Friday, December 30, 2011

TYNDALE: The Man Who Gave God An English Voice by David Teems: Book Review

Meet William Tyndale, a contemporary of Martin Luther, and Thomas Moore.  David Teems presents a thorough history of the life and work of William Tyndale and how he was persecuted because he wished to create a Bible in the language of the people of his time and place - the English.  Previous to this time (by two centuries) Wycliff, translated the Bible into English.  Wycliff's English Bible did, indeed, impact the translation work done by Tyndale.  Tyndale's work was, however,  translated from the original Greek language.  The author of this biography of Tyndale, David Teems references only slightly Wycliff's translation in this book.

The Catholic Church did not allow translations they did not endorse or create and persecuted anyone involved in such activity.  They certainly did not want the Bible placed in the hands of people other than clergy.  If you are at all familiar with the period of history dealing with the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the controlling power that the Catholic Church held over all social levels during that period, you already have a grasp of the difficulties facing Tyndale.  However, Tyndale desired to see the Scriptures in his own language for his own people.  Therefore, he endured hardship,  banishment, peril, and censorship all causing him to move from his homeland.  Eventually his choice to bring God's Word to the English in their own language cost him his life.

"Lord! Open the King of England's eyes"
were his last spoken words.

So you ask, just what is Tyndale's legacy?  We don't hear a lot about the Tyndale translation.  It gets about as much mention historically as Wycliff's and other Biblical translation works.  However, the beautiful language in the Bible - the King James Bible - has it's "first appearance, or first mention" in the Tyndale Bible.  These include the beautifully phrased wording given to us by the workmanship and pen of William Tyndale. 

I found David Teem's biography of Tyndale interesting yet difficult to read.  It is not a casual read.  Teems examines Tyndale's work paralleling it with works of more modern writers such as Thomas Wolfe.  I find this inappropriate because we are dealing with vastly differing types of writing and periods in which these literary giants wrote.  Tyndale's "style" and literary genius of expression are or should be directly attributable to the work that he was accomplishing because he was translating directly from the original languages into his own and his work was of a "holy" nature and not that of the secular world.

We in Christendom have much for which to be grateful because of the writings of William Tyndale as well as his beautiful translation of Scripture - Old and New Testaments. 
Behold the lamb of God
I am the way, the truth, and the life
In my father's house are many mansions
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory
Seek, and ye shall find
With God  all things are possible
In him we live, move, and have our being
Be not weary in well doing
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith
Behold, I stand at the door and knock
Let not your hearts be troubled
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light
Fight the good fight
(These phrases made their first appearance in translations
of the Scriptures by Tyndale. pg. xx Prologue, Tyndale)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a review.  I was not required to render a positive review.  Opinions expressed are my own.

NOTE:  There are short bio-histories of William Tyndale online.  The following link substantiates David Teem's disclosure and collaboration that William Tyndale's New Testament was translated from the original Greek and not from the works of Wycliffe and Luther.  http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/william-tyndale.htmlEnglish Bible History-William Tyndale


Monday, December 26, 2011

"Long Trail Home" by Vickie McDonough: Book Review (A Morgan Family Series - Texas Trails)

Third in  a series of Texas Trails stories of the early days in the State of Texas, "Long Trail Home" is the story of Riley Morgan returning from the War Between the States to his home only to find it devastated by an Indian raid and his family all dead and buried.  Enter the scene a lovely blind young lady working in a home for blind children.

The story-line deals with the desperation of a young destitute and abandoned girl  who finds what she needs in the home of a kind lady who schools and tends to the needs of a house full of blind children.  The story-line also deals with the bitterness of a young man who has gone through the horrors of war only to come home to complete loss - family, home, and fiance. 

The redemption of souls is always a beautiful story and in this book it takes on the beauty of redeeming grace and the grace of forgiveness.

Series connectivity:  In Long Trail Home, book 3,  Riley Morgan is a nephew of Jud Morgan and Billie Morgan from books 1 and 2 of the Texas Trails Series.  Each of these books has a different author and  yet the flow of the story or stories and styles merge so it would seem as though one author was writing. Character development is great in each of the books. Three more books in this series are on the horizon for 2012 release.

Author: Vickie McDonough - ISBN: 978-0-8024-0585-2 
Publisher:  Moody Publishers -  Publish date: October, 2011
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes by RiverNorthFiction, Moody Publishers.  I was under no obligation to render a positive review and all comments are my own opinion.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God's Princesses: Book Review


I received a complimentary copy of Princess Stories this morning from Tyndale Publishers.  I had hoped to receive this in time to review it for those looking for quality books as gifts for a daughter, granddaughter, niece,  or other young girl on your gift list.  However, it is Christmas Eve and much too late in the day for a Christmas gift in 2011.

You may want to consider, however,  if your child receives a gift of money taking them to a book store and letting them purchase their own copy of  Princess Stories with their gift.  Now, let's talk about Princess Stories.

"Princess Stories" would be  appropriate for girls ages 4 to 8.  The book contains stories about 29 women in the Bible.  It wraps up with the 30th story about the reader, who is God's princess too. Each story has a rhyme about the featured Bible princess followed by a narrative about the woman. There is a Bible verse from a passage of Scripture different from the actual Bible story that relates to that Princess' character trait.  There is a teaching moment opportunity presented via the Princess Ponderings which are questions to guide discussion at the end of each story.

This little book is a delightful way to begin introducing young girls to women in the Bible with more detail than your typical "story book."  Girls are inundated with Princesses in fairy tale literature and other venues of entertainment and play, it is time we introduce them to God's princesses and let them learn the real meaning of being a princess.

This hardcover book is printed in lovely feminine colors and designs on durable paper.  The illustrations are nice and appropriate for the storyline.

Author: Carolyn Larsen  Illustrator: Sergey Eliseev
Publisher: Tyndale Kids
ISBN: 1414348118
ISBN-13: 9781414348117
I received a complimentary copy of Princess Stories from Tyndale Publishers and was not required to give a positive review.  All comments and ideas expressed are my own.

Friday, December 23, 2011

God's Wisdom for Little Boys illustrated by Judy Luenebrink

Meet Judy Luenebrink and her art as pictured in "God's Wisdom for Little Boys" written by Jim & Elizabeth George and illustrated by Judy Luenebrink: (Judy describes her Art this way:)
"Uplifting watercolors that would bless others with the beauty and charm depicted in God's creation. Creating in my paintings and through my artwork a place people can walk into and feel the pleasure and peace of God's creation."
Illustrations/paintings are detailed, sweet and whimsical. They create a fun and inviting place for children to enter . . . to step into . . . and stay awhile.
Her paintings come from her heart, a heart filled with a love for God, His creation, and memories of both childhood and mothering .
While excelling with her art, Judy always remains aware that any talent, skill or ability has been given to her by the Lord and is to be used for His purposes and glory.  (copied from http://www.judyluenebrink.com/bio.htm)
I have already reviewed "God's Wisdom for Little Boys" in a previous post here on ChatWith Vera.  However, my husband has read and perused this gem of a book and shared some insight into the clever and wonderful follow-through and connectivity of illustrator  Judy Luenebrink and authors Jim & Elizabeth George.

For example:  The little boy's face is never fully seen; and you can thereby picture "your little boy" picturing himself as the one in the book.  Also, his constant companions - his faithful dog and lingering frog - are involved in each and every enterprise this delightful little boy approaches and enacts. 

Of particular note is the page illustrating Proverbs 17:17 (see picture to right).  "A friend loves you all the time..."  The picture shows two little boys seated on the edge of a porch watching it rain.  They have their ball, bat, and gloves and are wearing their team jerseys and caps.  But what is so innovative and intriguing is that one little boy's numbered jersey is a "1" and the other's is a "7."  They are sitting close to one another and together their shirts read, "17."  You see, they are friendly and they are living out Proverbs 17:17. Also, the dog has a kerchief around his neck and he is numbered "17" as well.  It is raining, but there is the hope of the rainbow that they can see in the upper corner of the sky.

The art is absolutely beautiful - touchingly beautiful.  A mother's, father's, grandparent's heart would melt viewing these illustrations that so truly depict the nuances of a little boy.

Need-less-to-say, I recommend this book and will be purchasing more works by The George's and by artist Judy Luenebrink.

I was provided this book for review purposes by Harvest House Publishers and was not required to render a positive review.  All comments are entirely my own.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Special book for little boys: "God's Wisdom for Little Boys"

God's Wisdom for Little Boys is an absolute treasure for grandparents and parents alike to read to their little boys.  The ideas expressed in tender rhyme are all Biblical from Proverbs.

The book is beautifully designed and laid out, and the illustrations and paintings by Judy Luenebrink are fabulous. The authors, Jim and Elizabeth George, introduce little boys to character building through fun and rhyme. Example:


"Friendly"
God's little boy makes friends with others;
Those friends include his sisters and brothers.
True friends are always a gift from above;
Make it your goal to give brotherly love.

"A friend loves you all the time. 
A brother is always there to help you." Proverbs 17:17
I would highly recommend this book for anyone with a little boy on their heart that they wish to make a gift of God's wisdom in a beautifully enticing way.

I was given a copy of this book to review by Harvest House Publishers and was not required to give a positive review.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Never Far From Home" by Mary Ellis: Book Review

In Never Far From Home, Emma Miler is a 15 year old Old Order Amish young lady who has finished school and who has begun her own wool business by raising sheep, shearing them, dying the wool and weaving it, and then selling it.  She is beginning to think of the "courting" she might do and her "running around" time.

We have to remember that the Amish children do not typically attend school as long as non-Amish do.  They assume adult responsibilities much younger as well.

Mary Ellis weaves this story around a maturing Emma and a young Englisher sheep farmer from a nearby farm and township.

This is a tale of personal, family, and spiritual conflicts on many levels.  If you enjoy reading stories of the Amish and the struggles they face in a modern world, you will enjoy this book.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review and to pass on to the Alamance Christian School library by author Mary Ellis.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lot's of hype over "Ugly Christmas Sweaters"

Recently, I shared a contest here on Chat With Vera at Chat With Vera: Ugly Christmas Sweater  where you could submit your uglist Christmas sweater to see if you have a winner.  Now I see that TV's today show has a segment on ugly Christmas sweaters.  Lots of us like a little glitz and bling in our lives and "theme" sweaters for holidays - whether it is Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whatever  - seem to have been "in" for a number of years.  Seems as though the "theme" sweaters simply get you in the mood a bit.  There are, however, some that really should be stashed away in the never-to-be-worn-again-by-anyone pile.  Let's see what NBC has to say on the subject.


Friday, December 9, 2011

"Captive Trail" by Susan Page Davis: Book Review

Captive Trail is the second book I have been privileged to read in the Texas Trails series of books focusing on the Morgan family in the mid-1800's.

I found that the author, Susan Page Davis, brings to the story the sad plight of captives of the Comanche Indians who were, as children, stolen and assimilated into the life of the tribe either as family members or slaves.  They were often sold or traded as slaves to other tribes

The heroine of the story is Taabe Waipu, which is her Indian name.  She does not remember her life back before her captivity but she knows she wants to get back to her real people somehow.  She  escapes the Comanche by fleeing under cover of night on a horse left by a Comanche warrior who desires to make her his wife.  In her escape, she is injured and is later found by Ned Bright, a driver for the stage line.  Ned carries her to a Catholic mission run by a few nuns who nurse her back to health.

I enjoyed the characters in this story and felt that Ms. Davis has developed each of them into believable persons.

The first book in this series that I read and reviewed can be found here:  http://chatwithvera.blogspot.com/2011/11/lone-star-trail-book-1-of-texas-trails.html.

Susan Page Davis has published more than 30 novels in the historical romance, suspense, mystery, and romance genres. She is past winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Contest and of the Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest.

A copy of Captive Trail was provided to me free of charge by Moody Publishers in exchange for a review.  I was not required to give a positive review.

Published by: Moody Publishers   ISBN: 0802405843  ISBN-13:  9780802405845

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Purex sponsors huge giveaway of Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscriptions

Purex's specialty may be laundry care, but they are always looking for new ways to improve all aspects of household life. That’s why they are  excited to bring you one of Purex's BIGGEST giveaways ever — 20,000 FREE subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens magazine!

That's right!  20,000 random winners will enjoy a whole year of smart, approachable articles from BHG on style, decorating, gardening, food, and more. The entry form is live now through December 20th at www.purex.com/bhg.

As a Purex Insider, I was given this information to share with my readersI've entered and hope to win.  How about you?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lest we forget... December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor


December 7, 1941
"Attention.  This is no exercise.  The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor.  All Army, Navy and Marine personnel are to report to duty."  Shortly thereafter, a government-ordered blackout was secured on Hawaii, but long-distance phone calls, telegrams, or messages from ham radio operators continued.

.... By that afternoon, hurriedly rushed "Extra!" editions of newspapers were printed in large-point type by the droves, nationwide. (pg. 139, December 1941)
.... The reporter from the local NBC affiliate then said, "We have witnessed this morning the attack of Pearl Harbor and a severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by army planes, undoubtedly Japanese......   ...  It is no joke; it is a real war," he said before his connection died. (pf. 142, December 1941)

In Washington, ....... shrill voices of newsboys calling war extras broke the ordinary Sabbath evening calm."  In bold type, the Washington Post's Extra edition boomed, "U.S. AT WAR!  JAPAN BOMBS HAWAII, MANILA." (p. 144, December 1941)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The act of gifting. . . .

After many years of shopping for and wrapping presents, the "magic" of presenting a specially selected gift and watching the recipient unwrap it is sort of gone. We have an option today of giving gift cards.  However, I still don't "like" to use gift cards though I find I do it more and more these days.

I find that for the young adult and teens and on my shopping list and those for  whom it is more difficult for me to make a selection, the gift card is the answer. In the past it would have been a "check." But the selection of a specific gift card does say to the recipient, "Hey, I know this is one of your favorite places to shop (or eat). Go have some fun."

The idea behind the giving of gifts is to simply say to the person to whom you are presenting your gift, "I think you are special to me and I want to show you that you are special."  The idea is not simply to bestow a large gift or a fancy gift.  Gifting is about sharing your feelings.  When it is not done with the feeling that you really want to do something for the person to whom you are giving a gift, the handover becomes simply a task and a non-meaningful act of obligation. 

Gifting is not an obligation, it is a sharing of the heart.

5 Myths Debunked about Pearl Harbor by Craig Shirley

Craig Shirley, author of December 1941:  31 Days that Changed America and the World, has written a very interesting article on 5 myths debunked about December 7:  Pearl Harbor.  As we approach this "infamous day in history," I thought it would be very appropriate to share it with you, my readers.  Here is the link to the Washington Post online article:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-pearl-harbor/2011/11/23/gIQAbdKrLO_story.html

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 1941: The Month that Changed America and Saved the World

Asia and Europe were engaged in war. Japan had invaded china and was amassing a large army in Indochina, and Hitler held Europe and England in the throes of his climb to control the World. America was gradually climbing out of the Great Depression and there was a general up beat mood throughout the country.

The wars in which Asia and Europe were engaged had not escaped the attention of the American on the streets of large cities or of the mid-American farmer and average Joe. There were basically two sides to the coin in America. The America First anti-war organization believed that America should not become involved in Europe or Asia. President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed in internationalism and was inclined to commit American youth to the battlefields of other countries. 

December 1941 covers 31 days of news articles, confidential reports, and other sources that tell the story of America's involvement in World War II. "Never before or since has America been so unified." (Preface ix, December 1941) The book has extensive end notes.

The build up of a large Japanese military in Indonesia along with the rumor of Japan's amassing a large naval fleet in the Pacific caused intense tensions among American strategists, however talks with the Japanese envoys continued with smiles but neither side conceding.

December 7th brought the dawn of a new era to America and to the World. After the bombing of the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, there were virtually no more isolationists or America Firsters. America was rallied and America was at war.

President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress on December 8 saying, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941- a date that will live in infamy - the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” (pg. 167, December 1941)
"........ I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."  (pg. 168, December 1941)

Americans rallied in uniform strength to build the military. Americans' individual strength of purpose, industrial strength, and community determination eventually turned the tide in the Pacific and in Europe. The cost was great both in lives and finances.

Craig Shirley documents the immediate (31 days) of national anger and arousal at an enemy that dared to invade and devastate the American people's military might. He also shows the speed of response of a nation to rally to arms.

The gearing up of manufacturing to support the war effort and to replace destroyed planes and ships from Pearl Harbor. The required and accepted sacrifice of day-to-day "necessities" on the part of the American peoples to support the troops and the cause. All tell the story of a nation doing it's part in the fight for freedom.

Mr. Shirley uses research gleaned from major and small town newspapers from around the United States and from other sources of record. It tends to be difficult to follow if one is trying to research a particular subject. There is much, if not too much, information and it seems somewhat muddled to me. But then, that was a confusing time to the American public because there was so much going on and the involvement of the people was so widespread and intense. He captures the essence of the flow of life, the political scene, and the international tensions affecting life in America at the time.

This book will have limited market appeal in that it most likely will be a desired read or study tool for those heavily interested in history of the World War II period. The pictures included with the book are not the best of the period, but they are representative. I would have encouraged him to use more pictures to make the book more appealing but still avoid the look and feel of a period picture book. This is not a "coffee table" book. It is a lengthy and involved book.

Finally, I like that Craig Shirley ends December 1941 with President Roosevelt's calling for the peoples of America to pray (pg. 534, 535) - "...all churches throughout America would be open from early the morning of January 1, 1942, until well into the evening for prayer, communion, and supplication."
President Roosevelt's statement concluded with,

"In making this first day of the year 1942 a day of prayer, we ask for forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, consecration to the tasks of the present, and God's help in days to come.

We need his guidance that this people may be humble in spirit but strong in the conviction of the right; steadfast to endure sacrifices and brave to achieve a victory of liberty and peace."

I received this book free from BookSneeze for the purpose of review. I was not required to give a positive review.  Publisher: Thomas Nelson   ISBN: 1595554572 ISBN-13: 9781595554574