Book Reviews

Extreme Devotion

Following Christ demands sacrifice… and not just the sacrifice of our sinful desires.  For many Christians today, following Jesus means the loss of their property, families, freedom, and even their lives.  Walking such a path is a challenge and one that those of us in the “west” too often fail to understand.  With freedoms unrestricted, we encounter little resistance to the practice of our beliefs and are often paralyzed when we do.  Can we do better?

If that’s a challenge you long to take up, then “Extreme Devotion” is the book for you!  In 366 daily readings, you’ll hear the stories of those who have put Biblical principles in action, risking their all for the sake of Christ.  You’ll listen as brothers and sisters around the world relate the tales of their fears and failures, trials and triumphs.  You’ll walk with them as they encounter those hostile to their faith and demonstrate the love of Jesus in even the most difficult of circumstances.  And, more importantly, you’ll be encouraged to develop the same type of faith that has helped each of them to survive the challenges that confront them on a daily basis.

Each day’s devotion consists of a Scripture reading, a story, and a challenge that will help you to deepen your own relationships both with God and with others.  You’ll be encouraged to make commitments and take the steps of faith that will strengthen your testimony.  And you’ll be inspired to apply those principles as you make a difference in the lives of those around you – reflecting the light of Christ in an ever darkening world.

It’s a journey worth taking and it’s one you’ll be glad you didn’t miss!

Extreme Devotion” is produced by The Voice of the Martyrs and is available for $13.05 in softcover.

DVD's, Resources

Underground Reality: Vietnam

Even the most skilled penman has to agree that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Images have the capacity to convey the deepest joy and greatest tragedy.  They move us emotionally, encourage us to think deeply, and oft times spur us to action.  That’s why, this week, we’re featuring VOM’s “Underground Reality: Vietnam”, a video documentary that takes believers inside the church in Vietnam, a country where the practice of the Christian faith can lead to imprisonment, torture, or even death.

Viewers are invited to join in the journey of four “western” High-schoolers as they come face-to-face with what it truly means to be a follower of Christ in a hostile country.  Travel with them as they visit a secret Bible school, a covert summer camp, and an underground church.  Listen as they interview believers who have lost everything for the sake of their faith.  And experience fear first hand as the teens encounter difficulties with government officials intent upon stopping the spread of Christianity.

Join in worship with our brothers and sisters across the ocean as you hear the stories of pastors, students, lay-people, and even other teenagers who have given their all for the One who gave His all for them!  Then, feel the fire as these amazing teens encourage you to give your all as well.

Take a moment to view the trailer for “Underground Reality: Vietnam” on YouTube, then purchase your own copy at:  You can be assured that it’s a journey you won’t soon forget!

Book Reviews

Restricted Nations

Most of us in the western world have little idea what it’s like to live in a place where our faith cannot openly be expressed.  We meet undisturbed for worship, read our Bibles on park benches, and even share the Gospel openly on our sidewalks… and all without repercussions.  Yet for many believers around the world, this is more dream than reality.

It’s for this reason that I’ve become rather fond of “Restricted Nations”, a series of small, easy-to-read guides produced by Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).  At around 100 pages, each volume highlights the history of the Christian church in a single country.  From the first missionaries to modern political difficulties, you’ll hear the stories of those who were willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of the good news that God loves sinners.  You’ll discover the truth behind the claim that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” and uncover new ways in which you can make a difference both through prayer and active intervention.

The set currently covers China, Iran, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Sudan, Indonesia, Colombia, Vietnam and Eritrea, but is constantly growing. Each volume may be purchased individually ($7 apiece) or as a set featuring the 8 original volumes for $35.00 + shipping and handling at  It’s a small investment and well worth every penny!

Get Involved, Missions Monday, Prayer

Open Doors

What would life be like without the power of God’s Word?  Ask any of the Christians worldwide who don’t have access to Scripture and they’ll tell you: it’s difficult.  Through the Bible we learn what God wants from us and for us.  We discover how to become more like Christ and find comfort and peace in our trials.  Yet due to persecution, many believers do not have access to the very Word which tells them about the God they serve.

Open Doors was founded in 1955 by a young man from Holland who had joined the army in search of a life of adventure.  After sustaining serious injuries in Indonesia, Brother Andrew, turned his life over to Christ and quickly discovered that God had some special plans for him – plans that would require him to risk his own life to provide relief to his suffering brothers and sisters around the world.  Today, that mission continues, but not without the help of free Christians like us.

Take a moment to visit their website where you can take the Five Minute Challenge, committing to learn about and pray for the 50 countries which are least open to the Gospel.  Follow the blog and discover What You Can Do If You Can’t Financially Support Persecuted Christians or read about What Answered Prayer Looks Like for Persecuted Christians.  Sign up to share the cause by joining the Open Doors Blog Network.

Want something more interactive?  How about spearheading a “Locked-Up” event for your youth group, raising awareness of the issues which face the persecuted church through a simulated prison scenario or volunteering as a Bridgebuilder and working as an advocate within your community?  If you have the inclination, you can even send a Bible to one (or more) of your persecuted brethren.

There are plenty of ways to be involved, so take some time to explore.  Then, commit to making a difference!

Get Involved, Missions Monday, Prayer

International Christian Concern

Over 200 million Christians around the world today are suffering for their faith.  Having lost jobs and families, endured brutal attacks and unfair convictions, these believers are showing us what it truly means to live for Christ in the midst of adversity.  Yet these believers are not alone.

As members of the body of Christ, we can make a difference in the lives of the persecuted.  And International Christian Concern is dedicated to providing the tools that will help us do just that!  Through their website, you can play a role in caring for orphaned children of martyred parents, help support the wives and families of imprisoned pastors, donate to the ministries of underground pastors,  or help to rebuild communities devastated by persecution.  Sign up for the newsletter and commit to pray for your brothers and sisters or check out the resources link for ways that you can play a part in raising awareness of their plight.  If you’re feeling really committed, you can even volunteer to play a more active role!  So get involved and make a difference in the body of Christ!