Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon



Thin Ice

by Irene Hannon

If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again--until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case . . . but he's coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon pulls out all the stops in this high-stakes thriller that races to a bone-chilling finish.

________________________________________________


Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain SummerOne Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, a Booksellers' Best Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

Here's my review of this exciting novel:
 
First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Irene Hannon and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Thin Ice" 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.
“Thin Ice” by Irene Hannon takes off at a run the moment you open the front cover.  This suspenseful read will keep you on the edge of your seat until the equally fast-paced conclusion.  This second offering in the Men of Valor series reads perfectly well as a standalone novel.
Christy Reed, former Olympic caliber competitor in ice skating lost her sister, Ginny, in a house fire just a few months after losing both parents in a car accident.  As the months pass and grief begins to give way to normalcy, she receives a letter addressed in her sister’s handwriting claiming that she’s been taken and not to contact the police.  In spite of the warning, Christy seeks the help of the FBI and is connected with Special Agent Lance MacGregor, a former Delta Force team member.  The attraction between the two is very evident, but MacGregor’s policy not to mix business with pleasure keeps the romance on the back burner while the suspense story plays out.  This makes the story even more suspenseful, crackling with the promise of greater reward when the case is solved.
This novel from Irene Hannon is another for my “keeper shelf”.  It is good, clean entertainment that I will turn to again in the future.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Homiletics: Revelation 10-11


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture): 

1
10:1
Saw anothr mity A cming frm hvn robd in cloud-rainbw abov hd-face lk sun-legs firy pillars
2
10:2-3
He hold lil scroll, open, rt ft on sea, lt ft on land, loud shout lk lion’s roar, 7 thunders spoke
3
10:4
When 7 thund spk I abt to write, but voice frm hvn: seal up what thund said, do not write
4
10:5-7
A rt hnd to hvn, swore by Hm Who lives 4evr: no mo delay 7th A abt 2 snd, myst o G accmp
5
10:8-9
Voce frm hvn: take scroll, I ask A give me, he: take, eat; it turn stom sour but swt in mouth
6
10:10-11
I ate scroll, swt in mouth stom trn sour;  I told: you proph abt mny ppls, natns, langs, kings
7
11:1-2
I gvn reed, told: meas tmpl /altr/ct wrshprs, excl outr ct, Gents trampl hly city 42 mos
8
11:3-4
I gv pwr my 2 witns, prph 1260d, in sckclth, these the 2 oliv trees/2 lmpstds b4 L of earth
9
11:5
If anyone tries harm them, fire come out mouths/devours enemies
10
11:6
These hv pwr shut sky/not rain, pwr trn wtr 2 blud, strk earth w/evry plague often as want
11
11:7-8
Whn fin tstmny, bst frm Abys attck/ovpwr/kill; bods n st cty (Sodom/Egypt) where L crux
12
11:9
3 ½ d men frm evry ppl/tribe/lang/nat gaze on bods, refuse burial
13
11:10
Inhab of earth gloat ovr them, celebrate by send gifts bec proph torment those on earth
14
11:11
After 3  ½ d breath o life frm G enter them, they stood, terror struck those who saw
15
11:12
They heard loud voce frm hvn: come up & they went to hvn on cloud while enemies lookd
16
11:13
@ very hr severe eaquake, 1/10 city collapsed, 7000 killed, surv terrified, give glory to G
17
11:14
2nd woe past, 3rd coming soon
18
11:15
7th A snd trump, loud voce frm hvn: kingdm of wrld has becm koL and Christ He reign 4evr
19
11:16-17
24 eld fell face/wrship G: we gv thx L G Almty who is/was bec u takn grt pwr & beg 2 reign
20
11:18
Nat angry, time judg ded/reward srvnts; Gs tmpl in hvn opend-ark/ltnng/thndr/eaquk/hail

 


Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
10:1-11
Another Mighty Angel and the Little Scroll
Principle:
God’s Word is sweet at first, but sometimes sours in our bellies as we experience disappointment to apply it.
2
11:1-14
The Two Witnesses
Principle:
God empowers those He calls to accomplish His mission.
3
11:15-18
The 7th Trumpet
Principle:
All events of history are preparing mankind and the earth for Christ’s reign.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

John sees a scroll, two witnesses and the seventh trumpet.
Mighty Angel announces seventh trumpet, coming after two witnesses prophesy.

 

Aim:

TCMATK the time is now to place faith in Jesus, follow Him and bring others to Christ in order to avoid this coming judgment.

 

Application:

1
Describe a time when you have experienced the sweetness of God that turned sour in your belly.  (When I became saved His Word and the Gospel were sweet and I wanted to share them with others.  The sourness came with rejection that led me to feel like I didn’t need to share and I lost the enthusiasm to do so.  I’m praying for opportunities to share with others, now.)
2
What task is God calling you to perform on mission for Him and how is He empowering you to accomplish His will?  (SS Teacher – I spend time with Him to prepare before class and experience His HS giving me ideas both while I’m preparing and during class.  BSF GL – I meet with Him over my homiletics and my lesson, I pray for my Group Members and the Leadership Team.  He unearths treasure from His Word and the comments of other people and gives me beautiful glimpses of Him throughout each meeting.)
3
What are you doing to prepare for the coming reign of Jesus Christ?  (I’m developing my relationship with Him, falling more crazy head-over-heels in love with Him, spending time with Him, learning from Him…)

 

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick


First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Stephen and Alex Kendrick and their publisher for sending me a copy of "The Battle Plan for Prayer" 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.

“The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies” by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is one of the most practical books on prayer that I’ve ever read.  In my 33 years of being a born-again Christian, I’ve read several books on prayer.  Usually at the pace of one or two books per year.  Recently, I’ve found myself almost constantly reading about prayer.  I’m really burdened to do what I can for myself, those I love, the church and those I don’t even know.  Whether this is due to the urging of the Holy Spirit, the release of the feature film “War Room”, my study of the book of Revelation with BSF, or a combination of the three, prayer is at the forefront of what God is working on in my life right now.

“The Battle Plan for Prayer” lays foundational groundwork about prayer from Scripture and teaches techniques to make your prayer life more rewarding.  I’ve used this book as a morning devotional of sorts.  I read the short chapter then I pray as I normally would (usually with an emphasis on what I read about in the book or at least asking God for help to make me aware of how He wants to transform my prayer life with regard to the day’s topic).  I use the suggested Scripture verses in the back of the book to pray for myself, my family, ministers and others.  If you haven’t developed a pattern of prayer, this book can certainly help you do that.  For those who have a prayer pattern already, this book can revitalize the routine.  If you only get to read one book on prayer in the next few months, make this the book you read!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Homiletics: Revelation 8-9


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture): 
1
8:1-2
When He opened 7th seal, silence in hvn ½ hour; I saw 7 angels, 7 trumpets given to them.
2
8:3-4
A givn incns 2 offer w/prayers of G’s ppl altar in frt of throne; Smoke/prayers went b4 G.
3
8:5
A took censer, filld w/fire frm altar, hurld on earth: thundr, rumblings, lightning, eaquake.
4
8:6-7
7 As w/trumps; 1st trump: hail, fire/blud hurld on earth, 1/3 ea/trees/all grass burn up.
5
8:8-9
2nd trump: like huge mt ablaze thrn in sea, 1/3 sea turn 2 blud/creat die/ships destroyed.
6
8:10-11
3rd trump: grt star blazng fell on 1/3 rivers/springs; Wormwood, 1/3 waters bitter, ppl die.
7
8:12
4th trump: 1/3 sun/moon/stars struck, turned dark, 1/3 day w/o light, also 1/3 night.
8
8:13
I watch eagle flying: Woe to inhabitant of earth bec of trump blasts about to be sounded.
9
9:1-2
5th trump: star fall to ea/givn key to Abyss, he opened, smoke rose, sun/sky darkened.
10
9:3-4
Frm smoke locusts came givn pwr like scorpions, told harm only those w/o seal of G.
11
9:5-6
Not allowed to kill, only torture 5 mos, agony like sting of scorp, ppl seek death, not find.
12
9:7-8
Locusts lk horses 4 bttl, wore crowns, faces resemb humn, hair lk women’s, teeth lk lion’s.
13
9:9-10
They had brstplts, snd of wings lk thundrng of hrses/chariots; tails w/stingrs 2 trmnt 5 mo.
14
9:11-12
King ovr thm=ang of Abyss: Heb-Abaddon/Gk-Apollyon (Destroyer); 1st woe past, 2 to cm.
15
9:13-14
6th trump: voice frm horns of altar b4 G to 6th angel: rel 4 angels bound @ rvr Euphrates.
16
9:15-16
4 angels rel to kill 1/3 mankind; # of mtd troops twice 10000x10000, I heard #.
17
9:17
Hrses/ridrs: brplts rd/dk blu/yel, hrs hds resmb lions, out mouths: fire, smoke, sulph.
18
9:18-19
1/3 mankd killd by fire, smoke, sulphur; pwr of hrs in mouths/tails lk snakes, hds inflict inj.
19
9:20
Mankd not killd not repent, not stop worship demons/idols.
20
9:21
Nor repent of murders, magic arts, immorality, thefts.

 
Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):
1
8:1-13
The Seventh Seal and the First Four Trumpets
Principle:
Jesus is precise and orderly in His judgment of the earth and mankind.
2
9:1-21
The Fifth and Sixth Trumpets
Principle:
Witnessing these terrifying judgments will not be enough to persuade some people to repent.


Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):
Jesus opens the seventh seal and unleashes six trumpet judgments.

 
Aim:
TCMATK Jesus Christ is in complete control over all aspects of the coming judgment and we should be preparing for that time with prayer and evangelism.

 
Application:
1
(Why silence in heaven for half an hour?)
Based on Revelation 8:3-5, what might the prayers of God’s people have been about?  How will this affect your prayer life?
Which of the first four trumpet judgments is the most unsettling to you?  How will this change your lifestyle now?
2
According to Revelation 9:4, there will be people with the seal of God on their foreheads on the earth at this time.  How might you pray now for them?  How will this change how you witness to others today?
What do you learn about God because the four angels bound at the river Euphrates “had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year”?  In what way will this knowledge affect how you serve Him?
How does knowing that some people cannot be persuaded to repent affect the way you pray to, live for and serve Jesus?