Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Intelligent Argument

Every time an atheist argues against God, he or she uses tools created by God to make the argument.  Thus Turek's title, Stealing from God.

Rather than try to prove the existence of God, Frank Turek addresses the question of which worldview best explains reality: theism or atheism.  As an engineer by training, I appreciate this approach.  Both sides must make their case when this question is posed.  Both theist and atheist must explain origins, physical laws of nature, logic, free will, the genetic code.....

Chapters include Causality, Reason, Information & Intentionality, Morality, Evil, and Science.  Each chapter illustrates how the atheist exhibits faith just as the theist does.  The difference is the theist acknowledges he is acting on faith while the atheist insists he is coldly logical (using laws and logic that only exist because of a transcendent "first cause.")

I recommend this book especially to youth teachers as preparation for seniors headed for college or career.  Parents can also use this at home for engaging dinner table discussions.  It is important to develop the mind.  Wisdom is crying out, offering itself to us; we should answer!

I received a free review copy of Stealing from God through the Tyndale Blog Network.

Atlantis: Legend or History?

Dennis Brooks has obviously read extensively about Atlantis and takes his reader through the writings of Plato as well as historians and archaeologists of several centuries.  Brooks has concluded that the Atlantis described in legends could refer to America.

Though the book jumps around a bit, being a compilation of several works, arguments are presented based on evidence of natural catastrophes (comet/great flood) that could possibly account for the similarities and differences between Atlantis and America.

If you are interested in ancient history, archaeology, or geology, this book is worth reading.  Many links to maps are included, although I would have preferred maps in the text for my convenience.

I received this book as a gift and enjoyed thinking about the ideas presented.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vietnam-Era History: Legendary Bravery and Sacrifice

Legend reflects Eric Blehm's passion for true storytelling.  Research with primary sources and eyewitnesses adds detail to an inspiring story about one man's journey from orphan and troublemaker to selfless defender of his comrades.  This is a tribute to a life well lived.

Roy Benavidez was a Green Beret  who rescued a team on secret operations in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.  He and his comrades, like so many before and since, tested the limits of human endurance as they fought for each other's lives under impossible circumstances.  Roy Benavidez is an example of the American story--a poor migrant worker who persevered and went on to achieve great things because of his faith and the faith of those who raised him.

In 1980, new evidence--in the form of a man Roy thought had died in the operation--caused Roy Benevidez to be considered for, and ultimately awarded, the Medal of Honor.  

I received a free copy of Legend for my review from Blogging for Books.

Into the Mirror: Creative Fiction

Giuliani Faustini has crafted a story that is mystery, fantasy, and allegory all together. Pietro thinks he is merely a traveler, off to see the world.  He does not expect to find love, nor to save a city.  This story is full of twists and turns as interesting characters pull Pietro in different directions.  Pietro must decide what is true and what he will do about it.  There are souls at stake!

Although the story is confusing at times, the confusion is an important part of Pietro's journey.  Stick with the book to the end and you will not be disappointed.

I received a free copy of Into the Mirror for my honest review.  You can find it on Amazon.  Faustini has made his story available in both English and Italian.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lessons from Ruth

This study of the book of Ruth is a gift to any woman in need of hope while going through a valley.  Ruth and Naomi certainly had their share of troubles!  Veteran women's ministry leader Sarah Jakes leads women through daily lessons consisting of:

  • the Scripture text,
  • a short discussion (just a few pages,)
  • suggestions for writing in a journal, and
  • a prayer.
This resource is easy to use and targeted to women.  Ruth's life shows how God cares for women, sees their pain,and gives them joy and ultimate victory.

I received Colliding with Destiny free from the publisher, Bethany House, for my honest review.  As a church librarian, I am placing my copy in the library.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Historical Fantasy Novelettes

The Legend of Lord Randall Castle series begins as a tale told by parents to their children at bedtime.  Beth Durkee's books tell an engaging story of druids, magic, faeries, and hobgoblins--as well as humans.  Anyone who enjoys the historical fantasy genre will enjoy the plot twists and surprises in these short novels.

I received free copies of Engaging Enchantment and Spellbound Souvenir for my review.  As a librarian and parent, I can recommend these stories for preteen readers and up.  They can also be read aloud to younger children, just as the stories were told as bedtime stories in the books.

Read Aloud to Your Children!

Everydad by Chin Ko is a book your child will want you to read again and again.  Chin's illustrations are delightful pictures of a real family living everyday life.  Each 2-page spread is a picture and a poem about things like playing together, trick-or-treating, and other things kids and parents do every day.

Everydad would make a great gift for a baby shower of for a young child's birthday.  Preschools and Sunday School classrooms may want to add this to their collections as well.

I received a free digital copy for my review.  As a parent of 6 and grandparent of 3, I heartily recommend Everydad by Chin Ko. Check out the website to order a copy.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Subversive Living: Take Back "Cool" From the Hipster Frauds

Subversive Living: Take Back "Cool" From the Hipster Frauds: What does almost all the insanity in the United States have in common?  The pursuit of a twisted, distorted version of "coolness"...

Clever Tale of a Dog and His Art

This delightful story has talking dogs, yet is intelligent rather than silly.  Piccolo Fortunato is an Italian greyhound--and an artist.  After Piccolo's father goes to America to seek fame and fortune and does not return, Piccolo follows to look for him.  He meets a famous human artist on the voyage to America and becomes his intern.

Will Piccolo find his father? Will he ever return to his sweet mother in Italy?  Can the famous American artist be trusted?  These questions and more will be answered in a well-written story for lovers of art and/or dogs.

I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.  It is available on Kindle and makes an enjoyable read.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mothers are a Tough Bunch

L.J. Charleston has provided a dictionary/encyclopedia for understanding the great variety of mothers that exist today.  I am a mother of 6 and grandmother of 3 who has worked with many types of mothers in dance, sports, church nursery, Sunday School, and home school groups.  Having dealt with parents as a teacher and as a peer, I can say this guide is spot on!  Are you part of The Mommy Mafia?

Meet ER Mom, Dictator Mom, Drop-Off Mom (the one the rest of us hate for defying rules of carpool decency) and Olympic Mom, along with many others.  This is a fun book to read, as you will find yourself attaching names and faces to each of these mothers.  I know I did.  My own name goes in front of a few of the titles, to be honest.

Enjoy a lighthearted look at mothering.  Perhaps even notice some areas where you have gone a bit overboard and need to back up.

Check out the official book website and take part of your busy days to read.

Apologetics and Science

Although this book is written by an actual rocket scientist, it is accessible to the reader without a Ph.D. Dr.  Leslie Wickman shares her love of science and the stars with her readers.  She also explains why she sees no incompatibility between her faith in God and her scientific investigation of the universe.

Having some engineering training myself, I also never had problems reconciling faith and science.  Like Wickman, I believe something called "truth" exists and we can learn it.  We also believe all truth is God's truth, so seeking the truth will never lead us away from God--only reveal more of God to us.

If you lack the confidence of people like Dr. Wickman and myself, read this book.  She lays out the arguments for the existence of God and for a beginning and a Creator in ways understandable without a seminary degree.  At the same time, the information is not simplistic/watered down.  Dr. Wickman is a naturally gifted teacher and leads you through the arguments with patience and skill.

I received a free digital review copy of God of the Big Bang from Worthy Publishing.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Poignant Love Story from Italy

Lorenzo is a man who loves his wife deeply.  They share a commitment to one another and to their two daughters that is beautiful to behold, particularly in an age when so many are casual and careless about relationships.  The author describes Lorenzo's and Francesca's meeting, courtship, marriage--and the tragedy that crushes their family.  The trip back home will not be easy, but you will be glad you shared it with Lorenzo.

This author is a creative storyteller and I look forward to seeing more from Flavio Girardelli.  The Long Return Home is available on Kindle in English, Italian, and Spanish.

I received a free review copy of The Long Return Home from the author for my honest assessment.