Book Reviews for “Crazy Love”-Christian non-fiction, “Recipe Hacker”- recipe book, “Ex Patriot”- Dystopian Fiction

I am catching up on several books I read over the Thanksgiving week.


I really liked Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love.” I don’t know anything about the author, other than he has a bunch of video’s on YouTube, but I so enjoyed this book. It challenges us to be Christians who walk in crazy love, who take risks, forget about all the things that most Americans are striving for and to live for God. It challenges us to help others in small ways and in crazy ways, to be led by the Holy Spirit in our service to God, not our level of comfort. I can recommend for Jr. High and up. I give it 4 stars.


I was given a copy of “Recipe Hacker” by the author in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this cookbook. It is filled with healthy recipes that contain no refined sugar, gluten, grains, or dairy. Though I don’t feel the need to follow this strict of a diet, I do believe in all things in moderation and a healthy balance. This book is great for the person like me, who wants to cut out part of the fatty, sugar filled foods, and add in more healthy alternatives, or for the person with gluten, or dairy intolerances. I give it 5 stars. The recipes are simple enough, and there are full color pictures for each dish. The author also includes some personal stories and healthy eating tips throughout. I love that she even included cinnamon rolls! This would make a great gift for a recipe book lover, or someone with restricted diets.


Expatriate is the last book in the “Forager” series. I read them all and loved the books. I was given the first two by the author and enjoyed them so much, I purchased this last one. A great YA dystopian series. There is no swearing and the only sexual contents is implied. There is fighting and violence in the stories. At this point in time, societies have built up in different ways in different walled cities. Our two main characters are trying to bring the truth to light about what is happening and what has happened by city officials. Though this series is done, I will definitely be reading more by this author. I can recommend for ages 14 and up.



I am not talking about the “before you were saved” lost. I am talking about those times when you feel like you just don’t have a clue. The world is spinning around you so fast and you go through your day/days as if you were caught in a whirlwind. Then when the spinning finally stops, you walk around stumbling and feeling like the ground is moving without you, maybe even thinking “what is the point!” That kind of lost.

Don’t despair. We’ve all been there. Thankfully it’s been a long time since I have. I have made it a point to keep looking at my map (my bible) and listening to my GPS (The Holy Spirit). It’s harder to get lost when you have both of those active in your life.

God has a plan. He knew what it was before your parents ever met, before He formed you in your mother’s womb. It is a wonderful, extravagant, crazy, over the top, life changing plan. How do I know? He tells us, over and over. Here is one place:
I Corinthians 2:9-12 (NIV), “but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,”

The truth is that God has your life all planned out for you, and the crazy part is that He planned it all out knowing ahead of time all your mistakes and wrong turns. Your mess ups, don’t mess up His plans. Ever.

To accept the truth, you have to give up a lie. The “American Dream” is a lie. We can’t get caught up in the dreams and the drama of this world. Our life isn’t about fame and fortune. Yes, we will be blessed, but not because we live in a certain earthly country, but because we are citizens of Heaven. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but I am only a foreigner here.) We have been sent here to be a blessing. Wherever you live, that’s your job. Look at Daniel, he was taken captive and brought to the enemies city by force. Yet, he served faithfully under at least 4 kings, and was just as faithful to God. He blessed those in authority over him, and those under his authority. Don’t be afraid to let God use you. It doesn’t matter if we are scared-keep dreaming. Don’t despise small beginnings.

We have to dream. We have to let our imaginations work for good, and allow the Holy Spirit to show us things that eye has not seen or ear heard, or even things that never entered out hearts or imaginations, all those wonderful, if scary, things God has in store for us. We can’t rely on our intellect, or what the world says is possible. Science is not God. Our puny thinking cannot compare to the mind of God. We need a Godly imagination. Once you have heard it, or read it, or by the Holy Spirit, been shown the vision, imagine what it will be like, how you will get there, what needs to be done to accomplish it. Imagine how it will bless others, and please your Lord.

“Logic will take you from point A to B but imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein

The surest way to keep from getting lost is to stay on the path that is clearly marked and lit up like a Christmas tree.

David said, “Your word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.”

That is the path I am sticking to, come hell or high water. That is the “high road.”

I once was lost, but now I know the way.

On Fire Or Burnt Out?


Psalms 104:4 (Young’s Literal Translation), “Making His messengers – the winds, His ministers – the flaming fire.”

Every fire eventually burns out. The heat consumes and eats up whatever fuel was used, whether it is a campfire, house fire, or a “on fire” Christian, right?

Yes, to everything but the Christian. If you are working in your own strength, and performing your religious “duty”, but are not in a relationship with God, you will burn out. It is simple. We live in these natural bodies and to do the work of God, we need supernatural power and strength. To have those things we need to be in a relationship with the One who is all Spirit.

Most burn out happens when we are working for recognition, or trying to earn the notice or favor of men. We even in our foolishness try to earn something from God. I have found myself thinking or saying, “God, look at everything I have done for you”. We should do good works, work for God, strive to please Him, but doing any of this outside of a relationship with God is all “wood, hay, and stubble.” It, and us, will be burnt up in the flame.

So how do we stay on fire for God, and not be consumed, like the burning bush that Moses saw on the mountain?
As my Senior Pastor said it, “if you want to be burn for Him, you have to place yourself in the fire”. A piece of wood that is pulled out of a fire will quickly burn out, smoldering and cooling quickly. All that is left is an ugly piece of charred wood. However, if you gaze into the fire, you only see the beauty of the flames. We have to stick around others who are on fire. Let the Spirit of God ignite the flame in your heart. It isn’t a coincidence that the Holy Spirit came on those in the upper room in the form of tongues of fire!

While in the full time ministry, I experienced “burn out” several times. Every time it was because I backed away from the One who called me into that ministry. I started going through the motions, became disgruntled, began to complain, and feel used and abused. I may not have always realized the reason at first, but it didn’t take long for me to figure it out. I had pulled myself out of the fire and was trying to be a light to others with no flame of my own. A candle doesn’t burn unless its wick is lit. That my friends is a sure way to wear yourself out.

God tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we are serving for any reason other than love, we will be lacking His joy. We won’t be in the fire with all the other burning ones, with the Flame Himself.

Hebrews 12:28-29 (NASB), “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

Isaiah 33:14a-16 (NIV), “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.”

Burn for Him, don’t burn out!

There Is A Man


Daniel 5:5-12 (KJB),“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied. Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.”

Daniel, as a youth, had been taken captive and carried away to Babylon. He served under four foreign kings and under each one he was able to show the power of God. So strong was his convictions and so humble was Daniel that he was exalted to a place of power. In this section of Daniel we see that the holy vessels from the temple are being used by Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, in an unholy party. Out of pure boredom he orders the vessels to be brought to his guests. God finds nothing humorous in this situation and even until this day we use the phrase, “can’t you see the writing on the wall?”
His own so called wise men, using the dark powers, trickery, and false formulas could not read the writing. But, Belshazzar’s mother the queen remembers a man… a man who has an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding, a man who can interpret dreams and dissolve doubts. I love her words, when all hope is lost, “there is a man.”

Those were the same words that the little servant girl said to Naaman the commander who suffered from leprosy, in II Kings 5. She knew of a man (Elijah) who was so close to God that miracles happened when he was around.

I want someone to be able to say of me, “there is a woman” (or a man) don’t you?

I want to be so intimate with the Holy Spirit that the atmosphere, the environment around me is changed when I show up. I want people to notice, not me, but God in me.

Isn’t that why we are still here? We are supposed to be about our Father’s business, building His Kingdom. No matter what government we sit under, no matter if we are in our homeland or been relocated. Being under an oppressive government shouldn’t stop us. Look at all those saints in China who for years grew in numbers, illegally and exponentially. If our job was done, we’d already be in Heaven. Jesus finished His work and is there now preparing a place for us. We still have work to do. We can only accomplish it be being so in love with LOVE (God is love) and going where His Spirit leads.

Doesn’t it all set your heart on fire!

Luke 24:32 (NLT), “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

Mark 16:17-18 (NIV), “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Dry Bones


In your walk with the Lord, have you ever felt like you were in a dry place? You know the great Sahara desert of the spirit when you feel like you just chewed up a whole box of saltines and now someone asked you to whistle Dixie? A fish out of water and not a rain drop in sight?

I have. Many times in fact. Sometimes I am not surprised because I am the one who drained the pool and hauled in all the sand. Other times it comes on me unawares and I wake up one day, or go to bed and realize that I haven’t felt the presence of the Lord, or that my heart is just sort of numb. I have learned that my human nature during these times is to back away (in fact that may have been what started the dry season to begin with), to stop reading my bible, to just go through the motions and do my bare bones religious duty. The problem with that is God doesn’t want religion, He wants a relationship.

So, whatever the cause of the wilderness walk, we have to keep on walking and we have to press in. That’s the most important time to read The Word, and to pay attention in Church, to sing some worship songs, and praise the Lord. Sometimes it’s a “sacrifice”. We are doing something we don’t feel like doing, because we love Him, and He deserves it no matter what we feel like.

Hebrews 13:15 (KJB), “By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Parenthesis added.

Whenever I am in that dry place, I often think of the passage in Ezekiel, when the Spirit takes the prophet to the valley of dry bones. Many battles had taken place there and there were many whitewashed bones that had been food for wild beasts and left drying in the weather. God asks Ezekiel if those bones could live. He, being the smart man that he was realizes this is a trick question. In the natural, of course they couldn’t live again. There wasn’t a live cell left in these bones. However, he also knew that all things were possible with God. So he turns it back to the Lord. Let’s take a look at this passage.

Ezekiel 37:1-10 (NIV), “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”

How did those bones come to life?

God told the prophet to prophesy to the bones. We are all called to prophecy. Paul was very clear about that. (I Corinthians 14:5). When we are feeling like bare bones, speak life back into those dry bones. Call on the breath of God. Spend time in your heavenly prayer language (tongues) and allow the Spirit to build you up, and recharge your battery. We all get dry, it isn’t a sin, and it doesn’t surprise God.

Just don’t back away. Don’t allow yourself to think that your desert experience is forever. Don’t allow rebellion, grumbling and complaining, or complacency to come into your life, take a look at those that died in the dessert in Exodus if you want to see how that pans out. We all have to go through some wilderness experiences, we just don’t have to set up camp, don’t build your house there. Pass through in the strength of the Lord. Ask God to send you rain, to give you an oasis in the middle of the desert. To make the dry places a spring of life. Seek Him.

God can raise an army out of dry bones. What can He do with a live one?!

Discerning His Body


I Corinthians 11:27-32 (NIV), “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”

We already discussed discerning the blood of Christ and how important that is in our walk with God. Equally important, but not as widely accepted is understanding the broken body of Christ.

At the last supper, Jesus is talking to His disciples and He hands them the cup of wine. Their Lord tells them that it is His blood and to drink every drop. Then He hands them some flatbread and rips off a chunk, passing it around and says that it is His body. What is Jesus telling these men? Has He changed the wine and bread into flesh and blood as He changed the water into wine at the wedding feast? No. He is using an object lesson, one of many. The wine is representing the blood that He will soon be pouring out on Calvary. The bread represents His body, soon to be ripped to shreds by a cat o’ nine tails, and pierced by thorns, spear, and spikes. When they see the blood flowing from that cross, and see His once whole skin, marred and broken, He wants them to remember His words that He shared with them that night. He wants them to remember that He did it for them.

It is easy for most of us Christians to accept that Jesus died in our place, if we hadn’t we wouldn’t call ourselves followers of Jesus. We have accepted that God loved us so much that He sent His only son and that Jesus loved us so much that He willingly laid down His life so that we can live free from sin and shame. However, for a lot of Christians it is hard to accept that there is more to Salvation than just a get out of Hell free card. Salvation isn’t “fire insurance”.

More was done on that cross than most of us realize. Salvation is a package that has many gifts inside. We have been washed clean and forgiven for all of our sins. We have received a new heart and a new spirit. Our family is now a heavenly one, and our Father is God. There are too many promises and scriptures, for one small devotion, to name them all. In a nutshell salvation means we are saved, delivered, and healed. Look the word up. It includes an abundant life.

I Peter 2:25 (Weymouth Translation), “The burden of our sins He Himself carried in His own body to the Cross and bore it there, so that we, having died so far as our sins are concerned, may live righteous lives. By His wounds yours have been healed.”

Specifically we see in I Peter that His wounds, those stripes left by the Roman whip, the nails, the thorns, that spear thrust all were for a purpose that transcends a torturous death. He submitted to those wounds so that we could be healed. I know, it doesn’t make sense with our natural mind, but not much in the Kingdom of Heaven does, but it is Truth. God said it and He never lies. Reading I Corinthians 11 in the light of I Peter 2 reveals much about discerning the blood of Christ.

Read this again, “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.” Why are we sick and why do so many of us die before our time? Because we don’t understand that our healing has already been purchased. We aren’t waiting to be healed, begging to be healed, just suffering through until God decides to do something. No, He already did! We believe it, tell the Devil, command our bodies to line up with it, and stand in faith; we walk out the promise of God. It is easier said than done. I know. Over fourteen years I suffered with anxiety and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Praise God, I don’t anymore. In fact I hardly ever even think about it or remember those hard times anymore. We have to get this into our hearts. How can we take ground when we are spending all our time trying to defend our own little area? God’s people need to walk in their authority. Us. Me. You.

It takes practice. It takes courage, but don’t fret, the Joy of the Lord is your strength. When we start to get this and we see results, talk about faith rising up in you. And suddenly you have another testimony, another opportunity to share how good God is. At the risk of sounding redundant, read your Bible. Do a search healing, health, and the Body of Christ. We are His body. How can the body of Jesus be sick? How can His body be weak?

God does not send sickness; He doesn’t cause birth defects, mental defects, or mental illness. All disease (the state of being not at ease) is from the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God gives us life and life more abundantly. Stand on that. Rebuke the Devil soundly and remind Him that you have been blood bought.

He took those stripes, He poured out His blood, and He did it all willingly. Don’t ever let it be for nothing. Take hold of that love and hang on with all you’ve got. Live from Heaven!

Discerning His Blood


I Corinthians 11:23-30 (NIV), “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”

Paul is teaching the Church at Corinth about the Communion. He points out that they needed to “discern” the body of Christ. When we fail to do that we eat and drink judgment on ourselves. What does that mean?

Jesus called it eating His body and drinking His blood. So many people found that offensive that they left and didn’t continue on with Jesus. Once again they didn’t understand. He wasn’t asking them to become cannibals. Peter may not have understood, but he knew Jesus, so he answered, “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68, KJB).

Over my years of walking with the Lord, and it has been about 44 years now (several of those in a backslidden state, and several as a “carnal Christian.”) I have heard this preached in several different ways. None of them bad and all had good points, but recently the senior Pastor at our Church explained it in a way that finally clicked in. When we think of Salvation, we know that Jesus purchased us with His blood. We who were slaves to sin were totally set free by the sacrificial blood of the only One who could legally do it. All we have to do is confess that sin, and turn our hearts and lives over to Him. When we do that we are His. We know that when we die we will go to Heaven to be with Him and that He isn’t holding our sins against us. We are welcomed in the family of God.

What most of us have trouble with is all the other stuff that comes with Salvation. Salvation means much more than going to Heaven one day. It means accepting all the good things God has in store for us here. It includes healing and deliverance. It gives us the authority over everything. We have the same authority Jesus did, the same power available to us, (the Holy Spirit), and we are made just as righteous as God. Now, that is a little harder to wrap our minds around. I finally had to bypass the head and just get it into my heart. That’s the best way to think and meditate on spiritual things anyway. Still having some trouble with that? Let’s take a look at just a few scriptures.

Hebrews10:19-24 (NIV), “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

Ephesians 1:7 (KJB), “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

Romans 3:25-26 (NIV), “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Mark 14:24 (Weymouth New Testament), “This is my blood,” He said, “which is to be poured out on behalf of many–the blood which makes the Covenant sure.”

1 John 1:7 (NIV), “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”

So what did Paul mean when he said that we need to discern His body and His blood?

As Dr. Hohman taught us, it means that we need to understand and apply what His shed blood accomplished for us! If we don’t understand that we are right with God, that we are accepted in the Beloved, we won’t even try to enter the throne room let alone do it boldly. If we don’t use our authority, the enemy and our own flesh, ride rough shod over our lives. A covenant, which is so much stronger than a promise, had to include the shedding of blood. Jesus shed His so that we no longer have to live under the law, but we now live under grace, the Law of Love. His plan for us isn’t just to get by, or to tread water. We are supposed to take ground! We aren’t waiting to one day get to Heaven, we are His ambassadors and we are bringing Heaven to earth!

It is so important that we understand who He is, who we are, and what His shed blood has purchased for us, when we don’t we still live in bondage. The prison doors are opened but we sit shivering in the corner and refuse to leave.

Do a word search in your bible concordance and if you have access to the internet, use it for good and do a scripture search on the blood of Christ. There are some good blogs and commentaries out there (like mine), but first and foremost, see what God has to say about it. All of our other writings should line up with and encourage understanding with what is written in His word. We can never substitute good writing, good teaching, and good preaching with God’s word. The work of men can never do the job that His word can, after all His word is alive, and sharper than any double edged sword. Mine are not.

When we try and do it without remembering and discerning His blood, we make a mess of our lives. I did. However, when we do it His way, it is so much better. Notice I didn’t say easier, just better. He himself told us we would have trouble, but not to worry because He had already overcome.

Live for Him! He already did all the hard stuff. We just need to stand on His word, keep our part of the covenant, and walk in our authority.

Jesus, thank You for Your shed blood. Holy Spirit help me to understand with my spirit and to apply the blood rightly to my life. I choose to accept all that it purchased for me. I will not allow Your sacrifice to be in vain in my life.