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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Charlie Brown's Christmas Miracle by Michael Keane


I love it when you get a behind the scenes glimpse at anything, whether it is a movie scene, how a concert is preparing for its debut, how a home goes through a remodeling process and even how a great beloved children's animated movie like a "A Charlie Brown Christmas' captivates the world even decades from its debut. 

In the book, Charlie Brown's Christmas Miracle by Michael Keane, the reader is taken to a private place to gain a deeper understanding to what went into bringing the gospel message found in a scene from Linus about what the true meaning of Christmas really is as he enlightens poor Charlie Brown who has been caught up in commercialism until that point. In the midst of so much going on in the world at the time, it seemed like America too have delved too much into commercialism of its own. We began to sterilize the one thing that all of us looked forward to each year and that being Christmas. But was there something we were all missing like Charlie Brown? 

It is hard to imagine that A Charlie Brown Christmas almost never was after taking a calculated risk at putting the Bible on national television. What would the sponsors say, even nationally recognized ones like Coca-Cola? There is so much in this small book at the behind the scenes look at Charles Schultz, who was also a World War 2 veteran, who shared with us all in the daily comics printed out in newspapers, characters with personality flaws very much like we find in ourselves. Is it any wonder why this movie still changes hearts today? Could it be that like Charlie Brown, we all want more to believe in at Christmas time that things can change and be better? If like me, you love to know more about the story and details behind the beloved Christmas movie, you will love reading Charlie Brown's Christmas Miracle by Michael Keane. For me, this one is a 5 out of 5 stars! 

If you would love to pick up a copy of this book, you can find it available on Hachette Book Groups website by clicking below: 

Charlie Brown's Christmas Miracle by Michael Keane

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

You Will Be Called Peter by Jerry Lathan and Steven H. Manchester

Have you ever considered for one moment, the lives of each of the apostles of Jesus Christ? What they were doing before Jesus called any of them to follow Him? 

In the latest book from Steven H. Manchester and Jerry Lathan, the reader is taken directly into the life of one of the most popular apostles, Simon, who would also be called Peter by Jesus. We know only what the Bible tells us in each of the 4 major gospels, but we also can glean that there was far more that happened in their lives during the three years that they followed Jesus. 

I think for most of us, we can identify with the life of Simon. A fisherman by trade, he understood the hard work required in order to not only provide for him and his wife, but in working with his brother Andrew, their day to day income wasn't a guarantee. Sometimes they didn't catch enough to pay what they needed and many times they needed to go back in the evenings as well. As most Jewish men during that time, he was familiar with the promise of the coming Messiah, who they believed would rescue them from the Roman restraint that felt like a yoke upon all of their necks, not only to live under their self imposed rules, but also to pay the taxes Roman required to expand their ever growing empire. 

So when Simon heard from his friends John and James, fellow fishermen, that they met Jesus who they believed to be the Messiah, the One that they had been waiting for, he couldn't wait to see how Roman occupation would fall under his hands and restore the Jewish people to the place of prominence in the eyes of the world, as God's chosen people. Even his wife was supportive of the task of following Jesus.

"You haven't only been called, Simon, you have been chosen. Your true path is before you." Simon considered his new place in the world. After all that's happened, of course, I need to follow him. He grinned. No matter where it takes me."

But the reality of Simon's journey is an honest and human one as the reader is taken along the journey with the other apostles as Jesus begins his ministry from turning water into wine at a wedding they were invited to, to being an eye witness to everything Jesus did from miracles, healing and the wisdom of His sermons. 

What I love most about this book, is that we get a sense of what Simon Peter had to struggle with, wanting Jesus to be the answer to taking down the Romans, and then coming to terms when he missed out on what the Bible had promised first, that Jesus would not only die, but that Simon would be the one to deny he knew Jesus after He had told him he would. Simon Peter had to deal with his own faith challenges. So many questions, and often times, the answers would come through his own walk of faith on the water of a storm. "Maybe I just need to believer without having to understand how or why?"

As the reader continues into the journey, you find yourself asking many of the same questions Simon did, "As they continued on, Simon was left to wonder about his own place in history. What is all of this for...the blisters, the haters and the zealots, their threats? The uncertainty. Missing my family. No longer fishing and being out on the water I love. He looked around at his ragtag band of fellow travelers, before his eyes reached Jesus at the head of the park. Will any of this make a difference? Will we be remembered? Simon feared what all mean fear-being forgotten. Only time will tell I guess." 

I have had the honor of reviewing every book that Steven H. Manchester has even written and the one thing that is constant in all of his novels, is the ability to transport the reader right into the heart of the story. In this novel, we are Simon's friend, part of his family. The reader is taken along with his personal struggles of what he believes and what he is witnessing. His own faith struggles as he follows Jesus on his ministry and what will happen afterwards. I couldn't wait to read this one and was captivated by how heart wrenching Simon's life must have been from his humble beginnings to his triumphant restoration of faith in Jesus' ministry. He is a life that is forever changed as is every reader who picks up this novel. I can easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. 

You can find more information about his books and more on his website by clicking below: 

Steven H. Manchester

If you're on social media, you can find him on Facebook here: 

Monday, June 26, 2023

The Trip of a Lifetime

I had to share a conversation I had with my 80-year old father this morning by phone and he asked me to share this with you. 

"I had a dream tonight that really impacted me so much and I couldn't wait to tell my wife. Part of me was so excited to share the experience that I didn't want to miss out on any of the details as it happened. In fact it stayed with me so much and most of the dreams I have, I barely remember them when I wake up. So this one felt like I had to share it before I forgot. 

In my dream, I shared that my wife had gone on a small trip so she wasn't with me, and I was all alone. I had a ticket in my pocket for a trip I had been planning on going on for quite some time to visit Lake Tahoe. Today was that day. I packed what I needed for the trip and hurried to the train station. Upon arriving, I went to the ticket booth to find out what I needed to do to ensure I didn't miss out on the trip before the train left. I was informed I would need to present the ticket to the conductor on the train to make sure I was on the right train. As I was walking I saw the most gorgeous train, gold in color and it seemed as if light was emanating from inside. Almost surreal. The color was unlike anything I had seen before and that just made me all the more anxious to board. 

I could see a small line of people waiting to board, so I joined them anxiously awaiting my turn. I saw two of my friends that I volunteer with and told them to save me a spot while I was waiting for my ticket to be validated. Two men in front of me, started arguing with the conductor about the price of the ticket and how so much planning had gone into the trip. Yet one thing was required prior to boarding, and it was to share this trip with others before you got to go. These men felt it was too foolish to share their trip as they wanted to keep this special trip a secret and so it wouldn't be over crowded. 

The conductor pointed to another train headed for Las Vegas that didn't have the same requirements and in fact was actually much cheaper. Like this trip, it was all expenses paid, but they would get quite a bit of their money back, so they both wholeheartily agreed to change their plans. I watched as they hurried to board the other train, talking back and forth about how much money they were saving so they could use that to play some of the casino games and maybe win big. 

Finally it was my turn as I handed the ticket to the conductor and shared that I had told several people about my trip encouraging others to join me. I even motioned to the friends that we waiting for me on the train who had saved me a seat! The conductor smiled and punched my ticket and I sat with my friends as we talked about what awaited us in Tahoe. The trees, the beauty of the crystal clear blue lake, and just getting away from life to take an anticipated vacation. 

I heard the whistle of the train announcing that we were leaving and I loved that we had seats in the 360 viewing compartment so we could see everything as we moved along. The brilliant colors and shades of green from the many types of trees. The way the sunlight played among the branches. The colors were simply beyond what I could express as we spoke to one another about what we were seeing, as if for the very first time. The view captivated us for some long, that we arrived before we knew it. 

The train employees told us our bags would be waiting for us in the rooms, and there was no need to burden ourselves with carrying them. All we needed to do was check in with the front desk to receive our room keys. To our surprise and delight, we were upgraded to suites, with surpassing views and balconies for us to sit back and enjoy the view of the lake! We realized we were all quite hungry and went to the restaurant at the hotel and as promised, there was no charge as we had paid for it all in advance when we booked our trips. 

The menu was filled with all kinds of wonderful meals, from the thickest cuts of the best steaks, to fresh seafood and lobster. The desert bar was filled with anything you could possibly imagine. As we were enjoying our meal, the television programmed was interrupted by a special report coming out of Las Vegas. 

The city was enduring a record heat wave that they had never experienced in the history of the city. In fact most of the streets were empty due to the high heat so most guests had stayed in the coolness of the hotels instead. The number of hotels placed such a high load on the electrical grid, that the power plant had exploded. Yet that was not the worst news as firefighters rushed to the scene to put out the fires. 

Inside the hotels, with no power, and high temperatures outside, the doors had sealed the guests inside. With no air flow, things began to get warm. People started to panic and tried to get out of the hotel. People were passing out from the heat and many died from being trampled or pushed by other guests trying to flee the hotels. Even firefighters and rescue personnel were struggling to get people out. 

And then I woke up. "

I'm not even sure what all of this meant, but I felt I needed to share it with my family. 

What do you think my dream meant? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Interview With the Antichrist by Jeff Kinley Book Review

 The Antichrist! We have heard that name echo through the annals of history every single time we see someone rise to power that condones evil in the name of good. From Stalin to Hitler and everyone before and after, the antichrist spirit prevails in men like that, but there is one coming who will make all their actions mere child's play to the evil awaiting the coming world. 

In the book, Interview with the Antichrist by Jeff Kinney, he pairs what the Bible shares into a fictional story with a possible prophetic look at what could be coming on the world in  rapidly, unfolding chilling events we see playing across our globe even now. 

Up and coming new journalist, Julian De Clercq is looking for that breakout story to make him a national headliner. Since the recent disappearance of millions of people all over the globe, the world is spiraling out of control with no apparent confirmed reason where they all went. Some believe that aliens took them, others believe a virus or medical reason may have caused people to simply vanish overnight. Still others believe what the Bible has always said would happen, the Rapture of the believers in Christ. 

The world is screaming for order, peace and leadership and finally someone shows up and begins to systematically restrain the defaults on the worlds banking system, curbs the growing violence and rioting all over the globe, and once and for all restores the temple grounds back to the Jewish people so they can rebuilding the Temple in their land. But does this person truly have the worlds best interests at heart or is he merely a person with his own agenda to ultimately control the world? 

I purchased Interview with the Antichrist to once again remind myself and others what awaits us in the not so distant future of our world. With global pandemics, to the banking and financial crisis looming in every corner of the globe, to the threat of a nuclear war and possible world war 3. The world is looking for some way to regain a sense of peace but is that even possible any longer? What I love is the way Jeff overlaps biblical truths in a fictional story that portrays what the future may look like. Call it the white spaces between the pages of the Bible and you have an unforgettable and daunting look at our future. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars and even fans of the Left Behind series will love this new look at a possible world event. One thing that I love, is the 30 questions at the conclusion of this book that shows where in the Bible all of this is found. A chilling reminder that the clock is ticking and the future is almost here. 

You can purchase a copy of Interview with the Antichrist by Jeff Kinley at your local book stores or online at Amazon. I love purchasing directly from the author themselves to support what they do! 

You can do that by click on the link below to visit Jeff Kinley's website. 

You can also follow him on Facebook by clicking here to stay up to date on all the biblical world events coming soon. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Joyce Meyer's latest book, "The Answer to Anxiety," is a compelling and practical guide for anyone struggling with anxiety. Meyer, a well-known author and speaker, draws from her own experiences with anxiety and provides readers with a roadmap for overcoming this challenging emotion.

The book is divided into three parts. In the first part, Meyer discusses the causes of anxiety and the importance of understanding the root of the problem. She emphasizes the role that negative thinking plays in anxiety and provides practical tools for changing thought patterns.

In the second part of the book, Meyer offers practical strategies for managing anxiety, such as prayer, meditation, and self-care. She also emphasizes the importance of seeking help from a professional if needed.

The final part of the book focuses on the role of faith in overcoming anxiety. Meyer shares personal stories of how her faith has helped her manage anxiety and provides practical advice for readers on how to incorporate faith into their own lives.

Overall, "The Answer to Anxiety" is an excellent resource for anyone struggling with anxiety. Meyer's writing is engaging and relatable, and her practical advice is easy to understand and implement. Whether you're looking for strategies to manage anxiety or seeking guidance on incorporating faith into your life, this book is sure to be a valuable resource. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

If you want to purchase a copy of this book, you can click on the link below from Amazon.

If you'd love to learn more about Joyce Meyer, you can visit her website here.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Unleash Your Inner Creativity with the "Day by Day Guided Journal" by Jess Conte!


"Day by Day Guided Journal" by Jess Conte is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to tap into their inner wisdom and boost their personal growth. The journal is designed to be used daily, with prompts and quotes to encourage self-reflection and introspection. The format is straightforward and easy to use, making it an accessible tool for anyone looking to increase their self-awareness.

One of the strengths of this journal is the breadth of topics covered in the prompts. From gratitude and mindfulness to goal-setting and daily habits, the prompts are thought-provoking and encourage users to delve into their innermost thoughts and feelings. Conte's writing style is warm, gentle, and encouraging, making the journal a joy to use. The daily format is incredibly convenient, making it easy to fit into even the busiest of schedules.

Another standout aspect of this journal is the quality of the design and construction. The journal is well-made and has a pleasing, eye-catching cover that makes it a pleasure to use. The prompts and quotes are well-written and inspiring, and the layout is clean and simple. The journal is perfect for anyone looking to add some structure and focus to their self-reflection journey.

In conclusion, "Day by Day Guided Journal" by Jess Conte is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to tap into their inner wisdom and boost their personal growth. It is an excellent tool for anyone looking to increase their self-awareness and explore their inner thoughts and feelings. The journal is well-designed, well-made, and full of inspiring prompts and quotes. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone looking to deepen their self-reflection journey.

If you're interested in purchasing a copy of this journal, please click on the link below:

Day by Day Guided Journal by Jess Conte