Monday, December 26, 2011

The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack

This is an inspirational story of how three Mexican fishermen survived nine months at sea and ended up over 5000 miles from home. How they were sustained on rainwater, raw fish and the Bible. It is also a story of how Joe Kissack, a wealthy Hollywood executive, found God after depression and addictions bring his life crashing down around him and puts his career on hold.

But it doesn't just stop with Joe finding God. He embarks on a journey to discover what God wants him to do with his life and the story of the Mexican fishermen. Even though his wife has always prayed for a godly man, his pursuit of this story nearly bankrupts them and ruins their marriage. But as Joe prays more for God's direction he realizes that God wants him to be just as responsible for his marriage and family.

This story is about faith and hope. It is about a journey that we all take in one way or another. How we are just as lost, adrift in life, as those fishermen were. We are all in peril and we can all find our lifeline in God and His word, just as Joe and the fishermen did.

I really enjoyed this story told by Joe Kissack. It is his true story as well as the true story of the fishermen. It made me realize that although we may see those in Hollywood and think: "Look at them, they have it all", he was actually worse off than the poor fishermen from Mexico. We think that we need to have "just a little bit more". The more we pursue that "something more", the more lost we become. We start to fear losing what we do have and sometimes we need to so that we can rely on God more. He has promised to take care of all our needs. What more should we ask for?

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I was looking for an image of the Nativity to use as a background on my desktop today. There was a lot to choose from. But I am very picky about my pictures. And I read an interesting blog on someone else's opinion of the Nativity's portrayal. I had to agree.

Many artists, well intentioned to be sure, show Christ's birthplace as glamorous and holy, with beams of light, glow in the dark infants and halos over Mary's serene face. But I think maybe someone should paint a more realistic representation.

After all it was essentially a barn in a very busy town. I am sure, as one blogger pointed out, that there was poo everywhere. Just a tad dirty. Now maybe Mary swept up a small area for them to sleep in and for her to give birth in. But more on that later. Maybe the animals were attentive, maybe not. I am sure they were aware that their Creator was there but I doubt they were sitting around in awe and reverence. I am sure the Bible would have mentioned that, since God made it a point to tell us that the rocks and trees would praise Him if we ceased to. And He tells us of when Balaam's donkey talked.

The paintings often have chubby cherubs floating overhead, in beams of light. The Bible says that the angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields. It also points out the these men were afraid. I'm sorry but floating babies would not scare me, concern me yes, but not scare me. Could you imagine seeing a short, chubby, baby in the air saying "do not be afraid..."? I might start laughing at that point hearing a baby voice speak to me. I imagine that the angels were fierce looking warriors, hence the reason for the "do not be afraid..".

As for the star, I do not think it was a big bright light shining down on Jesus like a spot light or some tractor beam. And it doesn't even really show up until the wise men are led by it. And they didn't show up for possibly two years after the birth. And Jesus may have been a pale baby, as most are after birth, but I doubt He was lit up like a lite brite toy. And any responsible mother, no matter how young, would have had him wrapped up(as the scriptures say he was) and not laying naked and exposed to whatever the weather may have been at that time.

Now to Mary; she was young, as young as 15 or 16. This was her first baby. She had to have been terrified. She had no family other than Joseph. They were in a strange city and she is due. And now they have to sleep in a barn with smelly animals. I don't know if Mary was obsessive compulsive or not, but every new mother wants a nice, clean place to have a baby. So I think she may have had some time to clean a spot but not much bigger and definitely not the whole place(like I would have wanted to do). She may have been happy after the birth but I am sure she was exhausted and still a little frightened. I was at the birth of my first. I can't imagine it was easy for her and I doubt she glowed as she is often portrayed. She was probably laying down too.

I did find a picture I liked without spending all day looking at the thousands that I am sure are posted online. I am not trying to down play Jesus' birth and say it should not be honored. It was a precious gift given to us from God, who loves us very, very much. But it was more real than just a "pretty picture". I could go on and on about what it may have really been like. How can we relate if it was all glowy and serene and clean. Jesus lived life as we do and so He understands us. He was born and lived in a humble way. So that He can relate to even the poorest of us.

Now it is up to us to accept that "gift" no matter how it was wrapped. Because it truly is the greatest gift ever given to us. To all of us no matter what we have done in life.

 Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday Jesus.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Future Door by Jason Lethcoe

Living next to Sherlock Holmes can be a struggle for a budding detective. But when Holmes goes into retirement someone is needed to step in. Thirteen year old Griffin Sharpe is just the person, with the help of his uncle, Rupert Snodgrass, a brilliant inventor.

When Rupert's time travel device is stolen by the Moriarty's they watch the future unravel around them. They are now in a race to recover the machine and undo the damage done by the Moriarty's. Will Griffin's faith in God and his inventive thinking be enough to save their future and London?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I want to describe it as cute but not in a cuddly sort of way. I really loved the characters of this book and enjoyed the way the author put God in this book through Griffin's faith. This is a good book for young readers as well as their parents. My eighteen year old wants to read it only because she loves Sherlock Holmes and anything related to him.

This book is the second in a series and I may find the first one and read it too. I want to see how Griffin's relationship developed in the beginning, how God worked on Rupert's heart to mellow him. The second book stands independently and you don't have to read the first to understand what's going on in the second.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.