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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

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.

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)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day of Prayer

Today is our Day of Prayer. It comes in the middle of this tour because, quite frankly, I couldn't wait to start posting reviews for Winter, by Keven Newsome. As we are looking at this work about an outcast and how she is used by God, let us not forget that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, became an outcast for us so that we might NOT be outcasts before the Father. I ask that you pray sincerely for both Keven and his debut novel, Winter. Mostly I pray that the lessons we can learn from Winter, those also found in Scripture, would take root in our hearts that we would become more and more like Christ. And when our way seems difficult, let us remember what Jesus went through for us. For He was not outcast by just people, but even the Father had to turn His back on Him because He carried our sins. As it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree," and also "He who knew no sin, became sin for us." May we remember the great price of love and embrace it with all our being.

"Heavenly Father, we call to mind the great love of Jesus for us. We did not deserve such a great love, but You, oh Father, did not ask that we deserve it, but ask that we accept Your love. Bless each and every person who comes here, who reads this book, who hears of Your great sacrifice for them, wherever they may be, that they may come to You so You may live in them. Remind us that it is time for us to take up our cross and follow you out of our comfort zones into a world that is lost and dying. We praise You for the opportunity to do this, but even as we praise You, we realize that we cannot do any of this without the power of Your Spirit living in us. We need to stir up anew that which You have given us. To let You light us on fire, a fire that cannot go out, a light that cannot be hid, so that all those around us will know that there is a God who loves them, and of the great price He paid to show us that love. I thank you now for all those who will come into Your family, who will come to know you, through this prayer and through our own sacrifice to You. You are the One True King of whom we can rightfully say, 'Long live the King.' In the name of Your Precious Son, Jesus, even the Christ, we pray and thank You Father. Amen."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Winter, by Keven Newsome


A Look at Society

One of the truly amazing things Keven Newsome does with Winter is tell us about ourselves. He uses the story to give us a parable about society and the spiritual war we are in.

Without giving too much away Winter finds that the situation at her college started 10 years before she put her foot on the campus grounds. Over those years the Christian college has become less and less Christian, more and more dangerous. We learn of Christians who saw it happening and did little or nothing, and Christians who didn't realize what was going on until it was too late. Now it is left up to one girl and the gift of prophecy God has given her to stand up against that evil. Great story.

But haven't we heard all of this before? I mean, all the newsprint and media we've been getting for over 60 years has been telling us the same thing, that we have people in various levels of government who have made it their ambition to erode away the rights of the people. Different special rights groups have lobbied hard and long to get certain pieces of legislation passed to support their agenda. The trouble with that is that when our representatives listen to these lobbyists, they no longer listen to those they the people they are supposed to be representing.

Without realizing it at first the Christian community has compromised and changed and given up rights until they now have looked around and are saying, "Wait a minute. You can't do that." Without getting into some of the more controversial areas let me mention some of the more basic changes made in our churches. Worship has gone from meeting God at the altar of some church just to praise God and encourage one another, to a place where they have to be coddled. The music must be to their liking. The preaching better entertain rather than teach. They make spectacles of themselves in the name of worship. Instead of worshiping the Creator, they have learned to worship the songs, or manifestations, or some other thing, rather than God Himself.

Scripture tells us that discipline begins with the household of God. We are the first ones on God's list to feel the whack of His judgment, but that is so we can repent and enjoy the embrace of His fellowship. God is waiting for His "Winters", those who recognize their weaknesses and allow Him to be their strength. He is waiting for people to put themselves aside to make them available to Him. Mostly, God is waiting for us to truly repent, so that He may shower us with His blessings. I think we are going to find out that those we considered outcasts may be the ones whose hearts are soft and first to truly repent. Just as in ancient times there was a special blessing upon the firstborn, so will these who return to God first receive a special blessing...maybe even called to be His prophets.

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)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Winter, the video teaser

This is also on the CFRB video teaser page, but I wanted to put it here so you guys wouldn't miss this extraordinarily well-done video. Couldn't get the settings right for this post, but on the CFRB Video page it's perfect.

Winter, by Keven Newsome


Weak Vessels

Winter, who I really came to admire, is plagued by a lot of hangups. She keeps making the wrong choices. Yet she's humble, and you'll find her going back and asking forgiveness and things of that sort. She can't believe that God would actually use someone as messed up as her, especially with something so powerful as prophecy. Yet she has premonitions, dreams and visions. Keven does a wonderful job of showing us how these, while similar, are different.

One of the neat parts of the book is where she reads about Elijah. I'm not going to say any more about that, because it's something you'll enjoy reading for yourself. It's also one of the reasons that she keeps pushing the idea of being a prophet away. She just can't see herself as someone with that kind of faith.

And that is the point, as far as this review is concerned. God does not look for people who are talented and already equipped with all kinds of gifts to do His work. Instead God looks for people who are willing. Then He sends them out and He equips them as they need to be equipped. This is something many people miss. The passage in 1st Corinthians 12 about the gifts of the Spirit, are just that, gifts that are not ours, but belong to the Holy Spirit of God, and He uses them through those of us who make ourselves available to Him. God is not looking for gold or silver vessels to keep His precious love safe. No, He is looking for clay vessels, broken, so that His love will seep out and all those near them will be able to receive His love.

The apostle Paul makes this statement, and I think we can apply it to Winter, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." By that Paul means that when he is weak then God is able to be powerful in him. See if that isn't the same thing that's true with Winter.

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)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

WINTER, by Keven Newsome


I'm back!!! I hope the other CFRB members start coming online. It's been a trying 6 months, but enough of that. God knows what He's doing. Just look at the fantastic book He brought to my attention.

Gothic Christians?

That's right. This book dares to have the lead character as a Gothic Christian. I've known Gothic Christians and they are amazing, so I can relate to this story on many levels.

Winter Maessen is basically your average teenage girl. She's gone through a lot of pain, made a lot of mistakes, dresses in black, with all the other things you'd expect to see on a Goth chick, piercings, black or dark lipstick, black or dark nail polish, dark eyeshadow (purple), powdered white face. But she wasn't always like that. In fact, if you focus on that you're going to miss out on a truly wonderful person. I think that was one thing that Keven tried to bring out. It isn't what people wear, what their hair style is like, how many piercings or tattoos they have they tell you what they are really like. It's how they act and react under various circumstances. And oh boy, does Keven find ways of letting you see her, and others, in all kinds of circumstances.

But wait, he's not through with us yet. Winter, it seems, has the gift of prophecy. This may step on the toes of some religious people, but there you have it. I have known people who God has used with the gift of prophecy. I have seen visions and had dreams, although not quite on the same level of horror as Winter. And I know of people who are true prophets, as well as a few who claim to be prophets, but their message doesn't seem to bear that out.

What Keven does is pick a girl, a very normal girl, give her a really tough background, then presents her as an outcast who not only is a Christian, but a prophetess. This works so well only because of the friends she makes. And by the way, she wouldn't have had those friends if she hadn't practiced forgiveness. We all tend to push people away when they look at us cross-eyed, but Winter knows that she has to keep herself clean, or at least try to, and that means saying your sorry when you mess up. (She does this alot. Something else we could all learn from her).

If you like Ted Dekker or Bill Myers you are going to love Keven Newsome. He's just as good as they are, maybe better. I hope to see more of his works coming out. He is one truly gifted (there's that word again) writer.

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)

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