“As automatic as panicking.”, April 29, 2013
“As automatic as panicking.”, April 29, 2013
I thought a lot about Harry Potter and X-Men when I was reading this, but I loved the emphasis in this book on the true source of special powers and the real heart attitude the author states is necessary to keep these powers under control and growing. People can use or misuse gifts like Emaline’s but there are clear, hard-hitting consequences. Everybody’s tempted to use the powers for personal gratification. But nobody gets away with keeping secrets or lying or doing end-runs around authority for long.
I was also an average, invisible girl in my school days. But Emaline spends very little time in self-pity. She helps her mother, takes care of her baby brother, and the difficulties of their life really don’t affect her attitude. I do wonder a little what happened to that milk she went to the store for, but what happens to Emaline totally eclipses the errand.
Micah was my favorite character, since we have a hard-of-hearing daughter who signs. I also appreciated the window into Secular Humanist philosophy, just enough so that real-life teenagers should say, “Hey, that’s what we’re learning everywhere, every day… ”
I hope there’s another book in this series already, because this one was mostly introduction and setup. Not that nothing exciting happens, because it sure does, but I need to get busy and read more.
We have a daughter who had Meningitis at age 9 months. So it was easy to relate to this story of a sick child. Matt Patterson’s perspective as a father is both strong and tender, just as it should be. And that’s what makes it so hard, to convey how much needed this story is, when it was so hard to read, and even harder to get around to writing the review. God spared our daughter and she is a lovely Special Ed teacher, hearing-impaired but perfect in our eyes. God didn’t let Matt keep his precious daughter, but instead gave him a wealth of comfort and sweetness to share with all of us. However it falls out when a child is sick, God is good.
Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and a dozen other classic cowboys would be proud to stand toe to toe with Nathan Ryder, “the Preacher” who has learned skills for survival in a spiritual and physical sense from his wise and colorful grandfather. You might be surprised by some of his grandfather’s lessons, and for sure you’ll throw your hat in the air when you understand all that “Nugget Nate” and other wise cowboys have to teach Nathan. This is more than a western saga. It’s a Pilgrim’s Progress for the Wild West, with burdens to lay down, places to fall on your knees, and some sagebrush Beulah Land moments, too. The armor might include a Stetson and the sword might be a six-gun, but you’ll get the message of this pilgrim preacher’s journey.
A Review of The Lemon Tree by Ilil Arbel
This book was a gift from the author but don’t wait until she offers you one! Buy it, get it, read it somehow. You have to know this family, the Wissotzkys. You have to get your frostbitten nose rubbed with snow and fat in Siberia. That’s how immediate and real Ida’s experiences are. You have to experience how a childhood disease, one my own brother had, can devastate and yet produce a symbol of hope that will cost you some tears.
The book has beautiful old snapshots and that’s how the child Ida captures life, even terrifying, degrading, hopeless moments, in her mental camera that fills your mind with her childish wonder. Clearly her strong, loving family made the journey from Russia to China to Egypt more than bearable.
Drink in their strength and share tea from their Samovar, both the old one and the new one. Ride a different kind of ship with Ida and see “coincidences” that to me, even as a Christian reader, affirm that God still loves and looks out for His people. And don’t forget, you have to know what happens to the Lemon Tree.
Recently I joined my first forum claiming to be especially for Christians. I won’t name it, but I will say in my brief experience poking around over the last few days I am amazed at the wide variety of people who post on a Christian forum, and what they post. There are Pro-Choice Christians on there. There are Harry Potter fans on there. There are skeptics on there. There are people lamenting the death of Christopher Hitchens, an avowed atheist and and author of, among many other things, the book “God Is Not Great.”
I posted on my Facebook page the following status on the day I heard that news. “Christopher Hitchens, author of the book ‘God Is Not Great,’ has died. He knows better now, I think.” A pastor friend said how sad it was that he had died without Christ. I responded, “It is not as if he was misled or deceived in the way that some are, worthy of pity. I wish no one had to go to Hell, but such as he send themselves there. No one makes them go.”
The pastor took me to task, basically, for being unloving and apparently not having the heart of God. I am not unloving. It is sad, and saddens God, I am certain, when the unsaved die unrepentant, but once they actually are where they do “know better,” my tears cannot bring them back. Let me spend them on the still-living unsaved, please, and my prayers as well, rather than browbeating me over the ones who now know better but are past doing anything about it.
We have known so many people who were not atheists, who professed Christianity, but of a very different brand from mine. We know God will sort it out. We have to take them at face value, yet be a “Fruit Inspector,” and try to discern from God’s Word what We should be before Christ. We also have to try to minister to Christians. The talents with which we believe God has led us to minister include our writing and our ability to create our website, our e-books and blog, and to try to make people aware of them.
Back to the posters on the Christian forum. Most importantly to us, regarding the different kinds of Christians we have encountered, there are people on that site, quite a number of people, asking where they can find Christian fiction and non-fiction on there. Many people recommended classic authors of Christian fiction and non-fiction, like C.S. Lewis, who wrote both, but we have a more modern recommendation to make.
Since it’s the week before Christmas, we hope you’re giving or getting an e-reader, and we hope you’ll consider some of our books to help fill it up. Our posts this week will, we hope, give you a push in the right direction.
First of all we have non-fiction. Included on this blog are posts that are excerpts from Antidisestablishmentarianism, our non-fiction book about Secular Humanism, its history, and our future if we don’t disestablish it as our established religion in America and most of the rest of the world.
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/images-from-illustrated-antidisestablishmentarianism/ is a photo gallery of images from the illustrated version of the book.
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/introduction-to-antidisestablishmentarianism/ is the preface to the book.
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/introduction-to-antidisestablishmentarianism-2/ is the introduction to the book.
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/chapter-fourteen-from-antidisestablishmentarianism-what-does-the-scientific-evidence-prove/ is an abbreviated version of Chapter Fourteen of the book,
The unillustrated version of Antidisestablishmentarianism is 4.99, and the Illustrated version (200 full-color, full-page illustrations of major points) is 9.99.
Our second non-fiction title is Biblical Studies, student and teacher editions, designed especially for homeschoolers. Homeschooling curriculum can be expensive and our curriculum is designed to help with that problem. Both versions are over 600 pages long, with illustrated portions, materials for all ages, Old Testament, New Testament, background historical studies, and more.
Our YouTube Channel, ffvp5657, has free videos correlated with many of the studies, including full 3D animated Jonah and Ruth video studies with digital puppets giving commentary. The Revelation video set alone has more than 30 ten-minute segments. The student manual is 4.99. The Teacher’s Manual has the full Student Text, answer keys, and extra projects. It is 99 cents. A new photo gallery in the blog, “Images from Biblical Studies,” linked at the top with the blog’s pages, has pictures from this curriculum.
The links on the right side of the page go to Smashwords and Amazon, where you can read more details about all our books, and see more samples. We hope this season you will consider adding to your library of Christian reading.