Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bring them home! Never leave a soldier behind!

Is it an absolute that we should never leave a soldier behind?

Today we are hearing that it is. If any criticism is made regarding the price paid to bring a soldier home, we immediately hear, "We never leave a soldier behind."

Oh, ok I guess that's right, we never leave a soldier behind. There's nothing else to say.

But there is more to say.

We have to ask ourselves if there is ever a time or reason when we just have to leave a soldier behind.


The influential conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer says he would have made the deal to bring St. Bowe Bergdahl home. Yes, he would have freed the five Taliban militants in exchange for Bergdahl.

I have great respect for Krauthammer. But I would not have made this exchange. It is bad in many respects. I rarely disagree with him but I do this time. Krauthammer and I do not agree on all theological and religious topics why do we have to agree on this? We don't! As wise as he is, he doesn't know everything.

Soldiers take comfort in knowing that Americans never leave a soldier behind if there is any way humanly possible to bring them home without paying a price that even the soldiers themselves would refuse to pay.

The price for Bergdahl was absolutely too high to pay. And if that is the only deal that the enemy would make, then it should have been refused.

War is hell!

THE REAL WIN—Pursuing God's Plan for Authentic Success

Friday, June 06, 2014

Pursuing God's Plan for Authentic Success
By Colt McCoy and Matt Carter
with Marcus Brotherton

OVERVIEW: In The Real Win Colt McCoy and Matt Carter wrestle deeply and personally with the challenge to succeed in a world that seems to get in the way. They raise a lot of questions about this and then deliver down-to-earth, biblical answers. Based on their personal experiences and a close study of Scripture, McCoy and Carter show men: Why so much depends on who you trust and who you serve. Why every man is called to lead and why every man can. How to man up to temptation—and conquer it. How to find the "win" even in your biggest failure. The book now includes a bonus-section on mentoring, plus a small-group reading guide.

AUTHORS: Colt McCoy is an NFL quarterback who, while at the University of Texas, led his team to the BCS national championship game and became the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. Colt is involved in ministries around the world. During the off-season, he and his wife, Rachel, live in Austin, Texas. Matt Carter is founding pastor of the eight-thousand-member Austin Stone Community Church. He is a champion for the For the City Network, which helps churches partner with social service agencies to meet local needs. Matt is the author of several books, and he speaks at conferences nationwide. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. Marcus Brotherton is the author or co-author of more than twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestseller We Who Are Alive and Remain. He lives with his family in Washington state.

MY REVIEW: Best-selling author, Max Lucado said, "Colt McCoy and Matt Carter lead men to win—not just in athletics or careers, but in life. This book is packed with inspiration and practical guidance. I heartily recommend it." And so do I.

The Real Win will challenge and convict you. What I like best about it is that it will help you grow in your faith. It touches all the areas in which men struggle. It points the way to success by pointing to Jesus. Colt and Matt are not afraid to share their own struggles and failures. But they want you to look past your failures, their failures and look to Jesus Christ for your picture of success.

This book will point you to the real win!

(I received this book from Blogging For Books for a fair and honest review.)


Support Your Local Jesus Revolution
By Jonathan Storment

OVERVIEW: How To Start A Riot is a story about shipwrecks, snakebites, beatings, meetings, and other church events. This book takes us back into the first century so we can turn our world upside down as the Spirit through Peter and Paul did in their time. The way of Jesus has always been wilder than we think and more dangerous than we'd like. This is  a book about what it means to belong to the community of God—a book about how to Support Your Local Revolution. (Adapted from the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: Jonathan Storment has been in full-time ministry for over a decade. He served as associate preaching minister at The Hills Church in the Dallas area until 2010, and has been preaching minister at the Highland Church in Abilene, Texas, since 2010. Jonathan is a regular contributor to Scot McKnight's blog "Jesus Creed" and preaches at churches, university chapels, and conferences all over the world. He and his wife, Leslie, have three children: Eden, Samuel, and Hannah.

MY REVIEW: I don't know Jonathan Storment and I have never heard him preach. However, I do know Mike Cope, the preaching minister at Highland Church in Abilene, Texas, who preceded Jonathan. Mike is an outstanding preacher and writer and so I have been anxious to hear from the man who followed him in that pulpit. I still have not heard Jonathan preach but I have read this book and it is excellent. Mike likes it also. He said, "How To Start A Riot" is deeply theological, playful, and imaginative."

In the prologue Jonathan states, "I wrote this book because there is something breathtaking about the first Jesus followers. They are risky and gentle, kind and convicted, imprisoned and compassionate, dying and yet fully alive. I wrote this book because I have always wanted to get in on that. And I suspect I'm not the only one." He's not. He's not the only one! I want to. And I believe that many others do also. You may be one of those. If you are. Get this book. This book presents the Book of Acts in a way that you have never seen it before.

(I received this book from Leafwood Publishers for a fair and honest review.)


By Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey

OVERVIEW: In The Closer. Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers, and discusses the other "Core Four" teammates with whom he came up in the game—Jeter, Pettitte, and Posada. He examines the mental preparation that goes into being a world-class athlete, taking us on the jog from the bullpen to the mound―a place where the game, or the season, rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time―his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to his now wife, Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his incredible instincts for persevering. (From the back of the book.)

AUTHORS: Mariano Rivera was a New York Yankee for nineteen seasons. He is Major League Baseball's all-times saves and ERA leader, a thirteen-time All-Star, and a five-time World Champion. He and his wife, Clara, have three sons and live in New York. Wayne Coffey is one of the country's most acclaimed sports journalists. A writer for the New York Daily News, he co-wrote R.A. Dickey's bestselling Wherever I Wind Up and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Boys of Winter, among other books. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and children.

MY REVIEW: The man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door is finally sharing his life and journey with his many fans. Today he is considered a global legend and often listed with Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Jeter as one of the top six Yankees of all time. And yet when he was first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't own a glove and arrived at his Yankees tryout with his big toe sticking out of his shoe. He had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, and spoke no English

The thing that impresses me the most about Rivera is his faith in the Lord to guide him.  The Wall Street Journal called him the greatest closer in baseball history. ESPN said, "...There has never been anyone like this. And it's likely there never will be." Sports Illustrated called him one of the most respected athletes in the country for almost two decades. I agree!

If you are a baseball fan you will not want to put this book down. Even if you are not a fan of the game you will be inspired by the story of this son of a poor Panamanian fisherman.

(I received this book from The Barnabas Agency in exchange for a fair and honest review.)