Preview: Remember Me

Monday, July 30, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Remember Me
Crossway Books (July 31, 2012)
Penelope Wilcock


 PENELOPE WILCOCK is a full-time author living in Hastings, Sussex, on the southeast coast of England. Her blog, Kindred of the Quiet Way, is about a simple and spiritual Christian lifestyle. Her other books in The Hawk and the Dove series are The Hawk and the Dove, The Wounds of God, and The Long Fall.


Remember Me is the third of a trilogy of books focusing on the character of William de Bulmer, his conversion of life and heart, and the flowering of his ability to love. After the brothers of St. Alcuin take William into the abbey (in The Hardest Thing to Do), he falls in love with Abbot John’s sister (in The Hour Before Dawn) and now has accidentally lost all of the abbey’s money (Remember Me). Seasoned author Penelope Wilcock unlocks the story of one man’s struggles, mistakes, and heart’s longings, and traces the possibility of what it means to get things wrong and begin again. As with each novel in this series, the reader is encouraged to explore a universal aspect of the Christian faith—in this case, the cost of allowing God to do what is necessary to make one whole.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Remember Me, go HERE.

Giants In The Land - Reviewed

More about the book:

There are giants in the land.

And it has always been so as far as anyone can remember. They work side-by-side with the people, and whenever there is a job too difficult or a threat too great they are there to step in. The giants’ presence gives the townspeople a special confidence about life. But they have become much more dependant on the giants than they realize. One morning the people discover the giants have mysteriously disappeared. Fear and panic grip the town. Someone must find them and bring them back! 

Thomas, a young farmer, volunteers and sets out alone on a great journey of danger and discovery. Thomas learns the true nature of giants and what it means for him and his people. Join Thomas in his timeless rite of passage and learn what it means to become something more than you have been, why it is necessary in life, and how to do it.

Learn more about Giants in the Land:
Meet Clark Burbidge:

Clark Burbidge's path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. 

It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, "Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times" was released nationally in March 2011. His second book "A Piece of Silver" was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures.

Learn more about Clark by visiting 
Blog Tour Schedule: 
My Thoughts:
Do you remember the special people in your life that had an impact on who you are? Was it a teacher? A coach? Your youth Pastor? Counselor from school, Grandparent, Mom and Dad? 
What happens when the Giant in our life moves on either by circumstance or death? 
Clark has written an allegory that even young kids can understand, about how keep going even without the Giant.  It is also a encouraging book for adults as well. The chapters are quick and move at a nice pace.
I would recommend this as a gift for a graduate. Highly recommended!


Preview: Kingdom

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Kingdom
Crossway Books (June 30, 2012)
Brian M. Litfin


Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.    


Book Three in the Chiveis Trilogy

War and disease have destroyed the modern world. Centuries later, feudal societies have arisen across Europe. No one can remember the ancient religion of Christianity—until an army captain and a farmer’s daughter discover the Sacred Writing of the one true God.

As Teo and Ana encounter the forgotten words of the holy book, they realize its message is just what their kingdom needs. Though exiled from their homeland, they join their hearts in a quest to return. But now an ancient pact has united the enemies of the Christian faith into a dark alliance that threatens to consume the known world. Racing to stay one step ahead of their enemies, Teo and Ana must battle heinous villains, stormy seas, and the powers of the underworld itself. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds favor the forces of evil. Can Teo and Ana bring divine truth to Chiveis—or will the Word of God fade from the earth forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Kingdom, go HERE.

Win a Handmade Mennonite Quilt from @NancyMehl! RSVP for her INESCAPABLE Facebook Party 7/26!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Celebrate with Nancy by entering her "Inescapable" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 7/26!

One winner will receive:

  • A Handmade Mennonite Quilt

  • A copy of Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Inescapable" Author Chat Facebook Party on 7/26. Nancy will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills (how much do you know about the Mennonites?) and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Inescapable and join Nancy on the evening of the July 26th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

My Thoughts:
Lizzie left Kingdom or rather ran from Kingdom when having her daughter Charity out of wedlock in the strict Mennonite community with a unloving, uncaring father made her feel she had no other choice. She made a life for her and her daughter, Charity away from Kingdom. She had a job she loved, was going to college until a stalker appeared and money disappeared from work and it looked like she was going to be the prime suspect. When she gets home she reconnects with her mother who is Oh so happy to see her, and loves on Charity. Her father still doesn't want to have anything to do with her. She begins working at the diner that the Elders did not want in Kingdom, and soon her old friend Noah is coming in and Charity latches on to him, calling him Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. Charity loves Kingdom and all the people, especially Cora who runs the diner. She wants to stay forever.
Just when things start feeling safe, it seems danger is back. Will Lizzie run, or begin to trust her Heavenly Father that she can't escape from no matter how far she runs?
This is the first Nancy Mehl book I've read and it won't be my last! I absolutely loved it! I felt like I was right there in Kingdom it was so vivid and the characters were so real.

Preview: Wedded to War

Monday, July 23, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wedded to War
• River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2012)
Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


When war erupted, she gave up a life of privilege for a life of significance.

Tending to the army's sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she's combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series "Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War," a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wedded to War, go HERE.

The Company - Reviewed

Saturday, July 21, 2012

About Chuck:
A meteor strike plunges the world into darkness. A stranger to the village of Brigos Glen restores power and light, supplied by three businesses, known as “The Company,” located beyond the forbidden mountains. The stranger reveals a plan so the Brigons can maintain the power and share the light with outlying territories, which remain shrouded in darkness.

Now, seventy years later, The Company summons six Brigons, including the young engineer Sam Mitchell, to attend a conference in the mountains of the forbidden Outlands. 

Responsible for compiling a report about Brigos Glen from his five companions, Sam learns how managers and villagers largely ignored the plan or compromised it to self-interest, forsaking their duty to share the light. They also took for granted The Company responsible for generating and transmitting the power.

In an ordeal fraught with failure, revelations, and judgment, Sam discovers the true identity behind The Company and learns the fate that may befall Brigos Glen . . . that is, unless he can stop it.
About Chuck: 

Chuck Graham's legal career as an attorney in private practice spanned more than thirty-one years. He represented many local, national, and international clients, acquiring intricate knowledge about the often-overlapping structures of the corporate world. He also worked against those seeking to create racial division, including the Ku Klux Klan. He has served as a member of the state bar of Georgia since 1979 and an instructor to attorneys and judges through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). He received the Medallion of Appreciation from ICLE.

Chuck is also a speaker and the author of Take the Stand (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) and the compilations, A Year of Encouragement (Xulon Press).

In 1997 he founded Ciloa (Christ Is Lord Of All), a ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement with the world and teaching those who follow Him how to encourage others. Today Chuck serves as executive director and principal author of A Note of Encouragement, a weekly e-zine reaching 175 countries.

He and Beverly, his wife of thirty-four years, have lived in Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta, for fourteen years. God has blessed them with three children. In his free time, Chuck enjoys backpacking and hiking (especially on the Appalachian Trail), playing the guitar, dabbling in photography, and reading extensively about the Christian faith. 
Blog Tour Schedule
My Thoughts:  An interesting allegory of the destruction of earth when a meteor collides with it. A small community survives and is literally left in darkness. A stranger comes along and provides electricity to them.
The reader could read this book and enjoy the escape to the fantasy world, or see it for what it is, an exploration of our relationship to God, and the contemporary church. Churches are being divided by beliefs or rather legalism and this book shows that in spades. The book was fast paced and kept me interested. My husband read it as well and loved it. This is one that I highly recommend!

Preview: Rare Earth

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rare Earth
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Davis Bunn


Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.  


Marc Royce stares out of the helicopter, a sense of foreboding rising with the volcanic cloud. Below, the Rift Valley slashes across Africa like a scar. Decades of conflicts, droughts, and natural disasters have left their mark.

Dispatched to audit a relief organization, Royce is thrust into the squalor and chaos of Kenyan refugee camps. But his true mission focuses on the area's reserves of once-obscure minerals now indispensable to high-tech industries. These strategic elements--called rare earth--have inflamed tensions on the world's stage and stoked tribal rivalries. As Royce prepares to report back to Washington, he seizes on a bold and risky venture for restoring justice to this troubled land.

But this time, Royce may have gone too far.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rare Earth, go HERE.

Preview: Almost Amish

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Almost Amish
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Kathryn Cushman


Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all her life she knew that she wanted to write a novel “some day”. For her, “some day” came in 2003, when she started writing and never looked back.

Her first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of her closet (the dust bunnies tell her they really are terrific!). Her third attempt became her first published novel.

A Promise to Remember and Leaving Yesterday were both finalists for the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

On the homefront, she has been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for nearly twenty-five years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college.

They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feel blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)

When she's not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find her trying her best to keep up with her daughters in their various theater, softball, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.   


Proving the Simple Life Isn't So Simple After All

Overcommitted and overwhelmed, Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She knows she should feel blessed as a mother and wife--but she just feels exhausted. And then, the miraculous happens. Her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series about trying to live like the Amish and needs another family to join her. It's just the break Julie needs.

But the summer adventure in simple living soon proves anything but simple. With the camera watching every move, Susan's drive for perfection feels a lot like what they left behind, while Julie suddenly finds herself needing to stand up for slowing down. Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or dressing differently, each new Amish challenge raises new complications...and soon each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Almost Amish, go HERE.

Christy Award Winners!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

One of the most prestigious awards in Christian fiction is the Christy
Award. These are this year's winners.

Contemporary Romance

Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing)

Contemporary Series

The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (Harvest House

Contemporary Standalone

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House, a division of Baker
Publishing Grou

First Novel

Words by Ginny Yttrup (B&H Publishing Group)


Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, a division of Baker
Publishing Group)

Historical Romance

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of
Baker Publishing Group)


The Queen by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)


Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House, a division of Baker
Publishing Group)

Young Adult

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (David C Cook)

Love Finds You in New Orleans, Louisiana - Reviewed

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Blurb:
Unlocking the past could open the door to a new future. Ever since her parents died of yellow fever when she was two years old, Adelaide LeClerc has lived with her grandparents, who rarely speak of their son and his wife. They are on the verge of negotiating a contract with a suitor, a man Adelaide dreads, when they discover that she enjoys the company of Etienne Girod, a young Creole man. Adelaide's future hangs in the balance as her grandparents consider whether to stop keeping secrets and reveal the truth that they've known since before Adelaide's birth, a truth that will make the difference between a life of obligation and a life of choice for Adelaide.

My Thoughts:
New Orleans in the 1800's. Christa takes you into the Antebellum Period, and into the lives of Lottie and Gabriel. The streets of New Orleans bustle with activity, you can picture the clothing, smell the food, hear the noise. She makes it all come alive.
The romance between Lottie and Gabriel is one that you cheer for. They have so much going against them and you want them together.
This would be a great summer read! Grab a copy and tuck it in your bag.
Thanks Christa for the review copy!

Hidden in Dreams - Reviewed

Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Blurb:
Elena Burroughs finds her life spiraling out of control. She is dismissed from her position as psychologist at the Oxford University clinic. And the man she hoped she might love is lost to the demands of new work in a distant land. Elena accepts her agent’s request for another world tour, resulting in a huge rush of new publicity and some very public conflict with established authorities.  Rachel, a clinical biologist and statistician, approaches Elena for help with the disturbing dreams of one of her patients. Oddly, they mirror Rachel’s research findings about a dream pattern that has foretold every major global catastrophe stretching back to the dawn of civilization.  That night Elena has precisely the same dream as Rachel’s patient, predicting a cataclysmic financial collapse far worse than what brought on the Great Depression. She searches the professional websites and discovers that her most vehement critic has a client experiencing the same repetitive dreams. Together, they form an unlikely alliance, one that threatens to pierce Elena’s emotional isolation.    All the while, the clock is ticking down to devastation. It’s no longer about the dreams. It’s about survival.

My Thoughts:
I didn't read the first book, but I was able to follow the story fine.  Elena is a professor and has written a book titled Book of Dreams, she is teaching at a Christian college in Florida when Rachel comes to see her about disturbing dreams one of her patients from her clinical trials is having. That night Elena has the exact same dream. Elena's publisher calls her the following day that her arch Nemesis wants to talk to her about clinical research he has about the same dream. 

This was a fast read, and reminded me of Daniel, and Joseph with their dream prophecies. Very intriguing and highly recommended!

Out of Time - Reviewed

Book Blurb:

Bree Le Fleur moves to Arizona to heal from her past. She meets her neighbor Donny Garafalo Jr., race car driver and model. Unlike most, she's not impressed. After their disastrous introduction, Bree ends up needing Donny's help. They become friends and Donny decides Bree is the perfect girl for him. He won't inherit the family business unless he can change his ways. He believes dating Bree and attending church will persuade his father. While following his ruse, they fall in love and find faith. Things look promising until Donny hits the road again for his final racing circuit and Bree discovers a plot to harm him. She tries to tell him, but he won't listen, so she takes matters into her own hands. When he finds out, will he thank her for meddling or send her packing? Is their love strong enough to make it through the ultimate test?

My Thoughts:
I have read all of Michelle's books and love every one! She writes books that deal with hurting people, and issues that we all face day in and day out.
For Bree and Donny it's the lust of the flesh. They both have had people want them just for their looks and nothing more.
Donny needs to change his playboy image or he'll loose the chance at getting the family business.
Bree has come to Arizona to heal from her past in New York.

This is a steamy read. Perfect for the summer! Grab a copy before you're Out of Time!

Road To The Christy's - Highlight Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Book Blurb:
Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to a library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.

But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated--not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. When Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and mystery--and especially romance--are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of  Wonderland Creek, go HERE.

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped.
 Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

My Thoughts: 
Alice Grace is a girl after my own heart! She loves books, and reading. She goes to a funeral to honor a gentleman who came to the library that she works at in her town of Blue Island, Ill. During the funeral when different people from the community were giving their eulogies which we all know can drag on and be boring she pulled a book out of her bag and started reading. Her boyfriend, Gordon was so appalled he wouldn't speak to her and ended up breaking up with her. To escape the "talk" of the town over Gordon's break-up she decides to go with her aunt and uncle to the coal mining community of Kentucky and deliver books that she has collected for
them. She was in contact with the librarian from the town there, Leslie. When she arrives she finds that Leslie is not who she thought her to be. Leslie was a man . . and he had Alice all a fumbled mess. Gordon accused Alice of living a fantasy world within her books, when Leslie the librarian is shot she has to start doing what she's only read about in books.
This book had me rolling with laughter just reading the first chapter! It will definitely make my top books for 2011! A must read!

Preview The Deposit Slip

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Deposit Slip
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Todd M. Johnson


Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years,

specializing as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota

Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of

International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip is his debut novel. He lives outside Minneapolis,

Minnesota, with his wife Cathy, and children Ian and Libby.


$10,000,000 Is Missing.

Erin Larson is running out of options. In the wake of her father's death, she found a slim piece of paper--a deposit slip--with an unbelievable amount on it. Only the bank claims they have no record of the money, and trying to hire a lawyer has brought only intimidation and threats. Erin's last chance is Jared Neaton.

How Far Will One Lawyer Go to Find the Money?

When Jared wearied of the shady ethics of his big law firm and started his own, he never expected the wheels to fly off so quickly. One big loss has pushed him to the brink, and it's all he can do to scrape by.

And How Far Will Someone Go to Stop Him?

He's not sure if Erin's case is worth the risk, but if the money is real, all his problems could vanish. When digging deeper unleashes something far more dangerous than just threats, both Jared and Erin must decide the cost they're willing to pay to discover the truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Deposit Slip, go HERE.

Cottage by the Sea - Reviewed

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Blurb:
From bestselling and award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn—a poignant novel about a woman who must care for her ill and elderly father, hoping to mend both his health and their relationship.Erin’s new business as a wedding planner is running at full speed and her empty nest years are full of promise when she receives a call that puts everything on hold: her estranged father has had a stroke. The twinkle is fading from Jack O’Riley’s Irish eyes and his calloused second wife leaves, making it clear this is not what she signed up for.     Suddenly Erin’s visit to her father’s cottage by the sea is extended indefinitely. At first the task before her is as daunting as the wild Oregon coast that has become her unwanted second home. Yet in the many hours she spends beside her ailing father, Erin finds a treasure hidden in the darkness. She reaches out and, at long last, receives the gift of healing.

My Thoughts:  Erin and her friend Sharlene have just started their own wedding business called The Happiest Day, when Erin receives a phone call that her dad has had a stroke, she rushes to the Oregon coast to see how he is because his new wife Delores is not at all what Erin believes is right for her dad. Her father tells her to go back home since she has just started her own business, she does. During her son Jordon's wedding reception which her father and Delores were suppose to attend she finds out that her father has had more strokes. When she arrives again her father is a shell of a man. This breaks Erin's heart. To her surprise her husband Mike, thinks the cottage that her dad and Delores have fixed up is quite appealing and the coast as well. This book hit home as a dear friend suffered a stroke two years ago and it's been hard to watch him suffer. I've known him since I was a baby. I loved how this book had characters from Love Finds You in Sunset Beach Hawaii.
Robin has written a book of healing and love. This is one you don't want to miss!

Inescapable - Reviewed - With Giveaway

Monday, July 9, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Nancy Mehl


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.


Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, Kingdom, Kansas, with plans never to return.

But five years later, the new life she built is falling apart. Lizzie knows she's being followed, and she's certain the same mysterious stranger is behind the threatening letters she's received. Realizing she'll have to run again, the only escape Lizzie can manage is a return to the last place she wants to go.

Once she arrives in Kingdom, Lizzie is confident she'll be safe until she comes up with a new plan. In reacquainting herself with the town and its people--especially her old friend, Noah Housler--she wonders if she judged her hometown and her Mennonite faith too harshly. However, just as she begins to come to terms with her roots, Lizzie is horrified to discover the danger she ran from is closer than ever.

No longer sure who to trust and fearful for her life and the lives of those around her, Lizzie finds she has only one place left to run--to the Father whose love is inescapable.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Inescapable, go HERE.

My Thoughts: Lizzie left Kingdom or rather ran from Kingdom when having her daughter Charity out of wedlock in the strict Mennonite community with a unloving, uncaring father made her feel she had no other choice. She made a life for her and her daughter, Charity away from Kingdom. She had a job she loved, was going to college until a stalker appeared and money disappeared from work and it looked like she was going to be the prime suspect. When she gets home she reconnects with her mother who is Oh so happy to see her, and loves on Charity. Her father still doesn't want to have anything to do with her. She begins working at the diner that the Elders did not want in Kingdom, and soon her old friend Noah is coming in and Charity latches on to him, calling him Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. Charity loves Kingdom and all the people, especially Cora who runs the diner. She wants to stay forever.
Just when things start feeling safe, it seems danger is back. Will Lizzie run, or begin to trust her Heavenly Father that she can't escape from no matter how far she runs?
This is the first Nancy Mehl book I've read and it won't be my last! I absolutely loved it! I felt like I was right there in Kingdom it was so vivid and the characters were so real.

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Preview: Serpent of Moses

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Serpent of Moses
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Don Hoesel


Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier

in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from

Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief

Journal. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but lives in

Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. The

Serpent of Moses is his fourth novel.


Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent,

healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.

King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan.

Long thought destroyed, it's been buried for

millennia, secreted under the region's shifting sands.

Now the Israeli government wants it back and they

will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet

they're not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.

Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent

on recovering the sacred object, but one does not

cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a

fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless

"snake of brass upon a pole" before those who are

also hunting it find them...and silence them forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of

Serpent of Moses, go HERE.

Preview: Nothing to Hide

Monday, July 2, 2012

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Nothing to Hide
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
J. Mark Bertrand


J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years,

earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after

one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested

for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served

on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an

 honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.


A grisly homicide. An international threat.

The stakes have never been higher for

Detective Roland March.

The victim's head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March

is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue--but to what? According

to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of

 illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want

March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he

discovers the Feds are lying. And they're not the only ones.

In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself

dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into

 his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of

 darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose--and nothing to hide.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nothing to Hide, go HERE.

Hope Springs - Reviewed

Celebrate the release of Hope Springs with Kim Cash Tate by coming to her Author Chat Party on Facebook.

Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join me for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!

During the evening Kim will be sharing the story behind her new book, posting book club questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and (I'm so excited about this) - a Kindle Fire!

But, wait there's more – she’ll also be giving you a sneak peak of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 10th ... and bring your friends!

My Thoughts:  This book is set in the small town of Hope Springs, NC where two churches hold the community together, one is white - Calvary, one is black - New Jerusalem. It is also where the families the Dillons and Saunders have lived by each other for years. The families return to Hope Springs because Jim Dillon the Pastor of Calvary has passed away. 
After the service it is found out that Grandma Geri has cancer so granddaughters, Stephanie and Janelle remain in Hope Springs to care for her.
Todd and Becca move to Hope Springs where he will become the pastor of Calvary taking over for his father. This doesn't sit well with Becca who has become a speaker for a women's conference. 
This was a book that pulled you in and kept you reading. Becca was a hard character for me to like, I was glad to see her turn the corner. 
I highly recommend this one!

Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist by Joel Richardson

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

WND Books (July 5, 2012)

***Special thanks to Susan Otis, Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


 Joel Richardson is an internationally recognized expert of biblical prophecy, the Middle East, and Islam, a human rights activist, and lecturer who has been involved in outreach and ministry to Muslims and Christian/Muslim interfaith dialogue since 1994. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Islamic Antichrist:  The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast, co-editor of Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out, and co-author with Walid Shoebat of God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible.

Visit the author's website.


Mideast Beast completes and establishes the revolutionary argument introduced in Joel Richardson’s New York Times bestselling The Islamic Antichrist, namely that the Antichrist will be a Muslim, whose empire will arise out of the Middle East.

Whereas most students of the Bible have long held that some form of humanism or universalist religion would catapult the Antichrist to world power, Mideast Beast:  The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist systematically proves that the long awaited system of the Antichrist is even now before us and knocking at our door – virtually unnoticed by the church.

Through a scholarly and theologically grounded, yet simple presentation, Richardson thoroughly corrects the objections of critics, establishing beyond a doubt the biblical case for an Islamic Antichrist.

With Large segments of the Christian missionary movement embracing a heretical method our outreach to Muslims, Mideast Beast cuts to the core of the matter, revealing the true nature of origins of Islam.

Product Details:

List Price: $25.95

Hardcover: 283 pages

Publisher: WND Books (July 5, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1936488531

ISBN-13: 978-1936488537



ON 2006, MY FIR ST BOOK was published as Antichrist:tIslam'stAwaitedt Messiah, but later republished as ThetIslamictAntichrist. On the sur- face, the book was a comparison of Islamic and biblical eschatology

(the study of the end-times), but in spirit, it was also my best attempt to blow a trumpet and sound an alarm. I am firmly convinced that Islam is the single greatest challenge that the Church will face before the return of Jesus, yet most are still either asleep or in denial. IslamictAntichrist was my sincere and deeply heartfelt effort to awaken the believing community from its slumber regarding the looming challenge and relevance of Islam as well as its premier role in the last days. And beyond this, the book was a call to action; to imitate Jesus, embrace the cross, and fearlessly give ourselves to the Muslim world, so as to perhaps snatch a few from the fire.

IslamictAntichrist set the basic biblical end-time narrative side by side with the Islamic vision of the end-times. The resultant picture brings to light the shocking reality that as a religious system, Islam is anti-Christ to its very core. Islam's basic doctrines represent a direct frontal attack against Christianity, declaring many of those doctrines that the Bible sets forth as holy, foundational, and essential to be the greatest abominations and blasphemies imaginable. Whereas the Christian faith is founded upon the belief that God Himself became a man in Jesus the Messiah, Islam declares in its Qur'an that anyone who believes in the Incarnation com-


mits the worst form of blasphemy imaginable, is cursed by Allah, and will suffer “a grievous penalty” in this life and in the next. Beyond this, Islam's end-times narrative, in so many ways, is simply the biblical end-time story flipped on its head. While the whole book cannot be summarized here, just a couple of brief examples should paint a sufficient picture.

First, the biblical descriptions regarding the coming of Jesus the Jewish Messiah bear many striking resemblances to the coming Antichrist of Islam, whom Muslims refer to as the al-maseehtal-dajjaal (the counterfeit Messiah). Second, the Bible's Antichrist bears numerous striking com- monalities with the primary messiah figure of Islam, who Muslims call the Mahdi. In other words, our Messiah is their antichrist and our Antichrist is their messiah. Even more shocking to many readers was the revelation that Islam teaches that when Jesus returns, He will come back as a Muslim prophet whose primary mission will be to abolish Christianity. It's difficult for any Bible believer to read of these things without becoming acutely aware of the satanic origins of the Islamic religion.

In 2008, I also had the opportunity to coauthor another book on the same subject with Walid Shoebat, a former operative for the Palestine Liberation Organization. This book, entitled God'stWartontTerror, is an almost encyclopedic discussion of the role of Islam in the last days, as well as a chronicle of Walid's journey from a young Palestinian Muslim with a deep hatred for the Jews, to a Christian man who spends his life standing with the Jewish people and proclaiming the truth concerning the dangers of radical Islam.

Together these two books have become the cornerstone of what has developed into a popular eschatological revolution. Today, I receive a steady stream of e-mails and reports from individuals expressing how much these books have affected them and transformed their understanding of the end-times. Students, pastors, and even reputable scholars have expressed that they have abandoned the popular notion that the Anti- christ, his empire, and his religion will emerge out of Europe or a revived Roman Empire. Instead they have come to recognize the simple fact that the Bible emphatically and repeatedly points us to the Middle East as the launchpad and epicenter of the emerging empire of the Antichrist and his religion. Many testify that although they have been students of Bible prophecy for many years, never before had anything made so much sense,

P r e f a c e

or the prophecies of the Bible become so clear. And even more important, some have even written to share that they've become believers or recom- mitted their lives to Jesus as a result of reading these books. Hallelujah!

Others, however, express that while the thesis presented in Islamict Antichrist and God'stWartontTerror makes a great deal of sense, they still have many unanswered questions. The purpose of this book is to set forth

a scholarly, yet popularized, succinct presentation of the Islamic Antichrist theory based on the most relevant passages of Scripture. If there is even a chance that Islam is, in fact, the primary subject of the Bible's many antichristic prophecies, the possibility alone should be enough to merit serious consideration of the relevant texts.

I want to state at the outset that this book's purpose is not to debate what many might feel is irrelevant or even morbid end-time trivia. Many may ask why it even matters if the Antichrist will emerge from Europe or the Middle East, whether he will be a humanist or a Muslim. The fact of the matter is that the practical implications of the many subjects discussed in this book are profound. If, in fact, Islam is the religion of the Antichrist, the significance is earth-shattering. As much of the Church today, including large segments of the missions movement, increasingly embraces an approach toward reaching Muslims that flirts with syncretism and outright heresy (I am referring to what has become known as the “Insider Movement”), it is imperative that followers of Jesus determine exactly where they stand concerning the origins and nature of Islam. As we strive to love Muslims, must we also love Islam? Or is it possible to passionately care for Muslims, while hating Islam? Is Islam a faith system that can create a genuine relationship with God, or is it purely a soul- destroying ideology? Can one be both a Muslim and a follower of Jesus, as many evangelical missiologists claim? Are the Allah of the Qur'an and the God of the Bible one and the same? And what about Israel and the Jewish people? Fierce anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are now spreading from the Muslim world into the Christian Church; what did the prophets say about these things? Where is a disciple of Jesus seeking to love both Mus- lims and Jews to stand on these matters? What about the “Arab Spring”? Does the Bible inform us as to where this sudden and drastic change in the Muslim world is heading? Further, while numerous demographic models inform us that Islam will soon emerge as the world's largest religion, many


within the Christian Church believe and teach that most of the Islamic world (and Russia) will soon be destroyed in a series of prophesied battles, resulting in the religion of Islam virtually disappearing from the earth. But does the Bible really teach this? How we answer these questions and what we believe about these things will drastically affect our approach toward prayer, intercession, evangelism, and missions. These are not questions that the Church can afford to get wrong. Carefully searching the Scriptures so as to answer these questions accurately is absolutely essential. This is why this book was written. While this study will certainly answer many questions concerning the end-times, it is far from irrelevant or morbid eschatological trivia. As the Church seeks to plot its way forward into the ever-changing world, it is essential for the Church to grasp the truths brought forward in this study.

I also appeal to you to approach this book prayerfully. I have written the book prayerfully and I ask you to talk to the LORD as you read it. There are few subjects that are as serious and pressing as that discussed here. As we study the subject of the end-times, we must do so in a spirit of prayer. Across the body of Christ, throughout the earth, many believe this is the generation that will live to see Jesus' return. So then does this generation have a greater duty to become a community of prayer dedi- cated to loving one another? “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. [nasb] Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:7-8).

This very well may be the generation that has inherited both the mas- sive opportunity and the immense responsibility that was spoken of by the prophet Daniel: “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

Daniel saw a glimpse of it--but many reading this book may very well be among those who will actually live it. I appeal to you to seize this opportunity with everything you have. The urgency of the hour demands no less.


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FAR TOO M ANY CHR ISTIANS believe the subject of the end-times to be an insurmountable mountain far too high and complicated to climb. As a result, many simply entrust their beliefs regarding

the end-times to their pastor or various “prophecy experts.” Certainly the Lord has given some to function as teachers within the body of Christ to help guide fellow believers into a proper understanding of the more complicated aspects of God's Word, but in no way does this excuse any believer from responsibility to search these things out in the Bible for him- or herself. One of the best things any teacher can do is equip his or her students with the tools necessary to study and understand the Bible on their own. That is the purpose of this chapter: to equip both the student and the seasoned teacher alike with some very clear, simple, and easy-to-follow principles to simplify the Bible's message concerning the end-times and make them available to all. The false belief that the subject of the end-times is beyond the ability of the average Christian to understand must be shattered. After grasping the principles explained in this chapter, many who once felt intimidated by the subject of the end-times will be confident that eschatology is not a subject beyond their ability to understand. The following seven principles represent the approach to understanding biblical prophecy that we will take throughout the remainder of this book.


R U L E #1: K E E P F I R S T T H I N G S F I R S T

Shortly after graduating from high school, just after becoming a believer, I worked as a house framer for a year. To build a house, one must begin by laying a proper and solid foundation. How and where one begins always affects the end result. This is true whether we are dealing with a house or theology. A bad or weak foundation will cause the end result to be unstable, faulty, or potentially even dangerous. In home building, if one were to begin by building the roof and then worked backward to the foundation, he would end up with some serious problems. Yet this is precisely what some actually do when they are trying to build

a solid biblical eschatology; they decide that they want to understand what the Bible says about the end-times and then they turn right to the book of Revelation, the very last book of the Bible! Now, please don't get me wrong; the book of Revelation, is crucial to understand when studying God's plan for the ages. But it is not where we start. Revelation is predicated on a wealth of previously revealed prophetic knowledge found in numerous passages throughout the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps more than any other book in the New Testament, Revelation is jam-packed with direct quotes, allusions, and even more subtle echoes of dozens upon dozens of biblical passages.

Imagine going to a symphony. During the performance, you hear stringed instruments, drums, woodwinds, but it is not until the grand finale that all of these instruments come to one amazing crescendo. This is what Revelation is; it is the grand prophetic-symphonic crescendo composed of many other prophecies found throughout the Bible. But as beautiful as grand crescendos may be, they do come last for a reason. Before we can expect to understand what Revelation is trying to tell us, we must first understand what the passages upon which it is built are saying. The Bible is an unfolding story. And if we seek to properly understand the story the Bible is telling, we must begin at the beginning of the book, approaching the story as it was written, as it unfolds and expands. This is all just simple common sense.

So the first rule to follow when we desire to understand what the Bible says about the end-times  is: Start with what comes first. We begin with the foundation--at the beginning. This couldn't be much simpler.

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In terms of Bible study, this means that we begin with the Torah, the first five books of Moses, and move forward from there.

R U L E #2: K E E P I T S I M P L E

Besides being the last book in the Bible, there are other reasons not to begin with the book of Revelation. Revelation is perhaps the most sym- bolic and apocalyptic book in the whole Bible. When we begin trying to understand what the Bible says about the end-times, we do not begin with the most allegorical passages. Neither do we start with passages that are tricky, hard to interpret, or confusing. Instead, we should begin with what is literal, direct, and easy to understand. So not only do we not start with Revelation; we also do not start with Daniel or Ezekiel. While both of these books come far before Revelation, they are also both very figurative, filled with dreams, visions, and much symbolism. So while Daniel and Ezekiel are essential to understand if we are to accurately grasp the Bible's message concerning the end-times, like Revelation, these are not the books we should begin with. There are numerous other essential passages that must be examined first. Not only are they older than Daniel and Ezekiel, but they are also clearer and easier to understand.

So our second rule is that we should begin with that which contains the least measure of confusing, questionable, debatable, or hard-to- understand elements.

R U L E #3 : B U I L D D O C T R I N E O N T H E F U L L C O U N S E L O F S C R I P T U R E

Many years ago, when I first become a believer, I lived just south of Boston. I was nineteen, and understandably, because of my conversion and radical life change, most of my friends no longer wanted to spend time with me. As if overnight, I had become an extremely vocal and evangelistic Christian. As such, I spent many Saturdays walking around Boston, seeking willing listeners with whom I could share my faith. In those days, one of Boston's largest semi-cultic groups was the Boston Church of Christ, sometimes referred to as “the Boston Movement,” founded by Thomas “Kip” McKean. I used to run into disciples of this group quite often. One of the distinguishing beliefs of this group is that


it is the actual act of baptism that saves a person. According to them, without water-immersion baptism, one absolutely cannot be saved. To establish this point, they would always turn to Acts 2:38, which reads, “Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins'” (nkjv). Being

a zealous new believer, and a Berean as well, I began to examine the Bible to see what it said about the means whereby we are saved. I found seventy-two verses, from Genesis to Revelation, that state very clearly that it is our faith in Jesus and what He accomplished for us on the cross that saves us. What I found revealed that when we believe these things with sincere and repentant hearts, we are indeed baptized and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5 says, “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (nkjv). Ephesians 1:13-14 also states, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (nkjv).

The promise, of course, is of the future completion of our salvation when our bodies are resurrected and glorified. Water baptism is merely on outward sign of the inward reality that has already taken place when we believed and were baptized by the Holy Spirit. So, let me ask: in light of the seventy-two verses on one hand that say that we are saved by faith, and the one verse on the other hand that is used to claim that it is the act of baptism that saves us, scripturally speaking, which position is built on a more solid footing? Obviously the weight of the Scriptures tell us that it is faith that saves us, and water baptism is the first essential act of obedience after we have come to faith.

The point in telling this story is to remind us not to develop theories, positions, or doctrines based on select, limited, or isolated passages, while ignoring the wealth of other passages that speak to any particular issue. Whatever position we arrive at, it must conform to the full counsel of Scrip- ture. Our position must be able to bring together all of the numerous and relevant passages throughout the Bible, revealing a consistent story. It is both dangerous and irresponsible to base any doctrine or idea on one or even a few isolated passages. But when we see a theme that is repeated numerous times

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throughout the Bible, over and over, then we know that we are building on a foundation of consistency. So the third rule is to build on themes that are repeated and consistent. Build doctrine on the full counsel of Scripture.

R U L E #4 : R E M E M B E R , C O N T E X T, C O N T E X T, C O N T E X T

Ask any Realtor what the key to home sales is, and he or she will say, “Location, location, location.” Likewise, anyone who has spent three days in Bible school or seminary will tell you that the cardinal rule of respon- sibly interpreting Scripture is context, context, context. Perhaps one of the easiest mistakes to make when trying to understand Bible prophecy is failing to take into consideration the larger context of the Bible. Ameri- cans in particular are infamous for being self-centered with regard to our view of the world, and as such, it is we who are most likely to make this common error. Because of America's relative geographic isolation as well

as our exalted role in the earth in recent history, we may even have some legitimate reason for our lack of awareness of the world around us. But when attempting to interpret and understand Bible prophecy, such a self- focused attitude is highly detrimental. Let me explain.

Today, the Church in the United States, and the West in general, is contending with various issues, such as moral and cultural relativism, secular humanism, Darwinism, religious pluralism, and intellectual atheism. The list could go on and on. All of these anti-Christian ideas and worldviews seem to be increasing their hold on Western culture and society. So the Western Church lives in an atmosphere where the television shows, movies, and media to which we are exposed continu- ally send us messages that conflict with a biblical worldview. Likewise, if our children attend public school or a secular university, the teachers and students alike aggressively espouse one or all of these anti-Christian worldviews. The result is that Western believers tend to imagine that the same spirit of the age we are contending with here is also being contended with in every other part of the world. As we rightly discern the demonic powers behind many of these ideas that are daily assaulting our families and our faith, many assume that this prevailing spirit is in fact the premier spirit of the Antichrist. Many imagine the Antichrist to be a leader of a global world religion that welcomes everyone, except


true Christians, of course. Because Western culture is the only world that most Westerners know, as we turn to the Bible and read the end- time prophetic passages, many make the mistake of reading their own worldview and personal experiences into its pages. The problem with this, of course, is that the Bible is and always has been a thoroughly Jerusalem-, Israel-, and Middle Eastern-centric book. As we will see, biblical prophecy tells a very Jerusalem-centered story. Jerusalem is the city around which the entire story of the return of Jesus revolves. This is the city from which Jesus will literally rule the earth after His return. This fact must not be missed.

So if one is living in Jerusalem today, while the ideas that flood Western society are present, the primary demonic spirit that is threatening to destroy the Jews and Christians, the people of God, is not religious pluralism or intellectual atheism; it is Islam, through and through. In the United States, the spirit of Islam is less significant; thus it is easier for Americans to be slow to grasp this point. But when we look to Israel, the epicenter of the geographic context of the Bible, it is easy to see that the spirit dominating the entire region is not universalism or new age religion, but Islam. Extending several hundred to thousands of miles around Jeru- salem, Islam controls the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, and Central Asia. Israel sits in the center of this ocean of hatred.

So as we approach the Bible to understand what it is saying with regard to the end-times, the fourth rule is that we must take into consid- eration its proper context. We must be cautious not to read a Western worldview--a foreigntcontext--into the pages of this Eastern book called the Bible. We must never forget its Middle Eastern-/Israel-centric context. The Bible was not written primarily for Americans or Westerners. The Bible is a Jewish book with a Middle Eastern emphasis and worldview.

R U L E #5: D O N O T R E A D P R O P H E T I C L I T E R AT U R E A S I F I T I S A T E C H N I C A L M A N U A L

This rule piggybacks on the previous rule. It says that Westerners must acknowledge that most prophecies in the Bible are written as ancient Hebrew prophetic poetry or apocalyptic literature. Western Bible students should familiarize themselves with the characteristics of these types of

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literature and the many literary devices they utilize. This includes things such as Hebrew idioms, hyperbole, and the dual fulfillment of so many prophetic passages. Because much of the West's cultural and intellectual roots are found in the Enlightenment, we have particular ways of thinking, reasoning, and viewing things that are often in conflict with the manner in which the Bible is written.

I was once speaking at a conference and explained that reading the Bible literally sometimes means that we do not take things in a hyper- literal fashion. Sometimes reading poetry in a hyper-literal or technically literal fashion can lead to all sorts of problems and misinterpretations. Sure enough, after I spoke, a somewhat confrontational man met me at the front of the church. “I read the Bible literally, period,” he said, inferring of course, that I was encouraging a nonliteral or slightly liberal interpretive method. Feeling a bit feisty, I opened my Bible to Isaiah 60, a passage that speaks of the blessings that will come to the Jewish people during the messianic kingdom. “So you take the Bible literally, no matter what?” I asked as I handed him my Bible, pointed to verse 16, and asked him to read it aloud: “You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, and milk the breast of kings; you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Not wanting to admit that reading this verse literally would have some rather embarrassing implications, he said that he would need to study “this one” a bit further. But I believe he understood my point. I hold to a literal interpretive method, but I read prophetic poetry as prophetic poetry, historical narrative as historical narrative, proverbs as proverbs, etc. These things all speak of very literal realities, but they rep- resent different types of literature and use varied expressions to convey these realities, each with its own rules and characteristics. So when we are reading Hebrew apocalyptic literature or prophetic poetry, we do not read this material as if we are reading an owner's manual for a Toyota

Tundra. For further exploration of this issue, I highly recommend a very simple book, HowttotReadtthetBibletfortAlltItstWorth, by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart.


R U L E # 6 : R E C O G N I Z E T H E U LT I M AT E E M P H A S I S , T H E B I G S T O R Y O F B I B L I C A L P R O P H E C Y

Understanding the general nature of biblical prophecy is not nearly as difficult as many Western interpreters have sometimes made it. While nearly every prophecy has historical application in either the immediate or near future of the prophets, the ultimate burden of all biblical prophecy is the coming of the Messiah, the Day of the Lord (God's judgment on the earth), and the messianic kingdom to follow. While each prophet was most often first speaking either to the circumstances of his day and age or to events in the near future, the primary burden of the entire Bible, of every prophet and apostle, is the coming of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom rule over the earth. As such, one can rightly say that biblical prophecy is first and foremost Messiah-centric. It is ultimately about Jesus.

Of course, in highlighting the Messiah-centricity of Scripture, one must acknowledge both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Modern Christians most often major in the prophecies that point to the first coming of Jesus, and minor in the prophecies that speak of His second coming. The fact of the matter, however, is that the primary emphasis of Scripture is the second coming. Far more prophecies address the second coming than the first. So the three primary emphases of biblical prophecy are:

*  the immediate historical context of the prophets' era,

*  the first coming of Jesus, and

*  the second coming of Jesus/the Day of the Lord.

But here is the problem: One of the characteristics of Western thought is that we like to organize and classify things into neat categories. Westerners like to systematize everything, including our theology. We may even attempt to dissect the living Word of God as if it is a frog in a high school science lab. As such, when attempting to interpret the Bible, we often attempt to define each verse or passage as if it is speaking of either the historical or the future fulfillment as if it must be one or the other. But we need to understand that the Bible is an Eastern book and was not written with a Western mind-set. And so, almost as if to drive

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Westerners crazy, we frequently find in the Scriptures an intermingling of the historical and the future into one seamless passage. Consider, for example, the following classic passage:

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 nkjv)

This passage speaks as if the primary purpose of this Child, this Son, is to vindicate Israel over and against her enemies. Consider what the Child brings about: Israel's boundaries will be expanded; the yoke that burdens the Jewish people will be shattered; warriors' boots and blood will be things of the past. This Child will bring in everlasting peace. Yet the Child has come, but the remainder of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. Israel is still oppressed. Wars continue. Within this passage there is a two-thousand-year pause or gap. Yet a face-value reading of this passage gives no real indication of this. In one seamless passage, we have both the historical (the Child was born) and the future fulfillment (He will rule, shatter the rod of oppression, and bring in everlasting peace). As much as we in the West like to approach a passage and divide it up into neat categories of historical or future, oftentimes both elements are intertwined. Sometimes a passage may be partially historical with shadows of futuristic prophecies. Other times, a prophet may be speaking almost entirely of the future with only a slight shade of historical emphasis. Still other times, a passage may be entirely futuristic or historical. How then are we to understand such passages? The answer lies in understanding the big story that all of the prophets were telling and identifying the commonly repeated themes that make up this big story. Let me explain.

Most have heard the saying “Don't miss the forest for the trees.” The point of the saying is to warn against becoming so caught up in the many intricacies or details (trees) of any subject that you miss the bigger picture (the forest). Perhaps nowhere is this warning more appropriate than with regard to the study of biblical prophecy. When studying the


Bible's many end-time passages, it's very easy to become so engrossed in one particular passage that the larger story is missed. I've watched both students and teachers make this mistake dozens upon dozens of times. But this error is easy to avoid. Before running with any one passage, we must first solidly grasp the larger, overarching, ultimate story being conveyed throughout the many prophecies of the Bible. Thankfully, this is not dif- ficult. The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it tells the same story over and over again in numerous ways. Whenever a theme is important, it will be repeated multiple times throughout the Bible. When something is important from a prophetic perspective, the Bible will make that point abundantly clear by reiterating it dozens of times in a number of passages. It is through taking note of the commonly repeated themes that one is able to grasp the “big picture” of biblical prophecy.

Repeating what was said earlier, while every prophet was speaking either to the immediate circumstances of his day or the near future, the ultimate burden of all biblical prophecy is the coming of the Messiah, the Day of the Lord, and the messianic kingdom to follow. The coming of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom is the big story that all of the prophets were telling. This is the emphasis of the entire Bible. In the next chapter, we will briefly survey some of the most important prophetic passages regarding the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus. For the purpose of this study, we will consider the specific nations against which Jesus executes judgment when He returns. What we will see is that over and over, the same general story is being told. While numerous subthemes could be highlighted so as to expand this basic picture, the four primary themes that will emerge are clear:

*   In the last days, the Antichrist, his empire, and his armies will arise from out of what today are the Muslim majority nations of the Middle East and North Africa.

*   These nations will form a coalition, union, or alliance and invade the nation of Israel. Severe persecution of Jews and Christians will be a global pandemic.

*     After a short but extremely terrible season of victory by the

Antichrist and his armies, Jesus will return from heaven to deliver the

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surviving Jewish people, many of whom will have been taken captive by the conquering invaders.

*   The righteous dead will awaken and, together with the living saints, be “caught up” in the air, where they will instantly receive eternal life in their glorified resurrection bodies.

*   Jesus will destroy the Antichrist and his armies and establish His messianic kingdom over the earth from Jerusalem.

While there are certainly numerous other details that we could unfold, as we will see, it is these four larger themes that are repeated most fre- quently throughout the Prophets. When trying to understand the biblical prophets, it is through understanding the big story concerning the coming Day of the Lord and the kingdom to follow that many formerly confusing passages throughout the Prophets will suddenly make sense. While they were all speaking to the events of their day or near future, they are all ulti- mately telling the same big story and pointing to the same glorious future.

R U L E # 7: U N D E R S TA N D T H AT W H E N G O D A L M I G H T Y I S P O R T R AY E D A S B E I N G P H Y S I C A L LY P R E S E N T O N T H E E A R T H , I T I S G O D T H E

S O N ( J E S U S ).

This final rule is more of an observation, but it is essential to grasp if we are to properly understand numerous passages throughout the Prophets that speak of the return of the Messiah and the Day of the Lord: when God is portrayed as being physically on the earth, it is usually either a historical, pre-incarnate appearance of God the Son or a prophetic por- trayal of Jesus the Messiah at the time of His return. Many Christians miss this fact because they are confused regarding the nature of the Trinity. Often, when the individual being described is referenced as God, or with the sacred name Yahweh, most often translated as “Lord,” many simply assume this is God the Father. But throughout the Bible, God the Father does not come down to the earth until the very end (Revelation 21-22).

God has appeared to men and women at various times. Consider just a couple of examples:


Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the- God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” (Genesis 16:13 nkjv)

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:30)

But despite these and other appearances of God throughout the Old Testament, the apostle John made it clear that no one has ever seen God the Father, except God the Son:

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (John 1:18 nkjv)

“Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.” (John 6:45-46 nkjv)

The apostle Paul also made it clear that God the Father has never been seen:

I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things . . . He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13-16 nkjv)

Yet throughout the prophets, there are numerous passages that speak of God being present on the earth. While several passages could be cited, consider the following:

Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank. (Exodus 24:9-11 nkjv)

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While numerous individuals and groups of people saw God histori- cally throughout the Bible, all of these passages must be understood as pre-incarnate appearances of God the Son. So also when we see God physically present in the context of future prophecy, should we understand these references to “God” or “Lord” as references to Jesus after His return. Consider for example the passage in Zechariah:

For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rif led, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. (14:2-4 nkjv)

Here Yahweh, the Lord, is seen to physically stand on the mountain. He is described as fighting against the armies of gentile nations. This is clearly a messianic prophecy concerning the day when Jesus the Messiah will stand on the Mount of Olives as He executes judgment against those nations that come against Jerusalem.


In conclusion, let's summarize the rules of interpretation that we've discussed in this chapter. By following and applying these simple rules, anyone can find biblical prophecy far more approachable and easy to understand:

*     RULE #1: Begin with what comes first, nottwhat comes last.

*  RULE #2: Begin with what is clear, direct, and easy to under- stand, not with that which is highly symbolic, allegorical, or difficult to interpret.

*  RULE #3: Build on themes that are consistent and occur repeat- edly throughout Scripture.

*     RULE #4: Always remember: context, context context.


*  RULE #5: Do not approach the Bible as if it is a technical manual, but instead keep in mind its Eastern nature.

*     RULE #6: Recognize the ultimate emphasis of biblical prophecy;

that is, know the “big story.”

*  RULE #7: Recognize that when God Almighty is portrayed as being physically present on the earth, this is God the Son, either historically as the pre-incarnate Son of God or as Jesus at the time of His return.

My Thoughts:  I haven't read this book all the way through, what I have read has been quite interesting and very thought provoking especially with who is in the White House. I would highly recommend this book.
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