Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution Divinely Inspired?

The Founders' Key : The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It, Larry P. Arnn
Well, maybe divine inspiration might be overstating it.  Dr. Arnn actually seeks to prove the “divine and natural connection between the Declaration and the Constitution”.  It never really occurred to me that you could have one without the other, but the author notes several instances in which politicians disregard the principles of the Constitution to make way for the own agendas.  And really, when I think about it, that has been the topic of concern for many conservative leaning individuals.

It seems that Dr. Arnn does prove his point that the Declaration and the Constitution are forever entwined; one does not invalidate the other, however, they confirm the truths of each other.

I will note that this was not the easiest book for me to read, but in Dr. Arnn’s defense, I am sure this book is not meant to be read with a 3, 4, and 5 year old running around.  I will need to find some quiet time to do the book justice. 

There is a bonus:  The second half of the book, entitled Foundational Readings, is copies of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and several of James Madison’s Federalist Papers.  With these you are able to quickly check many of the references the author uses in his writing.
For more information about this book click here or on the title above.

I received this book free of charge from the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet Story with Great Illustrations

This is sweet story about a married couple in Mexico who have no children of their own.  They choose to share the love in their hearts with the children who live in their village.  The children are invited into Willie Juan and Ana’s home where the adults spend time and listen to what the children have to say.

The focus of the story is how the children reply to Willie Juan’s question about what”…Abba will ask you…” when they get to heaven.  Each child has a different answer, of course.  Some struggle with God’s love for them.  Willie Juan and Ana are a living example to the children of God’s love for each of them.

This is a really good story.  I read it to my 4 and 5 year old sons and my 3 year old niece.  While they enjoyed the pictures, I think they didn’t really get the point of the story.  So I would recommend it for older children; we will try it again in a couple of years.

Sopapillas are mentioned throughout the story.  For some extra fun while reading this story try making some!  Click here for a recipe, or visit
For more information about this book click here of on the title above.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Does anybody know where Scottsburg, Oregon, is?

I do.  I have driven through the slip of a town a hundred times, at least.  Actually it’s not really a town.  Scottsburg is a bridge over the Umpqua River and one of the smallest Post Offices you will see, surrounded by a few homes.  It is peaceful, beautiful, and one of the settings for Lady Anne’s Quest.

It has been just at six years since I moved from the Southern Oregon Coast to Florida’s Treasure Coast.  This book has made me a bit homesick.  The characters pass through places that no one outside of Oregon has ever heard of and I had a wonderful time traveling with them.

This is the second book in the Prairie Dreams Series.  Unfortunately, I have not read the first book, The Lady’s Maid, but that was not a problem.  This story stands on its own with enough of the backstory added to understand there is a history between the two main characters, Lady Anne Stone and Daniel Adams.  Lady Anne has traveled from England to find her long lost uncle to have him take his rightful place as the Earl of Stoneford.  Dan accompanies Anne through the wilds of an untamed Oregon to find the man no one has heard from in years.  In spite of the fact that Anne has turned down a marriage proposal from Dan, he stays by her side hoping that she will change her mind and stay in America with him.

This is a great story; having taught Oregon history and geography, and actually been in the places mentioned in the story there was little chance I wouldn’t like it.  But it truly is a good read.

***For anyone who has regularly traveled Highway 38***  I could not stop laughing at the point in the story where the main characters, on horseback, could not get by the freighters because the trail was too narrow.  How many times have I been stuck behind an RV on the windy little road, counting the miles until the next passing lane, just to get stuck behind another RV!  Ah, sometimes I really miss Oregon.
For more information about this and the first book in the Prairie Dreams Series click here or on the title above.

I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irreverent, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Cover: My Imaginary Jesus

Yes, definitely irreverent, but would I consider this book disrespectful or blasphemous (ok, time to close the thesaurus), well I guess that all depends on how close you are holding on to beliefs that do not really line up with what the Bible teaches.

In My Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos writes about his escapades in search of the real Jesus while trying to get rid of the made-up, comfortable Jesus he thought he was following.  I really don’t want to give too much of the story away, you really should read this for yourself, but the main point is we tend to fashion a Jesus after ourselves.  He may change as we grow and mature, but it is still a Jesus we are comfortable with instead of the true Jesus.

There were a couple of places that made me raise my eyebrows and wonder what the writer was doing, however, the discussion guide in the back of the book answered my questions.  All together it is an enjoyable book that should get you thinking about who Jesus really is to you.  Btw, is it wrong to think that Magic Eight Ball Jesus is so funny?

“…to be a disciple means more than learning.  It means to become like your teacher.  It means transformation from what I am in to what my teacher is.  Y’shua said once, ‘Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher’

…..You would eat when I eat, you would rest when I rest, and under the same olive tree.  You wouldn’t take the shortcut while I went the long way.  We would be inseparable.  You would live like my shadow, mimicking my actions until you could do what I do without thinking, until you had the same instincts, thoughts, and words.”  Being a true disciple per Daisy the talking donkey from My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

For more information on this book click here or the title above. 

I received this book free of charge from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Not So Simple Life

 This story is an Amish Romeo & Juliet.  Annie is from the Old Order Mennonites and Aden from the Old Order Amish, their love so forbidden that they might as well come from the Montague’s and Capulet’s. 

I won’t go into the differences of Orders as it is explained in the book, however, friendliness and helping each other as neighbors is encouraged.  A relationship beyond that would prove disastrous for the families involved.  Annie and Aden have had crushes on each other since childhood, now that they are adults, their feeling for one another proves to be much deeper.  They have to decide whether to follow their hearts or listen to the advice of their families. 

Most of us know by now, if we have read even just a few of the Amish fiction titles out there, that just because their life seems “simple”, it really isn’t much different than our own.  We just have more stuff that gets in the way.  This is a nice story, I was pretty sure how it was going to turn out, but that did not make the experience any less enjoyable. 
Click here or the title above for more information about this book!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can Moses Lead Us to the Leadership Promised Land?


Leadership Promised Land—a place so beautiful and peaceful.  A place where everybody agrees with what the leader wants, everybody does their tasks to perfection without any goading or reminders, a place where everything works out just as you have it picture in your mind.  (Insert scratchy record noise here)  Okay, now back to reality!

Whether you are a leader of 4 people or 4000 you are going to face issues with leadership.  No two people think the same way; throw in different personality types and chaos will ensue without some form of leadership.  Some of us are born leaders and some of us have been placed in leadership positions we didn’t expect and need help in understanding how leadership works and the problems we face are normal and can be overcome.

With chapter titles such as; Thou Shalt Not Serve Thine Own Ego, Thou Shalt Have A Life, and Thou Shalt Lead To Leave, Hans Finzel takes us on a trip through Moses stormy leadership of the Israelites.  Mixed in are the author’s own considerable experiences in leadership. We are reminded of Moses’ reluctance to take the position of leading the Israelites from Egypt, the times he wanted to quit, the times he had to learn to rely on a team to help him lead, and the times he was betrayed by those he trusted.  With Mr. Finzel paralleling his own experiences with those of Moses, we see that because human nature really has not changed very much in the past several thousand years, the leadership lessons we can learn from Moses are very applicable today.

 Click here or the tile above for more information about this book!

I received this book free of charge from David C. Cook Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.