Book Review for “An Accident of Birth”

http://www.amazon.com/An-Accident-of-Birth-ebook/dp/B00E5YTYMW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

I was given a copy of “An Accident of Birth” by the author in exchange for an honest review. I loved the story line of this book. A great Dystopian theme. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the characters had been “fleshed out” a bit, especially some of the secondary characters. Sometimes adding more length to the book is ok. More background story may have helped as well. I would read more of this author. This is his first published work and I am sure that his story telling talents will only get better. Due to a rape scene I don’t recommend for under the age of 17. I give this book 3 stars.

Sound the Trumpet

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When Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem, after getting permission from the King of Persia, Artaxerxes, he faced opposition. There were those who didn’t want the wall to that beautiful city repaired.

The people “had a heart and mind to work,” they all worked together, from officials, to perfumers, gold smiths to their daughters, priest and merchants. We all know that many people make quick work. They all worked together in family units to repair what the enemy had destroyed years ago.

Word got back to Nehemiah that their enemies planned on attacking while they worked. So he ordered the workers to work with their swords strapped to their backs. They worked with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other. Notice- he never told them to stop working. Too many times when we are under attack, we drop everything “to do battle.” We stay home from Church, we don’t show up for the outreach we promised to help with, we stop helping our neighbors and say we are fighting the enemy. God says, do both.

Nehemiah also realized that there were gaps in the wall between families. They were separated by some distance. So he tells them, “Whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

They were to “blow a trumpet” when help was needed and the others were to rally to their aide. But how many of us are too proud, too self-righteous, to even admit we need help. We think that us being in a battle somehow constitutes spiritual weakness or a lack of faith. The priests were working on that wall; the spiritual leaders were in the battle right along with the rest of them. If you think your Pastor doesn’t face opposition, invite him or her over for dinner one night and ask them about it. We all battle. It is never a lack of faith to ask for help. We are called to bear one another’s burdens. When we do “God fights for us!”

Are you facing a temptation that is threatening to overtake you?
Blow the trumpet!
Are you fighting a physical battle that has you worn down?
Blow the trumpet!
Have you made a mess of your life and feel unworthy of help?
Blow the trumpet!
Sound the alarm-help will come and God will fight for you!

Consider Esther

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As I study the book of Esther, I can’t help but think she typifies the Church. Esther lived during the time that the Jews were living in exile from Israel. Nebuchadnezzar had taken the princes, royal family and the top of Jewish society with him to Babylon. Later the Medes and the Persians had taken over the territory of Babylon and King Ashasuerus (Also known as Xerxes) was sitting on the throne, ruling over 127 provinces. He decides to throw a great feast, inviting all of the princes of these provinces, chief officers of the Persian and Median military, the nobles and governors, all of the ‘who’s who’ of his society. Then he invites all the men, both great and small to come for seven days of parties. His wife, Queen Vashti, not to be outdone, does the same thing for the women.

At some point during the celebration the King calls for Vashti, wanting to show off her beauty. She point blank refuses. As a young Christian, I used to think “Good for her!” Fortunately, now I have a better understanding of the rebellion in Vashi’s heart. Ashasuerus is King. King’s have complete authority. Period. We have no reason to assume he was an evil king, in fact later in the book of Esther, we find information contrary to that fact. Here is where the spiritual implications come in.

If Jesus is my King, shouldn’t I obey His every command? Whether I understand His request, or agree with it? What if it is not convenient for me to do what He says, right when He asks? Vashti may have been beautiful on the outside, but inside she was a rebellious and disobedient woman. Her disobedience is a bad example to all the woman, great and small, in the 127 provinces who are witnesses of her actions. What example are we, the Bride of Christ, setting for the world?

Ashasuerus has not choice, he has to divorce her, put her away! Another queen must be found. Jesus turned from the Jews, and chose a new love to pursue, the gentiles. He chose us, just as King Ashasuerus chose Esther. Unlike him, God didn’t clean us up first, there were no beauty treatments to get us ready. He chose us in our mess and dirt. Our purification comes after, not before.

Esther is a woman of obedience. She obeys her Uncle Mordecai, who raised her. After she was taken into the harem of the king, she finds favor with the chief Eunuch, Hegai. It is safe to assume that her humble behavior and her submissive attitude is what bring her that favor. There are countless beautiful woman there, who are all virgins. There is something different about our Esther.

When the women are allowed to take anything they want with them when they go to see the king, Esther only took what Hegai advised her to take. She deferred to the one who knew the king. It paid off for her; she is chosen above all others to be queen in Vashti’s place. Once sitting in her place of honor, she continues to obey her uncle.
We are all familiar with the story of Esther. How evil Haman desires to destroy her uncle and all of the Jews, even getting the king to sign into law a day of Jew killing, with a reward. Doing as her uncle requests, she goes uninvited into the throne room, which was punishable by death. But the king in his generosity and love for his queen, offers to give her up to half of his kingdom. Through Esther’s bravery and obedience, not only is her uncle saved, but her people as well, and evil Haman is hung on the gallows he has built for Mordecai. She put her life in the hands of the King and won the right for her people to fight back against those who would harm her. The Jews celebrate Purim to this day, marking their victory.

As modern day Esther’s, we don’t have to fear for our lives. We can boldly come to the throne of our King. Unlike Ashasuerus, our King has given us all of His kingdom, not just half. Our obedience is important. We have the whole world watching us!

Are we going rebel like Vashti?
Or obey, like Esther?

Book Review For “Sleepless” Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EIA1FC0/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

I was given this book by the author, Tracey Ward, in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book! Loved the storyline, A woman who “Slips” in her dreams to places she’s been before, who meets a military man who has issues. I love a good romance, especially minus the sappy stuff, plus I love all things military, a perfect mix for me!The book includes a good does of humor and insight into the characters. Good writing style. Nothing negative to say. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series and I added her other works to my “to read” list. There is some swearing and sexual references so I recommend for ages 16 and up. I give the book 5 stars.
Only .99 on amazon for Kindle version!

Because He Loves Me

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Psalm 91:1-16
“He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent. For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

There are great benefits for loving God. Not just recognizing that He is, not just believing He took away your sins, but LOVING Him.

In verse 14 God promises to do all of these things, to rescue us, and protect us, because of our love for Him. Do you want long life? Love Him. Do you want Him to answer when you call? Love Him.

There are many people who say, “God has never done anything for me.” They have spouted out a few requests, maybe even begged and wept, tried to bargain or broker a deal. But do they love Him? Or are they just going thru ‘drive thru’ and placing an order on a fast food deity they expect a quick fix from? They don’t know Him, They don’t have “personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness.” He has done everything for them. He has made a way were there was no way, reconciled them back to Himself by shedding His own blood. He has loved them, even in their sin, and misunderstanding of who He is. All they have to do is accept His love and love him back and He is so easy to love.

I love Him, because He loves me.

Book Review for “Public Garden Penny” Middle Grade Fiction

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009R7MRY4/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

I enjoyed this book. It is written through the eyes of a ten year old boy. There is some humor, some sad parts and it is well written. However, I didn’t love it. There is a couple of swear words, one I happen to hate. This is intended for middle grade and up and I just don’t think swearing is necessary in a young person’s book. I have to take away one star due to this, of course if this type of thing doesn’t bother you then disregard the loss of one star. I give Public Garden Penny 3 stars.

Lover

Lover of my soul,
what mortal man can compare to thee?
Thou who has shed
thy life’s blood for me.

Leave not my side,
nor hide thy face from me.
Stay, evermore,
by my side for eternity.

Take this corruptible flesh,
and clothe me in immortality.
Oh, lover of my soul,
What mortal man can compare to thee?

Copyright © by Jodi Woody
June, 10th, 2000