Brandon S. (behemoth) - Reviews

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1984
1984
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 167
Review Date: 1/10/2013


George Orwell describes a future where the government is all-powerful and squashes any attempts of individuals who desire to think independently of government control.
The concept of the book is much more captivitating than the story. A minority of powerful people seeking to keep others subjected to their rule. The theories and practices of how this works out in culture was interesting and something that we can see in our world. It described how readily a population will conform to mindless activities and never question the stories presented to them from "Big Brother".
SPOILERS!!!SPOILERS from this point on:
Once you get into the story, everything falls apart for me. Winston, the main dish of our story, becomes discontent with being a cog in the system and revolts. Winston starts small with a couple visits to a pawn shop and starts a diary, which in this world is certain death. Then we fall into this "love" story and basically Winston hooks up frequently with this tart named Julia and they fornicate until the Thought Police catch them.
Once they are caught they turn each other in, let go of these convictions that led them to revolt, and end up back in society brainwashed. Did I miss something?
I think this is flawed. People around the world do choose death and face their worst fears for something more than what the world offers. The problem is Orwell's world in 1984 has no God and only human progress. The end result is a book that sends the message there is nothing worth living for or giving your life for. Hogwash.


The Alien Interviews: Conversations with people who experienced UFO Contacts
The Alien Interviews: Conversations with people who experienced UFO Contacts
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/8/2011


What I enjoy about L.A. Marzulli is the lense that he looks through, which is Christian. Many of the people interviewed have come to believe that the UFO contact was in fact demonic. Great interviews. It is worth a read if you are interested in Mothman Prophecies or UFO contacts in general. There is some overlap from Marzulli's book on politics, but there is enough unique information in Alien Interviews to make it a worth while read.


The Ancient Portals of Heaven: Glory, Favor, and Blessing
The Ancient Portals of Heaven: Glory, Favor, and Blessing
Author: David Herzog
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/28/2011


Don't get freaked out by the new age sounding "ancient portals" part of the title. Basically Herzog just talks about ways we can honor God and tap into glory, favor, and blessings.
Herzog spends some time talking about the building of the temple and how we can even see evidence of this endeavor in old American mines. I had never heard most of this information so I was really intrigued by it.
Herzog also connected the wisdom and knowledge of God with the occurrence of miracles. This was also really cool material.
The last 1/3 of the book was about honoring the Jews to: increase evangelism success and receive political blessing in America. The topic of honoring God's chosen people is a little bit better known (at least to me), so I wasn't reading new ideas, but it was still good.


Angelic Encounters: Engaging Help from Heaven
Angelic Encounters: Engaging Help from Heaven
Author: James W. Goll, Michal Ann Goll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/29/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This is a wonderful book about the presence of angels used by God to carry out His purposes. It will encourage and challenge you to look into spiritual truth that is openly shared in the Bible. The Golls do a great job of setting up Biblical boundaries and keeping Jesus the focus even as they explore what angels are and mean to us as followers of Christ. Awesome testimonies are shared that will make your heart long for more of God's supernatural help in your life. A must read if you have ever had questions about angels.


Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed
Review Date: 8/17/2011


Thomas Horn presents a lot of cool and very interesting ideas but it left me feeling lost. I didnt catch Horn connecting previous subjects to the new ideas introduced. We start off with the Free Masson move to the Egyptians and make many detours through cool ideas but I failed to gather a main point. What are we talking about?

I would recommend studying the Masons, Egyptian gods, Greek mythology, independently before reading this book. A lot of the information was incomplete in the book and it felt like I should have already known what Horn was talking about.

The main thing I pull away with is a mystical feeling that demonic powers in high places are pulling the strings of the world (and have been since mankind was created). As a believer in Jesus Christ as LORD of this universe I dont think it is accurate or valuable to ponder the power of demon worshipping groups as rich or politically positioned as they may appear to be. Jesus Christ is the King of America, not the Masons or the demons they serve. They can have all the secret Bohemian pow wows they want, it cannot stop Jesus. Matthew 28:18 Jesus says, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Jesus said all authority that means that somebody doesnt have authority on this earthSatan and his cronies.


Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose
Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose
Author: Dutch Sheets
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/20/2011


Great book explaining our authority in prayer. Dutch makes a key distinction between authority and power. The devil's power has not been taken away by the cross of Jesus, his authority was taken away. Our privelage as Christians is to claim authority over the devil with the authority Christ has given us and expand God's Kingdom. A very encouraging book and it will give you new confidence to pray with boldness. Your prayers matter.


Bear v. Shark
Bear v. Shark
Author: Chris Bachelder
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/7/2010


I am part way through this book and I would say that it is hit and miss. I can read an essay without any huge laughs and then find myself laughing out loud in the next essay. I think that it is amusing through and through. It is not hysterical, but it does have frequent points that make me laugh.
The short chapters are nice because you can pick it up and put it down after reading 2-3 minutes. I am busy so that is a nice perk.
The book is a lot more amusing if you are very cynical about the American culture and consumerism. I am, so I love laughing at the absurd behavior we have grown accustomed to. I would suggest this book; it will give you a couple laughs and make you think about the strange life we live in America.


Center of the Universe
Center of the Universe
Author: Bill Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/30/2011


Center of the Universe is a collection of short stories used by Bill Johnson as inserts for his church bulletin throughout the years. I was expecting a book of teaching on one main topic, so I was taken off guard when I realized it was not. Instead, it is a grab bag of light hearted stories about life. Are the stories nice, sweet, and full of great insight? Yes. I love Bill Johnson and would love to follow him around to gain insight for daily living with Christ. Once I came to grip with the format I was able to enjoy the stories.


Concerning Spiritual Gifts (Disciplleship Series Study Guide)
Concerning Spiritual Gifts (Disciplleship Series Study Guide)
Author: Dean W. Nadasdy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/3/2010


This is a great resource for running a Bible study. If you want to explore the Spiritual Gifts that God has for you this is a great book. Nadasdy does a good job of using the Bible to describe what Spiritual Gifts are and what they are not. If you have been curious about the Spiritual Gifts or if you want to study it with friends, this is perfect. It will introduce you to God's awesome gifts to help you bless others and grow closer to Him. Who doesn't like free gifts? God's gifts are the best you will ever get and you will learn a ton about them in this book.


The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature
Review Date: 8/16/2011


I'm going to answer the front cover teaser; the common factor between pornography, gift giving, juicy burgers, and Ferraris according to Gad Saad is Darwinian Theory. The book hinges on your agreement with Darwinian Theory and the belief that evolution deserves credit for our current state as humans. This book is a Trojan horse for Darwin and evolution. I thought I was going to get an interesting read about marketing strategies but it is focused on preaching Darwinian Theory and evolution. This book offers me very little because he is basing his entire philosophy on a false belief (evolution), which would lead the entire book into inaccurate strategies and truth claims.


Creative Bible Teaching
Creative Bible Teaching
Author: Larry Richards
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/25/2011


Richards presents an interesting look at the history, views, and beliefs of people teaching the Bible. This book explains that what you believe about the Bible will play an enormous role in your teaching of the Bible. Lots of great information and ideas, however it seemed to be heavily focused on the ability of man instead of how we can involve the power of the Holy Spirit as we teach the Bible.

The most interesting thread of the book is exploring the question of why studying the Bible doesn't seem to lead to change in such a large number of people in the Church today. I liked how he described an old member of the Church who knows the Bible inside out and will challenge church leadership on various topics, but can't get along with anybody. Where is the disconnect? A very interesting example that I have witnessed in the Church. I think the disconnect is simply forgetting the importance of the Holy Spirits work and thinking that by studying the Bible you are a good Christian.

John 5:39-40
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me (Jesus), yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

The church in America simply needs to connect with Jesus through the Holy Spirit for a real change to occur.


Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett (Translator)
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 291
Review Date: 12/23/2012


I will echo other reviews:
-The language barrier is the first aspect of Crime and Punishment that will slap you in the face. Names of characters are hard to follow because they are unusual to the American ear and each person goes by 2 or 3 names. The language differences also create some odd pacing and wordings.
-The other difficulty is time and setting. Basically you are going to have to do some homework to understand this story to the fullest.
At the end of the day you have a story that takes you into the mind of a killer and explores his paranoid gripped world. The paranoia of our killer's thoughts are well done and well written, this is an interesting facet of the book. The action in the story is limited, so you really need to enjoy the depths of the killer's paranoid thought circles.
His journey is the platform to explore salvation, wrong and right, and the value of human life. So you have a well written book that raises some valuable questions about life, but it is not easily accessible. I will compare it to crab legs, the meat is tasty but how long are you willing to work to crack open the shell.


The Devil Is a Gentleman: Exploring America's Religious Fringe
The Devil Is a Gentleman: Exploring America's Religious Fringe
Author: J.C. Hallman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/7/2010


J.C. Hallman is a talented writer. He is excellent in his ability to introduce you to the people he interviews. I felt like I was sitting in the room with Hallman as he conducted his research. A host of interesting people share their faith with Hallman as he travels through this land. It was very fascinating for me to read the different interviews from figures in off-beat religious movements (Scientologists, Satanists, Christian Wrestling Federation, Druids, etc).

I enjoyed the narrative and journey, but disagree with Hallmans truth claim. Hallmans disdain for the Christian church is easy to detect throughout the book. It is apparent from the start that Hallman was disappointed with the church. As a believer in Christ I grieve that the church was unable to display the power and love of God in a real way to J.C. Hallman. J.C. says in the book that he left the church because you put your faith in the faith of someone before you. That statement makes me so sad. Again, I hold the church responsible for not hosting the presence of God so individuals can meet with God instead of putting their faith in the claims of others. God is interested in speaking to you; it is the churchs job to set up that meeting.

In the end Hallman ends up promoting the same view as William James. We are just people looking for ideas or systems with good fruit to help us get through the day. What works for you is good, no religion or system is right. In the end this is a very sad and hopeless presentation of life with dire eternal consequences.


Don't Miss Your Kids: They'll Be Gone Before You Know It
Don't Miss Your Kids: They'll Be Gone Before You Know It
Author: Charlene Ann Baumbich
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/9/2014


Baumbich is a good story teller. I think this would have been better served as a collection of short anecdotes instead of peddling it off as parental advice.


Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams
Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams
Author: James W. Goll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 5/5/2011


James Goll defends the mode of dreams as a valid way for God to speak to His people. Goll calls the Christian Church to reclaim this avenue of revelation. Using scripture and years of experience Goll teaches us Biblical skills for dream interpretation. This is a great resource and a must read for those that want to hear more of God's voice, even when dreaming.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Author: Daniel H. Pink
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 1/19/2011


Pink presents very interesting research done in the field of psychology that may change the way business and schools attempt to motivate. The main message is that we underestimate the human desire to be great and our desire to be excellent. Let people be great, you do not have to bribe them with money. It is worth a read.


Edge of Evil: The Rise of Satanism in North America
Edge of Evil: The Rise of Satanism in North America
Author: Jerry Johnston
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 10/1/2010


I am in the middle of reading this book and it is very intriguing. It has become dated as all writings do, but it is a great insight to what is going on in the occult of America. I doubt much has changed and I know that Satan has not gone away. Lots of great interviews and testimonies depicting powerful experiences associated with Satanism. If you have doubts about the reality of spiritual warfare, this book will squash it. It is worth a read today more than ever as "spirituality"/Satanism becomes more accepted in America. This evil is real.


The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations
The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations
Author: Dan Kimball
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 4/12/2011


Church is not about what we can do with human ability and planning. It is about inviting the Holy Spirit to show up in power and change lives. Sure, we can do research and think about lighting candles and turning the lights down and playing various musical styles for worship but NONE of that matters if the Holy Spirit is not involved.

Books like this (focused on human planning) frustrate me. I'd much rather read a book about how to get the Holy Spirit flowing in my church.


Essential Guide to Healing, The
Essential Guide to Healing, The
Author: Randy Clark, Bill Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/8/2012


Bill Johnson and Randy Clark share their testimonies of how God has led them to be passionate believers in God's healing power for today in "The Essential Guide to Healing". They defend and support their position with Biblical teaching and healing encounters they have witnessed in ministry.

A great book for someone who isn't sure what to think about healing for today's Christian lifestyle. If you follow Bill Johnson and/or Randy Clark I don't know if you will pick up anything "new" but it still stirs your faith for MORE of God's power in your life.


Every Man's Battle : Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time
Review Date: 12/8/2010


Jesus replied, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
I was disappointed with the emphasis on human strength and will power. It also had the flavor of you dont want to be an embarrassment to God, yourself, and family so stop sinningpick yourself up and get serious about purity. I dont believe there is any power in a system where your goal is to avoid condemnation. Galatians 5:4 says, You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. The bottom line is you can try harder and put in safe guards (which you should to protect yourself), but you will give in to temptation occasionally and sin. You must rely on Gods grace and push into His presence to find victory.
I believe success is found in finding your blessings in Father God. When you become fixed on the Face of God and experience His amazing presence and voice you find success; rather than trying to be justified by avoiding sin which leads to alienation from Christ.


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