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Monday, June 28, 2010

Book “You Can Be Everything God Wants You To Be” by Max Lucado








This small book brings us a great message about how God made us, how He uses us and how He wants us to find our sweet spot, so we can serve Him better. He created us unique and for a special purpose. Sometimes the narration is a little bit repetitive, but I will assume this is just a writer’s strategy to make sure the message sinks in our minds. As it is stated in the back of the title page, selections in this book are taken from the book Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado.
The author, through 30 small chapters, suggests us to think and find our sweet spot, our uniqueness, and to study our S.T.O.R.Y. (Strengths, Topics, Optimal condition, Relationship, Yes!). He urges us to take great risks for God and change the world through little deeds.

As the sticker in the front cover suggests, it is a great gift for graduates, but everybody can benefit from its message, “This is what I created you to do!”

This is a quick and easy reading and it took me around two hours to read the entire book. This book was written by Max Lucado and published by Thomas Nelson, and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book "The Sister Wife" by Diane Noble

In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transfered to:




About the Book: What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend? Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith. When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage. But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?
The Sister Wife is the first book in a new Brides of Gabriel historical series set during the formation of the Mormon edict of polygamy. Award-winning author Diane Noble explores the inner conflicts, emotions, and decisions of three women married to the same man. A moving tale of faith and doubt, love and commitment for fans of Big Love or those who devoured Carolyn Jessop’s Escape, The Sister Wife follows a budding family living in close community with the controversial Mormon prophet Joseph Smith as they are pulled deeper into the world of polygamy.




About the Author: Diane Noble is a former double finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for Best Inspirational Fiction, a finalist for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Reviewers' Choice Award, and a three-time recipient of the Silver Angel Award for Media Excellence. With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane lives in southern California, with her husband. Diane Noble spent most of her first eighteen years in a small mountain village in the High Sierra back country near Yosemite National Park. Growing up among towering pines and rushing waterfalls provided Diane a rich setting in which to let her vivid imagination soar. Her first novel was published in 1994 under the pseudonym Amanda MacLean with four more following in quick succession. She began writing under her own name in 1998, with the publication of one of her most popular works of historical fiction, THE VEIL, which was re-released in the summer of 2009. Since the publication of her first book, she has written nearly two dozen novels and is currently working on book one of a new series, BRIDES OF GABRIEL, coming to bookstores June 22, 2010. For more information about Diane, visit her website at http://www.dianenoble.com/.



My Review: This is a very touching story of a young lady, Mary Rose Ashley, who is travelling by ship from Liverpool to America and in her journey she meets ship builder Gabriel MacKay. They fall in love and get married while still in the ship. When reaching America, they headed to Nauvoo, where Mormon prophet Joseph Smith preaches revelations he received directly from God. Among those revelations, the prophet says that polygamy not only is acceptable but also is encouraged. He orders Gabriel to marry Mary Rose's best friend, Browyn and that sets a spiritual conflict on Mary when facing this very difficult and unusual situation, that would shake her life and faith. Then there is Enid, who plans to become Gabriel's first wife regardless prior spouses...
The author was very successful and she had the sensibility to describe all the deep emotions of the characters involved in the story in a richness manner. We suffer with them, we joy with them, we learn with them. The historical aspect of this book shows a lot of research by the author on the early years of the Mormon church and how and why the concept of polygamy was introduced in the Mormonism. Without taking sides on what is right or wrong, Diane lets the reader thinks and reaches his/her own conclusions.
It is truly a magnificent romance and it deserves to be in the permanent library of any serious reader. And I am eager to read how this story will develop through the series "Brides of Gabriel".

This book was written by Diane Noble and was published by Harper Collins that were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book "On Guard - Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision" by William Lane Craig


http://bookscrier.com/on-guard-defending-your-faith-with-reason-and-precision

 


About the Book: From the back cover: Do you worry that someone will ask you a question about your faith that you can’t answer? Have you tried to learn how to defend your faith but gotten lost in confusing language and theology? Do you struggle with times of spiritual doubt yourself?
This concise training manual by renowned scholar William Lane Craig is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help you stand your ground and defend your faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his own story of following God’s call.
This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip you to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. You will discover not just what you believe, but why you believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.



About the Author: William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. With earned doctorates in philosophy and theology, he has established a reputation as one of the most prominent Christian philosophers of our day. His publications, debates, and Internet presence (www.reasonablefaith.org) have made him a highly visible champion of Christian faith. His seminary textbook, Reasonable Faith, is widely considered to be the best book on Christian apologetics today. God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible (IVP), edited by Craig and Chad Meister, was chosen as Christianity Today's Book of the Year in the Apologetics/Evangelism category. He and his wife, Jan, have two grown children.



My Review: Being an electronic engineer I have to say that the logic and reasoning used by Dr. Craig in this book is completely blowing minded. Holding also a bachelor degree in Theology, I have to add that I am not ashamed to confess that I learned a lot with this book on how to defend my faith with property and confidence.
For all those who profess being a Christian, this is a must have book, by far the best on Christian apologetics that I read.
His language is simple, direct and the sequence of topics is very well organized, following precisely the logic and reasoning that you find in all his words. In ten Chapters he covers the following topics: What is apologetics?; What difference does it make if God exists?; Why does anything at all exists?; Why did the universe begin?; Why is the universe fine-tuned for life?; Can we be good without God?; What about suffering?; Who was Jesus?; Did Jesus rise from the dead? Is Jesus the only way to God?  
This book was written by Dr. William Lane Craig and was published by David C. Cook in March 2010. It is definitely an amazing book and I am very happy that B&B Media Group was kind enough to send me a copy for review. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Movie "Who Is in Charge Anyway?" (2010)

About the Movie (from the back cover) - God even cares about a little flea. When Freddie hears Hailey and Bailey ask their mother what's special about fleas, he thinks it's time to have a talk with God. Freddie is reminded that Hermie and Flo and Buzby and Webster and even Antonio all had to learn important lessons before their special talents were put to use. Freddie learns that God didn't make anybody by accident, and that he's not finished with us yet. Contains newly animated flashbacks of key garden characters in their youth...along with pivotal scenes from classic episodes. Lesson is based on Psalm 90:16 "Show your servants the wonderful things you do; show your greatness to their children".



My review: This is a Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends production.The main character is Freddie the flea, who sees all the good qualities and abilities in all of the other insects and still cannot figure out about his own qualities. There are many messages that are transmitted through this animated video. First is that God has a purpose for everything he makes. There is no flaws in creation. God acts on his creatures transforming them and making them reach all their full potential. We need to have faith in God in times of trouble. Freddie the flea wants to know his purpose in life and he asks God. Through the examples of Antonio, Webster, Hermie, Busby, Flo, Skeeter and Stanley, Freddie finally learns his potential and importance on God's plans. I liked very much the production and the message that is passed. It is perfect for children to watch multiple times, as usually they do. The length of the movie (the main feature) is a little to the short size, only about 30 to 35 minutes. In one hand, it is good to keep the attention of the young audience during the full time, but in the other hand, leave us with the desire of watching more about those lovely characters. I loved this movie.

It was jointly produced by Glue Works Entertainment and Tommy Nelson, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, that were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Virtual Book Tour "Beyond The Map's Boundaries" by Nibi Soto

The Plot: All Mattie and Trevor have ever known are happy, stable lives without any hint as to who they really are. Suddenly, all of that changes when Mattie begins having visions and witnesses historical events appearing on particles of light. Unbeknownst to her, Mattie was born into a family of time travelers. in order to save her from dissolving into the core of time, Trevor becomes her time link, making it possible for her to return to the present following each time travel into the past. With the accidental discovery of the Rings of Prather Mendell, Trevor now shares many of her powers. Together they try to foil the plans of an illicit time traveler from the future who will stop at nothing to possess the secret, supernatural abilities of the time travelers and the forbidden powers of the rings.



About the Author: Nibi Soto grew up along the Wasatch mountains in the Great Salt Lake valley. She has been called the quintessential Renaissance woman because of her wide variety of interests experiences and educational background. She’s has three advanced degrees, has been a journalist, newspaper editor, professional athlete, certified athletic trainer, intercollegiate coach, professional musician, industrial designer, artist, educator, author, professional speaker, wife, mother and grandmother. To her, life is not a rehearsal; it is the real thing and there’s no time to waste. She has authored and co-authored several health and nutrition books under the EAT & Be Lean logo since 1986. Her most resent adventure lies in the writing of a new time travel fantasy series for young adults called Beyond the Map’s Boundary. Her blog is located at http://www.beyondthemapsboundary.com/ and more insider information about Nibi can be found at http://www.nibisoto.com/.




My Review: The plot is quite simple to follow. A young lady thinks she is living a normal life when suddenly she finds herself travelling in time. In her first experience travelling back in time, she finds her mother eight years earlier than her actual time and her mother explain to her that she belongs to a family of time travellers and she gives her daughter a book with all the rules involved in this adventure.  One of the rules is that you only goes back in time (you can return to your own time though, with the help of your Splitter). This skill allows for people to correct a specific problem that was never addressed during the original time period it occurred in. There is also those rings that allows Trevor to share most of Matties magical powers and they face together a challenge of having to stop an illicit time traveller that wants to have the secrets of this supernatural abilities and the forbidden power of those ring at all costs.

This is truly one of the most amazing time-traveller stories I ever read and for sure is among the best three books I've read this year. The plot is so full of twists that keeps us, the readers, on the edge on every page we turn. The description of the characters and their actions is so rich in details that we feel ourselves travelling together with Mattie or helping Trevor supporting her throughout the book.

When we talk about time travelling stories,  classics like The Time Machine (H.G. Wells), or Timeline (Michael Crichton) are always remembered. This book is destined to be remember as one of the greatest science-fantasy time-travellers stories ever. The author wrote a masterpiece that deserves a massive audience and I am eager to read the sequence of this incredible saga.

The cover was very well chosen, very appropriate,  and matches the theme of the book, being elegant and makes the prospective reader to wonder what the story is all about.

This book was written by Nibi Soto and it was published by Thornock International Productions Inc. on February 2010 and Pump Up Your Book was kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Virtual Book Tour Program.



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Beyond the Map’s Boundary Tour Schedule

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Tuesday, June 1

Interviewed at Working Writers
Wednesday, June 2

Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Thursday, June 3

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Friday, June 4

Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, June 7

Book spotlighted at Examiner

Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, June 8

Guest blogging at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Interviewed about virtual book tours at Pump Up Your Book
Wednesday, June 9

Book reviewed at From the Shadows

Book reviewed at The Very Latest Thing
Thursday, June 10

Book reviewed at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf
Friday, June 11

Book reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty

Book reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews

Book reviewed at Chrissy’s World of Books
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book "What Is Jesus Worth To You?" by David Platt

http://bookscrier.com/david-platts-whats-jesus-worth-to-you




About the book: It is easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, Jesus said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...

About the Author: Dr. David Platt is the senior pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Heather, have two sons. David is the author of "Radical - Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream" (see http://www.radicalthebook.com/).


My Review: This booklet challanges the readers to reflect and re-evaluate their lives. The author questioned us if we are following the real Jesus or the image of Jesus we create based on our conveniences. Using his own words, "We take the Jesus of the Bible and begin twisting him into a version of Jesus that we are more confortable with". And the author makes his point through different scenarios. 

This is trully a wake up call question that everybody needs to answer sooner or later in our lives.

This booklet was written by Dr. David Platt and was published by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc, and they were kind enough to send me a copy as per my request. 

Go rank my review!