Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Held Hostage by Ken Cooper

I was given an advance reading copy of Held Hostage by Ken Cooper and published by Chosen. This book is due for release in August 2009 and I would suggest this book be reading if you have a heart for prisoners or just to minister to the least of these like Christ told us to do and showed up from His life.

Held Hostage is about Ken Cooper’s double life, one of family man and the other a ‘gentleman bank robber’. It starts out with the robbery and backracks through getting married, having a child, robbing banks and up through his time spent in jail and prisons. He held a job as a publicity director for a Christian college all the while robbing banks, taking a hostage and then letting them go – unharmed.

There were moments in the book that had lots of shock value, Mr. Cooper does not gloss over prison life to spare the reader. I was appalled at the behavior described because surely while I am not as naiive to think that some of this stuff doesn’t go on but surely the gaurds would stop it. Not so. I cannot imagine men living like animals, and don’t forget their are plenty of women in prisons too who I am sure are not immune to this sort of behavior. After many years of his mother praying, he finally gives his life to God.

The changes that occur in him are testimonial to God’s great works. I am not saying that he is perfect, none of us are perfect, no not one but his life changes for the better and he is free even in prison. This book is one that will make Believer’s see Christ’s life changing power at work and will make a non-believer rethink what they thought they knew – or at least I pray it will. Truly this is a book that doesn’t come along often and should be a must read especially those who want to know how to help those in prisons – including the appalling parts, they too must be read so that the rest of Mr. Coopers transformation in Christ to be understood.

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The Noticer by Andy Andrews

I must say I was a bit put off at first to read this newly released book by Andy Andrews titled The Noticer especially since three words sum it as a fictional, allegorical and inspirational but based on a true story. I am not much of one for allegories, but I was so happy that I read this.
The story really did touch my heart and made me think. The story was extremely well written and flowed beautifully. I could picture the character, Jones, carrying his well worn suitcase along the California side walks and board walks trying to help those in need.
While it was a quick read, it isn’t quick to get it out of your head. I think on it at different times of the day and hope that I too will make a difference in life of someone because of this book. Getting to know Jones’ simple way of life really makes on put things in their live into perspective, wether you are working too hard, not working enough, skipping out on your family. We all need a Jones in our life, someone who notices us and helps us when the going gets tough and I think this book will do wonders to help us notice each other more.
Mr. Andrews does a wonderful in weaving together this story and while one may wonder what parts are true, that isn’t the point. The point is NOTICING. Notice those who have helped you and in turn try to help others and make ammends when you can. Mr. Andrews also has a project called The Noticer Project which wants us to take the time to notice the 5 most influential people in our lives NOW, not at a funeral, a birth, death, graduation or wedding, but now. It goes along with the book to notice others.
Also you can check out several videos on YouTube about the book: Why Am I the Wayward, Why Am I the Lover Lost, Why Am I the Worrier, Why Am I the Lustful Youth, Why Am I the Workaholic, Why Am I the Useless. These are some great videos and a little “perspective” on each of these. Watch them for a little more information on the book and then go buy it and read it and make sure to savor it and then when you are done go to The Noticer Project and notice your 5 most influential people in your life.
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