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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:
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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, May 31, 2008

GENTLE JOURNEY, by Elaine Lyons Bach

Sunday, day 1

Tag! You're it! That's right. CFRB is trying something new this month and it involves you, the visitor. You won't find the daily posts here about GENTLE JOURNEY, by Elaine Lyons Bach, but you will find them on specific members' sites. In order to do this we're making a game out of it of sorts. You remember the game of Tag? Well, like I started this off, you're it. In order to get to the first post you need to go to the Melissa Meeks site and tag her. You can do that by visiting her site, reading her post and then leaving a comment on her blog. If, for some reason you can't post there, come back here and post. Ready?








Melissa Meeks, better known to us as "Forest Rose" hosts a blog called Bibliophile's Retreat. She's quite active in reviewing and promoting all kinds of Christian fiction. As a member of the Christian Fiction Review Blog she has been such an encouragement and help it's hard to think that we were around without her for about a year. I guess one way to explain it is she's like a breath of fresh air. OK, I know it sounds silly, but check out her blog.

Melissa describes herself this way, "I'm a voracious reader who enjoys sharing good books with other readers, which I do by posting reviews right here on this blog. I revel in using my imagination and reading lets my mind roam free in a fantasy world for hours on end even sometimes (if I'm lucky) after I've finished a book. I'll pass on the bloody action stories though as I like mostly girly books like romance or historicals, but then blood has never been my thing. But don't forget the adventure or I might find something more gripping to read elsewhere if the story moves too slow. Books can transport me anywhere, to any period in time and even to fictional worlds and cultures if I so choose. It's only a matter of picking up the right books. The best writers are those who make me forget there's a real world outside the story I'm reading. In addition to this I am a proofreader and copyeditor."

Read her post. "Tag" her review of Elaine's GENTLE JOURNEY, and find out more for yourself. Melissa has given of herself and her time in such a beautiful way. She is a friend to every Christian writer who knows her.

Now it's your turn. You're it! Go tag Forest Rose at Bibliophile's Retreat by leaving a comment on her post about GENTLE JOURNEY. And God bless you. Enjoy.

David Brollier
co-founder of CFRB

Saturday, May 10, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath

Day 7, Saturday

As I think about ASULON, I find myself looking at a panorama of things, but most of all, that of war. It begins with showing us how a young man has been trained in warfare, then moves on to his internal conflict at suddenly being thrust into royalty. We learn about the war that is going on in Daniel's heart, first over the loss of his father and his hatred of Sargon, then over his love for Rachel. We learn of the wars that have encompassed the earth for many millenniums. The most important part of this is the spiritual war that we have been in, one that all of must deal with on a daily basis. From the war in the heavens to the wars over the souls of mankind, spiritual warfare has forever been hanging over us. It covers us like a fog that we can't get away from, but can't clearly see. In ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE we get a chance to see spiritual warfare a bit more clearly than we normally would.


Make no mistake, we are at war, all of us. We must choose sides, yet because this spiritual war is invisible to the natural eye, many do not realize that they are in a war and have already chosen the wrong side. They do not realize the danger they are in. They do not understand that God's wrath will one day come down upon them. We who have chosen the side of God pray that their eyes would be opened and that they would change sides. Perhaps you are thinking I am not talking about ASULON. In some ways you may be right, yet I am convinced that this aspect of this story is the most powerful point being made. William McGrath makes this point rather well by showing all the other things going on, by giving color and substance to our internal struggles and our external wars. In doing so he creates a backdrop upon which, if one looks closely, they will see that this spiritual battleground takes place alongside the natural one. Since we cannot see the spiritual one we focus on the natural battleground. This I think, is part of the enemy's ploy. It's how he keeps our eyes blinded to the truth. Yet the light of God pierces through these dark places and reveals His Truth to any who are willing to listen.


Many would say that God is unjust because of this. Nothing could be further from the truth. When God took on the form of man and as that man, Jesus, died for our sins, He died for all of our sins. Even the sins of those not believing were paid for, so that when they came to believe Christ would not have to die again. I am reminded of these verse, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." (Heb 6:4-6) The blood of Jesus is precious and was shed for all at one place and time for all people in all places in all times. This the enemy would have us not see, for in seeing this truth we would run to the cross and accept this forgiveness from the Almighty. So it is that the enemy blinds the eyes of those who are not spiritually awakened that they may remain forever in darkness. Yet if Jesus lives in us then we are the Light of the world even as He was the Light of the world, for it is His light that shines in us. This light pierces the darkness and overthrows every shadow in its path. Therefore we must live as children of light that the world might come to know Him who has died for them. This is our battle, our war, in which God has declared that by His Spirit we should be victorious to His glory for the sake of the world that is dying. We are their hope, not because there is anything in us worthy of hope, except that our Lord lives in us and He is the Hope of Glory.


Whether Asulon rises or falls depends upon whether God's people follow or reject the ways of the Lord. In this story we find mirrored ourselves. For if we wish our nation to stand, then we must first follow the ways of our Lord and teach them to our children. We must fight for these rights among the spiritual battleground in our land, for it is written, " If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2Ch 7:14) The battleground is here, in our hearts. The Word of God that we have is our "Sword of Fire". May we wield it to His glory.

Get ASULON, THE SWORD OF FIRE: BOOK ONE from any of the following online stores:



Be sure to visit William McGrath's site The Sword of Fire

And don't forget all the fine posts of the following participating CFRB members


Thursday, May 08, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath


Day 6, Friday

William McGrath has such vibrant characters. He takes great pains to assure us that we have real, believable characters, not cookie cut-outs of one another. You can picture Daniel, a country boy of a noble house who would fee much more at home fishing or hunting than living in a palace, like his father, Argeus. His mother, more queenly perhaps because of her bloodline, yet bolstered by her faith in Yeshua. Master Moor, the man responsible for Daniel's training, his protector. An assassin turned family guardian. There is Simon, the priest, who seems like such a minor character until they set out for Logres. It is then we learn of his true worth. Perhaps one of the most intriguing characters is Princess Rachel, the Abramim, yet follower of Yeshua. Beautiful, gentle, kind, loving and with special gifts from the Creator.


The good guys aren't the only ones he's created that are realistic. There's Sargon, head of the Builder's Guild, ambitious, but a little overconfident. Sargon underestimates the power of his Illuminati allies. Then there's Aesculapius, "Master f the Great White Brotherhood, Greatest of the Round Table of Nine, Philosopher-King of Philosopher-Kings. High Priest f the Illuminati." This guy has all the charm of the Ebola Virus. Subtle as a sledge hammer he insists that Sargon do certain things as his part in connection with the covenant between the guild and the Illuminati. Sargon doesn't listen too kindly to advice, which brings us to the guy in the Builder's Guild who is trying to usurp the power of Sargon and yet remain an ally. We meet quite a cast of characters among the guild, but it's when we meet Ferragus, another of the guild who wishes to have Sargon's place among the guild. Then there is Prince Rosh, who by his own admission isn't a higher authority among the Illuminati, but is in fact the Illuminati itself. His word is law, his intentions evil, he imagines him a god with real powers.


Good or bad, creating characters that are realistic is a must for me, and many other writers, William McGrath included. I think about how this is just like God. Scripture refers to God as the Author. In several other places we learn about how God knew us before He created the heavens and the earth. Now isn't that how we write? I mean we create our characters first, get to know them, the start writing the story. It works that way, because the characters are now real and can tell us when we're doing something wrong. You try to do something with them outside of their character and they're quick to tell you about it. I think there's something to this spiritually speaking. God created all of us, knew us before He started working on the story of the human race. That means when we're getting down on ourselves or feel ashamed to pray because of something we've done we really aren't hiding anything from Him. He knew we'd do these things before the foundation of the world. He knew each lie we'd tell, each item we'd steal, every time we'd let our eyes and mind wander to places where it has no business. He knew all about that. So instead of getting down on yourself, rejoice in the grace God has shown you, and allowed you to come before Him because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Rejoice that now you can rejoice, even knowing you are unworthy of such a great love, because God has made you worthy in His One and Only Son. He is the Great Author. He knew His characters before He started writing our story, His story really. He knew about how some would reject Him, but had to continue to write the story to get to those who would receive Him, even you and me. I guess God's type of writing is what we would call "character-driven writing." And it's great to be blessed by Him to identify with His Authorship by being authors ourselves. What a tremendous blessing and gift this is.


On sale at the following websites:


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Be sure to visit William McGrath's site The Sword of Fire

And don't forget all the fine posts of the following participating CFRB members

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath


Day 5, Thursday

(Warning! The following post contains some spoilers. If you wish to enjoy the story and wish to be pleasantly surprised, you may want to skip this post and just go down to the links at the bottom. - David)

As the Builder's Guild and the Illuminati seek to destroy the peaceful reign of Asulon, one thing, one power is already at work that they have not counted on. It is a power far superior to their combined powers. It is the power of love. In book one, I can only touch on this, as the story is incomplete, but I can be sure that it is this power that will destroy the forces of evil that are coming against Asulon.


A king has been assassinated. Anak has fallen. Seven of Anak's sons remain, and only Prince Daniel of Asulon, son of King Argeus, lives as successor to the throne of Asulon. The daughters, wives and families of of the Anakim have been systematically killed. Daniel, who was to marry one of Anak's daughter's finds that there is no daughter to marry. The blood of Anak that makes the House of Asher great upon the throne in Asulon ends with Daniel, and his life is in great peril.


All of this seems dark, and offers no hope for Asulon. We feel like weeping upon the deck of the ship for this lost hope, for it seems that Asulon is going to lose its glory and strength. Look, however, at what is going on at this very same time. Daniel has fallen in love with a princess or Eretzel. She is Rachel, daughter of Binyamin, daughter of Rebekah, of the tribe of Yehuda. In her spirit flows the Spirit of the Everlasting God, the Elohim. And she has fallen in love with Daniel as he has fallen in love with her. The enemy, in their folly, have made a way for Daniel to break tradition and marry one who does not have the blood of Anak in their veins. This may seem like a victory to them, yet the uniting of these two in love by the command or direction of Elohim is, I believe, going to prove to be their undoing. Asulon shall rise in power and glory as it has not known before. As from ashes this crumbling empire shall rise stronger than before.


You see, the enemy has not counted on the power of love, and Elohim has placed this love for His children in the hearts of one another. As Scripture says, "The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord," so have these steps also been ordered by Elohim. While Daniel is of the House of Asher and Rachel of the tribe of Yehuda, one of the Abramim, that is of the House and lineage of Abram, both Daniel and Rachel are followers of Yeshua. Therein lies their unity, their strength, the hope of Asulon and all peoples of the world. This love has crept in upon them like a stranger seeking refuge from the cold at night, and upon gaining entrance, refuses to leave.


We shall see where William McGrath takes us on this journey about Asulon, about the lives of many people, particularly Daniel and Rachel, but unless I miss my guess we are going to find that the end result is going to be the destruction of the enemy by the fires of love between these two children of Yeshua. This is a tale about how we should look upon things. We are like Daniel, hoping in what has always been, in what we can see, even though we may call ourselves Christians. Yet, without faith it is impossible to please God. So God, in His love, brings us to a place where we can no longer lean upon the material things we have always leaned on, and requires us to lean upon Him, in faith. Every time a person does this God performs the most amazing miracle of all, He creates a new life out of the old. As Scripture says, "He gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning." While we do not understand the plans nor the mind of God, we eventually find that God is working out, within us a wonder to His glory. So it shall be, I believe, in Asulon with Daniel and Rachel.

On sale at the following online stores:



Be sure to visit William McGrath's site The Sword of Fire


And don't forget all the fine posts of the following participating CFRB members


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath


Day 4, Wednesday


The good and the bad, really. Yesterday we talked about two groups of people who were considered the bad guys. Yet, since we are talking spiritually here, perhaps it would be more appropriate to point to the spiritual forces behind both the good and the bad, in the world of ASULON according to William McGrath. On the side of good there is The Elohim, or God, and His Holy angels. To understand this better we need to realize that these angels aren't all the original angels that used to serve God, but we'll get to that in a minute. These Bene Elohim, servants of the Most High, are with The Elohim firmly in the good.


Opposing them on the side of evil are Azalel and all that followed him. Azalel was formerly one of the chief angels of God, but when greed came into his heart it gave birth to hatred and rebellion, a rebellion which he led against The Elohim and His angels, the Bene Elohim. They were thrust out of Heaven and cast down upon our planet where God destroyed all life that He had formerly created, first by fire, then by ice, so that these spirit beings would be without a place of habitation. They would have to reveal themselves as they truly had become, and ugly copy of what God had first made them to be. These were called the E'gori, that is the Fallen.


Scripture plainly talks about both of these groups, using a little less poetic license that McGrath, but still basically the same as what he has said in ASULON. It is the third group which should be of interest to us, for it includes those creations known as humans, which were placed between these two opposing forces. ASULON tells us of another group, the Grigori, these became the Watchers. The Grigori are, McGrath states, those angels who although they sided with Elohim could not bring themselves to fight against their angel brothers. So it was that they became known as "the sons of God" and they came and married the women of men. Their offspring was mighty, valiant, and often tall.


These Mighty Ones were caught between the opposing forces of Elohim and Azalel, but they were now mortal. Read how Azalel, also known as Abbadon the Destroyer, sets out to deceive, first man, then the Grigori, for God had given men the Grigori to watch over them. As each Grigori fell pray to the temptations of Azalel our world went through great tribulation. Finally, there was only Anak left of all the Grigori.


Whether or not there are these angelic creatures that are neither fallen nor heavenly, is a matter of dispute, Scripturally speaking that is. For the telling of the story of ASULON, however, it not only makes great sense, but shows us some things about ourselves, the nature of angels, and how pride will always kill. For it was pride that caused Azalel to rebel and for those angels who followed him it took pride. It is pride that causes each of us to stumble in our way, sometimes that stumbling is complete and eternal We see also that even the mighty Anak can be felled with pride. If there is one thing we can learn from this it is that pride always precedes destruction. Not only is this a Biblical principal, but it is a truth we need to realize so that we can come under the mercy and grace of a Holy God.








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ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath

Day 3, Tuesday

We've talked about Daniel for a couple of days, and during that time have also talked about the King Argeus, Queen Isolde and the Anakim as well as Master Moor. These are all the good guys, even if they aren't all followers of Yeshua. So let's talk a little about the bad guys today.


Roughly speaking we learn through this story that we are all bad guys. However, for the point of this post there are some people who are intent on being the bad guys. There is the Builder's Guild, that group of people who move the wealth of the world around. They are the super rich. In reality they would be much like the Rothchilds and Rockefellers. These people, while considered rich actually move massive amounts of money around to create wars, peace, insurrections. They are responsible for, so they believe, raising up nations and destroying nations. They would be the group of people who took the credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as the Soviet Empire. God's Word says that He alone exalts and humbles, not men. He might use bad men to do it, like Nebuchadnezzar, King of Bablyon. He wasn't what you'd call a good king, but He was God's instrument of justice. A lot of people have trouble with that concept, and I'm not going to go over it. I just wanted to point to one group of bad guys who exist in ASULON.


There is another group, and interestingly enough William McGrath uses their true name, the Illuminati. This group is more spiritually focused than the Builder's Guild. The Illuminati is known by several names down through the years, but the highest levels are still refer to as the Illuminati. If you'll notice the Illuminati is the real power before the Builder's Guild. What Jesus said is brought into vivid detail, "The love of money is the root of all evil." Another thing to notice is how divided the enemy is. Oh they put on a show of working together, but hatred, pride, greed and a dozen other negative qualities pull them apart. These very things can keep us, as Christians, from working together as one. Take heed, because Jesus taught that we were to love God with everything we have and to love others as we love ourself. We can only succeed if we function as one. He is the Head of the Body of Christ. Yet, these bad guys are also showing the other side, "A house divided against itself shall fall." We begin to see this, even though we realize Daniel is in an unimaginable situation. Even then we realize that as bad as things look, the bad guys are already starting to fall apart. In some areas it looks like they're getting stronger, but in reality that is their weakness. True power is found in God, and God is love.








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Sunday, May 04, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath

Day 2, Monday

In ASULON, Daniel is the key character, and as I pointed out yesterday, the first character we meet. I got a little off track explaining who Daniel was, giving a record of the Asherites and the Anakim. Perhaps it is just simpler to let the story explain itself, for the next character we meet, and second in prominence only to Daniel, is Moor, or Master Moor as Daniel calls him. Moor is an Etruscan by birth, not of any of the various houses or tribes within Asulon. And while Daniel is a servant of Yeshua, Moor is one who believes in himself, gods of any kind seem to have little value to him. This is never a point of contention because neither Daniel or Moor seek to sway the other to their own beliefs. For Daniel living as a servant of Yeshua is simply a matter of fact. For Moor, he is quite content to allow Daniel have that should he desire. Moor does try to impress the importance of some of the more helpful tactics in warfare.


That is the Moor's function, to serve his master, Argeus. At the point in time where we meet Daniel and Moor, the former king of Asulon has died without leaving an heir. Under Asulonian law the next elder of the house of Asher was made king, Daniel's father. It has been ten months and King Argeus and his wife Isolde' Queen of Asulon, and daughter of Anak, longingly await to be reunited with their son at this time. We learn that Daniel would much rather be in his own home in Eboracium than in the castle/palace of the kings of Asulon. Yet Daniel is now more than a beloved son, he has been thrust into the role of the royal prince of Asulon. As such Master Moor's tasks become more involved, for he still serves Argeus, yet now as King Argeus. So he is in charge of Daniel's teaching and safety.


This student/teacher relationship is actually eclipsed by the great friendship they have for one another. One day Moor explains his deep devotion to Daniel's father. This is one of the more compelling parts of the earlier sections of the work. For an assassin was turned from his profession to that of trainer and protector by the honor and example of a true nobleman, Daniel's father, Argeus. In this we see how we can make an impact on those around us for the Lord. For Moor always considered that Argeus had saved his life, since an assassin's life is always in jeopardy. Yet it was love that moved him from one task to another, not preaching or attempts to change the other. Argeus simply let his nature shine, and that love shone bright enough that Moor found his life saved in the service of this Asulonian.


Is your life the same as those around you? Do you do what they do to fit in? If you are no different in your actions than those living around you and you are trying to fit in, perhaps you are like Moor, looking for a place to call "home". Do not try to fit in, then, but look to those whose lives are different. Look to those who are filled with love, not judgment, and you will find salvation but a hair's breath away.


And if you call yourself a Christian, but are no different from the world, then how can the world find that salvation. Jesus said that if the light has become darkness, how great is that darkness. We are to be the light of the world. This doesn't mean to beat people over te head with our doctrines and such, but to set forth an example of love, honor and nobility before them that they would naturally be either drawn or driven from the Light that dwells within you.








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Saturday, May 03, 2008

ASULON: SWORD OF FIRE - BOOK ONE, by William McGrath

Day 1, Sunday

This fantasy about the ultimate war between good and evil is told rather smoothly, with characters we can relate to. William McGrath is willing to pull in some of the old Bible stories, mingle them with some myths concerning ancient times, give us a period of time that is more conducive to fantasy than the present, yet somehow manages to thrust the plot into the future. Whether it is the lifespan of the Anakim or the human race is simply going around one more time, seems vague to me. Yet he introduces powers, countries, and nations as if reporting some fast-breaking news. So if you like end time novels, mixed in with hand-to-hand combat, specifically swordplay, and political/spiritual movements on a world wide basis, this is a book you will enjoy.


The first person we meet is Daniel. Daniel is an Asherite, meaning he is of the tribe from which the kings of Asulon descend. There is also the mingling of the children of Anak with the Asherite males. Although he explains this rather well, you can really appreciate it better if you are acquainted with who the Anakim are. Scripture talks about them as "the sons of the God".(Gen. 6:2) This phrase, which is repeated in two verses down after mentioning that these are giants, in verse 4. These people, these giants are identified as the children of Anak in Numbers 13:33. Yet there are all kinds of rumors about who and what these people really were. Goliath, is said to have been a descendant of Anak. The main problem people have wrestled with is over the phrase "the sons of God". Some people claim this means these were angels who intermarried with humans. Others, a bit more "out there", believe these "sons of God" were aliens from another planet. Having greater knowledge, larger builds and longevity of life, these things were passed on through intermarriage with humans. Then there is a more conservative view that says that the phrase, "sons of God" refers to princes, which is basically where I find myself.


However, where would speculative fiction be without all these other possibilities? What if there were angels who where trapped outside of Heaven, yet swore no allegiance to Satan? This is where William McGrath takes us. Is he right? Who's to say? There's no one around to prove or disprove this claim, so it makes perfect sense (to the fiction writer) to use this as a tool to motivate the story.


One of the things I like about this work is that the author has stripped us of all those "weapons of mass destruction". Warfare is up close and personal. I've always believed if we kept war this way there would be less of it...I could be wrong, but it's my belief. In any event, you can't go swashbuckling around from behind a computer keyboard, typing in commands to kill an enemy thousands of miles away. There is no chivalry, no honor, no personal skill in that. Yet, put two people in the same arena with the same weapons, be they knives, swords, daggers or clubs, and honor shines like the Sun, and evil shrinks away into the shadows. It makes for a great fantasy, a great story. In ASULON, BOOK ONE: SWORD OF FIRE, William McGrath uses this to his advantage, and one soon learns that we are in the presence of a great storyteller.







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