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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Balance of March

During March I read/watched and reviewed the following:

Books:

- "The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring" by J.R.R.Tolkien. Read my review.
- "We Be Big" by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey with Don Keith. Read my review.
- "Time with God for Fathers" by Jack Countryman. Read my review.

Movie:

- "The GrandFathers"- EGM Film - 2011. Read my review.

Book "Time with God for Fathers" by Jack Countryman

About the Book: Time with God for Fathers is filled with ninety devotions that encourage fathers to spend time on their relationship with the Lord in prayer, thanksgiving, and praise. Devotions are topical and include: forgiveness, wisdom, comfort, guidance, and strength. A Quick Scripture Reference Guide is included to help fathers in their day-to-day walk with God and fatherhood. Subjects consist of "Father's Prayers", "God's Promises for Fathers", "God's Blessings for Fathers", "Responsibilities for Fathers", and "God's Dynamic Examples of Fathers".

About the Author: Jack Countryman is the founder of J Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and bestselling author. He created God’s Promises® line with over 9 million copies sold to date. He’s author of "If My People", "I Will Love You Forever", and "God’s Promises for the Graduate". Jack and his beloved wife Marsha, who shares this journey with him, have 2 grown sons, Bret and Jason.





My Review: This is a wonderful book, with a very carefull selected finishing that makes it a great gift to any Christian father. Its format is like a devotional, having several topics, a bible verse related to the topic in question and a personal input from the author on that subject, usually right on target.
Besides that, it provides at the end of the book a kind of reference guide for different situations, pointing to some bible verses related to that particular situation. Some topics are "Crisis Scripture Guide", "God's Dynamic Example of Fathers", "Responsabilities of Fatherhood to...", "God's Blessing for Fathers with...", "God's Promises for Fathers", and "God Listens to a Father's Prayer when...". Very useful tool for many circunstances.
I would recommend this book to any new father, as well as old fathers, because there is always time to adjustments in our life when we are trying to guide ourselves based on the Word of God.

This book was written by Jack Countryman and it was published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 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.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Movie "The GrandFathers" (2007)

My Review: In 1956 a group of young missionaries was killed by the aucas (or Waodani) tribe in the amazon jungle in Ecuador. They were speared to death by the people they came to serve. One of those missionaries was Nate Saint. His grandchild Jesse Saint, in a very personal and touching narration, tell us his own story. The movie starts with Jesse talking about his family, including his father's sister Rachel, who also lived as  missionary among the same tribe that had killed her brother. When she died, Jesse's father, Steve,  inherited her house, and the indians invited Steve to live among them. So there they went to live in the jungle. He described all the difficulties they faced, with flies in the "bathroom", tarantulas etc. He starts developing a friendship with Mincaye, whom after a while he starts calling grandfather. He even tells his tale of killing a deer. Students from a Washington college, participating in an anthropology course, went there to visit them. They were amazed of the reconciliation among all the people there, when they figured out that those among them had killed some of the relatives of the missionaries. The missionaries told that they were the same persons but with different hearts. 

This film show us in reality what many of us learn in theory but are afraid to apply to our own lives. Making peace with our enemy. This is hard. Forgive those who hurt us so badly. This is even harder. This inspirational film has been awarded The Dove Foundation seal of approval. It completes a trilogy produced by EthnoGraphic Media (EGM) that includes "End of the Spear" (2006) and "Beyond the Gates of Splendor" (2005). Although I did not watch neither of the previous movies, it did not felt like the story was missing something. It stands by itself. I recommend this film to any church that sends missionaries all over the world and to anyone in need of watching stories of reconciliation to apply them to their own lives.
The film was directed by Jim Hanon and produced by Mart Green and B&B Media Group, Inc was kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Blog Review Program. Thanks you very much for this inspiring film.

Length of movie: 54 minutes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book "We Be Big" by Rick Burgess, Bill Bussey with Don Keith



About the Book: They are the most unlikely broadcast stars imaginable, yet hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners start their day with them every morning. They don't have "radio voices," don't spin the latest hit songs, don't do "shock jock" humor, horoscopes, or celebrity birthdays. Instead, Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey - collectively known as "The Rick and Bubba Show" on scores of radio stations coast to coast - share real stories about real people, inviting their vast audience into their families and circle of friends to experience with them uproarious happenings and moving events with which they can all identify. Beyond that, these two non-radio radio personalities break the biggest no-no for secular radio as they openly share in a forceful but non-threatening way their faith in Christ and their common-sense way of looking at the world.
Now, in We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How We Became Rick & Bubba, they (with the assistance of best-selling and award-winning author Don Keith) share how this unlikely pairing came about and how the show found even higher levels of popularity, even as the two of them deliberately steered away from every accepted rule for radio success. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, this is also the highly personal story of two men who - like most of us - resisted stepping through the doors God opened for them, opting for the easier path when tested. In this compelling story, "the two sexiest fat men alive" share their experiences and demonstrate how, with the help of faith and family, they have become a true blessing for so many.

About the Authors: Both Rick and Bubba grew up in Alabama and were active in athletics at their respective high schools. It was at high school sporting events that they knew of each other. At Jacksonville State University, they became friends by working together at WLJS-FM, the college's radio station.
After college, Bill got a job as engineer for WQEN, a radio station in Gadsden, Alabama, and recommended Rick for the station's morning show personality. In the late 1980s, Bill was a co-owner of an AM radio station in Jacksonville, Alabama. Rick had been working at WHMA-AM radio in Anniston as a DJ. In 1989, Rick was also the host of a Friday night program called "Pigskin Roundup" that recapped high school football games and took live calls from listeners. In 1991 Rick started doing mornings at 97.9FM WKFN Oxford, Alabama. This was the first time for Rick doing mornings...It was called "The Morning Extra-vaganza" (Monday-Friday from 5A-9A). This is where Rick started doing many of the things now done on the Rick and Bubba Show. In 1993 Rick moved "The Morning Extrava-ganza" to Q104 WQEN Gadsden, Alabama.
Once Rick and Bubba formed a partnership at WQEN, they hosted their own version of this show on Friday nights during football season. The two began to work together to come up with ideas for the show. One of the ideas was to have Bill read Shakespeare in his deep Southern accent. Rick proclaimed that Bill sounded like his Uncle Bubba.
The characterization became the basis for one of their first contests called "Good Old Boy Theatre". Other contests currently featured on the show include "Drive Through Password", "Know the Good Book" (Bible trivia), "The Giant Game of Knowledge", and "It's a Country Song, or it Ain't". The "Bubba" nickname stuck for Bill. Bubba worked more and more with Rick and eventually became a regular part of Rick's show.
In 1998, the show was renamed "The Rick & Bubba Show," and moved to Birmingham when WQEN began targeting the Birmingham market to attract a wider audience.
The show moved to WYSF in early 1999. Two hours of their four-hour program were televised live on the Turner South network until April 28, 2006, which ended when Turner South was sold to Fox Sports in February 2006.
WYSF in Birmingham served as their flagship station until December 2006.
On January 3, 2007, they became the morning hosts on crosstown station WZZK.

My Review: This is a very touching book telling the real storie of two young boys from Alabama and how with God's guidance, they put together one of the most popular morning radio show, know as the "Rick and Bubba Show". The story develops with each one giving his input in alternating chapters, telling in a very personal and informal way their experiences, frustrations, hopes, joys and sorrows of an ordinary daily life and how they use it to connect to the same ordinary people that compose their audience and connected immediately with their stories. This simple formula and God's guidance was the key for their success, despite all difficulties they had in their way to reach the top. Every struggle, every battle, every victory, every doubt they had during their journey is very well described and they clearly and loudly give all the credit of their success to the Lord. If you did not know them from hearing their show every morning, even them you will get connected to those two guys, "the two sexiest fat men alive", as they call themselves. This was the first book I read from them and definetely I will look for the other titles they already published in the past. I recommend this book to any reader looking for a very well written book with tones of commedy and tragedy, but overall very entertaining. Deserves to be in my permanent library.

This book was written by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey with contribution of Don Keith and it was published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book "The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring" by J.R.R.Tolkien



About the Book: For over fifty years, J.R.R. Tolkien’s peerless fantasy has accumulated worldwide acclaim as the greatest adventure tale ever written.
No other writer has created a world as distinct as Middle-earth, complete with its own geography, history, languages, and legends. And no one has created characters as endearing as Tolkien’s large-hearted, hairy-footed hobbits. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings continues to seize the imaginations of readers of all ages.
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elvensmiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, still it remained lost to him . . .
Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him - and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable Sauran to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be destroyed - in the very center of Sauron's dark kingdom.


About the Author: J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), is beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and The Children of Hurin. His books have been translated into more than forty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.




My Review: This is a classical of the world literature. The plot starts with Bilbo Baggins celebrating his 111th birthday and his heir, Frodo Baggins celebrating his 33rd birthday (coming of age). At the end of the party, Bilbo departs from the Shire, the land of the Hobbits. He leaves his belongings, including his house and the Ring he had found on his adventures, to Frodo. The Ring has the power of making whoever wears it invisible. Gandalf, the wizard, warns Frodo to keep the Ring secret and he leaves on his own business. Gandalf visits Frodo periodically. One Spring Gandalf arrives to tell Frodo about Bilbo's ring: It is the One Ring of Sauron(the Dark Lord), who forged the ring to subdue and rule Middle-earth. But the Ring was cut off from Sauron's finger by Isildur, son of Eledin, High King of Gondor and Arnor. Together with the Elven King Gil-galad, Eledin defeated Sauron, but both perished in the deed. Sauron was overthrown and he fled. Peace returned to Middle-earth, but the Ring was not destroyed. Isildur kept it to himself. Isildur was slain in the Battle of the Gladden Fields and the Ring was lost in the Great River. Thousands of years later, it came into the hands of Gollum. The Ring then is passed to Bilbo and it reachs Frodo's hand. Sauron has now arisen once more and has returned to Mordor and he is looking for the Ring. Gandalf warns that the Ring is no longer safe at the Shire. He sends Frodo to Rivendell, the elf-haven place, where he thinks Frodo and the Ring will be safe from Sauron for a while. Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's gardner and best friend, is discovered listening in on the conversation. Sam decides to go with Frodo on his journey. Helping Frodo is also his friends Peregrin Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Fredegar Bolger. At midsummer Gandalf tells Frodo he must leave. He departs with the other 4 hobbits and in their way they encounter the nine Black Riders, Ringwraiths of Nazgul, that ate looking for Frodo and the Ring. with the help of some Elves and Farmer Maggot, they reach Crickhollow on the border of the Shire. There Merry, Pippin, Sam proceed with Frodo and Fatty stays behind as a decoy. In hope of eluding the Nazgul, they travel through the Old Forest and Barrow-downs, and with the assistance of Tom Bombadil, they reach the village of Bree, where they meet Strider, a friend of Gandalf who becomes their guide to Rivendell. Even with Strider's help, they are attached by five of the Nazgul and Frodo is stabbed by the chief og the Nazgul with a cursed blade before Strider drives the Nazgul off. Part of the knife remains inside Frodo. Strider leads the hobbits avoiding the main road. When they are near their destination they meet Glorfindel, an elf-lord from Rivendell, who helps them reach the border of Rivendell. But nine the Nazgul prepare a trap at the Ford of Bruinen. Glorfindel's horse outruns the pursuers and carries Frodo across the Ford. As the Nazgul attemps to follow, a giant wave in the shape of charging horses (commanded by Elrond, the lord of Rivendell) appears bearing down on the Nazgul, that are swept away by the river, as Frodo collapses into unconsciousness. In Rivendell Frodo is healed by Elrond. Elrond convenes the Council of Elrond, attended by Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo and many others. Gandalf explains that he had gone to Isengard, where Saruman, the chief of all wizards in Middle-earth dwells, to seek help and counsel. However Saruman desires the Ring for himself and imprisons Gandalf in his tower. Gandalf manages to scape and learns that Saruman is creating his own force of Orcs. In the Council of Elrond a plan is created to cast the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor, which will destroy the Ring and end Sauron's power for good. Frodo is chosen as the Ring-bearer and sets forth from Rivendell with eight companions: two men (Strider revealed to be Aragon, Isildur's heir and Boromir, son of the Steward of the land of Gondor); the Prince of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood, Legolas; the wizard Gandalf; Gimli the Dwarf, and Frodo's three Hobbit friends. These Nine Walkers are called the Fellowship of the Ring. They try to cross the Misty Mountains, but heavy snow force them to take a path under the mountains, the mines of Moria, an ancient dwarf kingdom, now full of Orcs and other evil creatures. Gandalf battles a Balrog of Morgoth and both fall into an abyss. The remaining eight members escape from Moria and head toward the elf-haven of Lothlórien, where they are given gifts from the rulers Celeborn and Galadriel. After leaving Lórien, the Ring's evil begin to show. When Frodo is alone for a while to decide the future course of the Fellowship, Boromir tries to take the Ring from him and Frodo ends up putting on the Ring to escape from Boromir. while the rest of the Fellowship scatter to hunt for Frodo, Frodo decides that the Fellowship has to be broken, for the Ring was too evil. Frodo decides to depart secretly for Mordor, but is joined by Sam.
This is a masterpiece of English literature. The whole world created by Tolkien is unbelievably real. He creates a complete grammar for a language used by some of the characters. The theological contents of this book is enormous and the clear battle of good and evil is a recurrence throughout the whole series. This is a must have book in the permanent library of any reader.