Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CHOOSING FORGIVENESS: THE FREEDOM TO LET GO IS IN YOUR GRASP!

Forgiveness is not for the faint of heart.  June Hunt, the author of this Bible Study, candidly declares, “There is no shame in the struggle to forgive.  The struggle is real.”  Having said that, she also points out that while forgiveness is not easy, nor does it come naturally, forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion.  More importantly for believers, forgiveness is not an option.

It’s a commandment.

This 6 – Session Bible study meets all the expectations that one would desire from a high-quality curriculum.  I was impressed and encouraged with the sections that covered the expectations of the Bible Study, and the notes to the student(s) and the leader(s) that set the tone for a successful, interesting, and motivating Bible study on the topic of forgiveness.  I was especially excited to see a clear, concise, and decidedly un-apologetic presentation of the plan of salvation in the opening pages.  Too often this presentation is placed at the end of the Bible study, and its position there provides the opportunity to treat it as a kind of afterthought.

With great open-ended questions that really get the ball rolling, Scripture passages that are central to the topic (not just “proof-texting,”), discussion questions at the end of each session and suggestions for concrete application, I just really feel like June Hunt hit the ball out of the park with this Bible study.  Another exciting feature that one can anticipate is “Fill-In-The-Blank” sample prayers related to the topic of forgiveness.  I’ve printed one off and have it hanging on my study wall, even as I’m writing this review.

June Hunt uses the testimony of Corrie Ten Boom as a backdrop for her study sessions, and I’m not going to steal all of her thunder, but I can’t help sharing the final conclusion that Corrie Ten Boom arrived at when faced with the challenge of forgiveness:
"When Christ tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself."
Corrie Ten Boom

What better invitation to explore this difficult topic of forgiveness?

Rose Publishing has provided me with an advanced reader copy of this published work.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TITANIS: Never Say Never, Again!

Once bitten . . . twice shy.

Fool me once, shame on you . . . fool me twice, shame on me!

Pick your pejorative, both have been seared into the heart of Eamon "Titanis" Straider, a former special forces operator who left the military after having learned these lessons the hard way.  Through deception and betrayal.  But his mum is having none of it.

Neither is Lady Ellis Rostov-LeClair, a philanthropist who lives her life in the shadows cast by a mangled e-mail, working mightily to make Eamon's memorial to his fallen mates a reality, while at the same time struggling to bring her own dreams of a future with this apparent son of Poseidon to fruition.

Eamon's self-imposed isolation unwittingly sets the stage for one of his greatest challenges, threatening his goals, his dreams, and the lives of those whom he holds closest to a heart raging to be set free once again to love and to live.

Ronie Kendig's craft as a writer of military suspense is comparable to a fine wine . . . it just gets better over time.  While penned as a novella, TITANIS reads with all the suspense, tension and romance of a full-length novel.  You won't want to stop reading TITANIS until the very last page.

5 stars for military suspense at its finest!

Monday, August 14, 2017

CHASING SECRETS Can Be A Deadly Past Time!

Make sure you have the required amount of time to read this book . . . because once you start, you won’t be putting it down until you’ve finished. 

Lynette Eason, in Book 4 of The Elite Guardians series, captures the reader's interest from page one, and just when you think you’re going to get a breather from the romance, suspense, and crackling tension, she takes it to a whole other level.

Haley Callaghan has carved a career out of keeping people safe, and she is very good at her job.  So it’s rather disconcerting to find herself on the receiving end of her services.  But when danger crosses the water from County Mayo, Ireland, she quickly realizes that she’s in over her head. 

For Detective Steven Rothwell, returning home to handle some family business has reopened old wounds, and added a few new ones.  While investigating several murders which seem to be linked, his path crosses Haley’s.  Curiosity leads to definite interest, especially when Steven discovers that Haley is at the center of his investigation.  A cursory background check on the elite guardian reveals more questions than answers, and Steven does what any Detective worth his badge would do . . . he investigates.

Little does he know that they are both unwitting pawns in a game that is far larger, and with far more at stake, than either of them realize.  And while Detective Rothwell is busy putting out fires on the street, he is helpless to do anything about the one burning in his heart.

5 stars for non-stop action!

CHASING SECRETS
Lynette Eason
Christian Romance / Suspense
ISBN 9780800723910
Revell
338 pages
$14.99, paperback




Sunday, August 6, 2017

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill Meet Again!

The strange forces that forged two individuals into leaders of two great nations . . . then allies . . . and ultimately as friends . . . form the basis for Matt Clayton's combined introduction to Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

If you've read the previous stand-alone offerings on these two men, note that there really hasn't been any remarkable changes.  But the introductory chapter is worthy of consideration.

If you haven't read either, or you don't have both volumes in your library, this is a great opportunity to gain fresh understanding into the lives of two great men who were pivotal in meeting and defeating one of the world's greatest enemies to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

5 stars for a wonderful introduction to two great men!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Another CAPTIVATING Guide: Three Books For The Price Of One!

Mythology: A Captivating Guide to Greek Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, and Norse Mythology (Norse Mythology - Egyptian Mythology - Greek Mythology Book 4)
Matt Clayton
Amazon Digital Services
ASIN: B06XBNBZFX
350 pages
$16.08

Author Matt Clayton has done a good job of introducing the fascinating genres of Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology. I was very impressed with his ability to keep all the facts straight, considering the diverse nature of the subject matter. Having said that, I have to temper my praise with a few observations. The author's intentions are clear; to write a CAPTIVATING guide, and I feel that he has accomplished his goal. Yet his treatment of the material is somewhat superficial. I would have liked a broader perspective. Which leads to the second observation, the material was unbalanced, particularly in the Greek section. Much time was spent on one or two particular stories, while other stories barely received any attention at all. Finally, I noticed that there were some details in some of the myths that didn't ring true with what I had read sometime earlier. For instance, the legend concerning the Titans swallowed by Cronus. In Clayton's text, Cronus regurgitates his children. The anthology that I read in high school has Zeus splitting the head of Cronus open with an axe, and the Titans escaping in this fashion. This should not be taken as a criticism of the author, because anyone with experience in these genres is aware of the issues related to textual criticism and the oral tradition underlying the preservation and transmission of the text. All in all, author Matt Clayton provides an impressive collection and representation for three extremely diverse bodies of literature.


ADDENDUM:  A closer look at the title has caused me to issue a correction, of sorts.  This is actually the FOURTH anthology that author Matt Clayton has issued concerning Greek mythology.  I’m new to reviewing Matt Clayton as an author, and have not read the previous three books on Greek myths.  My apologies, Matt!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

So You Think You Know Franklin D. Roosevelt? Read Captivating History: Franklin Delano Roosevelt To Find Out!

Well, folks, the blinders are off.  With extensive footnotes from both primary and secondary sources, Captivating History introduces you to Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the only man in the history of the presidency to serve three terms in office . . . and to be elected for a fourth!  Had his health not robbed this nation of one of her greatest statesman, presidents, and public servant, who knows how many more chapters would have been written!

This book reads more like an exposé than a history book, meaning that you won't be completely inundated with facts and figures, dates, times and places.  You will be privy to stuff about Franklin Roosevelt that you never knew . . . and maybe some stuff that you would have happily remained in ignorance of.

It's amazing how much Franklin Roosevelt accomplished in his lifetime, despite serious health issues and constant battles with his personal demons.  Therein lies the greatness of the man . . . that he was able to guide this nation through World War II, the Great Depression, and financial crises over a period of 12 years.  His indomitable will carried the day when a lesser man might have failed.  His rallying cry, "never give up; never, never, never give up!" is still as soul-stirring as the day in which he first uttered it.

His personal peccadillos serve as a reminder of what one man can do, despite his feet of clay.  

This is a quick read, and yet it serves as a wonderful "snapshot" of one of America's most beloved leaders.

5 stars for a wonderful introduction to Franklin Delano Roosevelt!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Have You Made Any Decisions Lately?

We face decisions every day. Some are pretty basic; "What am I going to have for breakfast?" "What am I going to wear?" Stuff like that.

Other decisions can have some serious consequences. "Should I buy that new-to-me car, or wait a little while longer?" "Should I remain at my current job, or start looking elsewhere?"

Then there are questions that have consequences of eternal significance: "Which God am I going to serve?" "How can I handle disappointment?" "To whom should I pray? And when? And why?"

In Scripture, these questions are often worded in such a way as to indicate that the decisions being made are going to bring with them a break - perhaps a permanent one - in some relationships which, up to this point, have been very satisfying, and a source of great blessing.

Joshua, in his speech to the tribes of Israel, revealed his decision in this manner:
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

Samuel, speaking to Saul after God had rejected Saul for the throne of Israel, declared:
"Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:" 1 Samuel 12:23 (KJV)

And David, in Psalm 5, reveals his own personal decision, as well:
"The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple." Psalm 5:5-7 (KJV)

These are decisions (and there are others in Scripture, as well) that are going to leave lasting impressions, and are going to drastically change deep, personal relationships.

Such decisions are not to be made lightly. At the same time, one must recognize that circumstances may bring about the necessity of making those decisions. And when the time comes, the decision must be made wholeheartedly. A half-made decision is like a half-baked pie; if eaten, it usually results in a bellyache!

One final illustration for your consideration:
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:8-10 (KJV)

Do you have some decisions to make today?