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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Balance 2011

During 2011 I read, watched and reviewed the following:

January
Books:
- "Possession" by Rene Gutteridge. Read my review.
- "Voices of the Faithful - Volume 2" by Beth Moore. Read my review.
- "Sun Stand Still" by Steven Furtick. Read my review.
- "Mauria" by Steve North. Read my review.

February
Books:
- "Flight Plan" by Lee Burns and Braxton Brady. Read my review.
- "The Shelter of God's Promises" by Sheila Walsh. Read my review.
- "Nana - The Four Crystals" by Guillermo Romano. Read my review.
- "Dragons of the Valley" by Donita K.Paul. Read my review.
- " Journey to Riverbend" by Henry McLaughlin. Read my review.

March
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.
Movies:
- "The GrandFathers" EGM Film - 2011. Read my review.

April
Books:
- "Thriving at College" by Alex Chediak. Read my review.
- "The Final Summit" by Andy Andrews. Read my review.
- "When the Soul Mends" by Cindy Woodsmall. Read my review.
- "Max On Life" by Max Lucado. Read my review.
- "The Invisible World" by Anthony Destefano. Read my review.

May
Books:
- "Galileo" by Mitch Stokes. Read my review.
- "Spain" a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet - Anthony Ham et al. Read my review.
- "The Trigger" by Hon S. Hoh. Read my review.
- "Venice & the Best of Northern Italy" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Peter Blackman et al. Read my review.
- "The Great Mogul Diamond" by G.P.Taylor. Read my review.

 June
Books:
- "A Reluctant Queen" by Joan Wolf. Read my review.
- "Golf for Dummies" by Gary McCord. Read my review.
- "WE x ∞" by Charlie Pedersen. Read my review.
- "Switzerland" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Kati Clinton Robson et al. Read my review.
- "When Lightning Strikes" by Kay and Bobby Brunson. Read my review.
Softwares:
- "Italian Instant Immersion Levels 1, 2 & 3" from Topics Entertainment. Read my review.
July
Books:
- "Indelible" by Kristen Heitzmann. Read my review.
- "Essential India" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Vidya Balachander et al. Read my review.
- "Billy Graham in Quotes" by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney. Read my review.
- "The Complete African Safari Planner" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Claire Baranowski et al. Read my review.

August
Books:
- "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn. Read my review.
- "Boston" a Fodor's Travel Guide by Bethany Beckerlegge et al. Read my review.
- "Hell Is Real (But I Hate to Admit It)" by Brian Jones. Read my review.
- "Flash Mobile - Developing Android and iOS Applications" by Matthew David. Read my review.
- "Prophecy of the Sisters" by Michelle Zink. Read my review.
- "Average Joe" by Troy Meeder. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Ravensburger Puzzle Store" by Ravensburger. Read my review.

September
Audio-books:
- "A Trick of the Light" by Louise Penny. Read my review.
Books:
- "Your 100 Day Prayer" by John I.Snyder. Read my review.
- "Life Application Study Bible Devotional". Read my review.
- "Enemies of the Heart" by Andy Stanley. Read my review.
- "Ascent from Darkness" by Michael Leehan. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Drinkwell Hy-Drate Dog Ice White". Read my review.

October
Audio-books:
- "Only Time Will Tell" by Jeffrey Archer. Read my review.
Books:
- "Android Application Development in 24 Hours" by Lauren Darcey and Shane Conder. Read my review.
- "Discover Peru" a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet - Carolina A. Miranda et al. Read my review.
- "The God Pocket" by Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp. Read my review.
- "Windows Phone 7 Programming for Android and iOS Developers" by Zhinan Zhou et al. Read my review.
- "Bible Stories for Preschoolers" by B.Swanberg et al. Read my review.
- "Hope Underground" by Carlos Parra Díaz. Read my review.
- "The Book of Man" by William J.Bennett. Read my review.
Movies:
- "A Horrible Way to Die" (2010). Read my review.
Other Products:
- "T225 Universal Bluetooth Car Speakerphone" by Motorola. Read my review.

November
Audio-books:
- "The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout" by Jill Abramson. Read my review.
- "Glow (Sky Chasers)" by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Read my review.
Books:
-"Raised Right" by Alisa Harris. Read my review.
- "The Grace Effect" by Larry Taunton. Read my review.
Other Products:
- "Logitech Gaming Mouse G300 with Nine Programmable Controls". Read my review.
- "Remington D3710 Ceramic Fast Finish Dual Fan Turbo Hair Dryer, 1875 Watts". Read my review.
- "Logitech Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2". Read my review.


December
Books:
- "The Mirror of the N'de" by L.K.Malone. Read my review.
- "The Gospel Story Bible" by Marty Machowski. Read my review.
- "The Richest Man Who Ever Lived" by Steven K.Scott. Read my review.
Movies:
- "13" (2011). Read my review.
Other Products:
- Product "Simplehuman Sensor Pump for Soap or Sanitizer, Brushed Nickel, 13-Ounce". Read my review.


Balance of December

During the month of December, I read/watched and reviewed the following:

Books:
- "The Mirror of the N'de" by L.K.Malone. Read my review.
- "The Gospel Story Bible" by Marty Machowski. Read my review.
- "The Richest Man Who Ever Lived" by Steven K.Scott. Read my review.
Movies:
- "13" (2011). Read my review.
Products:
- Product "Simplehuman Sensor Pump for Soap or Sanitizer, Brushed Nickel, 13-Ounce". Read my review.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Product "Simplehuman Sensor Pump for Soap or Sanitizer, Brushed Nickel, 13-Ounce"

About the Product: It's touch-free: place your hand under the sensor to dispense soap or sanitizer automatically.
Volume control: easy-to-use buttons control how much soap, lotion or sanitizer to dispense.
No messy spills: wide opening makes refills fast, easy and mess-free.
Clear soap chamber: shows soap level at a glance.
Requires 4 aa batteries (not included).

My Review: This soap dispenser has a very elegant design and it has a very nice feature that allow us to adjust how much soap the unit dispenses every time the sensor is activated. The clear soap chamber is also a plus, as we are not caught by surprise, with dirty hands and no soap... I have read some reviewers complaining about the life of the batteries. I am using this device daily for about a month still with the first set of batteries and so far they do not seem to be fading.

Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this product for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book "The Richest Man Who Ever Lived" by Steven K.Scott



About the Book: In this short, powerful book, multimillionaire and bestselling author Steven K. Scott reveals King Solomon’s breakthrough strategies to achieve a life of financial success and personal fulfillment.
Steve Scott flunked out of every job he held in his first six years after college. He couldn’t succeed no matter how hard he tried. Then Dr. Gary Smalley challenged him to study the book of Proverbs, promising that in doing so he would achieve greater success and happiness than he had ever known. That promise came true, making Scott a millionaire many times over.
In The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, Scott reveals Solomon’s key for winning every race, explains how to resolve conflicts and turn enemies into allies, and discloses the five qualities essential to becoming a valued and admired person at work and in your personal life. Scott illustrates each of Solomon’s insights and strategies with anecdotes about his personal successes and failures, as well as those of such extraordinary people as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Steven Spielberg.
At once inspiring and instructive, THE RICHEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED weaves the timeless truths of one of our greatest works of literature into a detailed roadmap for successful living today.

About the Author: Steven K. Scott is the best-selling author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, Mentored by a Millionaire, Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams, and A Millionaire's Notebook. After failing nine jobs in his first six years after college, he learned the laws of life success by studying the book of Proverbs. As a result, Scott and his business partners built more than a dozen multimillion-dollar companies from scratch, achieving billions of dollars in sales. He is the cofounder of The American Telecast Corporation, Total Gym Fitness, and Max International. Scott is a popular international speaker on the subjects of personal and professional achievement and the application of biblical wisdom to every area of life.

My Review: This is a very well written book, inspirational for the lives of many of us who at a certain point in life started procrastinating doing things and gave up our dreams. In sixteen chapters the author covers all the wisdom contained in the book of Proverbs, giving us strategies for succeed in many areas of our lives, like business, marriage etc, through the learning of five qualities that makes the whole difference if we know how to use and develop them.
The author talks about greedy, pride, hope, importance of communication, kindness, truth, partnership, graciousness, honesty and many other important topics, and he makes all the connections from those topics to the book of Proverbs and how King Solomon dealt with them and which is the advice of the wisest man that ever lived.
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any person who wants to shake his life and succeed in what he/she is trying to achieve. Very easy reading, it took me around 9 hours to read the whole book.
This book was written by Steven K.Scott and was published in February of 2006 by WaterBrook Multnomah Books. The publishers were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing through their Blogging for Books Program.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and give a feedback about this review using the link below.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie "13" (2011)

About the Movie: A naïve young man assumes a dead man's identity in order to join a underworld game of Russian Roulette. The stakes are high, but the payout is more than he can resist. His only collateral is his life and however long his luck can hold. Are his odds any better than any other player in this most deadly game?

My Review: This is a very intense and entertaining movie. The plot is simple: an young electrician (Sam Riley) overhear a talk while doing a work in a house, about a clandestine job that can potentially pay a huge amount of money. As he and his family are in deep financial crisis, having to pay for medical bills after his father suffered an accident, he decided to take the identity of the person planning to attend the job, as the person died of overdose. But he does not have any idea of what waits for him. Following the instructions, he finds himself in a huge mansion, where people are betting on life and death in a Russian Roulette tournament. There is no way out of the deal and the rounds are increasingly challenging and there can be only one winner. The movie is very well filmed, some characters are played by excellent known actors, like Mickey Rourke, Curtis Jackson, Jason Statham and Ray Winstone.
I recommend this movie to those who love to watch a movie on the edge of their seats. Although it is slow in action, the psychological thriller is intense and worth watching.
The movie is directed by Gela Babluani, it was released in DVD in September 2011 and Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this copy for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Length of Movie: 90 minutes

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book "The Gospel Story Bible" by Marty Machowski

About the Book: Can a Bedtime Story Actually Change Your Life? It is easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities. But the truth is that he is the hero of every story, including these ordinary ones. This is why Marty Machowski puts God's plan of salvation in Christ on continuous display in The Gospel Story Bible. The easy-to-read storybook introduces your family to many captivating people, places, and events from the Bible's Old and New Testaments, showing how each one ultimately points to Jesus. As you share these Bible Stories together, you and your family will meet Jesus and learn a new, life-changing way of recognizing Christ as the hero of every story. Vibrant illustrations by A. E. Macha, child-friendly discussion questions, and Scripture references accompany each narrative to help you lead your family in exploring the Bible. You will be delighted to discover how easily even a young child can understand the original text of a story that he or she has already come to love. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God and the forthcoming Gospel Story Sunday School curriculum.

About the Author: Marty Machowski is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for twenty-three years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children's ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of the forthcoming Gospel Story Sunday School Curriculum and the companion Gospel Story Children's Bible. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester Pennsylvania.
My Review: This book is a piece of art. Very well written and beautifully illustrated, this could be a magnificent gift to any children. I just wished I had received one when I was a kid. 
Mr. Marty Machowski has a talent to communicate the Gospel in an easy way, captivating the attention of young audience. He divided the book in two parts: 78 stories of the Old Testament and 78 stories of the New Testament. Each full story is one page long, with an additional page with an illustration related to the topic, and a "Let's Talk About It" with three questions about the story. The ideal scenario is for an adult to read one story per night and then talk to the child asking those questions to make sure the attention was there and the concepts were understood. I cannot stress more how beautiful the illustration on the whole book is, being a big part that makes this book an instant success among the children. The illustrator is A.E.Masha. This is a must have for the permanent library of any Christian family.

This book was written by Mr. Marty Machowski and illustrated by A.E.Masha and it was published by   New Growth Press in December, 2011 and 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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"The Hidden Gifts of Helping: Do Good Things for Others This Holiday Season" by Stephen G.Post

The Hidden Gifts of Helping:
Do Good Things for Others This Holiday Season

Article by Stephen G. Post,
Author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping,a Wall Street Journal bestseller
(www.StephenGPost.com/HiddenGifts)

Ebenezer Scrooge begins in The Christmas Carol with a “Bah humbug!” He is both miserly and miserable. As the story unfolds, he eventually discovers the “giver’s glow,” as I like to term it. He is dancing on the streets in the enduring joy of his newfound generosity of heart. I compare the giver’s glow to a glow stick that children get at parades and fairs. These are the translucent plastic tubes containing substances that when combined make light through a chemical reaction. After the glass capsule in the plastic casing is broken, it glows. The brokenness is part of the process. Give and grow, give and glow. Scrooge discovered this before it was too late.

Human beings are wired to give of themselves for noble purposes, regardless of circumstances. Recently, I delivered a sermon in an African-American Baptist church in Coram, New York. The subject was how we benefit when we love our neighbor. Afterwards, a wonderful elderly woman, who was full of vitality, said to me, “You know, that giver’s glow is how we African Americans have been getting through hard times for two centuries!”

On the inside cover of a copy of The Book of Common Prayer, given to me in 1986 by the Rev. William B. Eddy of Tarrytown, New York, is an accumulating memorial list of twenty people I have known closely as models of kindness and generosity over the years. To get on the list a person must have passed on and, by all accounts, remained generous even in their final days. These are people who understood that happiness is not to be found just in the getting, but in the giving, and they taught by example. Have you noticed the warm glow in your heart that comes when you act kindly? They had a deep sense of common humanity, and they all had a certain happiness about them—a sort of gaiety that comes with a life well-lived and rightly inspired.

In my most recent book, The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint), I describe a bit of an upheaval in my own life, and how helping others got me and my family through the inevitable tough times that come everyone’s way.

“After twenty years of being ‘at home’ in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, my job disappeared. Maybe we were too attached to Cleveland, and maybe God wanted us to move on. But as a family we never anticipated just how challenging up-rootedness is, especially when it is not something that you would have opted for in better times. So in June of 2008, we sold the house and moved east on Route 80 from Ohio to the George Washington Bridge, landing in Stony Brook. What a great place! But still, we just had not quite imagined how stressful such a move would be and how hard we would have to work to find renewed peace of mind and heart.

“Suddenly cut adrift from friends and community, we felt painfully uprooted—out of place, stressed out, disoriented and at odds with each other. Most movers suffer from a lack of companionship and intimate friends, at least temporarily, and doing this repeatedly is really tough. Fortunately, we had those twenty good years in Ohio. We struggled to find our footing with the move, determined to recreate the good life of community and friendships we all so keenly missed. The key turned out to be something we knew quite well, but learned to remember daily in our upheaval: the healing power of helping others. The medical prescription is this—Rx: Helper Therapy.

“Simply put, helping others helps the helper. Research in the field of health psychology, as well as all the great spiritual traditions, tells us that one of the best ways to get rid of anger and grief is to actively help others. Science supports this assertion: Giving help to others measurably reduces the giver’s stress; improves health and well-being in surprising and powerful ways; renews our optimism about what is possible; helps us connect to family, friends and lots of amazing people; allows the deep, profound joy of our humanity to flow through us and out into the world; and improves our sense of self-worth. These are valuable gifts anytime and particularly in hard times. If there is one great secret to life, this is it.”

After all was said and done, this move worked out. My wife found a grade school where she could continue her work as a teaching assistant for especially needy children, my son Drew volunteered at the hospital and I started working with families of individuals with autism. We eventually realized that wherever we are, we are at home when we can contribute to the lives of others. We got back in touch with the things that matter most, and maybe that is what hard times are for. We helped others in ways that we felt called to, we used our strengths so as to feel effective and we shared our experiences with family, faith community and like-minded others.

Eventually, of course, everyone stumbles on hard times, and no one gets out of life alive. Today, even those who had considered themselves protected from hardship are being touched and their lives changed by volatile economic markets, job uncertainty and the increasing isolation and loneliness of modern life.

Here are four things to keep in mind. First, as Washington Irving put it so well: “Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.” Second, love often does beget love, just as hate usually begets hate, and so good givers need to be good receivers. Third, we should never count on reciprocity because this is sure to be frustrating and ultimately small-minded. Better to take joy when those upon whom our love is bestowed do not “pay it back” to us, but rather “pay it forward” to others as they move through life remembering our good example. Or to bring this to the kitchen table, as I heard one Italian mother in Cleveland tell her son, “Love and forget about it!” And fourth, in I Corinthians Paul linked “faith, hope and love,” and he proclaimed that “love never fails.” What is faith but having confidence that no matter how harsh a particular scene in the drama of our lives or of history might be, it is love that wrote the play and love that will be revealed in the final act.

Do a little good this holiday season. The 2010 Do Good Live Well Survey,released by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch (www.VolunteerMatch.org), surveyed 4,500 American adults. 41 percent of Americans volunteered an average of 100 hours a year. 68 percent of those who volunteered in the last year reported that volunteering made them feel physically healthier. In addition:

89% reported that “volunteering has improved my sense of well-bring”
73% agreed that “volunteering lowered my stress levels”
92% agreed that “volunteering enriched my sense of purpose in life”
72% characterized themselves as “optimistic” compared to 60% of non-volunteers
42% of volunteers reported a “very good” sense of meaning in their lives, compared with 28% of non-volunteers

How wise it is to do what one can to contribute benevolently to others!

Some individuals on my The Book of Common Prayer list were well known and others lived quiet lives out of the limelight. Some were appreciated and some not. We might prefer to think that loving servants of goodness would, after a long and successful life, die peacefully in their beds and all people would speak well of them at their funerals. But this is too simplistic. Everyone on my list experienced an enduring joy as a by-product of their generosity. Thus, the motto of my independent Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (www.unlimitedloveinstitute.com), founded with the help of Sir John Templeton (who happens to be on my list!), is “In the giving of self lies the discovery of a deeper self.”

To request permission to post this article or for review copy and interview information, contact:

Audra Jennings
Senior Media Specialist
The B&B Media Group
1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104 - ajennings@tbbmedia.com

__________________________________________________________________________



Since 1987, The B&B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client. The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B&B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book "The Mirror of the N'de" by L.K.Malone

About the Book: In the mythical city of N’de lives thirteen-year-old Hadlay and her people, the Ramash. Scorned and abused by the unloving and absent Emperor, the Ramash are poor people, placed second to the ruling class of the Oresed. Young but bold, Hadlay rages against the injustice in her city. When she is chosen for the honor of serving the Prince in the Tower, she hopes to find a way to right the wrong... but soon discovers that things are worse than she believed.
While Hadlay works to better her people’s condition, she struggles to abide with the abusive Oresed and understand the meaning of her dreams in which a fantastical white horse appears to her and speaks in riddles. When Hadlay stumbles into one of the Tower’s secret rooms, she discovers a hidden mirror that doesn’t just show her reflection, but reveals much more: the horse’s name is Sirach and he has a plan to save the children of N’de, if only Hadlay can bring them to the mirror. Hiding her knowledge of Sirach from the Prince, Hadlay sets out to do Sirach’s bidding. But when Sirach’s presence is revealed, Hadley’s life is in danger and the only way to save her is for Sirach to give up his own.
Crafting powerful narrative and creative characters, author L. K. Malone spins a compelling tale that combines exciting entertainment and the Christian story. In The Mirror of N’de, readers will empathize with the desires of an oppressed people, will anger at the affliction of a cruel adversary, and ultimately rejoice with the revelation of a Savior.
Take a look at the video trailer clicking on the link below:



About the Author: As a child, L.K. Malone liked to make up episodes of her favorite TV shows when she was supposed to be napping. Today she is an insatiable reader who devours nearly a book a day when she isn’t writing. Favorite genres include political thrillers, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. Some of her favorite reads include the Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter books, which inspired her to try her hand at fantasy with a Judeo-Christian twist. Malone is a Colorado native with a large extended family, which includes two lovely young women who graciously let her mentor them through the Denver Kids program, and a handsome menagerie of pets.

My Review: This is a wonderful book, very well written and with a deep message to the young adults in our lives. The plot of the story is simple to follow. There is a place with heavy social injustice (sounds familiar?) called Turris, where the Oresed are the ruling class and the Ramash are the oppressed ones. A legend of a better place called N'de is transmitted through generations and hope is the only thing that remains for the Ramash. Our heroine Hadlay and her friends are from families persecuted (Ramash class). She has dreams about this place and in her dreams she sees a wonderful thing that has the image of a Being that talks to her. She and her friends are tested on patience, obedience, loyalty and discretion in order to be accepted to work for the king, which is consider to be a very high honor. Hadlay and her boyfriend Nomish are selected and they have to move to the Tower, the place where the king lives with his son. Over there they start their training on different arts, including using "magic" that seems very tempting, as they can control powers to do some tasks for them. But a series of events will show them that things are not as bright as they look, and soon they will have to face decisions that change their lives forever.
This is a very easy reading that will get you involved from the beginning, cheering for your favorite characters. And the theological message behind the scenes is tremendous and will touch you deeply. Loyalty, forgiveness, friendship, trust, treason are concepts worked on every page of this book. I recommend this book to a permanent library of any reader that enjoys a very good fantasy book.

This book was written by L.K.Malone and was published in October of 2011 by Kregel Publications. Litfuse Publicity Group was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Litfuse is promoting a Blog tour for this book. Take a look at their Blog Tour Schedule.

If yo want to buy this book, click on the link bellow:



If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.