Thursday, June 22, 2017

Left Behind (Left Behind, #1) by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins



3 out of 5 stars  ***

A shocking account of how the biblical Rapture may unfold one day when no one suspects such an event to happen. Tim LaHaye describes what is written in Revelation and earlier prophecies; then scholarly discussion with other noted academia ensues about its interpretation along with Tribulation.

This piques the interest of those interested in the future, possibly in this lifetime. Theologians wonder about these early writings as the Left Behind series displays a possible scenario based on the in-depth study of prophecy fulfilled and yet to come.
 

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson


4 of 5 stars  ****

An interesting update on the way people publicly shame and the ramifications that result from such shaming. Ronson uses personal experiences with friends and colleagues to make his point and adeptly follows through with causes and outcomes from this ancient teacher of behavior. Today's shaming is immediate with a large population of judges who can be ruthless in their commentary. 

The example from the internet is Twitter and the causes range from moments of anger to attempts at humor. Exposed plagiarism, unintended or not, can shame the most talented into hiding. Once the jury weighs in on a politically incorrect choice of words, shaming begins on a wide public scale that destroys livelihoods, permanently stains reputations, and evokes hopelessness and helplessness. 

Examples of public shaming in the past, such as: stocks, whipping posts, tar and feathering and being ridden out of town on a rail are outlawed today because of the excess cruelty. The author still claims that the shaming today cuts deep enough to scar one for life. 

Ronson also enlightens the reader about another consequence of shaming. Retribution that may lead to forgiveness; or, as he describes a better public response, nothing at all. This implies that people forget the incident that would otherwise embed itself in the mind of public opinion. 

So You've Been Publicly Shamed alerts one to the responsibility of expressing a thought, idea, or instruction in today's world. Reactionary impulses can have lifelong repercussions if communicated from the safety of one's PC or smartphone. It is easily done with the singular press of a key, Enter or Send. A mindless thought to a sensitive audience awaits judgment and conviction in one vindicating moment. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Clean House: Exposing Our Government's Secrets and Lies by Tom Fitton


5 of 5 stars  *****

Tom Fitton writes a most revealing book about the corruption that exists in high places; namely, the offices of the US State Department and the Presidency. He uses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and suits brought by Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group consisting of top-notch judges and lawyers. This book is about the Obama administration years which include Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and her post cabinet status as Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

This American reviewer remembers when the events in this book take place. Fitton fills in the details about questions that arise from that administration's behavior. The subjects are those that make headlines and engage most Americans in the world of politics. They are: Hillary's email cover-up, leaks and hacks exposing national vulnerabilities and confidential information weakening America's security, government secrets and lies, fraud, Obamacare exemptions to get the bill passed, bullying of Conservative and Tea Party groups before elections by the IRS and its cover-up, refusing to prosecute those apparently guilty of lying to the American people, refusing to enforce the immigration laws and allowing illegal aliens convenient passage into America with safety in Sanctuary Cities, and downplaying terrorism in America that arises as a result of slackened Federal policies and Islamophobia.

The subjects also include the main stream media's response to these circumstances which pit Liberal against Conservative, political correctness, which deems certain words as unacceptable or insensitive, against political incorrectness, which claims that Liberals use political correctness to demonize their opponents.

Clean House: Exposing Our Government's Secrets and Lies explains why and how the great divide in America exists. The outcome of the last election displays -much to the chagrin of the Left socialists - that Americans do not trust their government nor do they trust the main stream media, anymore. The divide is not going away until the people are shown that government puts their security and opportunity for prosperity first instead of using political power to build selfish kingdoms for those who occupy the seats of power in these United States of America.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present by Howard Zinn, Jeff Zinn (Reading)


4 of 5 stars  ****

This comprehensive rendition of American history is well written and narrated. This reader is very aware of the leading way the narrator uses voice inflection and calculated pauses to imply whether an event is good or bad. Having said that, this history account is rather negative about the way those in power carve out the United States of America; even though true, there is no counter rationale for all that negativity. One almost wants to apologize for being an American. If our last president is of a like mind, this would explain his apology tour around the world and his seemingly un-American attitude about the military and domestic issues. In summation, I would simply say that A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present leans more Left/Liberal than Right/Conservative, more Democrat than Republican. This is most apparent in the later chapters when events are contemporaneous to this man's lifetime.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Breaking Light (Split City #1) by Heather Hansen



5 of 5 stars  *****

The Breaking Light (Split City #1) is a young adult science fiction fantasy not unlike many young adult science fictions written today, a dystopia. The genre is very popular and many of the stories are similar. 

This reader is very pleased to say that Heather Hansen develops a world that is quite different than the dystopia books which are made into movies,Hunger Games and Divergent. The plot still involves the oppressed rebelling against the affluent with a running romance throughout. 

Hansen masterfully creates a city within this flailing society that consists of Undercity, where the poor and dying eke out an existence until they succumb to a lack of Vitamin D as a result of deficient sunlight. There are several levels above Undercity that are slightly more fortunate before reaching the summit where there is full sun. The privileged few families who control the wealth live here.

With such disparity of wealth and justice, it is essential to restrict the lower level populations to their designated sections. To quell uprisings, the rich and tanned distribute a drug known as Shine to placate the natural anger and frustrations of the seemingly powerless. Thus, the stage is set for the noble male protagonist to meet the savvy female survivor, who just so happens to be second in command of the most agitating resistance group in the city.

This book holds the reader's attention and thoroughly entertains. The story is one for the movies if anyone is so inclined to undertake the endeavor.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days by David Jeremiah


5 of 5 stars  *****

2,622 years ago, a young man is taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.  He interprets his dreams, which come true, as divine intervention.  Through him and by God, this young man discerns visions and dreams of others, as well, giving all the glory and praise to God.  His name is Daniel, a wise and humble person devoted to his practice of worship.

This study guide has a DVD with the author, David Jeremiah, reading and discussing each chapter.  It is amazing to discover how powerful Daniel's connection is with God.  His prophecies come true in his lifetime and beyond. Daniel's interpretations of his visions and dreams are some of the strongest arguments for the divinity of Jesus Christ; but what is really astounding is the unfolding of events here on earth that lead us to Daniel's prophecies yet to come. A study well worth one's time and effort.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Explore the Bible, Personal Study Guide: Matthew 14-28, Spring 2017 by Rodney Woo (Editor), Argile Smith



5 of 5 stars  *****

The Gospel of Matthew is about the life of Jesus, His teachings, and his promise that He will always be with His disciples. This study guide concentrates on the last six months Jesus spends on this earth as a man and God. The group is asked about the divinity of Jesus from the beginning to the end of this Spring lesson. 

Matthew writes about his experience with Jesus and records His words during a time the apostles are challenged about their faith. Jesus goes from being exalted, praised, and adored when he first enters Jerusalem on a young donkey, fulfilling scripture, to suffering the persecution, humiliation, betrayal, and eventual death on the cross. The fear that fills the apostles is very real, very human, and very connected to life in the world. Even though Jesus tells His followers that He will defeat death by the sacrifice of His life, they still fear the Jewish hierarchy who seek to crush the rebellion, as they saw it, the Nazarene caused. 

The major event upon which Christianity bases itself is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His appearance to the apostles and over 500 others before He ascends to heaven. Matthew records the significance of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enlightening the apostles so they can carry out Christ's Great Commission, spreading the Gospel to all corners of the world. 

They, men, are not to convert but merely bring the words of Jesus and the covenant He makes with mankind. The Holy Spirit does the conversions, the counseling, and the connecting to Jesus who justifies so that, with repentance, mankind may be sanctified by the grace of God. This is the born again being who follows the path of Jesus in the Spiritual realm with everlasting life rather than giving into the selfish desires of the world and the flesh. The new covenant also allows each person to speak directly to the Holy Spirit, the Son, and the Father; all God in one Trinity.