Friday, January 13, 2017

The Book of Jonah


The book of Jonah was probably written by Jonah though scholars seem to be divided on this. This book is read at the afternoon service of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. On this day Jews fast and say prayers of penitence.
Yes, this is the book with the story about Jonah and the whale. God sent Jonah to preach to Nineveh, a great but wicked city. Nineveh stood on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. It had walls that were a hundred feet high and fifty feet thick. STOP. WHAT? 50 FEET THICK! WOW! The main wall had fifteen gates. That sounds like a lot, but that wall was over seven and a half miles long. The population of Nineveh was about 600,000 people including those who lived in the “suburb” outside the city walls. That population estimate is based on a curious verse we’ll look at last.
These residents were wicked idolaters who worshiped Asur and Ishtar, chief male and female deities. Most of the Assyrians worshiped them and since Assyria was a threat to Israel’s security (see Hosea 11:5 and Amos 5:27) this was one reason Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh. He was afraid that if the people did repent then God would not punish them and this did not sit well with his self-righteousness.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Obadiah ... WHO?



Yup, we're continuing on in 2017 with looking at the structure of Old Testament books in the Bible.

Next up is the book of OBADIAH.

Obadiah’s name means “the servant of Yahweh.”
The book is a vision recounted by Obadiah. Obadiah tells us that the vision is what the Sovereign Lord says about a place called Edom. Edom is identified with the Islamic God, Allah, and the West Bank Palestinians. This is quite relevant to today’s current events.
Point one (verse 2): God will make Israel “small among the nations.” Certainly true today as Israel is looked down on now by other nations. Recent UN sanctions show how much neighboring countries hate Israel.
Point 2 (verse 4):
Reference seems to be made to Palestine and the US with the words “eagle” (on the Palestinian emblem and a US mascot) and “stars” (on the US flag).
Point 3 (verses 6 and 7):

Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Post of 2016, Excerpt from THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE






[a little background before you read this excerpt: Laken Mitchell wants to get even with the girls who bullied her, but when she discovers their troubles - what makes them behave this way - her compassionate nature compels her to help them instead. Maybe sending them to the last century is a bit extreme, but it solves everyone's problems. Almost.]

excerpt:

It was one in the morning and I had a golden opportunity for revenge. I couldn’t help myself. I took her to the lab. She was not too drunk to walk up to the third floor, but she was definitely too out of it to realize that my telling her to lie down on the ‘massage table’ was not going to end well for her.
I chose that day’s date and some random coordinates close to what was already on the screen. What did I care?
Poof, the bitch was gone. And nobody was going to think anything other than that she ran away from home.
I locked up and stepped outside. The dark monastery in the middle of the woods was creepy enough after midnight, but before I could open the car door I heard far off shrieks, like the sound a rabbit makes when a bobcat pounces. The screams were faint at first, then frantic. And human. I grabbed the flashlight from the car, pushed the gate all the way open and ran for the path to town. Between the ghastly moonlight and the fairly strong beam in my hand I followed the trail to the rusty car. The cries were growing less frequent.
“Help me.”
Erica was impaled on the bumper of the old vehicle. Part of her left leg was buried in the ground along with her left arm up to her elbow. She looked like someone rising out of bed, but sinking down at the same time. Blood dripped into the dirt.
I choked back bile to keep my hysteria at bay. “Shh, I’ll get you out. Stop screaming.”
I searched around for something to dig with and used a couple of sticks to free her leg and arm from the ground. I pulled on her to help her stand and the shriek that pierced the night was unearthly. A rusty shard of metal broke off and more blood gushed.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” I really was. She didn’t deserve what was happening to her, not for being mean to me, or for being a bully, or anything. But what could I do? She’d seen the time machine. Even drunk she had to realize she traveled from the lab into the forest, into the ground actually, by incomprehensible means.
I tore off my shirt and tied it around her, hoping to stem the flow of blood. I needed her to walk back. We got halfway back before she dropped to her knees. She’d soaked through my shirt and neither of us could hold enough pressure on the wound.

Available at most online bookstores

Friday, December 23, 2016

Our Log Home Christmas

We call home BIG PINE LODGE  and we love it.






MERRY CHRISTMAS !

Friday, December 16, 2016

More Middle Grade Recommendations & Chapter Books


A TICK IN TIME is a middle-grade fantasy-fiction novel with surprising twists, unusual creatures, quirky riddles and some scary moments. Tommy MacArthur is a 6th-grader who is spending the summer at his grandparents’ with his younger brother. Though he is warned not to run past the old pendulum clock he does, of course, and the clock ticks when it should have tocked and Tommy is plunged into another dimension. He navigates through a number of adventures before stumbling upon the solution to returning. When he shows his new friend, Noelle, how to slip into the strange land, the two of them fearlessly explore. However their younger siblings have followed them through the portal and that means trouble. And who or what will follow them back?
In BIGFOOT DAY Anna and her friends skip the school fair to explore the woods behind the playground. They find evidence of a Sasquatch then can’t find their way out of the woods. Things get worse when they take shelter in what might be Bigfoot’s nest.
In the second story, NINJA NIGHT, Luke and his brother, Nick, go on a boys only camping trip, but things get weird and scary very quickly. Is there a ninja in the woods with them? Mysterious things happen as day turns into night.


THE TUNNELS SERIES ARE AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK ($6.99 EACH) AND DIGITAL ($2.99 EACH).
FOR KIDS AGES 7 - 11.


NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE FORBIDDEN TUNNELS is book 1 in the TUNNELS series.

12 year old Nick has lost his memory. He finds himself stuck in a nightmarish world, but he’s not dreaming. He escapes from a strange reformatory only to come upon an even stranger place where he is teamed up with a partner and given an assignment. They slide down a forbidden tunnel and begin their odd and mysterious mission.

Sliding through tunnel after tunnel gets him in and out of more trouble. He attempts a mission by himself and finds he can break through barriers including invisibility.

On his third mission he teams up with Samantha, a friend from school, regains his memory and slips through a final tunnel to find his way back to his family. What treasures does he bring back? What discoveries did he make? Will he go again?

TO BUY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE



NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE RED TUNNELS is book 2 in the TUNNELS series.
After working together in book one to save banned books like Huck Finn, Treasure Island and even Harry Potter, Nick and Samantha explore “red” books in this adventure. Their journey together strengthens their friendship and evens out their personal competition.

Wild dogs, wolves and mountain lions can’t keep Nick from completing each mission, but when he teams up with Samantha he can’t get past one particular obstacle and Sam edges ahead of Nick in a challenge he forfeits.
Problems arise when little sister, Gracie, disrupts the race and Nick has to perform some awesome feats to get all three of them out of THE RED TUNNELS.

TO BUY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE


NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE WORMHOLE TUNNELS is book 3 in the TUNNELS series.

In book 3 both Nick and Samantha get a chance to create their own stories. The theme is science fiction.

They slide through the first tunnel and into Samantha’s story on a far distant planet. She has invented a Prince Charming who resides in a land of strange animals, but he is even stranger still and covered with boogers. When his zombie-like behavior creeps them out they escape down a wishing well.

They slide through wormhole tunnels into a space ship designed totally by Nick’s thoughts. When he lets his imagination run wild Samantha is both impressed and afraid. Extraordinary things can happen in outer space.
TO BUY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE



NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE MINING TUNNELS is book 4 in the TUNNELS series.
Sliding into the Old West from their space adventure is quite a shock, but Nick and Samantha adapt quickly. Gold, dynamite, stagecoach villains and an Indian princess are just a few of the surprises in store for these kids in book 4 of the TUNNELS series.

Sliding down tunnels to get in and out of danger and excitement has kept Nick and Sam moving through mission after mission before. But this time the tunnels aren’t appearing on schedule and they have no supplies with them to help.

To blend in they dress and talk like the desert gold miners and early settlers. Will they fit in? Should they trust the Indians, the cowboys or the townsfolk? And just where are the tunnels?
TO BUY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE


NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE CARTOON TUNNELS is book 5 in the TUNNELS series. In this adventure Nick and his friend Samantha tunnel through an alternate reality and into three separate cartoons. The two of them enjoy a break from their usual missions as they interact with well-known cartoon characters. As usual their backpacks are filled with handy things to get them out of trouble, but Samantha’s bag contains something that just may get them arrested. TO BUY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE This one is only 99 cents on Kindle


NICK BAZEBAHL AND THE FAKE WITCH TUNNELS is book 6 in the TUNNELS series. In this adventure Nick and Samantha find themselves in an ancient land full of superstitions. Once again they have strange things in their bags. An antfarm, a hairbrush and a sparkly wand help them complete their first mission. But what will they do with a package of jello when they tunnel to the 1600’s and stand trial for witchcraft? Find out in book 6, available HERE


Friday, December 9, 2016

Middle Grade Book Recommendations


 


The Secret in the Hidden Cave in paperbackkindle or on Smashwords is the first book in the Big Pine Lodge series.
Two 12-year-olds, Missy and Kevin, explore the old lodge, the woods, the cemetery and the dark caves beneath the lake and find surprises, danger and secrets. Can they solve the riddles, follow the clues and save the place from destruction? Or are they being used by someone smarter who needs help to reveal “The Secret in the Hidden Cave”?  

The second book in the series is Mystery's Grave, also in paperbackkindle and on Smashwords.
Missy and Kevin thought the rest of the summer would be normal, but more surprises await them in the woods, the caves, the stables and the cemetery. Two new families arrive at the lodge, but one family isn’t human. And they live behind a gravestone.

Bullies and Bears is book 3, available in paperbackkindle and SmashwordsMissy and Kevin unravel more mysteries and secrets in the caves, the attic, the cemetery and the ruins. A new week of adventures and escapades face them as they confront teenage bullies and a troublesome mama bear.

Friday, December 2, 2016

99 cent YOUNG ADULT BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS


 EDGE OF ESCAPE was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival. PG-13, intense, young adult thriller. Paperback, digital e-book and also available as an audio book.

In SHELTERED five teens confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but they are not ready for the consequences. PG-13, intense page-turner. Paperback, all digital formats and also available as an audio book.

In A SOUL’S KISS a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, but her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages. PG-13, paranormal romance. Paperback and all digital formats.

THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY is a young adult coming of age story. 17 year old Jedidiah was born with a gruesome deformity that causes him to drag his foot. He embraces the nickname Dragonfoot and sets his goal to become a champion skateboarder, but an amputation challenges his dream. PG-13, some spiritual elements. Paperback and all digital formats.
                

EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction. PG-13, paperback and all digital formats.



THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE is a time travel novel with an unusual twist. Laken Mitchell has been bullied one time too many, but using a time machine to make her tormenters disappear means putting her own future—and her past—at perilous risk. PG-13, sci-fi time travel. Paperback and all digital formats.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Amos, part 4, Blessings




The Old Testament book of Amos can be divided into four parts. Last week we looked at the first three.

Part 4: Future kingdom blessing and restored Israel. Let’s read it all: 9:11-15

 11 “In that day
   “I will restore David’s fallen shelter—
   I will repair its broken walls
   and restore its ruins—
   and will rebuild it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
   and all the nations that bear my name,”
            declares the LORD, who will do these things.
 13 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
   “when

Friday, November 18, 2016

Amos, parts 1, 2, and 3: Judgments and Controversies


Amos’s name means “burden.” Amos prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II who brought the kingdom to the height of its power. Amos’s warnings seemed improbable yet within 50 years the kingdom was utterly destroyed.

Amos is in 4 parts.

Part 1: Judgments on surrounding peoples.

Look at Amos 1: 6, 7, 10, 12:

 6 This is what the LORD says:
   “For three sins of Gaza,
   even for four, I will not relent.
Because she took captive whole communities
   and sold them to Edom,
7 I will send fire on the walls of Gaza
   that will consume her fortresses.
10 I will send fire on the walls of Tyre
   that will consume her fortresses.”
12 I will send fire on Teman
   that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.”

Wow! Fire on the wall! (This is explained in

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Old Testament Book of Joel (Plague, Prophecy, Restoration and Judgment)


The name Joel means “Jehovah is God”. What a wonderful name for a prophet. Joel did indeed write this book. He was a contemporary of Elijah and Elisha.

There was an actual plague of locusts in the land - read chapter 1 verse 4– the palmerworm, locust, cankerworm and caterpillar are all developmental stages of the desert locust which as recently as 1915 devastated Palestine. All of chapter 1 deals with an actual event.

All of the prophets seem to follow this theme: repent before the judgment. There will be judgment and then there will be an eventual blessing for Israel.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hosea Reveals God's Adulterous Wife - What?!


The book of Hosea was written by the prophet Hosea. Hosea was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Isaiah and Micah and prophesied around the years of 758 B.C. to 725 B.C. during the reign of king Uzziah.

The major theme of the book of Hosea is that Israel is Jehovah’s adulterous wife, apostate, sinful and rejected, but ultimately to be purified and restored. The book is in 3 parts: the dishonored wife, the sinful people and the ultimate blessing and glory of Israel.

Here is a summary of the story of Hosea:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Daniel, part 2, An Amazing Mathematical Mystery Solved


Let’s solve a mystery.

Daniel 9: 24-27:

 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The seventy “sevens” are divided into seven “sevens” and sixty-two “sevens” in verse 25. Later in verse 27 the last “seven” is addressed. What are these sevens?

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Old Testament Book of Daniel: part 1, Structure, Division and Prophecies Fulfilled


In Hebrew this book is called Dan’yiel meaning “judge of God” or “the strong man of God.” It was written by Daniel who, like Ezekiel, was a Jewish captive in Babylon. Daniel was of royal or princely ancestry. He was one of Israel’s Major Prophets yet he was distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles.” His vision envelops the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its catastrophic end and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom. Heavy stuff.

The book is in four divisions. First there is the personal history of Daniel, then the visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results. More personal history follows and then Daniel’s visions.

Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream after the magi (Persian astrologer/priests) failed. That dream’s interpretation revealed