Friday, December 16, 2011

This Heaven is NOT for Real

This is going to be painful for some of you to read, but so be it. 

When I first learned of the story of Colton Burpo, as told by his dad Todd Burpo in the book Heaven is for Real, I thought what a great testimony this young man will have for the Kingdom.  After spending time with this book, I am now saddened at what appears to me to be a manufactured story.

I don’t take this review lightly, but rather feel compelled to state my honest opinions – even in the face of the tremendous success of this book.  It is more than a stretch for me to accept some of the “recollections” of Colton, especially when they directly contradict scripture!

·        Colton describes Jesus’ horse as being rainbow colored.  I refer you to Revelation 19:11 – notice the white horse.  With the symbol and the colorscheme of the rainbow being co-opted today, is the anything more offensive?

·        Jesus has many crowns, not just one

·        The gates of heaven are made of pearl, not gold and pearl

I could go on and on, but if you don’t want to accept these three as proof of a manipulated story, you wouldn’t trust 100 discrepancies. 

If you are a new Christian, stay away from this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Friday, December 9, 2011

Do you KnoW Stealing??

"Every man lives by exchanging." -  Adam Smith

Not that I would endorse all of the writings of Adam Smith, but I find this quote to be a very appropriate opening statement for this review.

I've known Shane for several years now, and, over the time our acquaintance has grown, so has my respect for his scholarly approach to things of significance in his (our) life.  Such is the case whenever our morning discussions would turn to the topics of sound money.  I have not encountered many people that have the command of the principles of logical reasoning that Shane posesses.  When I found out that my friend had finally published a book (some of us knew this day would come), I could hardly wait to get my hands on a copy - and I'm so glad I did.

I am forced to say that in all my years of formal education, I had never learned of the Austrian School of Economics.  All of those good 1970 era dollars spent in vain sitting in micro and macro economic classes, principles and theory of banking, all culminating in a degree in accounting and I never heard of Ludwig Von Mises until I met Shane.

In his book, Shane has taken just the approach I knew he would take in laying out this material.  There is a God Principle in effect that is the foundation of a pure economic system and the author takes deliberate measures to detail this principle to the unitiated.

Complete with charts and illustrations, readers are led on a journey to rediscover the elementary fact that words have meanings, or, more specifically, accurate meanings!  I was pleasantly surprised that even a old goat like me could still discover some words with a nuanced meaning a little different than what I had thought.  Who knew??  Once the foundational understandings of the key words are in place, topics are explored to weave together the knowledge that will allow you to KnoW Stealing.

One of my favorite chapters, although hard to favor one over the other, deals with the issue of relative truth - something about as tangible as Nessie the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot.  There are many discussions daily that rely on relative truth, but in the exposure of a white-hot light we find that relative truth is really a poster child for oxymorons!  Relative truth is no truth at all.  Truth exists independent of a belief system.

We have come to a place in America that some say is unprecented, but I submit, not unpredictable.  There are several of Hamilton's writings included in this book that would indicate we have arrived at his central banking dream of Shangri la.  Hamilton knew, along with others, that dreams and fortunes could be controlled if you only had control of the money system thru central banking.  The question for our generation is how do we stop this degradation of society by the destruction of our economic system.

Well, in order to be effective in the battle, you first have to KnoW Stealing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When God created My Toes

 
At various points in our youth, we have all wondered, “Where did I come from?”  Dandi Daley Mackall draws inspiration from Psalms 139 and presents a rhyming read for a kid that is sure to entertain!

When God Created My Toes is written from a child's point of view and explores all the things that went into their own creation. With messy hands and a concentrated look, the child asks, "When God created my hands; Did my fingers snap? Did he help me clap? Did we cheer for angel bands when God created my hands?" Children will see that God created every aspect of them in a perfect way. The actions show how God delights in each child and lets them use their bodies to explore the world around them. The illustrations presented by David Hohn are perfectly interwoven into the text and provide for a great backdrop for the younger ones to explore as this book is read to them.

If you have a preschooler who is prone to ask questions, this would make for a great Christmas gift!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

For Me, This Lion Can't Roar!

In Davis Bunn’s latest book, Lion of Babylon, a fantasy world is presented as the setting for this mystery.  If you have the ability to divorce yourself from all aspects of reality, perhaps you would enjoy this book.  This is another book that did not impress me – at all.

Christians, Muslims, professional and commom man all find themselves melding together in a surreal setting where Kumbaya and smores by the campfire must be the norm.  I kept waiting for Peter Pan or Wonder Woman to join this cast of characters bent on bringing world peace!

The author is certainly a masterful writer when it comes to the plot of this story, my concern deals strictly with the character development.  Given the current political atmosphere in the Middle East, and the polarization of views of each side of the religion question, I find it more than a strectch to think these characters could peacefully coexist, much less form a well oiled covert operative group!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Extraordinary? - not so much

In John Bevere's latest book, Extraordinary – The Life You’re Meant to Live, readers are presented with an unrealistic, seemingly hedonistic view of modern Christianity.

As you can probably tell by the opening sentence, I found this book disrespectful at best and blasphemy at worst.

Extraordinary puts an unhealthy emphasis on how great our life should be and urges us, in the vein of Osteen, to pursue “our best life now".  Bible reading and BELIEVING Christians will tell you that our best life is yet to come.  As Paul told the church at Corinth, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. Christ himself told us that we would have to take up our cross in order to follow Him.

Bevere was very candid about his past struggles with lust and an addiction to pornography and he openly discussed how saturating himself in God's Word helped him to overcome these strongholds.  That is the most redeeming portion of the author's work.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Boone Drake is back!

The Betrayal is the second installment in the 11 Precinct Series by Jerry B. Jenkins.  Boone Drake is back and once again he is on a mission. 

I was a little apprehensive when I received this book to find that it is a sequel, but readers will have no issues with catching on to the exploits of Boone as he deals with betrayal and corruption that is pervasive in the Chicago Police Department

Boone has to deal with impending threats to his life on almost every page, coming from both somewhere deep in the Chicago Police Department and members of the street gangs he battled persistently in the first book, The Brotherhood.

As the pages seemingly turn themselves, readers are left to wonder about the characters that Boone is interacting with.   Only at the conclusion of this book do the answers become “seemingly” apparent.  There are some doors left unopened – I’m assuming the author will explore them in future volumes.

Overall, if suspense and intrigue is up your alley, grab a cup of coffee and a copy of this book – then take the phone off the hook and devour!

 Here's a sample to get you started:  Link to 1st chapter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

How about a little fire, Scarecrow?

Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." One lady's opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.

She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. "But Sir" she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver....

--Author Unknown

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Remarkable Story of George Wilson

On December 6, 1829 two men, George Wilson and James Porter, robbed a United States mail carrier in Pennsylvania. Both men were subsequently captured and tried. On May 1, 1830 both men were found guilty of six indictments which included robbery of the mail "and putting the life of the driver in jeopardy." On May 27th both George Wilson and James Porter received their sentences: Execution by hanging. The sentences were to be carried out on July 2nd, 1830.

By today’s standards, this sentence seems very harsh. Remember, no one was killed in their crimes. In the earlier days of American history the justice system more closely followed Biblical principles.

The system was both swift: "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11. And harsh: "Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6.

James Porter was executed on schedule. George Wilson was not. Shortly before the set date a number of Wilson’s influential friends pleaded for mercy to the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, on behalf of their friend.

President Jackson issued a formal pardon. The charges resulting in the death sentence were completely dropped. Wilson would have to serve only a prison term of twenty years for his other crimes.

Incredibly George Wilson Refused The Pardon!

According to the official report, THE UNITED STATES VERSUS GEORGE WILSON (Peters 7 Report Sections 150-163) Wilson was returned to court as they attempted to "force" the pardon on him. It is recorded that George Wilson chose to:

"...waive and decline any advantage or protection which might be supposed to arise from the pardon referred to..." Wilson also stated that he "...had nothing to say, and that he did not wish in any manner to avail himself in order to avoid sentence ..."

The case reached the Supreme Court. The Attorney-General made the following comments:

"The court cannot give the prisoner the benefit of the pardon, unless he claims the benefit of it... It is a grant to him: it is his property; and he may accept it or not as he pleases."

Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following in the decision:

"A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed...

"A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential; and delivery is not completed without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.

"It may be supposed that no being condemned to death would reject a pardon, but the rule must be the same in capital cases and in misdemeanors."

In other words, George Wilson committed a crime. He was tried and found guilty. He was sentenced to be executed. A presidential decree granted him a full pardon. But George Wilson chose rather to refuse that pardon. The courts concluded that the pardon could not be forced upon him so George was hanged.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A New Title from the Bible Answer Man


Has God Spoken?  Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration is the latest book from Hank Hanegraaff.  If you like apologetics (and anagrams) you will like this book. 

Many today proclaim the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God.  Most, even some of today’s most powerful preachers, proclaim this rather vociferously – even though the only basis to their claim is their substantial faith.  Hank Hanegraaff sets out to provide a resource that all can use to strengthen their apologetic foundation.

Early on the author address the post modernism logic that is pervasive in today’s culture, along with the idea that some might be disappointed to find there is not much depth to the evidence presented within the book.  The author chooses to draw from inferential textual criticism to lay the foundational proofs for his claims.

The use of anagrams is pervasive in this book, retaining the author’s style of teaching through the use of this tool.  When the author chooses to emphasize a point, he will do so through comparison of other’s ideas.  Such is the case with his disagreements with UNC – Chapel Hill’s liberal leaning professor Bart Ehrman.

This book will present a challenge to some, as I am sure they, as I did, will find areas of the authors arguments a little difficult to swallow and counter to a fundamental view of hermeneutics.  Overall, this is a good book, but I believe the author falls a little short by trying to cover so much within one title.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

He's Back!!

Riley Covington is back!  In the 4th book of the series, Inside Threat, Jason Elam and Steve John again bring the exploits of our hero to life. 

Riley Covington is a professional football player, military veteran, and a Christian. Special Agent Khadi Faroughi is a Muslim. They are in love with each other but know that they have no future, because their respective faiths prohibit them from marriage.

This is a book you will not want to put down.  This fast paced action thriller is an emotional roller coaster, presenting three plot threads:  the love story of Riley and Khadi, the battle between Islam and Christianity, and the story of Jesus Christ!  The antagonist in this book is a home grown terrorist, and Muslims capture the National Cathedral during a funeral service taking many attendees as hostage. 

The book is an easy and fast read – you are hooked from the early chapters.  The characters are believable, although a times they are presented a bit “cheesy”, and the reader will be eagerly anticipating what will come next.

A fun read, I would recommend to all.

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wanted: Miracle Workers!

You Were Born for This – 7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles by Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp is a book for all Christians.  Do you know what a “God pocket” is?  Do you realize that we are all called to be servants of our fellow man? Are you sensitive to the “nudges” that God uses to remind you of the opportunities to be a blessing in the life of others?

Some folks may claim that miracles are a thing of the past – a tool that was used to kick start, or prime the early church.  We are reminded that miracles exist every day if we are only attentive to the working of God in and around our lives.  God desires not only to fellowship with us, but also to lead us in ways that we can be a miracle provider to someone in need.  A very touching story is retold about how God used a fantatical craving for ice cream to arrange for just such a delivery of a miracle.

Without reservation, this is a book you must read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Thrill Ride

The Final Hour brings to a conclusion the story of Charlie West in the fourth and final novel in the Homelander’s series.  Andrew Klavan delivers a thrilling story of conquering evil by staying true to your beliefs. The roller coaster ride begins with the first pages of the novel and the reader has to hold on thru each page as the adrenalin builds with each new chapter.
The Final Hour is not a politically correct book.  It is a straight up examination of the battle of good against evil – American traditional morals versus the evil of radical Islam.  To the Islamic enemy, Charlie West represents the Great Satan, and the author unabashedly takes sides in this story by highlighting the Judeo-Christian culture of America. Charlie exemplifies good Christian ideals and lives by his belief. This is a tremendous read for teens today – the kind of book they should be reading.  Although the target audience is teenagers, the pace of this book makes it enjoyable for folks of all ages!  I heartily recommend!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Friday, July 1, 2011


God and Stephen Hawking – Whose Design is it Anyway by John C. Lennox is a response to Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design.

Hawking’s ex-wife said during their divorce proceedings that he was an atheist, but Hawking has stated that he is "not religious in the normal sense" and he believes that "the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws." Hawking compared religion and science in 2010, saying: "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority [imposed dogma, faith], [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

It is against this backdrop that Mr. Lennox presents his discussion on the issues raised by Mr. Hawking’s.  For instance, Hawkins presupposes the existence of gravity as a scientific truth, and by extrapolation – if gravity exists, something could be created from nothing!  The laws of nature play a very important role in the construction of Hawkins theory, and Mr. Lennox demonstrates masterfully the nature of the laws of nature – there is so much order in the universe, the order itself screams, “I was designed!”

This book could be a difficult read for some; Mr. Lennox is obviously a man of high intellect.   He does a great job in simplifying his thoughts, but these are thoughts that are built on quantum mechanics.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

If You're from Georgia

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman as well as the first female Georgian as president.

A few days after the election the president-elect calls her father and says, 'So, Daddy, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?'
  
'I don't think so. It's a 16 hour drive, your mother isn't as young as she used to be, and my arthritis is acting up again.' Don't worry about it Daddy, I'll send Air Force One to pick you up and take you home.  A limousine will pick you up at your door.'

 
'I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?'
Oh, Daddy', replies the president-elect, 'I'll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom made by the best designer in Washington .'
  
 'Honey,' Dad complains, 'you know I can't eat those rich foods you and your friends like to eat.'  The President-to-be responds, 'Don't worry Daddy. The entire affair is going to be handled by the best caterer in Washington , I'll ensure your meals are salt free Daddy, I really want you to come.'

So Dad reluctantly agrees, and on January 20, 2017, the first woman and first Georgian is being sworn in as President of the United States . In the front row sits the new president's Dad and Mom. Dad notices the Supreme Court Justice sitting next to him and leans over and whispers, 'You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States .' 

 The Justice whispers back, 'Yes I do.'

Daddy says proudly,


'Her brother played football for the Georgia Bulldogs.'


 This image shows Sanford Stadium at the Univer...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I recently received an advance reading copy of The God I Never Knew , How Real Friendship with the Holy Spirit can Change Your Life. The author, the senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas, Robert Morris conducts a plain, easy approach to the Holy Spirit. He goes into detail to explain that the Holy Spirit should not be feared, but revered, as the other two members of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the promised comforter that Christ spoke of in John 14.

Morris breaks the book into “Parts”, not chapters. In reading this book you will review topics such as the different gifts of the Holy Spirt, along with instruction on various controversies surrounding the work of this member of the Triune God. Being of a fundamental Baptist mindset, I did find some of this work to be quite challenging, especially the part about 3 separate Baptisms in the life of the believer. We’ll just agree to disagree.

The author at times seems to have a convoluted presentation of his material. If you come to this book and are not part of a charismatic worship assembly, you will take issue with some of the ideas presented.

I would rate the book 2 out of 5 stars, and would not recommend this book to a new believer.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Be the People – A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith & Promise is a call to arms for a nation that has drifted far from the moorings of its’ foundation.

Tackling such difficult topics as religion, race, immigration and the decline and decay of the family, Dr. Swain does an admirable job of placing these issues out on the table – arguing that it is well beyond time for us to have grown up discussions on these issues.

The book not only provides for historical perspectives when addressing these issues, but presents at the end of each chapter a call to arms with challenges to the reader to become active. The last chapter of the book again proves to be an inspiration for the reader to do more than complain. The author weaves in the Old Testament story of Caleb – one of the two original spies sent into the Promised Land. Caleb was promised that the land upon which he walked would be his. It took 45 years from that original promise, but Caleb, at the age of 85, approaches Joshua and says, “Give me my mountain!” Pure determination. If we are to see our nation successful again, we must be determined in our approach to return this nation to its moral foundation!

If you like reading about the founding of our nation, you would enjoy reading this book. I recommend this book to all and urge you to get involved!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How Government works

Unofficial seal of the United States Congress

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.




Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructio
ns and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people, one to do the studies and one to write the reports.




Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions, a time keeper and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, an Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year, and we are $918,000 over budget. We must cut back." So they laid off the night watchman.


NOW slowly, let that sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.

Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY..... during the Carter Administration?

Anybody?

Anything?

No?

Didn't think so!

Bottom line: We've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency...the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!

Ready?? It was very simple . . . and, at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977 TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.


Hey, pretty efficient, huh???


AND, NOW, IT'S 2010 -- 33 YEARS LATER -- AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS "NECESSARY" DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. IT HAS 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES, AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE! THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?"

A little over 33 years ago, 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes -- the good old Federal bureaucracy!!


NOW, WE HAVE TURNED THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY OVER TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?

Hello!! Anybody Home?




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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Glimpse of Heaven



We Shall See God – Charles Spurgeon’s classic devotional thoughts on Heaven is a must have for the Spurgeon fan!

One of history’s most revered preachers, Spurgeon has more material in print today that any other author in history. Many of his sermons have been published in various forms for us to enjoy today. Heaven was one of his favorite topics for preaching and many of those sermons weren’t available until this book.

Retrieving 50 sermons from the archives of history, Randy Alcorn has provided a great service in collecting and publishing some of Spurgeon’s most passionate sermons. Reading this classic collection, I was reminded of Spurgeon’s life mission, as he clearly stated:” I have no purpose to serve except to make the Scripture as plain to you as possible.” His passion and his gift for clarity are prominently displayed in these sermons.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to young (teens) and old alike. All who choose to read will be impacted by the words of perhaps the world’s second greatest preacher (behind Paul).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Average Joe



Average Joe God’s Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men by Troy Meeder is a really good read!


In 14 short chapters, the author takes us on a journey to reveal the inner strength we all possess. It’s really easy for us to look at the success of others and wonder why we must be “average”. A great truth that is revealed in this book, however, is that average doesn’t have to equal mediocre.


Troy pulls the covers back on his own life and gives us a glimpse into his failures and successes. One particularly poignant moment is the instance where his marriage came close to an end. Troy is able to show us how the breaking point was reached in the relationship with the woman he adored In the end, we all realize this to be just another onslaught brought on by Satan in an attempt to destroy our lives and our influence.


I encourage everyone reading this review to buy several copies of this book and give them to the men in your life. The reflective mirror that is this book will pierce the hearts of anyone who reads it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Monday, May 16, 2011

Why does trouble come to our lives?




Sometimes God paints in HD and speaks in something far superior to Dolby surround sound 7.1.

Last night, my pastor delivered his sermon on this very topic – Why trouble comes into our life. Taking his text from Job 14:1 (Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.)
That verse pretty much touches us all, doesn't it?

Many great points were developed during his preaching, but the last ones were specifically inspired by the Holy Spirit just for me:

Trouble comes to develop our leadership
Trouble comes to display our lives

Both of these points spoke to me tremendously as a result of the health issues I’ve been battling ove the previous 9 months. Suddenly, the events of those 270+ days (and especially the opportunity that was presented earlier in the morning) seemed to be revealing specifically to me the words of Romans 8:28. (Look it up - it'll do you good!)

Ok, so it’s time for a flashback (my wife hates dramas that do flashbacks, so hopefully she won’t read this! ).

As most of you know, I am a member of The Gideons International, an organization whose sole purpose is the distribution of God’s Word into the traffic lanes of life with the sole purpose of winning the lost for Christ. We strive to visit each of our partner churches on an annual basis to deliver a stewardship report along with sharing salvation testimonies that demonstrate the power of God’s Word. To this end, I was invited to speak at a local church this past Sunday, and had just a wonderful time visiting with the folks at this local assembly as I shared with them about the local and international Gideon organizations.

This particular church presents a unique challenge to a speaker, in that they provide three worship opportunities for their congregation. As a speaker, you want to present a compelling message that will touch the congregation, including the testimonies that are presented. The specific challenge is to present unique testimonies to each service, and have the passion of each changed life on display for the congregation. Each service had a different “feel” to the worship for this conservative Baptist, but let me stress – at no point did I feel uncomfortable. Just before the service was to begin, at the request of the pastor, I had taken a seat just in front of the choir, facing the congregation.


As I was waiting for the start of the service, I heard a female voice behind me having a conversation with the lady next to her. The voices were markedly grieving over some tragedy; it was as if the words were dripping with tears. I felt sorry for them and the troubles that they were discussing.



Just as the pianist hit the opening chords of the prelude, I heard the dreaded words - "They are saying he needs to have his spleen removed!" I turned around, rather rudely I'm sure, to capture a mental photograph of these two with the intent of speaking to them at the end of the service.



As the service concluded, I found myself at the back of the church, alongside the Pastor, greeting each of the attendees and answering their questions concerning the work of the Gideons. I'm sure that some of them wondered why I appeared to be so distracted (I'm positive it showed). I kept watching the lady from the choir making sure she didn't leave by a side door. I just felt compelled to speak with her.


Finally, I had my chance and I shared that I had overheard her conversation about someone needing a spenectomy. I told her that I had that same surgery within the past few months and would be willing to share my experiences if she desired. Oh, yes - she wanted details - all the details. As it turned out, she was discussing her son's illness (ITP - same as me) and all the treatments he had received without any positive results thus far. (Sounding familiar???)


She had concerns about the treating physician, who happens to be my doctor, and I was able to reassure her that she should trust him. She had concerns about the surgeon, you guessed it - my surgeon, and again, I expressed my confidence and my experiences of after procedure care telling her I would never let anyone else cut on me if this Dr. was available. The after surgical treatment procedures were also discussed, along with my recent tremendous good news of platelets actually a little high!!


Suffice to say this lady left in a much better frame of mind than when she arrived. I'm just thankful to God that I was used as an instrument of encouragement!


So why does trouble come - to put our lives on display and to develop our leadership.


Wow! What an awesome God we serve!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011


If you struggle in your faith, or just have doubts about your relationship with God, then this is the book for you! In this 127 page, easy-to-read book, Mark Mittelberg asks six ever-popular questions: Is There a God? Can the Bible be trusted? Are we accountable to God? Who was Jesus and what was His purpose? Is divine forgiveness available? What do I need to do? The answers that are presented to these questions with are simple and elementary, and are laced with everyday life illustrations that anyone can relate to in order to help them grasp the answers to some baffling questions.
I enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone from 12 to 100! You will find the book to be a valuable companion and the composition of the book facilitates easy reading of the text. This is a book you will be tempted to read thru in one sitting.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Vow of Verity



If you’re looking for a laugh, Phil Callaway’s book, To Be Perfectly Honest, is just the ticket for you! The premise of his book came from his editor who wanted him to write a book about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for an entire year. Callaway writes in diary form about each day of the year making this an easy book to read at your leisure.


About a month into this adventure, his friends decide to take advantage of his honesty and he starts getting pummeled with e mails:

Day 31. Neil wanted to hear about my most embarrassing moment, and Nick wondered about my biggest fear....

(to Neil): I once deliberately frightened a man whom I thought was someone else. I awoke with a snort during a sermon...(pg. 19)

Phil’s journey of truth is really a fun read. Throughout the year, he is faced with the same temptations of the past, but now he has to confront these trials accompanied by his vow of truthfulness. He is tortured by the fact that his wife pays their tithes on the first Sunday of the month and each succeeding Sunday he is forced to watch the sneers (in his mind) of the ushers as he places nothing in the offering plate.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No He Can’t



No He Can’t by Kevin McCullough
Kevin McCullough holds the distinction of being the first pundit in the world to predict that President Barack Obama would become president of the United States (verified on-air by Rush Limbaugh). The events of the campaign seemed to snowball into a crescendo that saw Obama elected to that office, not surprisingly to Kevin. He is, however, surprised at the actions of Obama and his administration over the first two years in office.

The four main components of the book are Economics, National Insecurity, Erosion of Rights and Accountability to Caesar. Within the book, McCullough looked at the missteps that President Obama took in his Presidency so far and made some recommendations on how President Obama can again gain the support he once had.




McCullough doesn’t just set out to attack Obama – he actually has some nice things to say about him in the book. He also doesn’t pull any punches when he is highlighting clarion call issues for Christians - Obama sending our tax dollars overseas to fund the murder of babies (aka abortion), voting to refuse care to a baby who survives abortion, and more.
Every Christian should read this book – it is a call to prayer for our Nation!




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

God's Promises for the American Patriot by Richard Lee and Jack Countryman


God’s Promises for the American Patriot by Richard Lee and Jack Countryman is an excellent book that presents the historical events of our country and forefathers combined with Biblical scripture support for the ideas presented. The book could be used as a devotional as the chapters are fairly short and each is accompanied by several Bible verses that relate to the facts being presented.


A total of ninety-seven historical events and figures are profiled in the book. The individual leaders include presidents and politicians, scientists, patriots, colonists, Supreme Court justice, business men and women, scholars, a hymn writer and a philanthropist. All of whom have contributed to the shaping and development of America.


This book is an excellent presentation of how the Bible has been a foundation of our country from the start and would be a recommended read for anyone that has a passion for the history of our great country. It would also serve as a reminder to anyone in our government today of the principles this country was founded on!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit


In his latest book, The Final Summit, Andy Andrews reintroduces us to the everyman, David Ponder. Fans will remember David as the Traveler who discovered the Seven Decisions in The Traveler’s Gift. Now, many years later, David is once again summoned by Gabriel along with all of the other travelers in an effort to save mankind. Their collaboration is to be conducted within the time allowed – and an hourglass is presented on the table as the official time keeping device.


Throughout the book, David is either introduced or reacquainted with some of history’s most fascinating personalities. From Winston Churchill to Joan of Arc, many of this collaborative group offer up their suggestions on the solution to Gabriel’s challenge. Each time they summon Gabriel to deliver what they are sure is the answer, only to be rebuffed. They are horrified as they watch the time begin to expire!


This is another great offering from Andy Andrews and one I would recommend without reservation.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Good Gift Book


"Life Promises for Success" is a collection of one page motivational stories, quotes and applications that will inspire you. The book is divided in to three main categories - "The Essence of Success", "The Elements of Success" and "The Epitome of Success". Under each category are short stories and scriptures which look deeper into each topic. There also are many quotes interspersed throughout this book which again will serve to inspire and motivate you.
This book is like many other motivational books – if you read it, you will gather inspiration for the day. Life Promises for Success has 203 pages which cover 35 daily devotional readings, including scripture verses. An easy read, encouraging us to be better at everything we do.
This small, daily devotional would make the perfect Father's Day gift for the dad or husband that enjoys football or sports in general and wants a better understanding on the meaning of "success" in the life of a believer. It would be just as appealing to the sports minded mom or any person that is trying to discover where "success" fits into his or her life - interested in sports or not.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Can't Change Your Past


Reggie: You Can't Change Your Past, but You Can Change Your Future, an autobiography by Reggie Dabbs is a good read. Reggie started life with the deck stacked against him – he was born because his Mom needed money to feed her two kids and had sex. Reggie was conceived for $20. Then, Reggie's Mom asked Reggie's adopted parents to take care of him. A professor in college asked Reggie to accompany him to a conference and tell them his story. Reggie's voice and scars became the motivation for him to help children, even adults, know that someone loves them.
Reggie has a unique story of feeling alone and unwanted. Recounted through systematic chapters that he labels as things you should know, he shares the tough thoughts and feelings in this book, yet brings the hope of Jesus to those who may be in the same situation. Reggie weaves stories of life to tell us that our life is merely a collection of the choices we have made. Big Daddy, the name Reggie has given to our Heavenly Father, is truly a very important part of his life, and Reggie weaves stories from the Bible into this book. This book is very inspiring and will be a great addition to anyone's library!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We Be Big (and we love gravy)


In their latest book, We Be Big, Rick and Bubba take a break from the hilarity of their previous books and roll back the pages of time to show us the genesis of The Rick and Bubba Show. I be big. They be big. Together, we be big. Anyone who has listened to this show has come away with the same sense of familiarity. These two guys, along with the other staff members feel as though they belong at your dinner table, or your front porch. Their relaxed and inviting style makes everyone feel like we’ve known these guys since birth.

We Be Big takes the reader through the early lives of the “Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive”, focusing on the ethics instilled in these two by the parents. The moral compass instilled in these two by growing up in the South under the watchful eye of God fearing parents is on display early in this book. We Be Big chronicles the lives of the dynamic duo showing us successes and failures along the way. Where stumbles are made, they are glaringly on display in the pages of this book. We are allowed to witness the spiritual maturation process of these two stars, and how God uses each of them in various situations to be His mouthpiece. We are taken through triumph and tragedy; we’re made to feel again like part of the family. No matter how familiar you are with this hilarious morning show emanating from the broadcast plaza and teleport near downtown Birmingham, you will enjoy this book. We can all take heart from the example of how God will bless those who choose the walk through the doors that He opens.

I received this book in exchange for a fair review from Thomas Nelson through their Booksneeze program.