for me somewhat of a revelation, and I eagerly sat at the master's feet and soaked in as much as I could. It provides the reader with what I consider to be an evenhanded academic approach to the realities on the ground.

Estelle Parke Book Review: 'In the Spirit of Elijah' by Trevor Payne
Jul 31, 2014

He has managed to write the book in such a way as to present the characters, especially John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and assorted disciples, as real, human, genuine people. In this regard, I feel that the author is to be commended for a job well done. He has included a variety of small, personal accounts and incidents which help to humanize the Biblical characters and 'bring them to life' for the reader. I was disappointed to discover that there are numerous grammatical and other errors of writing throughout the work...

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"Authentic Christianity"

by Gordon Haresign

"Authentic Christianity" by Gordon Haresign
PITTSBURGH -- In light of the church's declining influence in the world, it's essential that Christians magnify the Lord by showing authenticity in their walk with Christ.

In his new book "Authentic Christianity," author Gordon Haresign offers a powerful appeal for every Christian to bring his or her life into conformity with Christ's expectations.

"The world has a distorted view of Christianity because it rarely sees authentic Christianity on display or in action," Haresign said. "As Christians, it's our responsibility to ensure the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted and magnified."

Using the first three chapters of the book of Revelation in the Bible as a foundation, Haresign explores Christ's critique of the seven churches of Asia to expose flaws in today's churches and the need for authentic Christianity.

Haresign, who has been studying and teaching the book of Revelation since he was 15 years old, said the messages Christ conveyed to the churches in those cities are as stunning today as they were then.

"Authentic Christianity" is a compelling and timely read that calls for action, change and authenticity to spark a revival in North America and throughout the world.

Gordon Haresign is an ordained minister who has directed a worldwide network of Christian schools, visited more than 50 countries with various ministries and pastored two churches. Today he resides in Pittsburgh with his wife of more than 50 years.

"Authentic Christianity"
By: Gordon Haresign
ISBN: 978-1-4908-3562-4
Softcover retail price: $24.95
Hardcover retail price: $39.95
E-book retail price: $3.99

No. 2.

"Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul"

By Douglas Kindred

"Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul" By Douglas Kindred
OCALA, Fla. -- Starting to read the Bible can be intimidating, but when it's broken down into subject areas that clearly relate to modern life, it becomes easier to understand and see at work in people's lives.

Douglas Kindred understands feeling the power of the Bible first-hand. After drifting away from God and having his priorities out of order, he remembered his mother's advice and turned back to Jesus' words to seek help.

Kindred suffered from a mold related illness that devastated his health and his entire life. The experience brought him back to the Lord. During his journey back to faith, he remembered the advice his mother had given him as a teenager: "Read Matthew to live your life, read John to save your soul." Following this advice helped Kindred transform his life through Jesus' words. He is now sharing his Jesus' transformative power and his personal experience in a new book, "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul."

Kindred's book acts as a how-to guide for people who are unfamiliar with the Bible to understand Jesus' words and easily find wisdom that relates to their lives. Just as Kindred saw the Bible's words transform his life, he believes his book will help others make a similar change. It is a guidebook for people starting on their journey with God.

"Jesus says what he means, and he means what he says. But there are many people today who just don't know what Jesus said," said Kindred. "This book points out to them exactly what Jesus said and what it means in their lives."

Doug Kindred earned a Bachelor's degree in physics and math from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in optics from University of Rochester. He is President of Gradient Lens Corporation in Rochester, N.Y., and currently resides in Ocala, Fla. For more information, visit

"Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul"
By Douglas Kindred
ISBN: 978-1-4908-3587-7 (sc);
978-1-4908-3588-4 (e)
Softcover, $11.95
Hardcover, $28.95
Ebook, $4.99
Approximately 138 pages

No. 3

"What is this thing called Go(o)d?"

By Rob Beasley

"What is this thing called Go(o)d?" By Rob Beasley
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Fighting in the Middle East and genocide in Africa shock the world with the inhumanity and cruelty embodied by human beings.

Back in 1994, the Rwandan Massacre spurred Rob Beasley to take action toward understanding why terrible things happen in the world. In his book What is this thing called Go(o)d?, Beasley analyzes religious texts to find meaning in life and a path to peace for a world torn apart by war and other atrocities.

"Wanting to understand the Rwandan Massacre and why we fail to find peace in this world, I found myself reading the Gospel of Thomas one day," Beasley said. "The 114 sayings from Jesus in this text offer authentic enlightenment."

Beasley finds that by challenging the notions people hold about religion, they realize they are all talking about the same thing. Empires throughout history have hidden the true message of Jesus; these empires have fraudulently politicized religions in five distinct corruptions.

"The masses have been conned by those in power for centuries," Beasley said. For more information, visit

Rob Beasley has been on a search for understanding ever since 1994, when the Rwandan Massacre shocked the world. The father of seven, interested in peace, economics, politics, religions, and spirituality, was inspired by the tragedy to find a way to unite humanity, solve climate change, and bring about world peace.

"What is this thing called Go(o)d?"
By Rob Beasley
ISBN: 978-1-49690-650-2
Author House
Published June 6, 2014
422 pages
E-Book $4.00
Softcover $90

No. 4

"Monastery to Matrimony"

By Mary Ann Weakley

"Monastery to Matrimony" By Mary Ann Weakley
ORLANDO, Fla. - In 1965, there were 181,000 Catholic sisters in the United States, but that number has been in steady decline ever since, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown. Only about 50,000 sisters serve today, and the population ages rapidly as few young women enter the convent.

Today, the average age sisters take their vows is 39. When Mary Ann Weakley took her vows in 1954, she was just 17. Monastery to Matrimony is a memoir about Weakley's twenty years in the convent and her journey of faith.

"In the book, I share why - at 17 - I made such a drastic decision, and why - if I was happy - I would leave after twenty years. I share stories of my survival, sometimes humorous, and sometimes just scary, as when I left the convent with no job, no wardrobe, and nowhere to live," Weakley said.

A story from the Authors Webpage: A novice sister in a white veil steered me to a table off to the side obviously meant for the youngest members, reminiscent of the "kids table" at Thanksgiving dinner at home. Still no one spoke. Gawking and smiling like a kid on a new adventure, I searched the faces framed in white in an effort to find my favorite teachers in the line of dominoes. No one looked up, no one smiled, all hands were concealed under their garments. I followed suit; lowered my gaze and put my hands under the little black cape worn over a baggy blouse and long black skirt, my new convent issue. (From the Author's First Convent Breakfast)

Weakley wrote "Monastery to Matrimony" to be a resource of courage to help people facing life changes. "A survival theme runs through my life, from the tornado I lived through when I was seven to adjusting to convent life and then adjusting to life outside the convent," Weakley said. "Hopefully the book will encourage people making big decisions in their lives." For more information, visit

Mary Ann Weakley enjoyed twenty years as a nun in a Catholic convent in Illinois until she left due to a conflict with another nun that left her feeling rejected by the community. She later married and became an interior designer in Tennessee. Now a widow, Weakley lives in Florida and loves horses and travel.

"Monastery to Matrimony"
By Mary Ann Weakley
ISBN: 978-1-4525-9596-2
226 Pages
Softcover $16
E-book $10

No. 5

"I Hear You Smiling"

By Jane Pierce

"I hear you Smiling" by Jane Pierce
A Book of Candid Conversations with the Lord. Jane Pierce's 'I Hear You Smiling,' is a deeply personal tome full of short, meaningful monologues the author delivers to her Lord.

Very few things are more personal than one's conversations with a higher power, or whatever being they believe to be God. Jane Pierce is no different; she tells her Lord about her life and struggles with a frank openness that is disarming- especially since she shares these conversations with others. In her new book, I Hear You Smiling, Pierce gives readers a candid look at some deeply personal conversations with God.

Many people are comforted by talking to God frequently; these prayers don't come with some sort of script, but usually flow from the person's mind naturally. In this way, people share with God their worries, triumphs, fears, and questions. Jane Pierce does just this, sharing with The Lord her struggles with her relationship and desire for a divorce, despite knowing that divorce comes with many negative perceptions. She also shares some lovely moments of ministry, such as meeting someone in a bar (a concept she also struggles with: she sees nothing wrong in meeting friends in a bar but knows some Christians would judge her for simply stepping into such an establishment) and sharing her faith with him.

Not all of Pierce's conversations with the Lord are about worries or triumphs, however. Some are about deep pain and confusion, such as the passage entitled, 'Suicide.' In this particular monologue, Pierce attempts to make sense of a senseless occurrence, hoping to hear God smile once she's able to understand. I Hear You Smiling is a beautifully heartfelt book of simple, moving conversations that every Christian will treasure.

Jane Pierce was born in New York State, raised in Ontario, Canada, and currently resides in Florida. A lifelong writer of poetry, short stories, spiritual thoughts, and plays, Jane has ventured far and wide as both tourist and missionary. She was the first woman in radio in central Florida in the 1950s, and in the 1970s she started her own public relations and advertising agency. A mother of two, grandmother of twelve, and great-grandmother of eight, Jane is now retired but continues to write, and is currently working on a novel.

"I Hear You Smiling"
by Jane Pierce
Bookstand Publishing
Published 4/8/2014
Format: eBook
File size: 321 KB
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
BN ID: 2940149286195
Pages: 49
Price $6.99

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