Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: "No We Can't"

Today's review is for "No We  Can't: Radical Islam, Militant Secularism and the Myth of Coexistence" by Robert Stearns.

Well this book isn't quite my normal review fare but when it came up offered on Bethany House's review program I knew it was I book I wanted to read! For quite a while now I have been interested in learning more about Islam from a historic perspective and Islam from a Christian perspective and this book really filled the bill!

Mr. Stearns begins his book by laying out the cultural landscape of today's world and explaining multiculturalism, coexistence and what the Bible says about understanding the times we live in; additionally exploring current events and Biblical end times prophecy and how each of these things operate as cogs in the ever turning wheel of our world. His approach is methodical and clear in laying out the historical background, current cultural relevance and future likely significance for what he calls the 'three houses'. These three houses 'Radical Islam', 'Militant Secularism', and 'Judeo-Christianity' are each given their own chapters to delve deeper in to the worldviews of each and how they have reached out and affected the world we live in today. The book wraps up with three final chapters where Stearns steps back from looking at each of these houses and takes a look at the ultimate house- God's House. In these wrap up chapters Stearns really explores how Christians today are to be living and that is ultimately with eternity and Christ's kingdom in view!

I really enjoyed Stearns style and the way he put this book together, it reads smoothly and brings the reader along for an enlightening ride that is sure to wake up those still asleep in the tumultuous river of current events and buoy up those who are already awake and riding those rapids. At times I do find Stearns repeating themes and thoughts but I didn't find it detrimental to the book just reinforcing and building of his theme. I truly appreciated the wrap up of this book and the clear and inspiring call that is given to the Church today to rouse themselves and remember who they are and what God expects of them and what they can do about that. It personally saddens me that at large the Church does seem to be uninspired and uncaring to what is happening in the world around them. After reading this book I don't know how any Christian can remain uncaring of what is happening and uninspired to do something! It was a great read with lots of great information for the informed reader (my book is highlighted within an inch of it's life!) and a great read with lots of food for thought for the uninformed friend or relative that you should definitely be passing this book along to!

This book deserves every one of the 5 stars I'm giving it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Cherry Blossom Journey

As many of you know since last fall I have been involved with a girls discipleship group called Bright Lights. An old childhood friend and I lead the group and in our bi-weekly meetings teach about eighteen 7-14 year old girls lessons in 'Being Radiant In Godliness, Holiness and Testimony'. The lessons range from Developing a Close Relationship with Your Parents to Having a Clear Conscience with many in between. These last number of lessons we have been studying about sharing the gospel and and decided we would have a little hands on in the field training for some of our older girls. We planned to take advantage of a local festival to do street witnessing in one of the roughest little towns in our area. This is the post event journaling that I posted on our Wadsworth Bright Lights website sharing my perspective on that day.
I thought you might enjoy it as well....
(Sorry Dani that it's taken me so long to get this up!)

Summer Reading List

First of all I'd like to take this opportunity to let the world know that I am in fact not dead.

I know that my absence from the blogosphere over the last few months has likely provided more than enough evidence to the contrary but I assure you, dear reader, that my exile to real life was alas, entirely against my will....

Now, down to business.

Do you know that the summer is already half over??!
Yes, it is, and that realization last week at the Summer Solstice was enough to send me into a full blown mental panic! What do you mean summer is half over? I haven't even begun most of my summer projects! It is my friends, a mere eight weeks until school begins again and ten until BSF begins again!
The mind boggles.
So with that in view I'm doing a couple of things this week. First, I'm doing my spring cleaning! (Don't laugh.) And second, I'm making my summer reading list.

Here is the official list:

For Learning-
1) No We Can't: Radical Islam, Militant Secularism and the Myth of Coexistence -BH  Robert Sterns
2) The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades Robert Spencer
3) The Truth About Islam and Woman John Ankerberg & Emir Caner 
4) When You Rise Up R. C. Sproul Jr.
5) Family Shepherds Voddie Baucham 
6) Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts Jerry Bridges
7) Raising Maidens of Virtue Stacy MacDonald
8) Washington's Spies: The Story of the First American Spy Ring  Alexander Rose
9) The Letters of John and Abigail Adams
10) 50 People Every Christian Should Know Warren Weirsbe
11) Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect their Civic Duty Ken Connor & John Revell
12) William Symington: Penman of the Scottish Covenanters Dr. Roy Blackwood & Michael LeFebvre
13) The book of 2 Thessalonians
14) The book of Nehemiah

For Pleasure:
1) Cowgirls Don't Cry Christine Linxwiler
2) The Betrayal Douglas Bond
3) Against the Tide: The Valor of Margret Wilson Hope Irvin Marston
4) The Rose of Winslow Street -BH Elizabeth Camden
5) The Messenger -BH Siri Mitchell
6) My Stubborn Heart -BH Becky Wade
7) The Great Christmas Bowl Susan May Warren
8) Chasing Mona Lisa Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
9) Heiress Susan May Warren
10) Baroness Susan May Warren
11) Jane Austen Made Me Do It 22 assorted authors in a compilation
12) To Die For Sandra Byrd
13) The Merchant's Daughter Melanie Dickerson
14) Echoes of the Titanic Mindy Sterns Clark
15) By the Light of the Silvery Moon Tricia Goyer
16) Promise Me This Cathy Gohlke
17) Deep Haven Series #1-5 (Opt. as time allows)  Susan May Warren
18) Irish Healer Nancy Herriman
19) The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
20) Death Comes to Pemberly P.D. James

Well, isn't that quite the list! Now if I can only manage to actually read all of these I'll feel quite accomplished!
To note a few things, the "BH" designation after several books is for Bethany House and are books I have selected to receive as a part of their book reviewers program. I have in fact actually just finished finishing this particular part of my stack and anticipate getting all (ok, most) of the reviews written and published to the blog by the end of the week.
Also, once I have finished a book I plan on doing two things- #1 crossing it off of this list and #2 writing a review of it- even if it is not a BH review book.

Now to the disclaimer.... I know the 'learning' books I have chosen are sound and from respected authors....However the fiction department is a bit up in the air! I have a number of authors that I love and you will see their books repeated in my old and new lists and reviews but there is other fiction that is by new authors that is just sometimes trash no matter how good it seems from the outside! I am good at picking really good books and usually don't have a problem but with all the new authors on the Christian fiction market at the moment is a bit overwhelming.... So- until I post a review I have no opinion on the content or quality of any given fiction book. Thanks!

SO, I think that's everything for now. Let the reading begin!!