Tag Archives: non-fiction

Guest Review: Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places

30 Nov

51sNQrTF3GL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_Perhaps that’s the greatest reason why He calls us to dangerous places: so that we will know His astonishing, sacrificial, life-restoring love.

Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places is about what is lost and what is gained when we follow God at any cost.

Soon after 9/11, Kate McCord left the corporate world and followed God to Afghanistan —sometimes into the reach of death. Alive but not unscathed, she has suffered the loss of many things: comfort, safety, even dear friends and fellow sojourners.

But Kate realizes that those who go are not the only ones who suffer. Those who love those who go also suffer. This book is for them, too.

Weaving together Scripture, her story, and stories of both those who go and those who send, Kate considers why God calls us to dangerous places and what it means for all involved.

It means dependence. It means loss. It means a firmer hold on hope. It can mean death, trauma, and heavy sorrow. But it can also mean joy unimaginable. Through suffering, we come closer to the heart of God.

Written with the weight of glory in the shadow of loss, Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places will inspire Christians to count the cost — and pay it.


916TXUwMb1L._UX250_Kate McCord lived and worked in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2010. During her years in country, she worked as a humanitarian aid worker, delivering projects to benefit the people of Afghanistan. She also learned the local language and developed deep and lasting friendships with local Afghans.

After evacuating from her home in Afghanistan, Kate transitioned into a mentoring, training, consulting and coaching role to other workers serving in the region. Prior to moving to Afghanistan, she worked in the international corporate community as a business process and strategy consultant. Today, Kate serves Christ through writing, speaking, mentoring and conducting workshops and seminars.

Kate is the author of In the Land of Blue Burqas and Farewell, Four Waters.

Kate McCord is a protective pseudonym. You can learn more at http://www.storytellerkm.com.

A Brief Word from Me:

Last year I read Kate McCord’s novel, Farewell, Four Waters, one of the most moving novels I have read based on the mission experience. (You can read my review HERE.) At the time I read that book, one of my oldest son’s best friends was serving God in a foreign country, a dangerous country that cannot be named. She visited with us a few months later following her return to the United States. Her heart was still with the people and place she had come to think of as home. I knew then she had to read Farewell, Four Waters, because the feelings she related were so much like McCord’s.

A few months ago, I was approached to review McCord’s latest non-fiction work, Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places. Well, I had a much better idea. I wanted AK to read it and tell you what she thought. The following is AK’s guest review.

AK’s Impressions:

The pages of this book speak to the collective we. We, the Body: the ones who sense the call as well as the ones who love those who sense the call. As someone who has lived in and returned from a place considered dangerous by many, I admire the total inclusion of the full network of people involved (family members, friends, the individual presently serving, the individual preparing to go, and the individual who has returned) in a book that seeks to answer the inquiry for all: Why? It is a conversation that often seems marginalized in communities of believers across America. It is a question worth far more discussion than it receives. Why does God call us to dangerous places? McCord suggests, and I agree, He calls individuals to dangerous places because He loves the people that live there and because we can’t touch people, heal their bodies, hand them a book, or worship and pray with them from [7,400] miles away. Love and truth takes on flesh and walks the earth, and He does so within us. McCord shares her deep-seated wisdom through analogies inspired by the human experience. Her experience and the documented experiences of others are unique in many ways, albeit entirely familiar for any individual who seeks to follow Christ more closely each day. I read most of the lines of this book through water-filled eyes because it was so in tune with the Spirit. Her writing resonates at the heart level.

There are guided questions at the end of every chapter; some may choose to read this book and skim or skip them altogether. I would highly recommend taking the time to digest the words of this book and its contents, particularly the questions provided in the guided discussions at the end of every chapter. It makes the topic that much more personal and sets the stage for great conversation to be had, whether that conversation is with others or in your own head and heart. The questions are chapter-appropriate and formulated in a way in which they could be for every perspective to answer. Each discussion guide encourages delving further into scripture, praying for specifics, and using a journal to document the journey of thoughts inevitably accompanying this book.

Upon completion of this book, I am left with an even greater desire for my own heart to be for the heart of the Father.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to Side Door Communications. All opinions expressed are AK’s and mine alone.)

Book Spotlight — Patterns of Evidence

12 Aug

A lot of books make their way to my mailbox, so many that I don’t have time to read them all. But some look so interesting that I think they deserve a spotlight. I have not read Patterns of Evidence by Timothy P. Mahoney, but this one may be of interest to you. Take a moment to check it out.


517eQtyrh6L._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney had one important question: Did the Exodus story as written in the Bible really happen? According to most scholars today, the answer is a resounding “no.” Many would say it’s just a myth, a fairy tale. Shaken by these opinions, Mahoney decides to tackle this issue with a deliberate scientific approach. After identifying key details in the biblical text, he embarks on a 12-year journey across the globe, traveling to the very locations the biblical events are said to have happened to see firsthand whether there is evidence for the Exodus or not. After interviewing some of the world’s leading archaeologists, he comes to a profound question: What if the experts have been looking for evidence in the wrong time period? The result is one of the most revealing and in-depth investigations into the Exodus ever captured on film, one that allows you to come to your own conclusions about an amazing pattern of evidence and what it might mean for today. Includes valuable insights and additional interviews not seen in the film, giving the reader a chance to get know the scholars and their positions better. Filled with beautiful photography of Egypt and Israel, scenes from the biblical re-creations, maps, charts, and diagrams.

(Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for a copy of this book.)

Book Spotlight: A Bypass in The Road

20 May


My sweet friend Debi Morzark Hutchens’ book, A Bypass in The Road, is in its second edition! Debi first wrote this book following bypass surgery some years ago. She has updated her book including more of what God is up to in her life. Here’s a little blurb about the book and some info about Debi. And of course there is a link so you can order her book!


51xJk5qe+0L._UY250_“We are all on a heart journey. Paths that can tug on our very existence. Unexpected doors that open without warning, requiring us to step out of our comfort zone into uncharted waters. A job loss. Financial strain. A traffic jam when we are in a hurry. An unkind word. Sudden illness or even death. Do we allow God to walk with us?”


To purchase this book, click HERE



11136763_10204389620720620_1809339604861999695_nAuthor and encourager Debi Morzark Hutchens is known for her genuine love for people and her Lord. Having a deep passion to write since a child, it wasn’t until she wnet through her bypass adventure that she discovered how God was paving the way as He used this adversity to open the door to fulfill her dream. Debi’s greatest accomplishment is her family, including her husband, Larry, four children and five grandchildren. Hokies forever!




Book Review: Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values

6 Mar

Real-Women-Leading-Cover-e1387571581462Today’s marketplace is not always a “values-friendly” environment. Business leaders Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder show you that you can live and thrive in a “valueless” workplace when you live by biblical values and principles.

Real Women: Leading with Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Written by women in the marketplace, Real Women cultivates biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles. Once women embrace these ten principles, they will soon discover the multiple attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s marketplace and learn practical ways to implement the wisdom from that timeless Scripture passage.

Women will be encouraged to develop their God-given gifts and talents in the marketplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the equality-inspiring values they live by. Knowing that we are not the end users of the gospel message, the Proverbs 31 leader will find the initiative to inspire the upcoming generation to view womanhood as a gift and continue the learning process that will impact generations to come.

TroyerYoder-210Lisa Troyer — Sometimes referred to by friends as the “singing executive,” wife, mom, radio personality, recording artist, speaker, and author. Her Circle of Friends women’s outreach, formed over a decade ago, is growing in all directions. Lisa uses her gift of encouragement, her influence, and her resources to open doors for women to discover their significance and belonging. She and her family currently live in Ohio.

Dawn Yoder is passionate about developing people to discover their strengths and reach their leadership potential. As CEO of a 500-plus employee company, she seeks to bring values and principle-based thinking into all aspects of society through a round table environment. Dawn is a member of the John Maxwell coaching team, an international trainer, a speaker with the Circle of Friends ministry, a contributing writer, a songwriter, and a frequent worship leader. She and her husband, Jeff, have been married for more than 20 years and have four children.

My Impressions:

Having led a church women’s ministry for 10 years, I learned that it is important to have an intentional strategy to reach women for Christ and encourage them to become all they can be in Him. Whether you serve in a small church with an even smaller budget or in a big women’s ministry, check out Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder’s new book Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values. While not a book on how to do women’s ministry, it is a great tool for women’s ministry leaders to use to discover God’s purposes and principles for themselves and the women they serve.

The authors of Real Women Leading believe that Proverbs 31 contains core principles that every woman should embrace in their journey with God. By exploring these principles along with the lives of Biblical women, we can grow into the women God intends us to be — not cookie cutter women, but the unique person God intends.

Proverbs 31 Values — Understanding People, Forgiveness, Responsibility, Attitude, Resolving Conflict, Restraint, Honesty, Planning, Generosity, and Influence.

Real Women Leading is designed for all women and is great for personal study, but I think this is a perfect resource for your women’s ministry and believe it would be great as a book study for your ministry team. By understanding God’s principles, it will help you understand the unique roles and influence of women, define and focus your ministry, as well as grow the relationships among leadership.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

For more reviews, click HERE.

To purchase this book, click on the image below.