Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Sneeze Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome By Owen Strachan

I have seen this book categorized as "radical" and for "college students". Which I think really says a lot about the state of things in our churches. As if taking risks and being "radical" is only for the young. I am, I hate to admit it, not considered young. I am really close to 40. But in our town and congregation where most are retired, I am still just a "whipper snapper".
I would like to think that this book is aimed at the Church Body, not the youth and college ministry. The whole body needs  gospel-driven discipline, to working for God's glory and not our own, committing to the you attend church (which might mean the scary M word- membership), and building an evangelistic witness that is not shameful. The "cultural lingo" maybe considered younger in general , but the lesson applies to all generations.

 "God's awesomeness should propel our faithfulness."

Book Description:
How do you access a real, thriving, vibrant faith? You trust a big God, and you start living like he’s real. It’s time to put our comfort and ease and false security on the line. If we know God is real, let’s pray as if he’s actually listening. If we know he’s good, let’s reflect that goodness in the world. When our problems feel big, let’s lean on the One who is bigger. Is that risky? “Sure,” says Owen Strachan. “Embrace it anyway. It’s literally the only way to live.”

Is this really own for the "next generation?!
We were made for something more and it is time we start living like it!
The book neatly divides into two sections, 1-  why risk should be a way of life for all Gospel-centered Christians  and 2- how to take these concepts and apply them.
“Gospel Risk.” is defined as “trading in small things that produce a shallow defeated life for the life shaped by the gospel, one devoted to God and his glory.” (66)

Book Sneeze Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook, Volume 3 By Dr. O. S. Hawkins

I remember the Pastor's annual sourcebooks from the late 1990's. This is not a planned order of service with which hymns to sing. This is better. It is not a book of "cheats". The sermons are indepth sermon outlines. Which always amazes me. I would have to have every word written out. When my husband writes his own sermons, they really are basic outlines, a couple bullet points, and Bam! a sermon comes out of all of it.

As Dr. Hawkins says, “It is not designed as an ‘easy fix’ for late Saturday night sermon preparation. Rather, it is a sourcebook designed to lay alongside all your other tools of word studies, exegesis, commentaries, prayer and analytical thought that goes into a fully developed and crafted sermon.”
I have known too many pastors in the past who have said they do not study for their sermons, they just trust that the Holy Spirit will give them the words. THIS IS NOT something I advocate! It is how we get too many scriptural inaccuracies preached from the pulpit. 
Preparing a sermon has been likened to the equivilent of 8 hrs of hard labour. I believe it. I see the time and resources that go into a well prepared sermon, not to mention the prayer and seeking of direction. Throw in all the people who drop in with out an appointment, the hospital and home visits, the emergency phone calls....a Pastor has so much on his plate. The church office hours are just a drop in the bucket, his job is 24/7.
As I, thankfully, am not doing any preaching, this is not a reference I can say I will be putting to use. But it is nice to know it is there if "he" needs a quick topical sermon. ( He preaches verse by verse both Saturday and Sunday, so the occasions for this are rare.)

This sourcebook has a companion DVD with  notes and outlines from the book. (in case you are really swamped and just need to print something out last minute.) It includes articles as well as special services such as baptism, funeral and weddings....

Over all it looks like a great resource for some one in ministry.

Publisher's Description
Preach great sermons and plan innovative worship services with the newest edition of Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. This is the same sermon planner you have come to depend on for more than ten years, now with a disc included for your convenience!. In this volume, look for sermons, articles, and sermon starters by Daniel L. Akin, Dr. Mark L. Bailey, Dr. Phillip R. Bethancourt, Matt Carter, Steve Dighton, David Epstein, J.D. Greear, Ph.D., Jim Henry, Dr. Jeff Iorg, Dr. James MacDonald, Dr. Russell D. Moore, Dr. Adrian Rogers, Steven Smith, K. Marshall Williams,Sr., and Dr. O.S. Hawkins, general editor. These outstanding pastors provide an entire year’s worth of preaching and worship resources with a new, topical focus. Look for a new volume every fall.

Features include:
Sermons, creative outlines, illustrations, and quotes
Worship helps, including hymns, prayers, and Scripture texts
Inspirational thoughts and preaching techniques
Sermons for special occasions and holidays
Disc included containing all sermons and sermon starters

Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebooks sold to date: More than 135,000

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Book Sneeze Asylum The Circeae Tales By Ashley Hodges Bazer

The story was intriguing and interesting.
Sadly it was not a "beginning of a series" book, so I feel like there was some back story I could have used in the characters themselves. ( I think this is supposed to be book 1, so a prequel book would be lovely, dear author). Be sure to check out the reference in the back
Still I enjoyed it.

Dystopian rebel honeymooners, Chase and Trista, serve a King, dis-enthroned by the Legacy. In trying to help Chase, Trista takes an assignment for him. This leads to her capture by the Legacy. Chase refuses to believe that Trista has been executed.Throw in time manipulation and sci-fi technology and the whole book is quite inventive.

Over all a decent book, from an author who has promise. Looking forward to reading more in the future.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Sneeze The Spiritual Mentor by Jim Grassi

Based on Romans 12, this is a discipleship and mentoring study for men.

"Don't be fooled, spiritual mentorship is not something to be left to "the professionals". If you know what it means to follow Christ, each day just one step at a time, you are ready to begin this adventure"
-Phil Downer from the forward

The author brings out the fact that on any Sunday 39% of a church (if you are lucky) are men. For decades churches have been decorated in a mauve fashion, to be welcoming to women. Men have been neglected and even thrown under the bus in some ministries that cater almost completely to women or small children.

This book focuses on the man's role in the church, manliness, how to start a mentoring ministry in your congregation and pass on the vision for a healthy church.

"Jesus didn't tell us to go and make a church; He told us to go and make disciples.We should not be focused upon building big churches, but should focus our efforts on building spiritually deep disciples" pg 17

"What will save out nation and Christianity is for believers to band together like the first century church and become radical about discipiling others." pg 18

This book seeks to help you make a plan and put it into action. One of the ways to do this is by looking at the health of the church you are in. One question asks: "What things are you finding in your church that seem divisive or hindering to an effective outreach and discipleship?

This is an excellent resource and does a great job at making the focus and burden not being all on the paid staff but a community issue. I look forward to placing copies of this book in the hands of several men and see where they are lead.

Book Sneeze 'No Cape Required: A Devotional' by Kristen Parrish

In "No Cape Required". Kristen Parrish gives you a fictional hero and a character trait that we can learn from them. 52 lessons, one a week.
Heroes range from comics, movies, beloved books, from The Chronicles of Narnia to Shawshank Redemption. This is a book that will connect to many, using pop culture icons to speak of truths and remind you that you don't have to be a mutant or alien to be a hero. The devotions are written to remind you that the ability to be a hero is in you and has been all along.

I am a SciFi and comic book geek. This book was replete with characters I adore.
It would make an excellent gift and is not generation specific.
Have some one in your life that just needs to be told "I believe in you"? This is for them.

Topics include:
Spock and Kirk's Friendship
Superman’s Justice
Robin Hood's Charity
Eustace's Repentance
Dorothy’s Courage

What do Katniss Everdeen, Spider-Man, and Huckleberry Finn have in common? They’re heroes—and you can be just like them.

As children, we dream of throwing on a cape and changing the world. Then we grow up, we learn to see the flaws in our movie stars and athletes, and we accept that true heroism is not possible in the real world. You continue to dream, though. Isn’t that why you still love watching heroes on the big screen? It’s more than just wish fulfillment. You resonate with Superman’s justice and Dorothy’s courage because you have those same qualities within yourself.

In these pages, Kristen Parrish looks at the qualities of fifty-two heroes, and then shows how you can acquire every one of those qualities. No gamma rays or radioactive spider bites are needed. You can unleash your inner hero through prayer and practical action.

Men and women, boys and girls alike, will find role models within these pages. While others watch and dream on the sidelines, you can step out in faith, learning from heroic examples and praying for God’s help to make you who you were meant to be.

The Holy Spirit enables us to do great things. Find out how. No cape required.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Sneeze Merlin's Blade By Robert Treskillard

Treskillard brings a new tak on the Arthurian legend and builds a character in Merlin that you want to win. Lawhead's Pendragon series is still one of my absolute favourites, But Treskillard does a decent job with his own twist on the legend, so the book is far from disappointing but engaging.

Christianity in Britain is in a battle with the ancient druidic beliefs. With a meteorite;s strange power , the druids seek to take  control of the people and ultimately all of Britain. Merlin, the partially blind son of the  blacksmith, and a handful of others seem to be immune. Their ability to resist the druids and the meteorite may be the only thing that can save the village from spiritual and physical oppression.

Merlin's struggles have molded him into the hero this village needs. Is Merlin willing to become that hero?

My 15 yr old son took over my  nook to read this and enjoyed the story as well.

From the Publisher: When a meteorite crashes near a small village in fifth-century Britain, it brings with it a mysterious black stone that bewitches anyone who comes in contact with its glow---a power the druids hope to use to destroy King Uthur’s kingdom, as well as the new Christian faith. The only person who seems immune is a young, shy, half-blind swordsmith’s son named Merlin.
As his family, village, and even the young Arthur, are placed in danger, Merlin must face his fears and his blindness to take hold of the role God ordained for him. But when he is surrounded by adversaries, armed only by a sword he’s named Excalibur, how will he save the girl he cherishes and rid Britain of this deadly evil ... without losing his life?

Book Sneeze- Payback in Panama By Noel Hynd

Noel Hynd has millions of books in print from decades of writing. Payback in Panama is the final book in Noel Hynd’s Cuban Trilogy.

U.S. Treasury Agent Alex LaDuca has a battle between her faith and her job. How will her faith also influence her choices? When the choices boil down to kill or be killed what will she choose?
Alex has stuggled in her faith and she experienced loss. She had given up hope for a happy life shared with some one she loved. In this final book she has found love again but may not get to have a life together as death stalks her every step.

Dosi Cartel, her long time enemies, come after her with a vengeance.
The whole series is a thrilling adventure, and the character has been well developed through out the series. The final book brings  together all the pieces, but with unexpected plot twists. You are never quite sure that if things will actually work out for Alex.  Can Alex survive the assassination plots and have a life with the man she has come to love?

Over all it is a thrilling book that you do not want to put down. You definitely need to start at the beginning of the series to get the full depth of character development.

From the Publisher:
U.S. Treasury Agent Alex LaDuca enters the endgame of her long-running and treacherous duel with the heads of the Dosi Cartel, an international money laundering and drug smuggling ring. Reaching deeply into her Christian faith for guidance and calling on trusted contacts from the past for a do-or-die operation, Alex moves resolutely against her foes. Her path takes her into the criminal underground of America's east coast, south into the violent underworld of Central America, across Honduras and El Salvador, and finally to Panama for a shattering confrontation. With the prospect of romance on the horizon for the first time since her fiance was killed in Kiev many months earlier, Alex's career, her life, and her future with the man she loves are all at stake. After a final payback in Panama, nothing will ever be the same.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Sneeze The Church Builder - A.L. Shields

"Why not place certain religious themes at the heart of a story?"
The Christian themes are subtle, It is a story that you may not see as a "christian book. Which is a refreshing thing. The goal was to have a good story, faith naturally comes into it.  Well written and captivating.

 A thriller with secret codes, secret societies, and deathbed confessions.  Nothing is as it seems and  no place is really very safe.
Bethany is on the run from a murderer and the government is after her.
What is the real reason her friend was killed?
Can she prove that the evidence against her is false?
What is truth?

No spoilers, you have to read the book, it is well worth reading.

I love these names:
The Wilderness dedicated to the destruction of all religious faith. \
The Garden, seven members led by  the Builder, try to protect the church.

From the publisher:
"Bethany Barclay is running for her life. She’s a struggling attorney who’s been framed for the murder of a client. To clear her name, she must follow the trail left by her friend Annabelle to find out who killed her and why. Meanwhile, members of a centuries-old secret society known simply as The Garden track Bethany’s every move, aiding her when they can. Because The Garden knows that Bethany has been targeted by the ruthless Wilderness Society . . . and to advance their agenda in a centuries-old battle they’ll find out what she knows and then kill her too."

If you like intrigue, suspense and a good thrill, you will enjoy this book.

Book Sneeze To Know you by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

Julia has had  two daughters by fathered by two different men that she has given up for adoption. Neither of the men stuck around, and she has not seen the children since they were given to their adoptive families. 20 years after those choices, her son is dying and the only one who can help is one of these daughters.

But can Julia face her choices and consequences, and find healing? Can she find ask a young woman—a stranger really, to save a brother she’s never known? Can the daughter get to a place of forgiveness so this boy may live? Will her daughter repeat Julia's own mistakes? Can a family be redeemed?
This is a great story about how G-d uses different circumstances for His glory and for His healing. 
The imperfect lives and broken pieces are brought together to make a whole family.
Like Stitch says "This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good."

This is a lovely book.

From the Publisher:"Years ago, Julia Whittaker gave up two daughters for adoption. Now she must find them to try to save the life of her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son was diagnosed with biliary atresia at birth. Dillon has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a transplant. He can receive a “living liver” transplant but neither his parents, nor various family members and friends, are compatible.
The transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. Very short.
He has two chances for a compatible liver: his two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart and adopted at birth.

But can Julia ask a young woman to donate a portion of her body to a brother she’s never known? Will either sister even be a match for their half-brother? Will either of them show mercy and courage if they are?

Julia knows she’s probably on a fool’s errand—reaching out to the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs them. But what other choice does she have except to try?"

Book Sneeze NIV Essentials Study Bible

This edition includes the entire NIV Bible text (NIV and TNIV combination) with the world’s best notes for learning. One of the nice things is that in the table of contents, the spotlights are also listed. 

Besides the archaeological study notes, and the historical back grounds, there are study notes to help break down "Christian-ese" so newer believers can decipher what is being said. It does not take for granted that the reader knows "what does it mean to pray?" " love my neighbor?",  "...are good works necessary for eternal life?". This brings together all levels of one's spiritual journey. 
Page 1203 Has a Reflect and Respond devotional section prompting you to read, think, live and take it to the next level on prayer. Why do we pray? What does G-d's word say and why? 
It is suitable for those just discovering the Bible and those who are interested in what Josephus said, timelines, charts, and cultural context. There are also promots to personal application "How would you respond to...?" , "Why do you believe...?" This is a great resource for your personal devotions and can enrich your time spent in Scripture.
It incorporates the finest content, images, and study tools from the most popular Bibles that are loved and used by Bible readers just like you. It features:
  • Flyover Lens: Start each book of the Bible with the right perspective from easy-to-read introductions from the popular Essential Bible Companion.
  • Unpack Lens: Easily understand and interpret Bible passages with bottom-of-the page study notes and in-text charts from the best-in-class NIV Study Bible.
  • Dig Deep, Look Close Lens: Understand the fascinating historical significance of the Bible with articles and photos from the bestselling NIV Archaeological Study Bible.
  • Q&A Lens: Get concise, easy-to-grasp answers to your most perplexing questions about the Bible with questions and answers from the beloved NIV Quest Study Bible.
  • People Lens: View Scripture from the perspective of the 100 most important people in the Bible with notes for the student of any age excerpted from the timeless NIV Student Bible.
  • Guided Tour Lens: Get a bird’s eyes view of Scripture with a Guided Tour, also excerpted from the category-leading NIV Student Bible.
  • Insight Lens: Find meaning in the Bible by reading these magazine-style call-outs from the NIV Student Bible.
  • R&R Lens: Reflect & Respond with this quick inspirational focus time, which unveils the sweeping narrative of the Bible as seen in the award-winning The Great Rescue, NIV.
Text Comparison via 
What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?a
5You have made thema a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned thema with glory and honor.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?a
5You have made thema a little lower than the angels
and crowned thema with glory and honor.
a 4 Or what is a human being that you are mindful of him, a son of man that you care for him?
a 5 Or him
a 4 Or what is a human being that you are mindful of him, a son of man that you care for him?
a 5 Or him

Monday, November 25, 2013

Edelweiss Books Fireflies

“Catch ideas like fireflies in a jar, and write what only YOU can write.”
Coleen Paratore teaches writing workshops for kids and teens. Passionate about sharing the joy of writing,  Fireflies, coming out in 2014, is a book on that subject. This book is like a series of 'writing prompts' for kids.

A wonderful gift for aspiring writers. This book will encourage and teach them to "see" without them even realizing it.

 "In the Firefly fields of imagination, Ben learns the secret connection between his hands and his heart: his ideas. Disguised as an encounter between an author and a shy student, this charming lesson on the magic of inspiration will have children of all ages reaching for their notebooks and watching for the spark of "fireflies."

Along with Coleen's "Read*Write*Dream*Speak" program, she is also partnered with other literacy programs as well to  to encourage aspiring writers through workshops and talks throughout the country.  

"Journals do more than remind us-they inspire us!
Follow the trail of your own imagination in this vibrant journal as you learn to catch the "fireflies" of creativity. Award-winning author Coleen Paratore shows would be writers how to turn those little sparks of thought into brightly-burning ideas."

Blogging For Books Take Flight by Robin Jones Gunn & Cindy Hannan

A sisterchicks devotional.
What is a sisterchick? A sisterchick is: a friend who shares the deepest wonders of your heart, loves you like a sister, and provides a reality check when you're being a brat.
This devotional is undated so you dont feel the "I missed a day" pressure, but can dive in when you want/need to. The book is full of scripture, stories and a swift kick in the pants, just like you would expect from a friend.
I grew up on Robin's Christy Miller books. So I feel as if it really is getting advice from a friend.
The authors bid you to press in further with journaling pages and key scriptures. Through out each devotion are "wit and wisdom" highlights as well.

With Lessons like: bids me fly and gives me wings.Don't let fear make the decisions for you.
True friendship is that it can survive separation, both by time and distance. (Truth!23 yrs and separate coasts, but LeeAnn is still my best friend.)

As with any good friend, the authors encourage you to stretch and grow, look for those who may need your friendship rather than for some one you think that you need.

BookSneeze Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

Christa Parrish's book "Home Another Way" is still one of my favourites. I was excited to be given this book to read. 
With a past that has left her empty, Liesl strives to achieve perfection in bread. Making bread is a legacy passed down from her mother and grandmother, kneading their memories into the dough.  (I wished my great grandmother had passed down the instruction for her dough along with the basic recipes.) Bread may not seem like a craft that artists would be drawn to but we all KNOW when we have bit into the perfect loaf. Christa brings into the story history of bread along with the history/depth of her character.
The language of the book is specially crafted with poetry. "Modern home-cooks think nothing of tearing open a bag of silken flour and a package of active dry yeast, and pouring the dry ingredients into a machine with a couple measures of water and a tour hour wait for a fresh loaf. Breads dark history is unknown to them. And the sacrifice." pg 6
With the trend of making artisan breads that has grown recently, this is a great subject. Books and Classes have sprung up every where. Craftsy Bread Classes:HERE
Christa also gives you RECIPES in the book.

Will Seamus be able to break through her hard crust? Or is Leisl content to remain shut in her bakery?

Win 2 copies of the book here:
Win a KitchenAid to make awesome bread HERE:

Read the first three chapters for FREE: HERE

Book Description from Publisher:
A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Filled with both spiritual and literal nourishment, Stones for Bread provides a feast for the senses from award-winning author Christa Parrish.

“Fatal Tide” Book Three in the East Salem series. Sadly I have not read the first 2 books, Waking Hours and Darkness Rising.
With suspense and supernatural battles between angels and demons, a dark prophecy starts to come about in East Salem. Occultic leaders are in league with an East Salem pharmaceutical company in developing a drug, Provivilan, that is attacking  the brains of children, turning them into a violence-addicted murderous army.
Even with the supernatural battles the characters seem rather realistic and relate-able. The characters have to decide who they can trust when faced with evil and find they must rely on God to see them through.
Awesome book, thrilling and suspenseful story. Read the whole series!

Book Description from the publisher:

In East Salem, the elite St. Adrian’s Academy is at the nexus of a satanic apocalypse—and the fatal tide is rising.
When Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights is reunited with the pagans who commissioned it, a dark prophecy begins to unfold in East Salem, beginning with a savage double-murder by hellish creatures straight out of the painting itself. The lone survivor of the attack, a seventeen-year-old Brit, finds sanctuary at Tommy Gunderson’s home—and the place is soon surrounded by demons who seem to be biding their time…but for how long?
Tommy’s pond has been contaminated with Provivilan—an insidious drug that could transform New York City’s children into an army of violence-addicted murderers. But for an occult cabal in the upper echelons of Linz Pharmaceuticals, contaminating the water supply is just part of an ancient conspiracy against all of humankind.
As the clouds gather, Tommy and Dani realize they must infiltrate Linz and St. Adrian’s to stop the dissemination of Provivilan. Even then, it could take a tangible eruption of the battle between angels and demons to save humanity from the supernatural evils that have been summoned to East Salem.

Friday, November 15, 2013

BookSneeze NIV Ragamuffin Bible Meditations for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Brokenhearted

A collection of Brennan Manning's devotions, meditations and his personal reflections are collected along with the NIV Bible. (As previously noted, NIV after 2011 although marked "NIV" on all packaging in a blend of NIV and TNIV.)
There are several new Brennan Manning publications, one which was reviewed previously in this post HERE. I have already stated how much I love Brennan Manning in that post.

The Bible is for the lost and hurting, the ones who wonder if any one sees them. Maybe you have tried and failed...again and again. Instead of being filled with the historical and intellectual notes, this one is filled with notes to pierce through the callouses built up on your heart, getting to the flesh of the matter.

Book Trailer:

From the Back Cover: Do you believe that God not only loves you, but that he also likes you?
It's just one of the soul-searching questions posed by bestselling author Brennan Manning who confesses he has been 'John the beloved, Peter the coward, and Thomas the doubter all before the waitress brought the check.'
The NIV Ragamuffin Bible offers a collection of Manning’s raw, painfully honest, yet grace-filled devotions, meditations, and reflections of his journey limping back to---like the prodigal son---his overjoyed father. When you journey through this Bible, you will likewise find yourself returning to your Heavenly Father, basking in the knowledge that God not only loves you, he delights in you.There are 104 devotions focused on finding deeper connections to G-d and the Word.

250 reflections are scattered throughout, Focusing on one of Brennan's favourite Subjects, Abba (Father G-d) and being Abba's Child.

You will also find another 150 thoughtful quotes and insights.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Being married to a man who pastors 2 churches, sabbath rest is really bard to find.
Saturday we are at the schul, Sunday at the church. We try to eek out lil bits here and there.
Friday nights all the electronics turn off. They stay off til late Saturday afternoon. Dinner at home, together. But it can all change in a moment. Last minute dropins at the church office keep him late, dinner gets cold...dried out...or worse. Some one has an emergency and the only person who can help is the guy Iam married to.

There are days I get a bit angry, even days I get really angry. I knew I would have to share him and his time. But does it have to be every month? Week? Day?

This is when we decide we will have anannversary get away. Which is not easy with 8 people living on our income. A campervan, a few groceries and an off season camp spot, which means cold in these mountains. But there are no cell signals. And a sky full of stars.
We have learned a nite away really is not worth the effort. It takes more than 36 hrs to calm down the noise of responsibility and the chaos of the schedules we keep. 4 nights and 5 days.

Now here comes the next problem.
It seems if a congregation knows he is going away, they do not show up for services.
Numbers go down, offerings are down.
So even after a great weekend relaxing there is guilt to return to. It is like a small child and abandonment issues! He ofcourse feels guilty for leaving, which means the rejuvination we had hoped to find, is sucked out the window.

 Is the commitment to :
A body of believers
A building
Or to the man wo preaches?
Is it a healthy relationship? Are you more dependent on the man in the pulpit or the Man Who holds the world in His Hands?

This is some of what causes the burn out that causes people to quit, give up and runaway from ministry.
1,700 pastors leave ministry each month?!

The Barna Group reports that

90% of pastors report working between 55- 75 hours per week

50% of pastors report feeling unable to meet the demands of their jobs

70% constantly fight depression

50% of pastors starting out will not last 5 years

50% of pastors’ marriages end in divorce

70% of pastors do not have a close friend

Ellison Research reports that according to the results of their study:

71% of pastors say that they are overweight by an average of 32.1 pounds

52% say that they experience signs of stress on a weekly basis

Other statistics note that pastors’ physical health is comparatively worse than others in the areas in which they live, while pastor’s mental health is likewise riddled with increased symptoms of clinical depression, anxiety, stress and burnout.

Do you actually pray for your pastor? What about his wife? You know the woman who is too perfect and intimidating but always fails to meet your expectations?
How about their kids, the"PKs"? They are the ones there an hour before and after services, the ones setting up chairs, waiting endlessly in cars for their dad to stop talking and get them lunch.
Serving is hard. It may not be the same obstacles and struggles as foreign missions, but each day is a battle.

I want church to not become a bad word to my kids. Does any one have words of wisdom? Did your marriage and family survive church life? How?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Sneeze The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story by Brennan Manning, Greg Garrett

Brennan Manning inspired music (Rich Mullins Ragamuffin Band). He wrote of G-d's love for imperfect  individuals, and spoke on issues such as shame, alcoholism, brokenness and more. There are 20 other books by Brennan Manning. This one was almost finished when he died earlier this spring. Thankfully Greg Garret both co-wrote and completed the work. I love reading Brennan's writings.

Drawing on the stories of the ragamuffins, we find a broken man in need of the love of a mighty G-d. The
book has the storyline that has become all too familiar in church settings, pastors and their affairs. Men in the limelight, and on the pedestals we as people have placed them on, and the down falls of humanity.

The message of grace and forgiveness found in Brennan's works overflows into this one as well. Brennan summed up this message. He said that Jesus comes to each of us and says,
"I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty, and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now, I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship, and my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are and not as you should be, because you're never going to be as you should be."

"After an evening of debauchery that leads to an affair with his beautiful assistant, Jack Chisholm finds himself deserted with chilling swiftness. The church elders remove him from his own pulpit. His publisher withholds the royalties from his books. Worst of all, his wife disappears with their eight-year-old daughter. But just as Jack is hitting bottom, hopeless and penniless, drinking his way to oblivion, who should appear but his long-estranged father, imploring his prodigal son: 'Come home.' A true companion piece to The Ragamuffin Gospel, The Prodigal illustrates the power of grace through the story of a broken man who finally saw Jesus not because he preached his greatest sermon or wrote his most powerful book, but because he failed miserably. Jack Chisholm lost everything---his church, his family, his respect, and his old way of believing---but he found grace. It's the same grace that Brennan Manning devoted his life to sharing: profound in nature and coming from a God who loves us just as we are, and not as we should be. "

The effective ministry of Brennan Manning was brokenness, humility and vulnerability. He was not a perfect man. There was only One who is. This story shares so much of Brennan's heart. The prodigal returns home.

Book Sneeze The Wall Around Your Heart


Hurt and pain are universal. What we do with those hurts and the pain we carry, can shape us. It can cause us to hide away, to build fences, or it can cause us to live with abandon.

Over the decades, I have experienced pain. I am guessing you have as well.
We have often talked about how the worst bosses or those above us in our jobs, have always been the christian ones. We have left congregations never wanting to return to those building, or denominations, or any other ones.

Dee Brestin has an analogy of roses and alligators. (in her book The Friendships of Women) There are people in our lives who are roses. There are thorns with roses, but for the most part, we are willing to over look the thorns because of the beauty they bring to our lives.
Then there are alligators, they are the ones who are basically out to just get you in a death roll.
Recognizing who is safe, and who isn't, having healthy boundaries is very important. However I had gotten to a point where I treated every one like alligators. A tiny brush of thorns and I was out of there.

By trying to live open and vulnerable lives, which sounds sooo scray, we invite others into our lives. We also open ourselves up to pain. G-d is able to use our pain to help others, for their experiences to help us, and for us to be able to move forward together.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. 10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Mary Demuth uses the community of the Lord's Prayer to show how to bring your hurts to His feet for healing, not just of ourselves but for all involved.  Watch the book trailer.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Sneeze Love and Respect in the Family

Over 10 years ago, my husband and I read Love and Respect, together.
We of course had a fight. As we read the book, we both were convicted over what we were reading and the emotions that were at the surface ignited.
It has had a profound impact on how we respond to each other...after the initial fire works, of course.

The book was and still is an excellent resource.

When my friend Rhonda Stoppe shared a little about her book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men , in May of this year, I was struck by a comment. She brought up treating our boys with respect, the respect men desire. To treat them as men. It sounds simple, but this is a new stage in our lives with 14 and 15 yr old boys who are becoming men before my eyes. That wisdom is exactly what this new book is about.

This newer book from the ministry of the Eggerichs, brings the elements of love and respect not just in to the marriage relationship but into the whole family dynamic.
From the website:

Love and Respect:
"We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts when feeling disrespected and a wife reacts when feeling unloved. We asked 7,000 people this question: when you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected? 83% of the men said "disrespected." 72% of the women said, "unloved." Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!"

What do you want for your marriage? Want some peace? Want to feel close? Want to feel valued? Want to experience marriage the way God intended? Then why not try some Love and Respect.

Love and Respect in the Family (NEW BOOK)

The secret to parenting success is out!
Psychological studies affirm what the Bible has always said: children need the love that God tells us to give them (Titus 2:4). And parents desire the respect that Scripture plainly says is our due (Exodus 20:12). Love & Respect in the Family gives practical guidance to help break the Crazy Cycle of family conflict and replace it with a healthy, energizing rhythm.

Based on what the Bible says to parents on parenting, this book focuses on achieving healthy family dynamics. Dr. Eggerichs offers unprecedented transparency by including input from his wife and three adult children, who share wisdom gained from the good, the bad, and the ugly of their family life. It's all here in this eye-opening exploration of the biblical principles on parenting that can help make families function as God intended.

This book teaches you to:
See love and respect as basic family needs
Stop the Family Crazy Cycle of conflict
Parent in six biblical ways that energize your children
Discipline defiance and overlook childishness
Be the mature one since parenting is for adults only
Work as a team, according to the gender of the children
Become a loving parent in God's eyes, regardless of a child's response.

Book Sneeze Innovation's Dirty Little Secret Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail By Larry Osborne

This book comes on the coat tails of a wonderful weekend in San Francisco where I took a design and creativity class.
It has had smatterings of the same insights such as the fork in the road anaology.  We often view a fork in the road in our creativity as "Choice A" or "Choice B". And one of those is the "wrong" choice, right? One leads to success and the other to failure. Failure is ofcourse BAD....or is it?
Instead of viewing the forks in our paths this way, we should look at them as opportunities for exploration letting us see what could happen, and being able too take either fork or both.

More than just using helpful tools such as blueprinting your business, and creating a mission statement. In thi sbook you will be encouraged to discover how to:
  • ignite innovation
  • accelerate innovation
  • what sabotages innovation
  • and leaving a legacy of innovation
take chances, make mistakes......

Also Available on Audible:

Synopsis From The Publish
Most books on innovation make it sound as if successful innovation is the end result of a carefully followed recipe. But the simple fact is that when it comes to any new venture, failure is the surest horse to bet on. Respected pastor and author, Larry Osborne, explains how understanding this dirty little secret behind innovation can bring both stability and creativity to organizations, especially those with teams of people that focus on innovation, creativity, new ideas, and problem-solving. Using the wisdom and principles found in this book, you will be free to lead dynamically without causing uncertainty or insecurity in your organization. In Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret, you’ll learn:

How to foster innovation’s most powerful igniters and accelerators while avoiding the most common killers of innovation
How to recognize and break through ceilings of complexity and competency
The six pitfalls of growth and what you can do to avoid them
The three questions every leader needs to ask before launching any new endeavor

Most books on innovation make it sound as if successful innovation is the end result of a carefully followed recipe. But the simple fact is that when it comes to any new venture, failure is the surest horse to bet on.

Respected pastor and author, Larry Osborne, explains how understanding this dirty little secret behind innovation can bring both stability and creativity to organizations, especially those with teams of people that focus on innovation, creativity, new ideas, and problem-solving. Using the wisdom and principles found in this book, you will be free to lead dynamically without causing uncertainty or insecurity in your organization.

Book Sneeze Mansfield's Book Of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide To Being Your Most Masculine Self

The perfect Movember book! Maybe it has grown to be more than just a western society's view, but men are viewed through failures. Seen unreliable, those who can not be trusted or those who will abandon their families.Men have become baby daddies rather than fathers.
Stephen sets out to show a true man is honest, humble, compassionate, responsible, courageous, and faithful. He uses the true stories of some great men. He has some great research from having authored books such as: Lincoln's Battle with God, The Faith of Barack Obama, and Benedict XVI, Searching for God and Guinness, and Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill.

This is a great book to give the man in your life.

Reminder: It is not in the biceps!  In Mansfield's Book of Manly Men,

Masculinity is more than an identity. It's a discipline—something requiring cultivation. In Mansfield's Book of Manly Men, Stephen Mansfield explores manly virtues by examining the lives of the manliest of men, then distilling key lessons from their challenges and triumphs. Says the author: "My goal in this book is simple. I want to identify what a genuine man does—the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood—and then call men to do it."

"Witty, compelling, and shrewd, "Mansfield's Book of Manly Men" is about resurrecting your inborn, timeless, essential, masculine self. The Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness. It is time to recover what we have lost.Stephen Mansfield shows us the way. Working with timeless maxims and stirring examples of manhood from ages past, Mansfield issues a trumpet call of manliness fit for our times. "My goal in this book is simple," he says. "I want to identify what a genuine man does--the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood--and then call men to do it."

"Stephen Mansfield gives us yet another fantastic book, this time covering a topic so misunderstood and misrepresented in society today. He creates a blueprint for true manhood, building upon stories from the world’s greatest men—one of whom was my great-grandfather, Winston Churchill. I applaud Stephen for the massive research he has done. I will read this book again and again and learn something new every time. Mansfield truly is a 'Manly Man.'"
Jonathan Sandys, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill

Book Sneeze Samson A Savior Will Rise By Shawn Hoffman

Incredibly researched and an amazing story!
Based on true stories, filled with drama scenes and  vivid details, make it not a book that you would label an "easy" read. But it is well worth the reading. A powerful work of historical fiction that will stir up your emotions.   The story of Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic monk, being a calming force has always been a beautiful and inspiring story. I love the way the true event of his life was woven into the fictional story.How to not blame God for evil and stand for justice is a timeless lesson that we often need repeated to us. Shawn Hoffman presents a compelling story, and film, in Samson. (video link below)

"Samson Abrams makes a life-or-death decision that lands him, and his entire family, in the notorious concentration camp Auschwitz. When Samson is recognized by Dr. Josef Mengele and Commandant Rudolf Hoss as a former boxing champion, he is ordered box for their entertainment. A win means extra rations, but the penalty for losing is death in the gas chambers.

One question haunts Samson as he and his family face one atrocity after another: Where is God in the face of such evil? An unexpected friendship between the Jewish Samson and the Polish Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe challenges Samson to examine what little is left of his faith, but will it give him strength when he needs it most?

Based on true stories, "Samson: A Savior Will Rise" blends Shawn Hoffman s thorough research with a compelling narrative that provokes questions about faith, hope, and love."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Sneeze Ted Dekker Blessed Child & A Man Called Blessed

The Caleb Series

In "Blessed Child"(originally published in 2001) we are introduced to Caleb, a 10 year old with amazing healing abilities, who grows up in a monastery orphanage with basically no contact with the outside world.

All Caleb wants is to serve G-d, animals follow and listen, people flock to him as well and experience healing. In the beauty and joy of it all Caleb poisoned, shot, abducted and maintains his innocent, pure faith.

Father Nikolous believes Caleb has "psychic powers" and begins to book public events with high costs for admission. Like every Dekker book there are plot twists to keep you from figuring out the whole story as you read. (which I love about his writing)

Jason, a Peace Corps worker, asked to rescue Caleb Jason works his way through war zones to find him. Add to the list of rescuers is a Red Cross nurse, Leiah.

"A Man Called Blessed" Caleb is now a twenty-ish man, living back in Ethiopia, with Jason & Leiah, SPOILER ALERT: his adoptive parents. As a child, Caleb had an amazing faith and a heart for God,now we see that as a young man, he has misplaced his love for God. Like a spiritual desert, Caleb has had to come to terms with his faith in this desert.

Rebecca Solomon, a former IDF soldier turned archaeologist, leading her team deep into the desert, to try and find the remains of the Ark of the Covenant. It's a discovery would bring hope to the Jewish people and give them something tangible to hold onto in the midst of suffering. However Palestinian forces have followed and are trying to stop her. While the Jews seek rebuild the Temple on the Mount, the Arabs are mobilizing to for war.

Book Sneeze City on Fire by Tracy Higley

City on Fire by Tracy Higley  (This is a reissue of the 2011 book for those who have previously read the author's books.)
It is the story a Jewish girl who has fled the destruction of  the burning of the Temple in Jerusalem and the persecution of the Jewish people by Nero, to Pompeii, a city we know is a city doomed. The rumbles of Vesuvius are warnings to us who know the fate of the city.
Ariella, Lioness of G-d as her names translates, becomes quite the lioness as she goes from slave to gladitor.
" I am invincible," she claims. Angry and bitter, she no longer trusts God, but in her own strength.

The author has done well with researching the culture, and lifestyles of those in Pompeii. Pompeii was a vile city, the culture and morality portrayed in the book are what you would expect of a Roman Empire under Nero, with fewer details thankfully. This sets the scene for the contrasts of that culture and the culture of the early Christians and their faith.

Well written, historical fiction, and I look forward to reading more of Tracy Higley's works.

From the Publisher: In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

Author bio:

Tracy started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. Tracy, opening any novel is like stepping again through the wardrobe (of Narnia), into the thrilling unknown. With every book she writes, she wants to open a door like that, and invite readers to be transported with her into a place that captivates.

Book Sneeze Dear Mr. Knightley

I was sent Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay for review.
This is a very sweet book written in a letter format.
The author combines some of the beast of literature, Austen, Bronte and Dickens themes through out the book.
The main character, Samantha Moore, seeks to make her own way in the world. The choices of submission, obedience and being willing to look  at other options are constantly being presented. Will Sam be willing to take advice? Will she stick to her own plans? Is she willing to learn what grace really means?

This is a lovely story. Having 4 daughters who love literature and are at just the right age for this book, this was a good choice.

From the Publisher:
Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.
But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.
As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.
Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Sneeze- Adventure Bible Storybook Deluxe Edition

With 6 children, we have gone through many children's Bibles and Bible Story books over the years.
This is definitely a "story book". Of the 50 stories included, you will find more than Noah and Moses, there is even Paul's journey to Malta.

The author tells of the accomplishments of each character, but not always the motivating factor or "why" (such as out of obedience to G-d) that those things were done. There are also speculations and "factoids" that are unsupported. Some liberties were definitely taken with the stories. Catherine DeVries has been influential in the development of many bestselling children's Bibles and Bible storybooks including The Adventure Bible, The Beginner's Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible. The Beginner's Bible was a great favourite of our children.

The cds are a nice quality, a bit too young for our almost 8 year old daughter, but the 2 year that the older girls babysit likes them. Layers of sound, rather than merely narration, increase the entertainment value.

It is supposed to be a part of the "Grow with me" Adventure Bible series of products. As the child grows the next piece is added on. The Adventure Bible and Adventure Bible Handbook and Devotionals are geared for the next age level.

WARNING: the Adventure Bible is NIV 2011 edition, which is BOTH the  TNIV and the NIV merged. Some gender neutral phrasing is one thing to be aware of. If your schools use A Beka books, the new NIVs will NOT match the curriculum.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"The Daniel Cure" by Susan Gregory

I am conflicted in my response to this book.
We have a need in our country for spiritual guidance while we lack mentors. Many are desperate to know what a fast is and how to fast. We have a nation that is rebellious and individualistic. Isaiah 58 calls this out. What is the MOTIVATION of the fast?
This book is a good resource for looking at a health/diet cleanse. Having had a friend who eradicated cancer from her body with a strict diet, I can attest to the health benefits. The introduction cites our need for spiritual, emotional and diet changes. We do seasonal juice "cleanses", stay away from GMOs, eat kosher...even a low-gluten intake. When faced with a breast cancer scare, my response was definite and focused on diet changes.

I have not read the Original book "The Daniel Fast", which this book builds off of. This review is strictly based on "The Daniel Cure".
In chapter 5 the authors state,"Weight-loss products along with related elective procedures and services amount to a multi-billion-dollar-per-year business in the United States." With 100 pages of recipes, 145 pages on health/how to, there is a scant, 18 pages of "devotional" material. 

This is where I am conflicted. Is this a book on Fasting, or another book for the "multi-billion-dollar-per-year business"? 
If you are looking for a healthly lifestyle "spring board", this book may be one worth looking into. It provides the information for making a lifestyle change even if it is for a short period of time, such as the initial 21 days.

If you are looking for a book on fasting, you may want to check out "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough" which cites 9 biblical fasts and their purposes.


There are many other related products for you to purchase such as recipe books, Daniel fasting for Lent, and the original Daniel Fast book. 
"The Daniel Cure helps readers will convert the Daniel Fast from a once-a-year spiritual discipline into a new way of life that can begin any time of the year."
The Daniel Cure includes a 21-Day Daniel Cure Devotional, four chapters detailing the lifestyle diseases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation, eleven chapters of recipes and meal planning advice, a recipe index, complete nutritional guidance, and an appendix detailing 'The Science behind the Daniel Fast.'
What is the Daniel Fast?

"The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, in which certain foods are restricted and others are consumed. This fast is similar to a 'purified' vegan diet; in addition to the exclusion of all animal products, no additives, preservatives, sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, or processed foods are allowed. With the Daniel Fast people can eat as much Daniel-Fast-friendly food as they would like. Though most people begin the Daniel Fast for a spiritual purpose, many are amazed by the physical transformation that takes place. Many with high cholesterol experience a drop to healthy levels; people who have wrestled with weight issues are suddenly able to lose the pounds. The vast majority of participants following the Daniel Fast report a general sense of well-being and increased energy. Recent published scientific studies of the Daniel Fast have confirmed these findings, with additional benefits, such as a reduction in systemic inflammation, a reduction in blood pressure, and an improvement in antioxidant defenses."

Knowing God By Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine" Isaiah 43:1
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” Psalm 20:7

Covering 40 names of God mentioned in the Bible, the authors hope you will find new insights as to who God is and what He does on your behalf.  As you discover Who God is and His character is revealed in His Names, the more you know Him, the more you'll trust Him. "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you" Psalm 9:10.This book shares how you can know God by name and you can trust Him. His children are eager to know more about and apply the names of God in their daily spiritual life.

The book is set up with  five day devotional entries and a Bible study to serve as a guide for an 8 week study, along with a discussion and journaling page. Includes a pronunciation guide for God’s Hebrew and Greek names as well as the English translation. The authors also provide the Bible verse in which the name is used. It is a friendly book that when read makes you feel like you are hanging out with your girlfriends.

My only hang up with this book is the way יהוה YHVH is translated as yahweh but at least it is not jehovah! This is not a correct or provable rendition of the covenant name of G-d, the tetragrammaton. If you do not mind that, then you will love this book.(this rendition of the "name"came from early English translators who transposed the vowels from Adonai to the Tetragrammaton,) 


"Elohim is the first name for God in the Bible, and it is found in the 
first sentence of God’s Word. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). So let’s begin our journey of knowing God by name…in the beginning.
Before the creation of the world, there was nothing. Our human minds can’t even conceive or imagine nothing. But into the nothing God spoke, and what was not became what is......Now let’s take a closer look at the very first name of God found in the Bible: Elohim. The Hebrew word Elohim is the plural form of the Hebrew word El, one of the oldest designations for divinity. It means “mighty one or strong one.”4
The name Elohim encapsulates the truth of God’s creative power, majesty, and might, as well as His sovereign rule over all creation. The fact that it is the plural form of El points to the truth of the Trinity—God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are the collective Us in Genesis 1:26. 
Elohim is used over two thousand times in the Old Testament to  name God, and thirty-two of those occur in Genesis 1:1–2:3"

"In ancient times names carried powerful significance. In addition to distinguishing one person from another and connecting family members, names were thought to reflect a person's character, nature, and destiny. Joseph's two sons were named Manasseh, meaning "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household," and Ephraim, meaning "God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering" (Genesis 41:50-52). Abraham's name meant a "father of many nations," and the name of his wife, Sarah, meant "princess-the mother of many nations"1 (Genesis 17:5, 15-16). Then there was Jacob, whose name meant "trickster," Esau whose name meant "red," and Jabez whose name meant "pain." If you're familiar with their lives, you can see how these names are intricately connected with each person's story.
God has many names in the Bible, and just like the names of the people to whom He revealed Himself, each one brings to light something about His character and His ways-who He is and what He does. Our finite human minds can barely comprehend even a fraction of the depth of His wisdom, the breadth of His love, the magnitude of His power, or the height of His grace. But like a multifaceted diamond, each name invites us to glory in a different aspect of our amazing God."

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Sneeze Running for Recovery Marathons of the Body, Mind, Spirit By CH LTC, RET Arthur Coffey, Jr., D. Min.

This book is about the physical transformation of a mind, transformed by the Word of G-d.
After a motorcycle accident, Arthur was hospitalized for 3 mons. His IQ was at 39, they believed he would never recover. He does still  have memory loss issues. The book is filled with quotes, scripture and the author''s insights. If this is Arthur's writings "impaired", he must have been a force to be reckoned with!

This book is a testimony to the ways that the Word of God is living and active, can renew and transform the individual and their minds themselves. Using his own experiences and going further into research and presenting that research, the author shares how the Bible can have an effect on the mind of those suffering Alzheimers or like his own memory/brain damage, and restore the mind.

A good friend of ours once experienced a similar renewing of his mind. Having lived in a drugged up state, he had killed so many brain cells. He was given scriptures verses, one at a time to memorize. Each one building on the other. Today he is one of the most brilliant men I know.

Arthur Coffey takes this a bit further by having research done and recorded.
"Coffey presented his Alzheimer's research, centered on Scripture, at the Mayo Clinic, where it was voted the most outstanding of those presented and declared to be "pioneer research" because no other known research had ever used Scripture as the independent variable. Coffey earned a doctorate in "wholistic" health care, awarded by Lutheran Theological Seminary. The exam committee proclaimed him to be the best they had seen in the field."

I love the way the military man comes through in this book. "This is what happened, these are the facts" no nonsense approach to what God has done in his life. There is no fluff in this book. There is however a lot of scripture, because Arthur knows it is God's words and not his own that can bring change. (I think you have to have some military back ground just to decipher all the letters surrounding his name! (: )

Free Sample

In a physical marathon, the “wall” shows up about mile twenty or twenty-one; when this happens, mind and body shake hands to say “we quit.” That’s where most runners will shut down, unless they reach down into their identity as spirit. To the question “Who am I; what is my identity?” God’s answer is “I am spirit; I have a mind; and I live in a body.” So, to break through the “wall” requires a hierarchy of spirit over mind over body. God’s Word will address our spirit when mind and body are out of it, thereby setting Word over spirit over mind over body to keep the feet moving. Project this to other marathons: mental, spiritual, emotional, interpersonal, occupational, financial, etc.
Book Interview (Audio)

Author Bio
Arthur Coffey has served as a parish pastor for fifteen years, an Army chaplain for twenty-three years, and a Veterans Affairs Medical Center Chaplain for twelve years. He was mobilized for Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor, and the Humanitarian Aid tour to Guatemala.
Coffey is the recipient of the Witherspoon Award for "most creative use of Scripture," presented by the National Bible Association and the Armed Forces Chief of Chaplains.
He is also the recipient of a Veterans Affairs National Chaplain of the Month award for "outstanding service in the promotion of the Bible in ministry, healing and research."