GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Trip to COSI


On June 1st, the children and I went to COSI with a friend of mine and her son.  We got off to a rough start, with Hannah not wanting to be there and all four children not able to agree where to go first.  After we got over that initial bump the rest of the day went good.

 

Christian playing in the diner area in Progress, it’s like a step back in time.

 

Bethanne in the diner with Christian crawling on the counter – good thing it’s a children’s museum

 

My girls helping to take apart a computer.

 

Christian working on the computer.

 

My girls and their friend working together.

 

New water exhibit. This was a cloud of condensed water with a light shining words on the ‘wall’

 

All four children in front of the ‘wall’

 

 

Bethanne standing in front of the penguin display, too bad they didn’t have a hippo.

 

All four standing in front of an exhibit.

 

I let Christian use my camera and he snapped this picture of a historic car.

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The Book of Books by Trevor Dennis


About the Book:

The Bible, the story of God’s people, has been passed down through the generations. But how often does a combination of the complex or outdated language, the extensive genealogy lists, and the unfamiliar culture stand in the way of young readers’ understanding of a truly great story?

In The Book of Books, Trevor Dennis uses his natural gift for storytelling to create a story everyone can understand and enjoy reading. Young readers will appreciate Dennis honest and simple way of retelling the most famous Bible stories. Written in novel form, each chapter–from the story of creation in Genesis to the description of the Heavenly City found in Revelation–transitions smoothly into the next.

My Opinion:

 

This isn’t the Bible but it’s great to have on hand for those moments where a child, or even an adult has a hard time in understanding what is being said in the Bible.  This is a re-telling of the stories we all know and love in the Bible, but it’s done in a way that makes it accessible and available for those who don’t know much about the Bible or feel that it’s above them.  I admit I too sometimes struggle with all the begats and thous, but I treasure the language and beauty of the Bible, but a good re-telling helps with younger children as I have in my house.

 

Each story remains true to the accounts in the Bible, so as with some retelling of the Bible you don’t have to worry about the Bible’s inspired words being changed to fit an agenda or someone’s doctrine.  The stories are engaging and the few pictures that are scattered throughout are attention getting, so the young child will also have something to look at.  The illustrations are not in color or huge but add a lovely touch to the story and the book overall.  My children enjoy the stories, especially my younger ones, whereas my older prefers to read straight from the Bible – but in my opinion whatever way we can get God’s Word into the hearts and minds of our (His) children is a good thing.

 

The book is also very pretty, it’s cover a beautiful hard back that will look grand on the bookshelf or end table and I think it will truly be a treasured book as it’s read over and over.  If you are wanting a great book that tells Bible stories on a level of understanding for a variety of ages that will also become a treasured story time addition, then look no further than The Book of Books.

 

**Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book from Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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The Creation as retold by Janice D. Green


About the Book:

In The Creation, children’s author and illustrator Janice Green presents the day-by-day Genesis account with delightful word pictures and colorful hand-appliqued quilt illustrations. Questions included on each page encourage dialog between children and their caregivers. Through one-on-one snuggle time, children gain interest in the Bible as caregivers embrace the opportunity to share their faith.

My Opinion:

Whether for your own child or as a gift The Creation is going to be a wonderful book that will be cherished between the child and you (or their parent).  This beautiful hard cover book is a retelling of the Biblical and historical account of how the earth, humans, animals and all of nature came to be.  With retelling of Bible stories one must be careful not to take away from or add to the Bible and Janice Green has done a wonderful job of retelling the story on a child’s level but without degrading the Word of God.

The illustrations throughout the book are quilt blocks that Janice herself hand appliqued and created for this book.  Colorful and lively the book has a warm, homey feel to it that both adult and child, alike will love to come back to time and again as they read the story together.  The questions following the the story are short and are a great way to open dialogue between parent and child as Biblical truths are explored and ingrained into their lives.  I like to that the font size makes for an easy reader for a child who is just learning to read or who struggles to read.

You can purchase this book at Amazon. (may contain affiliate links)

**Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Book Crash in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.



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FIRST Tour: Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Lynn Dove
and the book:
Shoot the Wounded
Word Alive Press (November 2, 2009)
***Special thanks to Lynn Dove for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynn Dove calls herself a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). Her debut novel, Shoot the Wounded , written for teens and young adults, was published in November 2009. Shoot the Wounded was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards. The second book in the “Wounded Trilogy“, Heal the Wounded was released on Oct. 18, 2010 and it won the Bronze Medal in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards. Love the Wounded, the final book in the trilogy is scheduled for release the summer of 2012.

Lynn’s personal blog, “Journey Thoughts” was the 2011 Winner of a Canadian Christian Writing Award in the blog series category. The Journey Thoughts blog is slightly quirky, sometimes off-beat, and inspirational to all readers. She also has a blog called “Word Salt” that is specifically for author interviews, writer’s tips, and book reviews for those called by God to write, and for those who love to read the Word.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Shoot the Wounded, the first book in the “Wounded Trilogy” written for youth and young adults, addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person’s spirit. It speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence all the while pointing the characters and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ.


SHOOT THE WOUNDED is a contemporary Christian novel that deals with relevant social issues such as teen pregnancy and family violence. Set in the small fictional town of Maplewood, in southern Alberta, best friends Leigh and Ronnie find their friendship and faith challenged when Jake, a good looking Christian boy, moves into their neighborhood. Leigh is especially delighted that Jake is paying more attention to her than any other girl at school or church, but what she does not know is that despite his bold declaration of being a follower of Christ, he’s carrying a dark secret from his past that has the potential to destroy his integrity and have his friends question the legitimacy of his faith.

Product Details:

List Price: $15.99

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Word Alive Press (November 2, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1926676394

ISBN-13: 978-1926676395

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
PROVERBS 12:18
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
PROVERBS 15:4

CHAPTER 1

Leigh stared at the wild, varied assortment of flowers: marigolds, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, lilies, and roses. All of Ronnie’s favourite flowers spread out in a wild assortment of mixed bouquets all across the front of the church sanctuary. It may have been an attempt by someone to cheerily try to camouflage the cherry wood casket, but it was a bleak attempt at best. The church’s stained glass windows reflected beams of rainbow light through the flowers’ petals that further served to enhance the already impressive array of colour, but eyes were constantly drawn to the coffin more so than the flowers surrounding it. Ronnie would have liked the flowers, may even appreciated the deep, polished beauty of the casket’s wood, Leigh thought to herself, but not so the mournful groans of the old church organ played with sad conviction by Ronnie’s aged Aunt Edna.

The sanctuary was filled with family and friends, some openly weeping, others talking barely above a whisper. Hanging in the air was a feeling of sombre solemnity that dared not be interrupted by small talk. Leigh heard a giggle from somewhere in the back and, contrasted with the muted tones, her anger bristled against whoever had the audacity to think this occasion funny. She felt her mother touch her hand, and looked up to see her mother’s soft brown eyes damp with unshed tears.

Mom hurts for me, not Ronnie, Leigh thought. She doesn’t completely understand, but that doesn’t matter. I’m glad she’s here. Leigh squeezed her mother’s hand gratefully. Seated next to her mother was her father, stoic and protective in his blue business suit. Leigh wouldn’t even try to guess what he was thinking. He sat with his eyes focused ahead, his jaw firmly set and the little vein in his temple pulsing as it always did when he appeared upset.

Leigh had tried to approach her father and put into perspective the past actions of her best friend, Ronnie, but her father wouldn’t listen. “Don’t make excuses for her, Leigh. The past is past,” he said. “She had a future. How could this have happened?” He had shaken his head and fumed behind his dark eyes and expression all night. He couldn’t possibly understand why Ronnie had done the things she did. She didn’t even understand it all and Ronnie was… had… been her best friend!

There sat Ronnie’s parents at the front of the church. Mr. Webber’s hand hung limply over his wife’s shoulders and Mrs. Webber was weeping, her head bowed in prayer and misery. Ronnie’s two younger brothers were huddled together beside their dad, both quiet and subdued. And there sat Jake with his parents. He looked over at Leigh and smiled weakly at her. He was trying to get her attention, trying to make up for all the weeks they had been silent to one another. Leigh quickly looked away. She couldn’t bear to see his face. After all, he was partly to blame for this.

Her attention was drawn to the pulpit where the youth pastor, Scott Robinson, now stood. A young man in his late twenties, tall and handsome, with a heart for the young people in his congregation, he had been asked by the family to lead the service. Never in his experience had he spoken at a funeral before. He was nervous, especially under these tragic circumstances with the death of one so young, and a member of his youth group. He wanted the words he said to comfort, to focus attention not on the tragedy, but on God, Who was supposedly in control of all things, even in the midst of sorrow and heartache. Scott cleared his throat nervously and spoke to the people gathered.

“‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…’” Scott led the congregation, reciting the Twenty-Third Psalm,“‘…surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’”

Scott cleared his throat nervously a second time. “We are here to remember and celebrate the life that was Veronica Marie Webber. Ronnie, as she was known to all her friends and family, grew up in this community. She came to know the Lord at a youth rally when she was twelve and was an active member of our youth group. She served in our children’s ministries and was on the volleyball team at school. She loved music, swimming, camping, and she loved all of you here in this room.” He paused. Leigh squirmed uncomfortably in her chair.

The youth pastor faced the congregation and saw the faces of pain and grief on the family members. They had been through so much this past week—actually, these past several months. Asking God for courage to speak boldly, he sighed and continued. He glanced through the crowd of mourners and his eyes settled on Leigh’s face. He was well aware that the two girls had been close for years. Looking directly at her, he spoke with conviction.

“I know Veronica… Ronnie, loved all of you. She had a zest, a love of life that knew no boundaries. She made mistakes, true, but that did not negate the fact that she knew her friends and family supported her, encouraged her, and believed in her. Perhaps that is why we all ask ourselves today how it is we may have failed her at a time when she needed us the most. There are so many whys. God never promised that every question we asked would be answered. Some of us may even feel angry with God for allowing this to have happened…” He saw a slight nod of affirmation from Leigh, but continued, “Psalm 91 says that he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Ronnie is resting with God now…” And his voice broke with emotion.

Leigh did not hear more. She was aware of Scott referring back to different passages of scripture as he eulogized her friend. One of Ronnie’s uncles, a cousin, and one of the church’s deacons followed, sharing little snippets of stories they remembered of Ronnie’s childhood and teen years. Leigh didn’t recall the words, nor did she much care what was said. Only immediately following the service when Jake tried to stop her in the church foyer to give her a hug did she react with venom.

“Don’t, Jake!” she hissed. He stepped back in surprise. “You can’t make me feel better. You did this to her! I don’t want anything to do with you, ever!” With that, Leigh pushed away from him, leaving him bewildered and hurt.

*****

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Cindy said the next day.

Leigh’s group of friends had circled around her at school. Short, with chestnut-coloured hair, Cindy was the pragmatic one. She tried to find reason to all things. She tried to find a solution when none existed. She also tried to rely on herself for all the answers. Tina was the crier. Stout, with long hay-coloured hair, overly-sensitive, Tina was emotional to a fault. She wept in happiness and in despair. Auburn-haired, with dark hazel eyes and a creamy flawless complexion, Janelle was unforgiving. She held grudges the longest, and spent days in moodiness. Of all of Leigh’s friends, Leigh wondered why she even associated with Janelle. Some days Janelle was so unlikeble. Corey was the clown. Tall, gangly, with short, bleached-blonde streaks in her already lightened blonde hair, Corey tried to make light of everything. Sometimes it was therapeutic to have her as comic relief; sometimes she chose comedy inappropriately to relieve the tension. Today was such a day.

“Well, at least now I don’t have to pay Ronnie the twenty bucks I owed her.” Corey said without thinking.

“What?” The other girls reacted with disbelief.

“How could you say that?” Tina wailed and slapped Corey soundly on her arm. “You are heartless!”

Leigh walked away in disgust.

The remaining crowded around Corey, reprimanding her viciously for her insensitivity. Leigh knew it would do no good. Some kids would continue to say and do things over the next several weeks that would be totally inappropriate. Leigh knew that many of her friends couldn’t express grief, some honestly didn’t care, and others would just choose to forget or move on with life in an effort to pretend it had never happened. Leigh wasn’t sure which category she would eventually fall into. At present, she just felt angry and numb. She despised the fact that rumours were running rampant, everyone speculating, trying to piece together the puzzle on their own to determine what exactly had happened to Ronnie. Truth was not part of the equation, it seemed, just sensationalism and gossip. It made Leigh even angrier.

What bothered Leigh more than anything else was the feeling of unconnectedness with her friends, her family, her church, and God. She couldn’t remember a time when she had felt so alone. No one, not one person, seemed to understand the torment she was going through. She knew that she should pray, she knew she could journal her thoughts, and maybe feel a sense of release doing that, but there was such weariness in the idea. She couldn’t face it right now. Then, of course, there was Jake. How could she love him and hate him at the same time? She fumbled with the lock on her locker. The numbers blurred before her and her books tumbled with a loud splat on the floor at her feet. She cursed and immediately looked up with guilt. Swearing was considered inappropriate in her church circles.

“Crap!” she raged. I can’t even act like a normal human being! I want to swear! I want to yell and scream and kick in this… She stopped herself from using an expletive about her locker. That wasn’t the answer, either. She couldn’t just drop sixteen years of upbringing and forego all that she had been taught just to satisfy a need to vent her anger. There had to be a better way.

Janelle handed her a math book she had dropped, and bent to pick up the remaining books at Leigh’s feet.

“Corey is an idiot,” she calmly stated. “Don’t let her bug you.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter with me,” Leigh confided. She leaned wearily against the locker and gratefully allowed Janelle to retrieve all the books. “I’m not sure about anything anymore. I was so angry with Ronnie. I was yelling at her for getting herself in trouble. I wasn’t her friend; I didn’t do anything that showed to her that I was her best friend. I let her down.” Janelle put an arm around Leigh. “I had no idea that Ronnie was so messed up. I was mad at her. I don’t even know why I was mad at her. I mean, the only person she was hurting was herself, yet I was mad at her because somehow or another knowing she had messed up was hurting me!”

Janelle walked with Leigh to their homeroom. “Too bad Ronnie didn’t listen to you months ago. Seems to me, this is all her doing. You have nothing to feel guilty about.”

Leigh did not feel encouraged in any way as she entered the class. The seat up front that would have been Ronnie’s was so obviously vacant that she had to choke back a sob as she passed it. The whole day passed like a great heaviness was weighing on her. If someone had asked her what the teachers had said or what homework assignments were due, she wouldn’t have been able to respond. She sat on the bus alone, ever mindful of the seat across the aisle, Ronnie’s seat… vacant…just like the one in homeroom, and in English class, and the chair in Science right next to hers. This was supposed to have been the year for new beginnings and to put all their past mistakes behind them.

“Ronnie, how could you do this to me?” Leigh dropped her head into her hands and wept.


Copyright © 2009 Lynn Dove


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

My Opinion:

 

As you can tell from the title, or at least I hope you can, almost all Christians have some experience with shooting the wounded – either as the victim or the shooter.  I found this book to be a quick read and fast paced, even if it was a bit busy – the author used several characters viewpoints so at times it was a bit over done.  It’s easy to figure out what point of view is being used though so it’s not confusing, and I understand or would like to believe I understand why the author chose to write the book in this manner.  The conflicts involved in the book aren’t easy they are complex and mulch-faceted and there for all the characters are involved in one way or the other in regards to how situations are handled.

 

It’s a young adult book but deals with some serious crisis such as teen pregnancy, rape, among other things – so chose well before handing this over – I’d say for this book pre-reading it would be a good idea.  I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be handing this over to my daughter when she is 13 or 14 because of the mature subject matter.  However, for me, being an adult and having sort of been there, done that this book was a real eye opener and even somewhat inspirational.

 

 

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The Homeschool Mother’s Journal


 

In my life this week:

 

Well, I’ve been busy.  I wrote a review for a local author who I hope to meet tomorrow at the book signing.  It’s just been busy.

 

In our homeschool this week:

 

Nothing.  Well not nothing, really but as far as school, school goes, we didn’t do a thing.  Bethanne had her first college for kids class which involved using natural materials to make a mosaic of something found in nature – she did a hummingbird (which I was planning on doing a unit study on this week but well….I didn’t).  We dropped Hannah off at 4-H camp on Monday and she was supposed to stay until Friday morning but after falling and hitting her back her orthopedic dr wanted us to take her to the E.R.  turned out it’s muscular and she’s sore and taking prescription strength motrin.  It was a bit odd having her gone and I definitely worried – she doesn’t want to go again.

 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing:

 

We saw lots of people when I dropped off Hannah, she also was a cabin mate with a friend she already knew, so that helped.  Then there was Bethanne’s class in which there were several other children as well as the teacher.  We also had our 4H meeting so we saw our wonderful 4-H group as well.

 

My favorite thing this week was:

 

Seeing my oldest be able to handle herself in a new experience.  Seeing how excited my oldest got over creating a piece of art.  Spending some one-on-one time with my little man.

 

I’m reading:

 

Dark Star by Creston Mapes

 

Full Tilt by Creston Mapes

 

Nobody by Creston Mapes

 

Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove

 

Knowing by Tammy Hill

 

A picture to share:

 

Christian posing with an interesting bug he found on the outside window. I had to go outside and snap a picture.

 

Up close shot of the bug from above, have no idea what it was but it was kind of pretty.

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Creston Mapes Blog Tour!


 

About the author, Creston Mapes:

 

A proud native of northeast Ohio, Creston has been writing professionally for almost 30 years.

He earned his degree in Magazine Journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1983.

After working as a reporter and photographer for newspapers in Florida and Ohio, Creston became a corporate copywriter, then a creative director, before starting his own freelance writing business 20 years ago.

Since then, he has written marketing and magazine copy for fine organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, The Weather Channel, ABC-TV, Oracle Corporation, TNT Sports, BellSouth, Focus on the Family, Hockey News, and Random House.

Creston has edited and ghost-written a growing list of non-fiction books, and has penned three contemporary suspense novels for Waterbrook-Multnomah, a divison of Random House. All three of Creston’s novels are available in e-Book format and have been printed in Dutch. He has finished a fourth novel and is working on a fifth.

 

About the books:

 

Dark Star

Can Fame, Wealth, and Power Buy Happiness?

Everett Lester and his band, DeathStroke, ride the crest of a wave to superstardom. But the deeper they become immersed in fame, wealth, and power, the more likely they are to be swallowed alive by the drugs, alcohol, and discontentment that have become their only friends. Everett is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return when he’s charged with the murder of his personal psychic. The only hope he can cling to comes from Topeka , Kansas , and the letters written by a prayerful young lady who lives there. Consistent and persistent, the notes cut straight to Everett ‘s empty heart, offering a fulfillment he’s never grasped before. But what if he’s found guilty of murder? Will he recognize the spiritual battle that’s raging for his soul?

Endora Crystal was my rock…

As I staggered through the chaos of rock ‘n’ roll fame-the drugs and alcohol, the selfishness and turmoil-Endora was the gentle voice in my ear telling me I was special. Telling me I was adored. She was my personal psychic, and she said I had a unique purpose, a calling to give my fans happiness. To be their god.

My band, DeathStroke, dominated the world of rock. Yet strife ruled our inner circle. My family didn’t know me. I loved no one but myself.

And yet Karen Bayliss was praying for me, that I would come to know the love of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ. She was not a fan. Didn’t care for my music. Karen just wanted me to know peace.

Now Endora is dead, and I’ve been charged with first-degree murder.

Everett Lester is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return. Will he recognize the spiritual battle that’s raging for his soul?

Link to buy the book: Signed by the Author
About the Book:
Full Tilt
I ONCE SOWED DESTRUCTION.

Now those I love are reaping pain.
The media hype is fading and my life is no longer that of a glamorous celebrity. I’m Everett Lester, former lead singer of DeathStroke, acquitted last year of first-degree murder, now married, a Christian, and ready to take my story to the masses through music. Problem is, the turmoil of my past didn’t end when the reporters left.

My wife Karen and I have received news that has rocked our world. My brother Eddie’s gambling is so far out of control that the mob practically owns him. And Eddie’s son, Wesley–who blames me for his brother’s death–is mixed up with meth, a psychotic named Tony Badino, and a satanic voice that’s urging him to take me out.

Will my Living Water tour ever hit the road? Will former fans stop hissing long enough to hear about the transforming power of Christ’s love? Satan once used me for evil–only through God’s power can I be used for good. The question is: will my loved ones and I be able to survive the aftermath of a rock star’s life?

Everett Lester faces enemies both human and supernatural. Satan won’t give up his hold on Everett, his family, or his fans without a vicious fight. God’s victory is certain in the supernatural realm, but will Everett survive the earthly battle that’s threatening to obliterate him?

Link to buy the book:  Signed by the Author
About the Book:
Nobody
American Christian Fiction Writers: “Book of the Month”

They said, “He’s a nobody.”
They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.

His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?

With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious man in the black Converse high-tops, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.

Link to buy the book:  Signed by the Author
My Opinion:
I am currently reading these and will update with reviews as I finish them.
If you would like to see what others have to say visit the Litfuse Tour Page.
**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-copy of the above books from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.
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Nephilim: The Remnants by David A. Henderson


About the Book:

n a time long since past, in the forgotten lands of Lore, now known as Arteah, live a few scattered remnants of an antediluvian race: the Nephilim (nef-il-eem). Thought to be half man and half fallen angel, these supernatural titans of strength and might “…were the heroes of old, men of renown.” (Gen. 6:4)

Now, the ancient lands are in peril as one such Nephilim, the evil Count Vladimir, threatens to plunge the medieval world into a new age of darkness. Claiming to be immortal, he conquers towns, enslaving its people and burning their books. And one very old book in particular. But a faithful knight, who is secretly a Nephilim, stands in his way.

Who are these Nephilim? What is the mystery surrounding their dark origins and great power? And how is one ancient book the key to unraveling Count Vladimir’s dark age and saving the world? Embark on a dangerous journey in this epic tale of faith, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Photo from Nephilim the Remnants site http://nephilimtheremnants.com/

About the Author and Illustrator:

David is not only the author of the book Nephilim the Remnants, he is also the artist. Besides designing and creating the book’s cover he has also illustrated over fifty plus hand drawn images including characters, castles, weapons, and maps through-out the interior of the book.

On a more personal side, David is the son of a baptist preacher and came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior at a young age. He graduated with a degree in Graphic Art and Design from Clark State College and runs his own Graphic Design business.

David is happily married to his beautiful wife Johanna with whom he has three wonderful boys. David is greatly inspired by the Bible and attends church with his family at Christian Life Center where he helps co-lead the youth group.

David lives in southern Ohio where he enjoys spending time with his family, walks through the neighborhood, and the creative arts– drawing, painting, writing, and music.

My Opinion:

David Henderson is a first on my blog as is his book, Nephilim: The Remnants.  What makes him and his book a first on my blog you ask?  It’s the fact that he is a local author – he lives within a 45 minute drive of myself and yet we’ve never met!  When I think of a local author I think of someone with mediocre writing skills – how wrong I’ve been!  This book is awesome and I really enjoyed a bigger look on one’s take of the Nephilim in the Bible.  Even though I’ve read through Genesis I guess I just skimmed over the part where the Nephilim is mentioned (if you don’t believe me, grab your Bible, they are there – and come back).

While this book is fiction it is a great and valuable take on the Bible, which is the whole point of this book – to open up the Word of God to those who wouldn’t normally pick up a Bible.  The characters come alive as the reader meets Princess Johanna, Count Vladimir, and others as they grow in their Faith, share with others and sacrifice.  Evil is evil and good is good, there is no blurring of the lines but even the most evil sinner has a chance to accept Christ – which is true of anyone – God loves even the most vilest of people and will accept them if only they will accept His Son and live for Him.

I would say that this book would be good for a 10 year old and up to read, there is some violence as the characters have to fight against evil – but the symbols is of light fighting darkness.  Sprinkled though out with a generous helping of Scripture aids in telling the story – it’s not forced but seems to flow naturally in the course of the characters conversations as they discuss, share and grow their faith.  I might even read this to my almost 6 and my 7 year old as a read aloud so that we can discuss our way through the book and the allegory to the Bible and how the Lord works in our life.  If you know someone who needs to have the scales off their eyes but isn’t open to reading just the Bible, this book may be just the thing that helps them see that there is Someone who loves them unconditionally and wants to graft them into His family.

I can’t neglect to mention the illustrations in the book – also done by David Henderson – the illustrations are well done and in keeping with the story line, feel a bit dated, which only adds to the story along the way.  They are black and white and while a young child may want to have an image on every page, they flow naturally along as the story moves on.  David has put a lot of time and attention into the illustrations for the story and it really shows as the characters come alive both through the writing and drawings in Nephilim: The Remnants.  

 

 

You can buy the book at Amazon (Kindle), Amazon, Xulon Press, Barnes and Noble, and also as a PDF.  Also visit David Henderson at his site:  Nephilim the Remnants.

 

**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

 

 

 

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Crew Review: Creation Illustrated magazine


Vendor Name:  Creation Illustrated

Vendor Contact Contact information

Name of ProductCreation Illustrated magazine

Price:  $19.95 for 1 year, $37.95 for 2 years, $53.95 for 3 years – save $5.00 a year per sub if you pay with credit card.  Canadian residents need to add $5.00 for postage, foreign countries add $10.00

Age/Grade Range:  all

Creation Illustrated mission statement is this: “Our purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation.  By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace.  Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigors of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.

This beautiful magazine has been called the Christian version of National Geographic and rightly so.  The beautiful, glossy magazine is one that will be treasured and used for years to come – the articles, in my opinion, will prove to be timeless as they share a sense of science from a godly, Biblical worldview as well as inspiration from Scripture.  I appreciate the photos of nature because there are times, especially in the summer I can’t get out to enjoy it first hand and the professional quality of the pictures are a real aid to my children and I.  There are advertisements throughout the magazine but they aren’t a major factor in the magazine and they are for homeschool curricula or other products from Christian companies.

There is a section called Genesis Cuisine that has recipes that are as close to nature as one can get – we haven’t tried the recipes yet as my family isn’t real keen on trying new things, especially the children but I think the Grapefruit Avocado Tacos in the summer 2011 issue sound absolutely delicious and refreshing.  If you want to put the recipes in your recipe box or collection they come with dotted lines so that they can be cut out and filed away for later use and re-use.

There is a child’s story and photo contest for young people – there is literally something for everyone and for every age in this magazine, which cuts down considerably on subscription rates to numerous magazines – Creation Illustrated is literally a magazine for the whole family.  There is an included instructional guide at the back with questions for going deeper into the stories and these can be used as a family, during your home school time or individually.  There are also creation activities and these will vary depending on what that issue’s theme is – for spring 2012 one of the activities is to hang a hummingbird feeder in your yard.

I didn’t use the magazines we were given, summer and fall 2011, winter and spring 2012 in our school time as I preferred to let the children enjoy them on their own – my son was particularly enthralled with the beautiful photography while all three loved the children’s story.  I will be using these again and again as we study the Lord’s creation in our school time as a supplement to learn more about animals and the plants around us.  If you’d like to see what other homeschool parents thought check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

**Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

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Q is for Quench


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“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”  Matthew 5:6

 

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whoever drinketh of this water shall not thirst again.”  John 4:13

 

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”  John 6:35

 

When I think about quenching, it’s usually when I’m so thirsty I’d gladly give any money in my pocket for a drink.  Which isn’t hard to imagine with the heat wave we have had and it’s going to just get worse (almost 100 with humidity!) – so it’s easy to get dehydrated and need your thirst quenched.

 

We thirst for a lot…..

 

more money

 

more clothing

 

more electronics

 

more room in a house

 

more ___________  (you fill in the blank of what you quench for)

 

As humans, regardless of whether we want to acknowledge Him or not, there is a God, the One who created us all.  As the created we long to know our Creator – some deny and live their lives pushing Him down but there is always that longing, that thirst for who He is – we are made to want to know our Lord, to grow close to Him.

 

There are many faiths, but there is only one God that through His Son we can truly have our thirst quenched.  It’s for the Spiritual – not for the things that will be destroyed in the end.  Our quest for quenching our thirst is only  going to be found through the Living God – not a statue or idol, not a man who has died, but in the Living God whose Son died and rose again.

 

If God has the power to raise His Son from the grave He has the power to quench our thirst.  It begins with us seeking Him, through prayer and reading of the Word.  We must turn over our lives to Him – not “okay, you can have this part but I’m not comfortable turning over my fertility, my finances, my __________ to You” it’s all or nothing.  Does one little drop of water help you when your mouth is so dry it’s like cotton?  Nope.  Just like that we can’t expect to have God quench our Spiritual thirst if we only want to give Him a little – if giving Him your all means that you’ll never thirst again, wouldn’t you want that?

 

Not that we shouldn’t always be seeking and thirsting after His knowledge but through recognizing Him as the Lord and our Savior we won’t have to thirst after things that no longer matter – we can live in a small house even when others think we’ve outgrown it, we can be fine with a dinosaur of a computer, we can be clothed in last years or even 10 years’ ago fashions – if we know that we no longer need to thirst after things of the world we can rest in knowing God, we can read His Word and know what He’s telling us is the Truth – by following Him we know what our soul longs for and it will be given.

 

 

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The Cultivation Generation: My Foundation CD (review and giveaway)


 

I had the chance to listen and enjoy the My Foundation CD (download) and for me, when music comes on that really just praises and worships the Lord – it’s a winner and this was a winner.  My Foundation has 13 tracks on it and all are really wonderful and even my children were signing and dancing along at home and in the van.  The 13 tracks are:

  1. My Soul Longs
  2. Love Has Come, Love Has Won
  3. God Don’t Never Change
  4. My Foundation
  5. Let It Shine
  6. The Bridegroom
  7. Your Kingdom’s Here
  8. Worthy
  9. Life To Us
  10. Enthroned On High
  11. Walls Come Down
  12. They That Wait
  13. Song Of Hope (Digital Bonus)

 

The whole album has a rock sound to it, upbeat but still praising and worshiping God.  I know some don’t like this type of music for Christians, but for me, anything that will get my husband listening to it is a positive thing and I believe even the Lord can use music with a rock beat (in church though, a whole new post) to get at the most hardened hearts.  Of course, if you’re like me and like different types of music then this will fit that – and with the music’s lyrics giving it all to God it’s a win-win situation.

 

**Disclaimer: “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Giveaway!!!

This will be for a download version of this album, no physical CD will be mailed to you!

Make sure to leave an email in your comment – I don’t want to have to track you down through Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere :D   Also you must be 18 years or older – winner will be randomly selected by a process decided by me on June 27th, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be selected.

To enter you must do #1 first, all others are optional:

  1. Visit Vineyards site and tell me one thing you learned about them.
  2. Like Vineyard on Facebook.
  3. Follow me via Google Friend Connect (see right side bar)
  4. Follow my blog on Facebook.
  5. Follow me on Twitter.
  6. Like Vineyard on Twitter.
  7. Share this contest via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other method (leave a comment with the link where you shared for each way you shared, up to 3 extra entries)

 

 

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