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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

Friday, October 09, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Friday - The link between Jo and Nate is probably what makes the book work so well, even if we don't interact with him so often. You see, a year ago, Jo watched as this very same person was intentionally run over. He just had to be dead, but here he is standing tall and looking pretty healthy. Nate is also one of us flawed Christians who is trying to push a secret so far down into himself that it no longer is even a memory, but the Jo shows up. She doesn't talk to him, or anyone really, right off, but she is really freaked out. How would you feel if you saw someone killed and they pranced around before you a year later? No, this isn't a vampire novel, and no there is nothing supernatural about all of this. It's just that sometimes we make conclusions based on assumptions.

For his part Nate is trying to reach out to the "unreachable" in the neighborhood, basically using music (with Lisa) and his rather unique way of talking to people. You can't carry a secret around inside you for long. Either you will conform to the secret and lose yourself, or the secret will come out, usually when you least expect it, and are even less prepared to deal with it. Yet Nate has glossed over the truth, hidden the real facts and tried to go on and pretend it didn't happen. All the incidents that surround Jo really unnerve him. In the end, with the Lord's help, he finds peace at last to face his fears, his anger, himself.

Isn't this like the rest of us? I mean we try to keep some things secret, even from our spouse, family, ourselves, but God will find a way to draw the truth out, because until He does, He cannot bring us into His peace, and He wants us to live in His peace and love. So if someone comes into your life that really seems to upset it, think. Maybe God's trying to bring you into a better place, but you have to walk through that valley to get there. Just remember, He's with you in the valleys as well as the mountain tops.

Don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Thursday - Besides these two guys (Sam and Kevin) Jo makes friends, well sort of, with Nate and Lisa. Now before you go off half cocked you never get the feeling that these two are a couple. They do, however, form a duet team that sings for the church in this story, so they're often seen together. But we've talked about guys already, so let's focus on the girl here, Lisa.

Lisa, we learn, is the pastor's daughter. Jo practically hates her at first because she is so chipper, always talking, always smiling, always, well, cute and perfect and everything Jo isn't. Did you ever meet someone like that? You know, someone who was so much better than you in every possible way that you just wanted to shoot them? Well, that's basically the way Jo felt. Then, at the wedding (Sam's sister and her groom) Lisa is working the sound controls and Jo sits in the booth with her. She learns a lot about the people she knows from church and realizes that Lisa may be a little more perfect than most people, but she's really not that bad to be around. She's actually comfortable around Lisa.

One of the things we are told we are not to do is "covet". So what if a person looks better than us, or finds it easier to talk to people than us. What does that have to do with anything? Don't you know that God created each of us to be just the way we are? He even died for us so that He could complete the job, because our sinful nature keeps messing with what He intended us to be, and that never has to do with our abilities, looks or intelligence. Being who we are meant to be is super important. That's why Paul spends so much time talking about the gifts of the Spirit and how we are all different parts of one body. Even Jesus when He talks about us referred to us as "sheep" and "branches" among other things. Now no 2 sheep are the same, but the ones He is looking for are those who realize the need for a Shepherd. And branches, have you ever seen a tree or a vine where all the branches were the same? Some even perform different functions. Did you know that? So Jo was wrong to judge Lisa, to be jealous of her. Then again, how many times do we do this with each other? We don't seem to be satisfied with who we are, but always want to be like someone else. If God wanted us to be like someone else He wouldn't have created you to be YOU. Get it?

There's more I could get into here, but I don't want to spoil the book too badly by telling you more than I have to. You just need to know that this story rings really true, and who knows, it may even change the way you walk your Christian life.

Don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Wednesday - The 2nd boy in Jo's life is Kevin. Remember that pickup that Jo was hiding behind because she couldn't get around the fight between Traci and Sam? Yeah, well, that was Kevin's truck. He would have driven off leaving her without any cover at all except he ran over something and stopped to see what it was. It could have been Jo, but it wasn't. They get to talking and Jo is totally taking in by this really handsome guy. He even invites her to meet him to a little music session on the boardwalk that night. She's ecstatic.

Of course Kevin has his problems. He's a bonafide Christian who wants to be used by God the same way Nate is. (We'll talk about him in another post) Kevin, however, has these ghosts that haunt him. He's never on time, always skipping out, generally he seems pretty unreliable. But Jo still likes him, when she's with Sam. When she's with Kevin she thinks about Sam. Weird? Yeah, but I guess we're all weird that way. You know always wanting what we don't have. Then if we manage to get what we had longed for we start wondering if we really had it better with what we had before.

Sam and Kevin present two different challenges to Jo, but in the final analysis it's not either of them that gives Jo a problem. The problem is Jo. Let's break this down. Life is going to throw good stuff at you and then it's going to throw bad stuff at you. You'll probably think you're getting hit with more bad stuff than good stuff, but that's our problem, not reality. In that way we are just like Jo. If I were to ask you to take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, label one side "Blessings" and the other "Curses" I'm fairly sure we'd fill up the "Curses" side before we were even halfway into the "Blessings". Now why is that? It's because society has trained us to think in ways that are in opposition to the way God thinks.

If we start out by praising God, looking at the good things, and claiming good even when we are in bad situations, then we begin to see that God is right there with us. Things really are great and we don't have to pretend they are. The bad stuff kind of fades into the background and disappears. This is the way we are supposed to think, the way we are supposed to live. Jesus is the Light of the world. He is the Word of God. He is the One who gave His life so that we might become children of God. Now isn't that something to be thankful for? Isn't that a reason to praise God. And the more we praise God the more reasons we find to praise Him, because He is just that great. The world does not know Him, and they struggle through life as if they can hardly wait to die. Some people even help that part along a bit. Isn't that tragic? Don't be like Jo, being with one guy and wishing you were with the other. Realize that Jesus died for YOU, and begin to praise Him for all He has done for you. You are with Him and have no reason to even think about going back to the way things used to be...unless you like swimming in vomit.

I know this is an oddball review, but you know me, I'm one of those people who make the verse, "Ye are a peculiar people" really come to life. God bless all of you. Now read this book.

Don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Tuesday - What I find interesting is that Jo, for all her complaining about how substandard she is, ends up dating, well, maybe not dating, but seeing not one, but two guys at the same time. A large part of the book is devoted to this. She meets both of these guys, or at least has some contact with them, on the same day, almost at the same time. So I can put things down in some kind of order I'll going to go with the chronological order in which she meets them

Sam is mentioned on the very first page. He doesn't seem to be saying much, but spends a lot of time ducking things being thrown at him by his girlfriend Tracie. She's braking up with him in the most outrageously public manner possible. The context of this is a public beach and Jo is walking, or trying to walk, past the disputing couple. Realizing this is an impossibility she crosses the street and tries to hid behind a pickup truck. Later, after meeting the 2nd guy she comes to the boardwalk to meet with guy number 2, manages to fall into the lake and guy number 1 jumps in after her. From that point on Sam becomes a fixture in her life. It seems that no matter what her problem is, he's there for her, even if it's just to lean on his should and cry. He also shows up and helps her out with some stuff when he really doesn't have to. They become "friends", but it's clear that this friendship is a lot closer than you might expect between just friends. Sam has a few problems of his own. He was force-fed Christianity to the point of rejecting God altogether and he has a girlfriend who alternately breaks up with him and then calls back to get back together with him. (Girls if you want to drive us guys nuts, this is the way to do it, however, be forewarned, in the end you will not end up with said guy. Just a free piece of advice.)

I think if we are all honest we have problems with God. I mean, we have problems in our life, we pray and it's like no one's there. We are told God is always with us, all powerful, loving, and all that, but somehow it doesn't seem to play out like that. So Sam tells us a little about ourselves. It's not that we don't believe in God, but that we don't believe in God's ability or perhaps willingness to come in and help us out when we need help. Sam goes through this whole rejection thing, even though he is a kind and giving person. Sound like anyone you know, like maybe you? You know what Sam's problem was, what our problem is? We're looking at the situation from the wrong point of view. As a writer a point of view is very crucial to the story. You tell a story one way and you get one story, but if you change the point of view the dynamics of the story changes drastically. This is our problem. If Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you," and suddenly you are out there dealing with stuff and need His help, but He doesn't seem to be there, who moved? I can tell you a personal story about this, but do to limitations I'm not going to at this time. Feel free to email me at davidbrollier@yahoo.com and ask me about it and I will tell you. The thing is, even as children of God, we can put ourselves outside of the fellowship we are supposed to have with Him. To be heard we need to come back to Him, not Him to us. It's almost like receiving a "time out" for doing something wrong. We're still His children, but our rights have been limited, especially our right to fellowship with Him. Christianity is all about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When we do wrong, as our damaged lives will try to get us to do, we place ourselves outside of fellowship with our Father, but, and this is important, He is STILL our Father. And that's where Sam was messing up. When Sam stepped out of God's fellowship to do his own thing, then asked God to come in and help him out, well, God refused to hear him. Before Sam was a Christian he dealt with an abusive upbringing. This also goes back to relationships. You can hardly blame God for the choices your parents or friends or even your enemies make. All you can do is nurture the one you can have with Him. This is done by spending time with the Father, seeking out what He wants above all things, and first, then patiently waiting to hear what He has to say to us when we study His Word.

Don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

Monday, October 05, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Monday - Luckily for Jo she has a compassionate cousin who helps her out of those tight spots, not the real confusing ones she gets herself into, but the practical ones that helps her keep her head above water, as the saying goes. Kat, Jo's cousin, is allowing Jo to stay with her rent free until she gets a job and her own place. While this is a tremendous burden off of Jo's shoulders it replaces it with another burden, one that is something nearing guilt, but probably closer to learning responsibility. Jo doesn't want to be a burden on someone who has been so kind and helpful so she really tries, in her own awkward way, to find a job. When Kat realizes that the job hunting situation isn't going to pan out she offers Jo another way to make herself useful and pay off whatever imagined debt Jo feels she has towards her. This is true compassion, and it is done in a way that both teaches Jo responsibility and doesn't take away from her dignity.

I like Kat. She doesn't seem to play a real major role as far as the story goes, but in Jo's life she plays such a tremendous role. This kind of reminds me of both the love of Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. I'm really not comparing her here to God. Still, you have to admit that there is a kind of God-like action taken on by Kat for her cousin. Christians make a big deal about Jesus, and they should, because it is by His blood, by His sacrifice, that we can come to the father. Jesus, however, never made a big deal about Himself. He always deferred to the Father. Likewise, when the Holy Spirit came and was poured out on the believers in the upper room, well around 120 of them anyway, He deferred to Jesus, God's Son. This is the reason that a true Christian will do two things that almost go unnoticed. First they will walk in love, just as Jesus walked in love. That's the biggest and most important point to be made. Second, they will step back and give Jesus the credit for anything good that they do, knowing that apart from Him they could do nothing. They offer comfort and they defer to Jesus.

Have you seen "Christians" trying to cram the Bible down someone's throat, or beat them over the head with doctrine and the dos and don'ts of their denomination? I have and it sickens me. I've also seen the results, the scars left behind by these Christians. Some of them may never open their heart to God ever again. Others return to the Lord, but have this nagging fear of this happening all over again. I could go on to point out examples. In IF ONLY YOU KNEW, Mags Storey transcends these problems by showing us Christians who are realistic. They are kind, compassionate, but they are human and constantly making mistakes. As one of her characters puts it, "We are all damaged goods." We're like Humpty Dumpty after that fall, and while it is true that all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again, we have this confidence, God can put Humpty Dumpty back together, only when He does so, He creates something greater than before. One of the chief tools He uses to accomplish this is through people filled with love and compassion, people willing to step out and give a person that comfort and dignity they need to turn and see God. For when they see God, when they understand the message of the cross, then God can put us back together. Oh, we'll still have to deal with that damaged person who wants to take back the throne, but we can always point each temptation to Jesus and say, "I'm not king here anymore. Take it up with my Lord." This message comes through loud and clear in Mags book.
Now don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey


Sunday - This week the Christian Fiction Review Blog is proud to be touring IF ONLY YOU KNEW, by Mags Storey. The story is about a girl named Joanna Mackenzie, almost exclusively referred to as "Jo". Jo has a few problems. She doesn't know what to do with her life. She considers herself basically a loser. She gets into a situation that is kind of incredible for a gal who thinks she's a loser, seeing two guys at the same time. Talk about awkward. Jo tends to be able to find situations where she can stumble in front of a crowd or say the absolute wrong thing at the wrong time. In other words, she's just like you and me. To top it all off she has this guilty feeling about something she saw a year before the book starts. Now this would have nothing to do with anything except the guy she saw run down with a car is very much alive. This only adds to an already confused mind.

The story is in many ways delightfully written. I think the best parts are her speeches to herself and the reader. Mags Storey uses this medium to help the reader really understand all the quirks of her heroine. She spends a lot of time chastising herself over one thing or another. Either her clothes aren't good enough, or her hair looks a mess, or her makeup is smudged (or not in place) and a host of other things. How many of us spend a lot of our time putting ourselves down? You know what's bad about that? After we do this long enough we start to believe it, and after we start to believe it we will do things to prove just how much of a failure we really are. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Or to put it another way, you can tell what we really think about ourselvs by the words that come out of our mouth.

There is an antidote to this negative affirmation and it is to find positive things about ourselves and begin to speak to ourselves about them. Personally I wanted to get into art, but after 4 years of college minoring in art and even trying to go out commercially with my art I had to face the fact that my artistic abilities are very limited. However, that does not mean I am limited. I found that I could paint the pictures I saw, not with oils or acrylics, but with words, and in doing so found a more dynamic means of expressing myself. That is why I am a writer, because I still have the heart of an artist. When I was little I used to think my art was better than anyone else's. I remember arguing with my mom at a birthday party in which she gave a prize to one of my friends for coloring a picture better than me. The nerve of her. I was out to prove to the world that I could do better than anyone else. I failed at that miserably. When I was in 6th grade, however, my teacher told my parents that they should have me keep a pad and pen handy because my mind was so active. In my freshman year of high school my English teacher brought back to life my love of reading. What I'm saying is that there were many times when I could have talked myself into defeat because of all that I went through, but I managed, through the grace of God and some really terrific parents, to find positive things to focus on. In IF ONLY YOU KNEW I want you to look at the characters that surround Jo, especially Kat, her cousin. You see, in His eyes we can only be a failure if we chose to be, and if you give Him half a chance He won't let that happen. That doesn't mean everything is going to suddenly go your way. What it means is that you're going to find how you fit in in this life, and you'll see how incredible it is to do so. One thing my pastor tells us is to remember that we are "the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus." If this is true, and God cannot lie, then how wonderful it is to finally find out where we are supposed to function and how dumb we can be to say we are less than extraordinary.

Now don't forget to visit Mags' site. I visited it and although I'm not big fan of the romance genre, she has a really great site and talks about some really interesting things. She doesn't preach at anyone...except maybe herself. You'll find her site HERE

Some of the places you can purchase her book are:

ChristianBook.Com

Amazon.Com

Barnes & Noble

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.
Careful now. You might just find some people posting more than once, also you can visit any CFRB member's site and, hopefully, you will find a standard post. The links below indicate that you will find special posts.



IMPORTANT
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.

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