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

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Quick Overview of the book of Ezekiel



Ezekiel in Hebrew is “Y’chkezkiel” meaning “God will strengthen.” The book was written by Ezekiel who was carried away to Babylon during the exile (remember Jeremiah prophesied about the Temple destruction and the 70 year exile). Ezekiel’s main purpose was to keep reminding the generation born in exile about the national sins which had brought Israel so low. He also sustained the faith of the exiles by making predictions of national restoration, justice upon their oppressors and national glory.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Lamentations, the Saddest Book in the Bible


Lamentations is often called the saddest book in existence. In Hebrew this book is called Eichah meaning “how”, which is the first word (read vs. 1: How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!).

It was written by the prophet Jeremiah who was an eye-witness to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  He alternates between accounts of the horrible aftermath of the destruction of the city and the confessions of the people’s deep sins, and then to his appeals to God for mercy.

Randomly pick a verse and read it and you’ll see why we don’t normally read from this book in church.  However, the Jews read Lamentations publicly each year at Tisha B’av which is a fast commemorating the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem in both 586 BC and 70 AD.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Jeremiah Was Not a Bullfrog, Check out This Prophet's Book


The Book of Jeremiah is primarily a message of judgment on Judah for rampant idolatry. In Jeremiah 7: 30 (KJV) it is written:

For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

After the death of King Josiah, the last righteous king, the nation of Judah had almost completely abandoned God and His commandments. Jeremiah compares Judah to a prostitute (Jeremiah 2:20; 3:1-3):

Friday, September 23, 2016

What You Never Imagined from the book of Isaiah


The book of Isaiah was written by the prophet Isaiah whose name means “God is my salvation”. This book is often considered a miniature replica of the Bible because of its format. It is comprised of 66 chapters (as the Bible has 66 books) which are divided into two distinct halves. Amazingly the first half is 39 chapters of Israel’s problems with idolatry – matching perfectly with the Old Testament’s 39 books requiring judgment on immoral, idolatrous mankind.
If that seems only coincidental to you, please notice that the New Testament embraces 27 books of hope and redemption through Christ, and Isaiah’s final 27 chapters paint a picture of the Messiah coming as king and savior. Amazing!
The major themes in this book are, first, that Israel is in exile and there is divine judgment upon their oppressors. Next we have the return from Babylon followed by the manifestation of the Messiah in humiliation. Then there is the blessing of the Gentiles, the manifestation of the Messiah in judgment, the reign of David’s righteous branch in the kingdom age and finally, the new heavens and the new earth. Isaiah looks toward the captivities and then beyond the captivities.
This book has a very clear vision of grace. We see the Messiah in His Person and in His sufferings and then we see the blessing of the Gentiles through Him.
As I’ve said many times before the 66 books of the Bible line up in 3 rows with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Genesis, Isaiah, and Romans line up with the first Hebrew letter, Aleph.

Friday, September 16, 2016

An Amazing Relationship in the Bible's Most Romantic Book


There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The 22nd book of the Bible, Song of Songs, is considered quite moving and romantic, sensual even.
Well, I have a unique perspective on the relationship between the 22nd Hebrew letter and the 22nd Old Testament book.
The letter TAV

Friday, September 9, 2016

Examining the book Ecclesiastes, part 2



We looked at the first two chapters last week. The next three chapters look at earthly happiness, its difficulties and means of advancement. Read 3: 1-8:
1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.
Pete Seeger adapted these verses into the lyrics for the song Turn, Turn, Turn, sung by The Byrds. The general impression doesn’t seem so meaningless. Keep reading: