Babylon Rising – Tim LaHaye and Greg Dinallo

Wow! Just Wow! What a page turner this story is! This was another random find as I was strolling through the aisles in my library, and I grabbed this book and the second book in the series. As I normally do, I looked it up online to find out exactly how many books are in this series.

I was hesitant to even start this book (series) as not only did I find there are 4 books, but all of the reviews lead me to believe that the fourth book did not wrap up any of the stories, and that at least one more book was meant to be/needed to be written.

Did I want to start a series that was not going to be wrapped up all nice and neat at the last book available? Not really. But it is about Biblical history, prophecy, and the coming end times, all of which fascinate me. So I got comfortable in my bed, or I should say my two cats got comfortable on me in my bed, and I opened the book.

Benjamin and Franklin
Benjamin and Franklin; my reading partners and all-around naughty boys.

Michael Murphy is a Professor, as well as Biblical Archaeologist. Thanks to a nemesis who is more than willing to have Murphy (as he is called) risk his life to get his hands on these historical treasures, this latest test involves the book of Daniel, and an object that is not only priceless, but will also help Murphy in his quest to prove the Bible is historically true.

Babylon Rising cover image

This book is one you will not be able to put down; or at least I couldn’t as I read it in a day. The twists and turns will have your heart not only racing, but also breaking, and celebrating all at the same time. There is a group of people who have set out to make all Evangelical Christians look like fanatics willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to get their point across to the public. Who would devise such a plan, and why? And why is this small group of people so powerful that they are able to get a few individuals to do their bidding, no questions asked?

I cannot wait to start book 2, The Secret on Ararat, and hope I do not regret reading this series which does not end all wrapped up nice and clean with a bow on it.

Priceless – Luke & Joel Smallbone

What a fantastic story! It is a quick read, and I could have finished it easily in a day. If I wasn’t trying to move, homeschooling, and working, that is.

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I did not get to see the movie while it was in limited theaters, but I will be purchasing it on Valentine’s Day when it is released to DVD.

If you have daughters, sisters, nieces, or any young woman in your life that is important to you; this is a must read. I became familiar with For King & Country because I only listen to Christian music in my vehicle. Although I cannot control what my girls listen to when I cannot monitor cell phones, computer access, I refuse to listen to the crap on the radio that is degrading while they are with me.

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Now I don’t care what my 2 youngest girls may try to say; we had an amazing time at this concert and rocked it out! Yes; Christian music rocks. We had perfect seats, and literally had the band right behind us at one point.

Priceless the song, and Priceless the story are amazing, and whether you are an agnostic, Christian, Atheist; it does not matter. This message is universal. Seeing them Live? That was Priceless!

 

Prince Caspian – The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

One of my favorites from the Narnia series, this story had me laughing out loud, angry, and sad, all in one setting. The thing I enjoy most about C.S. Lewis and his writing is how he just puts it out there. Right there; yes, for you to see, and contemplate, and enjoy.

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Okay, enough reminiscing.

There are some great lines in this story, as well as the others, that make me remember them long after I read them.

Chapter 3: “The worst of sleeping out of doors is that you wake up so dreadfully early.”

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The Pevensies wanted to go back to Narnia, but they did not know what that would cost them. Prince Caspian is the rightful heir, being denied his throne by his uncle. It is a quick story, with all of the allegories you come to expect from Mr. Lewis. And I have to honestly say; Reep-a-Cheep is likely my favorite “character” out of all of them! Well, except for Aslan, of course!

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If you have seen the movie, I have to say it is quite different from the story, but I do enjoy the movie as well. How did you feel about this installment in the Narnia series?

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The Horse and His Boy – The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

Book number three in the Narnia series, by the numbering on the books I have, is “The Horse and His Boy.” This is also the only book I seem to have missing from my collector’s box that holds all 7 of these books. I haven’t the slightest idea where it went, who may have had it last, or how I managed to lose a book!

The Horse and His Boy

With that being said, this is actually my least favorite book out of the 7 in the series. This is a novel that can stand alone, and there is no need to read, or have read, and of the other books to enjoy this one. I did like this story, I just did not find it as interesting as the other 6 stories. This story is set in Narnia for its entirety, and focuses on a boy running away from home, who meets a horse who is also running away from home.

The Full Color Edition
The Full Color Edition

Shasta discovers his adoptive father is going to sell him as a slave, and learns from Bree, a horse at the stable, that Bree has been treated badly by this same adoptive father. A plan gets underway, and soon both Shasta and Bree are on the run, trying to get to Narnia and the High Kings and Queens there; yes, the Pevensies. (And yes, of course the horses talk, it is Narnia!)

They also meet a girl and her horse who are running away from home; she being a Princess forced to marry against her will. Once they reach their destination, they both learn things about themselves that will change their lives forever. These two eventually get married, and have a son who becomes the most famous King of Archenland.

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The thing I liked best about this story was the cat who seemed to follow Shasta all through his journey. Sometimes a lion chasing him, and sometimes a cat comforting him; Aslan always makes his presence known.

Which Narnia story did you like the least? I know it’s hard to choose when they are all great stories, but they can’t all be your favorites, or are they?

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes – Frederick Morse

Some of the best books I have read are ones I stumbled upon, and this one is no exception. I actually came across this book on a free ebook site, and due to the quality of this story, I am hoping (and going to suggest) that the author get this book somewhere where it can make the money it justly deserves to.

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes Cover image

This story takes you on a 2000 year journey that begins with one person trying to obtain the 3 iron nails, and the wooden cross, that were used to crucify Jesus Christ. One man’s journey turns into a journey through the ages, with people hired for the entirety of their lives to track the history of one young girl who experienced stigmata when she was near the holy relics. They were tasked with tracking her family lineage, and passing on that duty to others that could be trusted, and it was made clear that this was a job that would never end. And it did not end. They knew this family’s bloodline would be one that could likely find these relics, no matter how much time may pass.

The iron nails were melted down and used to make a scimitar. The cross was cut down and made into three Glory Boxes, or what we would in today’s time call a Hope Chest. This scimitar enables the owner certain supernatural powers. Currently hid in the desert, it is being tracked both for the right, and wrong, reasons. Dependent on who it is that is searching for it.

This is one story where I do not want to give too much away, and certainly no spoilers. But I assure you, if you enjoy religious based stories, religious historical ideas, and mystery and intrigue, this is a story you will want to read. It is less than 160 pages, and I promise you will not want to put it down once you begin reading it!

The Lutheran Ladies Circle: Plucking One String – Kris Knorr

Being as I am a long-standing-volunteering-attending member of a Lutheran Church, this book took on a special interest for me. Do the people in the story relate at all to the people I encounter at church? I have to say, there were a few characters whom I could easily rename to someone who attends my church. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I am just saying I now definitely have an image in my head of what Lorena, Ellie, and Vera look like. When I now read their name in the text, I am picturing a specific woman of the congregation.

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I do have to be honest right from the get-go, this story has one thing that I absolutely cannot stand. Say it with me people. “Too many characters”. This is my pet peeve; having so many characters (and usually storylines to match) that you cannot keep them straight, let alone determine if they are relevant to the story or not. With that being said, I am about halfway through the story, and am starting to get the correct pattern worked out to whom belongs with who, whose children are being talked about when no reference to their parents are mentioned, etc. As the author stated in her forward that she has herself encountered some of these types of people at church, I am guessing that it was easy for her to write because she knew all along in her mind that Ellie was Mrs. Y, and Vera was Mrs. Z, etc. She did not need to fill in the blanks on who these characters were, because she could see them already in her mind’s eye.

 

So enough of that. It is a good story, and I will read more in the series (I am guessing there is a series as this book says it is #1). I am getting comfortable with the who’s-who, and am feeling a connection to these characters enough that I already want to know how their stories continue on past this book. I am trying to be better about the spoilers, so I will just say that their Pastor died unexpectedly, to be replaced by someone younger, someone looking to change some things. Vera is the widow of said previous pastor, and feels she is slowly getting pushed out of her “always involved in everything even though it is not my job” situations.

 

We also get a birds-eye view of bickering amongst the women at their weekly-monthly meetings, and this has be wondering exactly how much bickering is going on at my church meetings. Expecting to be finished with this sooner rather than I will let you know if there is anything off the wall that happens at the end that I never even saw coming, otherwise I am moving along to the next story.