Michele Rigby Assad is a former CIA counterterrorism specialist. Not what you’d expect for a CIA operative (by her own admission), Michele was a petite, southern, homecoming queen. Her interest in the Middle East was sparked when she had the opportunity to study abroad, and her husband, Joseph, also a former CIA agent, is from Egypt.
As a woman in a male-dominated field, Michele faced many obstacles, but she ultimately found that the obstacles served to make her stronger, and a better officer. The challenges in her CIA career were, in retrospect, all training her for the mission that the Lord had for her and her husband in leading teams to rescue Iraqi refugees and help them resettle in other countries.
Michele prayed that she wouldn’t be stationed in Iraq, yet it was there that the Lord taught her much about herself and also lessons she would use later in her work as a security consultant and in resettling refugees. She states, “By the grace of God, I discovered that struggle could become a skill builder, pain could become a motivator, and confusion could serve as a clarifier.”
I really, really admire Michele Assad. I really, really wanted to like her book. I just couldn’t ever get into the pace of the book, as it seemed disjointed to me. There were sections where I wished for much more detail, and sections where I felt there was too much detail spent on things that weren’t that pertinent or interesting.
Michele has a great story. I wish she had told it and had someone else write it. I read Jack Barsky’s book Deep Undercover and kind of expected this book to be similar. It wasn’t. If you want to read a riveting book about the life of a spy (in this case, a KGB spy), read Deep Undercover.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I loved Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven, so when I got the chance to review a devotional by Randy, Seeing the Unseen: Expanded Edition, I jumped at the chance. This 90-day devotional book can be read sequentially, or by searching the table of contents for a subject that addresses a particular need. Some of the devotional topics are humility, happiness, God’s sovereignty, giving, grace, love, and forgiveness…and those are just on the first of more than four pages of devotional titles!
The devotions are quite short and each includes a short message, “Perspectives from God’s Word” (related scriptures), “Perspectives from God’s People” (quotes from prominent Christians), and a link to a blog post at Eternal Perspective Ministries about that topic.
From the back cover:
Scripture tells us to fix our eyes on the unseen. Rather than focus on what will fade, we’re encouraged to lock our gaze no things of eternal value. But how exactly can we do that amid the immediate demands of life?
In this expanded edition of his devotional Seeing the Unseen, Randy Alcorn provides ninety inspirational readings that will help you view today through the lens of the eternal.
As we better grasp the realities of the spiritual realm, we gain a clearer perspective on our present life, including things like suffering, happiness, generosity, and peace. This transformative devotional equips to live with a right view of eternity — on that will shape not just what you believe, but how you navigate the challenges and opportunities of each day.
I’ve been reading these devotionals with my family after dinner while we’re still at the table and they’re the perfect length and depth! These readings are appropriate for late elementary age through adult.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. ***
Kyle Morey takes a 30-day journey with God and brings us along! In his first book, Ask God: My 30-day Experiment with Prayer and Its Potential to Answer Yours, Kyle takes real-life stories and applies scriptural truth to weave a transparent, humble and honest story. He takes personal experiences and shares his own vulnerability all while being a diligent steward of the doctrinal truths he shares.
Every day, after doing his “spiritual warmups (music, prayer and scripture study)”, Kyle asked God what message He had for the readers. He then faithfully wrote what he felt the Lord had for him to share each day.
The stories Morey shares are drawn from his own life experiences as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, CEO, husband, and father of five. His insights resonated with me on many levels. We all face many challenges, and Kyle offers much life-changing insight into overcoming obstacles by turning to the Ultimate Source of Wisdom for guidance—always pointing us, the “dear readers”, to that Source.
Morey uses many rhetorical styles, but one of the most effective is his use of questions. He writes:
Why immersion in water? Can anyone baptize? What is the symbolism behind this ancient practice? Is your baptism legitimate? Is mine? What about my friends, ancestors and others who didn’t know about baptism—or Christ, for that matter? Are they doomed to know a lesser fate? These are all great questions, perhaps the most important questions you will ever ask—if you truly believe that baptism is vital to yours and the world’s redemption.
Kyle Morey does an excellent job of giving us a glimpse into his life of devoted service to his fellow beings, and he doesn’t hide the fact that he isn’t perfect. I love the courage it took to write this book! Thank you, Kyle!