Category Archives: Book Reviews

Wooding bases ‘Dagger’ on personal experiences

Published by:

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Dan Wooding’s career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism. For he has gone from being a London correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror, two of Britain’s raciest tabloids, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world.

And now international journalist, Dan Wooding, 71, founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), has put his many years of exciting and often dangerous travel to good use in Red Dagger, his 44th book — and his first novel.

The fast-moving book, much of which is based on his many years of traveling to some of the world’s hot-spots, features a Palestinian terrorist who belongs to the Red Dagger terror group from Gaza, a place that Wooding has visited several times, an Irish double agent, and a drunken American journalist who moves to London and spends too much time in a pub called “The White Hart” which had been nicknamed “The Stab in the Back” because that is where tabloid journalist gathered to verbally stab each other in the back.

Wooding knows all about this journalists’ pub as it was there that he recommitted his life to Christ back in the late 1970s and went to Uganda to write “Uganda Holocaust” with Irish-Canadian, Ray Barnett, who later founded the African Children’s Choir.

Each one of the characters finally finds redemption in their twisted lives, but not before much mayhem has been committed and the world had stood on the edge of complete disaster.

“Red Dagger is the result of more than 20 years of loving work,” Wooding told me. “It began when a colleague told me that I should put together a novel that incorporated all the years of personal experiences I have had since I first entered journalism with The Christian in London back in 1968.”

This, said Wooding, has included the time he was arrested and locked up in a cell in Lagos, Nigeria. Also when he and a colleague were in a hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador, when a car bomb exploded in the parking lot and badly damaged the hotel and, finally when he and his wife Norma were held up by terrorists in Bethlehem and were going to be shot by them. That was until a quick-thinking Arab taxi driver saved their lives by explaining they were visitors from the USA.

“Although none of these experiences are used in the book as they occurred, they helped me to imagine many of the scenes included in the book,” said Wooding. “Also, my travels to Gaza were great background to writing up the many scenes there.”

Red Dagger has already received interest from movie producers and praise from various celebrities who have read it.

They include veteran American entertainer, Pat Boone, who said, “Dan Wooding’s latest book, Red Dagger, is a gripping novel about terror, betrayal and redemption. Much of it is set in Gaza, but also features a Northern Ireland terrorist and an American journalist who, after moving to London, finds himself spending too much time in a bar called ‘The Stab in the Back’ with other drunken hacks. The conclusion of the book has a most dramatic twist that held my attention right to the very end. I enthusiastically endorse Red Dagger, which is written by one of the world’s most traveled journalists.”

Rock keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, about whom Wooding penned his biography called “Rick Wakeman – the Caped Crusader” – foreword by Elton John – wrote, “Terrorism is a dangerous subject both in reality and in fiction. To bring Christianity in as a major part of the plot is potentially even more dangerous, but Dan Wooding portrays all his characters as both very real and very believable in this novel that literally sets off at a tremendous pace from the very first page. I found myself thinking very visually whilst reading it and that’s the secret of any good novel.”

So if you want to enter the dark and dangerous world of international terrorism and be inspired with its conclusion, this is the book for you, or even for a friend who loves good novels.

To purchase a copy of “Red Dagger” (Tanswell Books), go to: http://www.lulu.com/shop/dan-wooding/red-dagger/paperback/product-11050174.html;jsessionid=89997AD165003FF2695A468AB262C07D
It is also available as an e-Book file download.

You can also get it at http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dagger-Dan-Wooding/dp/0578056534

If you live in the USA and would like an autographed copy of the book, just send a check for $20 (which includes postage) made out to Dan Wooding, and mail it to Dan Wooding, PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609. For overseas orders, please add a further $3 USD. Also, please put in the memo section of the check, “For Red Dagger.”

Author tells fellow believers to ‘Quit Going to Church’

Published by:

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

PLANO, Texas – Bob Hostetler has a message for Christians – quit going to church.

He also tells us to quit saying prayers, quit reading your Bible, quit volunteering, quit enjoying fellowship, and so on.

Bob Hostetler

Hostetler, co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio, uses the Bible to explain why Christians should improve in these areas in his latest release, “Quit Going To Church.” (ISBN 978-0-915547-70-8, $14.99, 224 pages, Leafwood Publishers)

While all these requests sound a bit far-fetched, think again. This thought-provoking and “pull-of-the-gloves” book is based on the premise that much of how we think and act, a great percentage of what we do today as church-going people, bears a slight resemblance to the way of Jesus and “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3 NIV).

The title of the book and its subsequent chapters issue an eyebrow-raising challenge, showing how many of us have misunderstood and distorted the good news of Jesus and replaced Christianity with something else.

For instance, in the chapter “Quit Going To Church,” he points out that Christians should “stop going to church and start being a church” that resembles the one in Acts 2. What should a church look like? Hostetler said it should be holy (“spirituality” and “being the church”), catholic (“universal” and “all of us together”), and apostolic (“based on the teachings of the apostles” and “provide gift-based leadership”). Furthermore, Hostetler tells readers to shy from the long-held notion by some that going to church makes you a Christian. This portion of Hostetler’s book takes me to James 2:14-26, when James talks about faith and deeds. What are you doing to fulfill Christ’s kingdom Monday through Saturday?

Hostetler contends Christians should quit tithing because the practice is misrepresented in today’s church. Everything we have belongs to God. Therefore, if you truly understand the New Testament church, 10 percent or any portion that man constitutes as tithing is incorrect. Jesus wants His people to surrender all to Him. Not 10 percent, but 100 percent. Everything! (Luke 14: 25-34).

As I read more, I stumbled into another nugget that made me nod my head in agreement. Hostetler tells believers to quit helping the poor and unite with them. The author boldly says, “When Jesus said, ‘You will always have poor among you (John 12:8 NIV), he meant, ‘among you.’ Not ‘on your drive to the office’ … Not ‘in shelters,’ … or in neighborhoods far from your community. He meant among you.”

Sadly, some have swayed from the Christ’s roadmap for His church. Hostetler is attempting to convey in “Quit Going to Church” that traditions and customs were not a part of first century Christianity and it should not have a place in the 21st century church. This straightforward title has nothing to do with “denomination” or who is right or wrong. But, if you believe in Him with all your heart, you would adhere to Christ’s vision for His church.

Learn more about Hostetler at www.bobhostetler.com. To purchase this book, visit Leafwood Publishers.

Review: 60 ways you can help the needy

Published by:

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – We live in a world where there are 145 million orphans, where a child dies of hunger every five seconds, where 925 million people are chronically undernourished, and 1.1 billion lack access to potable water.

When the need is so overwhelming, making a difference often feels like an impossible task. Does helping just one person really matter?

In her new book, “A Cup of Cold Water in His Name: 60 Ways to Care for the Needy” (Discovery House, April 2012, 978-1-57293-512-9, paperback, $12.99), author Lorie Newman reminds us that God calls every Christian to help the millions of forgotten, impoverished, and hurting people in the world.

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” So as Newman says, that one definitely matters.

“She wrote A Cup of Cold Water in His Name to equip Christians with practical ways to care for the needy in their everyday lives. In it, she shares 60 ideas inspired by real-life stories of people making an impact, and passes on resources, websites and ministry contacts – everything needed to inspire us to become the hands and feet of Jesus, said Stephanie Ridge of PR by the Book.

“A busy homeschooling mom of seven – including two adopted children from Haiti and Liberia – she is also the founder of an orphan ministry that enables over 250 impoverished African orphans to receive food, clothing, and education through a partnership with Children’s HopeChest. She leads mission trips to teach, train and minister to women of impoverished nations, too. For her work, Newman was featured on Moody Broadcasting’s Midday Connection during their ‘Women Making a Difference’ series.”

Ranging from easy to high-level commitment, the projects in A Cup of Cold Water in His Name speak to five major human

Laurie Newman

needs, addressed in Mathew 25: feeding the hungry, being hospitable, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and ministering to the prisoner.

Step-by-step instructions help readers make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and even entire communities, regardless of age, status, experience or financial situation. Sample projects include:
* Keep five-dollar gift cards in your purse or wallet for the needy.
* Participate in a local produce co-op or buy in bulk.
* Provide respite care for foster families.
* Organize a block party in a needy area.
* Form a support group at your church for people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
* Teach life skills to foster children who are aging out of the system.

“Caring for the poor and needy is not optional for Christians,” says Newman, “and it’s easier than we realize.”

She is a frequent speaker at Christian retreats and ministry events, and has taught Bible studies and led prayer groups for more than 15 years.

Learn more at www.LorieNewman.com and http://lorienewmanblog.typepad.com.