Book Review~ Bonjour! Let’s Learn French

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked most about this book was the free downloadable audio version which includes how to pronounce French words in the book.  There is also a read-along, which may encourage children to study on their own.

If you buy this book, and download all of the activity sheets, and read the tips for parents, your child will learn French, basic French, easily, if you study along with him or her.  Or even just sit in the room with them while they listen and read along.  There’s even a good lesson on how to paint the impressionist technique!  Also, in the back of the book, there is a list of words introduced in the book, organized by chapter.  All in all, it’s a thorough basic French course for your child. (or even beginner adults!)

What I liked least about this book was the difficulty I had in navigating the website. I’m a grandma, so maybe that has a lot to do with it, but eventually I figured out what to do at polyglotkidz.com.

Judy Martialay did a great job:

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The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

First of all, I liked the intelligent writing of Heidi. If you read this book, you’re going to have to pay attention to the words, not just skim and speed read. Mrs. Chiavaroli does have a gift, a talent from God for writing interesting historical fiction. The book was very interesting, and even grippingly suspenseful at some points. Gritty, even. Part of the story revolves around a school shooting.

There were 2 rape scenes in this book, so be forewarned. She mentions Chris Tomlin as a Christian musician. In my opinion, he’s not. Christian Contemporary Music has successfully watered down most worship into carnality and idolatry. This book, in my opinion, could present a stronger, firmer Christian perspective than what it does.

Now, if God gives you a talent, and you tell people you’re a good Christian, shouldn’t you use that talent to glorify Him as much as possible? In my opinion, I think the author, in her own way, was trying her best to present all 3 main stories, and sub-stories, in a good way, but I must say I didn’t like the shaky morality in her book, and, her philosophy of no moral absolutes was easily recognized through her book. Each character hid behind a facade, and the fiance of the hanged Nathan Hale, Mercy, was the one who rationalized her lies more adamantly than Natalie, the mother of Chris and Maelynn.

I can’t say her book was uplifting spiritually, and some of the factors that helped me come to this conclusion were: some of the character’s rationalizing of habitual, lifestyle lies, her mention of Yoga (!) and “vibes”, which are both evil, and so foreign to true Christianity that it should not be used in conjunction with Christianity. So, vibes and yoga, were strikes against it, then she mentioned the movie, The Patriot, which should NEVER be in the video library of ANY serious, born again Christian. The Patriot has graphic violence, and that, my friend, is something Jesus does not condone ANYWHERE in a Christian’s life. Also, one of her characters had gone through a horrible ordeal, and she has the woman thinking the Word of God might be lies. Blasphemy! Jesus says: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

The thing that bothers me MOST about this book is, it’s marketed as being CHRISTIAN Historical Fiction. If Mrs. Chiavaroli had sold this book under secular, non-Christian advertising, I’d have no problem with it.
She won an ACFW Genesis award. What’s ACFW? https://www.acfw.com/about ~ “ACFW’s mission is to advance Christian Fiction by inspiring writers to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry.”

In my opinion, this is not a Christian book, it’s a secular book. No where in the bible does God condone lying, or worshiping other gods, (Hinduism, et al.) which is what yoga is. To make one of the main characters practice yoga is inconsistent with pure Christianity.  I was dismayed to see these things presented in a good light.

I did like her story about Natalie, Mike, Chris, and Maelynn. It brought up a good point: parents are sometimes CLUELESS and in denial about their teens, which can lead to all kinds of sin and disaster. She took a heavy subject, and at least brought some awareness of the problems that contribute to tragedies like that in families.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.


 

Abby Roach, the Spoon Lady

I was playing a word game with someone, and I had to link some word to “spoon”, so I remembered my dad kind of playing the spoons when I was a little girl.  So…I looked on You Tube, and found this amazing musician.  Abby the Spoon Lady plays in North Carolina, “busking”.  Busking means you play or entertain in public, for money.  Her story is very interesting, and I’m giving ya’ll a link to it, below, plus a couple of wonderful music videos of Abby’s.  ENJOY!

Abby’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/AbbyTheSpoonLady/

 

Abby’s story:  https://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/2014/11/13/living-portrait-series-spoon-lady/18982245/

Weather Wonders!

[22] And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
[23] And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
[24] So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
[25] And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
[26] Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

I like to use a global weather program called Ventusky.com and today, just for something different to do, I looked at wave heights around the world.  Was I surprised!  Up north, between Canada and England, there’s a place that looks like it’s impossible to navigate a ship through.  Today, it has 32 foot waves!  Look!

You can discover what the weather for your area will be like, up to 9 days  ahead of time.  Snow, waves, wind speeds, temperatures, many choices.   I used this last year during hurricane season, to see what the predictions were for my area.

Look at how fast the winds are going, high up over the world: 

JOB 28: [23] God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
[24] For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
[25] To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
[26] When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
[27] Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
[28] And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

A Dangerous Legacy~ an introduction to moral relativism?

Book Review for A Dangerous Legacy, author Elizabeth Camden

This was an interesting, well-written historical fiction novel. Elizabeth Camden truly has a
gift from GOD for writing books that will absorb the attention of the reader. The story takes place in New York City, in 1903, and Mrs. Camden has done her research to provide her patrons with plenty of details,
intriguing plots, and engrossing characters. I did, for about half the time, enjoy reading A Dangerous Legacy, but I have to say some things about several events presented by the author in her novel, which I disagree with.

First of all, Camden’s  fans know she has won a Christy award, which is given to authors of Christian novels that portray excellence, imagination, and creativity in Christian writing.  So, naturally, readers will trust this book to be good and decent.  Which is one of the very reasons why I chose to read this book.
Mrs. Camden has won the RITA award for a book she wrote under the Inspirational Romance category,
which is fine, but I’m wondering if she is straying away, far away, from Christian romance in general, based on this book’s story?

Examples: The main characters, Lucy Drake and her brother Nick, are busy illegally installing water pumps and valves that bring water to apartment renters, making it easier for them to have water in their homes. The installation is phrased as “not technically legal”.
An excuse is given to the reader for this infraction of the law, under the heading of Christianity. False teachings, IMO.  Morality is not a neutral concept.
Another example: Lucy is a telegrapher, and her brother spliced a single wire into the Western Union cables, therefore Lucy is able to eavesdrop on private transmissions of another person. The author outright acknowledged in the book, via Lucy’s thoughts, that it’s illegal,and her characters, Lucy and Nick, know they could end up in jail.

They KEPT breaking the law ANYWAYS.
Christian ethics? Not on your life! This was just wrong. If you’re going to write this kind of novel, please don’t call it Christian.
Another example, which really disheartened me, and made me decide to write this review: Lucy and Nick hire a “slick” lawyer to draw up papers that basically propose extortion.

What does God say in the bible about extortion? 1 Corinthians 6:10 [9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

“Technically”, the protagonists did NOT commit extortion, but the reader is swept up and along in the
confusing muddle  of “what if they do?” Lucy and Nick were prepared to extort money, in case the person they were threatening didn’t give in to their demands.   Morality is not relative.  Extortion presented as she did, is still immoral.
In conclusion, I can not recommend this book as a Christian book. Not in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps Mrs. Camden will apply Christian rules to her future books, and  stay with bible morals as outlined in the bible, not as presented by MORAL RELATIVISM.

The other thing that bothers me is, because of the ethical dilemmas she presented in her book, she might actually cause another Christian to stumble, it is a possibility!
I’ll browse through her follow-up book, but with healthy skepticism.

I give this book a thumbs-down as a Christian historical fiction novel.

Maintaining Good Works

[58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Do Christians know what the work of the Lord is?  What is our labour in the Lord?  If we bring this subject up, we are sometimes accused of being a promoter of works-based salvation. Or we’re called “legalists”.  What does JESUS CHRIST tell his followers to DO?  Yes, DO!   We’re supposed to DO something, GOOD WORKS!

Why do so many preachers and pastors gloss over or completely ignore expounding on works, for Christians?  WHY?  It’s a shame, and bad preaching.  Look at all these bible verse about WORKS:  Titus 3:14 – And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Titus 3:8 – [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Hebrews 6:10 – For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

 

James 2: [14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
[15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
[16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
[17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
[18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Titus 2:7 – In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Hebrews 13:21 – Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

good works2

Most people in churches don’t have any idea about what good works and doing God’s will  involves.  They don’t actually want to do anything, they just want to sit in church and be passive.  Lukewarm.  Don’t make waves.  Be quiet and go with the flow.  Don’t investigate any ideas presented to you, and NEVER be different from the average Christian.  Fit in and don’t offend.  Hogwash!