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Christian Book Basket Magic City (9)
By R.P. BenDedek
Jun 11, 2014 - 12:10:36 AM

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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 every second Wednesday in which we highlight whatever Christian books have come to our attention during the previous week.

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.

As of May 13th 2014, we have a Christian book reviewer who will be providing us with reasonably regular reviews of Christian books.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality"

by Cheryl Chumley

"Police State USA" by Cheryl Chumley
Journalist and author Cheryl Chumley has spent the last 15 years writing about a wide range of topics, from politics, policy and presidential elections to small-town courts, cops and county government. This experience has given her a front-row seat to corruption, government malfeasance, bureaucracy and unconstitutional actions. She has worked hard to shine a light on government wrong-doing with her aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act. Through all this, one thing has remained clear: America is on the wrong path. Fed up with the endless blame-game between Democrats and Republicans playing out daily in the news, Chumley decided the best thing she could do was help inform others.

To achieve that goal, Chumley wrote Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality, a layman's guide to the latest in constitutional hits this nation has taken. Using recent examples from across the country, Chumley illustrates how technology, environmentalists, businesses and politicians are stripping the American people of their God-given rights.

"I wanted to write something that looked at current-day politics and culture, through the prism of Founding Father and constitutional intents, absent ideological consideration... mostly in order to warn. The deeper battle is that we're losing the heart and soul of our nation, the idea that all rights come from God, not government," says Chumley.

Cheryl K. Chumley is a veteran news writer with The Washington Times, a journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation and her work has been featured in The Washington Times, Blaze Magazine, The Washington Examiner, The Heritage Foundation, WND, Townhall Magazine, American Enterprise Institute, Newsmax and the Capital Research Center. Her news, opinion and in-depth analyses pieces have won numerous awards at both state and national levels, and she's been particularly noted for her aggressive use of Freedom of Information Act laws to hold officials accountable. Chumley lives with her husband, Doug, in Northern Virginia, along with their four children.

" Police State USA"
by Cheryl Chumley
Hardcover: $20
240 pages
Kindle $20
WND Books
Publishedd May 27, 2014
ISBN-10: 1936488140
ISBN-13: 978-1936488148

No. 2.

"Quenched: Christ's Living Water for a Thirsty Soul"

by Donna Pyle

"Quenched" by Donna Pyle
Saint Louis, MO--Feeling "dehydrated from the inside out" following a heartbreaking season in her life, Concordia Publishing House author Donna Pyle began journaling to return to God's living waters. The thoughts and prayers that emerged as Pyle wrote in her journal resulted in her latest book, Quenched: Christ's Living Water for a Thirsty Soul, which is set to reach bookstores July 1.

Pyle recalls being physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained during that dark season. But she knew she was not alone. She knows that God's loving arms were always draped around her. Being called to faith in early adulthood, she understands how the world can tear people down. Pyle takes great comfort now, walking in faith for more than 20 years. "I realized that many Christians--whether brand new or long-time Christians--endure such dehydrating seasons," says the author. "This book offers practical insight based on Scripture and personal experience of how we reconnect to our Source of living water."

The book is a direct result of "God's immeasurable grace," Pyle says. "I never forget that He alone has placed this writing journey before me. The fact that He chooses to use the messiest portions of my life to shine His light the brightest provides such a beautiful reflection of our loving Redeemer, who promises to bring beauty from the ashes." It does not matter what the circumstances are surrounding our difficult or painful season, Pyle says, adding, "Regardless of how far we believe we have strayed, or which of the world's wells we choose to dive into to find relief, God's living water alone faithfully and completely quenches our soul's thirst."

A soul-stirring, engaging speaker, author, Bible teacher, and worship leader, Donna Pyle has a passion for studying and teaching God's Word. Her clear, down-to-earth style encourages women of all ages to wholeheartedly love, serve, and live for Jesus Christ. In 2007, Donna launched Artesian Ministries, which exists to encourage every person to dive in, drink deeply and receive refreshment from God's Word on a regular basis. Since then she has authored 18 Bible studies, including The God of All Comfort, as well as numerous other works. She uses social media and her blog, "Hydrated Living," as instruments to spread God's love, joy and hope. She resides in Spring, Texas.

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. For nearly 145 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers more than 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at

"Quenched: Christ's Living Water for a Thirsty Soul"
by Donna Pyle
Softcover $15.00

No. 3

"On Sin and Free Choice"

by Johann Gerhard

"On Sin and Free Choice" by Johann Gerhard
Saint Louis, MO--Concordia Publishing House introduces the latest in Theological Commonplaces. Johann Gerhard's work On Sin and Free Choice is set for release to Christian bookstores and online July 17.

"To understand forgiveness, you must first understand transgression," says Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes, the book's editor. "These Commonplaces by Johann Gerhard--On Original Sin, On Actual Sin, and On Free Choice--are necessary before we can know and appreciate repentance, the Gospel, the saving work of Christ, and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Gerhard's Commonplaces give us a teaching on these topics more thorough than any other Lutheran treatment in the English language."

The new book focuses on three commonplaces. First, "On Original Sin" examines the primeval sin of Adam and Eve from Genesis 3 and the awful consequences of it. Because all descendants of Adam and Eve have been tainted by original sin, they are inherently corrupted. They require healing through Jesus Christ. This process begins through Holy Baptism.

"On Actual Sin," the second commonplace reviewed, scrutinizes human statements, deeds, and the desires that drive behavior--particularly those actions that are contradictory to God's moral law. Distinctions are identified between "mortal" and "venial" sin.

The final commonplace assessed in this work is "On Free Choice." This section explores how fallen people have some freedom of choice, but not the type that can turn them toward God. Only the Holy Spirit can convert individuals to faith in Christ. Once people are converted to faith, the Holy Spirit begins to renew their wills and lives.

The Theological Commonplaces series offers the first-ever English translation of Johann Gerhard's monumental Loci Theologici. Gerhard was the premier Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century. Combining his profound understanding of evangelical Lutheran theology with a broad interest in ethics and culture, he produced significant works on biblical, doctrinal, pastoral, and devotional theology. Gerhard's 17-volume Loci is regarded as the standard compendium of Lutheran orthodoxy.

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. For 145 years, CPH has provided individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers more than 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at

"On Sin and Free Choice"
The book currently is available for pre-order at

No. 4

"Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen"

by Terry Lane

"Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen" by Terry Lane
One man's story of God intervening

REEDLEY, Calif. -- Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life?

For 34 years, Terry Lane believed in God but never knew he was missing Jesus in his life. Lane's decision to attend church and find salvation led to many experiences that completely changed his life.

In "Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen," Lane shares his journey to welcoming God's presence in his life and the amazing events he faces along the way.

Many believers have told Lane he was chosen by God to be a witness for Jesus. In his book he tells of his heroic call to save a principal whose life was threatened by a student. This is just one of the many occurrences Lane has had of God working through him. He hopes his journey in faith will inspire others to find God's presence in their lives.

Lane knows what it means to not believe in Jesus, and what it feels like to believe. He encourages people of any age to open their eyes to the work God can do through them.

"We only get one chance in life," Lane said.

Terry Lane is a retired eighth-grade science teacher. He is a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church. Lane has been happily married for 40 years with two sons and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit

"Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen"
By Terry Lane
ISBN: 978-1-4908-2254-9
Available in softcover $10
E-book $4

No. 5.

"Seeing the Life"

by Sophie Dawson

"Seeing the Life" by Sophie Dawson
For many, the mention of Jesus immediately conjures up visions of the divine Son of God. Yet from a historical viewpoint, Jesus was a flesh-and-blood person who grew from baby to child to young adulthood. He had a life that included parents, siblings, and friends. He experienced many of the same joys and challenges as those around him. This perspective of Jesus is presented in Sophie Dawson's new work of historical fiction, Seeing the Life.

An award-winning author who writes in this genre with a Christian focus, Dawson explains, "We all know the story of Jesus' birth and the first few years of his life. He wasn't simply just born, then suddenly age 12 and then age 30. He lived and grew as anyone does, and did the ordinary things every child does. Jesus -- or Yeshua, as I refer to him in my book -- was fully man as well as fully God. By centering my characters as witnesses to some of the events of his life and as friends of his family, a different perspective is achieved."

Seeing the Life introduces the characters of Micah and Dassa, a young couple who befriend Joseph and Mary and witness the life of Yeshua. Through the years, Micah and Dassa share their friends' joys and sorrows, and watch Yeshua grow to become a rabbi. As scribe to Joseph of Arimethea, Micah does what the Pharisee cannot: he writes down his thoughts about the young man he's known all his life.

Micah, Joseph and their families follow the ministries of John the Baptist and Yeshua, the poor carpenter from Nazareth. Yet conflicts abound. Is Yeshua the Messiah who will lead Israel against the Roman army? Is he a fraud, a cohort of Satan? Or is he something else? The crowds cheer him, then want to stone him. They hail his arrival, then cry for his execution.

"I invite my readers to 'see the life' as those who lived at the same time saw it," adds Dawson. "There was a totally different mindset back then. There were social and political issues which shaped the people and ideas, and ultimately shaped how they responded to Yeshua's words and actions." Dawson notes that her work is inspired by God. "The Holy Spirit places the stories in my head. I've tried to write using my own ideas but it doesn't work. Waiting for divinely inspired ideas does work."

Sophie Dawson is Midwestern born and bred and is the author of several novels, including the Cottonwood Series and Stone Creek Series. Her novel Healing Love has won three awards: AuthorStand 2012 Gold Medal, Indiebook 2012 Silver Medal, and Readers' Favorite 2013 Silver Medal. Her books have also been #1 Best Sellers in their genre on Amazon. She is a member of Christian Independent Authors and Association of Independent Authors. An award-winning quilter with eclectic interests, Dawson posts to several blogs, including Little Bits Blog on her website, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Iowa Wesleyan College.

No. 6.

"Houses Divided"

by Marilynn Knott

"Houses Divided" by Marilynn Knott
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Retired minister and former government employee, Marilyn Knott believes that Christian's varied stances on modern social issues have weakened the faith.

Her new book, "Houses Divided" challenges Christian churches to put aside their differences and begin conversations that will bring them together as one in Christ. The book addresses hot button issues such as gun control, homosexuality, mental health, abortion and immigration.

"Both the church and the state are being divided by issues that impact small numbers of people," Knott said. "This makes it easy to scapegoat certain populations or actions without most of us having to grapple with any changes in our personal lives."

"Houses Divided" stresses that the Christian church has always been called to oneness in Christ and oneness with all the people God created.

Twenty-first-century Christians face a host of complex, divisive issues that threaten the unity of the church. In Houses Divided, author Marilynn Knott challenges the members of churches in the United States to put aside their differences and start conversations that can bring them together as the active and functioning Body of Christ in the world today. Knott connects the struggles facing modern society on social issues with those faced by Christians trying to apply biblical values to modern life. In Houses Divided, she first sketches the basic tenets of Christianity and responds to the tenets as they relate to society. She then provides a discussion of sin and looks at greed in our culture-how it impacts society, and how individuals and the body of Christ are called to turn away from its enticements. (Read More at Amazon)

Marilynn Knott worked in public human services for thirty-five years, primarily in administration. She then became a commissioned minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) serving as an assistant minister. She now works with justice ministries and continues writing. Knott lives in Oklahoma City, near her extended family.

"Houses Divided"
by Marilynn Knott
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: ArchwayPublishing
Published November 14, 2013
ISBN-10: 1480803677
ISBN-13: 978-1480803671

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