Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Where Does One Find Justice In THE RULE OF LAW?

Show-time under the big top.  SEAL Team Six has just taken center stage.  For good or for ill, the lives of an American Journalist and the son of the Saudi royal family rested in the hands of one of the most capable Special Forces Units currently under arms.  Expertly trained, incredibly equipped, this should have been a walk in the park.

Of course, one can never forget the most-oft quoted proverb of the SEAL Team community:  “The only good day was yesterday.”  And with bad – bogus? – intel, the “walk in the park” becomes a bloody fight for survival. In the aftermath, hard questions are being asked, and no one seems to be able to provide the answers.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Who was ultimately responsible for the spectacular failure of SEAL Team Six?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer has written what can only be called an epic tour de force of legal and military suspense.  His writing is tight, his plot lines are engaging, and the action rarely allows for the reader to take a ragged breath.

My only criticism is simply this; the book is just too long!  At 473 pages, and with a cast of 40 characters to keep track of (there is a CAST OF CHARACTERS at the beginning of the book), one is reminded of Abbot and Costello’s infamous radio program, WHO’S ON FIRST?  Perhaps the CAST OF CHARACTERS at the front of the book should be detachable? 

If you have the necessary patience and stamina, as well as the time and inclination, Randy Singer produces a fictional story that reads like yesterday’s headlines in terms of authenticity.  Along the way, the author forces the reader to really think through what we have always naively accepted as THE RULE OF LAW.


4 stars for an excellent book that requires a lot from the reader

RULE OF LAW
Randy Singer
military suspense
ISBN 1-4960-41815-8
Tyndale House
473 pages
$26.99

Bowers Is Back! EVERY DEADLY KISS by Steven James

When I found out that Steven James was publishing yet another BOWER’S FILES suspense, EVERY DEADLY KISS, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Finding out that I had actually MISSED one (EVERY CROOKED PATH) completed the job.  Because while the titles stand alone, they are the continuing saga of an investigator who views crime scenes very differently.  Which explains his success. 

It also explains why no one seems to like Very Special Agent Patrick Bowers.  The other agents can’t understand him.  The women in his life can’t explain him.  And the criminals . . . well, they just keep winding up behind bars.  The ones that survive.

In EVERY DEADLY KISS, Agent Bowers inextricably manages to bring all the actors together on one stage.  He’s called in to work a case of bioterrorism of a particularly ruthless nature by his ex-lover, only to find out that the case is linked to his own history with a known terrorist . . . as well as to his former lover.

Yikes.

Enough teasers.  Get the book!  See if you can match wits with Very Special Agent Patrick Bowers!


5 stars for another suspense-driven ride for your life by Steven James!

EVERY DEADLY KISS (The Bowers Files)
Steven James
Mystery / Suspense / Technothriller
ISBN:  978-1-101-99157-2
Berkley Books
$9.99 U.S.

WHAT ARE THIRD WORLD CHURCHES DOING SO RIGHT, THAT WE ARE DOING SO WRONG?

Every now and then a book comes along that defies reviews.  Or at least makes them extremely challenging.  LESSONS FROM THE EAST:  Finding The Future Of Western Christianity In The Global Church is just one such book.  And I apologize, at the start, for my tardiness in getting this review out.

You see, I started on this book several months ago.  And I couldn’t get into it.  And I picked it up and started it again, and it just wasn’t working.  Well, you know what they say – “third time’s the charm,” right?

Wrong.  I think this is the fifth time I’ve picked up this book.  And I read a quote that I hadn’t seen before . . .and I realized how very important this book actually is to the church in North America.  So . . .I’ve begun it, and this time I’m going to be working it through, because I see so many churches in the pages of these books struggling with the issues Bob Roberts, Jr. addresses.

Oh . . . the quote? 
“In my lifetime the United States has shifted from being the most prolific nation in the world in sending missionaries to being the third most unreached nation in the world.  When I first became a pastor, I didn't realize that I'd become a missionary by staying in America instead of leaving America for a distant land.”
Bob Roberts, Jr.

Something to think about, the next time you pass a church.

5 stars for an extremely challenging, extremely timely book

LESSONS FROM THE EAST:
FINDING THE FUTURE OF WESTERN CHRISTIANITY IN THE GLOBAL CHURCH
Bob Roberts, Jr.
Religion / Christianity / Missionary – Evangelism
ISBN  976-0-7814-1376-3
David C. Cook
$16.99 U.S.


CARDIAC EVENT Will Leave You Breathless!

Doctors are dying.  Patients who successfully survived surgery are experiencing mysterious complications in the recovery room.  Something sinister lurks beneath the seemingly calm fa├žade of Sommers General Hospital, and Dr. Kirk Martin is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Providing he can survive.

The one positive in his life is Janet Rush, a seasoned nurse working in the recovery room of  Sommers General.  While her first marriage failed due to her husbands indiscretions, Janet has seen something in Kirk that has enabled her to venture her heart out once again on the stormy seas of love.  She’s praying to find a safe port this time.

Dr. Richard L. Mabry’s ability to craft  engaging medical suspense novels only gets better over time.  The most praiseworthy aspect of his writing is, there are no “minor” characters.  Even the ones who get killed off in the first few pages remain memorable throughout the story, because Dr. Mabry has taken the time to make sure that you care.

CARDIAC EVENT is yet another riveting novel from the pen and the imagination of Dr. Richard L. Mabry.  Others have made this statement, and I’ll add my own agreement:  read one of Dr. Mabry’s books, and you will be scouring the library shelves, or surfing the internet to secure the rest.  He’s just that good.

Yet ANOTHER 5-star novel from the hands of Dr. Richard Mabry!

CARDIAC EVENT
Richard Mabry, M.D.
mystery / medical suspense
ASIN: B073QX1JVP
242 pages, soft cover
$14.99, U.S.




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Do you know WHO you are? Do you know WHOSE you are?

Sometimes in the busyness of everyday life--and with all the worries and concerns of this world--we forgot our most important job. We are messengers of Good News ... the best news! We can bring hope to the hopeless, truth to the confused and peace to the troubled. It's a job and an honor to #walkitout and share the Bible with a needy world.

#bestnewsever           #truth          #hope            #peace

Saturday, September 2, 2017

FALL KICKOFF by Tricia Goyer

While January 1 is truly the beginning of the new year, September always feels like a fresh start to me. In the Goyer house we've just completed our second week of homeschool. I started a new prayer journal, and we're settling in to a new (earlier) bedtime routine. While summer is fun, by the end of August everything within me longs for routine. Over the years I've learned a few ways to pursue purpose in my fall schedule.

1. Cut out anything you're doing because you felt guilty or didn't want to say no. Or even things that are "good" but aren't exactly what you'd consider your purpose. Even though something may have sounded like no big deal, it's time to be realistic about how that decision impacts your day-to-day life. You don't have time to pursue purpose if you're too busy pursuing "good" things-you'll miss out on the best things!

2. Become purposeful about chores. Create a simple chore list for yourself and your kids. Fold the laundry right out of the dryer, instead of piling it on your couch. On Sunday afternoon, jot down five meals you're make for dinner and make sure you have the ingredients. Everyone night spend five minutes picking up random stuff before heading to bed. A little purposeful planning ahead goes a long way.

3. Decide on one simple step to take toward fulfilling a dream that God's placed in your heart. Following your purpose comes from design, not default. Want to write a book? Turn off Netflix and write for thirty minutes a day. Want to complete a 5K? Find a race, sign up, and then jog around your block. The little steps, done consistently add up over time.

4. Purpose to read the Bible every day ... and do what it says. If I can point to the thing that's transformed my life the most it's this idea. I've read through the Bible at least six times all the way through, and I attempt to spend at least ten minutes a day reading God's Word. I've also dared to follow what God asks me to do: love others, serve the poor, care for the widows and orphans. I talk about all of this in my new book Walk It Out. I would love for you to pick up a copy for yourself and a friend and learn how to walk out God's mandates in your own life.
           
Also, to make it easier for you to become purposeful about reading God's Word, I've designed a Bible reading guide just for you! This is a 5-day plan, which means weekends are for rest, reflection and catching up! 



Friday, September 1, 2017

My Special Guest Today: Tricia Goyer, author of WALK IT OUT!

Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything
by Tricia Goyer

          The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.
          Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”
          I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”
          His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.
          I took in a breath and then released in, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”
          He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”
          “I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some some ice cold water.”
          And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water …NOT!
          Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.
          You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent
I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought.
          I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.
          It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed.
          At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”
          God showed up big time. He not own gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!
          God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.
          This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning, “I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life,” Lamentations 5:55-58.
          Mumbling, complaining and griping is easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.
          When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.
          It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.
  
You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the bookWalk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time (http://amzn.to/2wi1Cwi).

If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE! Details here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/walk-it-out/

Sample post:
How does humbling yourself change everything? Tricia Goyer is sharing her #walkitout story on my blog today! (link)