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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, October 09, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


Today I'd like to talk a little about the author, Grace Bridges. Of the many authors I've read and even keep in contact with via email, Grace is one of the few authors I've had the privilege to actually meet, and that is largely because of the kind of person she is. To understand that statement let me go back in time and give you an historical account of how I came in contact with Grace Bridges and what I've seen over the years.

When CFRB was starting up we were looking for authors who couldn't find a means to promote their books. They were from small presses, unknown, didn't meet the Christian Bookseller Association's requirements. I stumbled upon another blog called the Lost Genre Guild. Primarily run by Frank Creed and Cynthia MacKinnon, LGG focuses on Biblical Speculative Fiction, or BibSpecFic, as they call it. On there was a very active and vocal young woman named Grace Bridges. She contacted me and soon after joined CFRB (while maintaining her ties with LGG) Then she started to talk to members of LGG about us and we started filling our members ranks with some truly wonderful people.

I found that Grace was doing work in Germany, an interpreter I believe, but was of Irish descent (hence the term Kiwi in her bio), yet her homeland was New Zealand. I found this to be strange. How could a young girl be living halfway around the world from her home? Yet, that was the case. She introduced me to her father (online of course). Sadly he died this past year.

When her tour of work in Germany was over she went to Africa for a "vacation", then made a lengthy pit stop in the country of her ancestry, Ireland, where she took many pictures. That's another thing about Grace. She's a shutterbug, capturing everything she sees, if she can, with her camera. And if she can get you to, do be surprised if she starts to interview you while the video mode is on. She's put together more videos than I can count. She's also a workaholic ;-) Even on vacation she will settle in at night to write out "a few thousand words" of her latest project.

After Ireland Grace intended to meet as many CFRB and LGG members as she could on her way across the U.S. making her way home. I forget the count, but you can find a video about that on her site as well. And that is how I met Grace...coming off the train in Port Jervis, NY. I was embarrassed to put her up in a rundown old hotel, but as it happens, the owner is a Christian. So she was even instrumental in my meeting him. She made all these stops across the U.S. and even took in a Steve Chapman concert, then finally headed home. We started receiving pictures of her beautiful homeland, her family, where she was staying, and even the designs she was working on for Legendary Space Pilgrim's cover. We heard music, laughter, were treated to guided tours of various places in New Zealand and more.

Grace Bridges is like a spark plug. If you get close enough to her the spark in her will ignite your engine. She does this by being so filled with life herself. So when she started Splashdown Books I wasn't really surprised. If anyone could make a go of it that person would have to be Grace Bridges. She has her 2 books, of course, Faith Awakened and Legendary Space Pilgrims, and Alpha Redemption, by P.T. Baines (which was mentioned as noteworthy in Brandilyn Collins' newsletter by the way along with Splashdown Books) and has signed on Caprice Hokstad for her books, which previously had been self-published.

If you think I'm stretching things, maybe just a hair, let me tell you, I've just touch the surface. Now I'm not really here to give Grace a big head or anything. She is totally sold on reaching the world through the written word. Anyone who knows her understands that. She's on Shoutlife, Facebook, LinkedIn and a number of other networks, some of which I had to cut out of my own life because I couldn't keep up.

All in all I think Grace Bridges understands what it means to "redeem the times", to "occupy until I come", because that is precisely what she is doing. I, and many others I know, are proud to know her. Does she have all the answers? No. Is she perfect? No, not yet at least, but she's making a better effort than many others I've known for years and years. It is my sincere prayer that she would continue to be available to the Lord in all things and as she does, be blessed. It's nice knowing I have a sister in Christ that I can truly be proud of, and it has been a privilege to call her so and to call her my friend. God bless the works of your hands Grace. - David

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

Friday, October 08, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


Despite the magnificent trimmings, Legendary Space Pilgrims is really a story about good verses evil, or to be more precise, God verses ego. We start out with a couple workers on Planet Monday who are directed by a Voice who protects them and guides them. In contrast to these people are the rulers of Monday, the Baxters. They really have a thing about control and when their control is threatened they will go to all lengths to "correct" the problem, which basically means to eliminate Mario and Caitlyn. During their travels Mario and Caitlyn find themselves learning a lot about the Voice and about one another.

Does it surprise you that this could be boiled down to good verses evil? I mean, can't every good story really be reduced to the same thing? Take any classic piece of literature, any book, any story, any movie, and you'll find at its core the age old war of good verses evil. Only Grace Bridges takes it a step further. She identifies the good as the Voice, some unseen, almost unknowable being who takes an interest in the lives of those everywhere. Then she turns around and identifies evil as ego or pride. Isn't that really the case? Isn't pride at the root of every sin known to us humans? Notice I didn't say that evil was the Baxters. I think that would be taking things a step further than it should be. In Ephesians 6:12 (I believe) we are told that our war isn't against flesh and blood. Our battle isn't against other people, but against the spirits who motivate them. The story isn't finished and I'm sure we have a lot more to learn from these Space Pilgrims. Yet be assured, God is always in control, so don't be surprised if there is a happy ending to this story. After all, God not only created us, but is the author of happy endings, but He leaves the choice to the endings of our stories up to us. Each of us can live "happily ever after" if we so choose. It doesn't mean life will be easy, only that we can find joy and happiness in life nonetheless, and after this life there is an eternal place where we can live with God in happiness and peace, or be cast out into bitterness, torment and unrest. The choice is up to us, just as it was for Mario and Caitlyn. May I offer a word of advice? When offered a choice between life and death by the Almighty God, choose life. You'll be glad you did.

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

Thursday, October 07, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


More on the Voice. As I thought about it, Grace Bridges teaches more than just a Voice that speaks to us. We learn of the many other voices we also hear, some of them line up with the Voice, while others do not. The most obvious is when Mario and Caitlyn are in the Mindwipe facility. There they both hear another voice, a recording or something, telling them how worthless they are. Later on we get other, more subtle, examples. For instance Mario follows his own voice on occasion, as does Caitlyn. Then there are the voices of the Baxters and the various members on Viva. Sometimes they line up with the Voice, while other times they are deceptively leading Mario and Caitlyn away from the true mission Voice has for them.

To me, this is all too familiar. We live in a world of many voices. Some are in line with God's voice, but others are either outright opposing God's voice or so deceptive it's hard to tell the difference. The only way to know the true voice of God is to spend time with God in prayer and the reading and studying of the Bible, for the Bible is the Voice of God. Jesus told His disciples "My sheep know My voice and they follow Me." I had a problem with that Scripture for the longest time. I wanted to know what the voice of the Shepherd sounded like. Then, at a time when I really needed to know this God directed me back to John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." I realized then that the Bible is the Voice of the Shepherd. The Bible is the Voice, the Word of God. When things line up with the Bible I know it to be Him speaking. I'm still learning, because the enemy can be very deceptive. I'm learning about the authority I have in Jesus, and I'm learning that when the Bible talks about Satan being the accuser of the brethren it is very literal. I have felt the accusing words of the enemy, pointing out each and every one of my faults. Yet in Christ all these faults have been washed away. They don't hold power over me. I am free to follow the true Voice, the Voice of God, His Word. Yet I am only as successful as I am obedient to His Voice and can only hear God as well as I have placed His Word in my heart.

As we go through Legendary Space Pilgrims we see Mario and Caitlyn going through a process of getting to know this Voice, getting to know their responsibility to the Voice, getting to know the authority they have when they have the Voice in them. They realize that they can forget the Voice if they don't keep repeating them. We are much the same. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. When we stop reading the Bible we often forget the voice of God and then we fall into all kinds of problems. We must continue to remind ourselves of what God says by reading His Word and listening for His voice in those words. Then, and only then, will our faith grow and we can live victorious. And just like Mario and Caitlyn, this is going to be a process, not something that happens overnight. Yet our attitude, our choice to be Godly can start right now, even if it takes a lifetime to master. In the meantime we walk in Christ. He is our spacepod through a life of adventures and learning, so that, in the end, we might become like Him.

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


"Why doesn't the Voice ever speak to me?" Caitlyn moans at one point in the book. I expected Grace to have this Voice speak to her at a later time, "when she was more receptive". Yet this bold author pulled a fast one on me, and I love it. "I speak to you with words," the Voice explains to Mario, "but to her I speak through her emotions." We see the Voice directing her through her emotions and that direction being verified through the words spoken to Mario. This made the story so much more rich and realistic to me.

Did you know this concept is true, not necessarily limiting it to two ways of speaking, and not always divided up on the gender lines like it is here, but God created us as individuals and only He knows how to speak to us so we will hear (although most of the time we don't). I know I can hear God in the words of a work of fiction or even while watching a movie, and not it doesn't have to be a Christian movie. God uses who I am and what I do to speak to me, although God also will speak to me in other ways as well. The upshot is that while God is speaking to His other children He is doing so differently, because each one of us is different, and yet, we all end up hearing the same message. Isn't that marvelous? Yet, we've seen this before. If you will look at the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts where the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 who tarried in prayer you will see this. From every known nation on earth the Jews who were celebrating the Passover heard them. They heard these people speaking in their own tongue (not 120 different languages, but each heard them praising God in their own language AT THE SAME TIME). Too often we limit God. I think Legendary Space Pilgrims helps to break some of our preconceived ideas that limit Him so we can begin to see just how great He really is...or at least catch a glimpse.

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


In one case God's Word did not bring peace, but increased emotions, but that was to set off the emo-chips of both Mario and Caitlyn. This is where they start out on their quest, and was only made possible by Mario and Caitlyn putting their trust in this Voice. As they followed the voice they eventually found themselves flying about in space. Grace uses this initial situation to show us some of the humorous side of life. Her descriptions are awesome.

In the Bible God tells us that the ways of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord. We may not always understand why God is putting us into a certain situation, but we can always trust Him to be faithful. In the end God will do mighty things, both ministering to people and glorifying Him. This is one thing I think we all need to remember. In all things God must be glorified. He is the potter and we are the clay. His is God, we are His creation. If He chooses to do something in our life and we are faithful, then He will show us how He is glorified. It isn't about what we get, but about what we can do for the Lord. This was the second thing I noticed.

When you are going through some trial or tribulation, go to God and make sure you aren't the reason you are in that situation, because sin will lead us into hard places. Then, after making things right with God, learn to be obedient. Learn to trust God, even if the way is hard. The psalmist wrote, "Yea, tho I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." We must also learn to praise God in times of darkness, accepting His correction with humility and thanksgiving, for God disciplines all those He loves.

Just the other night I was at a Men's Fellowship meeting and the pastor spoke on the difference between expectancy and expectation. Expectancy leaves room for possibilities, because it isn't grounded in our control or will, but truth. Expectations are, and as such leave us filled with a lot of disappointment. In my notes I wrote something to the affect, "Discouragement is often an ingredient used to achieve God's possibilities." Isn't that beautiful? Now look at Mario and Caitlyn. Not all of their journey is easy. They are changing in many ways and on several plains. Often they are met with discouragement, but the Voice calls to them and tells them to carry on. God's possibilities can only be realized through obedience, and what did the Voice first say to Mario? "Listen to me..." May we begin to listen to God, accept the trials that come into our lives so God can magnify Himself. Then we will see what is possible with God, not just what is possible with man.

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

Monday, October 04, 2010

LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS, by Grace Bridges


October 4th. It's finally here, Legendary Space Pilgrims, by Grace Bridges. If I'm not mistaken she was working on the rough draft when she drifted through this way coming from Ireland, crossing the U.S. on her way to New Zealand. I admit I had little understanding of what it was all about, but now that it's out, along with her brand new publishing company, I can say it is a truly marvelous piece.

Ever have one of those dreary Monday mornings where nothing seems right, but there isn't anything in particular you can point to that is wrong? I think we all have, but what if someone with limited imagination decided to name your planet Monday, and what if every day was gray, and dismal, and everything about your day was the same as the previous day? What if there was no chance of any change? Now that would be truly miserable for me, and I'm certain you'd find it that way. Well, welcome to planet Monday, where Mario gets up out of his gray bed, takes his shower, looks out the window at the gray buildings against the gray clouds, then goes down to the gray dining room and eats some kind of sludge that passes for food. Do that day in and day out and see if you can keep your head on straight. Add to that the fact that you have these "emo-chips" implanted in you to keep you from getting out of hand. When your emotions run too high you are treated to a mindwipe, which really throws everything into a spin, because when you come back from it you don't really know. You've forgotten almost everything about your past. In a way I guess it's the only way for people to exist in a world that doesn't change.

Mario's world, however, is about to change, and in the most drastic of ways. He hears a Voice, and that Voice becomes the Rock he stands on. What I found interesting about "the Voice" was that the words were familiar to me, and that, although they didn't seem to target a particular problem in Mario's life, the brought him peace. The Word of God is like that. The more you get into God's Word, the more of God's Word gets into you, and when that happens, even though the situation may be difficult or outright dangerous, you can still have peace. Grace Bridges teaches us ever so subtly, how to have peace in the middle of our storm. This became a primary focal point for me as I read the book. Even his friend Caitlyn is soothed by the words as Mario repeats them to her. There is power in the Word of God. He is our Voice, but if we don't spend time with Him in prayer, if we don't spend time in His Word, then the power God wants His children to have cannot be given, for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing of the Word of God.

Grace is the owner and editor of Splashdown Books. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild Blog. Visit Grace's Blog for links to all her interests.


Purchase Legendary Space Pilgrims from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Splashdown Books.

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

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