Friday, December 30, 2011

First Date by Krista McGee

Addy Davison is to busy living her scheduled life and preparing for college to live life spontaneously. When her name is submitted for a new reality TV show to win a prom date with the President's son, Addy's world it turned upside down. She must learn to deal with mean girls, people who hate her faith, and the press. Through it all, Addy learns to live out her faith.

Based loosely on the story of Esther, I found this book to be the perfect read during a vacation from school! Its a bit predictable, but well written. The story has a positive message to it. I like that there was more depth to the story, since there are some excerpts of her mom's missionary journal. Authors write the best about what they know, and this author knows both mission work and high schoolers.

I did find it a bit unbelievable that everyone, including the President, kept up with the "First Son" and his love life, but perhaps that is because I'm not into that sort of things as an adult.;) I don't keep up with the Obama girls.:) Fiction is suppose to be somewhat unbelievable, and this was such a minor deal. I give First Date two thumbs up and look forward to the sequel!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Grace Effect

"The keystone that sits atop the grand archway of authentic Christianity is grace"
Larry Alex Taunton

When author Larry Alex Taunton has a friendly debates about the concept of God and religion with renowned Christopher Hitchens (author of God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) and John Lennox (Oxford mathematician and fellow Christian), Taunton throws out the idea of "common grace": the thought that when there is a Christian influence in the culture, it will bring benefits to the whole of that society. Little did he know that life was about to show him just how true "common grace" really is.

Some time after the debate, the author and his family travel to Ukraine to start the process of adopting a ten year old girl names Sasha. While there, the Taunton family sees the effects of Communism and the lack of Christianity through the corruption of a country that has been without religion for generations.

With the recent events of Occupy Wall street, Taunton's thoughts on socialism/communism are even closer to home. Socialism is merely the start of Communism, and Communism cannot abide with Christianity because it takes the place of religion by putting the state in place of God. I appreciated his thoughts on Socialism, having just covered the basics of it in Modern Civilization. Taunton backs up his thoughts with quotes from our own presidents, which I found interesting.

When I received this book, I wasn't so sure that it would live up to my expectations. Boy, was I wrong! The author does a wonderful job of addressing the arguments of the New Atheist and backing them up his own opinions. Even if you don't agree with Christianity, I think that this is a wonderful book to check out, just so you know where Christians are coming from. I appreciate that the author didn't bash Ukraine, even though I am sure he found parts of it infuriating. He also didn't bash atheism. I think it helps that he was a good friend of Hitchens.

All in all, I give this book a five. It was insightful and written in layman terms, so even though some of the material is incredibly thought provoking, it isn't difficult to follow along.

Reviewed for

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have you seen the email going around about church bulletin bloopers? We had one of our own at church, which was rather hilarious about a not so hilarious situation.
In the prayer request section:
"Pray for missionary ______, who was robed at knife point"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mint cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup 2% milk
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. dark chocolate or coating chocolate, melted

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and extracts. Combine flour, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
2. Shape dough into a tube, put in plastic wrap, and place in freezer for two hours, or until firm.
3. Unwrap and cut, placing 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets.
4. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove cookies from sheet and place on a wire wrack to cool completely.
5. Dip cookies in chocolate and place on parchment paper. These cookies look cute with sprinkles on them, but are good without also.:)