A short, concentrated reminder for Christians that prayer remains one of the central missions of their faith.




A writer calls for a more engaged personal Christianity.

This brief work from Bryant (God’s Servant, 2016, etc.) returns frequently to a dilemma that will be familiar to many modern-day Christians: the many demands of daily life and how those tasks can sometimes obscure the importance of their faith. “We might try to fit in a five-minute prayer before we retire for the night,” Bryant writes. “But we have to make the decision that being alone with God is something we cannot afford to neglect.” The author stresses again and again that the benefits of communing with God immensely outweigh the minor irritation of finding the time in a busy schedule. God, for Bryant, is the source of all strength and support in life. As subsequent chapters make clear, this remains true even in times of trouble, when the faithful might even feel that God has let them down. “But can we rise from the ashes of a wounded faith and once again believe in the power of God?” the author asks, citing both Scripture and the trials in her own life. The most pointed Scriptural analogy is of course the pairing of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary. Busy Martha is irritated that all the housework is left to her when Jesus visits their home and talks to the other guests. Mary has wisely decided to listen to Jesus’ teachings rather than helping her sister. The key to a more meaningful Christian fellowship, Bryant maintains, is to strike a successful balance between the spiritual and the material. In the book’s clear and concise prose and quick chapters, the author underscores the vital significance of “sustaining a consistent prayer life,” and although most of the author’s personal anecdotes are rather general, the intimate tone throughout is ultimately winning. The faith observations made in every chapter are often on the anodyne side, the kinds of easy sentiments that the author’s Christian readers will have heard many times in church. But the practical understanding in the backgrounds of all these reflections—Bryant’s clear noting of the distractions of daily life—should have many readers nodding in recognition.

A short, concentrated reminder for Christians that prayer remains one of the central missions of their faith.

Pub Date: April 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68197-010-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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