Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How to Cut America's Divorce Rate in Half by Michael McManus

I haven't read this book by Michael McManus, but saw it advertised today in a newsletter that I receive daily. As a child of divorce, I know first hand that divorce is painful for everyone involved and I would like to see divorce rates go down. Divorce is often considered the easy way out, but its really not because the payment goes on for years. I know there are some situations where safety trumps staying in a violent marriage, but I think many marriages could be salvaged with proper counsel before and/or after saying "I do."

For more info check this link.

Pray for our families and our country!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Winner's Announced in Randy Alcorn's Book Giveaway

This month’s book giveaway winners have been announced on Randy Alcorn's blog! Each of the three winners will receive copies of TouchPoints: Heaven autographed by Randy.

Next month’s giveaway, starting October 6, will be Randy’s novel Deadline. If you want to learn more about Deadline or get a sneak peak by reading the first chapter, you can visit the EPM website.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

I saw this book advertised in a CBD catalogue and was intrigued, so I put the book on hold at my local library. There was a bit of a wait, guess there are lots of people interested in parenting strategies.

The author suggests many changes to take place in the family and most of them involve the parents changing their own actions which effect the decisions the children make. Dr. Leman offers an action plan for each day that is doable though challenging depending on how many changes are necessary in your family.

I started reading the book (Monday through Friday section) on Monday and finished ahead of schedule on Wednesday. The largest part of the book is a Question and Answer section where Dr. Leman answers behavior questions from A t0 Z. There is an index in the back, so the reader can look up their specific concerns.

Back of Book says:

Want a kid without the attitude? Without the behavior that makes you slink away in the grocery store and pretend you're not the parent? A kid with character who isn't a character? If you're tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters or the disrespectful hormone group, read this book and follow the simple principles, and you'll have a new kid by Friday. Guaranteed!

Have a New Kid by Friday is your 5-day action plan--Monday through Friday--that really works! With his signature wit and commonsense psychology, internationally recognized family expert Dr. Kevin Leman reveals why your kids do what they do and what you can do about it--starting right now.

Anyone can do it. All it takes is you deciding to stand up and take charge. Want a great kid? Want to be a great parent? Then take the 5-day challenge. Someday your kid will thank you for it.

Special Feature: "Ask Dr. Leman"
Gutsy advice on over 100 of the hottest topics for parents, including bedtime battles, lying, argumentative attitudes, sibling rivalry, talking back, and many more.

For more information check out this web site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sinner by Ted Dekker

Paradise Novels

1. Showdown
2. Saint
3. Sinner

You don't necessarily have to read the Paradise novels in order, but if you want to learn the details in sequential order the way they are listed above is how to go. If you read Sinner first you are going to learn some of the suspenseful details without reading Showdown, but I liked "suffering" through each book learning the details in order. In reading Saint and Sinner you learn some about the Showdown story, but many important details are left out. Each book builds on the last, but each book can stand alone.

Sinner is one of those books that is really hard to describe without giving away the story line of at least three other Ted Dekker novels. It is part of the Paradise Series and part of so much more. Ted Dekker has weaved several series into one larger series (Books of History). His writing takes you past what most would consider normal and into different realities. Spiritual warfare is a large part of his writing in the books that fall into the Books of History series. The author gives us a glimpse into the dark side and encourages the reader to consider the Light.

From Ted Dekker's Web Site

Some say roll with the punches. Drift with the tide. Nothing can stop the inevitability of change. There was a time when 300 Spartans disagreed with such banal thinking and stood in the gap. Now it’s time for the 3000 to stand in the gap. Sinner is the story of Marsuvees Black, a personification of raw evil who speaks with wicked persuasion far more destructive than swords or guns. Beware all who stand in his way. It’s the story of Billy Rediger and Darcy Lange, two unsuspecting survivors of a research project gone bad, who discover that they are quite extraordinary, perhaps the two single most powerful souls in the land. Listen to them or pay a terrible price. And it’s the story of Johnny Drake, the one who comes out of the desert and leads the 3000. Follow him and die. But most of all, Sinner is the story of our country just around the corner when all that was once held sacred in a free land where any man, woman or child could worship as they pleased and say what they believed on any street corner is shredded in name of tolerance. Sacrificed on the alter of hate crimes. Smothered by laws. Most will role with the punches. Most will drift with the tide. But not all. Not the 3000.

This book encourages us to count the cost and consider a day when our relationship with Jesus may not be as free as it is today in our comfortable world. What would you do if you were told you couldn't worship freely and you couldn't share your faith?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher

I enjoyed reading this quick read Women of Faith novel (306 pages). It depicted some difficult life situations in a believable manner. The way the characters respond to the stressors in their lives makes it so realistic that we could easily envision this story happening within our own communities and churches. Find out how the characters deal with the troubles that come their way and ask yourself what you would do if you a particular character.

Taken from Christian Book Distributors description:

Katherine has a perfect life. Brad is an affectionate and caring husband. They are active in their church, both serving in leadership positions. Katherine bakes, ministers, serves, leads a Bible study, sings. They have it all. Then a corporate scandal leads to Brad's arrest. Reporters dig into every aspect of their private lives, digging up the smallest of details and hidden secrets. Brad loses his job, and their finances are ruined. As they struggle to piece together their once-perfect life, Katherine wonders: can their marriage survive Brad's breach of trust?

Chapter 1 Excerpt

Discussion Questions - Spoiler Alert!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soul Restoration: Hope for the Weary by Terri Blackstock

I read this book last March and finally decided to post about it. It's filled with encouragement both from Terri Blackstock and from Scripture. I always encourage readers to check Scripture for themselves to determine if the interpretation the author gives is backed by the Bible. I think this book could be an encouragement to Christians in need of restoration. It's similar to a devotional book, but shorter than most. The author shares a lot from her personal experience making it interesting and easy to read.

Some Chapter Titles:

Discomfort’s Hidden Blessing
Taste and See that the Lord is Good
Everyday Dangers
Divine Transformation
Prodigal Daughter
His Heart Was Broken
My Soul Is Restored
So Many Questions
When the Smoke Clears
It’s All About Covenant
Into His Arms
Each Detail of Our Lives

My Costly Pardon

Book Jacket says:

With beautiful, uplifting writing best-selling author Terri Blackstock speaks to those who are weary and in need of soul restoration. Newly written meditations and revisions to best-selling material from her novels, each of the devotions are filled with Scripture and encouragement. The perfect gift for a Terri Blackstock fan, this book is a wonderful way to introduce her writing to someone or to share the loving encouragement of Christ. It will surely touch people’s hearts.

I'll end with an encouraging quote from page 58 - "I realize that God is in control of the universe. The mistakes in my past, though dramatic to me, cannot ruin God’s plan beyond repair. God is sovereign, and his plans cannot be thwarted by human beings like me. He can fill in the blanks of my mistakes, teaching my children what I failed to teach, restoring what I destroyed, rebuilding what I tore down, redeeming what I sold away." God can redeem anything or anyone if we give it and ourselves to HIM. That isn't saying that we won't face consequences, but that He will give us strength to face the consequences and continue living for HIM and praising HIM even through the storms.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dead Heat by Joel C. Rosenberg

Last Jihad Series

Book 1 – The Last Jihad
Book 2 – The Last Days
Book 3 – The Ezekiel Option
Book 4 – The Copper Scroll
Book 5 – Dead Heat

Soon after I read The Ezekiel Option I found out that Joel Rosenberg had a new book available and I hurried to the library to get it without knowing that there was a book to read between them. I decided to go ahead and read the books out of order since these books are highly sought after and I didn't want to have to wait forever to get this current release back in my hands.

During the Republican National Convention (September 1-4, 2008), I was reading a section of Dead Heat detailing the Republican National Convention. It was a little eerie, but fortunately the events detailed in the book weren’t experienced in real life this time as they have been in previous books in this series.

As I read from Dead Heat today, September 11, 2008, the book described a scene where Embassy Staff were being flown out of Venezuela and today in the news I read that Chavez wants the ambassador from the United States out of his country within 72 hours and that he is immediately withdrawing his ambassador from Washington. See the article here.

Back of Book says:

· Oil prices are surging to record highs.
· A new dictator is rising in Iraq
· China is threatening Taiwan.
· North Korean forces are ready to strike south.
· Israel is feverishly trying to complete the Third Temple

AND IN THE MIDST of a world ready to explode, American president, James MacPherson’s second term is ending.

The battle to succeed him is heating up into the most fiercely contested presidential election in American History. Who will lead a bitterly divided country over the next four years? And just what role – if any – does the U.S. play in history’s last days?

As the presidential campaign narrows into a dead heat, the Secret Service learns of a catastrophic terrorist plot to assassinate one of the candidates – but which one? Who do they want dead? And can U.S. forces stop the terrorists before millions lose their lives?

Reading a book by Joel Rosenberg is much like watching the nightly news. Fortunately the events detailed in this book haven't become a reality in our world. Let's pray they don't. Today commemorates the 7th anniversary of September 11, 2008 when thousands of innocent Americans lost their lives because of four terrorist acts on American soil. Since, we don't know how long we are granted to live on this earth - make sure your heart is right with God, love your family, and seek reconciliation with all you can.

For additional information see Joel's webpage.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Free Book from VOM

Today I found out that The Voice of the Martyrs is giving away a complimentary book - Tortured for Christ by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. Go to their website to complete the form to receive the book. I borrowed this book from my church library earlier this year - it's powerful and I highly recommend it. Persecution of Christian continues in many parts of the world. The book isn't too gory because he leaves out the hard to read details, but shares enough to give the reader an understanding. For more info check out my blog entry about the book.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Giveaway - Touch Points: Heaven by Randy Alcorn

This month Randy Alcorn is giving away his newly released book TouchPoints: Heaven to three randomly drawn winners who leave a comment on his blog.

From Randy's blog:

We all have questions about what Heaven will be like. Now, TouchPoints: Heaven puts God’s answers to your most probing questions about Heaven and the New Earth right at your fingertips. Inspired by Randy Alcorn’s best-selling comprehensive book Heaven, this smaller 304-page paperback contains biblically based answers to many questions about what life will be like on the New Earth. For additional information on this book, see Randy's blog.

The deadline to enter the TouchPoints: Heaven giveaway is Friday, September 26, and the winners will be announced in a blog post on Monday, September 29. To enter for your chance to win, leave a comment on Randy's blog.

I haven't read this book yet, but hope to soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The World of Narnia Collection - Illustrated by Deborah Maze

This collection is adapted for the younger reader (ages 5-9) from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Four great books in one: Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobe; Edmund and the White Witch; Aslan; and Aslan's Triumph.

My daughter is reading the Narnia Series and I thought this book would be a quick intro for her. It has a large font and plenty of detailed pictures illustrated by Deborah Maze (a devoted C.S. Lewis reader).

Excerpt From Christian Book Distributors:

Experience wondrous adventures in the land of Narnia! This captivating picture book collection is based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and gathers four individual picture books, Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobe, Edmund and the White Witch, Aslan, and Aslan's Triumph, into one volume.

In Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobe, Lucy finds her way into the magical land of Narnia. Her brother, Edmund, follows her, and in Edmund and the White Witch, he is enchanted by the Witch. She promises him the throne of Narnia (as well as all the Turkish Delight he could eat!) in exchange for his brother and sisters. In Aslan, all of the children find themselves in Narnia and are taken to meet Aslan, the Great Lion. Together, in Aslan's Triumph, they set off to fight the White Witch and reverse her evil spell.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bountiful Blessing: Eurasia

My church has a strong emphasis on missions and missions education. Each year members and friends of our church are encouraged to read six missions books. Each of the books are available free of charge at our church to read and return. This book focuses on the missionary work that is done in a large region called Eurasia.

Back of book says:

Welcome to the Eurasia Region, one of the most complex, fascinating, and exciting places to do ministry in the world. Covering 14 times zones, it is home to 6 of the top 10 developed nations as well as hundreds of communities that live far below the poverty line.

It is within this vast region that Christ was born...Paul traveled on his missionary journeys...and Martin Luther began his movement to reform Christianity. The first Bible was also translated and printed for public distribution here.

Yet this rich legacy is often contrasted by the enormous religious and social diversity within Eurasia.

Eurasia: Bountiful Blessing shows you how the Church of the Nazarene is joining the movement of God to again reform and revive His church in this part of the world. Through spiritual nourishment, education, medical services, relief for refugees, and much more, Eurasia Nazarenes are giving hope to thousands in desperate need of the Savior.

Call to Action (page 85)

1. Visit the Eurasia Region's web site at www.eurasianazarene.org to learn more about the exciting things God is doing in this part of the world. While you are there, take a look at the latest prayer requests for the region and spend time lifting them before the Lord in prayer.

2. Suscribe to the Eurasia Region's monthly newsletter Where Worlds Meet by emailing the editor at whereworldsmeet@eurasianazarene.org. Each issue contians greetings from a different field; the latest news on people, events and ministries throughout the region; and information about upcoming events and prayer needs.

3. Pray for Dr. Crocker and the many other leaders and pastors sacross the great region. Pray for God to impart His wisome, guidance, and discernment in every decision they face.

4. Consider volunteering your time in one of the many ministries in the Eurasion Region. For more information, contact the regional office at office@eurasiaregion.org or visit their web site.

If you attend a Nazarene church this book and five others (about different regions of the world) should be available for you to read. Check with your Pastor or NMI president for more information. If you are a Christian who is interested in missions and would like to learn more, you may purchase this book from NPH.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Krik? Krak! By Amy Crofford

My eight year old daughter recently read and enjoyed Krik? Krak! It is a children’s book filled with true stories of missionaries and their work in Haiti. Look at a world map or globe to find Haiti.

Back of Book says:

“Grandpa, please tell us a story,” the children begged.

“All right,” he answered. “Come and sit on the bench.”

Grandpa Lucien waited for the children to give him their complete attention. Then he asked, “KRIK [KRIK]?”

The children knew that meant “Are you ready to listen to a story?”

“KRAK [KRAK]!” the children exclaimed.

Grandpa knew they were ready to listen.

“Good!” he said. “Then let’s begin.”

If you attend a Nazarene church this book and five others similar to it should be available for your child to read at no cost. Check with your Pastor or NMI president for more information. If you are a Christian who is interested in missions and would like your child to learn about missions on their level, you may purchase the book from NPH.

My church is involved in a project that helps provide wells so the children of Haiti don't have to walk miles each day for fresh water. For more information check here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Skid by Rene Gutteridge

Skid (published May 2008) is the third book full of quirky characters in the Occupational Hazards series by Rene Gutteridge. It is similar to the old movie called Airplane in some ways, but much better because of the message of Jesus that is shared in a non-confrontational fashion.

The seven Hazard children were raised in a homeschool family that taught solid values and encouraged openness and honesty. When their parents died in an unfortunate hot-tub accident, the Hazard kids ranging in age 26-16 agreed to sell the family clowning business and venture out into the world to discover their career interests. Come along for a humorous, yet enlightening ride as the Hazard kids meet the working world and the world encounters them.

The Occupational Hazards Series:

Book 1 – Scoop
Book 2 – Snitch
Book 3 – Skid

Back of Book says:

Come Fly The Frenzied Skies!

Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a copilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.

On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled inflight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of "What Would Oprah Do?" will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests--prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline--test the limits of the crew's customer service.

But as Lucy and the crew discover, Hank's odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.

To find more books by Rene Gutteridge, check her website.