Monday, November 30, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: THE TREASURE PRINCIPLE--Unlocking The Secret Of Joyful Giving
By Randy Alcorn

OVERVIEW: In Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle, you'll unearth a radical teaching of Jesus--a secret wrapped up in giving. Once you discover this secret, life will never look the same. And you won't want it to!

John Piper, senior pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis said of this book, "supercharged with stunning, divine truth! Lightning struck over and over as I read it." Howard Dayton, CEO, Crown Financial Ministries said, "The Treasure Principle will change your life! This book is destined to become a classic." And Hugh Maclellan, president, The Maclellan Foundation remarked, "The Scripture passages and illustrations really ring true. Just what I needed!"

AUTHOR: Randy Alborn is a bestselling author and is founder and director of Eternal Pespective Ministries. He has written several novels and he wrote the stewardship classic, Money, Possessions, and Eternity. He also wrote the definitive book on the afterlife, Heaven.

MY REVIEW: Money seems to be the number one thing on people's minds right now. It's not about spending money--because many people do not have any to spend. The only people spending money right now are those in charge of our government.

I wanted to review this book at this time because I'm hoping pastors will order a copy for every family unit in their congregations and begin the new year with everybody studying this important topic. I predict that if they do, it will change and bless their church and the cause of Christ in general. It is impossible to seriously study this book and not be changed.

My wife and I were applying these principles to our lives before we read Randy's marvelous book. Our lives have been blessed beyond belief. Randy's book would have reinforced this principle and strengthened our faith. We didn't have these materials--but you do. Please don't miss this opportunity for spiritual growth and blessing. I wish that every Christian could read the chapter: 31 Radical, Liberating Questions To Ask God About Giving. It is powerful!

Eternal Perspective Ministries is offering this book and a packet of materials to pastors free of charge. I urge you to get this material and begin a study with your congregation. Individuals may purchase the book at retail for $9.99 or it is available from Eternal Perspective Ministries for $7.99. My only interest is to see you and your family blessed by God when you follow His directions. I know you will be!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

Things may not be perfect in your life, but if you hope to get to where you want to go, you must be happy right where you are. Many people assume that they are not going to be happy until their circumstances change--until their spouse changes, or until they get a bigger house, or until they get rid of all their problems.

Don't make that mistake. Enjoy your life right where you are. Maybe you have some major obstacles in your path, but being discouraged is not going to make anything better. You need to realize that God is in control of your life. He's directing your steps, and He has you exactly where He wants you.

(From Joel Osteen's book, Your Best Life Begins Each Morning)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have always loved this time of the year. Thanksgiving Day has always been a special time. This year it has been made extra special because of our visit to Plymouth, MA. Even though our visit there was in early November, when we arrived at the Museum Shop at Plimoth Plantation (They spell it with an i) we were surrounded by "Thanksgiving". The gift shop was filled with beautiful things connecting back to the the English colonists known as "Pilgrims."

We saw the ship Mayflower ll docked on Plymouth's scenic waterfront and we also saw Plymouth rock where they landed. When you are there your mind goes back in time and you see the beginnings of New England with new eyes. I wish you could have been there with us.

I am grateful everyday for all the blessings of God. I know you are too. I pray that this Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed day for you in every way.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 I love hot dogs. Always have. I especially love chili dogs.

Charlotte can tolerate them if there just isn't anything else to eat. She doesn't really like them.

However sometimes--and this has only been in the last few months, she will eat, not a whole one, but a piece of a Frick's Frank when I have the package out.

We were checking out at Sprouts.

The checker picked up the Frick's Franks--Hickory Smoked, Fully Cooked, Gourmet Franks that is.

She asked Charlotte, "Are these good?"

Charlotte said, "They are delicious!"

I went into shock.

I thought to myself, "Who IS this woman?"


Monday, November 23, 2009

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Loss Of Carrier

BookSurge Publishing (October 27, 2009)


Russ White


Bright yellow cables against a blue shirt? Carl never would have approved of that color combination. Why was his face so white? His eyes should be closed, not open. Why hadn’t one of the security guards seen this and reported it to the police? The lights were off, the cameras were useless in the dark.

Of course, the cables wrapped around Carl’s neck explained why the server wasn’t working. Loss of carrier.

Jess Wirth lives a dreary life. He spends most of his time crammed inside a cubicle, toiling as a network engineer and stewing over the details of his ugly divorce. But when he finds his co-worker dead in the basement of their office, Jess’s life takes a surprising—and unpleasant—turn.

The police quickly declare the death a suicide, but Jess isn’t so sure. Not long after he begins digging into the victim’s work, another co-worker turns up dead, convincing him once and for all that something sinister is brewing behind the cubicle walls.

His investigation leads him to a mysterious woman name Leah, who pushes him to entrust her with the information he’s collected about his dead colleagues. Wary of Leah’s motives yet inexorably drawn to her, Jess keeps her at arm’s length...until an attempt is made on both their lives. Realizing they are close on the trail of a dangerous criminal, the pair race to expose a data theft ring before they become the killer’s next victims.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Loss Of Carrier, go HERE

MY REVIEW: My computer was "acting up" when Christian Fiction Blog Alliance published their list of books for review in November. I was not able to see the list and therefore could not choose any for review. Bonnie Calhoun at CFBA was kind enough to select Loss of Carrier for me. And I am glad she did.

Knowing this was Russ White's debut novel I approached it not knowing what to expect. I am happy to report that the book is filled with action and suspense and makes you want to keep reading. I was upstairs reading one evening when my wife called me to dinner. I hated to put the book down and I love to eat.
I did enjoy eating dinner more than reading the book but I still recommend this as a good read for those who love suspense filled novels.

The many Christians who read my reviews will be pleased to know that White portrays Christians in a positive, realistic way as they live in a real world. There is a clear positive message about waiting for sex until after marriage. I appreciated this portrayal of Christians and I know you will too.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

(In his book, Seasons of Life, Charles Swindoll says, "I've got a love affair going with Thanksgiving. Hands down, it's my favorite holiday of all." And then he states four reasons for feeling this way. Today I want to quote part of his third reason.)

Third, it drips with national nostalgia. ...I recall as a little barefoot boy with a cowlick of snow-white hair on my forehead, standing erect in my classroom and repeating the "Pledge of Allegiance" one Thanksgiving season. Our nation was at war and times were hard. My teacher had lost her husband on the bloodwashed shores of Normandy. As we later bowed our heads for prayer she wept aloud. I did too. All the class joined in. She stumbled through one of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that ever emerged from a soul plunged in pain. At that time in my young life, I fell strangely in love with Thanksgiving. ...I swore before God that I would fight to the end to keep this land free from foes who would want to take away America's distinctives and the joys of living in this good land. I have never forgotten my childhood promise. I never shall.

(Charles Swindoll does not mention it here but I want you to know he grew up to be a marine. He was a marine before he was a minister.)



Friday, November 20, 2009

THE BIRDS ARE BACK: Yes, the birds are back--Snow Birds that is. The swallows return to Capistrano every year and the Snow Birds return to Arizona but the numbers have been down the last two years. This year, however, they have come back in large numbers. Yesterday Charlotte and I saw a couple from Minnesota driving along in a convertible with the top down. I told her that they would send all their relatives and friends back home a card with the following message: "Having great time in Scottsdale. We have been driving around with the top down and getting a tan."

THANKSGIVING: "With the number of turkeys I'm having to handle, by Thanksgiving I won't even want to look at a turkey." The older lady bagging our grocery's at Fry's Market had seen all the turkeys she wanted to see. She was understandably tired! I suspect that come Thanksgiving Day she along with most of us will be happy to see the turkey and thankful for it, all the food that goes with it and all of our blessings.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?: "Up, Up and Away"! Yesterday there was a computer problem someplace and flights all over were fouled up. Needless to say people were unhappy. I used to travel much more than I do now and the worst experience I can remember was trying to get out of Paris on a flight back home. Flights were backed up. Changes had to be made. It was a mad house and they either couldn't understand English or needed to pretend they didn't. We did finally get home--of course. Being in the safety and security of home I can think sanely (Kinda). I am sincerely grateful for airplanes, those who fly them and all that goes into making this kind of travel possible. I AM TRULY AMAZED AND THANKFUL FOR THOSE WHO DO ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS FOR ME THAT I CAN'T DO FOR MYSELF!

BRING ON THE TURKEY AND DRESSING: When the turkey and everything that goes with it is placed on the table, I go for the dressing. It hasn't always been this way. When I was a kid I couldn't stand it. But now that I am older--much older and a little wiser, I love dressing!

TRULY THANKFUL: I'm praying this morning that you are as blessed as I am. Wow! With all the craziness that goes on all around us, isn't it amazing that God somehow lifts us above it all and leads us on? I start off every morning reading the newspaper and then with a cup of coffee in my hand I sit down to watch the morning news. It is mostly bad, bad, bad. I sit there and complain, complain, complain. I hope I complain because I care and not because I am ungrateful. I want to be a grateful person. Not just this time of the year--but always!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

REGRET-FREE LIVING: Hope For Past Mistakes and FREEDOM From Unhealthy Patterns
By Stephen Arterburn

OVERVIEW: REGRET-FREE LIVING takes the focus from what was and what might have been and shines a bright light onto the path of what is and what is to be. Christian counselor Stephen Arterburn speaks honestly and forthrightly about what it takes to build strong, healthy relationships. Drawing on his own positive and negative experiences, he offers specific steps to rid yourself of relationship regrets, open your heart to healing, and move forward in love.

Arterburn's practical counsel shows you how to recognize the signs and qualities of both happy and unhappy relationships, admit guilt and accept responsibility, find and give forgiveness, set boundaries, love and give out of fullness, and much more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries--the nation's largest faith-based broadcast, counseling, and treatment ministry--and is the host of the nationally syndicated New Life Live! daily radio program heard on over 200 stations in the United States, on two satellite stations, and around the world online. A nationally known speaker, he has been featured on CNN Live, and in the New York Times, US News & World Report, and Rolling Stone, and many other media outlets. Steve is the founder of the Women of Faith conferences and is a bestselling author of more than 80 books, including the multimillion-selling Every Man's Battle series; Being Christian; Toxic Faith; More Jesus, Less Religion; and The Life Recovery Bible.

MY REVIEW: After forty-seven years as a pastor which included many hours of counseling, I recognize the need, almost desperate need, for help to overcome regret and debilitating guilt. Stephen Arterburn has blessed us all by writing this practical and extremely helpful book. With grace and transparency, he shares some of his biggest regrets and how he has learned both to live beyond them and to allow God to use them.

In my opinion, the most powerful and helpful thing in the book is found in the introduction. He relates there, as he has in other books, how he talked a girlfriend whom he got pregnant into ending the life of their unborn child. After reading about this terrible mistake and sin and what he did about it made me eager to read the book.

I wish this book had been available back when I was a young minister just beginning my ministry. There is something in this book for all of us. The chapter that will be most helpful to you will depend on where you are in life and where you have been. I will mention just one chapter that stood out to me: Chapter 12, Restoring Warmth and Trust. The chapter begins: "A very good friend of mine whom I'll call Bill had the worst possible relationship with his father. They didn't argue and curse at each other. They didn't rail and harangue. They didn't argue vociferously and then retreat, hurt and insulted, back into their corners before beginning yet another round of active hostilities. They didn't stab each other in the back. They didn't spread gossip to other family members. Their relationship was worse than any of that. ...Bill and his father didn't communicate at all."

Arterburn  relates how a hole remained in their relationship for twenty-five years. Bill married, had three children but still never talked to his father. And then I love this part of the story: "Then one day, with the help and guidance of dear friends who prayed for and with Bill until--praise the Lord!--the Holy spirit was awakened within him, Bill came to Jesus. He was about thirty-eight when he finally fell into the arms of his heavenly Father, who from Bill's birth had never for a moment stopped trying to communicate with him."

I highly recommend this book. Most of us need it. If you don't you probably know somebody who does.

Regret-Free Living can be purchased from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I am giving away two copies of this excellent book. If you are interested, read the information below and leave a comment.


The generous folks at Bethany House are allowing me to host this book giveaway for two (2) copies!
  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.
  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments December 3 and pick the two winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

By Steven Hornby

OVERVIEW:  British author, Steven Hornby brings to life this wonderful children's novel.

In the secret world of the Christmas "Tree-Dwellers", Larry, a glass snowman, wakes up from the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother missing from the tree. With friends, he escapes into the house to search for  him, and embarks on a series of fantastical adventures.

Praise comes easy for this book: "A flawlessly executed piece of imagination...Larry, Debbie and Splint will become Christmas icons, just like Frosty and Rudolph." B.B. Blog Review, Katrina Hall, "With suspenseful and surprising moments, Secrets of a Christmas Box makes for a great read during the holidays." 5 MinutesForBooks, Dawn Mooney  "Guaranteed to put a smile on your face every year as you prepare for the holiday season. A very creative and imaginative tale with memorable characters." BookPleasures Chris McCllister said, "Evolves into a truly riveting adventure...this story is a treasure. I will keep it, I will share it, I will re-read it and it will always live in my memory." Bobbie Wilson, age 8 said, "This book is as important to the Christmas season as the story of the 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'." And Cherise Everhard remarked, "You will never look at decorating the Christmas tree in the same way again. This is a story that is meant to be shared and enjoyed by all ages. I highly recommend it."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steven Honby is a multi award winning animator and has been storytelling for over 15 years in visual effects and animated movies. He was born in Preston, England and attend Lancaster University for Design Communication. He is best know for his award winning animation, bringing to life J.R.R. Tolkien's fictinal character, Gollum on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He initially planned 'Secrets of a Christmas Box' as a screenplay after spending several years having the story running around in his head, but instead turned it into his first children's novel.

MY REVIEW: The Secrets of a Christmas Box is delightful in every way. In a few days I am going to be reviewing a wonderful adult Christmas book--but this one is for children. So if you have young children at home or grandchildren, then you want to get a copy of this delightful and gorgeous book. Young children will enjoy just sitting looking at the beautiful dust jacket. The same full color picture is just inside the book covering two pages. There are black and white drawings of the marvelous characters throughout the book. I never buy a book just for the cover--but this one is tempting.

If I had young children in my home or living near by, I would follow the words found on the inside cover of the book: "From the start of December, to Christmas Eve night, one chapter an evening, wrapped up with delight."

My only interest in having you buy a copy of this book is the joy I would get from knowing you and your loved ones were spending some quality time together with smiles on your faces and joy in your hearts. You can find out how to purchase the book at


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- SPECIAL EDITION: The Charles Dickens Classic with Christian Insights & Discussion Questions for Groups & Families
By Stephen Skelton

OVERVIEW: Since its publication in 1843, the tale of a miserly old man and the ghosts who visit him has been bringing the true spirit of Christmas into hearts and homes. Whether you've read the story a thousand times, or have only seen the movie, A Christmas Carol Special Edition will enrich your enjoyment of this holiday favorite with: *The complete text of the Charles Dickens classic. *Annotations offering interesting insight into the story's biblical allusions, the author's faith, and compelling Christian themes throughout. *Discussion questions designed to engage and promote dialogue among readers of all ages on such subjects as regret, repentance, and redemption. *A list of related souces to enhance your study.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Charles Dickens has held the title of the world's most celebrated nineteenth-century novelist for more than two centuries. Incredibly, his popularity continues to grow boday. In addition to A Christmas Carol, his legendary works include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.  Stephen Skelton is the producer of a best-selling video-based Bible study series, which includes The Mayberry Bible Study, and The Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.

The book sells for $7.99. For more information please visit

MY REVIEW: My review of this book is being done well before Christmas because I hope that churches will order many of these wonderful little books and use them in their classes and small group discussion groups. I am not involved with Standard Publishing Company in any way and my only profit would be the joy of knowing that many were celebrating the season by studying this Christmas classic based on the greatest story ever told.

I was delighted to discover the value of the notes written by Stephen Skelton. They offered great insight into the history behind this classic. I learned things from these notes that I would never have known without much study on my own.  The list of related resources to enhance your study are also of great value.

The thing I appreciated most about the book was the discussion section at the end of each stave or chapter. The topics discussed are selfishness, regret, repentance, salvation and rebirth. It doesn't get much better than this. It may be that you could get a friend to study this book and these subjects with you at Christmas time when they wouldn't at any other time.

I have been suggesting this as a study to be used by churches but it would also be an excellent study for your family in the weeks leading up to Christmas.


Monday, November 16, 2009

This morning I posted about happiness. Now I want to illustrate one example of happiness.

That example is our son, Allen.

One of the happiest days in our lives happened in San Gabriel, California when Allen was born.

He has always been a joy and a blessing. In forty-seven years I can't remember one day when he wasn't a joy in our lives. We thank God for him every day!

He is always in a good mood and a joy and a pleasure to be around.

Like his sister before him, he left our home in Northern California and went to Malibu to attend Pepperdine University. We missed him terribly.

When he graduated he continued to live and work in Southern California. We moved to Arizona.

Another happy day in our lives was when he and Carol moved from Southern California to Phoenix and now live about five miles from us.

Yesterday was Allen's birthday. In our hearts we celebrate his birthday--everyday!





It is a simple yet profound truth: happiness is a choice. You don't have to wait for everything to be perfect in your family or with your business. You don't have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit, or accomplish all your goals. Happiness is yhour choice.

You might as well choose to be happy and enjoy your life! When you do that, not only will you feel better, but your faith will cause God to show up and work wonders. To do so, you must learn to live in today, one day at a time; better yet, make the most of this moment. It's good to set goals and make plans, but if you're always living in the future, you're never really enjoying the present in the way God wants us to.

(From Your Best Life Begins Each Morning by Joel Osteen)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

For many years Charles Swindoll has been one of my favorite preachers. When he preached at Fullerton, California I went to hear him peach any time I was in the area on Sunday. He now lives and preaches in Texas. I continue to listen to him on the radio and read his books. Today I was going to post something from his splendid book, Hope Again: When Life Hurts And Dreams Fade. I came across one of his prayers in the beginning of the book. I was uplifted and encouraged by it. I hope you are too.

Dear Father, every person reading these words, including the one writing them, has experienced failure. It has left us broken and disappointed in ourselves. And there are times when a flashback of those failures returns to haunts us. How sad it makes us when we recall those moments! Thank You for the remarkable transformation made possible by forgiveness. Thank You for understanding that "we are but dust," often incapable of fulfilling our own promises or living up to our own expectations.

Renew our hope--hope beyond failure--as we read and reflect on the words of Peter, with whom we can so easily identify. Remind us that, just as You used him after he had failed repeatedly, You will also use us, by Your grace.

May we find fresh encouragement from his words and new strength from his counsel as we journey together with Peter as our guide. We look to You for the ability to hope again, for You, alone, have the power to make something beautiful and good out of lives littered with the debris of words we should never have said and deeds we should never have done.

Our only source of relief comes through Your grace. Bring it to our attention again and again as we discover the truths You led the old fisherman to write so many years ago. In the gracious name of Jesus, I ask this.



Friday, November 13, 2009


There have been dozens of witnesses to crimes, the accused have even confessed and still we wait for justice.


Am I calling for vigilante justice--hang'um high? NO!

I am calling for common sense. I'm calling for an end to political correctness.

When do I think political correctness should end?



Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 CITIES THAT RULED THE WORLD: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London & New York Shaped Global History
By Douglas Wilson

OVERVIEW: In Five Cities that Ruled the World, theologian Douglas Wilson uses together in compelling detail, the critical moments birthed in history's most influential cities--Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York.

Wilson issues a challenge to our collective understanding of history with the juxtapositions of freedom and its intrinsic failures; liberty and its deep-seated liabilities. Each revelation beckoning us deeper into a city's story, its political systems, and how it flourished and floundered.

MY REVIEW:  Douglas Wilson is a brilliant theologian and writer. He is a senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College. He has taught ethics and logic elsewhere at the college level. He is the author of numerous books on education, theology and culture.

If you are a serious student of history and really want to learn something--you will love this book. I did! I rate this as one of the best books I have read this year. I want to emphasis however, that unless you are a serious student, you will not enjoy this book. Wilson writes in an interesting way and if you are serious about wanting to know about these cities and how they have shaped history you will not want to put this book down.

I have visited and read much about three of the five cities: Jerusalem, Athens and London. From this book I learned many things about these cities I did not know. Someone said, "It's history that teaches us hope." I agree with that. After reading this book I felt inspired, enlightened and encouraged to honor our shared history. I want to contribute to the present and I look to the future with unmistakable hope.

I contend that each of us knows what kind of reader we are. Hopefully then, you will know after reading my review if this is a book for you. It was for me and I recommend it to all like minded readers.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I love America! I love the American Flag and everything it stands for.

Below is a picture at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, where we visited recently. I love and respect the office of the President of The United States.

I love and respect all of those who have fought and died for our freedom. This is a picture from the Freedom Trail in Boston. It's exciting to walk this trail and think about all that has been done to keep this nation free.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE SUGARLESS PLUM:A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes
By Zippora Karz

OVERVIEW:  By the age of 20, professional ballerina Zippora Karz had already fulfilled her life's dream. Having left home at the age of 15 to pursue her career on the stage, Karz had become a rising star with the New york city Ballet, winning accolades as the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy in Tchaikovsky's  classic, The Nutcracker.

A year later, however, Karz nearly lost it all. Exhausted, thirsty, hungry, dizzy urinating frequently and breaking out in sores, she was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, then desperately went from doctor to doctor trying to learn how to manage the condition that was jeopardizing her career and, Karz feared, her life. After years of ill-judged and misguided attempts to obtain peak performance, Karz finally learned the truth; the aspiring prima ballerina had Type-1 Diabetes, and would require regular injections of insulin for the rest of her life. Balancing ballet and her blood sugar would be a difficult struggle for Karz, but eventually she learned ot value her body and work with it, rathetr than rage at its limitations.

MY REVIEW: "From the very first sentence I was pulled into a magnificent story of triumph over adversity. Zippora's story gives courage and strength to anyone with diabetes." These words were written by M.D. Lois Jovanovic who works with Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. I agree with them one hundred percent. This is a magnificent story of triumph and it does give courage and strength to those with diabetes. I know. I am a diabetic.

This is not just a book for those with diabetes. Karz has written a book that will hold the attention of anyone interested in life. Her story is one of triumphant and struggle, love found and love lost. Many will identify with her in the successful times as well as the down times. Zippora Karz masterfully tells the story of walking with the elite and with the common people at the same time.

If I was looking for one word to describe Zippora Karz and her story I would choose--passion! I love it when she says, "My message is simple: Passion is what motivates us and gives our life meaning. My passion for dance gave me a reason to be healthy. Each one of us needs to find our passion in life and use that to motivate us to take care of our health."

This is a beautifully written and inspiring book. Mistakes? Yes, Ziippora Karz, like all of us, made some mistakes in life. She learned from them and wants to keep us from making the same ones. I recommend this book!


Monday, November 09, 2009

This will be my last post on our trip to New England. I fear becoming like the person who drags out all the slides of family vacations, special days, etc. and has you watch them for hours. Look at these ONLY if you are interested. I hope you are.

We enjoyed visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. It is the official memorial to our nation's 35th President. It is situated on a 10-acre park overlooking Boston Harbor.

Sitting in front of the Fishermen's Memorial in Gloucester, MA. I could look out on the water where the boats come in from the sea. This Leonard Craske sculpture is dedicated to the memory of all Gloucester fishermen. It is often called "The Man at the Wheel." Gloucester's beauty and spirit have inspired generations of writers and artists.

This is the famous, much-painted Motif #1 fisherman's shack at Rockport harbor. It is a replica of the 1840's original which was swept into the harbor by a blizzard in 1978. The little seaport village of Rockport was one of my favorite places of all the ones we visited.

I loved the people we met in New England. Traveling through the back roads and by the ocean we stopped a few times to ask directions. Everyone was friendly, polite and helpful. I disturbed one couple who were eating their lunch and looking out at the beautiful waves breaking in on the rocky beach. The man ran to his car, came back with a map and described in glowing terms the places I just "couldn't afford to miss." I apologized to his wife for disturbing their lunch. She said, "he was just sitting here waiting for you to come along and ask for directions." I went into a little country store/restaurant and talked with the owner and a couple of customers and you would have thought that I was their long lost cousin. Great people!!

Here is Charlotte standing in front of a replica of the Mayflower. Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the ship that crossed the Atlantic in 1620. I loved the Plymouth area and could have spent days there.

Here I am walking up to Spangler Hall at the Harvard School of Business. We ate a great lunch there in a huge dining room filled with students and faculty.

If you have never been to New England, I hope you get to go someday. For many years I had the dream of going in my mind but I didn't think I ever would. My dream came true! If you want to go--keep dreaming!! But don't go this time of the year if you can help it. You will see too many signs like the one above.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

It isn't the thing you do;
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you a bit of heartache,
At the setting of the sun.

The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent,
Are your haunting ghosts tonight.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother's way,
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say.

The loving touch of the hand,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
Those chances to be helpful
Which everyone may find--

No, it's not the thing you do,
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

                           Margaret E. Sangster


Friday, November 06, 2009

As far as I am concerned food and fun go together.

Our first meal in Boston was at our motel. They serve an evening meal Monday through Thursday. We arrived on Wednesday evening. We made it just in time for hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, fruit and cold beverages. We finished off the meal with coffee and hot chocolate chip cookies. I love hamburgers and hot dogs.

Our second meal was breakfast at the motel. Every morning they serve a wonderful breakfast. There are too many choices for me to name them all. I enjoyed eggs, sausage, biscuits, fruit, orange juice and coffee.

Our next meal was lunch at the Union Oyster House, America' oldest restaurant, established in 1826. It is a national historic landmark and a favorite eating place of the Kennedy family. It is now a favorite eating place for Clifton Ditmore although I may never have the pleasure of being there again.

We ate a lot of sea food while we were in New England. We loved the food at a little restaurant in the wonderful seaport village of Rockport, MA. It was scrumptious!

That's enough pictures of food. We  were eating and having fun through New Hampshire, up to Maine and all the way down to Cape Cod. We had our first canolis ever at Mike's famous pastry shop in the North End. There are Dunkin Donut Shops all over the Boston area. So of course we had one--or two. Hey, even diabetics are allowed to have fun on vacation, My doctor said so!


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fortified and full from a great breakfast we headed for the train station. The ride into Boston from Woburn (twelve miles) took about twenty-five minutes with a few stops along the way. We enjoyed seeing the fall foliage and the few small towns we passed through. The trains last stop, where we got off, was in downtown Boston right at Boston Garden where their famous basketball team plays.

We took the trolley tour called City View which takes an hour and makes nine stops. We made an entire day of it by getting off at each stop and walking the area. We walked through the beautiful Public Garden, Boston Commons, past the old, original Cheers and the many,many sites along the Freedom Trail. We spent much of our time at the Quincy Market, Fanuel Hall area. We ate lunch at the wonderful Union Oyster House. One of the high lights of our walking tour was the Old North Church.We walked and walked and then walked some more. When we were on our "last leg" we stopped at the famous Mikes Pastry Shop and sat down to eat canolis. They were delicious. We had never had canolis before. We had only heard them talked about on Everybody Loves Raymond.

We rode the train back to our home away from home--The Marriott Residence Inn in Woburn where we enjoyed a splendid dinner.

When it was time to go to bed nobody had to rock us to sleep. We went to sleep with smiles on our faces and slept like babies (Happy babies).


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

One Fine Season

AuthorHouse (November 25, 2008)


Michael Sheehan


Michael Sheehan is CEO and founder of BioResource, a company that distributes natural remedies including the popular INFLAMYAR ointment for sports injuries. He wrote One Fine Season to honor the memories of two childhood friends who died young, before they could realize their dreams.

One Fine Season is true to life. It draws on Sheehan’s religious education at a Catholic seminary and his experience as a high school baseball and collegiate soccer player. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Sheehan also earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Boston University. He lives in Northern California.


ONE FINE SEASON tells the story of a promising young athlete who must rise from the ashes of devastating personal loss to fulfill a pact made years earlier with his best friend.

Best friends Pete O’Brien and Danny Grace are gifted college athletes, both hoping for careers as professional baseball players. When tragedy strikes, Danny struggles to cope with his overwhelming grief and fulfill a pact the young men made years earlier: to play in the World Series.

Events unexpectedly thrust Danny into the spotlight with the new expansion team in Sacramento. Three guides – an aging catcher, spiritual centerfielder and wise manager – plus a beautiful woman lead him on a healing journey, revealing that even death cannot break the bonds of true friendship.

If you would like to read an excerpt from the first chapter of One Fine Season, go HERE

One Fine Season made my flight from Phoenix to Boston seem a lot shorter than it really was. It was difficult for me to put the book away and save the last half for my flight back to Phoenix. But thankfully I did and the last part of the book held my attention even more. I can't reveal the way the book ends but I can tell you that it is surprising, exciting and different. I liked the book and recommend it for all those interested in sports and stories about lasting friendship. But I was disappointed that the author had the hero of the book using the same foul language the other ball players used. And I was especially disappointed that the hero and his girlfriend participated in premarital sex. I don't live in a cave and I know what is going on in the world and I realize Michael Sheehan wanted to write a believable book. But he didn't hesitate to write other things in the book that are hard to believe. The book has a lot of truth about God, family and friendship that I respect and was pleased to read.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Charlotte, our daughter, Carol and I arrived back at Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix yesterday afternoon around 1:20.

We had a wonderful time on our trip to New England.

Carol went to Boston earlier than we did and spent a week at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge.

The day Charlotte and I arrived on the Harvard campus we "lost" our way into Spangler Hall at the Graduate School of Business and had a wonderful meal in their excellent cafeteria. There were long lines of students at every food center accept where the "comfort food" was. Guess where we headed.

Charlotte and I spent one day touring Boston and soaking up all the history, food and fun.

After her week of school Carol joined us. We then drove up through the glorious back roads of New Hampshire "soaking in" all the beautiful fall foliage. It was spectacular. The rugged coastline and smooth beaches were awesome. We absolutely loved the small town atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon. We drove all the way to the lovely state of Maine. Another day we drove down to Plymouth and Cape Cod. We ate a wonderful sea food lunch while looking out on the bay and thinking about the pilgrims. We took pictures of Plymouth rock and a replica of the Mayflower.

After visiting the John F. Kennedy Memorial library and all the historical sites in Boston I am back home dusting off some of my history books.

I have books to read and review that I must get to and then I look forward to posting in detail about our exciting trip. If you haven't been to New England, I hope you get to go some day.

But, like you, I love where I live and I'm glad to be home. I hope you are too!