Tag Archives: Carpenter’s Son Publishing

Next Step by Timothy K. Lynn

Next StepLynn, Timothy K. Next Step: How to Start Living Intentionally and Discover What Go d Really Wants for Your Life. Franklin: Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2014. 128 pp. $24.99. Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for less.


Timothy was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he still resides. He is an entrepreneur and the founder and chairman of a “successful company.” He is also a man of faith.


The book is presented with a nice glossy, spiral bound cover with glossy pages (makes it hard to write with a fountain pen!). The contents are divided into 6 sessions following the foundational chapter.

The foundation of the book is found in what Lynn calls the four pillars of life: faith, self, family, and life’s work. The first session focuses on who you are as a person and who it is exactly that is in your circle of influences. The second session looks to one’s faith. The work is unashamedly Christian.

The third section centers on the self – your “identity, ego, you, and all that God created you to be.” Section four begins to expand out by looking at your family. Life’s work comprises section 5 and is the longest as far as actual content is concerned. The final section is comprised of one page about “conversations with God” followed by 20+ pages of journaling paper.


I would have loved to have seen more written in the section on faith. There is no gospel though faith (“in God, love, a dream, or a goal”) is discussed at length. The result is basically a faith in faith baptized as Christian because God has been capitalized. As a matter of fact, Jesus is never mentioned to my recollection.

The book centers primarily on you, the reader. This can be alright as it does give you a brief moment to pause and take stock of your life and look around to see how you are living before God. I believe there are more journaling pages than pages with content.

In the end, the presentation is excellent, the content not so much.


While the book will appeal to a wide audience, I cannot call it a Christian resource due to the lack of Christ and the gospel. In the end, I cannot justify spending $25 on this resource.

The Potter by Cindy Starr Stewart

The PotterStewart, Cindy Starr.  The Potter.  Illustrated by Dan Drewes.  Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2013.  30 pp. $13.95.  Purchase at Amazon for less.


Cindy is married with five children living in Pennsylvania.  She has taught physics for middle schoolers up through the college level though she enjoys teaching Scripture more than physics.  You can read more about Cindy at her website. Dan Drewes is a professional illustrator whose work is quite amazing.  Check out his website for more.  (Note: it is not all Christian-based.)  You can read the review of Cindy’s other book, The Lamp Maker here.


In this children’s book, Cindy looks at the Potter who fashions the clay.  She takes the reader on a journey from digging up the clay and then fashioning it in whatever manner the potter wants.  The illustrations are fun and will keep the young eyes attentive as the pages are read and reread.

As for concerns about this book, you can read my review of her other work here.  In this instance, to better understand the Jeremiah 18 passage, we must look at Romans 9 where Paul explains it more fully concerning matters of salvation.  Specifically, read verses 13-24:

As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

This has admittedly been a difficult passage for theologians through the years, but the reality is, the Potter will do with the clay whatever He wants.

Regardless, what Cindy is striving to accomplish is to be applauded.  In a very real way, she is getting the gospel message of Jesus Christ out to children and parents alike.  That is to be commended.


Despite my concerns about the free-will issue and the use of the Potter/clay analogy found in Scripture, I still recommend this resource to the discerning parent and children’s minister.

The Lamp Maker by Cindy Starr Stewart

The Lamp MakerStewart, Cindy Starr.  The Lamp Maker.  Illustrated by Dan Drewes.  Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2013.  30 pp. $13.95.  Purchase at Amazon for less.


Cindy is married with five children living in Pennsylvania.  She has taught physics for middle schoolers up through the college level though she enjoys teaching Scripture more than physics.  You can read more about Cindy at her website. Dan Drewes is a professional illustrator whose work is quite amazing.  Check out his website for more.  (Note: it is not all Christian-based.)


Cindy writes a children’s book using the metaphor of a lamp, an item that shines forth light into darkness, and a Lamp Maker.  She challenges the readers and listeners to trust in Christ.  The illustrations are well done and vividly portray the words on the page.

The Lamp Maker is a fun sing-songy read for children learning to read but more for adults reading to their young children.  I enjoyed that on every page, Cindy proclaims Christ whether it is through her words or the verses found at the bottom of each page.

I am concerned with her “free-will switch.”  While I agree that we freely choose to obey Christ (this is a deep theological discussion!) I disagree that our choice is sovereign over the will of the Lamp Maker.  To illustrate the issue, she concludes the children’s book with a “prayer” to be read  and that by reading it sincerely and believing it, “Your name is written in the Book of Life.”  I disagree with that mechanism of finding salvation.  Salvation is found in repentance and believing in Christ.  Furthermore, she states that once you have believed (sign the page in the back of the book), “You will know, that you now, that you know, that you know.” In other words, your ability to freely choose is undermined by God’s sovereignty.


That being said, this book is still one of the better children’s books I have come across in recent years with the advent of self-publishing and independent publishers. I can recommend The Lamp Maker to the discerning parent and children’s minister for use in their home or ministry.  Just be prepared to answer questions when reading it.