Thousand Foot Krutch

Thousand Foot Krutch
I love this band. I listen to them daily. Even though we are looking at another camera, we all look like we're alert for it being a fan signing and it's 11:30 p.m. on a Friday.

31 July 2011

Left Behind No. 8: The Mark

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World is the next exciting installment of Jerry B. Jenkin's Left Behind, a fictional account of one of the four theological explanations of the End Times.

That infamous mark of the beast, upon which humans must take in order to buy or sell anything, has arrived. The Tribulation Force knows that they can't take the Mark, as they have already received the Seal/Mark of Christ, both inside of their hearts and on their foreheads, and that the Mark of the Beast will seal their fate and leave them no chance to get to be saved and get to Heaven. There are some who take it, some who refuse, and some who never make a choice. But without taking it, the Force has to find another means of survival...

A great read, and part of one of the most frightening aspects - to me, anyway - of the End Times (other than the martyrs of the saints), Jenkins and LaHaye present it with tact and decorum. Throughout the novel, us readers begin to see behind the curtain into the invisible world around us, and the battle between pure good and pure evil - a battle of which we are the pawns (or the prize, from God's perspective).

Definitely a 4 on a 5 point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


30 July 2011

Left Behind No. 7: The Indwelling

In The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession. Just as the Holy Spirit dwells inside the hearts of believers everywhere - or did, before the Christians were swept away and the non-believers were left to suffer plagues and other horrific events that really is simply a loving God trying to get the attention of non-Christians, so the spirit of Satan takes possession of Nicolae Carpathia, the seeming Messiah of those left behind. And when Satan gets the reigns of the most powerful man on the planet (but only as long as God lets him) he begins his destruction - which will ultimately lead to his own destruction (after all - we know the end of Satan, and he does too but that doesn't mean he isn't going to take as many of God's precious children as he can with him). First of all he targets the Jewish people (like usual, payback for being God's special people and the bloodline of Christ) but we all know he'll be moving on to the Christians soon enough (who he hates even more if that's possible because they are the only ones who can resist him and from whom he must flee by the power of God that dwells in Christians' hearts and because they have made the willful choice to follow God, of whom he is jealous and who he hates more than anyone or anything in the universe).

Anyway, Antichrist dies and Rayford Steele is blamed for the murder (although it was Chaim, which makes more sense as Chaim is Jewish and Rayford is not and Satan hates the Jews and the Jews hate Satan but on a spiritual level of course). Buck knows the truth (of course, being a talented journalist).

The entire world, tragically deceived and refusing to believe in God, mourns (of course).

And then the counterfeit/indwelling occurs. (Duh.)

But of course the world doesn't know (or care) that it's really the archenemy of mankind and God who is now ruling the world and who is bent on the destruction of everything including his own followers. He revels in blood (especially that of the Christians) and lying. They believe their Messiah is supernatural.

Yeah right. Supernaturally evil.

This novel reveals that no matter how much man tries to interfere, the plans of God proceed. And no matter how evil the world gets - it can always be more evil (especially when Satan is dwelling in the body of the "king of the world"). But we have the hope that someday, Christ will come for us, save us, and conquer His enemy, squash evil, and redeem the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve and restore Eden (in the form of a New Heaven and a New Earth and a New Jerusalem).

And it will be here soon. Are you ready?

I am.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


29 July 2011

Assassins another riveting tale

Assassins is book six of the best-selling Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In this book, fed up of Carpathia's lies, only through which the blood-bought Christians can see, Buck Williams and Rayford Steele, our ever-fantastic heroes of the faith, plot his demise and plan to expose him as the Antichrist. (They don't realize that Carpathia has to do all this - he has to deceive the world - in order for Christ to return and conquer him and Satan once and for all.)

This is a great series. I really enjoy it. People should read it. Although it is indeed a work of fiction, it has important biblical truths in it as well. Tsion is extremely knowledgeable, and it makes Revelation come alive in new ways. It is no longer just that book or the End but it's real - and it could really happen. We could really get left behind because we have not received God's gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ's sacrifice.

Read it. You won't be able to put it down.

Spoiler alert:

Although Rayford Steele does not personally kill Carpathia for setting up his wife to look like a traitor and just being evil, his gunshot goes off which gives another man time to stab him. Therefore Rayford was involved, but not the direct killer.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


28 July 2011

Top Five Books

These are not in any particular order.

1. The Bible

2. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

3. A Tale of Two Cities, or Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

4. The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner

5. The Queen of Spades, Alexander Pushkin

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


27 July 2011

Left Behind: Apollyon

The fifth book in the Left Behind  series by Jerry B. Jenkins about the last day according to the biblical Revelation chronicles what happens when Apollyon and his forces are released as part of the seven judgments of God. Hating Christians but unable to attack them, and only able to attack non-Christians who have not been sealed by the mark of Christ, which is a cross, the symbol of Christ's death and resurrection, people everywhere who get bitten try to die but are unable to, because God refuses to allow Death to take them, but only during that time. This shows that God reigns above everything, including our own mortal enemy, Death.

Jenkins includes a Bible-based description of Apollyon's forces, including the fact that they are able to say only one word: Apollyon, the Greek name of their ruler. Buck ends up with one and studies it, which is how we find out what it looks like.

And, as always, Antichrist Nicolae continues to try to take over the confused world. Some people turn to Christ - and others don't. We'll all face the same God, but some of us won't have Christ to intercede on our behalf.

This is an absolutely fantastic series, and I read this book in less than two days. I couldn't stop reading it!! They are quit addicting.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


26 July 2011

Left Behind #4: Soul Harvest

Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides is the highly anticipated fourth book in the Left Behind series.  The Wrath of the Lamb Earthquake has just occurred, and Buck and Ray, our beloved heroes, search for Chloe in the midst of the rubble. Is she dead or alive, and where is she? Read to find out...

A decent read, and very interesting. This shows the relationship between Buck and Chloe, and Buck and Carpathia (who knew there could ever be a relationship between a believer and Antichrist (although he has not yet been possessed by Satan?). It leads into the other books, but still manages to maintain its own plot and hold readers. It's a gripping book; after all, we don't see any references to our beloved Chloe until Buck and Ray do, which actually is a great plot technique because that means we want to keep reading. As usual, it has plenty of biblical references although it does lack mentioning many young believers, teens and young adults. Most appearances of younger people throughout the series are Carpathia followers, although Chloe is actually only in her twenties (she seems older).

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


20 July 2011

Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity

Beth Moore is one of the best female Christian writers I have ever seen, and So Long, Insecurity is no exception, especially when it deals with various fears women face, as it focuses on women. Fear is a rampant problem in the world because of a lack of feeling secure in love, for "perfect love casts out fear" and only God has true perfect love.

I love her Bible studies and what God has revealed to her. She is a very smart and wise woman, and my college group enjoys studying everything she writes. She is quite educated and wildly intelligent, as well as put together and a strong and true believer in the Gospel and Christ.

She hasn't had an easy life, and I'm pleased to see a strong woman of God, doing His Will and changing the lives of women everywhere.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


18 July 2011

Bound by Guilt Review

I wasn't sure what to think when I picked up "Bound by Guilt" by C.J. Darlington. I am a huge fan of books and collectable books and so connected to the story's theme right away.

Although the book referenced the characters' faith, it did not seem that God was a central character or really formed the spine of the story. It seemed more like casual reference, a minor character. I understand that Roxi did not know God, and since much of the novel was from her third-person point of view, then it would not wholly be focused on it, but it did seem that anyone, except Jan, really gave her any guidance on the topic of God and even that was vague.

Christy, another character, was only slightly developed.

Still, the feelings Roxi felt and her experiences, while interesting and a bit too convenient, seemed genuine. It was a good novel and I was even surprised by the ending. The only problem was that we did not know what happened to Diego and Irene, although we could guess.

Still, a good book and a great read, probably a 7 on a 10-point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


17 July 2011

Nicolae: The Left Behind Series

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist further explores the world of the left behind, humans who did not believe in Christ and were subsequently left behind when He raptured His Church to experience the horror of terrible disasters and the reign of the evil Antichrist, and triumph of the Tribulution and the Return of Christ to conquer evil once and for all.

In this riveting novel, the members of the Tribulation Force, now firm believers in Christ, realize in horror that the man everyone wants to rule the world, who pretends to be a man of peace, who seems charming, caring and a "Messiah" to those left behind, is really the man who becomes Satan Incarnate, the evilest man the world ever encountered, Antichrist, worse than even Hitler. And that's just the beginning...

A great read, definitely worth it! A fine third book in the ever famous Left Behind series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Read it in two days.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


10 July 2011

New Kid Catastrophes

Short, strange and funny, this new series for younger readers by Bill Myers (author of Blood of Heaven, Eli) promises to be funny with this great first book about two 23rd century boys who go back to the 21st century to study TJ Finkelstein, a young woman who will become the most influential and important president who eliminates world hunger, etc., and actually become stranded without fuel in her time. But this TJ Finkelstein, a new junior high student, isn't the same TJ who will someday lead the world into greatness - at least not yet. She's a typical teen: obsessed with appearances, a neighbor, tormented by mean other students, and struggling to cope with the loss of her mother, whose death left behind a husband and three daughters to make it on their own. And Herby and Tuna aren't exactly helping her popularity.

The reading is short, the sentences are simple.  This would be great for both young men and young women. Each of the noises she makes (like arggghh) is accentuated by thick bold letters, which usually happens about every page. A bit annoying at first, but the reader gets used to it. However, all the incidents that happen to Hesper and TJ seem a little odd, almost unrealistic and almost like it wouldn't happen. Still, it's rather clever and creative.

It's probably a 3 on a scale of 1-5.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


08 July 2011

The First Escape by G.P. Taylor

I like to be up to date on what teens are reading nowadays, especially when you work with them. Not sure what to think about The Doppleganger Chronicles: The First Escape but intrigued nonetheless by the plot and a huge fan of anything British, I decided to check it out. At first I was annoyed by the alternating text and graphics, but then I started getting into it. I realized I actually liked it a bit and could see how kids who don't like to read long pieces of texts without pictures would actually enjoy it!

Saskia and Sadie are identical in every way, except for their eyes, one has a blue left eye and a right yellow eye, and the other has a blue right eyes and a left yellow eye. They were left by their mother, an actress, at Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children, which seems to only have girls with the exception of Erik, who was abandoned on the front steps when his father left to get something and never returned. The School is actually quite a terrible place, but the twins rule the school. When a wealthy reclusive writer wants only Saskia, Sadie and Saskia are separated. Saskia stumbles into a conspiracy and Sadie and Erik are trying to find her and help. Saskia also meets a mysterious woman who gives her advice and teaches her to eat peas with a fork, who she believes is an angel and who tries to guide her to the Companion (one can only assume she means Christ, although this is never explictily said, nor even really implied other than a few vague descriptions).

It is a fine book, well-crafted. The design, pages of text and then pages of a graphic novel, are fantastic and give the book a creative feel. Definitely worth reading!

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,