Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: The Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit: Understanding and Receiving God's Supernatural Power in Your LifeGifts of the Spirit: Understanding and Receiving God's Supernatural Power in Your Life by Derek Prince

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I rarely agree with everything in a book, and this one is no exception. I do, however, recommend it to ALL Christians. I think this is an important book because the Pentecostals are such a fast growing denomination and that I believe every Christian should be aware of what Pentecostals really teach (or in some cases SHOULD teach) about the Gifts of the Spirit. After all, there are guidelines set down in the Bible as to how some of the Gifts of the Spirit should operate, and if a church allows gifts to operate in their church, they should be following those guidelines.

This is presented in an easy to read style. It was a relatively fast read, and I liked how the Gifts were grouped in different sections. (Gifts of Revelation, Gifts of Power, Vocal Gifts). It was a great way to group them.

This book uses lots of Scripture to back up his beliefs, which I liked, even if I don't agree with all he teaches. It showed me where he was coming from, and I believe it's important to understand the differences between denominations, and this is a good overview of that.

You can purchase this book from Amazon here: Gifts of the Spirit

Monday, December 26, 2011

Book review: The New 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

1,000 Places to See Before You Die1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that can be used multiple ways.  I've heard about people having competitions to see which of their friends can visit more of the places listed in this book.  For me, I don't know that this is a book I would use to construct my "bucket list".  After all, I tend to seek the out of the way, more unique, known only to "locals" places.  One of my favorite memories in Europe was going to buy vegetables in a quaint little town in Holland with a local.  That would never make a tour guide book, but I loved seeing the town, interacting with the locals, and enjoying a dinner complete with fresh vegetables we bought that afternoon. 

This is an updated edition, the first one having been published in 2003.  I had only been to five of the places in the first book.  Since then, I've been to 30 places.  (Counting all Hong Kong, Los Angeles, etc. as a singular place.) 

For me, I think this book would best be used as a springboard of places I might want to see.  I realize when you are compiling a list of only 1000 places, you lose out on many sights that are important, but I could think of different places I would have included in this volume, both in the USA and on foreign soil.  (I was going to say Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is one of those places, but I just looked it up and it got a one sentence mention, so it was mentioned, but one of the most memorable places I've ever visited, and I would have given it more than a mention.)

However, that's the joy of this book.  It includes places I wouldn't, leaves out places I would, and gives a different "must see" perspective of this world, and after all, the world is as unique as the people who live in it, and everyone has their own ideas and opinions, and that includes what should be the "must see" places.  It is enjoyable to flip through and learn about different places all over the world!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.  The opinions are my own.

You can buy it here from Amazon: The New 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: Raised Right

I remember hearing in church that you couldn't be a Christian and be a Democrat.  I wondered where this was in the Bible.  Where does Jesus say, "Ye must vote red to be born again."?  When Clinton was elected president, we didn't know that blue could also mean dresses, we only knew it meant that God didn't win.  Sitting with a couple kids from my youth group while watching returns, we prayed for the future of our country.  We felt certain that there would be no future because every child conceived would be aborted because that was the platform of the Democratic party, wasn't it?

While I couldn't totally relate to Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics , I still remember going off to the "Life Chain" one Sunday morning after church -- had I had my own way to church I wouldn't have participated.  For $2, which I didn't have but my ride graciously agreed to provide, we were able to "rent" a cardboard sign.  For an hour we stood along the highway and held up signs.  I passed on "Abortion stops a beating heart" and other anti-abortion messages and held one up that said, "Jesus heals and forgives".  I wasn't cut out to be an activist.  I wanted to show love not condemnation to anyone who would perceive our message that way.

But Alisa Harris grew up in a family where their blood ran red -- Republican red.  From dressing up a goat as Bill Clinton in a county fair, to debating abortion, to learning the "Killer Questions" of evangelism so that no soul is left behind, Alisa sees politics as part of the church.   She feels so dedicated to the cause that she campaigns in college for someone she can't even remember their name at the end of the day.  I believe it is then she starts questioning why.

From that point on, she begins wrestling with the compound of Church and Politics.  She is sat down with her parents by her pastor in what appears to be an act of church discipline to reign her back into the fold.  After all, women should be preparing for marriage and raising up more Republicans for Jesus, right?

Hounded by her parents to vote for McCain, she ends up buying a t-shirt that says "Blondes for Obama".  In the end of the book she muses over the question of "Can a Christian be a Democrat?"

This was a quick read and I did enjoy this book.  I think those who have grown up in the church and realize that Jesus is bigger than a political party would also enjoy it, as well as anyone wanting a glimpse into the life of an activist family.

FTC disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Could you please take a second and rate my review?  This helps determine what books are available to me in the Blogging for Books program.  Thank you!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby Crockett August 2007 - December 2011

Most of my pictures of Baby Crockett are in another computer, but I have these in this one.  Look at that log "pig tail" he had in the first one, and the second, that's a favorite "I'm sleeping" photo of him.

The third one, he's in Goya's Biggest Fan contest, and you can vote daily to be entered to win $5,000.

He was such a great guinea pig and I miss him so much already!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pigture re-takes

I often have people tell me I do a great job of taking Pigtures (guinea PIG picTURES).  But that doesn't always come easily.  Sometimes the guinea pigs walk off leaving me snapping a pigture of their back 40, I even once had a pig try to stand on another.  You never know what will happen in a pigture.

Here are some I did NOT sumbit for a contest I entered.

"Hey, it's getting crowded over here".  Not to mention the red eyes in Fuzzy.

And someone lost his hat!

I'm not sure what is going on in this one, but it doesn't look like they are up to much good, now does it?

Want to know what photo I entered in the contest?  Well you are in luck!  It's a finalist for a contest where I could win $7,500 or more!  And you could win $5,000 just by voting!  That's right!  Just by voting (which you can do daily until 12/31) you get an entry to win $5,000.

Just head over here and vote! Make sure you get the "Thank You" screen or you vote didn't go through.

My entry is #6.  Fuzzy kept giving me such bad red-eye I didn't submit a photo he was in.  :)  I think you'll agree that the final shot was much better than any of these I just showed you!