Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Birthday Boyz

The month of August brings birthdays to the men of the Clair household. Last Sunday Levi turned 2 and on Wednesday, Larry turned 29 (or did he now??). 

When Levi's birthday comes, it is indeed a celebration around our house because the day of his birth is such a miracle. August 24th could have been a day of sorrow for us, but the Lord so graciously delivered us the most amazing miracle ever. 

My father passed away on a hot August day, so for many years the month has brought some measure of sadness and great reflection to my heart. My dad was a wonderful man and I miss him dearly. However, I am so humbled and overwhelmed that my heavenly Father would bring this amazing miracle of life to us in the form of our son. This year marked the 10th year of my dad's passing, but the 2nd year of Levi's life. I have a wonderful husband and 2 healthy children, so either way I look at it, I have so much to be thankful for.  

This is Levi proudly showing off his birthday crown he received in Sunday School! 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tales of Two Sillies!

I look forward very much to reading the recently published book "Takes of Two Sillies".  I have plans to order it with my next Amazon order. I'm told by the authors that the book is about life in the north woods of Minnesota. However, I don't plan on reading it in the bathroom, but savoring the words and stories over a cup of hot tea!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Green Clean

Title: Green Clean
Authors: Linda Mason Hunter & Mikki Halpin
Genre: House & Home

Well this is appropriate that this is probably my final post for the 2007 year. After reading this book, I have decided to add to my New Year resolution. This year, I will make an effort to be more friendly to my environment.

Green Clean is a very simple, easy to read book on ways that you can clean your home in a way that is good for our environment. It opened my eyes to the toxins that are in the very air we breath and I just add to it with my cleaning supplies. There are several recipes in the book that are safe, simple and very economical. I have nothing to loose by at least trying.

The book itself does have me wondering a bit though. The cover and pages are completely waterproof and stain resistant. No where does it say it was printed on recycled paper. I wonder how many and what kind of chemicals they had to use to create such a book!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gods & Kings

Title: God's & Kings
Author: Lynn Austin
Genre: Fiction/Historical

What can I say? I'm really starting to enjoy historical fiction especially when it comes to Biblical accounts. This book is the first in a 5 book series. This juicy novel is based out of II Kings 16, 18, II Chronicles 26-29, Jeremiah 16 and prophesies from Isiah and Micah.

The story starts in Judah under the reign of the evil King Ahaz. It's the middle of the night in the palace and princes Hezekiah and Eliab are suddenly awakened by the footsteps of soldiers trampling through the palace hallways. Both boys are snatched from their beds, tunics quickly are placed on them and they gathered together with all their other young half brothers. They are marched out of the palace and outside the city gates of Jerusalem to the Valley of Hinnom. Every instinct in Hezekiah screams to run, but he is unable to get away from the grip of the strong guards. The taunts of "Molech...Molech...Molech" rings in his ears and Hezekiah is more afraid than ever. Finally, a priest approaches the two brothers and Eilab is snatched away and immediately thrown, kicking and screaming, into the fiery furnace of the god Molech.

Hezekiah's life is forever changed in that moment. Despair begins to take over him as he and his mother, Abijah, try to put their life back together. Queen Abijah brings her grandfather and temple priest, Zechariah, to try to being help and healing to Hezekiah's broken spirit. Zechariah tutors Hezekiah in the ways of Yahweh, but soon as King Ahaz hears of this, both Zechariah and Abijah are removed from Hezekiah's life.

Many events take place leading to the final death of King Ahaz and suddenly Hezekiah is king over the crumbling nation of Judah. Can Hezekiah remember the teachings of the Torah taught to him by his grandfather during the early years of his life? Will he be able to restore this nation and bring revival to a land that has completely turned its back on Yahweh?

For the answer you can read this book, or obviously turn the Old Testament and read the above mentioned scriptures!

Although I recognize the fact that this is indeed simply a fiction novel, it is exciting to read how things may have indeed happened between the lines of scripture. Author Lynn Austin does a great job captivating her audience and keeps the story line moving. Although I do know how the story will end, I look forward the second book in this series "Song of Redemption".

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tommy Tenny's new book!

I just found out today that Tommy Tenny's new book will be out this September. It's called "The Road Home" and it is a fictional modern day re-telling of the story of Naomi and Ruth.

The book is available now for pre-order at .

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Assignment

Title: The Assignment
Author: Mark Andrew Olson
Genre: Fiction/Suspense

This is a story about a man who has walked on earth for the last two thousand years, an order of priests whose purpose is his sole protection, a graduate student, throw a very powerful enemy to the mix and you have all the makings for an astounding collision of spiritual forces.

The story takes you literally around the world starting off near the ruins of Auschwitz where a mysterious 52 year old grave site has been dug up, and a living man, Lazarus, walks out of the casket. (I'll let you think about that for a minute.) This find sets off an international situation that includes the CIS, the Israeli Mossad, the Hamas terrorists, and the Pope himself.

As Lazarus winds his way around Normandy, Ireland, and Paris, he is accompanied by Nora, a grad student who has several questions, and would also like to know why Hamas terrorists are after her. After Nora is captured a second time, Lazarus finds himself in Rome and eventually back to Jerusalem, where he feels that he can fulfill his purpose, and also rescue Nora from the hands of a supernatural enemy.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the idea of the plot. However, in my personal opinion, it felt like there was a lot to follow, however, it may have been easier to read (on my part) if I had read it in fewer sittings. I enjoyed the suspense and international intrigue, even though some of the scenes were a bit rough for my personal taste.

When I first started reading the book, I was excited because it reminded me a bit of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness, with the whole angles, demons and warfare theme. However, as the plot deepened, I was drawn into Mr. Olson's story and forgot about the previous novels I had read.

I was a bit disappointed in the ending. It seemed to just "come together" and I felt hanging a little bit. Without giving the ending away, I just feel like Nora's story and Father Stephens store should have come together a little more.

Mark Andrew Olson has made is first solo debut with this book The Assignment. (His previous novel, Hadassah, One Night with the King, was written with Tommy Tenney.) I thought the author may be continuing this story in another book, but based on this interview, there is no sequel planned for now. His new book, The Watchers, was released earlier this year. Also, Mr. Olson co-wrote Rescued with John Bevere and the audio version is on my "to listen" pile here on my desk and I look forward to my vacation time when I can enjoy listening to that book. I personally think it's neat that Mark Andrew Olson is writing fiction books with two of my favorite preachers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Driven By Eternity

First your born, you live a little, you die, and then you are just getting started. This is probably the most powerful book (besides the Bible itself) I've ever read. So often we hear the phrase, "life is just a vapor", but do we ever dwell on that fact? Life is a vapor, and yet decisions we make during this vapor time count for all eternity.

After a short introductory chapter, John Bevere begins to share a parable about the life in Endel. Endel is a city where people are born and given a set number of years to live. During this time they are educated about Jalyn- the great King. The story reminded me a little of one my favorite games, "Life". Characters in Edel are given a career, salary and more life choices to make and after a set amount of time (but they don't know how much time they have), they are quickly and unexpectedly taken to the Kingdom of Affabel to meet Jalyn.

Each of the characters must stand before King Jalyn to account for everything they did on Affabel. Jalyn is a kind King, but he is consistent in according to what is written. So some people are admitted to live in Affabel and some are sentenced to the Land of Lone for all their eternity.

Through the parable, the author paints a different view of Heaven than probably what most people are familiar with. It was the picture painted of Hell that gripped me even more. It even kept me a awake for a night or two. Please don't get me wrong, Rev. Bevere isn't writing a "hell, fire and brimstone" book written to scare people into Christianity. This is a book, taken from a Biblical viewpoint, filled with scripture from the Bible, about what the judgment day will be all about. I kinda felt like I was preparing for a test as I read this book.

The next few chapters John Bevere expounds on the parable, explaining various points and scriptures. I took my time reading each chapter, personally reading the Bible references right from my own Bible, making notes and sometimes re-reading pages at a time to make sure I was understanding this correctly and lining up with Scripture. (One thing that was a little confusing to me was the fact that 8 Biblical translations were used throughout the book. That is the main reason I kept my own Bible. The author did this for clarification purposes and maybe most people wouldn't be bothered by it.

The last three chapters covered topics such as "God's Custom House", "Personal Influence", and "Multiplication" and even though he didn't go back to the parable too much, I still felt like I was eating a feast. The book never wound down, it just kept going right to the very last page. And then when you got to the end of the book, there even two more appendixes that give additional, factual information!

I have chewed on the words in this book for months now and I can seriously say, I have made inner life changes in my thoughts and my attitude toward so many things becuase of this book. The scripture tells us that the truth will set us free. Well, this book is true and I personally feel like a load has been taken off of me becuase of the changes I have decided to make.

If you are searching for answers about God this book is for you. If you want to deepen your current walk with God, this book is a must. After all, whether we choose to believe in God or not, all of us will stand before Christ to give an account for our words and deeds. What do you have to loose by reading this book and preparing for that ultimate test? I challenge you to get this book and read it.

Oh yes, BTW- The parable of "The Kingdom of Affabel" is available in audio drama format. Just click here for more info.