Max Anders on Biblical Prophecy

Max Anders, author of the What You Need to Know series, which encompasses lessons that can be completed in under an hour each on a variety of topics such as Salvation, Spiritual Growth, and the one that I read, Bible Prophecy. Anders book is broken down into 12 chapters explaining topics relevant to biblical prophecy from different evangelical positions. Our world appears to be in the “last days” which prompts much discussion as well as fear. Anders’ book assists individuals and groups with easy to read and discuss lessons.

Chapters include “What is the Big Picture of Prophecy?”, “What Are the Major Views on the Rapture?”, “What is Hell?”, and “Will All Prophecies Be Fulfilled?”. At the end of each chapter, you will find sections to summarize the chapter, check your comprehension, questions for further discussion, how to respond if there is unbelief, and Scriptural as well as other books to study the topic further. Anders series of books comprises what is titled “Basic Knowledge Curriculum” and is easy to read. One caveat that I encounter was that I did not always find it engaging as it was quite simplistic in style. However, he did not take one evangelical stand which was appealing to me. I believe that the series of books would be a good endeavor for a new believer to explore areas of Christian beliefs.

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

I review for BookSneeze®

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Let Us Not Forget

I would love to say that it is rare that I climb up on my soapbox to preach a sermon, but that is not me.  I climb upon my soapbox every time something  breaks my heart or inspires my sense of justice and mercy.  Today I am not only on my soapbox, but I brought along my megaphone so that others will hear.  The authors of Daughters of Hope, Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett have written a book that had me crying, angry, and hurting.  Forgotten Girls Stories of Hope and Courage is a book of short stories of girls and women who have been oppressed, held captive, raped, beaten, and forced into lifestyles that were not of their chosing.  Stories of girls from Nepal, Indonesia, North Korea, China, Senegal, Egypt, and the Sudan (to name a few of the countries of origin) who were sold into prostitution or forced marriages, were held either kidnapped or abandoned, were ostracized, and who felt unloved or unwanted.

In the introduction, the authors wrote, “Have you ever noticed how seldom something “life changing” really changes your life?  The term gets tossed around a lot – to describe watching the sun set in a gorgeous blaze of color, for instance, or to rave about an exciting adventure.  Consider the number of books with the phrase splashed across the front cover.  Good things, all.  Inspiring and helpful and memorable.  But life changing?  Yet truly life-changing events do occur.  Events that forever mark a divide between the then and now of life.  Between despair and hope.  Between ignorance and understanding.  Between death and life.”  I can tell you that this book IS life changing!

Living in the West, we can read about the horrors of war and dictatorships, but after a time we become immune to the stories or we learn to tune them out.  However that is not what Jesus called us to do.  Jesus called us to live as Micah described in verse 8, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  To do what is right is to seek justice for those that are widowed, orphaned, captive, and oppressed.  Our hearts should be broken for the same reasons that Jesus’ heart was broken.  Strom and Rickett’s book will open your eyes, your heart, your sense of justice and mercy.

The Kidnapped Bride video

I read this book as part of the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program.

Sisters in Service
Reaching Out to the Unreached
News from the Frontlines of Persecution
Human Rights Watch
International Center for Research on Women
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Vision

Demons, Fairies, and Opal – Oh My!

I can remember when I read my first Eoin Colfer book in the Artemis Fowl series.  I was enthralled!  It led to reading the second and third.  I was in college studying elementary education and anxiously awaited the next in the series.  After a time I had forgotten to check the new arrivals and over the years my desire waned.  That is until I found the books again on netgalley.com.  I thought that I was lucky enough to find the next in the series but in reality the first seven books were being rereleased in anticipation of the newest release set for July 2012.

I have read and reviewed the first four and so now we meet Artemis again.  I was so excited to see where Colfer led Artemis and his fairy friends.  He did not disappoint!  Artemis, Butler, and Captain Holly Short are on a new adventure to thwart a female version of Artemis who has kidnapped a demon warlock from the lost colony of Hybras which has been in Limbo for ten thousand years.  The Lost Colony published in 2006 is book number five in the series.  Artemis and Holly venture to the colony to save the demon warlock and set the world to right.

Book number 6 was published two years later and is the story of Artemis doing battle against himself to save his gravely ill mother.  The Time Paradox has fourteen-year-old Artemis going back in time to steal the cure for his mother’s illness from none other than his criminal-minded younger self.  In the process he finds out that Opal Koboi attaches herself to his mother to travel to the future and the battle continues for Artemis.

I received the two-book set free for review from netgalley.com.

Mouth Watering Moments

As a novice “farmer,” or better term gardner, I found Cooking from the Farmers’ Market to be an excellent resource for information on vegetables and fruits.  The information was categorized by type, such as “Root Vegetables” and featured superb pictures of several of the vegetables or fruits.  There was information about choosing the best product available and recipes for several of the produce.  My only caveat would be that a couple of the recipes did not have a name above them.

The information was delineated by “Choosing the best ______”, a description of the item, and “Working with ________.”  This was followed by 2 or 3 mouth-watering recipes.  There are pictures of some of the prepared recipes as well which just adds to the appeal.  The recipes were not overly “gourmet” but does encourage the reader to prepare vegetables and fruits in a new way.  I found this book to be a great addition to any cooks’ library!

I received this book free for review from netgalley.com.

Visionary Life Planning

A good business person begins with a plan. The business starts with a vision; then a purpose and goals are outlined. The same is true for someone who desires a life that filled with passion, purpose and definition. Craig Groeschel, author of Chazown Define Your Vision, Pursue Your Passion, Live Your Life on Purpose, has written a how-to of life planning. He has also explained the “why” and “what” behind the Hebrew word – Chazown. God created each of us with a purpose. However many of us live in a manner similar to bumper cars. We drive fast seemingly with a purpose in view and then someone else’s vision brings his/her path directly into ours resulting in a crash.

Groeschel begins the life plan by exploring your core values, spiritual gifts, and past experiences. He then moves on to naming your chazown and developing action steps in five spokes – your relationship with God, your relationship with people, your finances, your health and fitness, and your work. Chazown is an easy book to read with questions and activities to help you develop your chazown. In addition, there is a website that enhances your experience and journey.

I received this book free for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Chazown Web Site

The Art of Waiting

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, waiting means to look forward expectantly.  Psalm 27:14 tells us to, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  However waiting on the Lord can be hard because we relate waiting with being still and inactive, to be wasting our time even sometimes.  Taryn Hutchison learned and exhibited valuable lessons about waiting in We Wait You Waiting on God in Eastern Europe. Taryn was a missionary serving with Campus Crusades in Eastern Europe – Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, etc. during the last ten years of the 90s.

Hutchison began her journey with a year-long commitment and ended up falling in love with the country and peoples of Eastern Europe. She began her journey in Austria at a hostel prior to receiving her assignment. Hutchison explains that the one place that she feared going to the most was the one place that God sent her and she cried out to Him for strength and grace. What she received was a group of friends and guardians that turned her one-year assignment into a life-long love of the country and peoples as well as a ten-year commitment.

Hutchison’s journey was not an easy coast. She was robbed several times, stalked by an admirer, detained by officials, and experienced difficulties when moving from Romania to Hungary and again from Hungary to the United States. Waiting on God to provide what she needed each day opened up opportunies to see the people that He loved and sent her to to demonstrate His love. She also saw the patience and acceptance of people who had waited 45 years for the United States to save them from the harshness and depravity of the Communist Regime.

I read this book as part of the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program and would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Campus Crusades, missionary work, or Eastern Europe.

Author’s Website