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Last Build Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:38:02 GMT


DO HARD THINGS, by Alex and Brett Harris

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:38:02 GMT

(First published at Qassia)

Do Hard Things is a book written by teenaged twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris. It is about their rebellion against the low expectations that are placed on teens by our culture. They were unsatisfied to think of their adolescence as a vacation from responsibility until they reached adulthood and out of their own experiences there has grown a “Rebelution” among young people around the world, but especially here in the U.S.A.
At 16, after some years of speech and debate competition, the boys began to research some of the great things that had been done by young people. They were inspired to undertake some hard things themselves, as well as to inspire others of their generation to Do Hard Things.

They established a website,, which drew interest from many young people, rebelutionaries, who were convicted that they were wasting a lot of time and energy. The book tells of the experiences of not only the Harris twins, but of many of those with whom they have come in contact.

The book is inspirational. Every teen should be given a copy and challenged to a new vision for themselves and their future world!

Scents From Above!

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:35:21 GMT

On this Valentine’s Day, I think back to the times I would buy cheap perfume from the dime store for my mom, thinking she would really be pleased. She always thanked me, but I doubt she wore any of those fragrances on special occasions!

When I got a bit older I would buy the current popular perfume for my girl friend on Valentine’s Day, like Tigress or Tabu.

But when I grew to truly appreciate the love of my life, I started seeking among designer perfume fragrances for the ones that really projected the class and dignity of my lady. I do not like the wild scents, but enjoy the delicate and classic ones.

HOUSE, by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 17:23:28 GMT

I love to read, but the horror genre has been off limits ever since I saw the original Psycho in 1960 and was scared to walk the three blocks to my home. I was 12 and I decided then that I did not want anything to do with such movies, stories, books, or even “fun” houses at the fair!

So I was surprised to receive a novel for Christmas, House, by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. My daughter, who gave me the book, knew that I loved This Present Darkness, also by Peretti, so she thought that I would like this one too. She said it was “Christian Horror.” I never knew there was such a thing!

I want to review the book here, and I hate to give away any of the drama in the book, but I am not sure how to give a good review without describing some of the key elements, so if you think you might want to read the book, maybe you ought not read any further in this post.

I entered the book with trepidation. I met Jack and Stephanie as they were on their way to a counseling session to try to salvage their marriage. Things had not gone well for them following the drowning of their daughter a year earlier.
Their trip took a detour that led to their being drawn to an isolated house that looked like an old Southern inn when they arrived. But it turned out to be anything but a place of cordial hospitality. Another couple, Randy and Leslie, also found themselves in the place that night. The four shared a night of unmitigated terror.

As the evening unfolded, the house seemed to be alive, with a mind of its own. It seemed to know the hearts of the four trapped inside by the machinations of the house itself and the villain, Barsidious White.

The story moves at a good pace and helps the reader to get a growing awareness that the personal guilt of the individuals was contributing to the animosity of the house toward the victims. I must admit that I can think of few things that are more horrifying and painful than having to come face to face with one’s hidden sinfulness.

The story allows for redemption and a victory of good over evil only if those trapped inside would indeed acknowledge the sins they had been covering up, while blaming others for their plight in life. Though the word is never used in the book, repentance is an absolute necessity if the sinner wanted to live another day.

Good does win out for some of the four, and though it appears the story is over, we leave the book with an awareness that the evil perpetrators were far from finished with their “game”.

The book has been recently made into a movie, released last November. I promise, I will not go see it. And I hope I do not have images appear in my mind in the night!

Free Book Summary!

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 17:26:29 GMT

It always makes me happy when I am able to find a way to generate something useful or productive, or especially profitable out of the things I do for pleasure. I love hearing stories about others who have such successes as well. I have found such a story at

The web site creator has a passion for books , a passion I also hold. She has found a way to elevate the books she loves by writing summaries of them and posting them on the site for all the world to see, for free . Students that would like to get a complete plot summary for a book report on which they are working should check out the site. Or is you are looking for and Executive summary of the latest business book, you may be very pleased to find just what you are looking for

Callaghen by Louis L'Amour

Wed, 10 Dec 2008 17:03:22 GMT

I just re-read Callaghen, by Louis L'Amour. It is in some ways a typical L'Amour tale, with the individual courage and cunning of the hero pitted against the forces of evil. One of the things that I love about L'Amour is that he uses the setting of the story as one of the characters, so descriptive and so important to the furthering of the tale. The thing that caught my attention this time through is that Callaghen had served in faraway lands, but this time I was more aware of the places he had been because they have been a part of our history so much in recent years, especially Afghanistan! That added to my enjoyment of this visit with Callaghen.

The Lives of Christopher Chant

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 17:23:02 GMT

This book is the second in the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynn Jones, but it is actually a prequel to the first book, set some 25 years before. This volume tells how Christopher came to be Chrestomanci and how he learned to respect the little things in the magic of life. It is a fun book to read!

The Making of a Legend

Fri, 05 Sep 2008 13:38:24 GMT

I just read an article in the Houston Chronicle called, "The Making of a Legend". It is part of a week long series of articles about Hakeem Olajuwan that has run in the paper in honor of the basketball star's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame tonight. I have know some of the story of the career of Olajuwan at the University of Houston and the Houston Rockets, but this account by sportswriter Fran Blinebury is a tribute as well as an account of an hightly unlikely story.

Hakeem grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. He was a soccer and team handball player. At age seventeen a basketball caoch took notice of the seven foot tall youngster and persuaded him to give basketball a try. He had only played for three months when he was encouraged to got to the United States to play basketball in college. His arrival in Houston and his mentoring by UH Coach Guy Lewis is now mythical in proportions. If you want to get a good look at the story, read the article on the front page of the sports section of today's Houston Chronicle.

Bringing Up Boys, by James Dobson

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 15:36:45 GMT

When my wife and I were young parents of three girls we asked a lot of questions of those we thought to be successful parents and we read a lot of books on the subject of parenting. James Dobson was one of our frequent and favorite authors on the subject.

Now that we are raising two grade school age grandsons, we are finding out that boys are different from girls. There developmental process is much different than was our daughters'. So we recently checked out a copy of Dobson's book, Bringing Up Boys from the library. It was well worth the time.

Dobson points out several elements of distinction between the development of the genders. We believe we were benefitted in the confirmation of many things we are doing for the boys, and given some new ideas that we want to incorporate for the benefit of the guys. If you are raising little boys, you should give this volume a look.

1776, by David McCullough

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:45:32 GMT

Reading 1776, Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, made me realize just how close we Americans came to continuing as a British colony for a long time.

McCullough did a masterful job in compiling and presenting the records and papers of important men and bodies on both the British and American sides of the matter of independence. The descriptions of both the noble traits and the frailties of the key player in the pivotal year were very enlightening. I had always held George Washington to be a man of almost superhuman strengths. To read of his indecisions and misjudgments, as well as the intrigue on the part of some of his staff, made the story of our independence even more a thing to be cherished as a gift!

I highly recommend this book for your enjoyment!

1 Kings 13 & 14--Jonathan's Valiance

Wed, 13 Aug 2008 02:47:11 GMT

I have just been reading the Bible story in the last part of 1 Samuel 13 and into chapter 14. The situation has the Israelite army surrounded by the Philistines. The Israelites were vastly outnumbered and without proper weapons. Many of the army had already deserted. Things must have looked pretty bleak.

But in the story, King Saul’s son, Jonathan, decided it was time to do something, believing that God would provide what was needed. So he and his armor bearer determined to approach the enemy stronghold, seeking a chance for something seemingly impossible to happen. His valiant effort led he and his servant to slay 20 of the overconfident Philistines. An earthquake shook the ground and panic set in on the Philistine troops who fled. The Israelite army took heart and chased the Philistines out of the region.

The story made me reflect on the lack of hope and confidence that I perceive is prevalent these days. It may be seen in small ways in families that are pressed by busy schedules and jobs that demand so much, or financial woes, or dysfunction in the home. It can be seen in the local congregation that sees its task of sharing the Good News of the Gospel as an overwhelming task for the Christians; and as unwelcome by non-Christians. It can be seen in a country that would like to have all the war over, not to mention all the political venom put away.

The natural tendency seems to be to shrink back into the background and let the tide wash us away. Have we lost the will to present ourselves for service to our neighbors, our church, our country in the hope that Divine Providence can and will use our service to make a difference? And perhaps inspire others around to rally to the possibility of victorious living?

The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:01:48 GMT

Here is my post for the Book Club Discussion started by Marathon Bird.

I don’t know why I had never read The Hiding Place, but maybe it was partly because I did not want to visit the things that went on at the hands of the Germans in WWll. When I was a kid I went with my dad to see Mein Kampf, the documentary that showed the depravity of the Holocaust. Those pictures were deeply etched in my mind. I think that is why I did not want to see Schindler’s List.

As I read of the heroism of the Ten Boom family, I was horrified again at the treatment of those considered by the Nazis as inferior. But I was buoyed by the faith of the family, especially Corrie and Betsie as they were incarcerated and mistreated. I could identify with Corrie, as she wanted to honor God but who constantly had to deal with the emotions of anger and hate for her captors. I was truly inspired by Betsie, who was more Christ-like in her dealing with the deprivation and the persecution.

I am glad I read this book, because its message was not really about creating a hiding place for Jewish refugees and an underground network to get them to safety. Its message, at least to me was that all of us need a Hiding Place as described in Psalm 32:7 “Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve from trouble

Planning a Trip to France?

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 15:53:35 GMT

Many years ago I married the most beautiful girl in the world. And she has so many qualities beyond beauty that have made her the perfect mate. Our income has been modest and we have lived within our means for the nearly forty two years. I would love now to show my lovely bride some of the luxuries of the world. I want to take her on a tour of France.

I have been reading about some places I think she would enjoy. First I would like to go to Morbihan, in Brittany, to soak up as much of the fascinating history of that area as we can. Next we will go to Bergerac, in Perigord Pourpre, to visit museums and do some shopping in the busy markets there.

Perhaps then we will wrap our stay with a quiet time in the region of Orne, walking the countryside, hand in hand as though she were Guinevere and I were Arthur. It does sound like a dream vacation for a beautiful lady!

Never Call Retreat, by Newt Gingrich

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 23:57:50 GMT

I just finished the third in the Civil War trilogy of novels written by Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen. The series is very entertaining. The historical work of these two authors is impressive. The depiction of the weight of command in the midst of war is intense and the horror of the carnage in our country’s struggle is gruesome. The strategies are illuminating.

The most fascinating element of the last book, Never Call Retreat, to me was that the Gingricgh and Forstchen brought the war to a close about a year and a half earlier than it happened in history. Their presentation suggested that if the war had ended in the way they depicted, the country would have healed in a much shorter time and the equality of all men would have been a reality at least a century earlier.

If you enjoy good writing and a look into some of the most important people and issues of our society, I would suggest you take the time to read the entire trilogy!

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 21:05:04 GMT

Having a daughter that lives in Singapore, but who spends all lot of time Shanghai, China makes it imperative that I have the best and cheapest to calling cards available in order to be able to stay in touch with her as often as I like. The web site at is the ultimate place to find just the right phone cardfor your needs, no matter in the world you want to call.

The efficiency of the process makes it easy for you to obtain the prepaid phone cards or International calling cards right online. The site is simple to navigate and the wide range of offerings make your one stop shopping center. They have short cuts to the most popular cards and the check out is painless, not only because it is easy but because the prices are so good! They cards have no connection fees and they even provide 3 per cent cash back bonuses on every purchase!(image)

In reading on the site, I have discovered that the cards for calling Singapore can also be used to make calls to domestic locations as well as those overseas. If the web site does not have the answer you need, call one of the specialists at 1-800-422-1843!

Minor Prophets

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 21:03:48 GMT

At our session of church camp last week we had four hundred teens. I was the teacher for 43 sophomores. Our theme this year was "How Great Is Our God", and our focus was to help the kids wee the greatness of God more clearly. We used the texts of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament to help them find the traits and qualities of God revealed there. It was an interesting week, in part because the material was completely new to most of the students. Only 2 of my class had read the text of those books befoire we got to camp. Now all have.

Have you ever read Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi! It would be worth your time to do so!

Optics Planet

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 19:58:33 GMT

It is time to make a decision about what you are going to give your dad on Father’s Day. I know it may be hard to buy for your dad; it is for mine, too. That is why going to Optics is a good idea for anyone that wants to really please Dad. Optics Planet has a huge array of top quality products that can please just about any guy. If your father is a bird spotter, he may need a new pair of binoculars or some accessories for his current one. If he is a hunter he would probably love one of the new Leupold Riflescopes that can be found at Optics Planet.

Not only do they offer great items at a reasonable price, now you can get free shipping on most purchases of over twenty nine dollars and ninety five cents!

Watership Down

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 20:20:58 GMT

This post is part of the Book Club Challenge by Marathon Bird.

The book club assigned book for the month of May was Watership Down. I had never read it, I think in part because I had the idea that it was an innocuous children’s book that was too long. But I was completely wrong. I no longer think it is too long and I am not at all sure I would call it a children’s book. I kept wishing for a lapine dictionary, only to find a glossary at the end of the book. Too late, I had just finished the story.

Richard Adams did a great job of developing characters and making them appealing. I came to care about a great number of the players in the tale of the rabbits moving to establish a safe and pleasant home at Watership Down. I am not sure who I would call my favorite character, all of them had attributes that were compelling. I found myself identifying with Hazel, trusting Fiver, admiring Bigwig and fearing General Woundwort. As I read the book, I was especially entertained by Kehaar, the seagull that became an important ally in the battles of Efrafa. I think the reason I liked him is that I know some folks in the Caribbean that sound a lot like the feathered fellow from the “Beeg Vater”.

Adams was masterful in moving the story along and making me believe these rabbits have proverbs and prophecies, longings and loyalties. I am not sure what message Adams hoped to transmit to the readers, but the one that rang out loudest to me was that everyone in a community is an important element of the society, from the smallest and meekest to the wisest and strongest.

I was pleased with the book and am pleased that I spent the time to read it. The next selection for the group is The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. If you would like to participate in the book club, read the book and post a review on June 25. Happy reading.

Sports Addict

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 20:17:57 GMT

For a sports nut like me, there is an insatiable interest in what is happening in the sports world. I seek information all the time, whether it be baseball talk, free football picks, NBA scouting reports or stats for a fantasy league. is a place where I can get all that and a lot more.

The Lonely Men, by Louis L'Amour

Thu, 29 May 2008 23:42:56 GMT

The saga of the Sackett clan, and of the opening of the American West, continues in this Louis L’Amour novel. The story used as the vehicle to present the history is a again focused on the moves of William Tell Sackett. He and three other lonely Western men undertake a dangerous trip into the Sierra Madre of Mexico to retrieve some white children who have been abducted by raiding Apache Indians.

The tale takes the reader into some wilderness country and deals with some character of the men of the West. It is another winner from L’Amour.

Read Rap Lyrics

Thu, 29 May 2008 23:13:02 GMT

Does your child like to listen to Rap Music? Does it make you want to know what he or she is actually hearing? If you would like to check out the Rap Lyrics your kids are listening to, you can go to Rap (image)

On that website you can read the words to the songs by your child’s favorite artists. Even the latest songs are available for your perusal.

The Sackett Brand

Thu, 29 May 2008 23:04:24 GMT

I love Louis L'Amour novels. They are fun stories, usually about the Old West in the United States. L'Amour used the growth of a fictional family through several books as the vehicle to trace out the growth of the nation. The family is the Sackett family.

In the Sackett Brand, William Tell Sackett is the feature character. He is shot from ambush as the book opens, leaving him hurt and without weapons or a horse. He has no idea why he was the target, but his will to live is played out through the book. Once he gets to the strength to search for his assailant, he first discovers that his wife has been killed. Tell is sought by his unknown enemy. The "bad guy" in the story uses his ranch hands to trap Sackett in the Mogollons, but the word of a Sackett in trouble brings his kinfolks from all over the country to assist their relative. Those relatives even the odds and Tell is able to face and defeat his enemy.

It was fun to read this story again.


Tue, 13 May 2008 19:49:37 GMT

I have a certification as a Biology teacher, and I frequently find myself reading about medical advancements, even if I personally may never be the beneficiary of the techniques. That was the case when I recently read about the Atlanta Center for Laproscopic Urogynecology. That is the location where Dr. John Miklos and Dr. Robert Moore practice their skills. They offer bladder surgery, vaginal surgery and a wide range of other procedures that relieve problems and rejuvenate their patients. Drs. Miklos and Moore are internationally renowned for their expertise in the field of laproscopic urogynecological procedures!

I enjoy reading about such advancements, but I am glad I will never need their services!

Church Bulletins

Tue, 13 May 2008 15:36:53 GMT

I receive several church bulletins each week, as I have served in a few congregations and have colleagues serving at others. It is a source of information and often of inspiration for a lesson I want to teach here. But one of the things that is very common is to find typographical or grammatical errors that make some hilarious reading!

Mon, 12 May 2008 16:37:01 GMT

For me it is baseball season, but for a lot of addicts, there is no sport other than football! For them website not to be missed is There you can receive all the information their hearts could desire about NFL football and NCAA football, just by clicking on football picks. There also are roundtables, fantasy information, team histories and much more!

Prince Caspian

Mon, 12 May 2008 16:29:49 GMT

My Grandsons and I are rereading the second in classic series of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. They are so excited that the movie is coming out this week that they could not wait to hear the tale of Prince Caspian reclaiming the land of Narnia for the followers of Aslan!

The story is a sequel to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The land has fallen to ruin under the leadership of the usurping King Miraz, a Telmarine. The rightful king, Caspian is his nephew. Miraz was happy to leave Caspian alive as his successor, until he had a son of his own. But with the help of the Talking Beasts, the Pevensie children and, of course, from Aslan, right prevails!