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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Restoring Honor Rally - August 28, 2010

Congressional Scorecards

Congressional Scorecards | Christian Coalition of America

Friday, August 27, 2010

Music: An Odd Discovery Beyond the Trees

GOP House Whip Pledges to Repeal ObamaCare

GOP House Whip Pledges to Repeal ObamaCare
Environmental Protection Agency Reviewing Petition to Ban Lead Bullets | The Weekly Standard
The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History - US News and World Report

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS - TIME

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

YouTube - The music of Cosmos # Comet 16 - Vangelis

YouTube - The music of Cosmos # Comet 16 - Vangelis

Hitler 'had Jewish and African roots', DNA tests show

Hitler 'had Jewish and African roots', DNA tests show - Telegraph

Rich exoplanet system discovered

Rich exoplanet system discovered

Judge stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: The Gathering Storm by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Book Review: The Gathering Storm

My Mom's Review

The Thoenes have written a book that I have to give mixed reviews to. I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the book, finding how it could have been for me if I were caught in Hitler's grip in Berlin and then in Belgium. I learned a lot about those days and the how and why things were done for the refugees fleeing before the Nazi Army and Air Force. It was really interesting to learn about the war activity in London, the home of one of my grandparents.

To go to the negative side of my review, I was disappointed in the expressions of sexual attraction between the two main characters.  God's Word says to "flee youthful lusts," and I feel that young people reading these sections in the book would be led to lustful thoughts. It is not needful to express sexual attraction in this way. It could have been done much more tastefully. Christians are bombarded on every side with the world view of sex, and it would be good to have some sources of good reading that would steer clear of this onslaught. I really like to read the Thoenes' books and have enjoyed them in the past, but I feel that I will have to steer clear from now on, and I am a grandmother. What is good for our youth is good for us all.

Rhoda J. Blumer

Friday, August 20, 2010

Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live - Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

These Voices Don't Speak for the Rest of Us

Chicago Manual of Style - The 16th Edition Has Been Released

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Israel has '8 days' to hit Iran nuclear site: Bolton - Yahoo! News

Monday, August 16, 2010

Prop 8 Ruling Could Criminalize Christianity, Leaders Warn

Islam: What the West Needs to Know (98 minutes)

Islam: What the West Needs to Know (98 minutes)
YouTube - Glenn Beck told they can't pray at Kennedy Center

Malacca Conspiracy by Don Brown

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing Malacca Conspiracy
Zondervan (June 4, 2010) by Don Brown


DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES. a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. In 2003, Don began writing Treason, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES.

Paying no homage to political correctness, DON BROWN’S writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.

In November of 2009, four years after it was released, and in the wake of Fort Hood, TREASON rocketed to the top-selling in the nation on the bestseller list for fiction, and remained there for over a week. On Thanksgiving Day of 2009, all four of Don’s novels were ranked in the top 5 on the Amazon bestseller list for fiction!

DON BROWN graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.

During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.


A rogue Indonesian general and his army of terrorists attack oil tankers in the Strait of Malacca in order to profit from oil futures and buy nuclear weapons to establish an Islamic superpower.

Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Colcernian race against the odds and a 24-hour deadline before nuclear attacks hit the United States. Departing from the sea of books barely better than soap opera romance and using the frantic pacing of suspense fiction, Brown glides flawlessly among global hotspots of terrorism--including the United States--and the book's principal settings in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The President of the United States orders ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet towards the Malacca Straits to reassert control over the sea lanes, but with time quickly ticking away, will they arrive in time for Zack and Diane to survive this dangerous and final high-stakes drama of life and death?

Sign up for the contest above! And if you would like to read the first chapter of Malacca Conspiracy, go HERE.

My Review

This novel is on my TBR pile. I plan to get to it soon and post a review at this blog.
Book Review: Be Compassionate by Warren Wiersbe

Book Review: Be Compassionate by Warren Wiersbe

My Review

As always, Wiersbe knocks the ball out of the park. This devotional commentary on Luke 1-13 is perfect for my morning devotions. I just crack open my Bible, read the verses Wiersbe addresses, and then read his thoughts, which are always pithy, informative, and practical. I'll admit that this devotional gave me initial pause only because Luke's Christmas story is so familiar; I wondered if I'd read anything here I hadn't already read before. Thankfully, I did. The books is crammed full of great biblical gems and thought-provoking points to ponder as I go about my busy day. Better yet, I always know Wiersbe is going to be trustworthy and thoroughly biblical. I'm always happy to get my hands on another installment in the Be Series, and Be Compassionate only added to my zeal to find more Wiersbe books like this one! If your "quiet time" is lacking some spice, consider picking up a book in this terrific series.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

David C. Cook; New edition (July 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Dr. Warren Wiersbe has devoted his life to the deep examination of God’s Word. He is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, and the author of more than 150 books. Among this large body of written work, the “Be” commentary series has become a resource that millions have come to rely on for over thirty years. The timeless insights on Scripture provided by Dr. Wiersbe have helped countless numbers of readers to better understand and apply God’s Word to their daily lives. Known to many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe combines historical explanations and thought-provoking questions with the unchanging truth of Scripture in such a way that believers at every level of spiritual maturity can easily grasp its relevance.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (July 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434765024
ISBN-13: 978-1434765024


Hear the Good News!

(Luke 1)

If ever a man wrote a book filled with good news for everybody, Dr. Luke is that man. His key message is, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He presents Jesus Christ as the compassionate Son of Man, who came to live among sinners, love them, help them, and die for them.

In this gospel you meet individuals as well as crowds, women and children as well as men, poor people as well as rich people, and sinners along with saints. It’s a book with a message for everybody, because Luke’s emphasis is on the universality of Jesus Christ and His salvation: “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

Dr. Luke is named only three times in the New Testament: in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; and Philemon 24. He wrote Acts (compare Luke 1:1–4 with Acts 1:1) and traveled with Paul (note the “we” sections in Acts 16:10–17; 20:4–15; 21:1–18, and 27:1—28:16). He was probably a Gentile (compare Colossians 4:11 and 14) and was trained as a physician. No wonder he began his book with detailed accounts of the births of two important babies! No wonder he emphasized Christ’s sympathy for hurting people! He wrote with the mind of a careful historian and with the heart of a loving physician.

The gospel of Luke was written for Theophilus (“lover of God”), probably a Roman official who had trusted Christ and now needed to be established in the faith. It’s also possible that Theophilus was a seeker after truth who was being taught the Christian message, because the word translated instructed in Luke 1:4 gives us our English word catechumen, “someone who is being taught the basics of Christianity.”

The life and message of Christ were so important that many books had already been written about Him, but not everything in them could be trusted. Luke wrote his gospel so that his readers might have an accurate and orderly narrative of the life, ministry, and message of Jesus Christ. Luke had carefully researched his material, interviewed eyewitnesses, and listened to those who had ministered the Word. Most important, he had the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The phrase from the very first (Gk. anothen)

can be translated “from above,” as it is in John 3:31 and 19:11. It speaks of the inspiration of the Spirit of God on the message that Luke wrote.

In this first chapter, Luke tells us how God’s wonderful news came to different people and how they responded to it. You will discover four different responses.

1. UNBELIEF (1:5–25)

It was indeed a dark day for the nation of Israel. The people had heard no prophetic word from God for four hundred years, not since Malachi had promised the coming of Elijah (Mal. 4:5–6). The spiritual leaders were shackled by tradition and, in some instances, corruption; and their king, Herod the Great, was a tyrant. He had nine (some say ten) wives, one of whom he had executed for no apparent reason. But no matter how dark the day, God always has His devoted and obedient people.

A faithful priest (vv. 5–7). Zacharias (“Jehovah has remembered”; Zechariah in NIV) and Elizabeth (“God is my oath”) were a godly couple who both belonged to the priestly line. The priests were divided into twenty-four courses (1 Chron. 24), and each priest served in the temple two weeks out of the year. In spite of the godlessness around them, Zacharias and Elizabeth were faithful to obey the Word of God and live blamelessly.

Their only sorrow was that they had no family, and they made this a matter of constant prayer. Little did they know that God would answer their prayers and give them, not a priest, but a prophet! And no ordinary prophet, for their son would be the herald of the coming King!

A fearful priest (vv. 8–17). The priests on duty drew lots to see which ministries they would perform, and Zacharias was chosen to offer incense in the Holy Place. This was a high honor that was permitted to a priest but once in a lifetime. The incense was offered daily before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice, about three o’clock in the afternoon. It was probably the evening offering that was assigned to Zacharias.

You have probably noticed that God often speaks to His people and calls them while they are busy doing their daily tasks. Both Moses and David were caring for sheep, and Gideon was threshing wheat. Peter and his partners were mending nets when Jesus called them. It is difficult to steer a car when the engine is not running. When we get busy, God starts to direct us.

Luke mentions angels twenty-three times in his gospel. There are innumerable angels (Rev. 5:11), only two of which are actually named in Scripture: Michael (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev. 12:7) and Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26). When Gabriel appeared by the altar, Zacharias was frightened, for the angel’s appearance could have meant divine judgment.

“Fear not” is a repeated statement in the gospel of Luke (1:13, 30; 2:10; 5:10; 8:50; 12:7, 32). Imagine how excited Zacharias must have been when he heard that he and Elizabeth were to have a son! “Rejoicing” is another key theme in Luke, mentioned at least nineteen times. Good news brings joy!

Gabriel instructed him to name his son John (“Jehovah is gracious”) and to dedicate the boy to God to be a Nazarite all of his life (Num. 6:1–21). He would be filled with the Spirit before birth (Luke 1:41) and would be God’s prophet to present His Son to the people of Israel (see John 1:15–34). God would use John’s ministry to turn many people back to the Lord, just as Isaiah had promised (Isa. 40:1–5).

A faithless priest (vv. 18–22). You would think that the presence of an angel and the announcement of God’s Word would encourage Zacharias’s faith, but they did not. Instead of looking to God by faith, the priest looked at himself and his wife and decided that the birth of a son was impossible. He wanted some assurance beyond the plain word of Gabriel, God’s messenger, perhaps a sign from God.

This, of course, was unbelief, and unbelief is something God does not accept. Zacharias was really questioning God’s ability to fulfill His own Word! Had he forgotten what God did for Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:9–15; Rom. 4:18–25)? Did he think that his physical limitations would hinder Almighty God? But before we criticize Zacharias too much, we should examine ourselves and see how strong our own faith is.

Faith is blessed, but unbelief is judged, and Zacharias was struck dumb (and possibly deaf, Luke 1:62) until the Word was fulfilled. “I believed, and therefore have I spoken” (2 Cor. 4:13). Zacharias did not believe; therefore he could not speak. When he left the holy place, he was unable to give the priestly benediction to the people (Num. 6:22–27) or even tell them what he had seen. Indeed, God had given him a very personal “sign” that he would have to live with for the next nine months.

A favored priest (vv. 23–25). Zacharias must have had a difficult time completing his week of ministry, not only because of his handicap, but also because of his excitement. He could hardly wait to return “unto the hill country” (Luke 1:39) where he lived, to tell his wife the good news.

God kept His promise and Elizabeth conceived a son in her old age. There is nothing too hard for the Lord (Jer. 32:17). Apparently, the amazement and curiosity of the people forced her to hide herself even as she praised the Lord for His mercy. Not only was she to have a son, but the birth of her son was also evidence that the Messiah was coming! These were exciting days indeed!

2. FAITH (1:26–38)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Gabriel brought a second birth announcement, this time to a young virgin in Nazareth named Mary. At least there was variety in his assignments: an old man, a young woman; a priest, a descendent of David the king; the temple, a common home; Jerusalem, Nazareth; unbelief, faith.

The people in Judah disdained the Jews in Galilee and claimed they were not “kosher” because of their contacts with the Gentiles there (Matt. 4:15). They especially despised the people from Nazareth (John 1:45–46). But God in His grace chose a girl from Nazareth in Galilee to be the mother of the promised Messiah!

When it comes to Mary, people tend to go to one of two extremes. They either magnify her so much that Jesus takes second place (Luke 1:32), or they ignore her and fail to give her the esteem she deserves (Luke 1:48). Elizabeth, filled with the Spirit, called her “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43), and that is reason enough to honor her.

What do we know about Mary? She was a Jewess of the tribe of Judah, a descendant of David, and a virgin (Isa. 7:14). She was engaged to a carpenter in Nazareth named Joseph (Matt. 13:55), and apparently both of them were poor (Lev. 12:8; Luke 2:24). Among the Jews at that time, engagement was almost as binding as marriage and could be broken only by divorce. In fact, the man and the woman were called “husband” and “wife” even before the marriage took place (compare Matt. 1:19 and Luke 2:5). Since Jewish girls married young, it is likely that Mary was a teenager when the angel appeared to her.

Mary’s surprise (vv. 26–33). When you consider Gabriel’s greeting, you can well understand why Mary was perplexed and afraid: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!” (NIV) (The phrase Blessed art thou among women is not found here in many Greek manuscripts. You find it in Luke 1:42.) Why would an angel come to greet her? In what way was she “highly favored” (“greatly graced”) by God? How was God with her?

Mary’s response reveals her humility and honesty before God. She certainly never expected to see an angel and receive special favors from heaven. There was nothing unique about her that such things should happen. If she had been different from other Jewish girls, as some theologians claim she was, then she might have said, “Well, it’s about time! I’ve been expecting you!” No, all of this was a surprise to her.

Gabriel then gave her the good news: She would become the mother of the promised Messiah whom she would name Jesus (“Jehovah is salvation”; see Matt. 1:21). Note that Gabriel affirmed both the deity and the humanity of Jesus. As Mary’s son, He would be human; as Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32), He would be the Son of God (Luke 1:35). “For unto us a child is born [His humanity], unto us a son is given [His deity]” (Isa. 9:6). The emphasis is on the greatness of the Son (cf. Luke 1:15), not the greatness of the mother.

But He would also be a king, inherit David’s throne, and reign over Israel forever! If we interpret literally what Gabriel said in Luke 1:30–31, then we should also interpret literally what he said in Luke 1:32–33. He was referring to God’s covenant with David (2 Sam. 7) and His kingdom promises to the people of Israel (Isa. 9:1–7; 11—12; 61; 66; Jer. 33).

Jesus came to earth to be the Savior of the world, but He also came to fulfill the promises God made to the Jewish fathers. Today, Jesus is enthroned in heaven (Acts 2:29–36), but it is not on David’s throne. One day Jesus will return and establish His righteous kingdom on earth, and then these promises will be fulfilled.

Mary’s surrender (vv. 34–48). Mary knew what would happen, but she did not know how it would happen. Her question in Luke 1:34 was not an evidence of unbelief (cf. Luke 1:18); rather, it was an expression of faith. She believed the promise, but she did not understand the performance. How could a virgin give birth to a child?

First, Gabriel explained that this would be a miracle, the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Joseph, her betrothed, would not be the father of the child (Matt. 1:18–25), even though Jesus would be legally identified as the son of Joseph (Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42). It’s possible that some people thought Mary had been unfaithful to Joseph and that Jesus was “born of fornication” (John 8:41). This was a part of the pain that Mary had to bear all her life (Luke 2:35).

Gabriel was careful to point out that the Baby would be a “holy thing” and would not share the sinful human nature of man. Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21), He did no sin (1 Peter 2:22), and He had no sin (1 John 3:5). His body was prepared for Him by the Spirit of God (Heb. 10:5) who “overshadowed” Mary. That word is applied to the presence of God in the Holy of Holies in the Jewish tabernacle and temple (Ex. 40:35). Mary’s womb became a Holy of Holies for the Son of God!

The angel ended his message by giving Mary a word of encouragement: Her aged relative Elizabeth was with child, proving that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” God gave a similar word to Abraham when He announced the birth of Isaac (Gen. 18:14). That our God can do anything is the witness of many, including Job (Job 42:2), Jeremiah (Jer. 32:17), and even our Lord Jesus (Matt. 19:26). I personally like the translation of this verse found in the 1901 American Standard Version: “For no word of God shall be void of power.” God accomplishes His purposes through the power of His Word (Ps. 33:9).

Mary’s believing response was to surrender herself to God as His willing servant. She experienced the grace of God (Luke 1:30) and believed the Word of God, and therefore she could be used by the Spirit to accomplish the will of God. A “handmaid” was the lowest kind of female servant, which shows how much Mary trusted God. She belonged totally to the Lord, body (Luke 1:38), soul (Luke 1:46), and spirit (Luke 1:47). What an example for us to follow (Rom. 12:1–2)!

3. JOY (1:39–56)

Now that Mary knew she was to become a mother, and that her kinswoman Elizabeth would give birth in three months, she wanted to see Elizabeth so they could rejoice together. “Joy” is the major theme of this section as you see three persons rejoicing in the Lord.

(1) The joy of Elizabeth (vv. 39–45). As Mary entered the house, Elizabeth heard her greeting, was filled with the Spirit, and was told by the Lord why Mary was there. The one word that filled her lips was “blessed.” Note that she did not say that Mary was blessed above women but among women, and certainly this is true. While we don’t want to ascribe to Mary that which only belongs to God, neither do we want to minimize her place in the plan of God.

The thing that Elizabeth emphasized was Mary’s faith: “Blessed is she that believed” (Luke 1:45). We are saved “by grace … through faith” (Eph. 2:8–9). Because Mary believed the Word of God, she experienced the power of God.

(2) The joy of the unborn son, John (vv. 41, 44). This was probably the time when he was filled with the Spirit as the angel had promised (Luke 1:15). Even before his birth, John rejoiced in Jesus Christ, just as he did during his earthly ministry (John 3:29–30). As John the Baptist, he would have the great privilege of introducing the Messiah to the Jewish nation.

(3) The joy of Mary (vv. 46–56). Hers was a joy that compelled her to lift her voice in a hymn of praise. The fullness of the Spirit should lead to joyful praise in our lives (Eph. 5:18–20), and so should the fullness of the Word (Col. 3:16–17). Mary’s song contains quotations from and references to the Old Testament Scriptures, especially the Psalms and the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1–10. Mary hid God’s Word in her heart and turned it into a song.

This song is called “The Magnificat” because the Latin version of Luke 1:46 is Magnificat anima mea Dominum. Her great desire was to magnify the Lord, not herself. She used the phrase “He hath” eight times as she recounted what God had done for three recipients of His blessing.

What God did for Mary (vv. 46–49). To begin with, God had saved her (Luke 1:47), which indicates that Mary was a sinner like all of us and needed to trust the Lord for her eternal salvation. Not only had He saved her, but He had also chosen her to be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:48). He had “regarded” her, which means He was mindful of her and looked with favor on her. No doubt there were others who could have been chosen, but God chose her! The Lord had indeed showered His grace on her (see 1 Cor. 1:26–28).

Not only was God mindful of her, but He was also mighty for her, working on her behalf (Luke 1:49). Mary would have no problem singing “great things he hath done” (see Luke 8:39; 1 Sam. 12:24; 2 Sam. 7:21–23; and Ps. 126:2–3). Because she believed God and yielded to His will, He performed a miracle in her life and used her to bring the Savior into the world.

What God did for us (vv. 50–53). In the second stanza of her song, Mary included all of God’s people who fear Him from generation to generation. We have all received His mercy and experienced His help. Mary named three specific groups to whom God had been merciful: the helpless (Luke 1:51), the humble (Luke 1:52), and the hungry (Luke 1:53).

The common people of that day were almost helpless when it came to justice and civil rights. They were often hungry, downtrodden, and discouraged (Luke 4:16–19), and there was no way for them to “fight the system.” A secret society of patriotic Jewish extremists called “the Zealots” used violent means to oppose Rome, but their activities only made matters worse.

Mary saw the Lord turning everything upside down: the weak dethrone the mighty, the humble scatter the proud, the nobodies are exalted, the hungry are filled, and the rich end up poor! The grace of God works

contrary to the thoughts and ways of this world system (1 Cor. 1:26–28). The church is something like that band of men that gathered around David (1 Sam. 22:2).

What God did for Israel (vv. 54–55). “He shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). In spite of Israel’s destitute condition, the nation was still God’s servant, and He would help the people fulfill His purposes. God was on Israel’s side! He would remember His mercy and keep His promises (Ps. 98:1–3; see also Gen. 12:1–3; 17:19; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14). Were it not for Israel, Jesus Christ could not have been born into the world.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until John was born, and then she returned to Nazareth. By then, it was clear that she was pregnant, and no doubt the tongues began to wag. After all, she had been away from home for three months, and why, people were likely asking, had she left in such a hurry? It was then that God gave the good news to Joseph and instructed him what to do (Matt. 1:18–25).

4. PRAISE (1:57–80)

God’s blessing was resting abundantly on Zacharias and Elizabeth. He sent them a baby boy, just as He promised, and they named him “John” just as God had instructed. The Jews looked on children as a gift from God and a “heritage from the Lord” (Ps. 127:3–5; 128:1–3), and rightly so, for they are. Israel would not follow the practices of their pagan neighbors by aborting or abandoning their children. When you consider that 1.5 million babies are aborted each year in the United States alone, you can see how far we have drifted from the laws of God.

“The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts,” said Dr. E. T. Sullivan. “The greatest forces in the world are babies.”

Traditionally, a baby boy would be named after his father or someone else in the family, so the relatives and neighbors were shocked when Elizabeth insisted on the name John. Zacharias wrote “His name is John” on a tablet, and that settled it! Immediately God opened the old priest’s mouth, and he sang a hymn that gives us four beautiful pictures of what the coming of Jesus Christ to earth really means.

The opening of a prison door (v. 68). The word redeem means “to set free by paying a price.” It can refer to the releasing of a prisoner or the liberating of a slave. Jesus Christ came to earth to bring “deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18), salvation to people in bondage to sin and death. Certainly we are unable to set ourselves free; only Christ could pay the price necessary for our redemption (Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–21).

The winning of a battle (vv. 69–75). In Scripture, a horn symbolizes power and victory (1 Kings 22:11; Ps. 89:17, 24). The picture here is that of an army about to be taken captive, but then help arrives and the enemy is defeated. In the previous picture, the captives were set free, but in this picture, the enemy is defeated so that he cannot capture more prisoners. It means total victory for the people of God.

The word salvation (Luke 1:69, 71) carries the meaning of “health and soundness.” No matter what the condition of the captives, their Redeemer brings spiritual soundness. When you trust Jesus Christ as Savior, you are delivered from Satan’s power, moved into God’s kingdom, redeemed, and forgiven (Col. 1:12–14).

Where did the Redeemer come from? He came from the house of David (Luke 1:69), who himself was a great conqueror. God had promised that the Savior would be a Jew (Gen. 12:1–3), from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), from the family of David (2 Sam. 7:12–16), born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2). Both Mary (Luke 1:27) and Joseph (Matt. 1:20) belonged to David’s line. The coming of the Redeemer was inherent in the covenants God made with His people (Luke 1:72), and it was promised by the prophets (Luke 1:70).

Note that the results of this victory are sanctity and service (Luke 1:74–75). He sets us free, not to do our own will, because that would be bondage, but to do His will and enjoy His freedom.

The canceling of a debt (vv. 76–77). Remission means “to send away, to dismiss, as a debt.” All of us are in debt to God because we have broken His law and failed to live up to His standards (Luke 7:40–50). Furthermore, all of us are spiritually bankrupt, unable to pay our debt. But Jesus came and paid the debt for us (Ps. 103:12; John 1:29).

The dawning of a new day (vv. 78–79). Dayspring means “sunrise.” The people were sitting in darkness and death, and distress gripped them when Jesus came; but He brought light, life, and peace. It was the dawn of a new day because of the tender mercies of God (see Matt. 4:16).

The old priest had not said anything for nine months, but he certainly compensated for his silence when he sang this song of praise to God! And how joyful he was that his son was chosen by God to prepare the way for the Messiah (Isa. 40:1–3; Mal. 3:1). John was “prophet of the Highest” (Luke 1:76), introducing to Israel “the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32) who was conceived in Mary’s womb by “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35).

Instead of enjoying a comfortable life as a priest, John lived in the wilderness, disciplining himself physically and spiritually, waiting for the day when God would send him out to prepare Israel for the arrival of the Messiah. People like Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25–38) had been waiting for this day for many years, and soon it would come.

God calls us today to believe His good news. Those who believe it experience His joy and want to express their praise to Him. It is not enough for us to say that Jesus is a Savior, or even the Savior. With Mary, we must say, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47).



1. Luke emphasizes Christ’s concern for hurting people. Who are some hurting people in your world?

2. Wiersbe highlights four ways people responded to the good news in Luke 1— unbelief, faith, joy, and praise. Where do you see one or more of these responses in your own life currently?

3. Why do you think God often speaks to His people when they are active, as He did to Zacharias (Zechariah)?

4. After the angel announced the joyous news that Zacharias and Elizabeth would have a son, what big mistake did Zacharias make? Why do you suppose he did this?

5. What character traits can be seen in Mary’s response to the angel’s surprising visit?

6. How was Zacharias’s question “How can I be sure of this?” different from Mary’s “How will this be?”

7. What expressions of joy do you read about as Mary visited Elizabeth?

8. According to Mary’s words in 1:46–55, what did God do for Mary? What did God do for others?

9. What four pictures of the incarnation do we see in Zacharias’s hymn (1:68–79)? What do they mean?

10. The results of the victory of salvation are sanctity and service (1:74– 75). Explain what you think these are meant to look like in your life.
Christian Coalition Voter Guide Widget | Christian Coalition of America

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Gathering Storm by Bodie & Brock Thoene

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Gathering Storm
Summerside Press (August 1, 2010)

Bodie and Brock Thoene


Bodie and Brock Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee) have written over 50 works of historical fiction. Over twenty million of these best-selling novels are in print. Eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered—the Thoenes are not only master stylists but experts at capturing readers’ minds and hearts.

Bodie began her writing career as a teen journalist for her local newspaper. Eventually her byline appeared in prestigious periodicals such as U.S. News and World Report, The American West, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions (she’s best known as author of The Fall Guy) and ABC Circle Films as a writer and researcher. John Wayne described her as “a writer with talent that captures the people and the times!” She has degrees in journalism and communications.

Brock has often been described by Bodie as “an essential half of this writing team.” With degrees in both history and education, Brock has, in his role as researcher and story-line consultant, added the vital dimension of historical accuracy. Due to such careful research, The Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles series are recognized by the American Library Association, as well as Zionist libraries around the world, as classic historical novels and are used to teach history in college classrooms.

Bodie and Brock have four grown children—Rachel, Jake, Luke, and Ellie—and seven grandchildren. Their sons, Jake and Luke, are carrying on the Thoene family talent as the next generation of writers, and Luke produces the Thoene audiobooks.

Bodie and Brock divide their time between London and Nevada.


As Nazi forces tighten the noose, Loralei Kepler, daughter of a German resistance leader, must flee her beloved Germany. But is any place safe from Adolf Hitler's evil grasp? Loralei's harrowing flight leads her into the arms of needy child refugees, who have sacrificed everything in exchange for their lives, and toward a mysterious figure, who closely guards an age-old secret.

Explore the romance, the passion, and the danger of the most anticipated series of the last twenty years.

Born from the highly acclaimed and best-loved novels of three generations of readers -- The Zion Covenant series and The Zion Chronicles series -- Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Gathering Storm, go HERE

My Mom's Review

My mom has been a long-time Thoene fan and has many of their books from the Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles, so she was thrilled to find this first book in a new series. I'll post my mom's detailed thoughts later.

Note: My free copy of this novel was provided by Summerside Press for the CFBA.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Gathering Storm by Bodie & Brock Thoene

I am unfortunately out of town during the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance review of this novel; however, I will post full information about this book when I return. In the meantime, here is the link to the book at

Be Compassionate by Warren Wiserbe

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***
Be Compassionate (Luke 1-13): Let the World Know That Jesus Cares (The BE Series Commentary)

A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago and the author of more than 150 books. For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary series. Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply God’s Word with the goal of life transformation. Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today.

 My Review

 I apologize. I'm on vacation today, but I will post about Be Compassionate soon. In the meantime, here is the link. Be Compassionate (Luk 1-13): Let the World Know That Jesus Cares (The BE Series Commentary) (9781434765024): Warren W. Wiersbe: Books


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Authors track America’s worst typos
1 JUDGE VOIDS 7,000,000 VOTERS...
GM donates $41,000 to lawmakers' pet projects

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Joke: Solar Tsunami to Strike Earth Tonight

Are You a Good Person?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Explosive new evidence shows ruling of AZ judge illegal
Congressman at Town Hall: ‘The Federal Government Can Do Most Anything in This Country’
Arizona Sheriff: "Our Own Government Has Become Our Enemy"
Amazon Chase card - Avoid it like the plague. Just finished a dispute on a charge for which we never received an invoice but plenty of fees.