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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, November 13, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


One of the highlights of this great novel is when Brett finds a way to teach Jay emotions. The way he does this is inspirational, but more importantly, being able to do so turns a corner in their relationship. The computer known as Jay shifted his role from pilot/communications/dietitian and other roles as just a computer to that of friend/guardian/counselor. He was able to do this because he understood Brett on an emotional level. Without this change it is altogether possible that the story may have had an altogether different ending.

To get a Biblical perspective on this point we have to realize that there is a certain relationship between God and His creation. He give us the ability to change the relationship from objects of His wrath to joint heirs with Jesus Christ. You see, it isn't some computer that learns something and changes, and God isn't going to change, but we are the ones who have to change. First though, God usually has to teach us how to be human, which may sound odd, but we come into this world spiritually dead. God needs to find a way to get us to hear Him, to wake us up out of our deathly sleep, so we can rise up to eternal life. A lot of times that means going through trials. God isn't the author of those trials, but He knows how to use them to get us to listen to Him, to open our eyes and hopefully our hearts. The thing is, we know how our story is going to end if we don't change our relationship. We will still be recipients of God's wrath, and as such suffer eternal punishment. We also know that if we do change our relationship and become children of God we are recipients of His eternal love, and that starts now and lasts forever.

I guess this isn't all that different from Brett and Jay, because Jay really didn't change. He was still a computer, but it was something in Brett that changed and let Jay in. When that happened Jay was able to function as something more than a glorified circuit-board. When we change we allow God to be God. I guess that's what I see here.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Friday, November 12, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


The one thing that fascinates me, although I also find it a little contradictory, is the way P.A. Baines handles travel at or exceeding the speed of light. For those of you who are not familiar with the term it means traveling at a speed at or in excess of 186,000 miles PER SECOND. Most people, including Einstein, believed that achieving speeds this great would be impossible. Yet since so many other SF writers delve into faster than light travel I suppose we should allow Mr. Baines the same rights as they. My one problem, however, is if Brett had to be specially protected during these times of hyper-space travel what was to protect the ship itself. If Energy equals Mass times the Speed of Light (C) squared, then shouldn't something happen to mass as it approaches that speed? Shouldn't matter itself revert to the energy it took to create it? Well, that's my understanding. Nevertheless, Mr. Baines still shows us another theory that Einstein held, one that says that as we approach the speed of light time slows down, and if we could ever exceed this speed time might even go backwards. This is something he does show in the book, although I'll let you find out for yourself exactly how.

Keeping this in mind, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could step outside of our time frame? Wouldn't it be marvelous if we could go back and undo some of the terrible things we have done? Did you know that in a way we can? Before there was time there was God. When time ceases to exist God will still be. He isn't bound by time, but created time for us. We have abused this in many cases, but when we cry out to the Lord, when we ask for His forgiveness, our sins are heaped on Jesus at Calvary. He takes our sins and unmakes them, essentially enabling us to go back in time and make things right. We cannot do that in our selves, but we can do that by being grafted into Jesus. There is something else about our time and God's time I'd like to share with you. When we pray we often feel that we don't have the time to pray, but did you know that God can make 5 minutes seem as though it were 5 hours or 5 days or even 5 years. In other words our time with Him, if we are sincere and truly humble before the Lord, need not take up any time in this realm, although it will seem to fill up a great amount of time. For when we truly step into God's presence time ceases to exist. I have seen this happen. I know it to be true. I have also seen another wonder. I had a great uncle who received Jesus as Savior, but then got led astray by false doctrine. During his last days my dad would visit him and although he was getting senile my dad recalls that he had forgotten all the false doctrines he had been taught yet remembered the Jesus who saved him. In a very real sense my great uncle had been brought back through time to erase the falseness that he once held to so that he might recall the Savior of his youth. In doing so my uncle died and went to be with the Lord. So in a sense I have seen Alpha Redemption lived out in my own life, or rather the life of my great uncle. That is because God is not willing that any should perish. While we still have freewill, the Lord will walk with us right up to that precipice that looks down into the pits of hell, always doing whatever He can to call us back to Himself. For He is the Good Shepherd who seeks out that which is lost to bring them back into His fold and be recipients of His eternal love.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


As I've said on a number of occasions, Brett is a broken man. Who wouldn't be following the death of his wife and kids? The thing is we all have our own ways of dealing with this kind of pain, most of them harmful to us. Brett's way is to isolate himself from others and to get drunk. After the first leap into hyperspace Jay asks him if he would like something to drink. His first request is beer. His second request is gin. The isolation thing he thinks he has down. I mean the only "person" there is the computer, Jay. Because of speed and distance any communication from earth lags way behind. So he's not in touch with anyone. Yet the request for booze seems interesting in that he isn't really in that much pain. Mostly he's been able to push his memories down so deep that he doesn't have to face them. So we see destructive behaviors can become habits. Both isolation and drinking to get drunk are detrimental to one's health, but even when he is more or less stable he clings to them both, well, as much as he can. Seems Jay can't russle up the beer or gin he wants.

Jesus knows all about us. He knows what we will turn to in our times of weakness. He knows all about our sorrow and pain. For this reason He said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11:28,29) Jesus knows that we cannot bear the trials of this life by ourselves, so He offers to take them upon Himself. It is interesting that Jesus doesn't say your burdens will disappear, in fact He says to "Take my yoke upon you", which sounds like adding another burden. The thing I've come to realize is the way we think is often the exact opposite to the way God works. You give to receive, you die to become alive, so comes as no surprise that here He tells us to take up His burden so that we would be set free of ours. If we remember that God is working in us to perfect us and make us more like His Son, then it begins to make sense. My dad pointed out a Scripture to me one day when I was a teenager. He had picked it to be his "verse for the year" as he put it. It was 1st Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." You see, God isn't about going around obstacles or looking for easy ways out. Instead He is about using every circumstance to make us stronger. Our obstacles become stepping stones and Jesus is our Foundation. We need to get into a different mindset instead of letting things get to us. We need to allow God to use things to make us like His Son.

We can be like Brett and fall into habits that take us down, or we can use the temptation and the power of the Holy Spirit to create in us truly God-like people. I don't know about you, but when I go to my real Home I want the Father to look at me and say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter in to the joy of the Lord."

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


A computer named Jay. That is Jay zed three four nine seven stroke see bee five dash zero four. It's understandable why Brett prefers to call him Jay instead of the whole model number. Jay is programmed with the latest in artificial intelligence software and is able to adapt, learn and imitate the way a human brain thinks, at least in some ways. Probably the most important thing about Jay is that he is Brett's sole companion on his voyage through the stars. As such there are times when they argue, times when they agree, times when Brett finds himself trying to teach Jay about emotions and so forth. All of this makes Jay more and more "human" for Brett as the trip progresses. I think Jay is an excellent character in the story, much the same in some ways as that soccer ball was in the movie Cast Away. There wasn't much the soccer ball could do, but the primary character turned the ball into someone he could talk to, and this kept him from going crazy. In the same way, while Jay is clearly more communicative, he is a machine and, for Brett, helps to keep him from going crazy. Once Jay learns emotions, however, this develops much deeper than a relationship between a machine and a man.

I suppose the point of this review is to show our necessity to have a relationship, whether it's with a soccer ball or a computer or other people, just to survive. We aren't built to live solitary existences, but to share our joys, fears, anxieties, frustrations, triumphs and everything else with someone else. Life gets pretty miserable, even if all around us seems to be going great, if we have no one to share this with. The reason for this is that God has created us like Him. If it can be said that God needs anything it would be the need to share Himself with others, to share the joys and wonder that He is with another. So being like God we have the need to share ourselves with others. The problem is that we often do so with others, on a limited basis because since we cannot trust ourselves we find it hard to trust others. This is fine up to a point. What we really need is to share ourselves with the God who created us. Just as He wishes to share all that He is with us, He awaits for us to share all that we are with Him. That may sound a little silly, but consider the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father didn't really need his son to return, but there was this gaping hole that drove the father to go out and look for his son's return each day, and when he saw him coming, he ran to meet him. There was no thought to his leaving, only that he had returned. This is the perfect, or near perfect image of our Heavenly Father. He waits for us to return to Him, to share Himself with us, to let us unburden ourselves to Him. In short, He longs to be our Father in every sense of that word. You see, relationship is so fundamental to true Christianity that His Spirit groans over this fact. There are a lot of people who call themselves religious, even Christian, but have never begun a relationship with God. There are plenty more who, although true Christians, waft in and out of fellowship with our Lord. We wonder where all this bad stuff comes from, when the truth of the matter is we wandered into it when we wandered out of fellowship with our Father. So we need to establish and maintain our relationship with our Creator. We need to love Him, praise Him, tell Him about our trials and problems. His is our Father, and by the blood of Jesus we have the power to come right into His presence. Now that is just awesome. This isn't religion. This is being able to know and comprehend God a little at a time as we spend time with Him. It's having a relationship with the greatest being there ever was or ever will be, and He offers us this gift. Perhaps that is why the words, "Follow Me," by our Lord cause a number of people to get up and leave their professions and follow Him. We need Him more than He needs us, and He built that need into us so that we would come to Him. Oh how He loves it when we do.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


As we fly across the cosmos with Brett Denton we find the past and the present coming together, albeit in a rather strangely orchestrated way. Our first view of Brett begins on the ground, before the interview, before space, before opening the letter in reply to an application he clearly filled out on a whim. The view is one of a man severely broken. One who is never far away from a bottle of beer to numb his pain. One who cannot see the pains others are going through, because his pain seems all-consuming. He is a man renting an apartment because living in the house he built for his wife and children would be unbearable. Personal hygiene and a clean apartment aren't his forte at the moment. He's lost, broken, dead to all feelings except the ever-present reminder of the loss of his family. Very much like a zombie he merely exists from day to day, perhaps hoping it will be his last, and yet knowing it will not be. This is mourning at its extreme.

Being 58 years old I've been to my fair share of funerals, and they seem to be coming more frequently. I've seen people die who have been truly loved, and others who were simply tolerated. I've known people were practically hated and their death came as a relief. I've know people whose loved one was a Christian when they died, and those who were not when they died. The one thing I've noticed is that with the death of Christians there is a deep sense of loss, and yet there is a comfort that comes with it. This is not the case with non-Christians. With non-Christians, by and large, the pain, suffering, mourning and despair. There is a reason for this. When people die without hope, they leave behind no comfort for the surviving members of the family and friends. Yet when they die in the Hope of Glory, His comfort surrounds the family members and friends with the kind of hope and mercy and grace that only God can give.

Now why am I saying all of this? Because although Rochelle was a Christian, Brett is not, at least not in the practicing sense. Because of this he has no idea how to grab hold of the comfort our Lord offers him. His despair is nearly total. Yet God in His mercy and grace meets Brett where he is, even if Brett will choose to reject Him again. So as Brett and Jay soar through space en route to Alpha Centuri they are not so much on a experimental space exploration mission as they are as with an encounter with God. And that, for the moment, is all I'm going to tell you. Want to know more? Read the book.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Monday, November 08, 2010

ALPHA REDEMPTION, by P.A. Baines


Brett Denton isn't your ordinary astronaut, in fact he's not much of an astronaut at all, even though that was once his dream job. Still we find Brett entering the Comet for an experimental space flight that is to go all the way to Alpha Centuri and back, something people have, until now, thought impossible. This flight is a shot for the space administration to prove that space flight at accelerated speeds are possible, and that vast distances can be covered safely. For Brett it is his one shot at doing something he always dreamed of doing. Yet even this is dulled by the fact that Brett is a broken man. He's loved exactly 3 people in his life; his wife Rochelle, and his sons Tim and Mark, all of whom died in a terrible plane crash. With his life spinning out of control he reaches out for this last ray of hope, his last chance to make something of himself. His only companion aboard the space ship is a computer he calls Jay. Together they make some awesome discoveries, about space travel, about themselves and about one another.

P. A. Baines puts together a story that, while keeping most of the reading easy and simple, is vastly complex. It's deep, and has ramifications beyond just the words written down on paper. Some have likened it to 2010 Space Odyssey, but since I never saw the movie or read the book I have no clue as to how close it is. What I did find was a story that delved into relationships, pain, suffering, and even redemption.

Our lives are stories much like Brett's on some levels. They may seem boring and rather trivial, but beneath the surface lies a complex fabric of fears, doubts, frustrations, and many different kinds of pain. We are usually artists when it comes to covering it up with a smile or some good talk, but inside we are hurting, just like Brett. And just like Brett we often have to come to the end of ourselves to be able to receive the comfort, peace and redemption that God offers us in Jesus Christ. I hope all of you get a chance to read this and find things in it that relate to your lives, and as you do, find your own way to the One who longs to bear your burdens.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Amazon
Barnes and Noble.

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


Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Day of Prayer

Once again we have the awesome privilege to come together in prayer, specifically for another successful blog tour. This week we will be touring P.A. Baines' novel, Alpha Redemption. As we look forward to this week, may our hearts first look into the eyes of Jesus, then, looking through His eyes, may we look at those around us, especially the members of the household of God, our family members and our friends. Do not neglect to love those who count themselves as our enemies, for the love of God is boundless, and we need to let them see this in our lives. So in keeping with this may we put each other first and ourselves last, just as our Lord did when He offered Himself to be our sacrifice. We were full of sin and an abomination before God, but Jesus became an abomination for us that we might be covered with His perfect righteousness. Let us not restrict ourselves with petty thoughts, with pride, with bitterness, with jealousy, or unforgiveness, but let us let His light shine brightly in us so that our world, the world around us, may come to know the person of Jesus and establish their own relationship with Him. Be a lighthouse to those out on the stormy seas of life and let Jesus be the Light in that lighthouse.

Dear Lord, we come to You and ask that you would bless this tour, not simply to increase sales, but to get this book into the hands of those people who will be changed by it, who will come to know something about You and Your love for them. We also ask that this book would sell many copies, but that is a secondary request. We ask that this book, and our tour, would bring You joy and honor, and please You. For we love You. Thank You in advance. Jesus we praise You and are awed that we can know You on such a personal and intimate basis. Thank You for making that possible, and may Your Spirit in our lives draw others to You that they might know the beauty of Your presence as we have come to know You. Amen. - David

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