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Monday, October 25, 2010

Book "Blue Bells of Scotland" by Laura Vosika

Blue Bells of Scotland banner

About the Book: Shawn Kleiner has it all: money, fame, a skyrocketing career as an international musical phenomenon, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants—until the night Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower. He wakes up to find himself mistaken for Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Soon after, he is sent shimmying down a wind-torn castle wall into a dangerous cross country trek with Niall’s tempting, but knife-wielding fiancee. They are pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead. Thrown forward in time, Niall learns history’s horrifying account of his own death, and of the Scots’ slaughter at Bannockburn. Undaunted, he navigates the roiled waters of Shawn’s life—pregnant girlfriend, amorous fans, enemies, and gambling debts—seeking a way to leap back across time to save his people, especially his beloved Allene. His growing fondness for Shawn’s life brings him face to face with his own weakness and teaches him the true meaning of faith.
Blue Bells of Scotland is both a historical adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.

About the Author: Laura Vosika grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast.
She earned a degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, music teacher, band director, and instructor in private music lessons on harp, piano, winds, and brass.
Laura is the mother of 7 boys and 2 girls, and lives in Minnesota.
Her latest book is Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy.
You can visit her website at www.bluebellstrilogy.com




My Review:  This book is amazing. It grabs your attention from the beginning and you get so involved with its characters that when it ends you wish there was more... and fortunately there will be!
The plot goes around a famous musician (that has everything in life, but has a questionable morale) and a medieval warrior. When the musician got stranded in a Scottish castle tower, magic begins and he switches places with the warrior, that some hundred years before him was exactly at that same place. And the story goes on and Laura Vosika was amazing on the development of the plot and the switch to and from the medieval world to the modern world is done very properly and does not disturb at all the smooth of the reading.
The author did a magnificent job on the creation of the atmosphere of both worlds.
There is this feeling that your are in the Mists of Avalon, where magical things happen. If you like movies like Timeline, you will simply love this book. And the subtle message about redemption in my opinion is what makes this book one of the best three books I read the whole year. It is magic. It is powerful. It is a must have in any library of a serious reader.

This book was written by Laura Vosika and it was published in 2009 by Gabriel's Horn Publishing. Pump Up Your Book was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Virtual Book Tour Program. The book was kindly sent directly to me by the author. Thanks, Mrs. Laura Vosika! I am anxiously waiting for your next book in this wonderful trilogy!
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

Other Tour Sites:
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Blue Bells of Scotland Tour Schedule

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Tuesday, September 7
Book spotlighted at Examiner

Wednesday, September 8
Guest blogging at The Book Boost

Thursday, September 9
Interviewed at Literarily Speaking

Monday, September 13
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Tuesday, September 14
Interviewed at Working Writers

Wednesday, September 15
Guest blogging at Fictionary

Thursday, September 16
Interviewed LIVE on A Book and a Chat Radio Show

Friday, September 17
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Monday, September 20
Guest blogging and book giveaway at The Burton Review

Tuesday, September 21
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Wednesday, September 22
Book reviewed at Must Read Faster

Thursday, September 23
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Friday, September 24
Book reviewed at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, September 27
Book reviewed at Teresa’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, September 28
Guest blogging at Blog O’ the Irish

Wednesday, September 29
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, September 30
Guest blogging at Blogging Authors

Monday, October 4
Book reviewed at DK’s Everything Romance Blog

Tuesday, October 5
Guest blogging at Beyond the Books

Wednesday, October 6
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, October 7
Book reviewed at Marta’s Meanderings

Friday, October 8
Book reviewed at Blog O’ the Irish

Monday, October 11
Guest blogging at As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, October 12
Guest blogging at Night Owl Reviews

Wednesday, October 13
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Thursday, October 14
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Friday, October 15
Guest blogging at As the Pages Turn

Monday, October 18
Book reviewed by Rundpinne

Tuesday, October 19
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, October 20
Guest blogging and book giveaway at Acting Balanced

Thursday, October 21
Book reviewed and book giveaway at Acting Balanced

Friday, October 22
Book reviewed and book giveaway at Mandy’s Escape

Monday, October 25
Book reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews

Tuesday, October 26
OPEN

Wednesday, October 27
Interviewed at Review From Here

Thursday, October 28
Book reviewed at My Favorite Things

Friday, October 29
Interviewed at Broowaha

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book "The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in The Old Testament" by Nancy Guthrie


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





About the Book: We tend to look to the New Testament to tell us about Jesus, yet it was the Old Testament about which Jesus said, “the Scriptures point to me!” In The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament, Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie takes readers from Genesis through Malachi, shining the light of Christ on the promise of a descendent who will put an end to the curse of sin; the story of a father who offers up his son as a sacrifice; the symbol of a temple where people can meet with God; the prophecy of a servant who will suffer; the person of a king who will rule with righteousness—and so much more. Day by day throughout the year, readers will see the beauty of Christ in fresh new ways, creating a deeper understanding and appreciation for who Jesus is and what he accomplished through his Cross and Resurrection.

About the Author: In today's modern world, few parents have to face the bitter task of burying a child that they love. But David and Nancy Guthrie have faced the grave twice now, burying two children who lived only six months. When Nancy gave birth to a daughter, Hope, in 1998, club feet, extreme lethargy, an inability to suck, and a number of other small problems hinted at something more significant. On her second day of life, Hope was diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder that is characterized by the reduction or absence of peroxisomes (cell structures that rid the body of toxic substances) in the cells of the liver, kidneys, and brain. There is no treatment and no cure for Zellweger Syndrome and most children with the syndrome live less than six months. For Nancy, her husband David, and their son, Matt, the diagnosis was devastating and disappointing. Hope’s brief life—a life of only 199 days— made a significant impact on them and those around them, causing them to dig deep into their faith to make sense of such suffering. To have a child with Zellweger Syndrome requires that both parents be carriers of the recessive gene trait for the syndrome. So, after Hope was born, David and Nancy took surgical steps to prevent a future pregnancy. Evidently it didn’t work. Just a year and a half after Hope died, Nancy discovered she was pregnant. And a few months later, pre-natal testing revealed that this child also had the fatal syndrome. The Guthrie’s second son, Gabriel, was born on July 16, 2001, the same day a story on the Guthries appeared on the pages of TIME Magazine. Gabe’s life was also very short, a mere 183 days. Those who have watched Nancy and David walk through such loss, and the millions who have read their story worldwide in TIME Magazine and USA Today have wondered at their ability to emerge from such sorrow with joy for life and passion for God. Nancy offered many of the lessons she learned from this sorrowful experience in her 2002 book, Holding On to Hope: A Pathway of Suffering to the Heart of God, which has helped thousands of people pursue God in the midst of their suffering. She regularly hears from readers who have been touched by the book from all around the world as the book has been translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, Korean, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. Nancy continues to write books that reflect her compassion for hurting people and her passion for applying God's Word to real life. Her desire to grow in her understanding of God's Word has prompted her to begin graduate work in theological studies at Covenant Theological Seminary. She speaks regularly at women's retreats and evangelistic events nationally and internationally. “God has been preparing me my whole life for teaching his Word,” says Nancy Guthrie. “He has blessed me with so many sound Bible teachers to sit under—from my days as a college student in Bible classes, to amazing Sunday School teachers, Bible Study Fellowship teaching leaders, a gifted pastor in my church —as well as several teachers like Tim Keller and John Piper that I listen to almost daily on my iPod. He’s given me a mind that wants to figure out the big picture of who he is and what he is doing in the world. I've also learned a great deal from working closely with numerous pastors and bible teachers in my twenty-five years of experience as a publicist in Christian publishing.” But Nancy says the most important thing God has given her is a love for him and for his Word. “To me, Gods Word is a treasure to be mined,” she says. “The deeper I go, the more I see its wisdom, the more it authenticates itself, the more it reveals to me the amazing mystery of God.” Nancy’s life experience has also significantly affected her teaching style. “I’ve had to dig into God’s Word in search of answers to hard questions about God and how he works, and I find that my listeners usually have the same struggles and questions. And while I share openly the deep hurts in my life, I also like to laugh. I often have people who hear me teach say that I'm very real. I hope that's true." Nancy and her husband, David, and son, Matt, make their home in Nashville, Tennessee where, according to Nancy, life is less about professional pursuits than about the ordinary aspects of being a wife, mother, friend, and follower of Jesus, with clothes to wash, e-mails to answer, and a friend to listen to.

My Review: This book is not just another Devotional Book. Although the title might be misleading, the contents of this book are trully magnificent. The author did an incredible research and exposed her findings in a very organized and easy way to read. Divided in 365 "chapters", the idea is to ready one per day during one whole year.
The way she develops each topic is elegant and she always finds and relates the chosen topic from the Old Testament with an equivalent from the New Testament. Very inspirational.
Some passages touched me deeply, like the "Death of the First Born", where she compares the passage of the Angel of Death over the houses marked with the blood of the lamb with God's offering the blood of his own firstborn as a sacrifice for sin.
Following the example given by the author, for me, the most important lesson learned from this book is that we should try to find Jesus not only in the New or Old Testament, but everywhere we look. We should try to find Jesus in the smile of a child, in the dawning of a day, in the raindrops falling on our heads, etc...
This book was written by Nancy Guthrie in 2010. It was published by Tyndale Publisher House also in 2010 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their blogger book review program. If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book "Shedrow" by Dean DeLuke

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About the Book: From rolling pastures in Lexington, KY to darkened alleyways in Newark, NJ, from Manhattan’s posh ‘21’ Club to a peculiar and mysterious landfill in Eastern Kentucky, and from Saratoga Springs, NY to the tiny island of St. Lucia, Shedrow portrays a collision of characters from many divergent worlds. High society and the racing elite, medical and veterinary specialists, mob figures, and Kentucky hill folk become entangled in this unique twist on the medical thriller.
Dr. Anthony Gianni, a prominent Manhattan surgeon, becomes involved in a racing partnership as a diversion from a thriving surgical practice and an ailing marriage. The excitement builds when the partnership acquires Chiefly Endeavor, a two-year-old colt with the breeding, the spirit, and enough early racing success to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
When a new partner with an unsavory background appears and a breeder’s nightmare becomes real, Dr. Gianni and a dedicated veterinarian must confront organized crime and solve a complex mystery that threatens to destroy both of their careers, and possibly a great deal more.

About the Author: Dr. Dean DeLuke is a graduate of St. Michael’s College, Columbia University (DMD) and Union Graduate College (MBA). He completed residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and also participated in a fellowship in maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England.
He currently divides his time between the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery and a variety of business consulting activities with Millennium Business Communications, LLC, a boutique marketing, communications and business consulting firm. An active volunteer, he has served on the Boards of the St. Clare’s Hospital Foundation, the Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York, and the Albany Academy for Girls. He has also performed medical missionary work with Health Volunteers Overseas.
He has a long history of involvement with thoroughbred horses—from farm hand on the Assunta Louis Farm in the 1970s to partner with Dogwood Stable at present.
His latest book is Shedrow, a medical thriller with a unique twist.
You can visit his website at www.shedrow1.com or connect with him at Facebook at www.facebook.com/deandeluke.

My Review: The author made a magnificent job on this thriller novel that we read on the edge of the chair. His ability to describe the situations get us involved from the beginning.
A N.Y. surgeon gets a partnership in a racing horse, as a diversion from his medical practice, as he loves horses. But his diversion got seriously dangerous when an unwanted partner ends up buying fifty percent of his horse. This new partner owns big money to the mob and he is in desperate situation...
The plot is amazing. Mr. DeLuke is an excellent storyteller. This is the type of mystery/thriller book that will keep you awake till you finish the book. If you like novels by Dan Brown, mystery books by Agatha Christie etc., you will love this book. It is excellent in terms of style, as the author is a real passionate on horses and horse racing, so his personal touch and knowledge on the subject makes all the difference in the atmosphere he creates for his book.
Now we only have to hope that Mr. DeLuke will be willing to write another novel. It really does not matter at all if it is a sequel from this one or a completely new theme. He has already proven he is capable of entertaining even the most picky readers as myself.
By the way, the author chose a very beautiful cover for his book.
This book was written by Dean DeLuke and it was published in 2010 by Grey Swan Press. Pump Up Your Book was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Virtual Book Tour Program.
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!


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Shedrow Tour Schedule

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Tuesday, September 7
Book reviewed at Gelati’s Scoop

Wednesday, September 8
Book spotlighted at Virginia Beach Publishing Examiner

Thursday, September 9
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Friday, September 10
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Interviewed at Let’s Talk Virtual Book Tours

Monday, September 13
Interviewed on A Book and a Chat Radio Show

Tuesday, September 14
Guest blogging at The Book Boost

Wednesday, September 15
Guest blogging at Gelati’s Scoop

Thursday, September 16
Interviewed at Working Writers

Friday, September 17
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Monday, September 20
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, September 21
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Thursday, September 23
Book trailer spotlighted at Down Under Views

Monday, September 27
Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, September 28
Book reviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Wednesday, September 29
Book reviewed at Bags, Books & Bon Jovi

Thursday, September 30
Book reviewed at Marta’s Meanderings

Monday, October 4
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, October 5
Interviewed at Examiner

Wednesday, October 6
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, October 7
Guest blogging at As the Pages Turn

Friday, October 8
Book reviewed at Arms of a Sister

Monday, October 11
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Tuesday, October 12
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Wednesday, October 13
Book reviewed at Thoughts in Progress

Thursday, October 14
Book reviewed at Reading at the Beach

Friday, October 15
Book reviewed at Books R Us

Monday, October 18
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, October 19
Book reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews

Wednesday, October 20
Guest blogging at The Book Connection

Thursday, October 21
Interviewed at My Reading Room

Friday, October 22
Book reviewed at My Reading Room

Monday, October 25
Interviewed at A Moment With Mystee

Tuesday, October 26
Book reviewed at A Moment With Mystee

Wednesday, October 27
Interviewed at Broowaha

Thursday, October 28
Book reviewed at Sherri’s Jubilee

Friday, October 29
Interviewed at Review From Here
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Contest#2 - The Mark of Love - ends Nov 15th 2010, 11:59PM EST

Constest open Worldwide


Read my full post on "The Mark of Love" for more details, dated Oct 7th, 2010.

The Mend Mark tells a powerful story in two words. Have you been “Marked?” The Mend Mark is a mission, a movement, an entire revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of Christ’s love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its creator, Hunter Harrison. The Mend Mark is an innovative and distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during his crucifixion. By bringing the story of Jesus’ life and death to constant awareness by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of humankind. Harrison’s mission is to remind all to remember Christ’s love in both his life and death. But more than only a poignant recollection, the Mend Mark is meant to inspire and motivate wearers to live a life of service. Harrison strives to bring people together around the simplicity and power of love as lived by Jesus. But this is no example of passive love. The Mend Mark calls individuals in all walks of life to love with a profound sincerity and commitment great enough to change a neighborhood, a community, a world. Harrison leads this call to love and sacrifice by example and joins hands with each Mend Mark bracelet purchaser to take the first step in global change. A portion of each bracelet sold goes to support Living Water International, an organization combating the clean water crisis victimizing over one billion people worldwide. Each $5,000 given will result in one well drilled, providing a community with clean water. But wearers should be prepared to be seen. Unique in its design, the Mend Mark is sure to be noticed and gives wearers an opportunity to share the story of the profound love of Jesus for each and every person. “It was important to me that the design was simple and generic enough that the observer had to ask about it to know what it meant. But I also wanted it to appear distinctive enough that it sparked curiosity,” reveals creator Hunter Harrison. “I wanted it to require the wearer of the product to engage in conversation about the love of Christ (and hopefully show that love to others) instead of just letting the product talk for them.” Launched in late 2009 after a year and a half of packaging, material, and design development by Harrison, the bracelet has been sold across the United States, Canada, and the UK and has been featured in retail stores as well. The Mend Mark bracelet movement has grown to further fame after being worn during performances by American Idol winner Lee Dewyze, Idol runner up Siobhan Magnus, Decifer Down, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Pillar, and Finding Favour, to name a few. Says Harrison, “I want it to be more than just another bracelet; I want it to represent a movement.” Based on the way things are going, a movement is exactly what it is becoming.

Thanks to B&B Media Group, Inc., I have one (1) of this wonderful bracelet to give away. Here is what you need to do to win:

Giveaway Rules:

1- ) No purchase is necessary … :) ... (just kidding)… :) ...
2- ) Mandatory: Leave a comment with a valid e-mail address to enter into a drawing. Each comment is one entry and you can leave just one comment per day with your e-mail address.
3- ) You can enter an additional comment (another chance of winning!) if you are/become a follower of my blog (must be public profile). This is just one comment/entry during the whole life of this contest. It is not “one comment per day” opportunity, like item # 2.
4- ) If you have your own blog, leave a link to your blog in a separate comment, to count as another entry. Same criteria as rule #3 apply here (Just one additional entry during the whole life of this contest).
5- ) You can enter an additional comment (another chance of winning!) if you are/become my follower on twitter. Same criteria as rule #3 apply here (Just one additional entry during the whole life of this contest).
6-) If you spread the word about this contest, you have another entry (please post the link).

All valid comments will be sorted by the order they were entered and they will be given a sequential number. The winner will be selected using the site www.random.org and they will be immediately notified by e-mail, so, no e-mail, no entry. Result also will be posted here in the day following the end of contest.

Contest ends November 15th, 2010 - 11:59 P.M. EST, (NJ time)

Bracelet will be sent by USPS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Movie "The Least Among You" (2010)

The Least Among YouAbout the Movie (Editorial Review): Leaders are not chosen, they are called. Inspired by a true story. Richard Kelly (Cedric Sanders) is a black college graduate forced to serve probation at an all-white seminary after the 1965 Watts riots. Richard is encouraged by the seminary president, Alan Beckett, to break the color line. Richard nears his breaking point when he meets Samuel (Louis Gossett, Jr.), an elderly janitor who lives in the basement of his dormitory. As Samuel guides Richard through the trials of racism and the personal life that haunts him, Richard undergoes a transformation that forces him to choose between his dreams and his destiny.

My Review: This is a magnificent movie based on a true story. A young black man - Cedrid Sanders as Richard Kelly- is arrested during 1965 Watts riots, while trying to stop the violence. The deal that was made in order for him to leave the prison is that he needs to attend an all-white seminary. Although not willing to take the deal, he accepts it,through pressure of his mother. Over the seminary he suffered all types of intimidation from colleagues and from professors as well. His mother got sick and he needed money to treat her and he got envolved in a series of events that could compromise his studies and his liberty. But through the orientation of Samuel Benton - Louis Gosset Jr. in a supperb work as an elderly janitor at the seminary - he is guided during his many trials. Even former missionary Kate Allison - played by Lauren Holly - initially rejects Richard, but as per seminary's president -William Devane as Alan Beckett - request, she ended up helping him is his quest to bring more black students and black professors to the seminary. At the end, after being transformed by the circunstances, he must chose between his dream and the call from God to be a servant.
This is a movie I recommend to anyone who wants to enjoy a very nice cast in a very beautiful production. The movie is 97 minutes long and was produced by Witenuckle LLC & Rough Diamond Productions.
Thomas Nelson group were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program. If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.








Monday, October 11, 2010

Book "Transforming Church in Rural America" by Shannon O'Dell



About the Book: Small church buildings dotting the countryside are home to ministries that often struggle with limited attendance, no money, and little expectation that change can revitalize their future. In Transforming Church in Rural America, Pastor Shannon O'Dell shares a powerful vision of relevance, possibility, and excellence for these small churches, or for any ministry that is stuck in a rural state of mind. The book reveals: how to generate growth through transformed lives; ways to create active evangelism in your community; no-cost solutions for staffing challenges, enhancing the worship experience, and inspiring volunteers. Focusing on vision, attitude, leadership, and innovation, you can learn the practical strategies and biblical guidance that helped to grow a church of 31 into a multi-campus church of several thousand, with a national and global outreach. Discover effective structure and ways to cast God-given vision so others can follow and make an impact. Experience the blueprint for transforming into effective, dynamic, and thriving churches - no matter where the location or how small it may be. What Church Leaders are saying . . . I'm captivated by Shannon's story, challenged by his witness, and moved by his resolve. As I read, I found myself turning the pages quickly and anticipating what was coming next. Shannon sounds a clear call for leaders of the church in rural America - but the principles translate to any leader trying to move a congregation toward life change in communities of all sizes. This is a rare book . . . one that I'll be buying several copies of to hand out to encourage pastors every chance I get. Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church Shannon O'Dell's passions for the rural church in America is contagious. The vision to see the small church reach multitudes through partnerships with other churches is a move of God, and Transforming Church in Rural America, is right on the wave of God's plan. Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv The lies about churches in the boonies echo loudly throughout the landscape of our culture. And too often, leaders believe them thinking success is reserved for places with big populations and bigger budgets. But in Transforming Church in Rural America, Shannon O'Dell confronts some of the most powerful and prominent of these lies head on . . . No matter what size church you are a part of, this book will challenge your traditional thinking, force you to look beyond the status quo and enable you to grasp a bigger vision of what God has in store for you ministry and your leadership. Ed Young, Pastor, Fellowship Church

About the Author: Shannon O'Dell passionately seeks to inspire his growing multicampus church to give God only the very best. Innovative, inspiring, and committed to reaching out to struggling churches in rural areas around the country and the world, he has served as senior pastor for Brand New Church in the small community of Bergman, AR for over six years. He is a former youth pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, OK. He is married to wife Cindy, and the couple have four children.

My Review: This is a very inspiring book where the author clearly shows that God's call is stronger than the desire for human comfort and recognition. When his career as a pastor was about to turn into a "successful" one in a major church as a senior pastor, God told him to accept an offer as a pastor in a church in rural Arkansas. The "Beginnings" are described in first three chapters of the book. 
Through a very light style, the author describes all the problems he incurred while trying to transform the church and the lives of the people in the community. He goes through situations that sometimes are similar the ones we might encounter in big churches as well. His description of the "VALUE" (Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, Enduring Excellence), compose the core of the book and it is very well described and developed from chapters 4 to 8. In this book he provides suggestions on how to handle some situations and it is a valuable book to any pastor who wants to transform his church into a more dynamic one. The last two chapters are description of how they implemented their vision of the future.
This book was written by Shannon O'Dell in 2010 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. If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.




Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Mark of Love

The Mend Mark tells a powerful story in two words

Have you been “Marked?” The Mend Mark is a mission, a movement, an entire revolution. It is a bracelet meant to remind its wearers of Christ’s love and sacrifice, and its message is the passion of its creator, Hunter Harrison.

The Mend Mark is an innovative and distinctive bracelet that is designed to reflect the scars and nail holes of Jesus. When worn, the band resembles the deep holes of the nail driven into the wrists of Jesus during his crucifixion. By bringing the story of Jesus’ life and death to constant awareness by wearing a bracelet, Mend Mark is meant to powerfully remind wearers of the ultimate act of love Jesus made for all of humankind.

Harrison’s mission is to remind all to remember Christ’s love in both his life and death. But more than only a poignant recollection, the Mend Mark is meant to inspire and motivate wearers to live a life of service. Harrison strives to bring people together around the simplicity and power of love as lived by Jesus. But this is no example of passive love. The Mend Mark calls individuals in all walks of life to love with a profound sincerity and commitment great enough to change a neighborhood, a community, a world.

Harrison leads this call to love and sacrifice by example and joins hands with each Mend Mark bracelet purchaser to take the first step in global change. A portion of each bracelet sold goes to support Living Water International, an organization combating the clean water crisis victimizing over one billion people worldwide. Each $5,000 given will result in one well drilled, providing a community with clean water.

But wearers should be prepared to be seen. Unique in its design, the Mend Mark is sure to be noticed and gives wearers an opportunity to share the story of the profound love of Jesus for each and every person. “It was important to me that the design was simple and generic enough that the observer had to ask about it to know what it meant. But I also wanted it to appear distinctive enough that it sparked curiosity,” reveals creator Hunter Harrison. “I wanted it to require the wearer of the product to engage in conversation about the love of Christ (and hopefully show that love to others) instead of just letting the product talk for them.”

Launched in late 2009 after a year and a half of packaging, material, and design development by Harrison, the bracelet has been sold across the United States, Canada, and the UK and has been featured in retail stores as well. The Mend Mark bracelet movement has grown to further fame after being worn during performances by American Idol winner Lee Dewyze, Idol runner up Siobhan Magnus, Decifer Down, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Pillar, and Finding Favour, to name a few. Says Harrison, “I want it to be more than just another bracelet; I want it to represent a movement.” Based on the way things are going, a movement is exactly what it is becoming.

Order online for $9.99 at http://www.mendmark.com/.

For more information, or to request the Mend Mark, contact:
Audra Jennings
Senior Media Specialist
The B&B Media Group
1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104 - ajennings(at)tbbmedia.com
Visit us on the web at www.tbbmedia.com or our blog at www.tbbmedia.blogspot.com
We are also on Facebook and Twitter (audrajennings and TBBMediaGroup)!
“A Media Communications Company”
109 S. Main - Corsicana, TX 75110
Fax: 903-872-0518

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book "The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook" by Robin Currie



About the Book: A simple and interactive approach to teach Bible stories, Scripture, prayers and worship to toddlers and preschoolers. Your child will look forward to the Baby Bible moments together when you share God's Word.

About the Author: Rev. Dr. Robin Currie is the Early Childhood Librarian/Preschool Liaison for the Glen Ellyn Public Library and serves on the staff of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. She is also the retired pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn. Before and during seminary she was a children's librarian for public libraries in Illinois and Iowa. She holds master's degrees in Library Science from the University of Iowa and in Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, as well as a Doctor of Ministry in preaching from LSTC. Her published books include seven resource collections for librarians and over a dozen children's Bible story collections. Her book, The Baby Bible Storybook, has sold over 300,000 copies.

My Review: This book was originally published in 2001 and now they are republishing it in 2010. It is supposed to be an interactive teaching tool for parents to use with their children from birth to three years old. I would go a little bit further, setting the target audience perhaps from 1 to 5 years old. The idea is quite simple and intelligent. For every verse that is read to the child, an action is triggered, like "Tap your hands on your knees", or "Spread your arms far apart", or even "Point to the baby in the picture". It is a very nice way of involving the child in the reading of the story. The vocabulary is simple. The text is taken from the Scriptures, either from Matthew or Luke. The birth of Jesus is covered in a simple and unforgettable way to the children. The format of the book is very appropriate and it is very resistant, hold the pages together even if it is handled by a more agitated child. It is really beautifully produced, with very nice illustrations and it will make a wonderful gift for new parents.

B&B Media group were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their blogger book review program. If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book "The Profiler" by Pat Brown with Bob Andelman

http://bookscrier.com/the-profiler-by-pat-brown-and-bob-andelman




About the Book: In 1990, a young woman was strangled on a jogging path near the home of Pat Brown and her family. Brown suspected the young man who was renting a room in her house, and quickly uncovered strong evidence that pointed to him--but the police dismissed her as merely a housewife with an overactive imagination. It would be six years before her former boarder would be brought in for questioning, but the night Brown took action to solve the murder was the beginning of her life's work.
Pat Brown is now one of the nation's few female criminal profilers--a sleuth who assists police departments and victims' families by analyzing both physical and behavioral evidence to make the most scientific determination possible about who committed a crime. Brown has analyzed many dozens of seemingly hopeless cases and brought new investigative avenues to light.
In The Profiler, Brown opens her case files to take readers behind the scenes of bizarre sex crimes, domestic murders, and mysterious deaths, going face-to-face with killers, rapists, and brutalized victims. It's a rare, up-close, first-person look at the real world of police and profilers as they investigate crimes--the good and bad, the cover-ups and the successes.

About the Authors: Pat Brown is a nationally known profiler and founder and CEO of the Sexual Homicide Exchange (SHE) and the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. She holds a master's degree in criminal justice from Boston University and developed the first accredited Criminal Profiling and Investigative Analysis program in the country for Excelsior College, where she is an adjunct professor. She appears on national television and radio often--more than 1,000 times in the past decade to discuss high-profile cases. Brown lives in Minnesota and Maryland.
Bob Andelman is the author or co-author of several best-selling biographical, business, management and sports books, including Will Eisner: A Spirited Life, The Profit Zone: Lessons of Strategic Genius from the People Who Created the World's Most Valued Companies, and Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion. Bob Andelman also produces and hosts the popular "Mr. Media Interviews" podcast on BlogTalkRadio.



My Review: I love to watch all those Crime Scene Investigation Programs on television. They always seems to bring us a piece of the day to day investigation life of a detective, trying to solve a mysterious murder. And sometimes, like magic, they solve the most difficult cases based not only on forensic but also on intuition or other supernatural feelings... But Hollywood is one thing and real life is a complete different ballgame.
The authors did a magnificent job demystifying the field of profilers, stating clearly that this is not suppose to be the art of divination, but a real reasoning subject based on scientific methods and analysis of psychological/psychopathic minds of the suspects. As Thomas Edison would say, "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" (he was referring to geniality, but we can apply this idea to profiling without fearing of the quote being misused).
Giving a brief history on how she became directly involved with this field, Pat Brown tells the readers some of her cases (the ones that she can talk about) and all the sequence of her reasoning for reaching her conclusions. And we notice that she take her job seriously and with passion and that makes all the difference when you are dealing with some of the most horrific atrocities committed by a human being against another human being.
She goes deep in analysing ten cases, providing all details that composed each one of those cases. And one of her quotes is really good: "While anything is possible, everything is not probable". I would add to this quote the famous Occam's Razor "The simplest explanation is usually the correct one" and there you go!
I would recommend this book to any serious reader who likes a good reasoning book. This book deserves to be in a permanet library to any reader who thinks he is a sleeping profiler ready to wake up, learn and go to action.

This book was written by Pat Brown with Bob Andelman in 2010, published by Hyperion Books and distributed by HarperCollins, who were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing. If you read this review, feel free to post a comment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Movie "Little Town of Bethlehem" (2009)

About the Movie: Come face to face with the struggle for a nonviolent solution to the crisis that has torn apart Palestinians and Israelis. Little Town of Bethlehem, a bold documentary by award-winning director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green, shares the gripping story of how three men from opposite sides of the conflict have chosen to risk everything to bring peace to their homelands. Their stories will dare you to believe that the dream for a just peace in that troubled region is not only possible, but is becoming a reality.

My Review: this movie is a documentary about a nonviolent movement in the Middle East that is growing in size and importance. It shares the story of three men and how they inter-related in their view for peace. It is filmed in the West Bank, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian, Yonatan Shapira is an Israeli Jew and Ahmad Al'Azzah is a Palestinian Muslim.
Sami lost his grandfather, killed in Jerusalem in 1948. He directs a non-profit organization promoting Palestinian independence through peaceful means.
Yonatan's grandparents were settlers who witnessed the birth of Israeli nation. He is also an advocate for the nonviolent peace movement.
Ahmad lived his entire life in the Azzah refugee camp in Bethlehem. He heads the nonviolence program there where he trains others in methods of peaceful activism.
Besides being a very inspirational movie, this documentary is also a lesson on history. They mention the creation of the Israeli nation in 1948, the 1967 war (Six-Day War) featuring Syria, Jordan and Egypt against Israel, the 1973 Yom Kippur War (Egypt and Syria against Israel), the Intifadas (starting in 1987), the Oslo Accords (1993), the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (1995), the Arab Peace Iniciative (2002) and many other facts related to the region.
This is a mandatory documentary for everyone who wants to understand more about the conflicts in the Middle East and are wondering if Peace in the Middle East is really possible.
This movie was directed by Jim Hanon, produced by Mart Green and EthnoGraphic. B&B Media group were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their blogger book review program. If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.


If you want to watch a trailer of this movie, go to http://littletownofbethlehem.org/.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Balance of September

During September I read and reviewed the following:

Books:
- "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle. Read my Review.
- "The Boy Who Changed The World" by Andy Andrews. Read my Review.
- "The Butterfly Effect" by Andy Andrews. Read my Review.
- "You Changed My Life" by Max Lucado. Read my Review.
- "Outlive Your Life" by Max Lucado. Read my Review.
- "The One Year Book of Encouragement" by Harold Myra. Read my Review.
- "The Power of the Blue Medallion" by Les Berman. Read my Review.