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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Personifid Invasion R.E. Bartlett

[The Personified Invasion by R.E. Barlett]

In, The Personifid Invasion, the world has advanced long past using real bodies-- at least, most of it has. Intraterrestrials, or Inters for short walk the streets. They claim to bring higher knowledge and all good things to the backward civilizations on earth. They claim that religion and worship are chains that bind and that you must move beyond them. They claim to be a higher life form.  Emotional and physical suppressant and inflation patches, are common play for those that still have real bodies. If you need more strength? Tranquility? Peace? Just slap on the patch. Nevertheless, most have become personified, having their soul transferred to a fake body leaving themselves behind. You can look like anything you want, never really become hungry, hot, cold, it’s perfect—isn’t it? ‘The Followers’ believe that the Inters aren’t as harmless at they appear and that they are really here to hurt and destroy, could they be right? Could there really be a brooding menace lurking past the beautiful fa├žade?


The Personifid invasion, at least to me, embodies Christian speculative fiction. The writing delves into subjects long spurned or forgotten previously and masterfully brings them into connection with the spiritual side of life. I’m naturally skeptical with any book that deals with something akin to aliens…but this book blew that away. At first with a few character names like Antha,and Anphra I worried about telling them apart. But once the story started, no need! Yikes! Mr. Bartlett made a real futuristic spell binder complete with characters that are real enough to meet, a setting and plot that will have me dreaming the rest of the day, and some food for thought that will stay with me. Five out of five stars for this book, it truly is, Speculative Fiction to the max!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Restorer, By Sharon Hinck


 [The Restorer Sharon Hinck]

The Restorer by Sharon Hinck is the first book in the Sword of Lyric series, a great first book! Susan Mitchell is the heroin in a story of fantastical proportions. She’s a normal housewife with four kids and a loving husband. But even with those blessings life just isn’t too easy, she needs a space of her own to battle the dark clouds that have encircled her. At her husband’s wish, more of a loving decree, he builds her an attic hideaway—one that turns into something so much more. Transported through a portal in her attic Susan is thrust into a world of political intrigue where corrupt council members grapple for power and forsake the One. Mind and soul poisoning enemies that want only to destroy. And those who would dispatch with the verses and follow the lands surrounding them into their “enlightenment”. Susan is thrown into a great story by Mrs. Hinck with many unique players and lovable, and equally despicable players: A disgruntled but loyal guardian, Tristan who is still mourning a sister. His best friend, a wild card named Kieran bitter of his loss of a sister and cut loose from the council. And a council member intent on having it all, Cameron. No matter what alliances cost the people. Finding her missing, her husband Mark enters into this strange world looking for his wife. How does he know about this hidden world and will he be able to find her in time?

Questions and unknowns dog Susan from the moment she is pulled through the portal, but will her reliance on the One and love of her family be enough to sustain her? Or will she fall to the darkness that wishes to be rid once and for all, of—The Restorer.

I really enjoyed the book and the spiritual themes about God were refreshing and encouraging. Thanks Mrs. Hinck!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Topical Memory System, The Navigators

The Topical Memory System is going to be a great addition to my arsenal, and anyones, of Christian materials to better my spiritual walk. The verse cards in multiple translations were great for a guy like me that has often over the years gone between the translations at seemingly random choosing. They have verses in NIV, MSG, NASB, NKJV, ESV, KJV, NRSV, and NLT, a translation for anyone!!

Thankfully though they don’t just give you the versus and expect you to know where to start, they give you a course workbook, something concrete to go from. The workbook is divided into multiple sections each focusing on a different spiritual aspects such as: A:Live the New Life, B:Proclaim Christ, C:Rely on God’s resources, D: Be Christ’s Disciple, and E:Grow in Christ likeness.

 For each section they have a set of verses for usage, such as--for section B, Proclaiming Christ, they have Romans 3:23 as one of the versus. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Or for section D, Be Christ’s Disciple, one of the versus is Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The plus of extra translations in addition to the work book make this memory serious a positive addition to anyone’s shelf. Thank you!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Jungle Warfare by Christopher A. Cunningham

[Jungle Warfare Christopher A. Cunningham]


 
The book was direct and to the point. I believe it also stayed on solid Biblical grounds as it tackled questions sales representatives and those who are just wondering if you can be a salesman and at the same time, strong Christian, are asking.  While not a bad book by any means, it was also not my favorite. I found the idea of a Christian-In-Sales manual based off a World War Two jungle warfare manual quite intriguing! So perhaps I was looking for the wrong things when I opened up the book but I expected more drawing of parallels and perhaps short stories to go with the devotional days. If I had come to the book expecting a devotional book with a slight military slant, then I think I would have been happy with it. But as it was, that was not what I expected.  Even with this setback though, I found the book carried strong in practicality ideas, spiritually strong. It clearly articulated the idea that a man may be a super salesman, and also be a rock solid Christian. I would recommend this book to any salesman I know, with the conveyance that it was a salesman’s devotional, not a jungle warfare devotional for salesmen.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Out live your life, by Max Lucado

[Outlive your life Max Lucado]

Max Lucado’s most recent book, Out Live Your Life-You were made to make a difference,  is another great titled rolled out by this Christian author. He examines the early church, the book of Acts, and who was in the early church making a difference for God. It’s the modern truck driver as Peter, the grocery store clerk as John-Mark. All average Joe’s, making a  non-average impact for God. The difference between them and the average man is the power of God working in their life.

Even with one glance it’s clear that the book has fun stories, interesting writing, and an impacting message. As you dig deeper the fun stories become meaningful, the interesting writing, just a byproduct of the Christ centered book; and the impacting message? A mainstream theme in the book, as it examines the idea of outliving your life.

Overall, on a scale of one to ten(ten being the best), I would give this book an eight point five. It was an interesting book with a deeper side that went beyond the writing, and turned my thoughts to “Outliving my life”. Thank you Mr. Lucado, keep writing!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Beyond Opinion By Ravi Zacharias

[Beyond Opinion Ravi Zacharias]

Beyond Opinion is a hardcore apologist book for the serious believer.  Mr. Zacharias clearly and somewhat concisely, with the help of other co-authors, lays out a book designed to combat and reach beyond the thinking of popular religious ideas in the culture, ideas such as Atheism, Hinduism, New age philosophy, Islam, Youth culture Ideas, Eastern Religion. Beyond addressing the ideas in the above religions/and or ideas, the book contains an entire chapter on Conversational Apologetics, how to get to the heart of the issue and address the person.

As a teen reader that likes to dig into books like this, I was eager to crack it open and start digging! One thing that struck me as I read was that I definitely found some of the authors more interesting than others, to the extreme. Perhaps it was their topics and not the authors themselves, but it seemed the book would go through extremely dry sections. Something I did appreciate about the differing writing styles was that the stories that were sometimes shared were varied and quite interesting. I always found the point of them hammered home and usually convicting. Theologically and Biblically, I think this book was right on the proverbial money.

All in all the book was not an easy read, but it was a worthwhile one. I would recommend this to any teen or adult that is serious about learning about being an in earnest apologists.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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