Saturday, June 15, 2013

We have a Living God!

I just attended my first men's bible study at my church. Usually there would be 20 to 30 men there, but today there were only 4. The leader didn't show up and no one else did. Apparently it was cancelled, but the word didn't get out to everyone. Dennis and I were the first to get there, so we talked about our life situations.

I Talked about the printing industry, the bad economic times and changes in the industry itself, and how it has changed my life. Dennis talked about being out of work for four months and about a new job that he is going to start in two weeks. Dennis's real trepidation is in the fact that he has poor writing skills and a reading disability that he thinks may hurt his job performance.

Paul came in and we discussed his part time job and how he wanted to go full time and how impossible that seemed. Paul is 77.

Charlie came in and we discussed the fact that Charlie has gone down an impossible road, with a tragic accident that almost cost him his leg, Charlie is on disability and now volunteers to help as much as he can at the church.

Suddenly my situation wasn't so bad. It allowed me to focus on someone else besides me.

We sat and talked and shared about our families, our expectations and our prayers. I shared about a person whom I have been praying for for many years. God has recently increased my vision for him. It was not enough to pray for him and his family, God wants me to pray for the whole area he lives in! We all agreed on one thing. We all have a Living God who is amazing! He wants us to believe the impossible. He wants us to believe that where we fail and are lacking, He is able and willing to do amazing things on our behalf. We also believe that if two or more are gathered in His name, He is there in the midst of them and if two of us agree about anything we ask for, it will be done for us by our Father in heaven. Our brother Jesus was there in our little meeting. Perhaps encouraging us to share and pray for one another. We ended with prayer for these situations, believing that God would stretch Dennis and give peace to him about the job.

Normally walking into a bible study with one person sitting there would seem like a sign from God to forget coming back. I know enough to trust that He has a plan. I now know 3 other men a lot better and have shared in their lives and prayed with them. There are no accidents. He has plans for each of us. Next time it seems that things didn't go the way you planned, look around and be patient. The Living God has a plan for you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Fourth Kingdom - Alexandra Swann, Joyce Swann

The boys from Brazil are coming! This is a book with a lot of potential for a series. Unfortunately the ending leaves a lot to be desired.

This story is about two scientists involved in two different branches of cloning. While they are diametrically opposed in their beliefs, they have much in common in other areas. The story follows their lives through the years and the effects they have on one another. Exciting discoveries and collaboration between both men bring the story to an exciting climax.

As a Christian Fiction genre piece, this book contains the Gospel message in an excellent context. The story is woven masterfully and contains Christian and secular paradigms. The story plot was good but a bit too predictable. I won't say too much about how this happens, but lets just say that it is evident which way the story is going too early in the book. If this series is going anywhere, I would like to see it come to an Apocalyptic showdown involving the Anti-Christ and the two witnesses.

This is hard, because I really enjoyed the book, but in the end, I found it too predictable and lacking in suspense to get five stars. It was however interesting and imaginative in its concepts and creativity. Still a good read and worth the time.

My Rating - 4 Stars

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace - The case for the gospel truth

I just finished this remarkable book written from the perspective of a cold-case detective.

J. Warner has served as a police officer and cold-case detective for nearly 25 years. Jim's experience has taught him that truth is always tied directly to evidence. A conscientious and vocal atheist until he was 35 years old, Mr. Wallace used his expertise as a cold-case detective to take a serious look at the evidence for the Christian Worldview.

This book is about that journey and the evidence he examined along the way. Remarkably documented and convincingly presented, this book demonstrates a logical path to an inevitable conclusion. As a Christian, I have heard many arguments from people who don't believe. They say that the Bible was written by men and is flawed and contradictory. By the time I finished reading Mr. Wallace's book, I couldn't see how any logical person could come to that conclusion. Cold Case Christianity is a well thought out and brilliant case for the truth of the New Testament and a must read for those claiming that it is false. Cold Case Christianity is also a good faith building read for those of us who are already "Christian Case Makers".

J. Warner created and built the website, blog and podcast as a place to post and talk about what he discovered related to the evidence supporting Christianity.

My Rating: 5 Star

Friday, April 26, 2013

Soul's Gate by James L. Rubart

This is a really thought provoking, spirit stirring adventure. The book deals with four people chosen by God to war against the fallen angels that try to control and destroy people's lives. They are being trained by a man who is experienced in spiritual warfare but hides a tragic past that makes him reluctant to return to the fight after so long. All of them need healing from past experiences that bind them from fulfilling God's will in their lives, but none more than the man who is training them. This is a story about spiritual freedom in Christ. It is fictional but brings with it many truths and promises of the Bible. 

The concept of entering another person's soul to heal and help that person was of course not scriptural, however it did illicit a spiritual response. The author in his notes admits that he doesn't believe that entering a soul is possible, but other concepts cited are very scriptural.

Soul's Gate kind of makes you wonder what your soul would look like if you could wander in and look around. What would someone else see? What walls and lands have we built up as defenses to try to keep God from breaking through and setting us free? I like the way the story moved right along and kept returning to challenge me with the question: If this happened during Biblical times, why can't these things be possible now? I understand that James L. Rubart has written other books that deal with the spiritual warfare that goes on around us all the time. I feel like God was using the hand of this author to challenge us to be free and tear down the strongholds of the enemy. I am looking forward to reading other books from Mr. Rubart soon. Soul's Gate (A Well Spring Novel) Kindle Edition

My Rating: 5 Star

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

Young Tiamat is the Daughter of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon. The story begins seven years after he has become mad and lives like an animal hidden away in the Hanging Gardens. Tia's husband of seven years has died and there is political pressure from her mother to remarry a prince of the Medes. All that she has been taught is now being questioned in her heart and soul as she discovers the belief in this One God. This Yahweh of the Jews may have merit after all. A murder of a nobleman in the Garden begins an investigation by Tia and opens up a story of intrigue and mystery that threaten to turn her world upside down.

Tracey L. Higley's historical fiction Garden of Madness is a wonderfully vibrant story of a period of time that most of us are not familiar with. Taken from the bible in the book of Daniel, Tracey has written a well researched book that brings the period alive and puts you right in the setting. I love the detective like abilities given to the character Tiamet. She is as adamant as Columbo and deductive as Sherlock Holmes! The story progresses at a good pace introducing interesting characters and interactions. The historical context flows amidst descriptive prose that brings reality from imagination. I highly recommend Higley's Garden of Madness. It is a great read! Garden of Madness at Amazon.

My Rating: 5 Star

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest Post - Frank Steck on Gay Marriage

I was on Facebook today, and noticed an abundance of “equal signs” in support of same-sex marriage. People are lining up on one side or the other. Since the issue is hot at the moment, let me tell you where I stand.
     Do I think two people of the same sex that are in a relationship should be afforded the same legal rights as a heterosexual couple? Certainly. Should there be a legal vehicle by which a person can take over a partner’s Social Security upon the death of his/her life partner? Absolutely. Should couples be allowed to enter into contracts like married couples? They do it every day, in cities and states across the nation. I think the Congress and the legal community should look for a legal way to make this happen. Let’s call it a life union. This is where most of you and I are probably in agreement. And this is where the line gets drawn in the sand.
     Do I think a same-sex couple should be able to walk into a church and be married by a pastor, priest or rabbi that has sworn an oath to uphold the covenants of God, and be called married? Not in this lifetime. And any person of the cloth who would do that will be held to more accountability when he/she stands in judgment than the people he marries. The Bible states, in paraphrase, “To whom much is given, from him much is expected.” The more they know, the more accountable they are when they don’t obey.
     The modern generation looks at the Bible as a movable, changeable collection of stories, whose morals and teachings must change with the times. Of course they look at the Constitution the same way. I on the other hand look at the Bible as the inspired Word of God dictated to man as His rule book. As God always was, is, and always will be, so are the teachings in His Book. I can show numerous verses in the Old and New Testaments that testify that homosexuality is detestable in the eyes of God. I defy anyone to show me one verse to the contrary. The Bible is not a menu in a Chinese restaurant. You can’t pick one from column A and two from column B. You take it all, or you deny it all. It’s like you can’t be a little bit pregnant. You are or you’re not. The Bible is forever. Read Revelation 22:18-21.
     Does God hate homosexuals? Not at all. He loves them, but he doesn’t like what they do. When my cousin was maybe five, he did something that his mom didn’t like, and she yelled at him. I was there and was privileged to witness what went next, and I used it as an example in Bible School last summer. He got all weepy and crawled up next to his mom and said, “Don’t you love me any more, mommy?” to which his mom replied, “I will always love you, but some times I don’t like you.”
     Do I hate homosexuals. Not at all. I have friends who are gay. As a Christian, it is not my place to judge, nor is it my duty to get in their faces and tell them they are going to hell. But, if one were to come to me and ask me what I thought of their homosexuality, I would tell them honestly that what they are doing is an affront to the teachings of the Lord, but that they are loved by Him. Then I would refer them to someone much more learned and capable than I to counsel them on what the Bible says.
     The true Christian shows more forgiveness than will ever be shown by the liberal media. Unfortunately, the true Christian is portrayed as being like the funeral crashers from Westboro Baptist Church and the like-minded. I will love the sinner. I will not, however apologize for standing up for the Word of God. The U.S. Supreme Court might well be the highest court in the land, but my Judge holds infinitely more power. The Supreme Court's power is temporary, but my Judge's power is eternal.
     The line has been drawn in the sand, and God is taking an accounting of His side. That’s one side I plan to be on.

Mark Burnett on miraculous ’The Bible’: ’Weird things happened during filming’

Mark Burnett on miraculous ’The Bible’: ’Weird things happened during filming’

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Encrypted by Carolyn McCray

I loved the characters in this book. They were larger than life and the romantic connection between Zach and Ronnie while a bit strained at times kept you guessing and intrigued to see if it could all work out.

There were plenty of plot twists and exciting action scenes with death defying heroics! What a great thrill ride! The ending was great. I will not give away anything, but I will recommend this book to tech/thrill loving readers. Carolyn McCray has quite a franchise to look forward to in this series.
Encrypted: An Action-Packed Techno-Thriller (Book 1 of the Robin Hood Hacker Series)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

Tom Gray is a character fashioned from the past! A man's man with a code of ethics that is rare in today's society. I love this character. He cares about the world he lives in and desires to right the wrongs of a corrupt justice system. His plan seems so foolproof with every contingency carefully measured and yet he has overlooked what he couldn't have possibly planned for.

This story would resonate in so many modern cultures today. Tom is a suffering hero that the world is crying out for. The bad guys are supposed to be the good guys and have lost their way. Tom is just trying to right the course of the ship, and show them true justice. Gray Justice is an engaging book that will make you wish that someone like Tom Gray would step up and say enough!

Gray Justice (Tom Gray #1) - At Amazon (US)

Velvet Rain by David C. Cassidy

Velvet Rain reminds me in a way, of one of my favorite TV series, Kung Fu. The main character Kain is a lot like the character of Kwai Chang Caine in the series. He is kind and merciful, only using his powers for good to lessen the suffering of others. He moves on when his welcome is worn out and he reaches out to some unknown goal.

His power? The ability to locally turn back time. It will set your mind to thinking in a myriad of ways.

 I enjoyed this book with all of its plot twists and turns. While a bit dark and gory at times, it did not disappoint in depth of feeling and mystery. The bad guys are really evil and twisted and you will love to hate them! A great page turner that would make a great movie. I recommend it to people who like thriller/mysteries.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Progeny by Shawn Hopkins

A reason to think beyond your mundane world!

I just loved this book! It connects the strange mysteries of history with the ancient scriptures of the Bible, Apocrypha and other ancient writings into a plausible thriller of a story. The action never stops and although sometimes very bloody, it never the less succeeds at keeping you on the edge of your seat while at the same time spinning a vivid picture of the areas described there. This book makes you think and ponder the mysteries that are here on this earth and the spiritual mysteries embedded into the souls of mankind. It ties them together and presents an undeniably fascinating world where anything can and does happen.

While in the midst of reading this book, I read the book of Enoch and the first and second books of Adam and Eve as well as the beginning of the book of Genesis. The point being that this book makes you want to track down information cited to get a bigger picture of the references contained in the book. It all adds to the possible reality that the story line presents to the reader. Well done Mr. Hopkins! I will definitely be reading more of this author's work!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Udemy - Online Courses from the world's experts

I recently discovered a site called "Udemy". This is a site chock full of educational opportunity. It has free and paid tutorials and classes. Using state of the art technology and engaging multimedia, this site is like school on steroids. There are opportunities to express your opinions and ask questions too!

Udemy has a lot going for it! Give it a try.