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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 08, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson


One of the final things I'd like to make about Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson, is that not everyone has the same talents. In fact we all have differing talents, although some may be similar to others and will overlap still more. (I'm trying to do these reviews after my own fashion, so I can tell you what's in there without telling you what's written in there and giving the story away.)

Consider military forces engaged in conflict. Are all ground soldiers? Even among them are they all snipers, or radiomen, or medics? Doesn't the military have need of all of these, as well as airman and naval personnel, whose jobs are equally varied? So why must we insist that Christians all be like one another? Scripture teaches us, in several places and by different human authors, that we are all members of One Body. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts, the Son gives us offices, the Father gives the orders. We are all different for a reason, and one way to achieve victory is to stop insisting others become like you, or trying to become like someone else. We must ask God to make us into the kind of warrior He wants.

In our story we find Reg and Rebecca have different talents. They even hold different ranks, but fighting together they become unbeatable (with Angel and Angela, and of course God). As they let God create them into the person they were meant to be, sometimes using hurtful memories of the past, he walks them through to a different, new, and vibrant life, where they are a warrior unlike any other on the battlefield. This is how we are to be. We are to realize that our ultimate strength is God and God alone, and beyond that we are to allow God to mold us into that which He has already predetermined we should be. In this there is not only personal victory, but victory for the rest of the army. We will stop killing off our own soldiers and help the wounded off the field. God sends His medics to care for the wounded. So if you find encouraging someone to be more to your personality than preaching, perhaps it's because you are one of these medics. Or perhaps you are one of God's heroes who will go into the throes of battle and carry away the wounded to safety. Don't try to become someone you are not. Let God create you to be the person He wishes you to be. Always remember, the ultimate victory was already achieved through the death of Jesus on the cross. Now that almost gets back to my last review on humbling ourselves. Hmmm. Maybe I should have stayed there a bit longer.

Needless to say there is so much in this book that you can't help but enjoy it and be enriched by it. I want to thank James Robert Wilson personally for this book, and for helping me in my spiritual walk through pointing me to the Word of God in places that I really needed to see God speaking to me in. Thank you. For the rest of you, pick up this book and be enriched and encouraged yourselves.


Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson


This is going to sound a little backwards, so before I talk about obtaining ultimate victory I think I'm going to talk about the way our society thinks verses the way God thinks, so far as I understand it.

We say, in order to become rich we must gain as much as we can. God says, in order to be rich we must give everything away.

We say, in order to become famous we need to let everyone else know of our great deeds. God says, if we really want to become famous we must become lowly, and He will see that we are lifted up.

It seems that each of our human perceptions is the exact opposite of the Truth. Perhaps that's because we are only looking in a poor mirror. Ever try to trim your hair while looking in the mirror? It's nearly impossible because your hand wants to go in the exact opposite way it needs to go. So it is with God. We may see what we are supposed to do, but we see the mirror image of it, and go the opposite way. Just as we have to have someone else trim our hair we need someone else to direct our life's actions.

In Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson, as well as in our Christian walk, the only way to be victorious on the spiritual battlefield is to surrender. That may sound absurd, but I'm not talking about surrendering to the enemy. I'm talking about surrendering to God. There is so much in us that opposes God, even after we become Christians, that in order to truly become useful to Him as His soldiers we must surrender ourselves to Him. If you fail in this please don't become discouraged. Surrendering ourselves to God is a lifelong process. The more we surrender the more we become like Christ. Here is one very good place to start; "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2) This means that we are to follow Paul's instructions found in Ephesians 5:26, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."

As you can see, and read some really graphic examples in Some Have entertained Angels, we need to humble ourselves before God in order to be of any use to Him. The more we are humble before Him, the more useful we are to Him, and the more we find ourselves living in victory instead of defeat. Defeat is not characterized so much by our stumbling and falling as it is by our giving up. This we must never do. To get a real grip on this you'll have to do your own study of enduring until the end, although we see even that in this little book.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson


In yesterday's review I talked about angels, and I talked about prayer as one of our most valuable weapons. Today let's focus on another weapon, one James Robert Wilson also focused on in Some Have Entertained Angels. It is our sword. Even in Scripture we sometimes see angels with swords. Remember the angel set at the entrance to the Garden of Eden? He had a sword, a flaming sword. In Ephesians 6:17 the apostle Paul talks about the "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

In conversation and even in one study I did I talk about spiritual swordsmanship. You don't become a master swordsman just because you are given a sword. That is why so many Christians today live in defeat. To become a master swordsman you must get to know your sword. In the military, especially basic training, soldiers are made to sleep with their weapons, or at least some drill instructors find this effective. The idea of spending time with their "sword" seems to make them better soldiers. There is also training on the firing range. When talking about a literal sword the same thing holds true. You must spend time with your sword. You need your hand to feel the grip, the way it balances in your hand, the way it responds to your own movement. So they train. They will pair up with another and practice blocks, thrusts, parries, and the like. The more time they spend getting to know their sword and the way they can control it, the better swordsman they become.

In the spiritual sense, the Word of God, as I've already pointed out, is our sword. We have to spend time with God's Word. We have to get it into us, but intellectually and spiritually. Intellectually only helps us so far. We only understand the way it feels. As we begin to understand it spiritually we begin to see how we can use it in our own lives for our own battles. This is true because we are getting to know the "Sword Maker" better, and it is His Spirit, not ours, that will ultimately make us great and feared swordsmen of the Lord.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilsom


Can angels get hurt? James Robert Wilson tackles this question in a very interesting way. In fact, I never even thought of angels getting hurt. Reg is shown what happens when an angel does more than they are called to or fights with such abandon that they leave themselves open to attack. Now I'm not if this is exactly the way it works, but you have to admit, if an angel could be stopped from giving Daniel the answer to his prayer, then there are limits to their power. Also, demons, who are fallen angels, displayed anguish when Jesus cast them out of people. Perhaps their anguish isn't exactly physical, but more psychological or emotional, and certainly spiritual, but it is pain just the same.

Given these short examples, then, is it possible that angels God sends to protect us sometimes go through the same kinds of pain? And why might that be? I believe that there is a direct link between the faithfulness of a Christian, especially in their prayer life, and the level of protection an angel is capable of achieving. Daniel persevered and God sent another angel to help the one bringing the message so Daniel would get it.

I've always thought of prayer as "air support" during battle, at least part of prayer's abilities. It's like being out on patrol and getting pinned down by mortar fire. Now if your radioman is down and you can't get word out, chances are your patrol is going to die sooner or later. Even if all the mortar fire can do is pin you down, it can do so while an enemy patrol catches you on your flanks. This is why they will call in for air support. You need to knock out that mortar, take that hill, before you can be relatively safe. Prayer is like that. Prayer is sending God the coordinates of where you are and where the main enemy attack is coming from. You can request, and receive, a counter attack against the enemy through prayer.

Although the author doesn't describe prayer in quite those terms the idea is still there. And you have to wonder, if we can get hurt, even those providing air support, then is it possible for angels giving us support to get hurt as well? While all of this is speculative I think he handled the question well. Do not the angels rejoice over every single person who comes to the Lord? Wouldn't they also weep over every battle we tried to fight on our own and lost, or tried to fight with them and didn't give them the full benefit of our prayers? They are, after all, creations of God, just as we are. The main difference is that we have chosen sin as a way of life. When we turn from that death to salvation found in Jesus we enter into spiritual warfare. Why Jesus would become a man and die for us is something the angels do not understand. There is no redemption for angels. Either they belong to Satan, a fallen angel himself, or they belong to God. So the whole idea of salvation to the heavenly angels is something that is beyond their realm of comprehension. Because of their obedience to God they instruct us and protect us just the same, even if they don't understand. And I believe they weep as well when they see us fall. It may not come into their minds that once we are saved by the grace of God the only way we can lose that grace is to renounce it.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson


One of the things that I have personally found just awesome in the Bible is how we, as Christians, are at war. James Robert Wilson's entire book deals with this. While this is not a exhausted study on spiritual warfare, hey, it's a story, not a textbook, Wilson does capture some of the key components. Reg has the "advantage" of having an angel instruct him, but really, all the information is in the Bible. If we would only allow the Holy Spirit to open up the Word of God to our hearts we would learn more than Reg.

Step one: You can't be trained in God's army until you belong to it. That means you have to pass over from death unto life by faith in the atonement made for you by Jesus Christ, and His resurrection from the dead. I mean, any Commander in Chief would be foolish to train soldiers of an opposing army.

Step two: You must realize that you are in a war, a spiritual war. This is the step that usually creates a problem with immature Christians. They are saved, but they don't know they are in a war. Until they realize this they can't be trained. Becoming aware of this spiritual war and opening your whole being to God, makes you trainable. You'll make mistakes, but God isn't worried so much about the mistakes. You are, after all, in training.

Step three: You must be trained. This again becomes an obstacle to many because even though they are aware that a war is going on all around them, they allow fear or sin or whatever to keep them on the sidelines. Once they surrender to God, then He is able to train them. Each warrior of God has one very special talent, and that is the ability to allow God's power flow through them. How this is manifested is up to the Holy Spirit and the circumstances of that particular battle. So God trains us. He puts us in situations where we will have to reach beyond ourselves and trust Him. For in Him we find our true power and strength. (This is nicely brought out in Some Have Entertained Angels by the way)

Step four: You have to enter battle. Now don't be deceived. Even battles are part of our training, but training for something beyond when we will just be warriors. The Bible gives us glimpses of what we will be doing in Heaven, and it's not sitting at the table eating, or bowing down and praising God, or playing harps, although (minus the harps) those things will be part of our experience. The apostle Paul tells us that we will judge angels, and in another place that we will govern nations. Understand, at that time we will have a new immortal body, that is perfect and holy. One that is not limited by time and space. So we will be able to do all this things, and more, all at the same time. So we are being trained, fashioned, to become like Christ in the most ultimate of ways possible without actually becoming Christ Himself, so that we, like Him, and in Him, can enjoy our rest, oversee peace, administer justice and righteousness. These are things we should be learning to do now. We may fail, but there will come a day when all this training comes to bear and we will not fail, nor shall we glory in ourselves. We will know fully and completely that we are holy and righteous because of Jesus, and that one thing alone will so fill us with joy that we will be unable to contain us.

The Call: God is looking for people willing to submit so totally to Him that they will not only deny their every selfish desire, but be filled with a zeal to do whatever God asks of them. People who will try and fall down and get back up again. God knows we aren't perfect. That's why He's training us. You see, there is a whole world out there that doesn't know that He loves them. If we can let them know, even in our failures, God will use us.

You'll find elements of each of these steps throughout this wonderful work, and more if you are willing to look for it. I hope you'll pick up a copy today and see some more about the beauty of God that you haven't seen or realized before.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson


I've always loved this verse from Hebrews, how we are to be mindful of strangers, for in doing so some have entertained angels. In James Robert Wilson's book derived from that verse we first meet Reg, living on the street. The feeling is that he's a bum at first. He has 37 cents and is trying to figure out how to make it last at least through the day. Enter Polly, the pastor's wife. She invites Reg to dinner, and more. In this example you can see how Reg was an angel who ministered to her and her family on several levels, but Wilson wants to take this book deeper. Reg isn't a real angel, like an angel from Heaven, but he does meet one. And this is the beginning of an incredible journey that must be read to appreciate.

The author is careful to keep his story Scripturally sound. Where there are places that speculation is used I believe he gives the reader the space to agree or disagree without harming the story. I was enthralled by many of the descriptions Wilson used in his book. This is a story teller who is at his best.

But let's go back to the initial theme, entertaining angels, or strangers. There is a real sermon here that doesn't come out that way, but needs to be heard by each of us. The pastor's wife wouldn't have been blessed in the way she was if she didn't step out of her comfort zone and reach out to those in need as the Bible teaches. Reg wouldn't have achieved his "greatness" if he didn't accept her hospitality and through that learn about a greater love shown to him by God. It was a story that he'd heard of all his life, but had strayed away from. So he entertained this strange new concept of a God who could love him regardless of all the people he hurt, all the bad he did in the past. And in doing so God met him in a special place and in a special way.

Do you think that this is just fantasy? Do you really think that this is something that can only survive in fiction? I can tell you from personal experience that when we step out of our comfort zone, when we repent of the things that displease God, He is able to meet us in some rather fantastic ways. I can list a number of things that God has worked in and through my life that would make this story seem mild by comparison, so I know God works. Perhaps the only oddity would be all these people being "children" of a Neanderthal's genes, one who had been preserved in ice over centuries. This is something that is just as much a possibility as those who talk about the sons of the Anakim for their vampire stories. In other words, it's just a vehicle to get the story out. But the truths are real. I can attest to that.

Unfortunately I was not able to find a website for James Robert Wilson. You can find his book for sale on the following sites:



Legal notice: I received this book in order to write and publish a review. My review is seen, even by me, as payment for such a service. However, let me hasten to state that this in no way diminishes what I've written. If I say a book is awesome, then I found it to be so and believe others will as well.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

October Day of Prayer

Day of Prayer for October 2011

Recently one would think God was so upset with the world that everything seemed to hit at once, globally and personally. In the Southwest rain is becoming a memory. Crops have died, livestock had to be sold before they died...at greatly reduced prices. Fires broke out. Then came Hurricane Irene. A good portion of the East Coast (US) was hit so hard that it continues to feel after affects. Trees, homes, roads, suddenly disappeared. Bridges became suspect. (In 2005 we had a flood up here and there's a photo of a house floating down the river and bumping into our bridge). I'm told that in New Jersey alone at least 40 people died during this hurricane. As we are reeling to get our equilibrium back I received email from Pakistan. They too were hit with floods, so I know my friends in India were suffering likewise. Politically, well, where do you start? The officials in D.C. who seem to be intent on running this country into the ground or a renewed effort by Palestinians to open up "peace talks"? Several countries that had in the past backed Israel are either slowly moving away from that place as an ally, others move directly into that of enemy. A pastor in Kenya reports the church secretary was murdered. A pastor in India reports of neighbors, all Hindu, who have turned loud amplifiers towards his little church and blasts Hindu songs. In other places Buddhists have beaten up a pastor, brought any Christians they found to court, and even are burning up churches. I'm told that in Iran a pastor will be executed because he refuses to denounce his Christian faith. Personally I will be going into the hospital for some mild surgery, a friend has just come out of the hospital. I know more people who have some kind of illness or physical need than I can ever remember. One woman's father recently died. The list goes on and on. I'm sure you could add your observations, your own needs to this ever-growing list.

The point of this post, however, is to point you to the Almighty. For He tells the waters just how far they may come. He shuts up the Heavens in a place and releases, the clouds according to His will. All our days are known by Him. He knows when we rise up and when we lie down. He knows what we do, what we think, what we say, and still He is willing to forgive us. So we should not look upon the mountains of things that need to be met in prayer so much as we should focus on the One who is able to meet every one of those needs above and beyond even our imagination to ask. For all good things come down from the Father. The mountain of troubles and trials is but a molehill in light of all that God has blessed us with. So let us rejoice. Let us give thanks to the Creator, who has become our Father through the shed blood of Jesus. For He is Light. He is Love. If there be any darkness, then in praise as God grows more and more in us, this darkness must leave. If there be any hatred or evil, it shall be displaced by the full love of a God willing to become a man to die for you and me. What are you going through today that can match the wonders of God's gifts given to us?

"Lo I am with you always, even until the ends of the earth." As we pray for this weeks tour of Some Have Entertained Angels, by James Robert Wilson, may we keep this one thing fully in mind...God is God and when He is allowed to be in control the very kingdom of the enemy trembles. And if we, believing in Him and walking in obedience by the power of His Holy Spirit, speak the words He puts in our mouths, the Gates of Hell are shaken out of their place, and many who have been held there are released (those who have not yet died, but whose souls have been captured by the Deceiver). We have the power of life and death in our tongue. This week, may we begin to learn how to use it to speak only life.

David Brollier

Saturday, September 17, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS, by Ted Dekker


While Ted Dekker is a writer of the Christian horror genre, Immanuel's Veins is unlike anything else I've read by him. Perhaps the most powerful part of this story isn't about the vampire-like myth that it revolves around, but about one man's journey from darkness to the Light. For Toma did not believe in a god, or if there was one he figured it was of no concern to him. He had become a hero in his own right, and in his mind, perhaps, one might say he became his own god. I have always thought that the greatest anti-God is self. God calls it pride. Whatever term you may use, when you put yourself on a throne that is not yours to sit upon you can be sure of one thing....trouble. So it was with Toma. He followed his warrior instincts and ended up facing his own lusts, and at that juncture the demon made himself known. Toma is wise enough to conclude that if there is a devil there must be a God. He is further sure that only this God knows how to defeat this devil.

And so we find ourselves nearing the end of the story. I'm not going to spill everything, but I do wish to point out some truly remarkable issues Dekker makes clear. First, Toma, being unschooled in the Word of God, goes to the only place he can think of for help...the church. So many in our world are doing the very same thing. They have run into their own demons and realize that the only way to defeat those devils is known by those who know God, so they go to church in search of that key to unlock the power of God against these demons and set them free. Second, Toma finds a priest who not only chastises him for climbing onto the holy sanctuary in muddy boots. After listening to Toma's story, at Toma's insistence, the priest advises him to set out the following morning at dawn. Yet it is at dawn the priest arrives to put Toma into prison.

I want to make this very clear. I want every visitor to understand what is being said here, for it is one of those great unfortunate truths. There are many people in the world who are searching for the Truth, although they don't really know what that may be. Instinctively the first place they search, in most cases, is the church. It doesn't matter what Christian denomination, because to them they all serve the same God. What happens next is so horrible I can hardly contain myself, for many people calling themselves Christians will outright bar these people from their services, or make them feel so uncomfortable that they will never return again. What? Are we so perfect that we can both judge and condemn those who walk through our doors? We are like people in a lifeboat of a sinking ship throwing firebombs at anyone else who might try to enter the boat and find safety. Instead of lifeguards many have become vessels of death. Instead of compassionate people many have become judges.

I once had a dream, it was a personal chastisement, but I wish to share it with you. In my dream I was walking along the sidewalk, when suddenly a great earthquake shook beneath my feet. Behind me the sidewalk had opened up into a great, bottomless cavern. The sidewalk itself had been tipped up at an angle of at least 45%, but it didn't seem to affect me. Others slid by me and held on with their last ounce of strength to the edge of the gaping hole behind me. I then heard God telling me to reach out and help those who were dying. In my dream I found that I could pull people up if they would take my hand, and it wouldn't pull me in. My strength, you see, was in Jesus. He was the foundation upon which I stood, while the world slid past me towards destruction. I share this with you because perhaps you too realize those in our world are slipping past you towards an eternal punishment. I say to you, if you truly are living in Christ, then His power lives in you. You have the power and the command to reach out and save any who would receive the message of Hope in Christ.

Do they have earrings or other piercings? So what? Are they dressed improperly? That is not yours to judge. Do they say vulgar things or listen to vulgar things? What of it? Are they doing drugs, smoking, lustful, or any other thing? Does it matter at this point? We tend to judge people in the most unacceptable of ways. Yes, there are all kinds of people, doing all kinds of things that we know God may not be pleased with, but that is not ours to decide. We are simply to be, as Jesus put it, "Fishers of men." If this is true, then let me ask a question my pastor uses. "Do you clean fish before you catch them?" Those of you attempting to do so will find you have caught frightfully few "fish." Those of you willing to catch any fish, no matter how ugly or beautiful they may appear and leave the cleaning to God will find that your catch is greater. When Jesus gives the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15) and the son returns, he's covered in pig slop, sweat, perhaps even his own vomit. Yet look how the father receives this wayward son. He throws his arms around him and kisses him. This is how we should be. Don't worry about the dirt, the pig slop, the vomit, or anything. Just throw your arms around them and receive them as those who were lost and now have found their way home. God will clean you both up and provide new clothes for you to wear. In fact, weren't some of you (and me) covered with such filth that we were amazed that God would accept us? This is how we should be. If we do not wish to be like that we had better stop calling ourselves Christians.

Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Friday, September 16, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS, by Ted Dekker


The life is in the blood. That is what Scripture tells us. In Immanuel's Veins we quickly run into a perverted lust for blood. The first hint is when Alek and Toma go to Natasha's room at the insistence of Lucine, her sister. The sight includes bedsheets covered with blood. Later Natasha returns with her nightgown on, stained with blood on the front, yet there are no visible wounds. There is a bottle of wine near by and she tells them that she spilled the wine, which we later find to be false. Just how the blood came to be on her clothing and bedsheets I'll leave for you to find out. Nevertheless, you can be assured this is a retelling of an old vampire myth. While the term vampire never is used, to my recollection, there is reported to be a myth about a people in the hills who drink people's blood and live long lives. Because of the dating of the tale it is very easy to assume that this incident is how the whole vampire myth came about, which is kind of interesting.


Duke Vlad van Valerik explains that there is life and power in the blood. It is a line of seduction he uses on every one he seduces. Those following him use the same line, with variations. We learn of the lineage of the duke, and that he is not as young as he appears, but in fact hundreds of years old. The strength, power, physical agility, mental awareness, are all aspects of drinking blood, the blood of others. There is a provision, the blood must be offered. In order to get others to give their blog these creatures first give their blood, which attacks and confuses the senses like a heady drug. They are then willing to agree to almost anything asked of them. It is interesting to notice how little is given and how much is taken. That is the way of the devil, the way of seduction.


The Bible does, in fact, state in numerous places, that the life is in the blood, but it is not talking about how drinking blood can give you that life. Quite the opposite seems to be true. Drinking blood is directly opposed to God's commands and as such plunges one further into the pit of death, to which they have already been condemned. Yet Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." (John 6:53-56) There are doctrines built upon this verse that I will not go into, for doctrines tend to be the thoughts of men and we want to have the Word of God on the topic. I will tell you this much, that it is by the blood of Christ that we are saved and brought from death unto life (for all those who come to Him and ask). If we then have received the sacrifice of Christ, then spiritually speaking His blood flows through us, giving us life, eternal life, as well as access to His authority and power.


When the devil offers something he does so only to entrap us. When God offers something to us it is because He loves us. Why is it that we accept the trap rather than the love so many times in our lives? I believe it is because as long as we live in this sinful flesh we will not fully appreciate the things of God. Paul tells us of a war that goes on between the flesh and the spirit. (Romans 8:6,7) Yet the blood of Jesus can release us from that bondage, and in the interim covers our sins if we live "by the spirit." You can be sure of one thing, that for every good thing God offers to us, Satan has a counterfeit, and like most counterfeits it seems like the real thing. Only when we become enslaved by guilt and sin do we realize that we've chosen something false rather than something true. I offer you the same advice given by God 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." Life or death. Choose Life and live.



Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS, by Ted Dekker


In the chill of night, lit only by the rising moon, the Russian's castle stood like a sentry of the dead against the night, but the sounds within were joyous, as if there were many partying. Toma climbed the imposing stairs the led to the front door and entered, not knowing what to expect. Surely he was expected, although perhaps not in quite the manner most hosts expect guests. The large wooden doors moved open with ease, and a silence that betrayed his calm manner.

These aren't quite Ted Dekker's words, but they do describe the scene when Toma first visits the Russian duke. "I've come to collect my man and his charge," are the words I believe he used to those in attendance. I picked this scene because we have a war hero entering the enemy's territory for the first time. By the end of this visit Toma isn't quite sure that his weapons will fare well against whatever evil dwells in this place.

In our lives we are constantly coming upon situations and places that we, in our own minds, believe we can handle...right up until we try. Then the darkness crowds in about us, the very air seems to be unbearable. Our thoughts are distracted and disjointed. We find that we have walked out upon some unknown battlefield naked to our enemy. The laughter we hear is the sound of the enemy as he watches us in our petty humanity approach him as if we can do anything to him. We are shaken to our core.

Well has the apostle stated, "We fight not against flesh and blood," (Ephesians 6:12) Our armor, described in the following verses, are to be our covering, and here we stand, naked, with nothing but our own prideful thoughts to cover us. It is no wonder we are a joke to the enemy. So what are these pieces of armor? How can we protect ourselves against such evil? Do as Paul suggests and "Put on the whole armor of God." (Ephesians 6:10) Great! Wonderful! But what does that mean? I think many of us come to this point where we see the words in the Bible, but they don't make any sense to us. Indeed, how could they unless we come to God in prayer as we read His Word? For if I were to tell you to "Put on Jesus Christ," as the apostle Paul has also done elsewhere, would that make any sense to you? How does one put on another?

I believe it is in our admission that we don't understand that God begins to reveal these truths to us. It is imperative that we prayerfully come before the Lord and admit our lack of understanding. Otherwise we would go about as fools and most certainly be vanquished. What I have learned I can share with you, but you really must learn this for yourselves. You must be like Toma who realized that he had seen the devil, and if there is a devil there must be a God. In James epistle 1:5 we read, "
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." So you see, our victory begins with realizing God has the answer, not us, so we seek His wisdom, not our own. Many say, "I've done that, and it hasn't worked." Have you really? Look at James 1:6,7 "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." Faith is the key to understanding how to have victory over the enemy. What do I mean by faith? Well, let's just say that we must believe that God will do whatever He says. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Why do you suppose that is? Because God IS faithful. When we go about lacking in faith we are, in essence saying that God is NOT faithful. We doubt the God of the Universe. How then can He act on our behalf? I ask you to meditate on these things as you read this book, or even more importantly God's Word today. Without faith you are naked on this battlefield.

Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS, by Ted Dekker


Seduction is a big part of Immanuel's Veins, by Ted Dekker. Seduction comes at us from all directions, taking on many forms. The first thing we think of when we think of the word seduction is some kind of sexual seduction, but that isn't always the case. Toma was seduced by the idea of being a war hero, a personal confident to Catherine the Great. He was seduced by the idea that there was no god or gods, and that he was free to create his own fate. Alek Cardei was seduced by women and sexual lust, as was Natasha Cantemir. There is a fair amount of sexual seduction mentioned in this book, but don't be deceived by that, for a greater seduction is at work. The seduction of pleasure, not merely sexual; the seduction of power; the seduction of a greater life. Seduction feeds off of pride and in turn feeds pride so the seduction can become complete.

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you found yourself seduced by something, something you knew in your heart was wrong, but it just felt so "right" to fall into that seduction? I think we should all answer that in the affirmative. Whether it is the seduction of power, or fame, or riches, or some kind of vice, be it tobacco, liquor or sex, I believe we all follow Eve more than Adam in our seduction. We all sin because of Adam, but we all fall prey to seduction or deceit just like Eve. I'm not trying to put down our first mother, but trying to show similarities. Nor am I trying to say what we eat or drink or whatever is necessarily sinful. It is the "how" we came to doing things that I believe makes them sinful. This is something each individual needs to take up before God.

One thing that we can be sure of is that seduction leads to imprisonment and slavery. Sofia knew that. Even Alek and Natasha were aware of this, although they were powerless to do anything about it. Where does such seduction, such imprisonment, such slavery lead? It leads to death, first spiritual, as it did to Adam and Eve, then physical. Indeed every human on the face of the earth is born into sin and because of that death. The larger part of humanity are content to walk about as the living dead, lives that have been aborted at birth, spiritually speaking. Listen to what the Word of God says,
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:14,15)

Is there any hope for any of us then? If we have all been born into sin, into a curse, into lust and then death, is there any hope? Indeed, yes there is hope. Where does one find this hope? Interestingly enough it comes from Immanuel's veins. Ted Dekker wasn't the first person to speak of this, nor will he be the last. You see it falls like this; in the beginning God commanded Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for the day he eats of that fruit he shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17) And he did eat and he did die, as recorded in Genesis 3:17-19. Our condemnation and our hope is found in Romans 5:14-18. You see sin entered the world through the act of one man, Adam, but righteousness through Jesus Christ. How is this possible? All through the Old Testament we read about the blood sacrifices offered up to wash the people of Israel of their sins. When Jesus came on the scene John the Baptist said of Him,
"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:19)

You see, it never was God's will to see us die. God made us to have eternal fellowship with Him. Even when Adam transgressed God already had a plan in place that would bring people back to Him. That plan included that the God of all Creation would become a man, live among us for a while, and offer Himself up as a perfect sacrifice, for the penalty of the sentence of death must be paid. Only One could pay that price. It had to be the life of a sinless man. There were not sinful men (or women for that matter), so God had to become a man. As the person Jesus He fulfilled His plan, offering Himself up for us, shedding His blood for our sin, that we might come back to the Heavenly Father. In doing this God re-established the relationship between humans and Himself. So you see, it truly was through Immanuel's veins we find our hope, for Immanuel means God with us. This is Jesus, who although dead, now lives forever, as we can in Him. We put to death this sinful flesh and receive His perfection as our own. This is not simply our hope, but our Sure Hope. I am, albeit not perfect yet, perfect in Christ by the shedding of His blood. I am set free and released into the care and servitude of God, my Heavenly Father.


Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS, by Ted Dekker


Immanuel's Veins is a classic story of good verses evil, and yet it isn't. It's a classic love story, and yet that isn't true either. As with many of Ted Dekker's stories they seem to start out fairly normal, only to take a left turn into some parallel universe. I remember reading his book THR3E and getting the feeling that Rod Serling had just entered the room. You really get that Twilight Zone feel in that book.

With Immanuel's Veins it isn't all that cut and dried, if you can even call it that. You have two normal men in some distant past, about to reach the destination of their commission. As they near the Cantemir Castle their quest takes a decided turn, although fairly mild at this point. They are warned by an elderly man about the evil in the West. The two veteran soldiers figure the guy is a bit off his rocker and go their way. But it was at that very moment they stepped over the threshold of what they had known as reality into a different reality they knew nothing about.

One of the intriguing things to me about this book is that our hero, Toma, doesn't believe in God. Seems like a fairly odd place to start out writing a Christian story, but this crossover into a dimension Toma never knew existed creates the exact climate needed to get across a true and powerful Christian truth, God does not only exist, but in order to win the battle you find yourself in you will need His help, and lots of it.

In some ways I think we, even as Christians, muddle through life, totally unaware of the spiritual war we are in. The apostle Paul mentions putting on armor several times, the most vivid and memorable is found in Ephesians 6:10-18, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Many will leave out verse 18, about prayer, but prayer is a vital part of the Christian's armor. In 2nd Corinthians 10:4 he tells us, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."

It seems to me that just through these few verses any Christian should realize that we are at war. The war isn't one that can be won through military strength, but only through the power of God. As Immanuel's Veins progresses we find Toma running into all kinds of problems, problems he never could have imagined before his assignment here. In the end he realizes that he needs a different strategy. The war he is in doesn't play according to the rules he is used to following. Isn't that just like the devil, to go against the rules? Yet even there God supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory. With God, everything is under control. Without Him, all is lost.
Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Monday, September 12, 2011

IMMANUEL'S VEINS


Toma Nicolescu was a military hero. More than that he was a loyal and trusted servant of Catherine the Great. Our story begins when he, and his friend, Alek Cardei, set out on a special mission, one ordered by Catherine the Great. They are to guard the Cantemir family. There seems to have been some threats leveled against the estate. The grand castle is inhabited by a mother and her two daughters. It is in the early 1700s.

Toma and his friend Alek are quite different in some respects, yet when it comes to battle they are the same, but they are about to enter a battlefield that no one has prepared them for. Along the way they meet up with an old withered stranger who warns them of the evil in the West.

Ted Dekker is at his best here, and I believe it is because he loves to write about other worlds, parallel worlds, things of this nature. While the story seems to run along quickly he is very careful as to what information he releases, and when he does so you can be sure it is only tiny bits at a time.

In the first chapter, or thereabouts, we run into a willful mother and two daughters who are beautiful, one of them as willful as her mother, while the other is cautious. The mother throws a ball and Toma is disgusted at the idea that she would do this when they were charged with their protection. In short order they meet some interesting Russians, one of whom is shot to death by Toma. We meet a duke who apologizes for the members of his house being disrespectful in the Cantemir estate.

Be mindful, Satan doesn't normally introduce himself to us as someone evil, but as someone who is wise, and can impart to us some greater wisdom. All too often we have been so diseased by the sin that is part of our birthright, that we succumb to his seduction, only to find out too late that this demon is truly that, a devil straight from Hell. Remember these words as Duke Vlad van Valerik poses as such a stately and true gentleman.
Be sure to visit his site: Ted Dekker

To purchase Immanuel's Veins you can find it, among other places, at:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Christian Book

Legal notice: I checked this book out of the library, and am receiving NOTHING for these reviews, except the pleasure that I get from letting others know about a really great book.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Will Never Forget

Sunday, the Sunday before a tour, is always dedicated as a Day of Prayer. Specifically it is a day of prayer for the book we are touring, the author of that book, the members of this blog, but most importantly, for all the visitors to CFRB. And yet this Sunday, September 11, 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of the most tragic event in my personal history, perhaps in all of America's history. For on this day 9/11/01, terrorists struck us on our own soil. The death toil in the Twin Trade Towers and vicinity was around 3000, as two jetliners were hijacked and forced to crash into these towers. Another jetliner was hijacked and forced to crash into the Pentagon, raising the number of dead and injured even higher. A fourth jetliner was also hijacked, and as it was re-routed towards what may have been Washington, DC, passengers realized their lives were already sacrificed. With that knowledge they decided that whatever their outcome that jet, Flight 93, would not reach its target. They actually secured control of the plane, but in the mayhem the jet must have turned upside down. When they attempted to climb to a safe height they actually caused it to crash.

These are the bare facts. Many stories of God's protective hand came out of these atrocious events. One woman led all her office workers to the Lord before her floor collapsed. Others never made it to work because of some small event that, at the time, seemed inconsequential. Then there were those who responded, firemen, policemen, EMT, ambulance workers, and so many more. In fact, if my memory serves me right, most civilians were turned away so these professionals could do their job. What was that job? To search the wreckage and find those who had died, and with some vain hope that they might find some alive. They did, in fact, find a few live people, but those who died, those who were crushed under the weight of the towers were in so many small parts that it was nearly impossible to identify them.

These too are facts. Shortly afterward they held a memorial service that, in the minds of some, did a disservice to those who died. Leaders of all religions had their chance to decry the terrible carnage, to point to the fact that we, as a society, had turned our backs on God to the point where He deemed it necessary to allow us to be chastised. He was attempting to drive us back to Him. That hasn't seemed to work. Our government has become increasingly evil, because its people have become increasingly evil.

These are facts as well, although they are not spoken of. In light of all of these things I believe it is important for us to refocus our eyes. Let us recognize that we have done wrong in the eyes of God. We have tossed Him out of our schools. No longer is He to be mentioned, nor revered, nor prayed to on any public property. A god called Evolution, or Science, has been resurrected in His place. Yet God is a God of love. This does NOT mean, as some have suggested, that everyone will go to Heaven. What it does mean is that He will use every means possible to drive us back to Himself, that we might find in Him, and in Him alone can we find that one true love that can fill us and make us whole. He became a man, the one we call Jesus, to live among us, to die for us, to rise from death, that our sins would be paid for and we could enter into His loving arms. This is our choice, it is a choice of old, for Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. That choice is one between death and life. God advises us to choose life. He has always done so, and blessed those who have chosen life.

No, we will never forget 9/11, those who died, nor those who attacked us, but may we also remember that it is our own evil that has brought this loving discipline into our lives so that we might draw close to our Creator. When we do, He will fight for us, on all fronts, in every area of our life. So today, let us look inward. Is there something within us that displeases God? Then let us repent and seek His forgiveness, for He would much rather forgive us and see us return to Him than go through any pain. Let us remember that 9/11 was not so much as an attack from terrorists as it was a wake up call from our loving Heavenly Father. And may we refuse the temptation to turn our hearts against those who are our enemies. Jesus said, "Do not fight evil with evil, but fight evil with good." That doesn't mean we shouldn't protect ourselves, but it does mean that we should have a certain mindset, one that loves and does not hate. If Jesus could look down from the cross and see you and me and all the rest in all our hatred, and pray, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing," should our response be any less?

Anyone can take up weapons to beat down an enemy, but it takes true courage to lay them down and tell those same enemies that we love them. May America return to Almighty God that they might have His strength to love those who have come against us. In this shall God truly be pleased and bless this nation once more. - David Brollier

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gideon's Torch, by Chuck Colson with Ellen Vaughn



This should have come out in July, and I apologize for that. I actually got busy reading another novel and forgot about posting my reviews on this one.

Gideon's Torch is an excellent example of just how complex the abortion issue is, not to mention how emotionally and politically charged. While I didn't find it as riveting as some books I've read, I was really impressed with the way Colson brought in these various perspectives and how they played off of each other.

The book starts off with a doctor, one who volunteered her time, going to an abortion clinic and finding herself at the receiving end of a pistol. This just happens to be just prior to the swearing in of a new president. So not only is this action a clear act of murder, but it jump-starts an already emotional issue over abortion. President-elect Griswald has already made it clear that he will defend a woman's right to an abortion. So he sees this as a clear attack on his office.

This could be pulled right from the pages of our newspapers or magazines. Let me set the record straight. I am opposed to abortion, but I do not now, nor have I ever supported violence as an appropriate action to oppose the killing of the unborn. Killing to protect killing is nonsense, and yet there are those who are so radical in their beliefs they believe they have the right to kill others or blow up buildings to protect the rights of the unborn.

In Gideon's Torch we are introduced to several different Pro-Life views, as well as a number of Pro-Choice views. You wouldn't think that there would be differing views in either camp, but there are. You find levels of acceptance of their particular view. Colson wants to give us the whole picture, show us how they interlace with one another as well as the cause and reaction to these views. We get a feel of the political climate right from the beginning, but as the new administration begins to clamp down on anti-abortion "terrorists" we also find a leader of a non-violent anti-abortion group being forced to take a stand. If you want a fast reader that gives you a good insight into the abortion issue I would refer you to Prophet, by Frank Peretti, but if you want to understand all the political ramifications, all up and down the social structure, then
you'll want to read Gideon's Torch, by Charles Colson.

To purchase a copy of this book click on one of the following links:

Amazon


Barnes & Noble

Oh, as far as the legal mumbo, jumbo goes, I did NOT receive this free to do a review. I read the book and offer my review. It is not in exchange for anything. It is simply to further the Kingdom of God, something Mr. Colson and I share.

Monday, June 20, 2011

When Sparrows Fall, by Meg Moseley

The Christian Fiction Review Blog is doing something DIFFERENT. We are letting our members read the books they want to read.

So if you want to amble on over to Joy Hannabass' blog, Splashes of Joy, you'll see that she has a very pleasant interview posted there with Meg Moseley, author of When Sparrows Fall. Not only that, but there seems to be a book giveaway involved. How cool is that? So rush right on over there, read the interview and leave a comment on her site. Just click on the link below.

Splashes of Joy

At the end of the interview Joy adds her review of the book. See what happens when you let people do things their way instead of dictating to them all the time. Thanks Joy. Thanks Meg. God bless you both and may your book be an awesome success. - David Brollier

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winter, by Keven Newsome


Keys to Successful Christian Living

I bet that's a header you didn't expect to see here. Yet if you'll look closely you will see how different people exhibit different things that point you in the right direction, spiritually. For the sake of this review let us stay with the main character, Winter Maessen.

If you're paying attention Winter goes off and spends a lot of time studying her Bible. It's interesting that Keven Newsome does not go out of his way to make you aware of this, but it's there nonetheless. This is an important key. You can't very well follow the will of God or grow in Him if you don't know what He is saying, now can you? It's a shame how few Christians really know what is in God's Word. When we read it, if we do it properly, God can speak intimately to our hearts, even though the book is addressed to everyone. My dad says, "That's why it's call the Living Word of God."

This brings us the the second key to successful living...prayer. Winter's prayers are many, and they aren't flowing, flowery prayers. She isn't trying to impress anyone. She just wants to get some guidance or help or strength. Often she may seem a bit crass or rude. This honest and sincere approach to God is what makes her stand out, not the way she dresses. Plus prayer unlocks the Bible for her personally. She can view prayer as her talking to God and the study of the Bible as God answering back. She may not always like the answer (as you may notice from time to time), but she DOES hear from God.

Of course with Winter she gets a lot more than just hearing from God, but that's the point. When we discipline ourselves to the Lord in the study of His Word and in prayer then we open the gateway between us so God can work mightily. If you want to mature in Christ you must "live in Him and let His words live in you," as Jesus tells us in John 15, for apart from Him we can do nothing. He is our strength. He is our answer. He is the one the bears fruit.

For anyone who thought being a Christian is a walk in the park, think again. For those who realize how difficult it will be to be a Christian and are of the mind to go the other way, think of the eternal consequences. Yeah things are tough, but they will ultimately get better. As God says in His Word, "Weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

Be sure to visit his site HERE

To purchase online you'll find at these stores:

Splashdown Books Darkwater

Amazon

Books a Million

(Legal stuff - I received a copy of this book for the express purpose of writing a review. That being said I still give it a 5 star rating, which you can also read on Amazon)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winter, by Keven Newsome


Two of Satan's Favorite Lies

The first of Satan's favorite lies is that there is no God. Look around you and see how many people can enjoy His creation and never give God a second thought. When you talk to them you find that they believe in science, or in themselves, or in something else, but not God. They think that believing in God would be ridiculous. In their minds God is nothing more than a myth.

We don't see much of this in Winter, by Keven Newsome. After all we are on a Christian campus (although having graduated from a Christian college myself I can assure you there are plenty of students who do not believe in God, and some that do have some odd beliefs about who He might be). For the sake of the story, however, we skip over to the second of Satan's favorite lies. This lie is that he doesn't exist. Have you run into people who don't believe in demons, or the devil, or anything like that? I'm fairly sure you have. I find it interesting that while Satan wants his throne to be above that of God his 2 favorite lies are there is no God to place a throne over, nor is he actually a being who lives and would want to do anything like that. The reason for this is because Satan's largest army is made up, not of dedicated followers, but of people who are so sure that he does NOT exist they become his willing servants.

The story Winter, blows the lid off of both of these lies. Although she had a troubling time growing up, and even now finds things a bit overwhelming., she is quite certain that there is not just a God, but that this God loves each of us with an intensity and a depth we could never understand. We catch glimpses, but even those glimpses put us in total awe of Him. It is because of this that she finds herself on a spiritual battlefield, facing an enemy she has had nightmares about. Demons are real. Satan is real. This war, although unseen by most, is real. So this troubled teen with her new-found faith enters this arena of battle equipped, not with wisdom or strength or some power we can not understand. She enters it as weak, stumbling, often failing, yet by the grace of God keeps getting back up like a boxer who has been knocked down Clearly she finds herself out matched, out-gunned, but her makeup, the way God has created her, is just stubborn enough to get back up and continue the fight. Along the way she learns that it isn't going to be through her will or even her gift that she can be victorious, but through Jesus.

And this is the lesson we must learn. We walk by faith, not by site. It is not by strength, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God we are victorious. It is when we realize how weak we are and totally give ourselves over to God that He is able to be strong in our lives. He gives us our marching orders. He gives us our training. He provides R&R when we need it. Mostly though He goes on ahead of us and defeats our enemies. We wear His armor. Let it shine.

Be sure to visit his site HERE

To purchase online you'll find at these stores:

Splashdown Books Darkwater

Amazon

Books a Million

(Legal stuff - I received a copy of this book for the express purpose of writing a review. That being said I still give it a 5 star rating, which you can also read on Amazon)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winter, by Keven Newsome


The Body of Christ

While it becomes increasingly clear that Winter has the gift of prophecy, something she finds both frightening and drawn to, Keven Newsome gently makes it clear that this is only one gift given to people in the Body of Christ. You might say that her roommate, Summer, has the gift of encouragement. Summer is this peppy little gal who surrounds herself with pink, with teddy bears and flowers, the exact opposite of Winter in most ways. Yet she becomes a true friend. Not many will stand by you even when you are so different from them. Often we gravitate towards others like ourselves. Summer, however, makes a point of sticking with Winter no matter what. It's this attitude that is an encouragement to Winter and helps her through.

Then there is Kaci, the resident assistant for the floor, who also becomes a close friend. She, has yet another gift, and is expresses other gifts as well. Of course if we are all part of the same Body we are going to have similarities. Just as the different organs in our bodies need to be compatible in order for us to live, so it is with the Body of Christ. We must exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) as well as the gift we may be blessed with. And all of this must be founded on love. (See 1st Corinthians 13:4-8)

Davis is someone who probably doesn't realize his gift, but you will see that he has a gift of being a teacher. He tends to be quite, to listen and then help out. He struggles in this gift, as we all struggle to fill our calling. Yet he helps Winter out with her English class so she can pass. He also supplies some needed insight into some of the situations that arise. So his gift is not limited to just academics.

There are others with other gifts and although we look at Winter and think she's just awesome (and she is) we tend to forget that without the help of God through these other gifts in these other members of the Body of Christ she really would have been powerless.

Time and again Jesus stresses the importance of others. He says "Where two or three are gathered together in my name..." He tells us to "Love one another, as I have loved you." Jesus introduces us to a lifestyle that must include others. It must include others because love demands that. Also God knows that when we come together in Him we are made stronger. It's like taking a few small flames, thing torches or something here, and putting them all together. In their own right they have a certain amount of light or strength, but when you put them all together you end up with a bonfire. When Jesus says, "You are the Light of the world" in Matthew 6 it is quite possible that he is talking about how we are to stay united with one another and so be a bonfire for Him, one that cannot be hidden.

Yes, God does make each of us unique, but He also fits us together to become, as the Apostle Peter puts it, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5). Together we become the Living Word of God that the world must see. If we fail at this, then we fail at everything.

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(Legal stuff - I received a copy of this book for the express purpose of writing a review. That being said I still give it a 5 star rating, which you can also read on Amazon)

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