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.

30 August 2011

Darien's Rise

In a new and exciting series called "Passages" by Paul McCusker, Kyle and Anna, a brother and sister travel to Marus, a fantasy land, and experience unusual adventures. Belief in God in this world takes the believer on amazing trips and expeditions. History repeats itself - with the siblings in it! They also find that they have mysterious new powers.

The theme of the story is God's call on your life, and parallels that of David and Saul.

The stories were great and faith-grounded, and there was nothing too dark in them. They help show that the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God, and that the stories of real Biblical people are never too out of date. And the Bible CAN relate to our lives, if we allow it to.

A beautiful story that is also engaging!

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


25 August 2011

Springtime of the Spirit

I enjoyed the latest book in the Great War series. Annaliese Duray and Christophe Brecht are a sweet couple. He is a war weary soldier, she is a fiery Socialist. They knew each other when they were younger, and they are surprised by the differences the years can bring.

The Great War has ended by 1918. Christophe Brecht has returned to his hometown from the Great War (called World War I by us). The Durays, who he knows, ask him to bring back their runaway daughter, Annaliese. He agrees, and goes to Munich, where he discovers she is caught up in the German Socialist movement, though she isn't aware that they want to create a communist government. He tries to take her home, but she refuses, and he stays near her to make sure she is safe. When an army from Berlin threatens their blossoming love, the two must make difficult choices.

A great read, and not too romantically over-the-top. The book balanced historical fiction with romance. I like that they used to know each other, and then realized that they had each changed. But Annaliese had always loved him, and now she had a chance to get him, but she really does love her country. I just wish many women didn't have to choose between their careers and marriage. Why can't women have both? I know plenty of women who can do both, and being a humanitarian is also a great aspiration! I'm glad Annaliese cared about her country, even if she didn't know everything about the people she was representing; that happens a lot!

An 8 on a 10-point scale. 

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


23 August 2011

Look to the East Book Review

Look to the East is the first book in the Great War series by Maureen Lang, a Christian writer, an introduction to the series that makes me feel upbeat about the rest of the series. 

The background setting is France in World War I, better known as the Great War. Julitte Toussaint lives in a village (Briecourt) that is isolated from the battles but not from family feuds, but soon the war comes to her back door. Charles Lassone, a wealthy Belgian-American, is hiding from the Germans in the church for now, but if they find him her entire village may be destroyed...

A sweet account of two people in the midst of, in my opinion, an overshadowed war (thanks to World War II). Julitte's family is in the midst of a feud with the de Colvilles but even that is not the worst thing that can happen to the village. Charles being Belgian was an interesting decision, because Belgium was even more overlooked. It also touches on adoption, as Julitte's parents adopted her. Julitte also experiences isolation and rejection because she is a bit different from her friends and neighbors, something that so many readers can relate to and one that I myself related to.

The book emphasizes the sexual purity of Charles and Julitte, a fact that I was pleasantly surprised about, and quite happy with the author's decision. It's nice to see just sweet love between two people without sexual sin every once in awhile, although it is hinted about with other characters.   

I would say that this book is an 8 out of 10. 

Praying you have faith, hope and love,


Julitte was a very perfect character. 

22 August 2011

My Foolish Heart Review

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren takes place in Deep Haven and is book one in a series. It explores the relationship between a wounded Iraq war vet and a woman who's secretly a radio talk show host for Foolish Heart. It shows how they fall in love, slowly, over the air.

It's a lovely story.

Deep Haven is also a haven and a place to hide for the characters, who seek refuge and isolation.

I love the fact that Isadora gives love advice, when she's never had a date. Although not having had a date doesn't mean you don't know stuff, it would help. That's like me. I feel like an expert on relationships, even though I've only been on one date that I really don't count as a date (it didn't go anywhere, although it was fun) because we weren't boyfriend-girlfriend.

I also feel Caleb's (I love that name) pain. I know someone who is disabled and he also struggles with overcoming it. It hurts to watch him struggle - and then to give up and expect to be carried around.

I like the mystery of them not knowing each other, and yet they are next-door neighbors. It seems ironic, yet anything can happen, especially in a small town. The world is a very small place.

I would recommend this book, and even though I haven't read any of the others, I am sure they are just as great and wonderful as this one.

A nine out of 10.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


20 August 2011

Voyage with the Vikings

In the first of the Imagination Station series by Focus on the Family, we meet cousins Beth and Patrick, who end up traveling back in time to the age of the Vikings on a mysterious quest to save one of Mr. Whittaker's ancestors. The quest involves gathering different things from different time periods. They meet Erik the Red.

I'm a history buss, and I think it's interesting. The Viking time period is not a period that seems to get much attention, and I'm glad they decided to place Beth and Patrick there.

The books are simple, but seem realistic (other than the fact that time travel is impossible). Beth and Patrick wear costumes so they fit in semi-well, and they never seem to be able to change the past. They always find what they're looking for. The books also emphasize God more, although it seems to be everyone except the two children who refer to Him.

The characters are not always fleshed out, but given that it is for younger readers, that could be overlooked.

The content is interesting and gives information about a historical event often overlooked by writers and researchers.

I would say an 8 on a 10 point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


The Imagination Station: Peril in the Palace

Peril in the Palace is the third book in the time-traveling adventure series The Imagination Station, part of the continuing saga of Adventures in Odyssey. Beth and Patrick travel through time to meet Kublai Khan while seeking yet another treasure to help save Mr. Whittaker's ancestor Albert from the mysterious Lord Blackthorn who has imprisoned him. They also meet Marco Polo, who saves their lives from vicious Mongol warriors.

The book is engaging, but has simplistic language. The history aspect is interesting, introducing various historical figures and facts but placed against the backdrop of modern children learning it. Beth and Patrick are very honest and courageous, and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

The book is probably the least well-written, but children would still be hanging on the edge of it. With a good message and good principles, it's also a great learning tool for children!

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


18 August 2011

The Constantine Codex

The Constantine Codex by Paul Maier is an exciting and riveting tale of Jonathan Weber, a Harvard professor who discovers the lost ending of Mark and an additional book of the Bible; if proved authentic, it would forever change how people view God's Holy Word. Then it is stolen. It appears that powerful forces don't want it published...

This was the first book by Maier that I read, and I did not know what to expect. I am leery of any mention of "lost books" of the Bible, truthfully. I know that there was so much examination of the books that could have fit originally that it seems almost impossible that one would have been passed over. But who really knows? And this book examines that possibility, and just how far people will go to keep things - unknown, which is quite alarming.

Maier's book is a fascinating and exciting read. Harvard professors are pretty intelligent, and this one is most definitely right up there.

I would say this book is an 8 on a 10 point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


17 August 2011

"The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" Review

They always say that once you go to heaven you wouldn't want to come back to Earth, but sometimes God lets it happen. Lazarus - we assume - went to Heaven. And two months after a devastating accident, six-year-old Alex did too - and he came back, just like Lazarus did. And Kevin Malarkey wrote "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven."

Alex had quite a story.

In a touching and eye-opening story, Alex tells of music, meeting Jesus and seeing angels, among other marvels that can only happen when you see heaven. And it sounded eerily like what characters in the Bible saw...

Now, I have never seen heaven, but look forward to it. However, I want that to be many years in the future (I'm only 21). But if God let me visit for a little bit - I'd definitely be ok with that. But not the way that Alex did. Although he now has an extraordinary story to tell, he was also hurt quite badly.

A beautiful book, at least a 9 on a 10-point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always, Rachel

14 August 2011

The Imagination Station: Attack in the Arena

Adventures in Odyssey continues their series with The Imagination Station series. Attack in the Arena is the second book chronicling the adventures of the fantastic time-traveling duo Beth and Patrick, cousins who are recruited by Mr. Whittaker to travel through time on various quests so that he can save his ancestor, Albert. Aided occasionally by a mysterious knight from England who travels through the Imagination Station, the cousins find themselves on all kinds of adventures.

And this time they are in ancient Rome at the very last gladitorial game seeking a silver cup that will somehow help Albert (we are not told how). Beth is hauled off by a soldier, believed to be a bird slave to the young Emperor Honorius.

Patrick is taken in by a kind monk, Telemachus. They help a "barbarian" to run away although he is recaptured. They end up in Rome and Patrick is taken away to the arena. Beth is trying to find the Emperor's humanity while learning she really hates birds now.

And meanwhile they seek the silver cup...

Easy to read, very simply sentences, just right for that age range. I really liked it (I like anything about ancient Rome). I definitely want to read the rest of the series.

Definitely an 8 on a 10 point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


13 August 2011

Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity

First introduced to Beth Moore in "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman" and later "David: Seeking A Heart Like His" with her Bible studies, I decided to read more of Beth Moore's stuff. She is an amazing woman of God and quite enthusastic about life and everything else.

I don't really know what inspired me to pick up "So Long Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us" which actually reminds me of the song "So Long Self" by MercyMe (I don't know why).

I guess because like any woman (or person really), I can be insecure at times, which is a turnoff when you are trying to make and keep friendships and relationships in general (and also inspires jealousy and petty arguments). And like any woman, I dislike insecurity (which is rooted, to me, in a lack of trust).

Anyway, prolific writer Beth Moore gives practical advice to disarm insecurity, restore our God-given dignity as women, confront and dismantle our fears and develop a stronger sense of our own selves as women. I felt inspired and renewed after reading her beautiful books, and I recommend this to every woman, no matter how secure she seems.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


11 August 2011

Review of "Beneath the Night Tree"

Beneath the Night Tree by Nicole Baart is part of a series following Julia DeSmit, a young woman who made a life-changing decision. Content with living with her grandmother and raising her younger brother and her son, she also pursues a relationship with her boyfriend. Then one day she receives a cryptic email from her son's father, who asks if he has a child. Julia knows her life will never be the same. And the changes start...

The story is engaging and the characters are realistic. Sometimes the characters seem a little flat, but otherwise they are very engaging and interactive. I hadn't read the other novels in the series, but I didn't feel left out. I want to read the rest of the series, most definitely.

I found myself re-reading sections just because what she had to say was so intriguing and life-giving. The circumstances that Julia dealt with seemed similar to my own. All in all, I would give this book an 8 on a ten point scale. I would definitely recommend it!

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


09 August 2011

This week's nightmare

It's always something. I feel like a drama queen, or someone in a perpetual bad dream (from which one doesn't wake).

Ok, I'm glad I have a blog to rant on. Or better yet, to be annoyed on.

So guess what? I'm car-less for awhile, which makes getting to and from work awkward (without begging) as well as meaning that I am stuck in this house. Comfort? My sister and her boyfriend are stuck as well, but this is not a comfort, as I do not wish this on anyone.

So if anyone wants to hang out, they have to drive.

And today was such a lovely day!

Luckily I only got three days this week, one of which I couldn't work thanks to my dad's 50th birthday (happy birthday!) and the other two are: Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully by Thursday my car will be done, but there is no guarantee.

Of course.

So what's WRONG with my beloved car?

Engine trouble.

Great. And I thought it was an oil leak.

Nope. Locked up engine. Essentially a useless engine requiring at least 2K to fix. Could buy a cheaper car used - but I wouldn't have it in time for school most likely. So my option? Get it fixed in three days, for $2K.


Oh well. God will provide. Somehow. 

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


07 August 2011

Glorious Appearing

Glorious Appearing: The End of Days is the last book in the Left Behind series. There is a sequel, but not really the best book in the series. There is also a prequel series about how Nicolae was born and rose to power just before the Rapture and the disappearance of millions, which is also awesome.

Anyway, just as the Christians and the forces of Carpathia are face-to-face and the Chrisians appear to be losing, God's glorious plan plays out on the battlefield that is Earth: Christ appears in His Glory as the King and Judge of the World, along with the martyrs and other Christians who were taken to safety in Heaven. In the midst of a gory battle, as Rayford struggles to survive, in an instant a shadowless light reveals the King of Glory and the Victor here to take His Throne, His Kingdom and His People and forever overthrow the most evil man the world has ever seen - and Satan.

And Christ ushers in the Thousand-Year Reign.

What a fantastic end to a glorious series! Rayford survives (I wasn't surprised, but in a way I was) of the four original members. They are all reunited with the King of Glory and each other. 

Although I am sad to see the end of the series, I am also pleased with the way they successfully wrapped it up.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


04 August 2011


Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages is the 11th and originally the second to last novel in the famous Left Behind series, right before the Glorious Appearing until so many fans wanted to know about after the thousand-year reign that Jenkins and LaHaye wrote the "sequel" and the 13th (and the worst) of the novels Kingdom Come: The Final Victory.

Anyway, Armageddon chronicles the final battle between Christ and Antichrist and each's respective armies, and finds our Tribulation Force heroes caught in the middle of a brutal crossfire and regime. The persecution has grown so intense that the survivors can only raise their eyes to Heaven from whence their help comes and pray they live to see the Second Return of Christ. They also find themselves inexplictly drawn to the Middle East, where the physical (instead of spiritual, which happened two thousand years ago in a Garden in Gethsemane) battle between Good and Evil is playing out.

Chloe comes out of the safe house OoO. Tsion and Buck head to Israel as Carpathia plans to bomb Israel (how does the Trib Force always manage to get to Israel right when something important is about to happen?) and Rayford is injured outside of Petra. There is no safe place, except Petra.

The air is thick with evil...

Now, everyone talks about Armageddon like it's a World War III battle. But it is soo much more than that. It is Scriptural. It is the Ultimate Battle, the culmination of millenniums of deception vs. truth in which Christ dukes it out with Antichrist, and God and Satan finally come to blows (and of course Antichrist/Satan loses) and mankind FINALLY chooses sides (whether right or wrong).

Despite the "strangeness" of everyone always managing to be exactly where they need to be to witness the foretold events coming to life, The Left Behind series is actually decent, a must-read, and Armageddon, the ultimate battle, is no exception. Especially if you want to know the fates of Rayford, Buck and Chloe.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


03 August 2011

The Remnant

The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon (2002) is book 10 of the Left Behind series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, detailing a fictional - but possible - account of what happens to those left behind when Christ raptures His Church, as the events of Revelation unfold on the Earth.

Antichrist hates Christians and his wrath burns against them. Christ and the Christians are preparing for the Final Battle: Armageddon. The Chicago members of the Tribulation Force are scattered, and it's only been a month into the Great Tribulation (the most frightening and horrible part of the End Times). Believers are gathered at Petra and slated for destruction by Carpathia.

It's a great page turner, riveting and a fantastic addition to the series. Filled with biblical support and references, it explores a relationship with God in the most trying of times, and show the consequences of rejecting God. 

Definitely a 4 on a 5-point scale.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always, 


02 August 2011

G.P. Taylor's The Secret of Indigo Moon

The second book in the fantastic Dopple-Ganger Chronicles meets the clever Dopple twins, Sadie and Saskia. Muzz Elliott has sent the twins back to Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children (which has all girls and only one boy, who is treated as a servant). The twins and Erik get into a mystery, which backs that awful magician from the first novel stealing treasures from a neighbor through a series of underground tunnels. And we also learn that the beloved Miss Olivia was - or should I say is as she is still alive - no angel...

Dorcas Potts also comes into the picture as a detective whose uncle is being robbed. 

Combining comic-book graphics with text and color, G.P. Taylor creates a fantastic new series of books that appeals to teenagers of all ages. I like to keep myself up to date on all novels and series, fiction, non-fiction, teen, children and adult, and this one has allowed me to see where the next generation is going: graphics as well as text.

While seeming to lack a little with direct spiritual references, with only mentions of someone who may or may not be an angel, and the Companion (with a capital letter) who we sort of figure is probably a reference to Christ, the Holy Spirit or God, it is still rather fun and informative, and has excellent themes for one to think about.

Taylor raises important issues, such as abandonment (experienced by the twins, whose mother left them), guilt (experienced by Erik for his past life of stealing, although he was a child manipulated by his father), revenge (the magician who hates the twins and Erik), loneliness (experienced by all the characters) and adoption (experienced by the twins) and family, both broken and put together.

All in all, a must read.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


01 August 2011

Left Behind No. 9: Desecration

In Desecration: The Antichrist Takes the Throne. Amazing that that phrase makes up a sentence by itself. Anyway, in this exciting installment of the best-selling (although not as best-selling as the Ultimate Book, the Holy Bible) series on a theory of Revelation (whether it will happen or not this way is up to God), 25 days have passed since the start of the Great Tribulation, and just like he always has, Satan through Antichrist is murdering God's people. (He comes to steal, kill and destroy, after all, according to Christ.)

The Antichrist is bewildered by the first two "Bowl Judgments" although the Christians who are up-to-date on Revelation are not (or anything else for that matter, thanks to Tsion Ben-Judah and Bruce's notes).

In the midst of chaos, he busies himself preparing for the ultimate desecration (to the Temple of course) as he proceeds to declare himself god (exactly what evil people want more than anything, but they can never be god and we can be comforted by the fact that they will pay for their attempt).

Obviously the authors did their research (and interpretation). Although a fantastic addition and quite compelling, sometimes one wonders if the authors have something against pilots. Could they not believe before? I mean, how could so many pilots have possibly been left behind? Or is it because of that ever-connected small world of - if you are a pilot, you know other pilots (just like if you're a Christian you know other Christians)?

I'm not sure exactly where it fits on a 1-5, but it is there somewhere. And of course the ending makes you want to read the next installment.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,