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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for your Family" by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell, & Bonnie Garcia



This cookbook is great for those new to cooking.  It gives helpful tips right from the get-to, with everything from organizing shopping trips to getting warehouse discounts to purchasing sale items to stocking up on cooking "staples."  Additionally, for those visual learners out there, there are pictures throughout the book that correlate to different types of meals.  The book has recipes for small appetizers, regular meals, desserts, and more.  What I like is that it differentiates between foods that need to be baked versus grilled.  There is even a pasta and crock-pot section, which mixes things up.  There are little to no diagrams of the actual food, and the book is in black and white.  However, this is good because, once you're done cooking, you don't feel bad for not making your food look as nice as some cookbook's...because there is no photo!  Also worth noting is that the book discusses nutritional information of each meal, which most cookbooks overlook.  Most amusing is the little catchphrase beneath each title / meal.  These meals are so easy they barely take up one to two pages apiece.  One recipe I particularly like is the apricot glazed salmon.  While there were a lot of ingredients, the steps were very easy and only took 45 minutes to make.  This is a great cookbook.

"Love Does" by Bob Goff


You know what?  I really liked this book.  It was a fun compilation of whimsical and fascinating stories by a man who is saved by the grace of Yeshua.  The way this man sees life and walks through it is remarkable.  From stories of proposals, purchases, children, slavery, prisons, guns, Disneyland, and other seemingly unconnected places, the overall theme of love prevails.  Goff is not incredibly theological and doesn't really even quote Scripture that much (he more often talks about what Yeshua did while not referencing specific verses).  I love (no pun intended) the theme of a love that goes out and actually does stuff.  At times, one could feel insignificant when compared to a man who goes around pursuing justice for children in Uganda--a man who frees child prisoners and sets up schools in poor places.  However, what I like best about this book is that Goff never comes off as ostentatious or a braggart.  Will we all be social activists who live their life like Goff?  Of course not.  But what one does learn from this book is that everyone can DO something, no matter how small; and that Yahweh loves us all the same.  It doesn't matter if someone DOES more than someone else.  What matters is that we all DO something.  Also, all proceeds of this book go to charity.  Since each chapter is a separate life story, one can leave this book for a while and come back to it later...not missing a beat.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"I Blame Eve" by Susanna Foth Aughmon

This book focuses on the notion of how one of the curses associated with the Fall was women's desire to control. Aughmon combats the destructive ideas that women have to be perfect and have to have everything "under control." She also talks a bit about spiritual warfare (although not in blatant terms) about women believing lies of society that are only deceptions in the mud. The notion of not being satisfied in life, living in denial, being at "rock bottom," selfishness, depression, and more are discussed. Humorously, even the notion of a painful child-birthing process is discussed. The book is fairly spiritual but not very verse-heavy. While the writing is witty, I do not think it is as humorous as other reviews have remarked. Is it funny? Sure. Is it the funniest thing I've ever read? No. It has its serious moments, as well, that will really make women stop and look at themselves in the mirror, wondering what this monster is that they've become.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"Angels are for Real" by Judith Macnutt

I was excited when I got this book. The topic of angels is fun. However, I knew I should stay on my toes when it comes to discernment because the topic of angels can be good or bad, depending on how it is presented. As the book started, it was fine and informative. Scripture was even quoted. However, as the book progressed, it got worse.

On page 35, we are told angels carry prayers to God. While they may have that capability (Rev 8:3), Yah is powerful enough and omnipotent to hear us when we pray to Him. He is our ONLY mediator (1 Tim 2:5); Christ is enough. On page 40, we are told that Michael the archangel will destroy Satan. Excuse me, I think it's Christ who destroys evil! On page 41, we are told Jesus means "God saves" in Hebrew. This is wrong. His Name means "Yah saves" or "Yahweh is Salvation." God is a general term (elohim in Hebrew) that can refer to any deity. On page 86, we are told that we need heaven's help (in the form of angels) to access Yah's love. Come on! This is balderdash. All we need is Christ. Also, there is a story of an "angel" helping women lift a huge marble stone that will later be used for a statue of Mary. We know from the Scriptures (read Deuteronomy) that Yah does not even like statues, let alone unnecessary attention given to others in the form of veneration.

Furthermore, Macnutt does not address how the Angel of Yahweh is Yahweh is physical form but rather assumes the "angel of the LORD" is some other angel. In one instance, Macnutt greviously implies that an angel calmed the storm that Scripture said Jesus calmed (as if Christ would need help!). This was most insulting. Macnutt also claims to have a great knowledge of angels and demons but is lacking in research. Towards the end of the book, Jude is quoted with how evil angels were thrown into chains of darkness. There is no theological exposition going to Gen 6:4 or any discussion of Nephilim with how the demonic come about.

Worst of all, and I mean WORST OF ALL, is how Macnutt talks of countless angels as beings of light that shine (even the stories from others in the book ditto this) but does not quote 2 Cor 11:14-15: But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve."

If anyone wants to learn more about angels and demons, check out http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=270651172993767 and note "Who is the Angel of Yahweh?" and the categories "Angels," "Spiritual Warfare and the Demonic," and "Creation / Free Will."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"When God Writes Your Love Story" by Eric and Leslie Ludy

A friend of mine who likes to pride herself in being a relationship guru would always tell me about this book called "When God Writes Your Love Story." So, when I got the opportunity to review the book--the expanded edition, nonetheless--I jumped at the opportunity. The book is almost 300 pages but read very quickly. The book is divided into sections, and each chapter has some Bible verses and discussion questions, with anecdotes and sappy stories thrown in every now and then. I will not spoil all the details of this book, but it will not surprise anybody that this book is about giving up the details of your love life to your Creator. This means waiting on His timing and staying pure for your future spouse. While sex is discussed, there are no graphic details, so I would even recommend this book to junior-high-schoolers if they so desire. I suppose I would have liked a different title that at least named the Christ. After all, who is God? Ask several religions, and you'll get several answers. What was interesting was that I read some reviews posted on Barnes and Nobles for this review. Most were overwhelmingly positive, but one was very negative and had a very low rating. Reading further due to my curiosity, I realized the reader gave a very low rating because the book was apparently all "fluff" and did not tell readers how to get to know Jesus better, but instead the book just said to get to know Jesus better and draw close to Him as you surrender your [love] life to Him. After careful consideration, I must say that is true. However, with the title and cover of this book, I can not say I was expecting any super deep theological or prophetic writing in the book. Still, after much thought, while this book is nice, I would say that people should get "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" instead if they are going to spend money on a Christian relationship book. Search my reviews for a review on this book.