Ever wonder about Angels? Monday, Feb 8 2010 

What are angels? What is their role in God’s plan? Are they present? Do they appear? Do they give us personal insight about our work, our worship? Many contemporary beliefs about angels are based on misconception and myth. Dr. David Jeremiah uses scripture to unveil the remarkable truth about these agents of heaven, and their role and work in our world—and lives. More than 60,000 units of this powerful book have sold in two past editions. This repackage of the original 1996 paperback will surely capture the attention of readers of all ages who seek a broad and thorough survey of scripture that clearly separates fact from fiction as it relates to angels. The book will appeal to the thousands who follow Dr. Jeremiah’s books, and radio and TV broadcasts. Relevant, little known biblical facts help readers sharpen their knowledge and sensitivities toward the spiritual reality of angels. Dr. Jeremiah’s enlightening findings are supported with illustrations and insights from Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, C.S. Lewis, and more.

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.


Notes! iPhone + Books Thursday, Feb 4 2010 

I was reading Eating Animals today and found a line that I really wanted to highlight, however it is not my book! I took a picture of the text with my iPhone and was really impressed with how clear the picture came out, even in bad lighting and riding on a train! I have been on a quest trying to find a good application that I can use on my phone to take pictures of text that I would otherwise highlight so that I can save it for future reference and to spark my memory.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I found a couple good apps that I look forward to trying, including Evernote (evernote.com) and Babelshot. This post triggered some great responses from the readers:


Dug Down Deep – Joshua Harris Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 

What a book! I just read Dug Down Deep and it is easily my favorite book by Joshua Harris. This is a systematic theology for the average Christian. The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking about the young people in our youth group. This book addresses the major doctrinal beliefs that all Christians should know and it does so in a way that is accessible and understandable. Harris uses life stories along with the Biblical narrative to explain what we believe as Christians and why. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to clarify their understanding of the core doctrines of the Christian faith. I would heartily encourage this book to youth leaders as a great way to walk their students through the key tenants of the Christian faith.

Josh – thank you for writing a great book! I was encouraged by it and have already suggested it to many others!

Spending Gone Wild – it is (was) your money. Tuesday, Dec 29 2009 


All this talk about “stimulus packages” and “bailouts”…

A billion dollars…

A hundred billion dollars…

Eight hundred billion dollars…

One TRILLION dollars…

What does that look like? I mean, these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I thought I’d take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like.

We’ll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.


A packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2″ thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun.


Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

$1,000,000 (one million dollars)

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet…

$100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars)

And $1 BILLION dollars… now we’re really getting somewhere…

$1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars)

Next we’ll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we’ve been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it’s a million million. It’s a thousand billion. It’s a one followed by 12 zeros.

You ready for this?

It’s pretty surprising.

Go ahead…

Scroll down…

Ladies and gentlemen… I give you $1 trillion dollars

$1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars)

(And notice those pallets are double stacked.)

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase “trillion dollars”… that’s what they’re talking about

 Global Research Articles by Pagetutor.com

Fearless – Max Lucado Wednesday, Sep 9 2009 

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It was interesting to start writing a review about a book titled Fearless from the Mount Washington Roadway, an 8 mile traverse up one of the steepest roads in America to the highest peak in the Northeast. Mount Washington is also home to the most extreme weather in the world. Winds over 200 MPH have been recorded there, in fact there are over 100 days each year where the wind exceeds 100 MPH. The weather is so extreme that one building on the summit is literally chained down the ground. Extreme heights and extreme weather leave few people who can truly say they are fearless.

In the book Fearless, Max Lucado has done a wonderful job addressing one of the most prevalent and destructive emotions that millions of people are dealing with today. The sharp decline in the economy over the past few years has resulted in millions of Americans facing financial difficulty. Many are not able to pay bills to support their family, others are losing their homes to the bank, and millions more are unemployed. There are also major wars taking place across the world today. This summer we saw the number of American deaths in Afghanistan take off to new heights. There is also the seemingly unending health issues that appear without notice, Swine Flue (H1N1 has struck fear across the nation and the world). In addition to all of the known facts that are causing fear today is the fear of the unknown. The fact that everything about the future has a big question mark following it does not sit easy with anyone.

Jesus did not come to give us a spirit of fear. This is the point that Lucado makes and explains in this book. As Christians we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We cannot take lightly the fact that Jesus addresses fear numerous times during his life on earth. Lucado makes the insightful point that each time Jesus speaks about fear he calls believers to the opposite of fear – Faith. As Christians we should not have fear about situations, but faith in Jesus.

Max Lucado addresses the fear that is part of life. There is no denying that there is much to be fearful of in this life, but Jesus came to change that. He came to earth and was crucified that we may live abundant lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 37:4 where it says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When we as Christians embrace the fact that Jesus really does know, care, and love us it changes the way we live. We are free to live in faith, not fear.

I encourage you to read this book. I am not someone who would have said fear was an emotion that I struggled with, however as I read this book I became convicted. I realized that I do not rest in Jesus the way he desires that I rest in him. Read and enjoy!

Fall 2009 – the beginning Wednesday, Sep 9 2009 

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I cannot believe that it is Labor Day. Another summer is gone, but like so many others this one was filled with wonderful memories that I expect to fondly look back on for ages. I did not write over the summer because I was first focused on completing my MBA through Liberty University. As it turned out, the final few classes I took were the most difficult classes that I took in the entire program. Following completion of my MBA I then spend the majority of the summer reading and studying for my Series 7. I passed this exam just before Labor Day and with that I now head off into fall with no classes, exams, or required reading. This is for the most part the first time in my life that I have not been studying for an exam or writing for a class. I have a large stack of books to read and a number of things I look forward to leading and participating in this fall.

As we look forward to the fall we certainly are excited about our involvement with the young adults at church. We are changing the way we do high school youth group from the traditional “game, teaching, hangout” format to more of an in-depth, life application Bible study. This will take place in small groups with the girls and guys separate. After reading statistics about how 7 of 8 high school students who are involved with their church leave their faith in Jesus upon going to college we decided that we needed to make sure students addresses their deepest questions, questioned their beliefs, and build a solid defense of what they believe and why they believe it. The next few weeks I will be working with my co-leader to define the topics we are going to address each week although that will be subject to change depending on what questions and concerns the student have.

I’ll Make You and Offer You Can’t Refuse by Michael Franzese Monday, Aug 10 2009 

I’ll Make You and Offer You Can’t Refuse by Michael Franzese

I have been actively involved with business and finance for over a decade. I traded my first stocks at twelve years old and I can remember in detail the days that I snuck out of class to go to the “bathroom” when in fact I was trading my favorite stocks on E*trade. Names like Genzyme, America Online, Natural Microsystems, and eBay made up my portfolio and led to returns that seemed to double my assets every few months. It was an incredible time and I learned more on those years than I could have possibly learned in any finance class. Over a decade later I have become more involved in finance than ever. I work with the largest, most important financial advisory teams in the country and help them make investment decisions that affect their clients. It is a privilege and a joy to it. Most of the skills I use every day came from managing my own portfolio through the boom of the 90s and bust of the early 2000s.


In much the same manner that I learned about finance, by doing it, Mr. Franzese learned about business – by doing it. This book is all about Mr. Franzese’s life in the mafia. He dealt with some of the most corrupt people on the east coast and through it all he learned important lessons. Lessons that work well in the mob which he feels work just as well in the business world. The book was fun and interesting to read. He told fascinating stories that really kept me involved with the book, but I did feel like he held back. I guess he had to hold back, I am sure there are things that he could not share and as a result intense stories were slightly dulled. The best examples to support his points may have had to have been left out of the book for the sake of keeping others from getting in trouble for the things they did. It was an interesting read and I certainly learned from it, however it was not one of the best business books I have read. There are other business books that are better on leadership and managing others, however this was certainly the most unique book on business and people management that I have ever read.


In the end I say this book it worth a read, don’t take your time and deeply study every page, but certainly read this book for an intriguing approach to business – the mob approach. In the end it isn’t about breaking the law or threatening people. At the end of the day the book really makes the point that business is about people, the people on the other side of the table as well as the people on your side of the table. You need to protect those who support you and deal honestly with those on the other side of the deal. This life is extremely difficult without trust. Be someone who others can trust and I think that the business will become far easier over time.

Enjoy it! Let me know what you think.

Amish Love Wednesday, Jun 3 2009 

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting? Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=7676659&page=1) about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends. And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

Gordon College commencement address – David Batstone Friday, May 29 2009 

One of the main reasons that my wife and I chose to listen to Dr. David Batstone’s book Not For Sale during our road trip was that we just heard him give the commencement address at Gordon College last weekend. As you know, I graduated from Gordon College two years ago. Many of our best friends from college were graduating this year so we went to visit and encourage them in this great time of celebration. Dr. Batstone, Professor at the University of San Fransisco, gave the commencement address. He encouraged students that while others might be telling them that this is the worst possible time to graduate because the economy is bad, the reality is that a difficult economy opens up the opportunity for a Christian with a deep liberal arts education to do great things because there are great needs in the world today.


Here are some of my notes from his address:

-Think about who got you to where you are. Who assisted or encouraged you? What decisions made the difference?

-What does it mean to be a human being with value?

-You do not need to find your vocation, your calling. God will call you.

-Do you see what you have been given in this life as a gift? Do you see it as something for you to give others?

-Today business success is measured solely by the bottom line, profit. We need to moved towards an economy where profit is not the only motivation, but doing good is part of the equation

-Create a cause that people can believe in, ie. Hanna Anderson clothes

-Be the Generation known for Justice, be Generation J


You can access the address (and entire commencement) at the Gordon iTunes page and through the Gordon College website.

Not For Sale – David Batstone Friday, May 29 2009 

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful weekend. We drove to Amish country, visited Gettysburg, biked all over the nation’s capitol, and had a nice dinner in Annapolis. We decided that with all of the time in the car we were going to download a few audiobooks to our ipods. We thought it was a great way to redeem the time we were going to be in the car driving.


One of the books we recently downloaded was Not For Sale, a book about the current state of slavery in the world today and the effort being made to end all slavery around the world. This book by David Batstone was amazing. It brought to light so much about this terrible reality of modern day slavery that my wife and I had never even known about until we listened to the book. Not For Sale walks through story after story of slavery that is taking place today in places like Cambodia, India, Peru, and even in our own backyards in places like San Francisco and Virginia. The reality of the global slave trade is almost unbelievable. With the knowledge of it, my wife and I are now determined to become abolitionists. I greatly encourage everyone to read or listen to Not For Sale.




Not For Sale Campagain

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