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DVD Review



I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

For more you can go here:
http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/synopsis

To purchase a copy try these links:
Amazon
ChristianBook.com
Barnes & Noble

May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Saturday, March 08, 2008

THE VOID, by Mark Mynheir




Day 7 Saturday


Mark Mynheir on “Why I Write”


For my last post I'd like to re-post something you all can find on Mark's site. The reason for this is that I was struck by a number of similarities between the two of us, and because many times even though people may visit a site, they often miss some of the greater things that are there. So with out further ado, Here's Mark on “Why I Write”.

Why I Write, by Mark Mynheir

Many writers I’ve spoken to knew from an early age that they were to be writers. They read everything they could get their hands on and otherwise viewed the world through a writer’s prism. I’m not one of those people. I never thought nor dreamed of being a writer because it wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities for me.

From my earliest memories, the written word was my enemy. I struggled through school kicking and screaming, hating every moment of it. My frustration grew because I couldn’t do what everyone else could do so easily.

I read slowly, stumbling through even the easiest assignments. And when it came to writing, it just wasn’t going to happen. I scratched and clawed through my work, my letters tilting one way then another, hardly legible. Spelling was a mystery. I was consistently at the bottom of my class in nearly every academic subject, which exasperated my parents to no end. Not being able to keep up academically with the other students, I soon began acting out in class, becoming the class clown of sorts.

This didn’t help my grades any, but at least made school somewhat tolerable for me. By the time I was in high school, I was so far behind there was no way I would catch up and graduate. I dropped out of school and enlisted in the Marines.

My feeble grasp of the English language still hounded me in the service. Whenever possible, I would have other people fill out my log books or anything that needed to be written. By this time in my life, I had become quite adept at manipulating my situations so as to rarely have to face my problem at all.

One day I had a conversation with a man that would have a profound affect on my future. He had been one of the top rated high school quarterbacks in the nation, but was unable to go to college because of his abysmal grade point average. He, like me, was functionally illiterate. He told me he struggled with learning disabilities. As he detailed his problems in school―which virtually mirrored mine―he said he suffered from a learning disability called Dyslexia. I had heard the word before, but never understood what it meant until then.

I had already resigned myself to the fact that I was just not very bright and never would understand the English language. This new insight intrigued me. Maybe I wasn’t just slow and unable to learn. Maybe there was something indeed “wrong” with how I processed information. I kept these thoughts in the back of my mind and a flicker of hope began to burn in my spirit.

After my time in the Marines, I switched careers and became a cop, which was a surprising choice because of the amount of writing police officers had to do. I barely made it through training. My reports were disorganized, illegible messes, but because I could run well and catch bad guys, they kept me on.

Shortly after my wife and I were married, she convinced me to go back to school. I had to take a year and a half of preparatory classes before I could even take credited coursework. It was a very painful process. I finally built the courage to get tested for learning disabilities. I discovered that I was indeed dyslexic and well as dysgraphic, which is a disability in the output or writing. After all those years of frustration and anxiety, my problem finally had a name.

After my conversion (read my testimony for a more detail account), I felt God leading me to write. It didn’t make sense with my educational background, but I still felt God guiding me in this direction. I shared this with my wife, who encouraged me to pursue it. I switched my major to English and began writing my first novel. One day while reading the newspaper, I saw an ad for a Christian writers’ conference. I didn’t know there was such a thing. I attended and got a good review for my novel. I was hooked. Although my first book wasn’t published, I learned a lot through the process and applied that knowledge to my second novel―Rolling Thunder.

Using computers and typing have been a tremendous help in compensating for my learning disabilities. I still have to be careful because I will always struggle in this area, and I rely heavily on spell-check, but, hey, I’m writing. That’s all that counts.

God has been gracious enough to allow me to write and heal the area of my life that tormented me for so long. My prayer is that I can continue to write and grow as God leads me in this new direction of my life. I also hope that those who read my stories might be touched in a real and relevant way, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves and the salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer



Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:

A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Between Sundays
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

Friday, March 07, 2008

THE VOID by Mark Mynheir


Day 6 Friday

Doctor Meyer

One of the people working at LifeTex on the Genesis Project was Dr. Neal Meyer. Younger than Dr. Silverstein, and perhaps a bit more cautious, we find that Dr. Meyer is somewhat of a hermit. He likes working alone. Hates being around people, at least if he's asked to speak to them, and he's the first one to pick up on Adam's strange behavior. Mentioning it to Dr. Silverstein basically just gets him laughed at for mixing emotion with science. Boy does that ever sound familiar. Later in the story we have Dr. Meyer coming up with the only plausible explanation for Adam's behavior. This guy was on the ball, but he pushed almost too late. The reason for that was this separation between logic and faith, science and myth, fact and fiction. Had he been more open he would have discovered the truth much earlier.

It has been my personal observation that people who try to place faith in a separate category than science often go astray. For them logic reigns supreme. Unfortunately, it is faulty logic. Logic which is not built upon correct premises will always lead to an incorrect conclusion. In our society people have done just that. They have set up their premises, then have come to their conclusions, the most famous is that “there is no god”. Let's look at this real briefly. In order for the conclusion to be made that there is no god, this means that all available evidence could be tested and has been. I will grant them this much, there is no god small enough t meet those needs, therefore their premises are entirely false. Let's go back to Dr. Silverstein and Dr. Meyer, who sadly enough, represent a goodly portion of the scientific community. They believe that science has explained all they need to know. They believe that people can be “cloned”, based upon experiments done with animals. They further believe that the advances in genetic engineering can help them speed up the growth process of cloning, as well as purify, or create the perfect human. What they fail to realize are the countless possibilities involved in cloning, the incredible walls that make such genetic engineering impossible. Yet they try anyway. The result is not what they had hoped, but rather a human-like shell with a VOID that becomes the focal point of the whole book. Mark Mynheir comes closer to the truth here than science. How is that possible? I can hear it now. Well, for those really interested, there are facts which are true, and then there is Truth itself which cannot be limited to the laboratory or human logic. It is too great to contain. This is the fulcrum upon which this whole argument teeters.

The scientists cling to facts on the one side and are proven false. On the other side are those clinging to the Truth by faith. And they are proven right.

Remember always the admonition of Scripture, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1st Corinthians 1:27) The wise are wise only in their own eyes, like Dr. Silverstein and even Dr. Meyer, but fools like Detective Casey confounds their wisdom with a wisdom that those doctors cannot obtain without a working knowledge and a relationship with God.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer


Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:

A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
S.M. Kirkland
Queen of Convolution
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

Thursday, March 06, 2008

THE VOID by Mark Mynheir



Day 5 Thursday

Palm Bay Detective Eric Casey

You've probably read books, seen movies and all about the brotherhood of law enforcement personell. Well, to a large part, that's true. FDLE Agent Robbie Sanchez is called in to investigate the murder of PB Brad Worthington, and Palm Bay offers them Det. Eric Casey to act as liaison between the FDLE and the PBPD. The problem is that Eric was Brad's partner and closest friend. He was also one of the people that Brad led to the Lord. His emotions are raw, and that's not the most conducive thing for an ongoing investigation. Casey is not only trying to hold things together for the investigation, but he's trying to hold together Brad's family, being the closest friend they have. This is a realistic portrayal, although I rather doubt any police department would allow someone so personally involved to have any part in the investigation. However, this is fiction, and we're looking at a bunch of “what ifs” here that necessitate his being part of the investigation.


Have any of you felt stressed out? Dumb question. Have any of you lost someone you loved, and yet were forced to move forward for the sake of those around you? I had a friend who committed suicide and had to be strong for his wife and children. Finding the right words to say was really hard. Before he died he asked me about whether or not God was real and could he really know if God loved him, regardless of what he may have done. I had told him that there absolutely was a God and He did, in fact love him, just as he was. Drugs, depression and who knows what other demonic influences led him down that corridor where unbelief was the only thing he could be sure about. That being the case, and being unable to face himself anymore, he took his life. I talked with his wife at the funeral about this, his questions about whether God loved him or not. Tears streaming down her face she said, “I guess he knows now.” What I could not bear to bring myself to say was, “Yes, but he has refused that love, and with it God's salvation.” I didn't have the heart, or maybe it was God's love constraining me.


All I'm saying is that people like Eric Casey are all around us. They are hurting and they are trying to bear a burden that no sane person would try to carry. What we learn from Eric is that there is a place to go and find strength. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) There are many burdens in this life, and we are not humanly possible to bear them, but God is faithful and with these burdens gives us His Son to carry those burdens for us. (see 1st Cor. 10:13) May we learn to lean more and more upon our Lord, and less and less on ourselves as we go through this troublesome life. May we find joy in Him that overshadows the troubles we may face. May we be more and more like Christ.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer


Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:

A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
S.M. Kirkland
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

THE VOID by Mark Mynheir




Day 4 Wednesday

The Legacy of Brad Worthington

Palm Bay Officer Brad Worthington isn't in the book that long. He meets with an informant, who while reliable is strange enough. The information he receives is odd enough that Officer Worthington feels the need to check things out. Checking things out is what leads to his death, not because he gets caught by the wrong people, but because being a Christian he places himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. His partner, PB Officer Eric Casey, is overwhelmed by his death. It seems Brad had led Eric to the Lord in the past. And that is the legacy of Brad Worthington. As we move along in the story we meet people who have been affected by Brad's life as a Christian. Some became Christians, others just respected him as a truly great cop, husband and father. Then when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement runs the crime scene, and Robbie run into Eric, that legacy continues to grow. She and her FDLE troop are affected by Brad as well, even if he is dead. First, they are affected because he was a cop, but soon they are affected by the life he led as a Christian.


Although Brad lives through one chapter and two scenes in the entire book, his name keeps popping up throughout the remainder of the story. I wonder how many of us could say that if our lives were suddenly snuffed out we would leave behind such a legacy. To be fair, this is a work of fiction, yet I have met people like Brad. They may not have died grizzly deaths as he did, in fact some are most certainly alive. Still, their legacy grows because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I only hope and pray that people would think of me in that way when I die. My dad's life has touched more people than I can count, and now in his eighties he continues to contribute as best as he can, to making people smile, comforting those in pain and visiting those in nursing homes and praying for the sick in their homes. One memory sticks out and is that of him going to visit a former Sunday School teacher just before she died. She was also one of those people who left a legacy of Christian living behind when she died.

When Jesus entered our world as a baby, it was God becoming the supreme example of how were were to live and love and form a relationship with God the Father. Although He spoke to multitudes it was a “congregation” of twelve men that He hoped to impart some legacy. Of them we can rightly say that eleven “got it”. These men, and Paul, along with a number of Godly women, changed the course of human history. They taught of a Law that could be fulfilled in the heart, out of love, rather than one that was written on stone. They preached of a Risen Lord, who promised life to all who would follow Him. They showed the world that sin had been paid for...all they had to do was receive this mercy. They didn't preach that we would become sinless, but taught us to repent when we did sin. And, like Brad Worthington, their names are mentioned even to this day, as the story continues to be written. As some have said, it isn't “history”, but “His Story” that we are watching unfold. What part do you play in the drama that we call life? One way or the other, you are part of His Story. What part you play depends upon whether or not you choose to receive Christ into your life. For He is the cause of the legacy. In fact, He is the legacy, the legacy that can belong to anyone, freely.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer


Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:


A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Between Sundays
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
S.M. Kirkland
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

THE VOID by Mark Mynheir





Day 3 Tuesday

The Life at LifeTex

Very early on we are introduced to Dr. Silverstein and Dr. Meyers as they work for LifeTex on a special project. Past failures have Mr. Finstead all bent out of shape, but Dr. Silverstein is optimistic. He sees the project as being successful. Each mistake, each failure is just another step closer to reaching their ultimate goal. Mr. Finstead doesn't share that optimism. Quite frankly, neither does Dr. Neal Meyers. There are several things going on here that the good doctors aren't aware of, and a few that even Finstead isn't aware of, and that's what makes for a good story.

Simply put, LifeTex is conducting illegal human cloning experimentation. Not only are they performing illegal research and procedures, but they have included genetic engineering. Their goal is to create a human without defect. Strong, healthy, powerful, intelligent, one who would never need to see a doctor, who would excel in whatever they studied, and basically usher in peace to our troubled planet. The funny thing about doing something this grandiose is that those involved hardly ever listen to the warnings of those around them. They feel that it's for the good of the world. Let me tell you a little personal story about “For the good of the world.” I have conceived of a wing-powered aircraft that could seat one to two fliers and possibly several passengers, with modifications. The implications of this are great. It could reach sights that rescuers could not reach, even fastening itself to a cliff wall to rescue stranded climbers. The only thing I would need to accomplish this would be funding and a team of experts to work on the project, people who knew the mechanics of flight, as well as people who could actually build what I conceived to the proper specifications, testers, and more. So where would one get these resources? Unfortunately the first ones to jump at a chance to fund this would be the military. We would be placated about our humanitarian efforts and all, but they would be secretly constructing plane that could cross into enemy territory without being detected, photograph, drop off supplies or even teams, as well as pick them up completely undetected. It all sounds like science fiction, I know. Yet Leonardo DaVinci stated that flight was nothing more than applying the right mathematical formula to the situation. If we were to do that, we would be able to fly. Bolstered by these bold words the whole field of avionics has opened up. Yet no one has unlocked the whole formula. No one has seen the picture of a craft that is powered by its wings...at least not successfully. I would have been (I'm not boasting, just stating facts). Yet you can see what this would lead to. All the research would end up in the military sector and people stranded on mountainsides or in canyons, or those lost deep in the mountains, deserts would not benefit from it. And that's exactly what happens at LifeTex. It was a good idea, sort of, in the hands of people who didn't have any clue what they were getting into. Worse yet, the military was getting behind it.

When you read the Bible check out the blessings and cursings. In Deuteronomy 28 about one quarter of the chapter deals with the blessings that God would give to those who would keep His word. The other three quarters of the chapter are dedicated to the curses that would fall down on those who did not keep His word. To some people this sounds extreme. But let's take a simple example. Aspirin! The box and the bottle both boast that it will take your headache away. Correct? Yet there are instructions on how to properly take it, this is followed by a list of “cautions” you need to take, and as if this isn't enough, they list all the active ingredients in the aspirin so you will be able to see if it will conflict with something that you are already taking. Notice what just happened? One praise and three warnings, yet some people think God is cruel to do this. It would be cruel not to warn us, but God being a God of love does warn us. In THE VOID, we find people consciously disregarding all the warnings they have heard, all the laws that have been passed to make this illegal, and what do they find? They find themselves trying to grapple with a power they didn't even know existed.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer


Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:


A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Between Sundays
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
S.M. Kirkland
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

Sunday, March 02, 2008

THE VOID, by Mark Mynheir




Day 2 Monday



Return of Robbie Sanchez

I'm new to Mark Mynheir, but it appears that I've come in the middle of a series about members of the FDLE, or Florida Department of Law Enforcement. One of these members is Special Agent Roberta “Robbie” Sanchez. I don't know how much, or if any, part she plays in the other novels (ROLLING THUNDER and BELLY OF THE DRAGON). In a way that's good. You see, when I read THE VOID, it didn't need previous works to be able to stand. It did that quite well on its own. Having never heard of Roberta “Robbie” Sanchez didn't matter. He painted her, and the other characters, with such care that even coming in on book 3 I had all the information I needed to enjoy this well-written suspense novel. And those who know me also know I'm partial to mysteries, so I found THE VOID appealing from that aspect as well.

He does such a great job portraying Robbie, that at times its almost painful. Her Mima, Isabella Sanchez, is stricken with Alzheimers, and she has to at least make sure her needs are provided for. So while Robbie is working her tail off at FDLE trying to put the bad guys away, she has to struggle with keeping her mother healthy, which can really be a grind when they don't recognize you. I know from experience, that taking care of a loved one who can't seem to remember you is beyond taxing. Mark shows this internal struggle realistically. Then when Palm Bay Officer Brad Worthington is brutally killed, Robbie is called in to head the investigation. Being a profiler, that's usually what she confines her work to, but now, on top of her personal woes, and the fact that they just put a really bad dude behind bars, she's being asked to bear a burden that she normally wouldn't bear. Little does anyone know at this point how crucial that simple decision is to the story.

One of the things I've learned is that God provides the strength to go through each and every circumstance, if we will just allow Him to help. In 1st Corinthians 10:13 it says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” If you look carefully at that statement, God is telling His children, that while things look rough, there is a way of escape, but that way is to go through the trial, in His Son, by the power of His Holy Spirit. God isn't talking about some trap door we can sneak through and avoid the trial. So it is with the members of the FDLE, especially Robbie Sanchez, and PBPD Detective Eric Casey. Robbie learns from Eric how to turn the situation over to God. Eric learns from Robbie to keep his emotions in check. It's a good thing too, because in this story they don't face your normal serial killer or mass murderer. Instead we face something that came up out of the void. Play it any way you want, but this is definitely a good verses evil story you won't want to miss.

On sale now at Random House.
And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer

Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:


A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Between Sundays
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
S.M. Kirkland
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

THE VOID, by Mark Mynheir




Day 1 Sunday

Character Driven

In THE VOID, by Mark Mynheir, we meet numerous characters, all delivered to us in an orderly fashion with respect to the story. They are the ones who tell the story, which is powerful, because you get to see the situation from different perspectives. I'm partial to character-driven writing, because that's the way I do it. It's not the only method, but one of the two favored methods, the other being plot-driven writing. In character-driven writing the very first thing you have to do is breath life into people, then write your story. Mark does this and more. You can feel with them, see into their thoughts, feel the emotional pain that they go through. The reason for doing this is so that when you start moving with your plot, it will fit the characters you have created.

Characters speak to the author as much as they do to each other and to the reader. They get to say, “Wait a minute, I don't do that,” and the author either listens, or comes out with a predictable piece of weak writing. Mark not only created believable characters, but he was faithful to their personalities throughout the work. You can feel the ego of Warren Finstead, the pride of Dr. Silverstein, the apprehension of Dr. Meyer. You are dragged into the weary world of Special Agent “Robbie” Sanchez, as she is burning out in her job at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, laugh with Special Agent John Russell and Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Alan Cohen over the antics of Special Agent Tim Porter, and his “new” car. You feel the gentle, but firm person of Officer Brad Worthington, the pain of his Palm Bay PD partner Eric Casey. One of the things that is done well, is his portrayal of “Adam”, the special product of LifeTex, thanks to Drs. Silverstein and Meyer.

Scripture tells us that God is an author. I like that. It gives me a connection with Him that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Of course you can probably find your own connections, because God has made us that way. To farmers He is the the one who plants seed. To the rancher He is the Good Shepherd. For those more inclined to use their hands, He is the Carpenter's Son. He's fished with the fishermen of Galilee. Argued with the rabbis in the Temples. Partied with tax collectors and sinners. Yet, to me, the connection is one of an author. As the Author, the Bible also says that we were created before the foundations of the world. In other words, before God began writing the story of the people on Earth, He created each of us, knew what we would say and do, even what decisions we would make. He didn't create us to make wrong decisions, but being a loving and merciful God He allowed us to chose our own destiny...one that He already knew. Knowing this beforehand does not impede our free will, nor does it tell us that God created some people for Heaven and some people for Hell. We were all, each of us, created to become His children. The fact that so few of us actually take God up on this gracious offer is not His fault, even if He knew in advance. As the writer of our story, He had to restrict Himself to the choices we would make. He had to make sure that we were “in character” as it were. Why am I saying all of this? Because THE VOID is about choices, about conflicts, even about the creation of life. If God created us in a certain way and we were to create life in a completely different way, what would be the outcome? One possibility is given to us in this story. THE VOID, is very real. Yet it is not a place. It is a “non-place” if I can put it that way. It's more that just emptiness, it's the absence of something necessary. And that is about all I'm going to tell you today.


On sale now at Random House

And of course at Amazon.com

Be sure to check out Mark's personal site at Cop Writer


Other CFRB members who will be posting sometime this week:

A Frank Review
Back to the Mountains
Between Sundays
Bibliophile's Retreat
Cathi's Chatter
Queen of Convolution
S.M. Kirkland
Virtual Book Tour de 'Net

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