Thursday, December 7, 2017

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You by Greg Gutfeld

5 out of 5 stars  *****

I enjoy Greg Gutfeld's wit and charm on television practically every day. Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You is the first book of his I have the privilege to listen. Zany is the first word that comes to mind when listening to this author because he incorporates unexpected humor into his well-thought-out sentences . I hear his cogent, original statements and laugh while I ponder his points. This author researches every idea his words formulate from sources expert on the topics he elaborates. 

This book compares the opinions and rhetoric of people, no matter who they think they are, to what he, Greg Gutfeld, knows to be closer to truth. In his fashion, Gutfeld seizes the opportunity to humiliate and agitate elite personalities who remark on today's issues by recycling manipulated talking points spewed with Left Progressive spin, a socialist agenda that mocks America and its rule of law. This work is an intelligent, fun rebuke of all those followers who, whether they know it or not, trend toward a Collective ruled by the corrupt. 

The most impressive quality I admire from this book and Greg, himself, is his ability to summarize the Saul Alinsky-induced chaos into a succinct, thought-provoking sentence that rests close to the heart of any matter, the truth. It is refreshing to clear the air of the smoke that chokes American values, freedom and liberty. These hard-fought blessings are easily forgotten and taken for granted by the self-absorbed. 

Evil, greedy people exhibit mankind's flaws. Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You is available to all as a wake-up call to be responsible, not just to oneself but to each other. We must strive to discern truth with a genuine concern for our sovereignty. What makes America great is the power in the sharpened, moral minds of a deserving people united and not a fake conglomerate of power riding a wave of fear that divides so they can conquer, regulate, and control.

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen

4 out of 5 stars  ****

This book is a most irreverent guide to good health through emotive words and proper nutrition. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck,could be just another great vegetarian cook book but it would be lost on the shelf of healthy advice and common sense. The cursing expletives set this book apart from all others. It is a delight to learn as the shock of language piques the curious and humors the gimmick-prone public. The descriptive words are not polite nor are they for children but this book offers an alternative for healthy living. The recipes are simple enough if one is willing to put some time into the preparation. Preparing and storing many base products for recipes, like beans and grains, are recommended for those who have active, working lives. This book ranges from dips to desserts with everything in between. The few recipes this indulgent reader tries please the palate, the pocketbook, and the menu as shopping becomes more interesting when adding a variety of flavors to what would otherwise be a one-time dish on a single night.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

5 of 5 stars  *****

This daily devotional book is such a blessing. I read it first thing in the morning and it sets my thinking right by establishing a strong relationship with God. It allows me to face any circumstance that comes my way with peace, love, and joy in my heart. Forbearance is a gift from God and this book is a simple reminder to persevere difficulties with patience and understanding. 

It is more of a challenge to maintain an attitude of kindness, gentleness and goodness when my life is going well, without unforeseen challenges to upset my day. I read every morning that such challenges occur to make me turn to He who is always there. The next gift to receive during such times is faithfulness and self-control. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence informs me that God welcomes this opportunity to allay my fears, settle my frustrations. My thankfulness and trust are all He needs. My reciprocating love praises Him. His reason for creating me is then in accordance to His plan. 

Sarah Young studies and draws from all sections of the Bible to share with us words inspired by her moments of stillness while conversing with God. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence is the response she receives from our Father, the One who knows all before we formulate the question or make any request. 

I discover this book from my sister whose benevolence shares it as a gift to so many she encounters. I apply this book's profound wisdom as I read it to my dying mother earlier this year. It touches me, opens me, strengthens me while reassuring me of the righteous path to which it leads. I receive wisdom, the fear of God, because He is the only power, a power that gives everlasting life to those who honestly communicate with Him daily. 

My inspiration after reading this blessed book: The purpose of my life does not depend on what I accomplish in the world but how I am while in this world, regardless of who I am with or what circumstances befall me. Communication with God is essential and this book is one of the most poignant relationships with Him in the present that I have come across.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline (Goodreads Author), Andy Caploe (Narrator)

4 stars out of 5  ****

History is fascinating. The story of our ancestors in this world with all of its natural and man-made disasters teaches the present and future generations valuable lessons. Mankind still repeats history even with its best efforts not to. This may be because the truth, as a goal, is not always depicted in the writings and lore we humans pass down.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed tries to narrow down the end of certain ages, like the Bornze Age, to the probable year that empires and major cities in eastern Europe, Mesopotamia, western Asia, and Egypt fell. Eric H. Cline's task is to draw conclusions from artifacts, correspondence, and geographical markers for drought and earthquakes that occur during Egyptian, Hittite, Mycenaean, Canaanite, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. Cline utilizes research of the latest archaeological  discoveries by prominent experts in the field to derive the basis for his book's title.

The author refers to "Sea People", who come by sea and by land, as a marauding enemy that lays waste to vulnerable cities in the existing empires The cities are left weakened by appropriating most of their fighting forces to other regions in a time of war. This, coupled with natural disasters and desperation, drive these people to ransack and destroy when opportunity presents itself. 

The people, significant places, and regions have many names depending on who is describing the events that take place. Specifics of this era and in this region raise discussion of biblical accounts that may be attributable to the events Cline describes in his book. The author does not state as fact any biblical accounts but includes them as one of many possibilities. Also, the "Sea People" are not identified with any one culture or people but may comprise many different people from varied regions. 

It seems very difficult to say with certainty that the year 1177 B.C. is the year that civilization collapsed or that civilization collapsed at all but it is a compelling title. I enjoy reading about history, especially the history that surrounds what is presumably accepted as accurate. This book informs the reader how history is a book left open for future discovery.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Michael York (Narrator)

4 stars out of 5  ****

A futuristic look at mankind advancing biology to the point where ethical dilemmas arise but are ignored by those who feel superior to the masses. The elite create a world free of disease and many flaws in human beings to establish a more perfect existence. There are many interesting and unexpected circumstances that challenge the control of this world the more some people begin to think for themselves and challenge fate dictated by this sterile system.

Aldous Huxley writes beautifully and Michael York narrates eloquently in warning those who feel mankind can achieve perfection based on ability, intelligence, and control; but mankind's flaws and limitations write the story that reveals control is elusive and momentary, at best, while perfection is a dream never attained in a brave new world.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World by Eric Metaxas (Goodreads Author)

5 stars out of 5 stars  *****

It is quite appropriate that I finish listening to Eric Metaxas's biography of Martin Luther on October 31, 2017. This day marks the the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of a document that exposes the Catholic church, the only powerful Christian religion, of professing misinterpreted scripture as truth and misleading people to pay for their sins with money as well as payment, known as indulgences, for less time spent in Purgatory. 

Metaxas narrates his beautifully written text which reveals how particular the German Augustinian Monk, Martin Luther, is in his discovery of the truth. Luther feels the failure of good works with conscientious penance to fill his soul with the Holy Spirit, a feeling that should give him peace, love, and joy. 

Luther could not accept the spoken word by his fellow man as the word of God. Luther's own discernment and devotion to truth enables him to understand what the Apostle Paul means when he writes that man is not saved by good deeds but by faith alone. It is this moment that awakens Luther to that Holy Spirit he craves and he, from this day forward, defends his revelation to all the powers of the world who feel the threat of Luther's teachings. 

The common man understands Luther's compelling new explanations and agree with his scrutiny of the elite powers who are both church and state. Those who choose this path are asking to burn at the stake as a heretic but Luther knows the truth will set him free. 

This comprehensive biography is full of interesting facets about customs and beliefs people hold during a time of war with Islam to the east and maintaining kingdoms to the west. The printing press is invented just before Luther starts to publish which spreads the truth about the Papacy very quickly. Even though Luther is prolific in his writings, he does not profit much from them. 

Luther also translates the Bible into German so that the common folk can learn the word of God. He also includes explanations based on his scholarly study that are accepted and recognized by the world's great scholars, like Erasmus. Martin Luther proves to be one of the most significant men in history who influences the world using his idiosyncrasies for detail and pursuit of truth. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide: Exodus; Leviticus, Fall 2017 by Steve Gaines (Editor), Matt Capps

5 out of 5 stars  *****

My bible study weaves nicely with books I read and the Audiobooks to which I listen. Learning how the Old Testament foretells what transpires in the New Testament through Christ Jesus is an amazing verification of the divinity of Jesus, a man born in Bethlehem, as prophesied, who lives a life without sin so he may sacrifice his exemplary life with his blood on the cross for mankind's sins, past present, and future. 

Leviticus describes the blood sacrifices, as instructed by God, to be made for His people's atonement of their sins. This outward, physical ceremony occurs regularly because mankind cannot obey God as Jesus does. 

Exodus lays the foundation for mankind's obedience to God. Following God's instructions for a holier life is the expectation as the Ten Commandments delineate. The first four address mankind's interaction with God and the remaining six are for the behaviors of men and women toward each other. 

This bible study teaches how early this covenant is made by God to all those who obey His laws. the ones he gave to Moses. God's law is the same today as it was then. It is constant as is God, never changing. Mankind's failure to adhere to these directions is the reason mankind needs a Savior. 

The exploration of this segment of the bible reminds us how much God loves us as well as how impossible it is for us to be with Him for eternity without the blood sacrifice that first occurs in Leviticus and culminates in the crucifixion of the Son of Man, God, here on earth, for mankind's redemption and salvation.