Monday, August 24, 2015
You are trapped behind enemy lines. You feel it every day. Powerful forces want to destroy you and those you love. Completely surrounded, you see no means to escape.
Sadly, the Jesus we often picture is too timid to help—more like a daytime talk show host than a dangerous Rescuer.
Who would follow—much less risk everything—for such a leader?
Get ready to see Jesus like you’ve never seen him before—a battle-scarred Combatant who stared death in the face and won. This is no Sunday-school Jesus, meek and mild. This is the Warrior Christ who has descended from the heavens, defeated the Enemy, and rescued humanity. Now, he calls us to continue his mission and fight for others—our families, our communities, and the world.
In Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger, Army Chaplain John McDougall offers an alternative to the soft, gentle caricature of Jesus. Only the Warrior Christ can impact our broken world. And only in following him can you find the life of purpose you’ve always wanted.
SUIT UP. It’s time to enter the fight with the first and greatest Airborne Ranger.
This book has an intriguing title, but the book is not saying Jesus was actually an airborne ranger. The idea of the book is that too often we present a Jesus who seems like a meek little wimp, when he was far from that. The author has run into many guys who just couldn't relate to the Jesus that they were presented with, so he wrote a book to show that Jesus wasn't at all a wimp, but was far from a wimp.
The author uses several stories from his experiences in the military and stories from the Bible to show the Christian life is not for wimps, and the Savior we serve was a mighty warrior, not a quiet meek guy that so many people want to portray Him as. Each chapter ends with an "After action review" that has questions and points to think about from the chapter.
The book is interesting and well-written. In addition to getting his points across, the author also gives an interesting glimpse into life in the military and his work as a chaplain.
About the author:
John McDougall is a US Army Chaplain and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since graduating from West Point in 2000, he has served over 10 years in Airborne and Ranger assignments including the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was inspired to write "Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger" while returning from a training mission with his Rangers. Interestingly, he wrote the book while deployed in Afghanistan with a Ranger Battalion.
Jesus Was An Airborne Ranger is available from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.
Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for the review copy.
Will Reese's team prevail when a government operative is sent to investigate? As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and even time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don't know can kill you.
Davis Bunn writing as Thomas Locke delivers a thrilling psychological journey that will leave you turning the pages and grasping for solid ground.
I had a little difficulty getting into this book. There were a lot of technical terms and it jumped around a lot between different people and settings, and that especially was hard to keep up with at the beginning of the book.
Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, and his books never disappoint. Even though it took me a while to get into the book, it was an enjoyable and suspenseful read. The experiments in the book was something I wasn't familiar with, but it made for a fascinating read.
Once I figured out who was who, I liked the characters and character development. It was an exciting read, I just wish it had been easier to catch on to who was who and to some of the technical terms.
About the author:
Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.
Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University. He holds a lifelong passion for epic fantasy, science fiction and techno-thriller stories.
Thomas's screenplay adaption of EMISSARY is under development as a feature film with a British production company.
Contact Thomas at email@example.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In early 2012 he put on a new hat as a fiction author. His debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, was released in April 2012 and was met with rave reviews from USA Today, Fresh Fiction, Publishers Weekly, and other leading national reviewers. His second novel, Every Breath You Take, second in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series, released in Fall 2012 to similar acclaim. Kristen Conner returns in Cold As Ice, which releases in Fall 2014.
Gilroy has extensive writing credits. He scripted and served as creative consultant for a two-hour training video that was honored with the Award of Excellence by the International Television Association. He has compiled and written close to fifty books and penned hundreds articles and curriculum pieces for a variety of periodicals and publishers.
Gilroy and his wife Amy reside in Brentwood, Tennessee. Their six children are Lindsey, Merrick, Ashley, Caroline, Bo, and Zachary—the youngest has now headed off for college, so he and Amy are officially empty nesters.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Detective Kristen Conner lands the case she knows from day one who the key suspect is. That’s simple. The person most likely to kill you is someone close that you know and love. But the wife? She was always at her husband’s side and just as passionate about his causes as he was. No way could this loving wife and mother of three be a killer. Right? Mix in her on-again, off-again relationship with FBI Agent Austin Reynolds, a quick trip to New York City where Kristen helps her media-star sister for a new apartment—only to discover the body of a man who appears to have been executed by a professional killer on a run through Central Park—and Kristen Conner is once again swept into a world of danger, intrigue, and a confusing love life.
What she doesn’t know just might kill her.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Cold as Ice, go HERE.
This is the third in a series, and though I never read the first two I did not feel lost or confused. Reference was made to things that happened in other books, but it was pretty easy to pick up on what was going on, as most of the book was a whole new story.
As far as suspense goes, this is a great book. There were a couple of mysteries going on at the same time, and I was kept guessing to the identity of the murderer in the one case, and it had a lot of twists and turns.
Kitsten Conner is the main character in the series, and I found myself liking her a lot with the other characters. The police work was well written and believable, and the end result was a great suspense novel.
I did have some difficulty with the writing style. It was written in the first person point of view, and would go to the third person point of view for the other characters. That isn't uncommon, and works fine most of the time. However, this book would bounce back and forth between the first and third person pov for the secondary characters, and I found it confusing, added to it was two criminals who would be first person pov in italics, but I wasn't always sure which criminal it was since it didn't indicate. Other readers might not have the same confusion I did, and other than that and a couple of words that don't belong in a Christian book, it was a good read that I didn't want to put down.
Maybe you're feeling a little stuck. Caught in a rut. You're fighting the same battles and facing the same temptations. You're wondering, is this as good as the Christian life gets?
There's good news. You were made for more. You were made for Glory Days.
In God's plan, in God's land, you win more often than you lose, forgive as quickly as you are offended, and give as abundantly as you receive. You may stumble, but you will not collapse. You may struggle, but you'll defy despair. You will enjoy abundant fruit and increasing faith.
With God's help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be.
These days are Glory Days.
Your past is past,
your future is bright,
God's promises are true and
his Word is sure.
With God as your helper,
you will be all he wants you to be,
do all he wants you to do,
and receive all he wants you to receive.
These days are Glory Days.
I have not read every book Max Lucado has written, but I have read several of his over the years. This has got to be the best book for adults he has written. I was telling a friend about it, and as I was describing it I realized I was making it sound like a prosperity book....which it is not.
Lucado focuses on Joshua and the children of Israel as they enter the promised land and take Jericho and other cities. He makes the point that these were the best days of Israel - their glory days, and that just like them, we can also have our glory days.
Going through the book of Joshua, Lucado takes lessons from their victories and failures and applies them to our lives. He points out that we have walls of doubt and fear and most of us are not living our full potential as a Christian. I found myself convicted and encouraged as I read the book, and it also have me a new fresh look at the book of Joshua and the lessons I can learn from it.
The book was interesting and an easy read that packs a great message. I highly recommend it.
About the author:
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
Now through August 31, 2015, pre-order Glory Days and receive free gifts!
There are two pre-order options:
Option 1:Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format), and receive a free digital download of the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.
After you've pre-ordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at GloryDaysBook.com.
Option 2:Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format) AND one copy of God is With You Every Day (Max's brand-new, 365-day devotional—any format), and receive both the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace and a paperback copy of Traveling Light by Max Lucado (U.S. addresses only).
After you’ve preordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at GloryDaysBook.com.
Pre-order today and get your free gift by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the offer ends on August 31, 2015.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
I am very familiar with John Maxwell and his books, but have never read any of them since they are usually aimed at leaders....which I am not. This little book popped up to review, and I decided to check it out.
It is a small hardcover book, smaller than a trade paperback but larger than a mass market. The book isn't geared for leaders, but for anyone who is aiming for a certain goal or job, or for someone who just wants to improve their life.
This is a self help book of sorts, but from a biblical perspective. It is split up into 90 days. Each day has a quote that has to do with his lesson, then it has the lesson, a question to answer, and a whole page to write your thoughts and answer to the question.
For instance day 50 is on managing your time, and the question asks what system you use to maintain your priorities and what people do you need to give power and responsibility to who can help you in that area.
I haven't read the whole book, as the idea is to read and do one lesson a day, and I did not want to take that long to review the book. However, I am impressed with what I have read so far and have found it helpful. If a person goes through this book and follows the advice, they should definitely experience some growth in some area or areas that they need to improve in.
About the author:
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World's Top Leadership Guru by Leadershipgurus.net. He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership , Developing the Leader Within You , and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.
Jump-start Your Growth is available from Center Street, part of the Hachette Book Group. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
In Copper Creek, Montana, Gwen Marcey is struggling to put together her life after cancer and divorce. When her dog retrieves a skull of a murder victim and leads her to the victim's grave, Gwen uses her forensic art ability to identify a serial killer. She is horrified to discover all the victims look like her fourteen-year-old daughter.
The murderer is a "lone wolf," a member of the terrorist group Phineas Priesthood-and he has a score to settle with Gwen. Unraveling the tangled Christian Identity movement, where race-not grace-provides salvation, Gwen is in a frantic rush against time. She must use all her skills to uncover the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her and everyone she loves.
I enjoy a good suspense novel, and when the author has experience in real life of some aspect of the book, it makes it all the more interesting. This author is a forensics artist, just like her main character in her novels, and it makes her books all the more enjoyable to know she knows what she is talking about in the area of forensic artists.
I read Carrie's first novel, A Cry From the Dust and loved it, so I was happy to see she had another one coming out. I thought it was even better and more suspenseful than the first. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of the book, turning pages as fast as I could read them to see what happened next.
Some of the characters were back from the first book along with some new ones, and they call combined to make a fascinating and exciting read.
At the center of the plot is a Nazi hate group, and the author brought out some fascinating facts about this group based on a real group by the same name, and connected the group to Timothy McVey who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing and the Columbine shooters. She did a great job of bringing in historical and recent events and combining it with fictional characters. The end result made a suspense novel that the author can be proud of and one that can stand with novels written by those who have a lot more books under their belt than Parks. She is an author to watch.
This is the second in a series, and though it isn't 100% necessary to read them in order, I would recommend doing so.
About the author:
Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.
The Bones Will Speak is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Posted by Mark at 8:49 PM
In addition to the complete HCSB text and dozens of articles collected from today's most popular youth leaders, including editor Sean McDowell, this new study Bible also includes:
Two-color design-intensive layout
60 "Twisted Scriptures" explanations
50 "Bones & Dirt" entries (archaeology meets apologetics)
50 "Notable Quotes"
25 "Tactics" against common anti-Christian arguments
20 "Personal Stories" of how God has worked in real lives
20 "Top Five" lists to help remember key apologetics topics
This is actually more than a review of just the Bible, but I will review it first:
I am not familiar with the regular Apologetics Bible, so I don't know how much this one for students differs from the one for adults. I personally didn't find this one "dumbed down" for lack of a better way to put it. I found everything on a level that I could appreciate, but then it is geared for kids that are almost adults.
I liked all of the features in the Bible, but the one I liked the best is the Twisted Scriptures feature. It takes 60 passages that are often twisted by skeptics and shows that the verses do mean what they say and not what the skeptics say. The other features are also helpful and inteesting, and are what I would expect out of a Bible geared for apologetics.
The Bible itself is the Holman Christian Standard Bible, which is a newer version but is very reliable and easy to understand without straying from the original manuscripts. It is hardcover and has the tabs for the books of the Bible to make the books easier to find. Sean McDowell, son of Josh McDowell, is the general editor of the Bible and is one of many contributors to the features of the Bible. I would recommend it for any teenager, as they can find answers to questions they may have and find answers to questions others are throwing at them, though as I said adults can use it also.
There is a website for the Bible at ApologeticsBible.com. It has more information about the Bible, and also has study guides, videos, and other resources. As part of my review, I was asked to watch a few of the videos and share what they are like. I watched three: pornography, homosexuality, and is it OK to have doubts. (videos at this link). The videos are short, most of them coming in at 3 1/2 minutes or so, and I assume all are done by Sean McDowell since he did the 3 I watched. I thought they were great. He addresses the issue in a compassionate and knowledgeable way, and in a way that will connect and resonate well with teens.
They are putting up a new video each week in the Gift of Confident Faith line, and are archived at the link above with the newest one on the homepage.
In both the ones about homosexuality and pornography, he makes a quick case for why they are wrong, yet offers compassion for those dealing with it, and in the case of homosexuality he discourages joking about it and making fun.
In the one on is it OK to have doubts, he makes an interesting case that it is OK to have doubts, as anyone intent on finding the truth will find their way to Jesus on their search.
I am impressed with not just the Bible, but also with the resources available on the website. A lot of work was put into this, and it shows.
There are actually two giveaways to list here. One is not from my blog, and the other is on my blog:
1) Win an Apologetics Study Bible for Students, a mini Aplogetic Library, or a free trip for 2 to NCCA's conference. Go to the Apologetics Study Bible website and enter on the right by clicking on the Sweepstakes banner, or go straight to the sweepstakes entry here.
2) And courtesy of FlyBy Promotions, I have one copy of the Aplogetics Study Bible for students to give away to anyone who comments on this blog post.
To enter, do one of the following, and comment by telling what you did:
a) Go to the page where the video archive is, and either watch a video, listen to the MP3, or read the PDF sample page from the Bible on the subject. Comment and say which you did, and what subject was covered.
b) Download a study guide and read over it, and comment with which one you read.
c) Download an app for the regular or student version of the Bible here, and comment with which one.
10 days from today on August 23, I will pick a winner using Random.org.
Important: please make sure I have a way to contact you. If there is no way to contact you through Google, leave your email in a way similar to this: marcus(at)yahoo(dot)com. On my last giveway, I couldn't find a way to contact any of the entries. Thanks.
The Apologetics Study Bible for Students is available from Broadman and Holman Publishing.
Thanks to FlyBy Promotions for the review and giveaway copies.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
I have a lot of favorite suspense authors whose books I really enjoy, but Janice Cantore's books are way up on the list of favorites. In addition to writing a great story, she is a former police officer and I imagine she has a good idea of what goes on in police work, and that comes through in her books.
This book was no exception. From the sounds of things, it is the first in a new series and it is a great beginning. The story has a great main female and male character, the plot is really good, and it has a lot of action and suspense. There is a new crime and a crime several years old that are both being worked on by the police. The story has some romance, but it doesn't take up much of the story and leaves the idea there could be something between the two main characters later. It is a book that once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down and it actually kept me up past my bedtime the evening that I read it. I highly recommend it and any of Cantore's other books.
About the author:
A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. A few years ago, she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, where she lives with three Labrador retrievers, Jake, Maggie, and Abbie. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Accused is the first book in the Pacific Coast Justice series, featuring Carly Edwards. Janice also authored the Brinna’s Heart series, which includes The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice. Visit Janice’s website at www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook.
Drawing Fire is available from Tyndale Publishing.
Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for the review copy which I was provided a free copy of for reviewing.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Saturday, August 1, 2015
The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
I am not big on documentary type DVDs, but this sounded interesting. It took a little while to get my attention, but then I found myself getting into it after the first 10-15 minutes. The DVD is not one man talking the whole time. It is narrated some and the man who did the DVD talks with several different people throughout the DVD. There are scenes from Bible movies, photographs, views of different scenes, and other graphs and documents pictured throughout the DVD.
I never realized how much disagreement and doubt there is about the Exodus story. Many archaeologists claim that there is no proof found in archaeology for the Exodus. I don't want to give too much away, but Mahoney shows that there is a lot of proof for the Exodus if the commonly accepted date for it is moved back a certain amount of years. I found the information and proof he presented fascinating, and was amazed at the things they have found that do prove the Bible is right about the Exodus, Jericho, and other events in and around Egypt and the Exodus. Granted, this isn't like watching a fast-paced movie, but I enjoyed the DVD and found my faith in the Bible rejuvenated and it made me more convinced than ever that God's Word is true.
Releases on DVD August 4, 2015
Run Time: 119 minutes
Special Features: Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews
Behind the Music
From Film to Book
Additional Books and Resources
Host a Patterns of Evidence Movie Event
SOCIAL • C O R N E R
Official Website: http://patternsofevidence.com
Official Website to Purchase: http://shop.patternsofevidence.com
Blog featuring interviews with director Tim Mahoney and an article by Anne Graham Lotz: http://patternsofevidence.tumblr.com
Courtesy of FlyBy Promotions, I have one copy of the DVD to give away.
To enter, do one of the following:
Follow Patterns of Evidence on Twitter
Follow Patterns of Evidence on Twitter
"Like" the page on Facebook
Visit the website
Watch the trailer.
Comment with which you did, and 10 days from today on August 11, I will pick a winner using Random.org.
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”