Monday, July 27, 2015

By Ronald Kessler

OVERVIEW: The First Family Detail reveals: *Vice President Joe Biden regularly orders the Secret Service to keep his military aide with the nuclear football a mile behind his motorcade, potentially leaving the country unable to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack. *Secret Service agents discovered that former president Bill Clinton has a blond mistress—code named Energizer by the agents—who lives near the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, New York *The Secret Service covered up; the fact that President Ronald Reagan's White House staff overruled the agency to let unscreened spectators get close to Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton, allowing John W. Hinckley Jr. to shoot the president.* Because Hillary Clinton is so nasty to agents, being assigned to her protective detail is considered a form of punishment and the worst assignment in the Secret Service.
(From the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: RONALD KESSLER is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of the FBI, In the President's Secret Service, and The CIA at War. A former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post investigative reporter, Kessler has won eighteen journalism awards.

MY REVIEW: We all love stories. We all love storytellers. Ronald Kessler is a skilled storyteller. The stories he tells in this book are not fiction. This is dead-serious nonfiction. This book is crammed with headline-making revelations. It's about what goes on in the private lives of presidents, presidential candidates and their wives and children. This is a book about what these people are really like.

Secret Service agents have a front-row seat where they look on the private lives of those who lead our country. In this book Secret Service agents reveal the hidden lives of the presidents. If you are among the many interested in these behind the scene stories, you will love this book. If not, you will find Kessler's book a waster of time. Only you can make the decision.

One of the most interesting chapters, for me, was chapter eleven: White House Collar. This chapter tells the interesting story about how many people try to get into the White House to see the President and how the Secret Service protects him from these people and all those who might do him harm. The book has twenty-six chapters or stories and an epilogue. The stories are brief and the book is small. It's an easy, fun read. And very informative.

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


Friday, July 10, 2015

Medicine Park, Oklahoma is a beautiful little community about twenty miles from my home town of Lawton.

I started preaching there while I was still in High School.

The church met in a little cobblestone school building down by the creek.

Every Sunday I would teach a Bible Class. And then step up onto the school stage and lead the singing, read Scripture and pray. After that I would preach for about twenty-five minutes.

When I first started preaching there we had eleven members. The church grew slowly. But it did grow. As soon as a person confessed their faith in Christ we baptized them. In the warm part of the year we went to one of the beautiful lakes close by. In the winter months we drove into one of the Lawton church buildings and used their baptistery.

When it was time for me to leave for Abilene Christian College the church had grown to thirty-five members.

This little group of Christians hated to see me go but they were happy for me that I could continue my education and prepare to better preach the gospel.

On my last Sunday we had a little going away party. It was a pot-luck. That's what churches did back then. As we said our last good-byes they all gathered around to hug me and then a dear, old, gentleman pressed an envelope into my hand and walked away with tears in his eyes.

The envelope had money in it. Not much. But probably a sacrifice for most.

I went to Abilene Christian. I graduated with a major in Bible and a minor in speech.

What touched me the most when I opened that envelope was not the bills (although I needed them the most) but the change. Somebody---maybe a child or a widow, didn't have much but wanted to give. That was fifty-nine years ago but I get misty eyed every time I think about it---and that is often.

I loved that little church. I love the Lord's church every where. Always have. Always will. 


Monday, July 06, 2015

A Life In The Public Square
By Randy Boyagoda

OVERVIEW: Best known as the editor in chief of First Things magazine, a fixture in the national media, and a personal counselor to Pope John Paul II and President George W. Bush, Richard John Neuhaus was a brilliant, hard-charging hero for religious and political conservatives, and a fearsome, well-connected nemesis of religious and secular liberals. But his remarkable array of involvements in American public life weren't always conservative, or Catholic for that matter. For all the headline-grabbing and powerful influence, however, the heart of this captivating biography is the story of a man motivated in all things by a simple love of God—from his humble beginnings during the Depression in rural Canada to his days as a young Lutheran pastor in the inner cities of Brooklyn and then Manhattan to his years as, arguably, the most influential religious voice in America.

AUTHOR: Randy Boyagoda is a professor of American Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto. His most recent novel, Beggar's Feast, was selected as a New York times Book Review Editor's Choice, was nominated for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and hs been published to critical acclaim around the world. He written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, First Things, the New Statesman, and Harper's.

MY REVIEW: Richard John Neuhaus lived a fascinating and active life. This is a captivating biography. Neuhaus was one of the leading religious figures of the 20th century. He passionately defended and encouraged bringing religion into the public square. My personal beliefs and doctrine is vastly different than his, both when he was a Lutheran and then as a Catholic. But I strongly agree with his feelings about bringing religion into everyday life in general and especially politics.

I recommend this book to all those who love to read biographies. This is a good one! You will be interested in a man who was labeled sometimes as liberal and others times as conservative. "Neuhaus was truly a sign of contradiction in our times." Author Randy Boyagoda has written a biography that is balanced, interesting and relevant. He has done careful research and although he writes in a very detailed way, he is able to hold your interest.

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