Category Archives: Reviews – Books

A great book to Gallop off the Year of the Horse

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Indeed this is my second book of the year, the first being Eat to Live (The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss) by Dr Joel Furhman. Since my health scare in 3rd quarter of 2013, I have lost 6kg already and am aiming for another 6kg by the end of 2014.

Looking back, I thank God for his warning signals and am blessed to be given the learning opportunities or the valley seasons of my life to experience roadblocks and overcome them. 

This second book – Change Your Heart, Change Your Life by Dr Gary Smalley is another gem which got me so glued to every page. Life’s mysteries especially with regards to relationships between people when they turn sour and how we react to them is clearly and simply explained so that we can literally turn our lives around and choose to be happy despite circumstances and yet open our hearts to giving and receiving an abundance of love from God and others.

This is really a MUST-read!

Book Review: I Quit! by Geri Scazzero

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Foreword by Peter Scazzero:

The most loving thing Geri ever did for me was to quit the church I pastor. Yes, a part of me wanted to kill her for the humiliation I felt. But God used her courageous decision to change my life in profound ways.

I Quit! is based on Geri’s story, but I believe it is a story we all share; at some point, quitting is something each of us must do. Every person who follows Jesus need to discover and apply these truths that have become so disconnected from our spiritual formation in Christ.

Until now, I have been the chief beneficiary of this message, learning up close form Geri each of the “I Quits” described in this book. Over the last fifteen years I have learned how to quit as a parent, a husband, and a pastor/leader. While initially difficult, this journey has led to a level of freedom and joy in the Christian life that I never imagined was possible.

In fact, the principles of I Quit! are foundational to our spiritual formation ministries and leadership values at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York.

It was revolutionary to hear of a pastor’s wife quitting on the church that he pastors, and quitting on over-functioning at home and yet it did so many wonders for their marriage, relationship, family and his leadership. Most of all, it did wonders for the quitter, Geri Scazzero.

And like most societies, where I come from, little tiny red dot called Singapore, our leaders frown on quitting and label “Quitters” as a derogatory term to insinuate that these people cannot make it, are irresponsible and disloyal to whatever they chose to quit.

More importantly, Geri states that what needs to be quit on is to quit being afraid of what others think; to quit lying to yourself and others; to quit dying to the wrong things; to quit denying anger, sadness and fear; to quit blaming; to quit over-functioning; to quit faulty thinking and to quit living someone else’s life.

Nuff’ said. Go read the book and start quitting!

Book Review – Gordon Ramsay’s Playing With Fire

I must admit that as I was paying the ten bucks for the book, a sense of trepidation filled my mind and I was wondering things like, “What if the whole book was just an expository for how many ways and variations Gordon Ramsay could say the F-word?”

But then again, it was just ten bucks that screamed at me from the shelves not of a bookstore (they are becoming extinct nowadays with closures of MPH, PageOne and such), but rather the convenience store inside a gas station. Imagine buying a book from a gas station. Not your typical add ons like parking coupons, sweets or drinks.

So what led me to write a review of his book?

Simply because it’s really a good book. You got the ingredients like a hard life (lots of hard work) at the bottom of the mountain, then the little breaks and amazing partnership that Ramsay forged with his father-in-law Chris (yeah, of all people a father-in-law!), and the multiple excitements and adrenaline rush from his subsequent restaurant openings and business growth. Add to that a strong layer of good old business and wise principles of taking care of your staff, demanding the highest standards, and a big dose of humility and being grounded in all that uphill climb.

Ramsay’s narration is also quite refreshing, as it is shared quite directly and frankly, in a manner that spells, “We just say it like it is!”. Quite a breeze to read, put down, and pick up again, that I finished the book in 2 days.

Just like good food, Gordon Ramsay has me hooked. And I am on the search for his other titles (not the cookbooks yet).

Book Review: Falling to Heaven (4/5 stars)

This is the first book that I’ve bought and finished reading within the same day.

It’s really an easy and captivating read because of the author’s conversational style- it’s as if he is right there telling you his story, and believe me he is one great storyteller in person, I heard him speak live.

What’s written on the back of the book:

On August 15, 1968 a strong and handsome young skydiver flew upwards for a few moments of pleasure. But within seconds, a fiery plane crash melted his face, multilated his body and forever changed the life of Mickey Robinson.

This book isn’t just an ordinary story of tragedy and recovery. This book is about resurrection. Falling to Heaven is not about a burned man getting better. It’s about a dead man coming to life!

Since his transformation and his second chance at life, Mickey Robinson has been a public speaker nationally and internationally. His message of hope and encouragement inspires people in every walk of life. Mickey is a gifted communicator and teacher. His passion is to help people get activated and engaged in their gifts and purpose in life. He and his wife Barbara have four grown children. They reside in Franklin, Tennessee.

For more information, check out www.mickeyrobinson.com

Book Recommendation: Tender Warrior by Stu Webere

Normally, I don’t do this, but I’m gonna share about this book before I finish it (now currently at page 220 of page 278) cos I feel that it’s really, really, really what the world is short of (me included).

It’s just what men need, and men who get it will truly give women what they need.

Just a peek on the back cover desciption:

SOME THING ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR

Young men aspire to it. Women admire it. Yet the definition of manhood itself is obscured by a culture in moral free fall. This book cuts through the fog and defines a powerful blueprint for being the man – the Tender Warrior – that God desires for you and your family. You’ll discover that a Tender Warrior:

– watches out for what lies ahead – like a wagon train scout;

– keeps his commitments, no matter how painful;

– has a tender heart beating beneath his armour;

– understands his responsibility to his wife, children, and friends;

– recognizes that he is “under orders from higher headquarters.”

Stu Weber’s now classic teaching on a man’s vigilance, staying power, and consideration for the women in his life will move you to pursue the man you were created to be.

Enjoy your Coffee!

I’m enjoying every single page of this book I’m reading, “The 5 Minute Miracle”, by Dr Ed Delph, and so I’d like to share this chapter with you:

I am a coffee lover. The stronger  the better, especially in the morning. Recently, I was in downtown Seattle, standing in front of the original Starbucks at Pike Place Farmer’s Market. Now that’s good duty! Being a coffee lover I couldn’t help but notice this story that came through the Internet.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit one of their university professors. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. After offering his guests refreshments, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups. Some were porcelain, others were plastic, glass and crystal. Some were plain, others were expensive and quite exquisite. He told his guests to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, he said, “If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were chosen first, leaving the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, the name-brand and exquisite cups just makes things more expensive and in some cases, even hide what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup. Yet, you all consciously went for the best cups. Then you even began eyeing each other’s cups.

“Now consider this. Life is the coffee – jobs, money, position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup we have does not define or change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided for us.”

That’s a good lesson for us all. We have all played the comparison game. We have to have a better cup than someone else. We try to outdo others and become undone in the process. Sometimes when you try to possess the best cups, the best cups end up possessing you. Why not just enjoy who we are, who they are, and enjoy the coffee of life.

Sometimes people are like cups, they don’t look or act like the fancy cups you prefer, but if you enjoy the coffee in the cup, life gets better!

It’s what is inside the cup that counts to God.

God brews the coffee, not the cups. So, enjoy your coffe – you’re a special blend!

Peace starts with a smile – and good cup of coffee. Make mine strong and dark. I’ll be glad to take it in a paper cup!

Book Review: Property Jewels the proven path

Author: Renesial Leong

ISBN: 983414012

Genre: Property Investment

Published by Right Lifestyle Sdn Bhd

After attending Renesial’s weekend seminar in Singapore, it warms my heart to know that such a loving, caring, genuinely sincere and honest person exists among those who have reached a certain standing in life.

Renesial is another fellow human being who can and does make a difference to many people’s lives.

I like that her motivation in life to do well stems from desiring to have the CHOICE to spend time with loved ones, doing the things she likes (she’s a travel bug), and quite altruistically, giving back to society.

Her humble beginnings started from investing in 1 property in Malaysia some 19 years ago to owning over 90 properties worldwide today, earning her in excess of $100,000 rental income per month.

Many of her personal experiences were shared in the seminar (also covered in this book) so that we know from first-hand stories the pitfalls as well as the strategies to succeed in property investment.

Renesial is as direct and truthful as you can get. Her no-hold’s barred style is so refreshing amidst the proliferation of many other slick and articulate seminar presenters who tend to tease with bits of generic information and mostly come with lots of ra-ra.

Hats off, dear Renesial.

For copies of her book do visit this website or call (65) 6883 2181 for Singapore. Click here to get to Renesial’s website.

Heaven’s Glories and the Untold Terrors of Hell

Author: Dr Brian J. Bailey

Dr Brian J. Bailey is currently the president of Zion Fellowship International, Zion Ministerial Institute, and Zion University. He has traveled to over 100 countries during the past 50 years of his ministry and been a tremendous blessing. He has authored more than 40 Christian books, teaching believers the ways of God, and establishing them on the pathway of holiness that leads to spiritual Mount Zion.

ISBN: 1-59665-057-5

Genre: Christianity

“In contemplating the terrible laxity in the Church today, one realizes the urgent need to warn people of all the terrors of hell. So many people are in a spiritual daze, without an understanding of the reality of heaven and hell.

The author was compelled by God to write this book, drawing from his own experiences and the experiences that others have had of the glories of heaven and the torments of hell. He was burdened to warn the believer and unbeliever alike that what you do in this short life will affect your eternal end.

Dr Bailey clearly presents God-given heavenly goals, as well as dire warnings of the fiery furnace into which those who once knew Christ and forsook Him are plunged.

As you peruse this powerful study, may it cause you to determine to find and remain on that pathway of holiness that will lead to Christ, avoiding the pitfalls of sin that will only lead to hell.” – Back cover

I had the opportunity to hear the author speak about Hell last night during the 3 day conference.

Dr Bailey strikes me as a person who speaks with authority and anointing.

He is more than 80 years of age, and is not from the hyper dynamic evangelical speaker camp, nor the extremely legalistic denominational camp.

He does not sugercoat his words and simply says it like it is.

The vivid descriptions of Hell and eternal suffering definitely burned an impression in me.

Final Notes from a Great Island

Author: Neil Humphreys

ISBN: 981-261-318-8

Genre: Non-Fiction/Humour

Back Cover:

The country’s best-selling author is back. After spending the best 10 years of his life in Singapore, Neil Humphreys has decided to move on to the land Down Under because he really wants to spend time living among the world’s most poisonous snakes and roo poo.

But the British writer doesn’t want to leave the island he fell in love with a decade ago without taking one final, kaypoh look around the place. Embarking on a valedictory tour from his Toa Payoh home, Humphreys vows to explore Singapore as he did when he first arrived – on foot and unaware – taking in his favourite places, the ulu haunts, the green spots, the clean parts and the dirty bits, and the nation’s underbelly and its belly dancers.

From Sentosa to Sembawang, Choa Chu Kang to Changi, St John’s Island to Johor (he got a bit carried away), Humphreys treks, cycles and even hitchhikes his way across this great island, encountering murderous dogs, dead cats, wild crocodiles, mad cyclists, terrifying transvestites, persistent prostitutes and half-naked ice cream vendors.

Honest, insightful and funny, Final Notes from a Great Island is a warm, uplifting tribute to Singapore and every Singaporean (and tourist, employment pass holder and permanent resident for that matter) should read it. – Summary description of book

I confess that I bought this book out of impulse. Was attracted to it when browsing through Borders.

I picked it up. Went through one chapter, was hooked on Neil’s wit, dry humour and quintessential British sarcasm.  Here is an Ang Mo who knows Ang Mo Kio better than a typical Singaporean.

Neil really digs and unearths many gems in our little island.

Worth the read, guranteed lots of laughs.

My Father’s Business

Author: Peter Tsukahira

ISBN: 983-2560-04-7

Genre: Business – Biblical teaching, Religious Aspects (Christianity)

Back Cover:

“I highly recommend Peter Tsukahira’s book – My Father’s Business – to all Christians and especially those who are working in the business field. This book will encourage you in your area of expertise – its message being that no matter what your calling may be, you can shine for Jesus Christ in that place. You may be the only aspect of Jesus that others see in the world and your light can shine the brightest precisely where it is “business as usual”. In this book you will learn what Jesus meant when He said that He was about His Father’s business. We all need to be about our Father’s business as we follow Him.” – Dr David Yonggi Cho (Senior Paster, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Chairman, Church Growth International)

For me, this book was a practical and foundational pillar upon which I could build my day to day business principles and values.

Besides a strong basis from the Word, Peter also relates many personal experiences and other testimonies on how Kingdom values will eventually turn out for the best.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NKJV)

I like that the book is not legalistic ( eg. You MUST do this, the RULE or the STEPS must be followed). So really it is a matter of the conviction of the heart and soul to adopt these practices. And everything is backed by scripture and life experiences.

I have learned that one must really have a CORE DESIRE for anything he wishes to accomplish. Otherwise it is really not so important and will probably not get done in the end.

So this book is really for people who really want to be able to reconcile doing business or working in the marketplace (corporate world) with godly principles.

We want to be the salt and light in the world, but not become of the world.