Saturday, March 28, 2009
I have a special gift for you today!
I'm in a celebratory mood since Marla Cukor has finished the screenplay based on Sin & Vengeance. Readers have been raving about Sin & Vengeance since it was released 3 years ago, but you've probably never heard of it.
Now is your chance to read it for free!
I'm hoping that if enough people read the book online, we'll have a huge audience for the movie when it comes out.
Here's what you can do with your free Ebook:
You can save it.
You can read it.
You can copy it.
You can email it.
You can email the link if you'd like to save space.
Just please don't change it or sell it.
Above all, please, please, please share it!
http://www.22wb.com/freesinbook.htm PASSWORD: cjwest
If you'd like to see more of what CJ has to offer then be sure to check out the rest of his website at http://www.22wb.com/ .
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Fans of paranormal fiction greats like Mindy Klasky, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Annette Blair will simply go head over heels for newly on the scene Kimberly Frost. Her dazzling debut, Would-Be Witch, is an absolute delight that this reader found near impossible to put down.
Tammy Jo Trask is a witch. What she is not is a very good one. Having opted to travel a different path in life than the one of magic her mother and aunts chose to follow, Tammy Jo is unfamiliar with and unskilled in what it takes to make the family legacy work to her advantage. Being the inspired and artful pastry chef that she is, however, this has never been an issue- until now.
Her heirloom locket stolen at a Halloween dress up party, Tammy Jo finds her swept away in a change of events unlike any other she's ever had the pleasure, or displeasure as it may be, of following. For you see, the locket isn't just a prized family heirloom. There more to it, much more to it, than that. The locket contains the spirit of Tammy Jo's great great grandmother's dead twin sister Edie. Happy to come and go as she pleases, Edie's soul resides in the locket, as opposed to crossing over to the otherside. Mostly she chooses when and where she'll appear, but there's also one time a year that she can not stop herself from coming out. And when she does her family must be in possession of the locket or it will mean sayonara for Edie. Unfortunately for both Edie and Tammy, that day is only just around the corner.
In a small town where rumors of magic are just that- rumors, Tammy Jo must find a way to invoke her inner witch. In a race against the clock and her family's rule book, she must not only get back her locket and save dead Edie's soul but also manage to stop a town-wide crime spree that only other creatures from the paranormal realm could possibly be heading up. With no family present to help her come unto her powers, Tammy Jo finds herself with no where to turn but to her family's sworn enemy- the flirtatious and dynamic Bryn Lyons. If anyone can help her harness her power, save Edie, and get the town back to its quiet Southern disposition it'll be Lyons.
Only trouble is, the town's not big enough for two studs vying for the same girl's attention. When Tammy's ex-husband, Zach, notices the seemingly undo amount of time and attention the pair is spending on one another, he's up in arms and ready to go to the mat. Being that he is a strong unbeliever in things of an otherworldly dimension, Tammy can't just break things down for Zach. Telling him any more than he absolutely must know will only endanger him more and make herself look like an even bigger nut in his eyes. Somehow Tammy Jo must decide how to juggle the two men suddenly thrown in to her life. There's no time for the raw emotions she herself is experiencing, and she must keep her head in the game.
Chock full of witches, werewolves, zombies, and mermen Would-Be Witch proves that Frost is a force to be reckoned with. Unlike some books where you can tell the author tried too hard to include too many facets that simply don't mesh together, this book flawlessly incorporates all sorts of fun elements and crazy creatures from the paranormal realm. From the git go I was entertained and thoroughly captured by the fun world created here in the tiny Southern town of Duvall, Texas. That being said, I can hardly wait for September when the next installment of Frost's Southern Witch Series is due to hit shelves.
Would-Be Witch is quite simply a remarkably fantastic debut!
~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Written by proclaimed New York Times Bestselling author and Pitbull of Personal Development, Larry Winget, People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! was more than a book with a great title. Idiots come in every size, shape, color, and walk of life. As Larry showed, most people have a little idiot living in them on a daily basis. Sound hard to accept? Bah, it is until you read you read what Larry has to say, and then it all makes sense.
The subtitle to People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! is The 10 Ways You Are Sabotaging Yourself and How You Can Overcome Them. See what I mean? It's saying we're all idiots because we all do stupid things that unintentionally hurt us when if we'd just use a little common sense on some really common issues, we'd find ourself in a far better position in life. Take for example the health issue that Winget brings up. People everywhere say they want to be healthy, self included, but when it really comes down to it we only do so much to reach that goal. We could set a goal and then work ardently towards achieving it. Or we could do what most people do, and only partially work towards the goal. A person who eats and exercises well because he wants to be healthy, but who then turns around and smokes cigarettes on a daily basis is an idiot. He's not overcoming the stronghold that keeps him from reaching his goal. He can eat as healthy as he wants and workout til kingdom come; however, if he continues to smoke he'll never be truly healthy.This is just one example that Winget gives throughout his book.
It's so easy to imagine that you're not one of the people he's talking to, and then you start to read what he's written and you find you were wrong. We all do stupid things. I wouldn't necessarily have gone on to proclaim we were all idiots for making small mistakes, but I'm not Larry. He's brash, he's hardcore, and he's straight to the point. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that at all. Infact, I think it's Larry's stick it to you attitude that really makes you raise the bar on your thinking. He's not pointing out anything new fangled. All he's really doing is approaching some common sense information in a new way.
I thought the book was well developed and informative. When there were sections where the author wanted you to list out certain aspects of your life, goals, etc he was certain to include space actually within the book. I personally feel incredibly naughty if I write in a book, so I still used scrap paper for those. However, I think it's great that the book is set up similar style to a workbook because I think many people would be far more likely to complete the list activities with the space provided directly to them within the pages of the book. And the book is designed to be effective in the reader's life only if he or she takes the time to do the lists. Without them it's like you're reading the info but you're not really applying to your own life.
People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! is broken down in to three well defined sections. The first shows readers in what capacity we can all qualify as idiots. With the worksheet lists readers are given the opportunity to take a firsthand introspective look at their lives to see in what areas they might be coming up short. Once they've established what areas they are sabataging themselves in Winget moves on to the second section which sums up ways they can fix the idiot factor to move on to success. Again, the included worksheets are incredibly beneficial because readers can list out and plainly see what actions are needed to be taken if they are going to overcome the obstacles that are holding them back. Lastly the third section just pulls it all together and gets you to gather your thoughts on the book as a whole.
Moving beyond the definition of idiot to living out one's life with one's best dreams and goals at heart isn't difficult at all if you're willing to go the extra mile to figure out where you're causing yourself to go astray initially. As Winget shows, it's never too late to change, though obviously the sooner the better.
~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC
Friday, March 13, 2009
December 1, 1997 started out just like any other day for 15-year old Missy Jenkins, but a mere couple of hours later it took a serious turn for the worse. Gathered with 7 other friends and school mates for a morning pre-school prayer session, Missy was gunned down. Not just Missy, but several other students fell that morning as well. Sadly, as it seems to happen in most cases, some suffered a worse fate than others. The bullet that struck Missy hit in such a way that it caused her to become immediately paralyzed from the chest down. Yet, today we call Missy lucky and blessed. How could someone compare her outcome on this tragic day to a blessing? Because when put in perspective that's exactly what it was. Three of the victims that were shot in the lobby of Heath High School that morning did not survive.
Today, more than 11 years later, Missy has become more than just a survivor. Despite the complete and total life changing events brought about that December morning by 14-year old student, Michael Carneal, Missy is stronger than ever and has a tale of hope to share with any who will listen. That's not to say the road she took between then and now was easy, quite the contrary. It is though the shooting and that road to recovery that has made Missy the incredible speaker, counselor, sister, daughter, friend, wife, and mother she is today. Sure her life could have been easier and far less painful; yet, in retrospect, she has no doubt that God's hand has been on her life since day one. We all have a different path to follow, this particular path just happened to be the one Missy believes God had destined for her. As she goes on to suggest, God works in mysterious ways, and though we don't always understand why certain things happen, God is always in control and has a plan.
Reading Missy's firsthand account of the Paducah, KY shooting (The second in a sickening sweep of such across our nation in the years that were to follow.) and her recovery thereafter was not as much heart breaking as it was inspirational and amazing. Most people having been in Missy's shoes would have crumbled under the pressure of what they'd been through and what was yet to come. However, Missy used the tragic experience as a stepping block to not only better herself, but to strive to help others along the way.
So many times during the rehabilitation & recovery process, Missy could have given up. Being reminded daily, by her condition, of what all was taken from her that fateful morning, Missy could have become bitter and hateful. Yet, she's anything but. Today, Missy is a strong, intelligent, inspirational icon. Someone who has so closely encountered death, but lived to tell about it. Someone who suffered an unimaginable loss, but who lived to come out stronger because of it. Someone who never let her faith in God or mankind falter even though she had every right and reason to.
I Choose to Be Happy is an awe inspiring read that showcases how a single solitary action can change the course of history. Yet how something that seems to be a devestating loss can actually be turned for good if you're willing to accept the unchangeable, live without regrets, forgive, and never loose faith in God. Missy shows her true colors through this memoir, and those colors are as brilliant as the most magnificent rainbow.
Looking back on Missy's ordeal and everything she had to go through to get to today, I'm not sure I could say with all honesty that I could do it were I in her position. The strength and tenacity that Missy has had to develope and embody is truly unbelievable. Seeing everything that Missy has gone through to get where she is today is nothing short of moving. You can't help but feel utterly blessed just by reading a little bit about this trying journey that Missy has endured and used for good.
It was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to read this book. My thanks go out to the author and publicist who gave me this honor. Thank you.
And to Missy, should you read this, you truly are an amazing woman. I have the utmost respect for you, for having overcome all that you have, and for coming out on top. Even with the tragedy you had to endure, God has truly blessed you. I have no doubt He has used you in many great ways already and that He will continue to do so throughout your life time.
~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (September 2, 2008)
Ken Ham is the founder and executive director of Answers in Genesis in the USA and one of the most sought-after Christian speakers in North America. He is also the author or co-author of many books, including The Lie: Evolution, The Genesis Solution, Genesis and the Decay of the Nations, What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?, A is for Adam, D is for Dinosaur, Creation Evangelism for the New Millennium (now called Why Won't They Listen?), and One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism.
Visit the author's website.
Steve Ham, brother of Ken Ham and the youngest of six Ham children, is the founder and director of Growth Point Financial Ministries, an Australian charitable organization. Steve is married to his wife, Trisha, and is the father of two. He is also coauthor of Answers for Life.
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (September 2, 2008)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
do tell tales
with Ken Ham
. . . the righteous shall be in
(Ps. 112:6; NKJV).
legacy (lěg´e-sē) n. Something handed down, by one who has gone before in the past, and left to those in the present and future.
There is a saying, one that we have gathered from the legends of the Wild West, which says “Dead men tell no tales.” The saying implies that the knowledge and influence of the deceased goes with them to the grave, never to be heard from again. I find that not to be the case! Dead men do tell tales. If you ever take a walk around the small English town of Bedford, as I have, you will quickly see what I mean.
Bedford was the hometown of John Bunyan, author of the still very popular Pilgrim’s Progress, now in its 400th year of printing.1 The day I walked around the town, I saw reminders of John Bunyan everywhere — the site of the jail where he spent many years imprisoned, the site of the house in which he was raised, his statue in the town square, the church he preached at in later life with a museum of many of his personal items, and the church where he was baptized in 1628. Bedford even has a pub called “Pilgrim’s Progress Pub!” (I’m sure John Bunyan would love to know he had a pub named after his famous book!)
Something really hit me as I walked around Bedford. As I thought about the life of John Bunyan and how he was persecuted and jailed for preaching the Word of God, I wondered about what happened to those responsible for his persecution and jailing. There was no mention of any of Bunyan’s enemies in Bedford. In fact, in the large graveyard of the church where Bunyan rang the church bell as a child, I saw many very old gravestones. It is certainly possible that some of these gravestones stand on the graves of Bunyan’s persecutors. However, these gravestones were so eroded that the names had disappeared. Whoever these people were, their memory has all but gone. As I looked at these nameless gravestones, Proverbs 10:7 came to mind:
The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.
Certainly, this is the case in Bedford. The man who stood for the authority of the Word of God is remembered. The memory of those who opposed Bunyan has disappeared into oblivion. Bunyan and his books (particularly Pilgrim’s Progress) live on in the memories of people all over the world and in the printed pages that still come off the printing presses today. Yes, “The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
A very similar type of situation exists in the town of Worms, Germany. My wife, Mally, and I walked around this town, finding many memorials to the memory of Martin Luther, the great reformer who started the Reformation in 1517.2 There were various statues, plaques, and other markers that told the story of Martin Luther. I even had the awesome opportunity to stand at the very place where it is believed Luther stood when he was purported to have uttered these now famous words:
Here I stand [on Scripture]. I can do no other.
God help me! Amen.
I must admit, tingles went down my spine as I stood there and contemplated the life of a man who started a movement that has affected the world for the Lord to this day.
Again, I didn’t see any memorials to all of those who opposed Luther. They aren’t remembered in Worms; the memory of those who persecuted him is all but lost. Luther — the man who stood for the authority of the Word of God — is remembered, and his legacy continues to have great impact on the world today . . . even among those who don’t know his name. The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance; but unfortunately, the unrighteous can still make an everlasting impact as they forge legacies of an entirely different kind.
If you walk the streets of Shrewsbury, England, you will find memorials to another man of great influence — memorials quite similar to those left for Bunyan and Luther. There is a statue outside his school and a sign outside of the home of his birth, noting the date of February 12, 1809. This is the birthdate of Charles Darwin, who at the age of 50 would publish On the Origin of Species. Throughout the town a similar pride is felt and is reflected in the names of many locations: Darwin Gardens, Darwin Terrace, Darwin Street, and Darwin Shopping Center.
There are similarities in the memorials to these three men, but the legacies they left behind could not be more different. Darwin proposed that “life” can be explained without God. By concluding that a supposed link between ape and man meant that there is no God (as detailed in his subsequent book, The Descent of Man), his ideas left humanity to decide right or wrong on their own, to write their own rules and do their own thing, following whatever seems best in their own eyes.
The implications of Darwin’s legacy are far-reaching. He paved the way for moral relativism, and fueled racism (claiming that blacks, aborigines, and others are inferior, less-evolved races.) His ideas have also fueled the abortion industry, leading to the conclusion that an unborn child is nothing more than a lump of cells (or just an animal) and that a woman has the right to kill it if she so chooses. The ideas of Darwin even paved the way for Hitler, who used them to justify the extermination of those he considered less than ideal — resulting in the mass murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, and others. His ideas have contributed to the erosion of the family, educational institutions, the decay of the legal system, and have led to great compromise in the Church.
To see evolutionary measures and
tribal morality being applied rigorously
to the affairs of a great modern nation
we must turn again to Germany of 1942.
We see Hitler devoutly convinced that
evolution provides the only real
basis for a national policy.3
One of the students involved in the Columbine (Colorado) school shootings wore a T-shirt with “natural selection” written on it. The more students are told they are just animals, and have evolved by natural processes — the more they will begin to act consistently with this view of origins. As generations are trained to believe there is no God, thus no absolute authority, then there is no basis for determining right and wrong — moral relativism will pervade the culture.
The late Dr. Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote an article that appeared in Parade Magazine, April 22, 1990, using the fraudulent idea of emybronic recapitulation popularized by Ernst Haeckel (the false idea that when an embryo develops in its mother’s womb it goes through a fish stage, etc., reflecting its evolutionary history, until it becomes human) to justify abortion. They claimed the embryo wasn’t really human until about the sixth month.
I’ve heard of girls who were told by an abortion clinic that what was in their womb was in the fish stage of evolution, thus they could abort it. A false view of origins leads to terrible consequences.
For example, families are breaking apart due to evolutionary views of unborn children as nothing but animals, and subsequent abortions that result. School shootings such as those at Columbine High School are prevalent among secular schools, because students view other students as animals. The ideas of Darwin are having an effect throughout the culture.
This is the Darwinian legacy: A false idea that has led to the destruction of the authority of the Word of God in our modern age. He popularized a philosophy that has convinced others that the Bible is not true, that everything is the result of random natural process, and that we are little more than animals; free to decide as we are bidden to decide.
Two signs outside of the Shrewsbury Unitarian Church speak for themselves. The first proudly proclaims:
Charles Darwin worshiped here
when he was young.
The second church sign, permanently etched as a motto to be seen by all who pass by, gives a clear indication of the legacy behind which the legacy of Darwin emerged:
No one has the only truth, this we believe.
Not a Question of “If”
Luther, Bunyan, and Darwin; these three men left two entirely different kinds of legacy. Each legacy continues to impact the world in different ways. Let there be no doubt: A legacy is a very, very powerful thing. Let there be no doubt about this either: You too will leave a legacy. Truly, it’s not a question of if you will leave a legacy, it is only a matter of what kind. Long after your body is laid to rest, the impact of your life will continue to spread throughout your community and your world. Never forget that your legacy will be felt most strongly by those closest to you: your family.
Your family desperately needs you to stand up and lead, because the world is drawing them in all the wrong directions. Statistics indicate that around 90 percent4 of the children from church homes attend public schools in America. Sadly, statistics indicate that seven out of ten of such students will walk away from the church after their senior high years.5
America is said to have been the greatest Christian nation on earth. This country has the world’s greatest number of Christian bookshops, Christian radio stations, churches, seminaries, and Christian and Bible colleges. It is inundated with all of the best Christian resources available, yet America is becoming less Christian every day . . . and many Christian parents are heartbroken to see their children move toward the world and away from the church.
Dads and moms are crying out for answers, and teachers are becoming increasingly concerned by the rebellious attitudes, lack of politeness, and vanishing Christian morals they see, even in “church kids.” Barna Research found that only nine percent of teens who call themselves “born-again Christians” believe in absolute moral truth.6 Family breakups, even among those calling themselves Christian, are startlingly common.7
What are the problems? What are the solutions? Are there answers that will deal with the heart of the problems and provide real solutions? Christian and secular books about the family and raising children abound, yet the questions continue. How should children be raised in today’s world? How can a family produce godly offspring dedicated to the Lord? What methods of discipline should be used in bringing up children? Should Christian children be kept in public schools to witness to others, or is Christian or home schooling a necessity? How can Christianity be made relevant to the younger generations?
The list of questions goes on and on, and the Christian family of today is deeply struggling to find answers. I believe there are answers — but I want to warn you that they may challenge your comfort zone, and they may go contrary to what is “acceptable” in your community. The answers may be labeled as “offensive” to those who are more worried about political correctness than righteousness.
Before you can even begin to search out and apply the answers, an even more fundamental question must be answered:
What kind of legacy do you intend to leave?
What type of memorials might be
left in your remembrance?
Can I humbly suggest that you can leave a memorial that can affect the world as Luther and Bunyan did? Many of you reading this might be saying, “Give me a break! They were great and now very famous men. They deserve such memorials, but I’ll never have statues or other memorials built in my memory. I’m not going to be famous like them.”
I disagree with that kind of thinking. You have no idea how God might choose to use you or your children or your children’s children. You must understand that God’s Word gives us the foundation from which we can do our best to build the right structure in our families. God’s Word (not your own wisdom or strength) is the basis of a godly legacy. The Bible alone is living and active, and able to divide and judge correctly, and its principles can lead to astounding results.
If you are going to leave a legacy like Bunyan or Luther, you are going to have to decide to go against the flow, because the flow of the world today is leading to decay, death, and even hell. Each of us has a personal choice to make regarding the future of our family. Will we lead into a legacy of life and freedom based on the Word of God, or will we lead our families into a legacy of relativism and death, as did Darwin?
The question is not rhetorical, but immensely practical, affecting everything that you might do and everything you might be. The type of legacy you choose will most likely have great impact on your community, your world, and, most graphically, your family. Which will it be? Will you lead your family into a legacy of truth, life, and freedom based on the Word of God, or will you lead your family into a legacy of relativism, bondage, and death, as did Darwin? It’s a decision each one of us must make. I know, I had to do it myself and it was a critical decision in my ongoing journey for truth and answers.
When I started high school, I eagerly looked forward to my science lessons. However, I was perplexed when the teacher taught that humans evolved from “ape-men,” and that animals had evolved over millions of years. My textbooks laid out what claimed to be convincing proof that we progressed from molecules to man without any outside influence. I was further taught ideas on how the universe had formed — but they all involved naturalistic processes. God wasn’t involved at all. They claimed that everything somehow exploded out of nothing all by itself, and they made it all sound so “scientific.” Everything I was taught about the origin of matter, life, and man conflicted with what my parents had taught me from the Bible. How was I to resolve this?
I sat down with my father and asked him to help me sort this out. Sadly, at that time there were no books or other resources that we were aware of that dealt with the creation/evolution issue. Certainly, none were readily available to us in Australia at that time. (When I look at all the resources available today, I often think back to this time in my life and realize how blessed people are today.)
From a scientific perspective, my father could not refute the supposed ape-men fossils, or the billions of years of evolution, or the supposed “big-bang” history of the universe. He wasn’t a scientist and he didn’t understand where these ideas had come from. Although my father had lots of answers in many areas where secular ideas contradicted Scripture, in this area of origins, he just didn’t have a defense — he didn’t even know where to start.
I completed high school, rejecting molecules-to-man evolution as a philosophy, but I didn’t have any solid scientific answers to defend my position. I was concerned about this, but my father’s words kept ringing in my ears:
Even if we can’t find an answer to explain why
the secular idea is wrong, we need to continue
to search and wait for the answer.
During my college years while studying for my science degree, I was bombarded with evolutionary ideas in biology, geology, and other subject areas. I still had no scientific response to what I was being taught, so I just lived with the dilemma — though I recognized that sooner or later I had to sort this out in some way. As I studied, however, I did observe that my textbooks and professors did not have convincing evidence for Darwinian evolution or the supposed billions of years for the age of the earth. I recognized there were numerous assumptions behind the various interpretations of fossil bones and the supposed long ages attributed to them, but I really wanted some answers.
Somehow, a little booklet that dealt with the creation/evolution issue from a biblical perspective came into my possession. As I read through this booklet, one particular section stood out from all the others. The author stated that from a biblical perspective, there could not have been death and bloodshed of animals and man before sin, since this would destroy the foundations of the gospel. As I thought about this something really hit me between the eyes: A Christian can’t consistently accept the idea of an earth that is billions of years old (with its supposed millions of years of layers of fossils that we know contain evidence of cancer and other diseases in bones), and accept the statements concerning sin and death in the Bible. Over the years, we have certainly developed such arguments to a much more sophisticated level, but the respect I had for the authority of the Word as instilled in me by my father caused me to recognize the vital importance of this death issue.
This small booklet gave me a number of biblical arguments about why Christians can’t accept molecules-to-man evolution and the Bible’s record of origins at the same time. For example, Darwinian evolution teaches man evolved from ape-like ancestors, but the Bible teaches Adam was created from dust and Eve was created from his side. Thus, there is no way one can consistently reconcile the Genesis account of the creation of man (if one takes it at face value) with the Darwinian account. These explanations sustained me for some time.
As the years progressed, the Lord confirmed in my thinking that it was important to wait for answers, just as my father had trained me. I learned to continue in heartfelt faith, based on what God said in His Word, in spite of a lack of understanding. Passages from Job have helped me considerably in dealing with secular ideas and secular interpretations of evidence when they conflict with what the Word of God says:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding (Job 38:4).
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:1–6; NKJV).
God aggressively quizzes Job through chapters 38 to 42, asking him questions about various animals and other aspects of the earth and universe that Job cannot possibly answer. “Job, were you there when I made the earth? Do you know this? What about this, Job? Do you understand that? How much do you know about this?” At the end of God’s inquisition, Job falls down in dust and ashes, basically saying, “I give up Lord — compared to You I know nothing.”
Psalm 147:5 reminds us that “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” It is absolutely impossible that we should understand everything . . . yet God does, and for the time being, He has given us all the answers we need for a big-picture understanding of life and the universe in His holy and perfect Bible.
My father’s words echoed the truth of the Job passages. To this day, I often remember one of the things my father taught me: If the Bible can’t be trusted in one area, how can it be trusted anywhere else? Dad clearly understood the importance of not compromising God’s Word with man’s fallible ideas . . . and he taught me to do the same. Looking back on this time, I can’t help but think of Proverbs 2:3–6:
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding (NKJV).
So, as I prayed for answers, I held to my faith in a vacuum of scientific evidence. Still, I felt the conflict between what I thought was “science” and my faith. (I found out later that there is a big difference between “observational science” which we all agree with, and “historical science” which involves the scientist’s beliefs about the past.) I really wanted to honor God’s Word and find the answers that would validate what I believed to be true. I needed some scientific answers to sort this out; but where would I find them? While I didn’t know it at the time, God was working in a special way to provide them for me.
God heard my earnest prayers. In 1974, during my post-graduate year, I mentioned the creation/evolution issue and my dilemma to a friend. He told me about a book that had been published in America which gave lots of scientific answers concerning geology and Noah’s flood. Where would I obtain such a book? I traveled into the city of Brisbane to visit the only Christian bookstore I was aware of. It was on the second floor of an old building — not very easy to find. When I described this book on the Flood to the woman looking after the store, she immediately went and found a copy of The Genesis Flood by Morris and Whitcomb. (I still have this first major creation book that began my creation library.)
As I read the book, I found so many answers to questions about dating methods, rock layers, fossils, and many other aspects of the creation/evolution issue. I was so excited! They were answers that made sense and clearly showed that observational science confirmed the Bible’s account of creation and the Flood. (Even though some of the arguments in this book are now out of date, subsequent research built on this publication has only reinforced the overwhelming evidence that confirms the Bible’s account of history in Genesis.) My eyes were opened and I began to understand the nature of the scientific arguments concerning the origins issue for the first time. I clearly remember smiling and thinking, Once again my father’s stand on the Scripture has been vindicated — and once again God’s infallible Word has judged the pretense of the evolutionists and the compromise of liberal theologians.
Almost 30 years later, while visiting a particular tourist attraction in Brisbane, an elderly lady recognized me and approached me. As we talked, I realized that she and her husband had owned the Christian bookstore where I purchased The Genesis Flood. I explained to her that this was the first major creation book I had obtained, and that it was an integral part of my journey through life. I shared with her that the Lord used that one book to begin a creation ministry in Australia, then Answers in Genesis in the United States, and now many other parts of the world.
She became very excited and told me that her husband had had a real interest in science, the Bible, and the creation/evolution issue. He had such a burden that he made sure he had a copy of The Genesis Flood in his bookshop after he found out about it. That book was there on the shelf waiting for me to purchase it.
Soon, I took the book to my father saying, “Dad, I’ve found many answers to the creation/evolution issue! Observational science does confirm the Genesis account!” To this day, I can still picture that smile on his face as he flipped through the pages. He so loved the Word of God and was so thrilled to have adequate answers to uphold God’s Word in Genesis. If my father had compromised his stand on the Word before he had the evidence to confirm its authority, I don’t believe I would be writing this book or be involved in active ministry today. Thankfully, my father’s faith held, and he chose to act on it. In the process, he began a legacy of worldwide influence that neither of us dreamed possible — not from a no-name bunch of outback Australians at least!
In a public cemetery in the city of Brisbane, Australia, stands a particular gravestone. The marker is not outstanding in any sense; it is not in any prominent place, nor do tourists gather at this spot. Throughout the city of Brisbane there are neither statues nor memorials in memory of the man whose body rests below the marker.
As one among the thousands of other gravestones, this marker is not easy to find. Unless you were specifically looking for it, there would be no reason to even think about searching for it, or to think it should be noteworthy from all the others, but it is noteworthy to me — even more than those of Luther and Bunyan. The words on this gravestone are few and simple:
In loving memory of HAM, Mervyn Alfred
who passed into the presence of the Lord on 9th June, 1995
Aged 66 years
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”
No signs, no statues, no museum. Our dad, together with our precious and godly mother, will be remembered by memorials of a different kind . . . memorials that will stand into eternity, long after the plaques and portraits of others have fallen. Mum and Dad produced six living memorials in their children, and we, in turn, are now creating a godly inheritance to leave to our children. By the grace of God it will be a godly legacy that will teach and remind people for generations to come about the authority of the Word of God and the saving mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A rag-tag bunch we are, dented and tainted by our own sin. We all have our struggles and battles with the old nature, but we praise the Lord for the godly parents to whom we were entrusted to be trained for our ministries in this world and the next.
Understanding the sovereignty of God, I know I would not be in this ministry if it wasn’t for the upbringing my parents gave me. They set the example as dedicated and humble Christians who intentionally sought to raise a godly family that would evangelize the lost in an ungodly world. The Answers in Genesis ministry is itself a memorial to my parents and the legacy they began in our lives and in our world.
Please understand that you too will leave a legacy to the generations to follow. They may not build memorials to you and it’s unlikely that they will place signs outside of the place of your birth . . . but what you leave behind will forever impact the hearts and souls of those in your family and beyond. You will leave a legacy; the only question is what kind of legacy will it be. May you recognize from this day forward one certain thing: The foundation of a legacy worth leaving is made up of a faith in God, and a trust in His Holy Word. All we have to build will either stand or fall on this foundation.
Consider this question: What will your children say about you when you die? When your days are done, what kind of legacy will live on in those you touched? Most importantly, will the Lord say “Well done, good and faithful servant”? (Matt. 25:21;NKJV).
Key thoughts from this chapter:
1. Everyone leaves a legacy. The only question is what kind of legacy it will be.
2. A godly legacy is built on the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.
3. A godly legacy begins with a decision, and may require waiting for answers to certain questions.
4. Leaving a legacy is a big deal. Our children, grandchildren, and the world will be eternally impacted by it.
Questions to consider:
1. Has your community been more influenced by legacies like Bunyan’s and Luther’s, or have the people around you been more influenced by legacies like the one left by Darwin?
2. What type of legacy did you inherit from your family?
3. Have you ever made a firm decision to leave a godly legacy for your family and your world? If not, please consider doing so now. Your decision will make an eternal difference.
Resources and tools:
John C. Whitcomb Jr., and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1961).
Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993).
Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready (Nacogdoches, TX: Covenant Media Press, 2004).
Brian Edwards, Nothing but the Truth (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2006).
1. The Pilgrim’s Progress was published in 1678.
2. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
3. Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947), p. 28.
4. Daniel J. Smithwick, “Teachers, Curriculum, Control: A ‘World’ of Difference in Public and Private Schools,” Nehemiah Institute, Inc., Lexington, KY, 1999, p. 11.
5. T.C. Pinckney, “We Are Losing Our Children,” Remarks to Southern Baptists Convention Executive Committee, September 18, 2001.
George Barna, Real Teens (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2001), p. 136, states: “If we apply a ‘correction factor’ to these responses, we would estimate that about one out of three [nearly 30%] teenagers is likely to attend a Christian church after they leave home.”
Barna Research Online, “Teenagers Embrace Religion but Are Not Excited About Christianity,” January 10, 2000, www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=45&Reference=D – states: “When asked to estimate the likelihood that they will continue to participate in church life once they are living on their own, levels dip precipitously to only about one of every three teens.”
6. Barna Research Online, “The Year’s Most Intriguing Findings, from Barna Research Studies,” December 12, 2000, www.barna.org/cgibin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=77&Reference=E&Key=moral%20truth.
7. Barna Research Online, “The Year’s Most Intriguing Findings, from Barna Research Studies,’ December 12, 2000, www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=77&Reference=E&Key=divorce. “Born-again adults are more likely to experience a divorce than are non-born again adults (27% vs. 24%).”
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
If you're ready to go on a bizarre and crazy ride, Eddie Wright's Broken Bulbs is just the book for you. As a novella, what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up in story. The thing is though, this is not a book that just anyone could pick up and appreciate. It's dark, gruesome, and offbeat. The character, Frank, is not your average, run of the mill, center stage guy. He's intensely disturbed, and getting inside his head is like, I can only imagine, taking one hell of a wacked out drug induced trip. But then, that is the point, isn't it?
Frank, like everyone else, just wants to be a part of something- something great. Tired of being a nobody, he strives for "somethingness". That's where the enigmatic Bonnie comes in. Bonnie fills a need in Frank's life that no other person can fill, and she brings with her a source of inspiration that no one else can offer. Willing and able to directly inject Frank with seeds of genius, Bonnie opens the world to him as his creative muse. Freely playing the role of puppet master and audience, Bonnie pulls the strings to make Frank come unto his own in his search for "somethingness".
In a weird and complex way this story bridged the gap for readers like myself who have been fortunate enough never to have experienced any such deeply debilitating addiction as Frank obviously suffers from. I'm actually not really sure myself, even after reading the book, how much of what took place was supposed to have been real and what, if anything, was to have been figments of Frank's own messed up and severely strung out imagination. Take for instance, Bonnie. I have no clue if this chick really exsisted in flesh and blood or if she was simply a byproduct of Frank's fracked up mind. I think I'd have to read this one through from start to finish again just to fully grasp the tale in its entirity.
Broken Bulbs was disturbing and humorous, horrific and eccentric. Not a book for all, as I said already, but a book that will doubtlessly be well received and enjoyed within the right circles. One that will leave you wondering time and time again, "Did I just read that?!" Broken Bulbs is a fine specimen of what insanely inventive gems would be overlooked were it not for the fine world of independent publishing.
~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
(Christian Living/Practical Life)
I can't begin to say enough how amazing this book was. Beth Moore called it "an important book!" Les and Leslie Parrott referred to it as an "eye opener". Saying anything less on either count would totally be selling this book short. No wonder it's on the best seller list. It was so completely revealing and insightful.
Just the other day I actually made the comment that I think every wife or wife-to-be should read this book. The statistical materials that Shaunti felt lead to incorporate are nothing short of incredible. I've been married for going on ten years this June, and I thought I knew all I needed to know about being a wife. Okay, not everything. I don't think you can truly ever know EVERYTHING. But that being said, I really didn't think I knew as little about some areas of the male make up as it turns out I did. So much of what the author goes in to should, you'd think, be such simple information that we, as women and wives, would have already known it. And yet when you really get in there and break things down you find out you really didn't have a clue. Or, I didn't anyhow. And seems, that I'm not the minority here or this book wouldn't be out for discussion in the first place.
After having spent countless hours researching, developing and reviewing survey questions and answers, and conducting thousands of interviews- all with and about men and their inner secret lives- Shaunti Feldhahn has gathered together her findings in to this great compact book. A book that will certainly open your eyes to a side of your man, and the male society as a whole, you had no idea existed.
There are so many things we women simply do not get about guys. That, however, doesn't mean that men are just sex driven clods underneath a suave exterior. As For Women Only shows, a guy's mind, heart, and being are all such complicated structures. Unfortunately, society has come to develope such a biased mindset when it comes to men, that when it comes down to it we women tend to think we know far more than we really do about the men in our lives. Just two of the ideas that we have come to take as fact are that men only think about sex so they can have a good thrill but that when all things are considered they'd just rather skip the romance that most women crave. Not true, according to the astounding results shown at the end of Feldhahn's research.
This book should be a must read for all women. Reading it will not only open you up to a whole new world of understanding regarding men in general, but it will open up doors to you to walk through in your own personal relationships. Imagine just how much of a difference it might make in your life with your husband/significant other if you truly understood his inner clockwork. You may be like me and think you don't need any help in this department. Maybe you have a seemingly great relationship already, but wouldn't it be fantastic if because you took a little time out of your busy schedule to read this book you could then bump that relationship from fantastic to infinitely wonderful? What if you were able to garner even one new gem of understanding- one simple revelation that would make the difference between living in an ordinary marriage/relationship and living in an extraordinary one? Open your mind. Open your eyes. Open your heart. I promise, you'll learn more than you thought possible.
You'll learn a whole new way to truly meet your husband on the page he's on, a whole new way to support him, a whole new way to cherish him, and a whole new way to love him. Men and woman are alike in many ways, but we are anything but the same. Wouldn't it be great to experience the utmost truest joys of love and fulfilment in a relationship? I thought so. That's why I read this book. And I can't begin to tell you how much, in literally a short matter of days (all the longer it took me to read this book), For Women Only has impacted my life- and my husband's- for the better.
For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn
(Christian Living/Practical Life/Men)
Women, yes, it's true, are a complicated bunch. We say one thing when really we mean another. We act one way when really it's not how we feel. Certainly it's safe to say that women, as a gender, are a tricky bunch. We love our men and we want them to understand us- to think like we do, to act like we do. But when it comes down to it, understanding the female isn't so simply put for most guys.
That's why husband and wife team, Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn decided to partner up to write the book For Men Only, a companion to Shaunti's early release, For Women Only. In For Women Only Shaunti tackled the idea of understanding the inner male. Now with For Men Only she's back, with her husband, to tackle the inner make up of the female mind. Scientific surveys and hundreds of personal interviews along with hours of research have paved the path for this relevant and revealing read.
As a woman and, more importantly, a wife, I'm excited to see the Feldhahns expose the woman's utmost inner self for the genuinely complicated but COMPLETELY understandable being that we all hold deep inside. That one that guys know about but rarely can wrap their minds around. For you see, a woman can have the most beautiful porcelain skin, a perfectly delicate body and features, gorgeous hair the color of golden rays of sunshine, and a spirit as unquestionably soft and innocent as a gentle Summer's breeze. Yet still, underneath is all, will still lie the complicated inner workings of the female heart and mind.
Men everywhere who are married or in a legitimate relationship with a woman should seriously consider checking this book out. It will open up a whole new world of understanding when it comes to knowing the women they love. Perceptions can be misleading which is why so often couples suffer hurt feelings and active discord. Something as simple as a woman wanting to vent her frustrations to the man she loves can leave him anxious and confused as to how he's supposed to deal with the situation. Little does he realize this is not the woman asking for him to somehow come up with a fix all for her problems. She merely wants him to acknowledge her feelings, and help console her in her time of need.
It's topics like this that the authors build their book on. All such simple principals that will leave women saying, "Yes!! Why didn't he know that already?!" and men saying, "OMG! Why didn't she just say that all along?!" So again, yes, women are anything but straightforward much of the time. But with a little helpful insight from Jeff and Shaunti men everywhere can begin to redefine their understanding of the women in their lives, and when all is said and done I'm most certain there will be many improved relationships because of it.
~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC