Wednesday, June 29, 2011

100 Days of Favor by Joseph Prince

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


100 Days of Favor

Charisma House (June 7, 2011)

***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Joseph Prince is a leading voice in proclaiming the gospel of grace around the world through his teaching resources and television ministry. With more than two decades of full-time ministry behind him, Joseph Prince is known for teaching God's Word in a fresh, practical, and revelatory way that always unveils Jesus. He is the senior pastor of New Creation Church (www.newcreation.org.sg) in Singapore, which has a congregation of more than 19,000 members, and heads Joseph Prince Ministries, Inc.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Embark on a powerful journey to experience the unmerited favor of God.

You don’t need to depend on your own strength to succeed. Immerse yourself in God’s unmerited favor and change your life forever! 100 Days of Favor shows you how to develop a favor-consciousness in everything you do. Each daily topic includes:

Today’s Scripture—a biblical foundation for the topic

Today’s Inspirational Excerpt From Unmerited Favor—a key truth about God’s unmerited favor

Today’s Prayer—a way to express your heart to our heavenly Father

Today’s Thought—a liberating, favor-inspired idea for the day

Today’s Reflection on Favor—a place to journal what the Holy Spirit brings to your mind

With daily inspirational scriptures, prayers, and readings from Unmerited Favor, you can begin your day with a focus on God’s grace and love.



Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616384492
ISBN-13: 978-1616384494

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I’ve got a challenge for you that I believe will change your life! I want to challenge you to take a journey with me for the next 100 days. Let’s plunge headfirst into the vast ocean of the Lord’s unmerited favor. In the world that we live in today, it’s so easy to forget the Lord’s unconditional love for each of us. It’s so easy to forget that the Lord Himself is personally interested in making you a success in every area of your life.

If you would simply set aside these 100 days to just immerse and saturate yourself in the unmerited favor of God, I believe with all my heart that your life will never be the same again. Every morning as you are sitting with a warm mug of coffee in your hand, simply pick up this book. I’d like us to spend 15 minutes together and have an intimate chat about Jesus. I believe that these precious minutes will help you calibrate your thinking for the rest of the day. And when your mind is set on the favor of the Lord, you will begin to experience like never before a confident expectation of good, regardless of the adversity or challenge that is thrown your way.

My friend, when you begin living with the consciousness of God’s unmerited favor, you will savor and enjoy the beautiful plan and purposes that God is unfolding in your life. When you focus on His grace, His favor and His love for you daily, you are putting a magnifying glass over your life and allowing Jesus’ love to beam down upon you in all its radiance, beauty and warmth. No matter what may be happening around you, you will be anchored in the security of His perfect love, hidden in the cleft of the immovable Rock of all ages—your loving Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is an invitation to take the next 100 days as a commitment to soak yourself in the unmerited favor of God. Pull yourself away from the noise, chaos, clutter and busyness of life, and come under the refreshing waterfall of God’s favor. Take this time to simply sit at Jesus’ feet and enjoy His Word. You’ll find the stress of work, family commitments, people’s expectations and even the fear of the future melting away.

100 Days Of Favor is based on my book, Unmerited Favor. Each bite-sized, inspirational reading includes:

• Today’s Scripture—A scripture that relates to the inspirational reading, giving it a biblical foundation and helping you to understand the truths presented. I encourage you to meditate on each scripture for the day. You’ll be surprised how much the Holy Spirit will open up God’s Word to you and refresh your heart!

• Today’s Inspirational Excerpt From Unmerited Favor—A key truth or nugget about God’s unmerited favor that will surely equip, bless and empower you. These truths cover what God’s unmerited favor is, what it can do for you and how you can develop favor-consciousness to experience good success.

• Today’s Prayer—Don’t know what or how to pray for a breakthrough? These prayers will help you express all that’s in your heart to your heavenly Father. Feel free to adapt them to your own situation. Just speak from your heart. The effective, fervent prayer of a child of God avails much. Your Father is listening!

• Today’s Thought—The mind is where the real battle usually takes place. So start your day with a liberating, favor-inspired thought. The best way to guard your mind is to fill it with God’s precious thoughts toward you!
• Today’s Reflection On Favor—As you prayerfully read each day’s inspirational word, take time to journal the things that the Holy Spirit brings to your attention and encourages you to meditate on.

Anyway, that cave was really high up, so I don’t know how in the world that cow had gotten up there!
But right there and then, the Lord began to speak to me. He said that many come to church and approach His Word like the other cows grazing at the bottom of the mountain—they simply eat and go. Conversely, this cow that was chewing the cud, ruminating and taking its time to absorb all the nutrients, was kept in a high place—a place of rest, security and perfect calm.
The entire experience was simply amazing. Right there, caressed by the cool winds that swept gently across Mount Arbel, the Lord was teaching me an object lesson on meditating on His Word. He was showing me that when we come to receive His living Word, whether in church on a Sunday or in our quiet moments, He does not want us to simply graze and go. He wants us to take His Word, chew on it and savor it. He wants us to ruminate and meditate upon it. My friend, take a verse or thought from the Lord and chew on it until it bursts forth within you and becomes a revelation in your heart.
Now, biblical meditation involves giving voice to the scripture that you are meditating on. If you look up the word “meditate” in Hebrew (from Psalm 1:2 and Joshua 1:8), it is the word hagah, which means “to mutter.” So when you meditate on a particular scripture, you should essentially be speaking it to yourself. Speak it out over and over again. Pore over every word and let each one feed and nourish you. Do that and you will be lifted up, elevated into the secret place of the Most High God, far from any form of oppression, anxiety or fear, and enclosed within the embrace of His mighty wings (Psalm 91). That is the power of biblical meditation. I believe with all of my heart that you will experience this rest for your soul as you meditate on the Word and immerse yourself completely in the Lord’s unmerited favor for you over the next 100 days.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Day 1

The Power Of Looking To Jesus



Today’s Scripture
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. —2 Corinthians 3:18

I love to preach about looking at Jesus and being Christ-occupied instead of being self-occupied. But what is the value of seeing Jesus? How does this put money in your bank account and food on your table? How does this help your children in their studies? Believers who have asked me these questions think that they are being pragmatic, but they don’t realize that miracles happen when they keep their eyes on Jesus.

Look at what happened to a fisherman called Peter, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, in Matthew 14:22–33. When his boat was in the middle of a lake, the most practical thing for a seasoned fisherman to do was to stay in the boat. Science tells you that when you step out into the water, you will sink!
Keep your eyes on Jesus. While it may sound impractical, it is the most powerful thing you can do, and Jesus will cause you to reign over every storm in your life!
But the greatest miracle that Peter experienced happened one night when he stepped out of his boat in the middle of a storm at Jesus’ word. That night, the winds were boisterous, but as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he did the impossible—he walked on water. Jesus was walking on the water and when Peter looked at Jesus, he became like Jesus and did the supernatural. God’s Word declares that “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Beloved, as Jesus is, so are you in this world. When you keep your focus on Jesus, you are transformed into His image from glory to glory. You are transformed by beholding, not by working. When you see that Jesus is above the storms of your life, you will effortlessly rise above those storms. No amount of self-effort could have helped Peter walk on water. When he did, it happened simply because he was looking at Jesus.

Now, observe what happened the moment Peter turned his eyes away from Jesus, and started to look at the wind and the waves around him. In that instance, Peter became natural and he began to sink. Now, let’s imagine that there was no storm, no howling winds and no crashing waves that night. Let’s imagine that it was a perfectly calm evening and the Sea of Galilee was as still as a mirror without a single ripple on its surface. Could Peter have walked on water then? Of course not!

Walking on water is not something anyone can do whether or not the water is calm. The wind and waves actually made no difference to Peter’s ability to walk on the water. The best thing Peter could have done was to keep his eyes on Jesus and not look at the storm. In the same way, instead of looking at how insurmountable your circumstances and challenges are, turn away from them and keep your eyes on Jesus. While it may sound impractical, it is the most powerful thing you can do, and Jesus will cause you to reign over every storm in your life!

Let me share with you a testimony from a lady in our church. She went for a mammogram one morning and the doctors found some lumps in her breast. They told her to return to the clinic in the afternoon so that they could perform further tests to determine if the lumps were cancerous. But this lady was fresh from hearing me teach that as Jesus is, so are we in this world. So before she returned to the clinic for the biopsy, she actually wrote on her medical report, “Does Jesus have lumps in His breast? As He is, so am I in this world.” That afternoon, she went for further tests and guess what! The doctors told her that there must have been a mistake—they could find no lumps! Do you know why?

Because as He is, so is she!
You have just seen the power of looking to Jesus. If you think that simply looking to Christ is impractical, I am challenging you today to see that it is not. In fact, it is the most practical thing you can ever do. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will become more and more like Him—full of health, strength, wisdom and life!


Today’s Prayer
Father, I know that a man cannot walk on water, whether in stormy or calm conditions. Likewise, whether there are problems in my life or not, I cannot reign in life without Jesus. Apart from Him, I can do NOTHING. Therefore, I ask that You help me keep my eyes on Jesus despite the many things that I have to attend to today. I thank You that as I look to Jesus for all my needs and wants in the midst of every difficulty and challenge, He will place me at the right place at the right time and provide me with every resource I need to experience good success!


Today’s Thought
I can walk above my problems when I keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him.



Here is my review of this wonderful non-fiction work:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Joseph Prince and his publisher for sending me a copy of "100 Days of Favor: Daily Readings From Unmerited Favor" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“100 Days of Favor: Daily Readings from Unmerited Favor” by Joseph Prince offers excerpts from Prince’s previous work “Unmerited Favor”, as snack-size daily devotional readings. This book is divided into 100 daily readings, each consisting of a verse of scripture related to the daily topic, an inspirational excerpt from Joseph Prince’s book “Unmerited Favor”, a prayer based on the reading, a daily thought, and an area for the reader to make notes based on the daily reading.

This book really brings grace and mercy to light. Every day we receive unmerited favor from God. Joseph Prince has penned a book that awakens the reader to the existence of that unmerited favor. This is a beautiful book to work in conjunction with scripture to illuminate God’s work in our lives.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can We Talk – Before we begin…

I was so excited to learn that I won this Bible study! Not only do I adore Priscilla Shirer’s teaching, but I believe that every disciple of Christ can improve their prayer life. Bible study techniques to engage with the Lord are also a welcome subject at my house.

I’ve been in cancer treatment, and have missed several church services and Bible study classes. But I spend time in God’s Word every day, and have borrowed video Bible study kits from my church’s library so I can be exposed to Bible teaching when I couldn’t get to class.

I am a bit more mobile, now, but my season of pressing close to Jesus during recovery has given me a hunger to be even closer. “Can We Talk” seems to be the perfect study for me at such a time as this. As I write this, I am facing my final chemo treatment and tests to determine where we go from here. Prayer is crucial.

The “5 Ps of Hearing God Through Scripture” Bible study method appears to be quite similar to Personal Quiet Time and Homiletics techniques that I learned through other sources. The 5 Ps are:
1. Position yourself to hear from God.
2. Pore over the passage and Paraphrase the major points.
3. Pull out the spiritual principles.
4. Pose the question.
5. Plan obedience and Pin down a date.

Personally, I have always had a difficult time pulling out the principles. Although through practice with homiletics, I have improved a bit in this area over the last year. I am praying that this study will help me to see the principles pop out of scripture more readily.

I plan to get a notebook – maybe I’ll use my journal – to record everything that would normally go into the workbook. That way, I will be able to track progress throughout the study and beyond.

So, beginning Saturday, July 2nd, I will be blogging my own personal journey through “Can We Talk: Soul Stirring Conversations with God”, Priscilla Shirer’s six-week “un-Bible study”. I hope you will join me for what promises to be a life-changing summer expedition through scripture.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

REVIEW: Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy

“Sharpshooter in Petticoats” by Mary Connealy is the third installment in the Sophie’s Daughters series, and had me laughing out loud from the very beginning. I have been waiting with baited breath for Tom Linscott’s and Mandy Gray’s love story. And from page one, this novel promises to be a wonderful read as Tom arrives at Mandy’s ostentatious home to bring her to his ranch after the death of her husband, Sidney. When Mandy refuses to leave because it would be too dangerous for anyone to have contact with her (even after several breath-stealing kisses), Tom threatens to kidnap Mandy’s children (as he instructs the young’uns to call him “Pa”) to get her to follow him home. Mary Connealy cracks me up!

Meanwhile, the Cooter gang has plans of their own to kill Mandy and her children and pilfer Sidney’s fortune. So, when Tom steals Mandy away just in time, the suspense builds as the Cooters follow along to exact revenge and acquire Sidney’s gold.

The story is lively with snappy dialogue and vivid images. Connealy’s trademark humor and dramatically contrasting prose make this an enjoyable read that passes way too quickly. It is also a pleasure to be reunited with the other McClellans as they plan visits to Mandy at her mountain fortress. This Mary Connealy novel is an absolute joy that lives up to the reader’s expectations – and then some.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bible Study: Coming Out of Bondage - Exodus - Chapter 36


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Exodus. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.

Stacey


Take a few minutes to savor Exodus Chapter 36. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


36:5-7 – The people provided more than enough to build everything for the tabernacle. In fact, contributions had to be turned away.

Why do you think people were so generous? What do you think has happened to that spirit of generosity? How can you change that? I have often felt that my contributions have been turned away, and sadly, I developed bitter feelings toward people and ministries because of it and that led me to miss many blessings, I’m certain. If you’ve ever felt like this, speak to your pastor. He may be able to help you find a place to serve.


What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Monday, June 20, 2011

REVIEW: Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

“Wolfsbane” by Ronie Kendig grabbed my interest from the first page. This third novel in the Discarded Heroes series is guaranteed to lead to at least one sleepless night because this book is impossible to put down. The action is non-stop. The characters are multi-faceted. The plot is intricate and suspenseful. The romance is intense and integrated well into the story. These Discarded Heroes books are some of my favorite romantic suspense novels.

Lt. Danielle Roark, demolitions expert in the Army Corps of Engineers, has just escaped six months of captivity by a South American guerilla. Range Metcalf is rather smitten after pulling Dani into the Coast Guard chopper and home to safety. But it’s Range’s brother, Canyon, who has caught Dani’s eye and captured her heart.

Canyon “Midas” Metcalf is a special forces military operative with team Nightshade. Battling his own demons of painkiller addiction and a past that he’s been ordered to keep quiet about and take the blame for, Canyon falls just as hard for Roark. But he repeatedly (and not always successfully) denies his desires so that he won’t step on his brother’s toes to woo Dani. But when his team is assigned to accompany Dani back to Venezuela to substantiate the intel she stole when she escaped and clear her name of treason charges, Midas is assigned to protect Dani and has even greater difficulty holding himself back from what he wants.

This is an incredible novel that clearly conveys to the reader that the God we serve is a God of second chances. Thank you, Ronie, for that wonderfully encouraging message and this outstanding read!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bible Study: Coming Out of Bondage - Exodus - Chapter 35


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Exodus. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.

Stacey


Take a few minutes to savor Exodus Chapter 35. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


35:2 – Why did God reiterate the observance of the Sabbath rest? He already specified this in the Ten Commandments.

35:31 – What craft or skill has God blessed you with? How can you use that gift to serve Him?


What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Indelible

WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)

***Special thanks to Lynette Kittle, Senior Publicist, WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kristen Heitzmann’s gift of crafting stories has ranked her as the award-winning and best-selling author of two historical series and twelve contemporary, psychological and romantic suspense novels including Indivisible. As an artist and musician, Kristen lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and a continuous stream of extended family, various pets, and wildlife.


Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Award-wining and best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann brings another suspense story to life in Indelible (WaterBrook, May 3, 2011).

Follow Trevor MacDaniel, a high country outfitter, as he rescues a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion. Discover how he can’t foresee the far-reaching consequences of his action, how it will entwine his life with gifted sculptor, Natalie Reeve—and attract a grim admirer.

Find out how Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. And how Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands.

See how in each other they learn strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe…a twisted soul, who is drawn by the heroic story of the child’s rescue. One who sees Trevor as archangel and adversary, and threatens their peaceful mountain community—testing Trevor’s limits by targeting their most helpless and innocent.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400073103
ISBN-13: 978-1400073108

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


A veined bolt of lightning sliced the ozone-scented sky as Trevor plunged down the craggy slope, dodging evergreen spires like slalom poles. Rocks and gravel spewed from his boots and caromed off the vertical pitch.

“Trevor.” Whit skidded behind him. “We’re not prepared for this.”

No. But he hurled himself after the tawny streak. He was not losing that kid.

“He’s suffocated,” Whit shouted. “His neck’s broken.”

Trevor leaped past a man—probably the dad—gripping his snapped shinbone. Whit could help there. Digging his heels into the shifting pine needles, Trevor gave chase, outmatched and unwavering. His heart pumped hard as he neared the base of the gulch, jumping from a lichen-crusted stone to a fallen trunk. The cougar jumped the creek, lost its grip, and dropped the toddler. Yes.

He splashed into the icy flow, dispersing scattered leaves like startled goldfish. After driving his hand into the water, he gripped a stone and raised it. Not heavy, not nearly heavy enough.

Lowering its head over the helpless prey, the mountain lion snarled a spine-chilling warning. There was no contest, but the cat, an immature male, might not realize its advantage, might not know its fear of man was mere illusion. Thunder crackled. Trevor tasted blood where he’d bitten his tongue.

Advancing, he engaged the cat’s eyes, taunting it to charge or run. The cat backed up, hissing. A yearling cub, able to snatch a tot from the trail, but unprepared for this fearless challenge. Too much adrenaline for fear. Too much blood on the ground.

With a shout, he heaved the rock. As the cat streaked up the mountainside, he charged across the creek to the victim. He’d steeled himself for carnage, but even so, the nearly severed arm, the battered, bloody feet… His nose filled with the musky lion scent, the rusty smell of blood. He reached out. No pulse.

He dropped to his knees as Whit joined him from behind, on guard. He returned the boy’s arm to the socket, and holding it there with one trembling hand, Trevor began CPR with his other. On a victim so small, it took hardly any force, his fingers alone performing the compressions. The lion had failed to trap the victim’s face in its mouth. By grabbing the back of the head, neck, and shoulder, it had actually protected those vulnerable parts. But blood streamed over the toddler’s face from a deep cut high on the scalp, and he still wasn’t breathing.

Trevor bent to puff air into the tiny lungs, compressed again with his fingers, and puffed as lightly as he would to put out a match. Come on. He puffed and compressed while Whit watched for the cat’s return. Predators fought for their kills—even startled ones.

A whine escaped the child’s mouth. He jerked his legs, emitting a highpitched moan. Trevor shucked his jacket and tugged his T-shirt off over his head. He tied the sleeves around the toddler’s arm and shoulder, pulled the rest around, and swaddled the damaged feet—shoes and socks long gone. Thunder reverberated. The first hard drops smacked his skin. Tenderly, he pulled the child into his chest and draped the jacket over as a different rumble chopped the air. They had started up the mountain to find two elderly hikers who’d been separated from their party. Whit must have radioed the helicopter. He looked up. This baby might live because two old guys had gotten lost.

In the melee at the trailhead, Natalie clutched her sister-in-law’s hands, the horror of the ordeal still rocking them. As Aaron and little Cody were airlifted from the mountain, she breathed, “They’re going to be all right.”

“You don’t know that.” Face splotched and pale, Paige swung her head. Though her hair hung in wet blond strands, her makeup was weatherproof, her cologne still detectable. Even dazed, her brother’s wife looked and smelled expensive.

“The lion’s grip protected Cody’s head and neck,” one of the paramedics had told them. “It could have been so much worse.”

Paige started to sob. “His poor arm. What if he loses his arm?”

“Don’t go there.” What good was there in thinking it?

“How will he do the stuff boys do? I thought he’d be like Aaron, the best kid on the team.”

“He’ll be the best kid no matter what.”

“In the Special Olympics?”

Natalie recoiled at the droplets of spit that punctuated the bitter words.

“He’s alive, Paige. What were the odds those men from search and rescue would be right there with a helicopter already on standby?”

“We shouldn’t have needed it.” Paige clenched her teeth. “Aaron’s supposed to be recovering. He would have been if you weren’t such a freak.”

“What?” She’d endured Paige’s unsubtle resentment, but “ freak” ?

“Let me go.” Paige jerked away, careening toward the SUV.

Natalie heard the engine roar, the gravel flung by the spinning tires, but all she saw was the hate in Paige’s eyes, the pain twisting her brother’s face as he held his fractured leg, little Cody in the lion’s maw, the man leaping after…

She needed to clear the images, but it wouldn’t happen here. Around her, press vans and emergency vehicles drained from the lot, leaving the scent of exhaust and tire scars in the rusty mud. Paige had stranded her.

“Freak.” Heart aching, she took a shaky step toward the road. It hadn’t been that long a drive from the studio. A few miles. Maybe five. She hadn’t really watched—because Aaron was watching for her. Off the roster for a pulled oblique, he had seen an opportunity to finalize her venture and help her move, help her settle in, and see if she could do it. She’d been so thankful. How could any of them have known it would come to this? Trevor’s spent muscles shook with dumped adrenaline. He breathed the moist air in through his nose, willing his nerves to relax. Having gotten all they were going to get from him, most of the media had left the trailhead, following the story to the hospital. Unfortunately, Jaz remained.

She said, “You live for this, don’t you?” Pulling her fiery red hair into a messy ponytail didn’t disguise her incendiary nature or the smoldering coals reserved for him. He accepted the towel Whit handed him and wiped the rain from his head and neck, hoping she wouldn’t see the shakes. The late-summer storm had lowered the temperature enough she might think he was shivering.

“Whose idea was it to chase?”

“It’s not like you think about it. You just act.” Typing into her BlackBerry, she said, “Acted without thinking.”

“Come on, Jaz.” She couldn’t still be on his case.

“Interesting your being in place for the dramatic rescue of a pro athlete’s kid. Not enough limelight lately?”

“We were on another search.” She cocked her eyebrow. “You had no idea the victim’s dad plays center field for the Rockies?”

“Yeah, I got his autograph on the way down.” He squinted at the nearly empty parking lot. “Aren’t you following the story?”

“What do you think this is?”

“You got the same as everyone. That’s all I have to say.”

“You told us what happened. I want the guts. How did it feel? What were you thinking?” She planted a hand on her hip. “Buy me a drink?” He’d rather go claw to claw with another mountain lion. But considering the ways she could distort this, he relented. “The Summit?”

“I’d love to.” She pocketed her BlackBerry and headed for her car. Whit raised his brows at her retreat. “Still feeling reckless?”

“Sometimes it’s better to take her head on.”

“Like the cat?” Whit braced his hips.

“The cat was young, inexperienced.”

“You didn’t know that.”

“There was a chance the child wasn’t dead.”

“What if it hadn’t run?”

“If it attacked, you’d have been free to grab the kid.”

“Nice for you, getting mauled.”

“If it got ugly, I’d have shot it.”

“Shot?”

He showed him the Magnum holstered against the small of his back.

Whit stared at him, stone-faced. “You had your gun and you used a rock?”

“I was pretty sure it would run.”

“Pretty sure,” Whit said. “So, what? It wouldn’t be fair to use your weapon?”

It had been the cat against him on some primal level the gun hadn’t entered into. He said, “I could have hit the boy, or the cat could have dropped him down the gulch. When it did let go, I realized its inexperience and knew we had a chance to scare it off. Department of Wildlife can decide its fate. I was after the child.”

“Okay, fine.” With a hard exhale, Whit rubbed his face. “This was bad.”

Trevor nodded. Until today, the worst he’d seen over four years of rescues was a hiker welded to a tree by lightning and an ice climber’s impalement on a jagged rock spear. There’d been no death today, but Whit looked sick. “You’re a new dad. Seeing that little guy had to hit you right in the gut.” Whit canted his head.

“I’m just saying.” Trevor stuffed his shaking hands into his jacket pockets. The storm passed, though the air still smelled of wet earth and rain. He drove Whit back, then went home to shower before meeting Jazmyn Dufoe at the Summit. Maybe he’d just start drinking now. Arms aching, Natalie drove her hands into the clay. On the huge, square Corian table, two busts looked back at her: Aaron in pain, and Paige, her fairy-tale life rent by a primal terror that sprang without warning. She had pushed and drawn and formed the images locked in her mind, even though her hands burned with the strain.

No word had come from the Children’s Hospital in Denver, where the police chief said they’d taken Cody, or from the hospital that had Aaron. Waiting to hear anything at all made a hollow in her stomach. She heaved a new block of clay to the table, wedged and added it to the mound already softened. Just as she started to climb the stepstool, her phone rang. She plunged her hands into the water bucket and swabbed
them with a towel, silently begging for good news. “Aaron?”

Not her brother, but a nurse calling. “Mr. Reeve asked me to let you know he came through surgery just fine. He’s stable, and the prognosis is optimistic. He doesn’t want you to worry.”

Natalie pressed her palm to her chest with relief. “Did he say anything about Cody? Is there any news?”

“No, he didn’t say. I’m sure he’ll let you know as soon as he hears something.”

“Of course. Thank you so much for calling.”

Natalie climbed back onto the stool, weary but unable to stop. Normally, the face was enough, but this required more. She molded clay over stiff wire-mesh, drawing it up, up, proportionately taller than an average man, shoulders that bore the weight of other people’s fear, one arm wielding a stone, the other enfolding the little one. The rescuer hadn’t held both at once, but she combined the actions to release both images.

She had stared hard at his face for only a moment before he plunged over the ridge, yet retained every line and plane of it. Determination and fortitude in the cut of his mouth, selfless courage in the eyes. There’d been fear for Cody. And himself ? Not of the situation, but something…

It came through her hands in the twist of his brow. A heroic face, aware of the danger, capable of failing, unwilling to hold back. Using fingers and tools, she moved the powerful images trapped by her eidetic memory through her hands to the clay, creating an exterior storage that freed her mind, and immortalizing him—whoever he was. The Summit bar was packed and buzzing, the rescue already playing on televisions visible from every corner. With the whole crowd toasting and congratulating him, Jaz played nice—until he accepted her ride home and infuriated her all over again by not inviting her in.

He’d believed that dating women whose self-esteem reached egotistical meant parting ways wouldn’t faze them. Jaz destroyed that theory. She was not only embittered but vindictive. After turning on the jets, Trevor sank into his spa, letting the water beat his lower- and mid-lumbar muscles.

He pressed the remote to open the horizontal blinds and to look out through the loft windows.

Wincing, he reached in and rubbed the side of his knee. That plunge down the slope had cost him, but, given the outcome, he didn’t consider it a judgment error. That honor went to putting himself once more at the top of Jaz’s hate list. He maneuvered his knee into the pressure of a jet. When he got out, he’d ice it. If he got out.

He closed his eyes and pictured the battered toddler. The crowd’s attention had kept the thoughts at bay, easy to talk about the cat, how mountain lions rarely attacked people, how he and Whit had scared it off, how DOW would euthanize if they caught it, how his only priority had been to get the child. He had segued into the business he and Whit had opened the previous spring, rock and ice climbing, land and water excursions, cross-country ski and snowshoe when the season turned.

That was his business, but rescuing was in his blood, had been since his dad made him the man of the house by not coming home one night or any thereafter. At first, the nightmares had been bad—all the things that could go wrong: fire, snakes, tarantulas, tornadoes. They had populated his dreams until he woke drenched in sweat, cursing his father for trusting him to do what a grown man couldn’t.

The phone rang. He sloshed his arm up, dried his hand on the towel lying beside it, and answered. “Hey, Whit.”

“You doing okay?”

“Knee hurts. You?”

“Oh sure. You know—”

“Hold on. There’s someone at the door.”

“Yeah. Me and Sara.”

Trevor said, “Cute. Where’s your key?”

“Forgot it.”

Gingerly, he climbed over the side, then wrapped a towel around his hips, and let them in.

“You mind?” Whit frowned at the towel, although Sara hadn’t batted an eye.

She came in and made herself at home. Whit carried their twomonth- old asleep in his car seat to a resting place. Trevor threw on Under Armour shorts and a clean T-shirt, then rejoined them. “So what’s up?”

“Nice try, Trevor.” Sara fixed him with a look. “I especially like the practiced nonchalance.”

He grinned. “Hey, I’ve got it down.”

“With Jaz, maybe. No claw marks?”

“Too public.”

Whit rubbed his wife’s shoulder. “We knew you’d worry this thing, so Sara brought the remedy.”

She drew the Monopoly box out of her oversize bag with a grin that said she intended to win and would, wearing them down with her wheeling and dealing. “I’ll take that silly railroad off your hands. It’s no good to you when I have the other three.”

He rubbed his hands, looking into her bold blue eyes. “Bring it.”

The mindless activity and their chatter lightened his mood as Sara had intended. She knew him as well as Whit, maybe better. Each time he caught the concern, he reassured her with a smile. He’d be fine.

Whit played his get-out-of-jail card and freed his cannon. “Hear what’s going in next door to us?”

“No.”

“An art gallery.”

“Yeah?” Trevor adjusted the ice pack on his knee.

“Place called Nature Waits.”

“Waits for what?”

Whit shrugged. “Have to ask the lady sculptor.”

“Won’t exactly draw for our kind of customer.”

“At least it won’t compete.” Sara rolled the dice and moved her pewter shoe. “Another outfitter could have gone in. I’ll buy Park Place.”

Both men mouthed, “I’ll buy Park Place.”

She shot them a smile.

Two hours later, she had bankrupted them with her thoughtful loans and exorbitant use of hotels on prime properties. He closed the door behind them, and it hit. He raised the toilet seat and threw up, then pressed his back to the wall and rested his head, breathing deeply. The shaking returned, and this time he couldn’t blame adrenaline. He had literally puffed the life back into that tiny body. If that child had died in his arms…

Midst came their mighty Paramount, and seemed
Alone th’ antagonist of Heaven, nor less
Than Hell’s dread Emperor, with pomp supreme,
And god-like imitated state.

Child snatched from lion’s jaws. Two-year-old spared in deadly attack. Rescuer Trevor MacDaniel, champion of innocents, protector of life. Cameras rolling, flashes flashing, earnest newscasters recounted the tale. “On this mountain, a miracle. What could have been a tragedy became a triumph through the courage of this man who challenged a mountain lion to save a toddler attacked while hiking with his father, center-fielder…”

He consumed the story in drunken drafts. Eyes swimming, he gazed upon the noble face, the commanding figure on the TV screen. In that chest beat valiance. In those hands lay salvation. His heart made a slow drum in his ears. A spark ignited, purpose quickening.

Years he’d waited. He spread his own marred hands, instruments of instruction, of destruction. With slow deliberation, he closed them into fists. What use was darkness if not to try the light?


Here is my review of this incredible novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Kristen Heitzmann and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Indelible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Trevor MacDaniel, a former ladies’ man and Olympic athlete has just met his match. After rescuing two year-old Cody from the jaws of a mountain lion, the outfitter meets the artistic owner of the gallery next door. Natalie Reeve has a “gift” – eidetic memory allows Natalie to capture not only the likeness of her subjects in clay. She also captures the emotion of the subject at the time of the mental picture her mind holds on to until she works the vision out with her fingers in the medium.

When Trevor’s sadistic stalker learns of Natalie’s gift after she sees him, will she be safe? Will Trevor be able to protect the woman he has grown to love? Or will his past repeat itself, and she be taken from him forever?

Kristen Heitzmann’s “Indelible” is an engaging and suspenseful read. Written from the points of view of the villain and the heroes, this story has a solid plot, flesh-and-blood characters and a faint message that it’s never too late to turn back to God. I really enjoyed learning about eidetic memory and imagining how God sees us. I look forward to more stories about this group of characters in the Colorado mountains, and plan to read “Indivisible” as soon as I get the chance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Judas Gospel by Bill Myers

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Judas Gospel

Howard Books; Original edition (June 14, 2011)

***Special thanks to Libby Reed, Publicity Assistant, Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Myers holds a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Washington and an honorary doctorate from the Theological Institute of Nimes, France, where he taught. As an author/screenwriter/director his work has won over 50 national and international awards, including the C.S. Lewis Honor Award. His books have sold more than 8 million copies and three of his novels are being made into movies, including The Wager, starring Randy Travis.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Judas, the disciple responsible for betraying Jesus, has a conversation with God and proposes to him that if God had used his powers to market Jesus that Judas would have, Jesus would have been more successful in saving the world, with more people following him. Judas has heard rumors that God is preparing another prophet and talks God into letting Judas return to earth to prove his point using this new prophet, a woman who possesses supernatural abilities and who is stalked by a serial killer through her horrifying dreams of his victims. Judas takes her pure ministry and turns it into a marketing circus, and he comes to realize that in mixing commerce with God, bigger isn’t better and that God is interested in reaching individuals, not masses.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143915354X
ISBN-13: 978-1439153543

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


PROLOGUE
________

CHANCES ARE you hate me. Believer or nonbeliever, if you've heard the story, you despise me. And believer or nonbeliever, that makes you a hypocrite. All of you. Believers, because you refuse to embrace the very forgiveness He pleaded for others, even those who tortured Him to death. And nonbelievers, because you pretend to hate the traitor of someone you hate.

"But I don't hate Him," you say.

Really? Pretending you don't hate someone who says all your attempts at being good are worthless? Pretending you don't hate someone who claims to be the only way to God? Pretending you don't hate someone who wants to rule your life? Who are you kidding? You're not fooling anyone, least of all Him.

But hate Him or worship Him, one thing you can say, He's no hypocrite. He stuck to the truth all the way through His execution. And He still holds to it today. (Old habits die hard.) Truth is His currency… and His Achilles' heel. That's why I knew He'd allow me into His presence. If my question was asked in truth, He'd respond in truth.

Now I'm sure there are some who will debate how I had access to Him—those of you who love to argue about gnats while swallowing camels. And why not? After all, debating about dancing angels and pinheads is far easier than breaking a sweat by actually obeying. Or, as the Accuser recently confided in me, "Spending time arguing theology is the perfect way to ensure a burning world continues to burn."

In any case, my eternal state is not up for discussion. Though I will say I have displayed more remorse and repentance over my sin than most of you ever have over your own. And as to whether I'm actually in hell, I guess that depends upon your definition of the place.

But I digress.

When I came before Him, I was forced to my knees. Not by any cosmic bullying, but by the sheer weight of His glory. Yet when He spoke, His voice was kind and full of compassion.

"Hello, my friend. It's been a long time."

My eyes immediately dropped to the ground and my chest swelled with emotion. So much time had passed and He still had that power over me. Angry at His hold, I took a ragged breath and then another before blurting out like a petulant child, "You… never gave me a chance!"

I was answered by silence. He waited until I found the courage, or foolishness, to raise my head. When I did, the love in His eyes burned through me and I had to look back down. Still, He continued to wait.

I took another breath. Finally, angrily swiping at my eyes, I tried again. "If we… if we would have handled Your mission my way"—I swallowed and continued—"the world would not be in the mess it's in today."

"Your way?"

I nodded, refusing to look up. "You could have ruled the world."

"I am ruling the world."

I shook my head. "Not souls. But nations, governments. Every earthly power imaginable could have been Yours."

"Kingdoms come and go. Souls are eternal."

"Tell that to the tortured and murdered who scream Your name as an oath every day." I waited for His wrath to flare up, to consume me. But I felt nothing. I heard no rebuke. Only more silence. He knew I wasn't finished. I took another breath and continued, "If You would have used Your powers my way, everyone would have followed You."

I heard Him chuckle softly. "And you would have made Me a star."

"The likes of which the world had never seen."

"I did all right."

"You could have done better."

He waited again, making sure I had nothing more to say. This time I had the good sense to remain silent.

Finally He spoke. "What do you propose, My friend?"

I hesitated.

"Please. Go ahead."

Still staring at the ground, I answered: "Rumor has it You're preparing another prophet—though her background is questionable."

"Moses was a murderer. David an adulterer." I felt His eyes searching me. "I've always had a soft spot for the broken."

I nodded and took another swipe at my tears.

"What would you like?"

Another breath and I answered: "Let me return to Earth. Let me show You what could have been if You had followed my leading." I hesitated, then looked up, trying to smile. "Hasn't that always been Your favorite method of teaching? Letting us have our way until we wind up proving Yours?"

His eyes sparkled at my little joke. I tried to hold His gaze but could not.

After another pause He finally spoke: "When would you like to begin?"

And that's how it started—how He gave me the opportunity to prove to Him, to you, and to all of creation, what could have been accomplished if He'd proclaimed His truth my way.

I'll say no more. Neither here nor at the end. Instead, I'll practice what He, himself, employs. I'll let the story unfold, allowing truth to speak for itself.





CHAPTER ONE
________

THE FIRST thing Rachel smells is smoke. That's how it always begins. Not the smoke of wood, but the acrid, chemical smell of burning drapes, melting carpet, smoldering sofa. The air is suffocating. Hot waves press against her face and mouth, making it difficult to breathe. Her mother stands before her in a white flowing gown. Flames engulf the woman's legs, leaping up and rising toward her waist where she holds little Rebecca. The two of them stare at Rachel, their eyes pleading for help, their faces filled with fear, confusion, and accusation as Rachel stands holding a lit candle in a small glass holder.

Mother and sister waver and dissolve, disappearing into the smoke. Suddenly Rachel is standing in the doorway of an upscale bathroom. The same bathroom she stood inside last night. And the night before. The marble tile is cool to her bare feet. There is no smoke now, only fog. So thick she sees nothing. But she can hear. There is the sound of splashing water. Someone in a tub. The room is filled with the sweet scent of rose bath oil.

A nearby dog yaps, its bark shrill and relentless.

A woman shouts from the tub, "Who's there?" Her voice is strong and authoritative, masking the fear she must feel.

Rachel tries to answer, but no sound comes from her throat.

"Who are you? How did you get in?" She hears the woman rising, water dripping from her body.

The dog continues to bark.

"Get out of here!" the woman yells. Water splashes. She swears. The sound of a struggle begins. Someone falls, knees thudding into the tub. There is the squeak of flesh against porcelain. Coughing, gagging. A scream that is quickly submerged underwater, muffled and bubbling.

Rachel hears herself gasping and grunting. She feels her own hands around the woman's throat.

The dog barks crazily.

The last of the burbling screams fades. The struggle ends. There is only the gentle sound of water sloshing back and forth, back and forth.

And the yelping dog.

Rachel rises and turns, fearful of what she knows she will see through the fog. As in the previous dreams, a bathroom mirror floats before her. But this evening there is something different. This evening there are letters scrawled across it in black cherry lipstick. Her scrawling:

Tell Them

In the mirror she sees a tiny red glow dancing across her hand, the hand that holds the burning candle. It's there every night, like a firefly. But instead of her own frightened face staring back at her, she sees the face of someone else: bald, white, and pale. A swastika tattooed on the side of the neck. Man, woman, she can't tell. But it is leering. And it is climbing out of the mirror toward her.

She screams and throws the candle at the reflection. The mirror shatters, breaking into a dozen pieces, a dozen images of the face sneering up at her. Until they change. Until they morph into different faces. Froglike. Reptilian. Each climbing out of its broken shard—snarling, reaching for her feet, clutching at her ankles until, mustering all of her strength, she wakes with a stifled scream.

Nineteen-year-old Rachel Delacroix lay in bed, heart pounding, T-shirt soaked and clinging. At first she thought it was from the water of the tub… until she realized it was her own cold sweat.

"Rachel?" Her father appeared in the doorway, his bald black head glistening in the streetlight from the hall window. The same window that held the broken air conditioner they could not afford to replace. "Are you all right?"

"Mmm?" she mumbled, pretending to be asleep.

"Was it—did you have another dream?"

She gave no answer.

"You're not taking your medicine, are you."

She remained silent, hoping he'd think she'd gone back to sleep.

"Rachel?"

More silence. She could hear him standing there nearly half a minute before he turned and wearily shuffled back down the hall to his room. Tomorrow was church and he needed to get his rest. Still, she knew full well he'd not be able to go back to sleep.

Hopefully, neither would she.

She opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling, then turned to the art posters on the surrounding walls—the Monets, the Van Goghs, the Renoirs. How often they gave her comfort. Even joy. But not tonight. Tonight, as in the past two nights she'd had the dream, they would give her nothing at all.

________

IT WAS BARELY past nine in the morning and the attic was like an oven. The Santa Anas had been blowing for several days, and Sean Putnam doubted the house had dropped below eighty degrees all night. That's why he was up here now—to save whatever was left of his paintings. To bring the canvases downstairs where it was cooler and the paint wouldn't dry out and crack. Over the past months he'd already thrown away dozens, mostly self-portraits; clear signs of what he now considered to have been his self-absorbed youth.

"Dad!"

He turned toward the stairs and shouted. As was the case with many Down syndrome children, the multiple ear infections had left his son hard of hearing. "I'll be there in a second."

"Well, hurry! We don't want to be late."

"I'll be right there."

"Well, hurry."

He quietly mused. Tomorrow would be Elliot's first day in middle school. A scary time for both of them. Yet it was all part of the plan he and Beverly had agreed upon. A plan conceived as the cancer began eating away and taking her. They wanted to make sure Elliot was prepared as much as possible to face the real world. Integrating him into the public school system seemed the best choice. They'd talked about it often during her final days. And it was the last conversation they had before she slipped into unconsciousness.

Now, barely a year later, he was making good on those plans.

"Dad."

"I'll be right there."

Elliot was nervous. He had been all week. That's why Sean had agreed to this trial run. That's why, though it was nine-fifteen on a Sunday morning, the two of them would pile into the old Ford Taurus and drive over to Lincoln Middle School. A rehearsal for tomorrow's big day. An attempt to help Elliot relax by eliminating any surprises.

Too bad Sean couldn't do the same for himself. Because he wasn't just anxious about his son. Tomorrow was a big day for him as well. He'd finally graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy, and tomorrow would be his first day on patrol in a black-and-white. That was the other reason he was up here in the attic. "To put away childish things." He wasn't sure where he'd first heard that phrase, probably from his old man. But it made it no less true. The days of being a long-haired art student had come and gone. Now it was time to be a man. To make the necessary sacrifices and take care of what was left of his family.

He quickly flipped through the remaining canvases until one slowed him to a stop. Not because of any artistic skill, but because of the subjects—six-week-old Elliot lying naked on his mother's tummy, his little fist clenched, nursing at her breast. It still moved him in ways he could not explain. Somehow, some way, he'd been able to capture the truth of that moment… mother and child lost in the act of life, their faces filled with contentment, glowing with an indefinable peace.

"Dad…"

He reached down and scooped up the canvas. "I'm on my way." He tucked the painting under his arm and headed back downstairs, where he would find someplace safe to keep it.


© 2011 Bill Myers


Here is my review of this thought-provoking read:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Billy Myers and his publisher for sending me a copy of "The Judas Gospel" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Bill Myers has penned another incredibly thought-provoking book: “The Judas Gospel”. In this novel, the disciple known for betraying Christ – Judas – is granted an audience with God. Judas pitches the idea that if God had promoted Jesus like Judas wanted to, Christ would’ve had more followers and been more successful.

In an arrangement reminiscent of Job, God agrees to allow Judas to return to earth to promote an up-and-coming prophetess whose supernatural powers plague her dreams with the sufferings of a serial killer’s victims.

The central message of this engaging and suspenseful read is that God desires personal relationship with individuals, not distant fame with the masses. The provocative read would be a wonderful selection for a book group. The novel even contains a list of questions for that very purpose. This book is sure to motivate the reader to get more personal with Jesus.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bible Study: Coming Out Of Bondage - Exodus - Chapter 34


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Exodus. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.

Stacey


Take a few minutes to savor Exodus Chapter 34. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


34:1-2 – How long would it take Moses to chisel stone tablets? Since Moses was to chisel them, then bring them up the mountain, they would be a bit of a burden. How have the people you lead or minister to become a burden? I hope they are a positive burden of prayer on a regular basis. If they are a burden in any other sense, stop and bring them and your heart to the Lord right now. Ask Him to make them a positive burden in your life.

And they might be carved of different rock. But the handwriting was the same. See Deuteronomy 10:4.

34:1 – Compare with v. 28 – God didn’t write the words on the new tablets, Moses did.

God gives second chances…and third…and fourth…

34:3 – God is specific and precise in His instructions.

35:4-9 – the use of the freewill offering. See Exodus 25.

34:5 – The Lord does what He says. And He wants to meet with us.

Why did the Lord proclaim His name?

34:6-7 – this is an amazing list of attributes used by God to describe Himself. Which attribute(s) means the most to you right now?

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, sow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving, yet He punishes sin.

so praise Him!

34:9 – Moses asks the Lord to take Israel as His inheritance. Think about that for a minute, What is an inheritance? Who receives an inheritance? Does an inheritance consist of average possessions or valuables?

34:10-12 – Who would Israel live among? Wasn’t God to drive them all out? How could other peoples be a snare to Israel if they’re gone? See v. 13 for how they continue to be a snare.

34:10 – God is a doer of wonders.

34:11 – God is a warrior. He will fight for us.

34:13 – What we leave behind can be a snare.

34:14 – God is intolerant of unfaithfulness (jealous).

34:27-28 – The Ten Commandments was a covenant. Did Moses carve them out this time? No. See Deuteronomy 10:4.

34:28 – How was Moses able to avoid eating and drinking for 40 days and nights? Who else in scripture is credited with doing this? How did He accomplish it? See Matthew 4:1-2 and Luke 4:1-2.

34:30 – Why were the people afraid of Moses radiant face?

34:33-35 – Did Moses cover his face so the people wouldn’t be afraid? Or so they wouldn’t see the radiance leaving him? See 2 Corinthians 3:7-18.


What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Juice Lady's Living Foods Revolution by Cherie Calbom

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Juice Lady's Living Foods Revolution: Eat your way to health, detoxification, and weight loss with delicious juices and raw foods

Siloam (June 7, 2011)

***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Cherie Calbom, MS, is the author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet and Juicing for Life, which has nearly two million books in print in the United States. Known as “The Juice Lady” for her work with juicing and health, her juice therapy and cleansing programs have been popular for more than a decade. Cherie has worked as a clinical nutritionist and has a master’s degree in nutrition from Bastyr University.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Welcome to the Living Foods Revolution!

Research shows that live foods contain biophotons, which carry light energy into our bodies and help our cells communicate with each other. Cooking food kills these and leaves the body craving the energy and nutrients it needs to function at a healthy, vibrant level.

In The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, nutrition expert Cherie Calbom shows you how to enjoy the benefit of these essential nutrients simply by adding more raw foods to your diet. With 130 four-color recipes, shopping lists, menu plans, and other practical advice, Calbom presents a living foods lifestyle plan that will help you:

· Detoxify and lose weight
· Slow the aging process
· Conquer adrenal fatigue
· Bust candida and yeast infections
· Boost your immune system· Balance your thyroid function
· Become healthier and happier for life!



Product Details:

List Price: $17.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Siloam (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616383631
ISBN-13: 978-1616383633

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The Living Foods Revolution
Eat food you love that loves you back… and you will find the love of your life!
—Raw Chef avi Dalene
Living foods. They’re foods that are alive—raw (not cooked) and filled with life. They’re also called raw foods or live foods. You can plant them, pick them, sprout them, or simply eat them. In each case—you get life! That’s because life comes from life. These foods are your “true north,” your path home to health in a jungle of dietary havoc, contaminated food, and abounding confusion about what and how to eat.

What constitutes human nourishment that blesses us with abundant health? Is it the antibiotic-laden, growth-hormone-laced flesh of stressed-out factory-farm animals? How about pasteurized milk products with their denatured protein and damaged fats? Is it cooked or processed vegetables saturated with pesticides and preservatives? Maybe it’s designer foods with “good health promises.” Perhaps it’s the long line of prescription pills coming out of the thunderous jaws of manufacturing plants.

My dear friends, we’ve been duped—completely led astray—by marketing campaigns. Good health is the result of consuming whole, unprocessed, clean food with a large percentage of that being raw and alive. These foods are chock-full of nutrients, water, and fiber that flush away toxins, waste, and “sludge” from our cells and intercellular fluids.

They help us prevent disease. They alkalize our body and help us restore our pH balance. And they give our cells vital light rays of energy to help them communicate more effectively.

How did we lose our way—from pure, whole food to processed, packaged, chemically sprayed industrialized fare—in such a short period of time, considering that for millions of years we ate whole and mostly living foods?

A stroll down memory lane reveals that ramped-up marketing campaigns, clever slogans, and interesting commercials hooked a nation more than half a century ago on money-making products that changed America’s thinking about food—forever.
The vegetable oil industry went into full swing during World War II when tropical oils, which were among the healthiest oils on Earth for cooking because they didn’t oxidize easily, couldn’t make it across the oceans. Well-crafted advertising campaigns touted the benefits of vegetable oil. Wesson cooking oil was recommended “for your heart’s sake.” They also ran an ad in a prominent medical journal describing it as “cholesterol depressant.” Mazola ads said, “Science finds corn oil important to your health.” And Dr. Frederick Stare, head of Harvard University’s Nutrition Department, encouraged Americans to consume corn oil—up to one cup a day—in his syndicated column.1

When the war ended, tropical oils were vilified so that the vegetable oil companies could retain their market share. Was this refined oil our answer to curing the increase in heart disease that followed the war? Research since then has exposed quite the opposite: consumption of those oils is one of the culprits behind heart disease. We now know that oils made from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as corn, soy, safflower, and sunflower oil, actually contribute to heart disease because they oxidize easily and can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. It is insightful to note that the Wynn Institute for Metabolic Research in London studied people who died from heart disease and found that the fats responsible for clogging the arteries of these people were 26 percent saturated fat and 74 percent PUFAs. Rather than implicate saturated fats, they more accurately pointed to PUFAs—the fats found in polyunsaturated vegetable oils—as the primary suppliers to aortic plaque formation. This research group suggested that people avoid these oils completely.

A New Generation of Food and Beverage Products

Cooking oils weren’t the only thing to change during this time. Carbonated beverages were also first marketed to the American public shortly after World War II, and by the early 1960s dozens of companies like Coca-Cola were competing for shelf space for their diet and sugar-filled sodas. Marketers promoted their way into our homes with jingles such as, “Zing! Coca-Cola gives you that refreshing new feeling!” Their message? To be part of the hip new generation of young people, you must drink Coke. Chemical sugars such as calcium cyclamate, saccharin, and aspartame replaced white sugar in diet soda with the promise of weight loss. Diet sodas were promoted to diabetics as sugar-free options to popular sugar-packed sodas.
But wait. Do diet sodas really help us prevent weight gain or diabetes? Their promises fall short. The San Antonio Heart Study—a twenty-five-year community-based study carried out at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio—found the exact opposite to be true. Their research showed that the more diet sodas a person drinks, the greater their chance of becoming overweight or obese. Added weight is a strong risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Sharon Fowler, a faculty associate for the San Antonio Heart Study, put it this way: “On average, for each diet soft drink participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”3 On top of creating the opposite effect for weight loss and diabetes, these drinks are full of unhealthy chemicals so potent that they can rust nails.
The 1950s also saw the emergence of another new phenomenon in American eating habits: fast food. In 1955 Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s franchise in suburban Chicago. His advertising slogan—“The All American Meal.” It was a fifteen-cent hamburger (four cents extra for cheese), ten-cent fries, and a twenty-cent milk shake. This cheap, kid-friendly combo was served to families as a speedy, twenty-five-second meal-to-go. But was it the “all American” answer for something quick to eat?

What Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 film Super Size Me revealed was that these fast meals are anything but a healthy all-American choice or a meal to make you happy. For the month of February 2003 Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for three meals a day. He also got no exercise. In the film he documents the dire effects this diet had on his physical and psychological well-being. Within five days Spurlock gained 10 pounds and experienced depression, headaches, and lethargy. By the time the monthlong binge was over, the thirty-two-year-old Spurlock had gained 24 pounds. His doctors warned him that he had done irreversible damage to his heart. It took him almost fifteen months to lose the weight he gained.4

Since the release of Spurlock’s film, McDonald’s has stopped super-sizing meals and has added some healthier fare to their menus. But some of the old favorites remain. A close look at the ingredients in their popular Chicken McNuggets—the only “chicken” some kids ever eat— reveals that not everything has been given a nutritional makeover. Here’s a complete list of the ingredients in a Chicken McNugget, as posted on the McDonald’s website:
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphate, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
There’s obviously a lot more in a McNugget than breaded fried chicken. As this list of ingredients reveals, it also includes a mix of corn-derived fillers (most corn is genetically modified, which is abbreviated as GMO), natural flavorings (often a code word for MSG), leavening agents, dextrose (sugar), and chemicals such as TBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane. Dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent, which is a type of silicone that is used in cosmetics and other goods like Silly Putty. And tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a synthetic antioxidant preservative that is a common ingredient in processed foods and chewing gum (one of the highest). It is also found in varnishes, lacquers, pesticides, cosmetics, and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.6
A third change in the way Americans eat also came about during the postwar era: prepackaged breakfast cereals. Tony the Tiger made his debut in the 1950s and became an instant hit as the face and voice of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. In 1957 a popular breakfast cereal ad read, “Wheaties may help you live longer.” And Cap’n Crunch and his crew generated mega-sales for Quaker Oats’ popular cereals.

Billions of boxes of dry cereal have been sold since such ads danced, sang, and talked their way into our lives. Children as well as adults— even many who are health conscious—eat boxed cereals thinking that they are healthy choices. But let’s consider some facts. These cereals are manufactured by means of a process called extrusion. First, a liquid mixture called a slurry is created with the grains. Then it’s put in an extruder—a machine that forces the slurry out of a little hole at high pressure and temperature. The shape of the hole turns the mixture into the various cereal shapes we’re all familiar with: little o’s, flakes, animals, shreds, or puffs.
Paul Stitt delves into the extrusion process in his book Fighting the Food Giants, explaining that this process destroys most of the nutrients in the grains, such as the fatty acids and even the synthetic vitamins added at the end. However, according to Stitt, the worst part is that extrusion turns the amino acids into toxic matter. The amino acid lysine is especially denatured during extrusion. Stitt also points out that this is how all boxed cereals are manufactured, even the ones sold in health food stores. One of the most alarming aspects of extrusion that Stitt warns about is that whole-grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than cereals that are not made from whole grains. Why? Because whole grains are higher in protein, and it is the proteins in these cereals that are the most compromised by this process.

You may remember this line: “Wonder bread helps build strong bodies eight ways.” (Later it became twelve ways.) In my opinion, the ad should have read, “Wonder Bread helps tear down bodies eight ways.” Wonder Bread and other smooth white breads get their soft texture from refined wheat flour. Refined wheat flour has had the natural fiber removed from it because whole grains go rancid rather quickly due to the high oil content in the bran. Refining makes bread that has an extended shelf life, but it no longer gives us much nutrition. And the breads have gotten fluffier and fluffier through the years with hybrid grains that have more and more gluten, created specifically for this purpose. (This is one reason so many people are gluten intolerant today.) These high-starch grains that are made into fluffy breads along with other refined flour products like pasta and pizza crust are targeted as one of the primary contributors, along with sugar, to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Unfortunately, there’s more from the 1950s to add to our list of unhealthy eating habits. It was 1954 when Swanson introduced the first TV dinner in an aluminum tray—turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, and peas. The American family moved from the dinner table to trays in front of the television and started watching TV families interact rather than talking with their own family members while they ate.

It permanently changed the way Americans ate. American families lost the treasure of eating, laughing, sharing the day’s events, and praying with the family. We also lost real, whole food made with human hands.

The TV dinner marketing slogans were all about convenience and ease. American women were encouraged to buy the dinners so they could: “Have dinner ready. Prepare yourself. Touch up your makeup. Put a ribbon in your hair.”9 More than 10 million TV dinners were sold in the first year.

Is the ease and convenience of frozen and packaged meals worth it? Many people now consider such meals very unhealthy—too much sodium, monosodium glutamate (MSG), additives, unhealthy fats, not enough vegetables, and no live food, along with aluminum that contributed to heavy metal toxicity (today it’s plastic toxicity). If it hadn’t been for Julia Child, we may have ended up in worse shape than we are today. Julia persuaded American women to go back to the kitchen and prepare real food.
The Green Revolution and Designer Foods

In 1960 we saw the introduction of “miracle seeds”—improved varieties of wheat, corn, and rice, which dramatically increased the crop yields of American farmers. Through the use of pesticides, irrigation, and genetic engineering, these miracle seeds doubled or tripled harvests on the same size plots as previous harvests. The seeds and growing practices quickly spread to farmers in other countries with the hope that they would help end world hunger.
This dramatic increase in crop production was called the “Green Revolution.” It was a revolution without a doubt, but far from green— which has come to mean buying organic, purchasing foods locally, and promoting sustainable farming and animal husbandry (compassionate care for domestic animals). The hybrid seeds and genetically engineered crops gave us wheat with more gluten so manufacturers could make fluffier bread as I just mentioned, which caused allergies and gastrointestinal problems like Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowl syndrome. Pesticides killed bugs, but it also killed songbirds; it’s wiping out our bee population, and it’s contributing to cancer and other diseases in humans. In the end, it has killed many of us. (Studies show there is an increased incidence of cancer among farmers, indicating the impact that pesticides have on the human body.11) And we must ask ourselves why birds and fish are mysteriously dying by the thousands. Are they the “canaries in the coal mine”? Are we next?

Then along came “designer foods” concocted by food scientists, promising specific health benefits, belched out by big factories, but most often devoid of life-promoting ingredients. They led us astray with their “good health promises” that didn’t deliver what they said. As a whole, people are sicker than ever before in history.

Well, this ends our stroll down memory lane. As you can see, we can’t trust the jingles, commercials, and marketing ads. They gave us slogans like “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!” And, “More doctors smoke Camels.” Here’s the truth: we’ve been the human guinea pigs for decades. We continue to learn, often too late, that many popular products have made us sick, caused deaths, and took our money to boot!

Do you want these people guiding your food choices?

There’s a little voice inside calling you home—away from the clamor and spin of the big companies with clever marketing slogans and foods designed to hook you to crave more unhealthy stuff—to the simple goodness of the earth, free of chemicals, genetic tampering, and the fluff that’s killing you. The voice is calling you to compassionate eating, sustainability, and supporting local organic farmers. It’s time to rethink your perception of food and to discover that you are not too busy to make the time to prepare whole, living foods. You’re too busy not to. It’s time for a revolution in the way you eat and the way you think about food. If you return to nature’s living bounty, you can heal your body and mind along with the earth.

Donna Experienced Positive Results in Four Days!

I experienced immediate results physically and mentally in just four days with Cherie’s diet. The first day I replaced my morning cup of coffee with white tea and a glass of The Morning Energizer juice. The flavors are amazing. I noticed my normal raging hunger and nausea from coffee on an empty stomach disappeared. I felt a little hungry later, but it was a much different and a very mild feeling. After the first day, I no longer had to take antacids daily and my stomach stopped bloating. I slept more peacefully than I have in a long time. I’m feeling more energy and am calmer than I can remember. When I went grocery shopping, I viewed rows of processed foods, coffees, creamers, cheeses, cookies, cakes, ice creams, and chips. The normal diet choices looked empty and terrible to me. I am simply thrilled with the new me, and I will never return to the diet that was quietly creating illness in me. Thank you with all my heart.
—Donna
I Had a Dream
Dreams have often been my teacher. A few months ago I had an insightful sequence of images while sleeping. In the dream, I was in a room with a number of birds that had the freedom to fly and perch where they wished. I noticed they were all getting sick. So the first thing I checked was their food and water bowls. There was the culprit. The water was not clean, and their food bowls were full of only hulls—the life-giving nourishment had been removed from the seeds. I then saw a large bird make its way to a food bowl. It was weak and sick, and most of its feathers were gone. As soon as it started eating, a big bird flew in and began pecking on its back, drilling a hole in its flesh. I was horrified and tried to beat off the bird of prey with some papers in my hand. It was to no avail. I woke up— deeply disturbed. I knew this dream was significant; it portrayed the state of affairs for many people in our nation.

Americans eat food with little or no nourishment—burgers, fries, hot dogs, sodas, doughnuts, milk shakes, pizza, pasta, packaged foods, fluffy bread sandwiches, low-fat products, and frozen dinners. This food is less nourishing than the birds’ hulls in my dream. Then we get sick. We go to the doctor and complain about our ailments. Rarely does anyone ask us what we are eating and drinking. And would it matter? Many of the doctors and nurses seeing us are eating the same things. We go for early-detection tests for various diseases and call that prevention. (What about learning about the lifestyle that helps us to not get sick in the first place? That is true prevention.) When we complain about an ailment, rather than getting to the root cause, we’re given prescription drugs that often cause different symptoms, for which we’re given additional prescription drugs.
Eventually we get so weak and sick that we, like the sick bird in my dream, have holes drilled in our flesh through surgeries and procedures. To top if off, some of our prescription drugs are found to cause serious problems and even death. Lawyers file lawsuits against the drug companies that manufactured those drugs and win big settlements; most of the money goes to the attorneys. Those drugs are taken off the market and new ones replace them.
I looked with interest at the dream scene where I was trying to beat off the bird of prey with papers. I believe the papers represent my books. I keep writing to expose lies and herald truth. For those who never read my books, my message is to no avail, and the “birds of prey” in our society continue to victimize the weak and sick people and make them weaker, sicker, and more dependent on prescription drugs.

But you’re different. You bought this book and are learning truth. For those who have listened and acted in the past, their lives have been changed. I get e-mails and calls continually telling me wonderful stories of healing and hope regarding weight loss and health improvements—this represents thousands of people.

Weight Loss With Health Rewards
I want to share with you the great news! I have lost 11 pounds since starting the coconut-juicing plan three weeks ago. I am off the coffee and sugar addiction cycle and making new discoveries. I feel so good and healthy. My body and skin agree with the recipes. My mental focus is improving, and the dark circles under my eyes are disappearing! I have a good balance of natural energy and cannot believe the blessings in life that I am experiencing each day. I am beyond happy with my new habits and look forward to many more articles, books, classes, and your next adventures. Thank you so much for sharing.

—Chaley
What the Living Foods Revolution Can Do for You


The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution is a book based on a lifestyle program I created that involves juicing every day and eating a large percentage of your food while it is still “living,” which means uncooked and unprocessed plant foods. These living foods “love you back” by giving you a plethora of life-giving nutrients. That equates to higher energy levels, weight loss, detoxification, mental clarity, increased vitality, and inner peace. But unlike most raw food programs, the Juice Lady’s living foods lifestyle program doesn’t toss out all cooked food. You can even include a few organic, pastured animal products if you wish. This lifestyle is about choosing pure, whole foods with an abundance of that fare being live—raw, juiced, blended, gently warmed, and dehydrated.

Raw green vegetables are emphasized because they have served as the basis of nearly all life on this planet. They’re key to our life. I’ve known this for a long time, but I couldn’t get enough of them into my diet to really make a big difference—until I started juicing about a quart a day that included lots of greens. I rotated a wide variety of greens such as Swiss chard, collards, curly kale, black dino kale, kohlrabi leaves, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, parsley, and spinach, combined with cucumber, celery, lemon, and a carrot or two.

Juicing this wide variety of produce gives us a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and biophotons. These foods help to lower estrogen in a woman’s body and decrease the chance of contracting breast cancer—something I’ve always been concerned about since my mother died of breast cancer when I was six years old. Raw foods, which are rich in antioxidants, also help the body remove toxins, thus helping to keep us from getting ill.
Since the beginning of human life, mankind has eaten mostly raw, living foods in season. It is only in recent decades that we have begun eating highly cooked and processed stuff. When we look at other cultures whose people have continued eating their traditional diets, we do not see any significant incidence of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and morbid obesity that have become pervasive in Western society.
Transformation of Avi
While riding my bicycle to work on July 2, 2001, I was hit by a car. And even though I was wearing a helmet, I sustained a traumatic brain injury. I went through extensive therapies of various kinds, and while they all worked together to make me into the person I am now, [I believe] it is the organic, raw vegan cuisine and transformational super foods that have created and maintained the most healing I have experienced thus far. I have been raw a bit over four years now. Recently, alone at the beach by a fire pit with a box full of papers and memorabilia, I had the funeral for the old me. I left the beach with an empty container and a clean slate to create the life that is calling me.

—Raw Chef avi Dalene
In our super-sized society where cooked and processed food is served in abundance, living food is a wise choice because it’s hard to overeat raw foods. Fresh vegetable juice is amazing in that it offers us many nutrients that are so satisfying that most people lose their cravings.

There are some great benefits of a living foods lifestyle if you’re trying to drop a few pounds. Many people say they don’t get hungry for quite a while after they drink freshly made vegetable juices. A living foods diet may help you lose weight more quickly, and it can help stabilize your weight once you arrive at your desired goal so that you don’t end up gaining it all back. So, even if you consume the average three thousand plus calories per day, chances are you’ll just naturally consume fewer calories when you juice because you won’t be as hungry. And you can lose weight more quickly and keep those unwanted pounds off with the living foods lifestyle. But the best part is that many people report that weight loss is just secondary to all the other incredible health benefits they experience.

Living foods provide your body with high-energy fuel, so you don’t become fatigued throughout the day. Even if you eat a hearty-sized meal of living foods, you won’t feel like you need a nap afterward. Further, many people have found that having a glass of fresh veggie juice midmorning or midafternoon is an excellent pick-me-up to keep them mentally alert and energized for hours.

A diet that is made up of 60 to 80 percent raw foods is a live foods diet, because the majority of the foods are eaten in their natural state. Living foods are high in enzymes, which are important to the body because they help in converting vitamins and minerals to energy. Indeed, enzymes are needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in the body. No mineral, vitamin, or hormone can do its work without enzymes. Plant food enzymes work in the digestive system where they predigest foods and thus spare the pancreas and other digestive organs from having to work so hard to produce excess enzymes. Eating living foods, especially vegetables, sprouts, wild greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds, is the healthiest for the human body. Truly they can transform you from the inside out.
A Wonderful Journey of Restoring Health!

Your book is helping me start a wonderful journey of restoring health and stability. I am becoming more familiar with what is beneficial for my body and important foods that are high in alkalinity.

—Linda (not Real name)
What if certain diet modifications could increase your chance of living a healthy, youthful life—free from drugs and surgery—well into your eighties, nineties, and possibly beyond? Would it be worth trying?

By switching to a living foods diet, many people have helped their bodies heal from life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And many people have reversed the aging process and become trim and fit. Consuming plenty of raw foods re-creates your body inside out. It transforms even your face. Do you want a natural facelift? Eat lots of living foods (and take vitamin C). These are the keys to rejuvenated skin, supporting collagen, and your passport to vibrant health and high-level wellness! They assist your body right down to the DNA with the raw materials that fuel your cells. Lively cells construct a lively body. Healthy cells create vibrant health. They’ll help you live your life to your full potential.



The Abundant Lifestyle
Most Americans live a suboptimal existence—mediocre health, low energy, depression, lack of joy, poor memory, poor sleep, and a variety of aches, pains, and ailments. Good health and joyous living are your birthright. You can move toward this quality of life every day if you choose the right lifestyle.
Starting today, you can transition to the living foods lifestyle so you can live the abundant life. As I mentioned before, aim for 60 to 80 percent of your food raw, but even if you just make half of your diet raw, you’ve made a great improvement. Most live food programs are all or nothing. I’ve talked with many people who say, “I can’t go ‘all raw’ with my lifestyle.” So they forget the whole thing. But when you know that you can have some leeway, it’s encouraging to take steps, even baby steps, toward a healthy living foods lifestyle.

Here’s how a “living foods day” might look: Drink two 12- to 16-ounce glasses of raw vegetable juice, or make one glass of juice and have a green smoothie, preferably one in the morning to get you energized and one in the afternoon to keep you going. Eat one or two large salads or servings of raw veggies or a raw energy soup. You could choose a piece of low-sugar raw fruit or some raw veggies for a snack. To that you can add about a quarter of your food cooked. If you have an illness or disease, then it is recommended that a larger percentage of your food should be raw (juiced or blended if you have significant digestive issues) and that you occasionally spend a day or two just drinking fresh vegetable juice (juice fasting) to help detoxify your system.

Have you noticed that when you have a day where you eat mostly cooked foods, with very little live food, you want to eat more and more? I experienced that recently. I was served mostly cooked foods at two different events in one day—all whole foods, but about 90 percent of it cooked. At the end of the day I was still hungry. It was 9:00 p.m., and I wanted something else to eat. My body was craving live foods. A little glass of juice did the trick—the urge inside was gone. This is where fresh vegetable juice is so amazing. It’s very satisfying. When you feast on raw juices, you can experience the single most effective short-term antidote to cravings, fatigue, and stress available.

Many people call or e-mail to say they feel so much better since they have started on the Juice Lady’s living foods lifestyle. I recently received a call from a woman who said those exact words. She has noticed a tremendous amount of energy since starting the living foods and juice program a week before. Prior to that, there were times when she didn’t even want to leave the house for days because she was so fatigued. Now she feels like getting out and doing things all the time.

So what’s going on?
Raw juices and living foods are packed with a cornucopia of nutrients, including biophotons—those light rays of energy the plants get from the sun. When we cook food, those beautiful rays of energy are destroyed or shrink way down. Professor Fritz-Albert Popp and Dr. H. Niggli are two researchers who have found that the light energy in biophotons is an important aspect of food. The more light a food is able to store, the more beneficial the food. Naturally grown fruits and vegetables that are ripened in the sun are strong sources of light energy. Numerous minute particles of light—biophotons, the smallest units of light—make their way into our cells when we eat these foods. They provide our bodies with important information and control complex processes such as ordering and regulating our cells.12
When you drink a tall glass of fresh veggie juice and your day is focused on more live foods than cooked or processed fare, your whole internal environment changes. As you consume more living foods, you require fewer calories because biophotons help rev up the mitochondria of your cells—the little energy furnaces that pump out ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy that is used by cells). They also feed your DNA, which stores about 90 percent of the biophotons found in your cells. Because biophotons carry biological information of the plant into your body, it’s kind of like getting a software download or having a computer technician take over your computer remotely to fix things you can’t begin to correct. Just as the computer tech fixes errors on your computer, the biophotons help to fix errors that have taken place within the body.13

VoilĂ ! You start feeling better, lighter, and more energized as time goes on. Your sleep improves, and you may need less of it. Your mind becomes more alert and creative. No longer will you find yourself in a disorganized fog because biophotons help your mind and body to come alive. You will experience more mental energy, and your creativity improves as well because of the electrical stimulation of the biophotons. (Could this be the boot for dementia or early Alzheimer’s disease?) Your metabolism also ramps up, and you burn more calories helping you get fit with greater ease. And in the process, your overall health improves. Symptoms of poor health, ailments, and chronic diseases begin to heal. Your whole life changes!
Juicing Helped When Nothing Else Worked

My husband is a medical doctor. I was an artist. We are very active in our faith and for years participated in foreign missions. We have been everywhere—from the slums of Mexico to the war-torn Congo. Being physically fit and active was and is necessary for such trips. I would carry about 30 pounds on my back and walk five hours into Ecuador’s Amazon rain forest to deliver school supplies to remote villages. I had to be able to handle the weight, heat, and terrain.

While in the Congo, even after taking all the precautions and shots, I was bitten by a bug, and my health was never the same. At first my husband thought I had malaria. Then I lost the use of my hands. Being a sculptor, that was devastating. I saw many doctors and spent thousands of dollars on tests. My symptoms escalated. I was tested for multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, and many, many other things. During this time I lived either on the sofa or in my bed. Actually, I was not living. I was simply existing. Just the simple act of walking was extremely painful. My internist deducted that I had toxic levels of mercury (from old tooth fillings) and lead (from sculpting clay), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, food allergies, and a liver that wasn’t functioning efficiently. I took twenty-five pills per day.

I endured IV chelation, colonics, and all sorts of painful and debilitating treatments without lasting improvement. I started seeking specialists in other states. One specialist said I had Candida albicans and multiple allergies. He recommended shots twice a week. Monthly I drove eight hours to see him. After that year, I could see no improvement but was suffering from adverse reactions to the medications. In talking with him about it, he told me I had to endure the reactions to gain the benefits. But I didn’t see any benefits, so I stopped the shots.

That drove me from the medical field to homeopathic medicine. I was told that I had parasites, so I did the parasitic cleanses that were recommended. That helped a little, but

I still wanted my life back. I started driving twelve hours one way to see a specialist who reported that my body still was not absorbing nutrients. I did the Master Cleanse and all sorts of other cleanses. I started eating organically. I was able to function and my pain subsided somewhat, but I remained hungry all the time.

Recently, a friend heard Cherie speak, and she recommended her juice book [The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet]. Since getting her book, I’ve been juicing about two weeks, and it has already made a tremendous difference in my health. My pain has decreased. My brain is not as foggy. I don’t need as much sleep. And my skin has improved. Juicing has helped me more than anything I’ve tried. Thank you for helping me to live again!

—Natalie
What Living Foods Offer You
• Alkalinity. Most Americans are slightly acidic because most of the American diet (animal products, grains, sugar and sweets of all kinds, coffee, black tea, sodas, sports drinks, and junk food) is acidic or turns acidic when it’s digested. This causes a host of problems from weight gain to joint pain. The body tends to store acid in fat cells to protect delicate organs and tissues. It will hold on to fat cells, even make more fat cells, to protect you. But a living foods diet, which is dominated with fresh vegetables, vegetable juices, sprouts, seeds, and nuts, provides an abundance of alkalinity. This neutralizes the acids, and the body can let go of fat cells. Many people report that their body also got rid of pain—all sorts of pain throughout the body—when they began eating a living foods diet.
• Hydration. One of the things lost when you cook food is the water content. Our bodies are about 70 percent water. Live foods contain lots of water. Approximately 85 percent of many fruits and vegetables is water, so eating raw fresh produce is a wonderful way to obtain water. Plenty of water in our system equates to enzymes being able carry out their metabolic work, and the easier it is for vitamins and minerals to be assimilated into our cells. The more live energy the water holds in the form of biophotons, the better the individual cells function and the higher the quality of your health.

• Superior protein. Though not a complete protein, raw plants offer quality amino acids. Cooking denatures the proteins in our food—they coagulate, making them difficult to assimilate. The heat disorganizes their structure, leading to deficiencies of some of the essential amino acids, whereas eating live foods offers amino acids in their best state.

• Abundant vitamins. Many vitamins are destroyed when food is cooked or processed.
• Biophotons. Plants release biophotons, which can only be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers.14 These light rays of energy that plants take in from the sun energize our bodies and help our cells communicate more efficiently. Heat and processing destroy them.

• Greater strength, energy, and stamina. Dr. Karl Elmer experimented with a raw food diet for top athletes in Germany. He saw improvement in their performance when they changed to an entirely raw food diet.15 After eating raw food, rather than feeling fatigued or sleepy, most people feel energized. Also, most people eating a high raw food diet experience a more restful sleep and require less of it.

• Better mental performance. Your memory and concentration should be clearer. You should be more alert, more creative, and think more logically.



• More enzymes—improved digestion. Enzymes are important because they are the catalysts of nearly every chemical reaction in our bodies. Vitamins and hormones need enzymes to do optimal work. Live foods contain a good mix of enzymes, called food enzymes. But when food is heated above 105 degrees, enzymes are destroyed, which forces our digestive system to work harder than it should. This can result in partially digested fats, proteins, and starches.
• Reduced risk of disease. A diet rich in raw vegetables and fruit has been shown to lower your risk of cancer and other diseases. Also, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, eating fresh produce on a daily basis has been shown to reduce your chance of death from heart attacks and related problems by as much as 24 percent.

Increase the Micro-Electric Potential of Your Cells

When we eat live foods, our entire bio-terrain operates in peak performance. Biological terrain is the system of a cell plus the surrounding environment. It’s comprised of fluids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, waste, and microorganisms. When our internal environment becomes overloaded with toxins, waste, and pathogens like fungi, molds, viruses, or bacteria, when it is deficient in essential nutrients or is too acidic or too alkaline, our cells’ vitality is diminished and our immune system is overworked. Then we become susceptible to fatigue, ailments, and diseases.
Raw foods and juices cleanse the body of stored wastes and toxins, which interfere with the proper functioning of the cells and organs. They provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, biophotons, and antioxidants that increase the micro-electric potential of each cell. This improves the body’s use of oxygen so the muscles and brain are energized. A healthy, vibrant bio-terrain is fundamental to optimal health. This allows our cells, organs, and systems the best chance to do the jobs they were designed to do. A living foods lifestyle can help you achieve this vibrant interior. With a healthy biochemistry, our bodies can deal with stress and challenges far more effectively. It is only when we put congesting, nutrient-depleted, toxic food into our bodies that we tear them down and promote disease. A living foods diet leads to healing and vibrant health.

Live to Your Full Potential
Secretariat, also known as Big Red, was one of America’s heroes and a racing legend—winner of the Triple Crown. He set new race records in two of the three events in the series—the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. They still stand today. He ran for the shear pleasure of running. But he lost the Wood Memorial. No one had noticed the abscess in Big Red’s mouth, which may have kept him from running to his full potential and from his stunning future.

What about you? Is there a physical condition that’s keeping you from being your best or living your full potential? There was for me. Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia had me sidelined—as you know if you read the introduction. Had I not found the juicing program that changed my life, I would not be writing my eighteenth book, presenting numerous classes and workshops, appearing on scores of television and radio shows, and accepting speaking engagements around the country for numerous groups and organizations.
Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of life, existing rather than living out your dreams and purpose? That can change. You can be so supercharged with health that you live a life of joy and have clarity of mind, and peace of soul. When you care for your body well with the kind of diet recommended in my The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, you will have emotional stability and a stronger immune system. You’ll be able to deal with stress better than ever before because your nerves won’t be on edge with caffeine and sugar. And your willpower will strengthen—a weak body often equates to a weak will.

It may seem too simplistic—that what you eat could have such a profound impact on your health. Owners of thoroughbred racehorses know the importance of a superior diet—good hay and quality grains including oats, mineral salts, and vitamins. You wouldn’t catch a racehorse owner giving a horse even one little “treat” of bad food, if they’re smart. We’re not that different from racehorses. If we want to win the races of our lives, we need a great diet—one that provides quality and energy, one that will take us to the end of our course.

My friend Steve Cesari, former CEO of the $100 million company Trillium that created the Juiceman juicer, and the company where I became the Juice Lady, just released his book Clarity. He’s passionate about health and juicing. He juices every day. In Clarity he shares the story of a friend

that offers a great illustration for us about eating right. His friend was in a hurry to get to a soccer game. He needed gas on the way and had to stop quickly to fill the tank. But on his way home, the car broke down. As it turned out, he was in such a hurry that he didn’t even realize he’d put diesel fuel in his new Audi. This caused $6,000 worth of damage, and he had to replace the catalytic converter and a number of other parts.18
Unknowingly, many Americans put the “wrong fuel” in their bodies over and over again. It’s amazing that they can keep going as long as they do. It would be a blessing if it only cost people who “break down” $6,000 to repair the damages.
Remember, every journey begins with the first step. It takes more than a couple of weeks to see a profound difference, although many people report significant improvements in just a few days. Give the living foods lifestyle six months at least and then evaluate. If you haven’t noticed profound changes, then you’re the first one I’ve encountered to say that. You should be feeling so much better that you’ll never want to go back to your old lifestyle. And you can be on your way to living your potential to the fullest.