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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, September 11, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin

Saturday, 11th

Perhaps you have thought I forgot Casey when talking about how people handle grief differently. I really didn't. You see Matt and Irene were trying to run from the pain, hide from it, make believe it didn't exist. Casey is quite different. She wants to remember her brothers, even if she remembers some of the ugly things about them. It's no more right, in some ways, than trying to disregard that it ever happened, but it is one that is built upon love, and that turns out to be a key.

Being a teenager, however, Casey is dealing with more than just the loss of her brothers, she's becoming a young woman. This causes all kinds of problems. She finds her love for her brothers get sour at time, even blaming them, but she will never forget them. And while she's doing this newly released hormones start to affect her thinking. I could mention a couple, but it would really give too much away. You will find Casey to be very realistic, just as hostile as some teens are today, and doing things that seem irrational, even according to their own thinking. Such is the lot of many teens.

Parents, you can help yourselves a bit here. In Proverbs 22:6 it says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Christians quote this verse a lot, but I want you to know that this verse can be taken 2 ways. If you train up a child to be greedy or selfish, when they grow up they will be greedy and selfish. If you train them to be giving and loving, when they are older they will be giving and loving. Keep this in mind, and remember, there will probably be a period, which we call adolescence, when they will leave from the ways we have taught them. This is actually a good thing. They need to learn on their own that, if you have taught them the good ways of God, are really true. So cut them a little slack. Hold on to the verse and they will return. But be careful of what you are teaching them. Billy starts to become his father, Jerry became his father, and both of those were painful. They also did not depart from the ways they were trained. Get it? Neither does Casey, and neither does your child if you teach them the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Now the difference between choosing to forget and choosing to remember bring with them their own particular pain, because you can never truly forget, and if you choose to remember you can't pick what you want to remember and what you'd rather not remember. It's a hard road. Yet there is something that I mentioned before, another choice that I said I'd talk about today. You can choose life or death, not for those who have already died, but for yourselves. You can choose ways that eventually breathe life into your situation, or ways that bring to you death, some times literal death, sometimes eternal death. The choice is always yours. And remember, life is full of choices. I view it something like this, whenever I am faced with a choice I have 3 options, to go right, go left or stay there and think about it. The 3rd option isn't getting me anywhere, which leaves me with going right or left, so to speak. Take these 2 choices and label the sign over one DEATH and the sign over the other LIFE. Now, choose. Makes things easier doesn't it? And this is exactly what God teaches us. This is what it says in Deuteronomy 30:19, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."

What does this have to do with Someone to Blame? What does it have to do with our lives? It has everything to do with both. In Someone to Blame people consciously make good and bad choices, some of those choices lead to death, others lead to life. Now, although some choices lead to death, there are still many other choices to be made and some of them can lead you back to life, if you make correct choices. Likewise if you choose life, you can make a wrong turn, a wrong choice and head down the path of death. They do it in this novel, they do it in the town where you live, you do it yourself. So here is the challenge, whenever you have to make a choice ask yourself, "Does this lead to death or to life?" When you can identify your choices this way, choose life so that you may live. Choose Jesus, who is our life, no matter how you feel, and He will be the Way, the Truth, and the Life for you. Follow Him. Choose Him. In every choice, choose Life.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin

Friday, 10th
We all handle grief, especially the lost of a loved one, differently. The most unfortunate thing about this is we are hampered by others telling us we should do this or that. I had one friend who, after he father died, started receiving emails telling her to get on with life, others sent her jokes. When you are in a crisis like this all of us should remember that it is a crisis. We should be willing to be there for them, but we shouldn't tell them to get over it or try to make light of things.

Okay, that was free. We see Irene and Matt Moore both handling things differently in the wake of the death of their sons. Irene wants to create a deep pit in her soul and shove all their memories into it and cover it over with a lid. New events crop up to bring these events, not just to the surface, but make them seem new and fresh. It is as if she's going through those events all over again. Matt tries to numb himself against the feelings, to get lost in work and try to forget the pain, hoping that some day it will pass. Only he also finds new events ripping away the numbness and bringing past events into sharp focus, too sharp for him to bear.

The two people I mentioned in previous posts, Jerry and Billy, are the ones who are responsible for many of these new events. Unknowingly they become a link to the pain of the past for Mr. and Mrs. Moore. Jerry causes his own set of problems, while Billy, well, let's just say that he is a constant reminder. He really doesn't have to do anything but be there for the pain to well up in the Moores.

If any of you have gone through this kind of pain I think you'll realize some similarities in your own life. It's as I said in the first 2 posts, you can't run from this pain. You have to allow yourself time, find God in this somewhere, and let Him lead you through it. In many instances God will have to force Himself on you. That's not saying He will force you to do something, but He will force you to recognize that He is the only One who understands your torment and He is the only One who has the power to get you through this. You can, even then, reject Him, but doing so will only multiply your grief. The quicker you surrender to God, the quicker He will be able to heal the pain and guide you through that "fog" of grief. Like an old song says, "Jesus is the answer." It's true. Now most people are going to think in the physical realm, but if we would stop and remind ourselves that this is something spiritual we are going through, then we will come to understand that Jesus is always the answer. For death, Jesus is our life. For grief, He is our comfort. For weakness, He is our refuge. Take any situation you have going on in your life, turn the question into a spiritual question and you will find that Jesus is your answer.

Okay, I said it wasn't right to tell people how to handle grief, and now I seem to be doing that very thing. That's not totally correct. I am teaching here and there are two sides to this. First, everyone is different, and as wrong as some of the ways they may choose to grieve they must grieve according to their way. Second, however, is that there is an answer. I would be remiss if I didn't mention where people could go for comfort. It's the timing, more than anything else, that will make an individual's choice different from another's. All I'm saying is that it is in your power to decide whether you want to have a lengthy period of grief or a short one.

I'll mention one other aspect tomorrow, something that needs to be said. So stay tuned.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target


Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin

Thursday, 9th
(*Please forgive usage of first names without last names or last names without first names and some other technicalities. I've had to part, sniff, sniff, with my copy so another member could read it for this tour)

Into a terrible situation, the pain of lost loved ones, the introduction of a young man with a troubled past, Lakin adds yet another problematic character. Jerry owns the Riptide Motel. Trouble is Jerry has a mouth on him, a bad attitude, that may have something to do with a nasty divorce, and soon he's making waves of his own. No one in Breakers needs the aggravation that he brings, least of all Matt, Irene and Casey Moore. He directs everyone's attention to some things going on around town and the young man who seemed to show up at the same time. Gossip is a terrible thing. Fueled by anger, bitterness and who knows what else, Jerry inserts himself, and his problems, into the Moore's lives, as if they needed another headache to deal with.

I'm probably giving way too much away, and I apologize for that. I really am trying hard to hold back. Sorry Susanne if I've spoiled this for you, but it's nearly impossible to talk about your book without talking about these characters that have caused so much harm to each other, and to themselves.

Life is this way, and not because God is not in control. God is in control, but the enemy knows our weaknesses and for Christians he comes at us with the whole artillery it seems. We feel it most when we step out of fellowship with God through sin. That could be practically anything. It's easy to sin, I mean we were born into it. However, as Christians we have been born again, the old nature is supposed to pass away and in its place a new nature should arise. Yet we do have our own personal weak areas, because we are still being perfected in the faith. Satan knows all about these areas. He tempts us to step out from behind the protective shield of Jesus so that he can really do harm. Matt, Irene and Casey all have their own personal flaws. They are dealing with guilt, which is another great door for the enemy. So, just to make matters more interesting (at least that's what Satan must think), he throws more calamity into the mix. He tosses in Billy and then Jerry and they are like hand grenades tossed into our foxholes. Yet if we would resist sin, all sin, we would remain within the might refuge of the Lord. So we find out that this isn't just a family dealing with the pain of lost loved ones, as you might at first believe, but this is an all out spiritual warfare. And in your life and mine this same warfare takes place. When you and I sin we step out from the refuge of God, not losing salvation, but the fellowship and protection that comes from Him. As soon as we do the enemy, that dude that tempted you to step outside to begin with, begins to beat up on you. This is fact. This is truth. This also is truth; the devil never made you do anything. You chose to do wrong, if you have done wrong (I know I have). The devil temps us, sure, but he only has power over us when we give in to those temptations. That's because we have stepped out from under the protection of our Lord. What should we do? Repent, and get back behind those mighty walls. Let our Heavenly Father heal and protect us. Live as obedient children and all will be well. Death and other trials may still take place, but He will be right there with us, helping us get through these trials, and at the same time purifying us, so that we take on that perfect image of His Son. Just remember, if there's a Billy or a Jerry in your life you have two ways of handling it; you can resist the Lord and let them blow up in your life's situations, or you can obey the Lord and be a witness even to them. You choose. What do you want? life or death? It's up to you.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target


Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin




Wednesday, 8th
Okay, so we have the Moore family trying to run from their pain and digging their pit deeper and deeper. So why not throw into the mix a drifter with a hard past that he keeps hidden? Billy Thurber is a young man, short, but built like a logger. He has a kind of dark, handsome quality that Casey, the 14 year old daughter, finds not merely attractive, but magnetic. She seeks him out the same way a compass needle seeks out magnetic North. Matt sees his little girl growing up, and although he finds Billy to be a good worker, some of the words out of the kid's mouth when he sees his daughter tick him off. So, like many fathers, Matt draws a line in the sand. And like most daughters it becomes a challenge more than a boundary.

The introduction of this troubled youth into the story first pits father against daughter and daughter against father. Later on we see that Matt's apprehension is more than just some fearfulness about some lewd guy taking advantage of his daughter. The kid reminds him of Daniel, and that causes him more pain. He can't go through that again, and he can't put his daughter through that again. Irene also sees some similarities between Billy and their son, but as she did in the past, she sides with Billy, at least in part. This causes a serious rift in an already turbulent mix. Meanwhile Casey doesn't want her parents to associate Billy with Daniel, but to accept him for who he is. Maybe this time they'll get it right...maybe.

When I was growing up I used to say, "Things gotta get worse before they get better." I don't know if I was speaking trouble into my life or not, but it always seems that we won't let God work in us until we are brought low. Like Job, sometimes God has to take everything away from us so He can bless us. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but we have to remember that God is God, not you or me. Could God step in and force that loved one to quit an addiction, or come to the Lord? Could He have healed, even raised a loved one from the dead? Sure He could, but the question is not in His ability to do so, but in what God's purpose is. Often it is simply to strengthen His children who are weak so that they might share His love with the rest of the world. If that means taking something away from us, even a loved one, He is going to do it, and He alone has the right. Yet there are plenty of times that death, even sickness isn't God's doing at all. As you read this novel you'll see some of these things. God's plans for us are good (Jer. 29:11), but we follow our own evil minds, and every time we do that something called "life happens". You cannot stop a drunk from hitting someone if they decide to drive. You cannot blame God for the attack of a murderer or terrorists for that matter. I suppose the only thing we can do in these moments is to remember that "... we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12) Our enemy isn't that rude neighbor, that serial killer, even that terrorist, but the spirits that drive them. Our enemy isn't sickness and disease, but the spirit of fear that comes with it, if we let it. Our enemy isn't even death, if we have Jesus as Lord, for our place, our home is with Him. We are just passing through here. And as we are passing through, it is these spirits rebelling against God, and especially His children, that rise up against us. When that happens, life happens. There is pain, abuse, assault, murder, sickness and death. Yet in all of these we are more than conquerors through the blood of Jesus who conquered Death, Hell and the Grave, took on Himself our sin, our guilt, our judgment, so that we might be declared as righteous before the Heavenly Father. That is our peace.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target


Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin




Tuesday, 7th
I'm told that the properties that make up an atom; electron, proton and neutron, should push each other away. Their magnetic properties should make it impossible to hold together because while the electron and the proton are opposites, which attract, the neutron is a like quality that should repel the others. Yet they stay together. What does this have to do with Someone to Blame, by C.S. Lakin? The Moore family unit, consisting of Matt, Irene and Casey (father, mother and daughter respectively) is like an atom, at least as they are going through this pain and suffering. Matt handles things one way, Irene handles things quite the opposite way and Casey finds herself against them both. They are 3 people in the same house trying to keep from blowing apart.

Matt had a hard life growing up, but learned to tow the line. He expects the same out of the other members of his family and is shocked to find out other views are held, even worse, angered when his authority is challenged. Irene is kind and compassionate to the point that she constantly challenges her husband's authority. Casey looks on and rebels against the harsh attitude of her father as well as the unrealistic "softness" of her mother. So what holds these people together? What keeps them going when they should be all over the place, creating the human equivalent of a nuclear explosion? The very same thing that holds the tiniest atom together...Jesus. In Isaiah 48:13 we read, "Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together." It is the hand of God that holds everything together. He has been, and still is, in control. Now many of us, like the Moores, have difficulty seeing this. All they see are the eroding connections between them caused by distrust, anger and most of all incredible pain. Yet, if we turn to the Lord, will He not deliver? If we repent, shall He not forgive? When we call upon Him, does He not hear?

Be certain of this one thing, God understands the pain you may be going through if you are in a place like Matt, Irene and Casey (or other members I haven't yet touched upon). Did not the Father watch as His Only Son offered up His life for us that we might come unto Him with the full assurance of His children? Still, we often keep pushing the pain away, or try to. And it's like trying to keep back the ocean with a wall of sand. It cannot be done. That pain keeps eroding at the greatest fortress we have built against it until it dissolves the the sands of the shore before the crashing of the mighty waves. A good understanding of 1st Corinthians 10:13 shows us that not only will God not give us more than we can bear, but the escape He has prepared for us during those times is to actually go through the situation, but go through with Christ, not under our own power. So we are like atoms trying to explode, straining to move away from each other, but God holds all things together in His hands. After we finally realize that we must come to Him and face these troubled times, then we can feel the comfort and unity and love and security of our Heavenly Father. And in that day we shall recall another promise of God; "Weeping lasteth for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Take courage and await His dawn to arise in your life, and rejoice.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target


Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

SOMEONE TO BLAME, by C. S. Lakin

Monday, 6th

A family in pain, a town eager to blame...

In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt- ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads of their relationship unravel even more.

Breakers is a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest. Its cold isolation seems to mirror the hearts of the family seeking solace there. As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. They've once more set the stage for calamity.

Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores’. His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town – eager for someone to blame – goes after Thurber with murderous intent. Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way.

This is the teaser by C. S. Lakin for Someone to Blame, an excellent work, although the writing style bothered me a bit, but that's a personal thing and has little to do with the quality of this book.

The book starts with Irene Moore going over past events as she and her family are relocating to the coastal town of Breakers. Little by little we learn that the Moore's have lost their two sons. The reason for relocating was to try to escape their pain and start over. The really weird thing about trying to run away from your problems is that wherever we go we take ourselves with us. Now I know that may sound a little silly, but the problems aren't really "out there", but we take them with us. Oh sure, you may be thinking that these things happened to their sons, not Mr. and Mrs. Moore, but the pain of that became a lifeforce all its own. That pain we cannot run from. The Moores tried to run from it. They tried to hide from it. They tried to start over, but they could not run or hide or start over, not until they first dealt with the pain.

All of us are like this. We run, we hide, we make promises to ourselves, but we find we only make things worse. Christians realize that the sooner they go to the Lord with these problems the sooner He gives them the strength, not to run, but to go through the pain. That is what this book is about, at least in part, learning to go through the problem instead of trying to avoid it, and doing so with the power of God, not under our own strength.

You can read more by visiting:
Someone To Blame

And don't forget to visit her personal site:
C. S. Lakin

You can find Someone to Blame sold at the following online stores:

Christian Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Target

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.


Legal Notice:
It has become the legal obligation for us to notify you, the viewers, that we who have reviewed this book have received, in most cases, a copy of this work for free. While our reviews are in some fashion a payment for this book it does not diminish the quality of the work whatever they may try to make us say. This is a quality book. You would do good to read it.

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