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.]


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.


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.



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?


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.



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.

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?

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


 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,

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:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Examining the book of Ecclesiastes, part 1

We don’t know who wrote Ecclesiastes, but tradition assigns authorship to Solomon. The word Ecclesiastes comes from the Greek word Ekklesiastes which means “speaker of a called out assembly”. The Hebrew Bible calls this book Qoheleth from the word in verse 1, chapter 1, that many translations have as “preacher”:
1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
or as you see here “teacher”, but the original means “assembler” or “collector” of wisdom.
Who was a collector of wisdom and son of David? Solomon seems to be the obvious answer. After his scandalous backsliding he made public what he learned from his experiences. Whereas in Proverbs he reveals God’s wisdom, in Ecclesiastes he despairs over the complexity of life, the failure of natural wisdom and the futility of looking for truth and happiness apart from God. The major theme of Ecclesiastes is that without God’s blessing nothing satisfies, not wisdom, power, pleasure or riches. In fact, without God those things bring disillusionment and disappointment. Solomon says it right away. Read verse 2:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.”
Many translations use the word “vanity” instead of “meaningless”. Other interpretations are “worthlessness” or “emptiness”. The Hebrew Bible translates this word with the word “futility”. To me that really adds a feeling of helplessness. Read on and feel the futility:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Win a Kindle Fire

This is a really short post.

Check out this list of time travel novels and enter to win a #Kindle fire.

You only have a few days to do this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Groovy Giveaways Blog Hop

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Thursday, August 11, 2016


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Girl in the Time Machine by Debra Chapoton

The Girl in the Time Machine

by Debra Chapoton

Giveaway ends August 29, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a three part look at Proverbs. There's a lot more to it, of course, but next week we'll move on to the next book in the Bible.
Read 6: 16 – 19:
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
      seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
      a lying tongue,
      hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
       feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
      and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Come on, you have to read that more than once. Here again are the 7 things God hates: Having haughty eyes implies a haughty or proud demeanor. Don’t be proud. Don’t lie. Don’t murder. Don’t think up evil plans. Don’t follow your friends into evil goings-on. Don’t be a false witness (no more lying, if you didn’t get number 2). Don’t stir up problems.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 2)

Let’s look at the benefits of wisdom according to the book of Proverbs.
Read 2: 12 – 15:
 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
   from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
   to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
   and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
   and who are devious in their ways.
Whoa. A lot of strong words there. I definitely want to be saved from the “ways of wicked men”; nobody’s going to scam me; I’m not going to get pulled into some stupid prank or dangerous activity. (Teenagers take note.)
Read 3: 1 – 2:
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
   but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
   and bring you peace and prosperity.
Did you catch the blessing that comes with remembering the Lord’s teaching and command? Long life. Peace. Prosperity.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 1)

Proverbs in the Hebrew bible is entitled Mishleh which is the first word in this book. It comes from the Hebrew word “mashal” which conveys a sense of superiority in thought as well as being the root word for governing or ruling. The first two words of chapter 1 are “mishleh shlomo” or “the best part of Solomon.” What was the best part of Solomon? His wisdom, his superiority in thought.
The book got its English name from the Latin proverbium, “a common saying,” from the parts pro “forth” and verbum “word”—putting words forth—I should have figured that out on my own. We’ve come to understand proverbs as concise, to the point sayings that hold the wisdom of Solomon. The word wisdom, in fact, appears 53 times in this book, more than twice as many times as any of the other Bible books considered wisdom books.
Proverbs has six main sections:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Finding Jesus in the book of Psalms

The Psalms were written by various authors spanning a time period of almost 1000 years. Among the authors were Moses, David and Solomon, and also priests or Levites who were responsible for providing music for sanctuary worship during David's reign. Fifty of the psalms designate no specific person as author. The oldest psalm in the collection is probably Psalm 90, the prayer of Moses and the latest psalm is probably 137, a song of mourning written when the Israelites were being held captive. The book of Psalms is a compilation of prayers, poems, and hymns that focus on praising and adoring God. Some were used in worship services of ancient Israel. According to Talmudic tradition, psalms were sung by the Levites immediately after the daily pouring of the wine offering. The word Psalm comes from the Greek word psalmoi meaning pious songs. The Hebrew title is Tehilim which means “hymns of praise.” There are several types of Psalms, among them are hymns of praise, instructional hymns, and funereal songs.
The New Testament illustrates virtually the whole history of salvation in the light of the Psalms.

Jesus is the Son of God: Psalm 2:7, 22:10
Jesus is the Shepherd: Psalm 23
Jesus spoke in parables: Psalm 78:2
Jesus calmed the storm: Psalm 89:9
Jesus was rejected: Psalm 69:8, 20
Jesus was conspired against: Psalm 31:13
Jesus was betrayed by Judas: Psalm 41:9, 55: 12 – 14
Jesus was crucified: Psalm 22:1,2,7,8, Psalm 89:50-51, 69:21, Psalm 22:14-18,  129:3,              Psalm 34:20
            Jesus conquered death: Psalm 16:10, Psalm 68: 18, Psalm 118: 20, Psalm 110:1, Psalm              80:17
Jesus is the King of Righteousness: Psalm 110:4
Jesus will judge the nations: Psalm 89: 3 – 5
His reign is eternal: Psalm 89: 35 – 37
He will rule the Earth: Psalm 72: 8, 11
He will judge the Earth: Psalm 98:9, 50:4

The New Testament as a whole has 224 separate passages from 103 different psalms. Some passages appear in different places making a total of 280 psalm quotations in the New Testament.
I’ve studied the acrostic verses in Psalms before studying each book of scripture because they are linked to each Hebrew letter and to each book of scripture in a supernaturally amazing relationship (see Crossing theScriptures). To explain again, the acrostic (or alphabetic) verses are when the writer has used the letters of the Hebrew alphabet as the initial letter for a sequence of verses. Starting each verse or stanza with the next consecutive letter may have been an easier way of memorizing Scripture, but it is also an astounding proof that God has ordered the books of the Bible to fit with the key alphabetic words revealed in these special verses. Acrostics occur in Psalms 111 and 112, where each letter begins a line; in Psalms 25, 34, and 145, where each letter begins a verse; and in Psalm 37, where each letter begins every other whole verse with 4 exceptions where the letter starts 1 or 3 verses for a total of 40 verses. Psalm 119 is the most elaborate manifestation of the acrostic method where, in each section of eight verses, the same opening letter is used, and the twenty-two sections of the psalm move through the Hebrew alphabet, letter after letter. There are 176 verses, 8 verses for each of the 22 Hebrew letters. The first 8 verses each start with the Hebrew letter Aleph, the next 8 with Bet and so on through the alphabet (alephbet). We have lost the amazing beauty of the psalm in translation. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Detailed Look at the Book of Job

Job is one of the few books in the Hebrew Bible that isn’t named for the first words of the text. This book is called “Iyyowb” in Hebrew which means “hated one” or “persecuted one.” Most scholars think that this book was written by Moses. It is the first of our 5 poetical books of wisdom. The purpose of the book is to show God’s wisdom, the wisdom of His ways, His benevolence and also to answer the age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people? (Short answer: there are no good people - only God is good.)
The preceding 17 books barely mentioned righteousness, but Job has 22 occurrences of the word. This will obviously be a theme here. Tzaddik means righteous, from the 18th Hebrew letter Tzaddi.
Job lives in Uz which is another word play as Uz means “take counsel” and if you’re already familiar with the story of Job you know that he takes counsel from his friends after suffering family tragedy, financial losses and health problems. The description of Job depicts a righteous man. He was blameless and upright, feared God and shunned evil. The word shunned here is the translation of the Hebrew word “suwr” and is a verb that means to turn away, to go away, to desert, to quit, to keep far from, to stop, to take away, to remove. Job shows us how to be righteous: just shun evil.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Random Excerpt from THE GUARDIAN'S DIARY

A guardian angel has no problem with speed or distance. As a spirit being I can guard my charge continually. Continents, oceans, airplanes are not obstacles. Obstacles are demons. I’ve been to this continent before, decades ago, and I expect to fight here again. Physical, cultural progress may have been realized in the cities and even in the villages along the rivers or deep in the jungles, but spiritual progress does not exist. Progress is not the right word – growth, evolution, advancement, steps forward – no. Repentance is what is needed – a turning around. The demons will flee only then. I may have to fight.

Jedidiah knew he was being hard on Jenna. He was confused more by his feelings than anything else. Holding her hand that first hour of the flight was more than just a way to ignore his fear of flying. He was comforted, yes, but he caught such a buzz, his heart racing at first, his body reacting quickly, that he thought he must be really falling for her.
The news about Allison should have been just as exciting. He had built a fantasy around rescuing her and now to hear that she had suffered so terribly, been pregnant, given birth ... he felt childish and sadly inadequate.
The plane was minutes from landing and he and Jenna hadn’t spoken in hours. One or the other had slept or had feigned sleeping most of the night, as uncomfortable as it was in the confined space. He had read his magazines and she had finished hers. They had eaten their meals in silence though she had made a couple of attempts at humor. Jedidiah couldn’t find anything funny right now. How should he act when he saw Allison? How should he behave around Jenna?
“Look,” Jenna said, “I know you’re mad at me. Please don’t be. I couldn’t stand for my, my best friend not to talk to me for the next ten days.”

“I’m not mad. I just hadn’t thought that ...  well, it’s kind of shocking that Allison has a baby and all. I . . .” he trailed off and shifted in his seat. His stomach did a flip-flop as the jet rapidly descended. He could see land out the cabin windows. He reached for Jenna’s hand. “We’re landing!” he shouted, his ears stuffed up again.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

A Different Look at the Book of Esther

We don’t know who wrote the book of Esther, but it is generally thought to be written by Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, who plays a major role in the story.
Esther becomes queen and saves the Jews from extermination. Though the name of God does not occur even once in this book, His providence is evident as well as His protection of His people. Esther is spelled in Hebrew with the same letters as “I will be hid”. Isn’t that cool? It seems like God loves anagrams, codes and puzzles. Me, too. God is hidden in the book of Esther.
The events of Esther fit chronologically between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra and tell us that anti-Jewish hostility is intolerable to God. First there is the story of queen Vashti. Esther 1: 10-12, and 19 give the highlights:
 10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she.
Look again at verse 11. The implication is that she was summoned to appear wearing nothing but the crown! Yes, sir, naked. No wonder she refused to come.