The League and The Lantern – A Book Review

Ok, So it is the week for book reviews.  I just finished up the ESV Family Devotional Bible and now am working on The League and The Lantern. Thank you Flyby Promotions for my free review copy.

The book is written for the middle school crowd and I would say it is appropriately written. As an adult I am often drawn to sci-fi and fiction writing, well, just because I am am.  I enjoy it.  This book reminded me of a cross between Artemis Fowl and the old show Man from U.N.C.L.E. Continue reading

ESV Family Devotional Bible – A Review

ESV Family Devotional BibleRecently I received the ESV Family Devotional Bible to review.  The short sweet – It’s pretty neat!

It has 130 Topical Devotions averaging about two pages each. It has the usual fun colorful maps in the back for you and your kids. They range from The Land of Israel in the New Testament to Places Paul Visited to the Kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon and more. Continue reading

Volunteering is a blessing – to you and others

Volunteer-Badge-300x293[1]A little over a year ago I wrote a post about working like a volunteer. I was writing as an encouragement to myself to work as unto the Lord while in the midst of struggling to understand why I was there and if I should leave.

Since then I was given a choice to change my work description and hours or promote myself to volunteer. I choose the promotion. As of four months ago I am officially a volunteer. It has been a blessing at times and a sorrow at others.  I love camp and all those I was working with.

Today I wanted to share my most recent experience as a volunteer in hopes that it will encourage you to volunteer and involve others with you. Continue reading

ESV Men’s Devotional Bible Review

Men's Devotional BibleRecently I was sent the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible to read over.  I like it.

Right off – it is a Bible, plain and simple.  I love that about it.  It has 365 devotionals geared towards men, a dictionary in the back and a set of articles and resources on differing topics.

The devotionals are all written by different authors for each book of the bible.  For example the devos in Esther are all written by Alistair Begg, Senior Minister, Parkside Church, Cleveland Ohio. Revelation contains devos from James M. Hamilton Jr., Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. Continue reading

Teach them to Suffer Well

Passing on What Matters MostGenesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

We have a responsibility to teach our kids, our grand-kids, our friends etc.
It’s a fallen world, life is hard, life is unfair, God is good, God is in control, and just like Joseph, He will actually use the most painful, difficult, sinful injustice, betrayal, everything you go through to fulfill His ultimate purposes if we, like Joseph, say “You know I don’t always understand this – but I’m not bailing out. I’m gonna trust God.”

God I don’t understand, but I’m confident of this – that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until he day of Christ Jesus. Continue reading

Pirates Cove: The adventures of Mickey Matson – Movie Review

Mickey MAtson - Pirates Code Movie Review Poster
So I asked for another movie to review from Propeller Consulting and voila – Mickey Matson’s latest adventure – the Pirates Code.

I thought it would be a fun movie for the family.  It was mostly.  My eight year old didn’t like the pirate scenes so she left and my 13 year olds didn’t get into it until 1/2 of the way through it.  But that that is them – they tend to not want to watch it until they walk through the room a couple times and end up sitting.

In the end they enjoyed what they saw but not enough to start from the beginning.  However – they are teenagers.  A year ago I am sure they would have had fun with it.

Personally, it was what I expected: a clean family movie.  Nothing over the top, no language or real violence.  The bad guys used futuristic electronic pulse guns to knock people out instead of killing them.  The premise was ok and made sense for the age group it was targeted at.

My only real complaint about #piratescode (hashtags are my bane) is this: There was no real need to make the ‘bad girl’ where the low cut tank top and unbuttoned jean jacket the entire movie.  Even once for that matter. I know that in today’s society this would not even have been consciously noticed by most people, but I have teen boys and I look for things that will effect their immature young brains. Let’s face it – movie makers cannot pass on using sex to sell a character.

So from a societal point point of view I give it a mostly cool rating, but from a dad of teenage boys point of view I am slightly disappointed in Pure Flix.  Most people will look at me and say “boy did you over react,” and maybe that is true but hey – I want ot protect my kids – that is what God told me to do.  Raise them up well and protect them from harming themselves.  This particular venue is how we begin desensitizing our children toward sex.

That’s that.  I got this movie for free in order to give my honest opinion.  There you have it and that’s all I will say about the legal mumbo jumbo.  You know how it all goes right.  IF not look at some other posts – I got more wordy on the legal stuff there.

by the way you can buy it here:

God Bless

Michael W. Smith – The Sky Spills Over

sovereignYesterday I was sent a link to the premier of the video for MWS – The Sky Spills over.  At first I was like “Ok, Thriller meets The Patriot meets Red Dawn.”  At least that was the first 30 seconds.  I have to say however – the song is what kept me watching.  I love the music.

Admittedly Michael was new and hip when I was a teenager so to see him now took me back a little.  These are all first thoughts.  As the video went on, really enjoyed watching but mostly listening.

He is still a great performer with some great new music.

What hit me the most watching this video is the overwhelming imagery of these kids being scared and in need of a hero, a leader, a father, a savior.  Along comes Micheal, the protector and deliverer.  The roles are many to be sure but the message is simple, “We need you.”

So many of the needs we see in children today are the what we get from our Father figure.  To be sure, Mothers play as important a role in the raising of children – but it is seems to be that more Fathers are disappearing from their children’s lives and this is having a tremendous effect.

The Father’s role was set up by God at the beginning of time and we are delegating that role to the Mother.  We are ripping apart the plan God put in place so long ago.  It is no wonder more and more commercials and movies and videos like this are coming to the forefront.  The statement is a simple one – Men Stand Up!

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Sovereign CD from Michael, I have one to give away.  Comment below on why you think children need their father.  I will pick a random commenter to have a cd sent to.



The fine print…

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Plumb Exhale – A Review

This week I was sent a copy of the album Exhale by Plumb.  Thank you Propeller. I haven’t listened to much of Plumb but I was willing to try.

I have to say I enjoyed the album quite a bit.  I listen in the car, just around the house and even while concentrating on writing (except right now b/c this laptop I am on has no cd player.)  Pretty Lame right! Continue reading

The Berenstain Bears – Please and Thank You Book

bbthankyouIn keeping with the spirit of The Berenstain Bears, the latest book “Please & Thank You Book” is a simple and easily processed book for the  kids.  My daughter Anna was pumped to get see the book come in the mail and immediately read it to me.

It was a quick read and the message simple – don’t forget your manners. She read it a couple times that night.  Then like I did as a kid – she set it down and forgot about it. A week after she read it, I asked if she wanted to read it again and she said “Yeah. I loved that book!”

“Do you remember what it was about?” I asked.  “Yeah.  it was  about making sure you are polite and say please and thank you.”

Not much I know, but I have been processing this lately as I meet many youth in my job at a youth camp.  Kids are seriously lacking in basic manners; but not only kids – adults too.  I am finding more and more that people simply don’t bother with the simple niceties.  People just assume you know they are grateful. Why should they say thank you?  Why bother saying please – it is inferred.

I don’t believe it is. I had the privilege of working for the 99 Restaurant when it opened up it’s Auburn MA store.  One of the biggest things I took from my friend Peter – the GM – always say please when you call someone. It is simple respect.

So working on the line I had many opportunities to call servers and bar tenders when their orders were up and it amazed me how that simple word, simple action, served to  instill a spirit of respect. Mind you I was raised using please and thank you and respecting my elders and all that ‘stuff’.

What I noticed was that I treated people with more respect than usual, others did the same, and in turn we were treated in kind- respectfully.  Sounds trite I know – but it just worked.  I still to this day ind my self calling people by the same last name – Please.

I ramble.  In a world where it seems that kids have less and less example of chivalry and etiquette, simple things like letting your child read this or better yet – reading this book to your child, can go a long way to instilling a little more ‘common courtesy’ into our community.

Better yet – be an example – read the book yourself and start using the words with your kids.  Do as I do, and as I say – will go a long way.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

From the powers that be:

The cherished Bear family is coming to a new generation of toddler and preschool readers.
Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962 and the Bear family celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012! Here the charming and lovable Bear family is once again introducing children to the typical issues and questions that they face every day.
In The Berenstain Bears’ Please & Thank You Book, little readers are introduced to the importance of manners, through gentle reminders given to Brother, Sister, and Honey as they await their milk and cookies. The short story and well-loved characters provide toddlers a perfect introduction to valuable life lessons and routines.
About the author:
Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike carries on his parents’ love of creating Berenstain Bear stories from an area in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which looks a lot like Bear Country.

A Love Letter from God – A Book Review

So this last week I was sent A Love Letter from God.  Being that I have a young daughter it was an ideal book for her to review.  Her words: ” I liked it.”  She read it immediately when it came in the door and then reread it a couple more times. Continue reading