Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bailey's Adventures BEYOND The Cave

Bailey's Adventures Beyond the Cave is a sequel to Bailey's Cave Adventures. I have not yet acquired a publisher, but I am hopeful. Here is just a taste of what to expect...

This homeschool, Sunday School, or VBS curriculum brings the children to a level of Bible study that is one notch higher than most. Can children grasp the idea of backsliding and being tested in their faith? Are they able to dig deeper into the Word of God? Of course they can! The question is, are we as teachers willing to take the time to instruct them in a way that they can understand.
Bailey and his new desert friends can help you do just that. Each character has a special lesson taught in a very child-friendly manner. This new adventure will make them thirsty for God’s Word, and excited about the journey.

Bailey has decided that all his accomplishments were achieved through his own efforts, and he ends up in the desert wasteland after backsliding. He can no longer hear Radar’s voice. Radar is his black lab, seeing-eye dog, who represents the Holy Spirit. His time in the desert is a time of testing for Bailey, with dangers lurking in every turn, including in the skies! Will he come out on the other side safely, and back where he belongs in his walk with God?

Scene 1

We pick up where “Bailey’s Cave Adventures” left off. As you recall, Bailey is a brown bat born without sonar. He depends on Radar, his seeing-eye dog, to guide him. Radar represents the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We have just finished Beatrice’s Bible Quiz, and all thoroughly enjoyed it. Beatrice is a blind cave fish Bailey met on his first adventure through his home cave. Everyone is tired, but excited after their adventure. As they are slowly making their way back to the entrance of the cave Bailey and Radar are greeted by some of Bailey’s friends.

Friend 1: Hey Bailey, you did it. I can’t believe it, you made it all the way! It’s all over the cave, everyone knows what you did.

Friend 2: What was it like Bailey, scary? M-must have been r-really scary. His friend stutters when he gets excited.

Bailey: It was great! I have to say, though, I couldn’t have done it without Radar’s help.

Radar: You follow the leading of the Spirit and you can’t go wrong.

Friend 1: Oh come on Bailey, what are you talking about. You did this all on your own. Whose idea was it anyway? Would Radar have come up with a plan like this? No, I don’t think so. He plays it too safe all the time. Truth is, you’re the real adventurer here, admit it!

Bailey: Well, I did come up with the plan all by myself…

Radar: Careful Bailey, you’re heading down the wrong road here.

Friend 1: Come on Bailey, why don’t you come with us. We can show you an even bigger adventure, out there, out in the world.

Friend 2: There’s a whole lot you haven’t seen Bailey, outside the c-cave. All those big, open spaces to fly in, it’s g-great!

Bailey: I will need help flying, remember?

Friend 1: Oh, we’ll be there for ya’ buddy. Come on, let’s go. It’s almost dark. Time for us to start our day.

Bailey: Well, what can it hurt anyway. Wait for me guys, remember to stay close. Bailey turns his back on Radar and flies after his friends.

Radar: I see you’ve made up your mind Bailey. You have to follow your own heart now. Radar lies down, and grieves Bailey’s decision to leave him.

Bailey: Wow, I’ve never seen so many bats together at once, there must be hundreds! If I started to fall there are plenty friends to get me back up and on track. What was I worried about anyway?

Friend 1: See, I told you. Look Bailey, if you tilt your wings this way you can really cut corners and get to where you’re going much quicker. He tilts to the right and makes a sharp right turn with amazing speed.

Bailey: Bailey tries the tilt, but his right turn is not quite as sharp and he runs into some other bats, but is able to stay in flight. Sorry, first time flyer. He grins. Hey guys, where are we headed anyway? How long will it take?

Friend 2: Not much further. We’re headed for a big orchard where there are loads of bugs and other good stuff to eat. Want to see j-just how fast you can really fly? We’re just kind of coasting along here right now, but let’s turn on the t-turbo engines and let ‘er rip! Friend 2 gets a burst of speed and quickly flies to the front lines, forgetting to look out for Bailey.

Friend 1: Oh, I can do better than that. Try to keep up Bailey, here we go! Off he goes with lightning speed and agility, also forgetting about Bailey’s whereabouts.

Bailey: Hey you guys, wait up! Bailey’s friends are long gone. Instead of flying faster, Bailey starts slowing down, trying to get his bearings. He finds himself losing altitude. Soon he is at tree level. Oh no, if I don’t get up higher I could run into something. I don’t see any bats anymore…where did they all go so fast? I have to try to ……Bam! Bailey hits a tree branch head first and falls to the ground. He is even knocked out for a few seconds. When he wakes up he finds himself tumbling and sliding backwards down a very long pipe.

Narrator: This is not exactly the kind of adventure he was hoping for. Where will he end up, and how will he ever find his way back home now!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Edward A.

Just wanted to give you a preview of the new book I am working on. This is the first chapter of, "Edward A.", a book about my father's life. Much of it is fiction, since my dad was an orphan. Let me know what you think! Nina :)


Taking the long way home after school past the abandoned sewing shop was just not an option today for little Edward A. The excitement about going fishing with his dad for the first time this season made it difficult for him to obey. It wasn’t often the barber shop was closed during the week, but the monthly trip his parents took into Atlanta to buy supplies made it possible for his dad to get a day off. So, against his mother’s wishes, he headed down the alley between the old sewing shop and another tall, brick apartment building, a shortcut that would save him precious minutes in his trek toward home. A musty smell hung in the air, along with fabric and sewing machine oil that no longer occupied the upstairs shop. The cracked foundation of the tall, brick building threatened complete collapse at any moment. The tat-tat-tat of the sewing machines lingered as a distant memory.

Edward A. whistled and played kick-the-can as he entered the alley. Dirt and old newspapers whirled around in a small dust devil that led the way ahead of him. He kicked the can harder this time, and it soared upward in the windy spiral all the way down the alley. It lingered, as if to stop and look both ways before crossing the street, and then fell apart when it reached the other side.

His whistling stopped as he heard the echo of several hard-soled shoes closing in behind him. Turning to see who it might be, Edward A. recognized three of the local neighborhood bullies. All older, bigger, and faster than he, Eddie noticed the boys wore their infamous steel-toed shoes that clanked on the pavement and banged on their “opponents.” Their menacing smiles and wicked laughter made it quite apparent that Eddie was their next target.

Eddie walked faster, and so did they. Eddie ran, and so did they.

With his heart pounding in his throat, Eddie ducked into the back door of the old sewing shop and mounted the three flights of stairs just inside the door. Right behind him came the awful clank, thud sound of their shoes on the metal stairs. His face red and hot with fear, Eddie finally made it to the top only to find that he had nowhere to go from there. The small office stood empty. The window to the right had no glass in it any longer, the broken shards had scattered on the floor beneath.

The first blow hit him so hard that his glasses flew off his face. He doubled over in pain with the punches to his stomach. The heavy steel shoes hit their mark over and over again. The biggest boy lifted him up off the floor, and all three pushed him out the window. Eddie only saw their laughing faces for a moment before he fell, crashing unconscious in a heap into the metal garbage can below.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Desert Fire

Very interesting subject, one that concerns me a great deal. Thanks to Shannon for having the courage to bring it to print. Nina

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:

Desert Fire

Kregel Publications (September 22, 2009)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***


Shannon Van Roekel has volunteered on the mission field in both Africa and Mexico and much of this novel is influenced by her experiences. She published works in Guideposts 4 Teens and The Upper Room and now lives with her husband and five children in British Colombia.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825439221
ISBN-13: 978-0825439223


Dear Julia,

I want to die better than I’ve lived. So I ask you, please read this letter to the end.

It’s the only one I’ll send.

Cold, fluorescent light shone down on the metal desk where Fred Keegan sat. His hair was closely shaven along a massive neck between a pair of muscle-bound shoulders. He hunched over white notepaper, his right hand engulfing the pen.

A sigh escaped him, a moment passed, and then the pen scratched its way across the paper again:

If you receive this, it will mean I am gone from this world—so you can relax, I won’t come and disturb your life.

There are some things, however, that I’d like you to know about me.

One is that I’ve always loved you. I guess your mama didn’t spend much time talking about the father you probably had no trouble forgetting. I don’t blame either of you for having nothing to do with me. I was a real jerk. I was guilty, as charged, for the crimes I committed. That life, I am ashamed of, and I paid a high price. Thirty years in the slammer. And counting. I won’t bore you with the sorry-old-me stuff. Mostly, I want to tell you about the last eight years. Something important happened, and you should know not just who I was, but who I got to be and the Treasure I found. This is why I write to you.

I’ve got a picture of a cute kid taped to my wall. You’re missing your front teeth and have two of those pony things. You’re a cute gal and no mistake. Pretty, like your mama. The picture came in the last letter with the divorce papers.

Fred stopped, head bowed, eyes squeezed shut. The memories of that day still filled him with remorse. The rage he’d felt and his inability to control it. Two guards had taken the brunt, both of whom still carried scars marking the event. Two weeks in solitary was his punishment. Regrettably, not long enough to cure him of his anger-management problem.

Picking up his pen again, he gazed at the photo. The tape had yellowed with age. The girl never aged. She smiled back with sweetness and youth.

I guess you were seven in that photo. That means you’d be thirty-three now. I wonder if I’d know you if I saw you today. Can a man walk past his own kin and not feel the bond of blood that connects them? Recognize the spirit in the other who shares his same history, ancestors, and perhaps God? Maybe that’s why we get goose bumps. Maybe I’m a crazy old fool who’s had too much time to think about the inner workings of this thing we call life.

“Keegan, you got a visitor.”

Fred looked up as the guard unlocked the steel door and stepped aside, allowing a tall man access into his cell. His frown at being interrupted from his writing smoothed immediately into a grin when he recognized his guest.

“Mr. Lawyer, good to see ya.”

“Good to be seen, Keegan. How are you feeling today?” Joel Maartens returned Fred’s grin with one of his own.

“Feeling? I guess I’m fine. I’ve got things to do, and that helps keep my mind off the pain.” Fred tried to ignore the pity in Joel’s eyes.

“Let me guess, you’ve got new books?”

Fred followed Joel’s gaze as he glanced at the bookshelf on the opposite wall. His cell was compact: bed, desk, chair, toilet, sink. But the bookshelf reaching from floor to ceiling was the focal point.

“Nah! Not books this time. I’ve got a letter to write, and it’s not an easy thing to do, Mr. Lawyer.” Fred folded his large frame into a sitting position on the edge of his bed so Joel could take the chair. “That’s why I asked to see you. I need some help with its delivery.”

“You need a letter mailed?” Joel asked.

“Not mailed, delivered,” Fred explained.

“Got an address, Keegan?”

“Well, no. No, I don’t. But it’s to my daughter.”

Fred watched Joel, wondering how his lawyer would respond to his proposal. They had known each other for the last five years, and during that time, he had learned to value the man’s opinion. Joel seemed less like his lawyer and more like a nephew.

Joel leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees and his fingers laced together as he spoke.

“I wouldn’t think it should be too difficult. There’ll be a marriage certificate if your ex remarried—would she be the type to remarry?” As Fred nodded and grimaced, Joel continued. “And of course, school registration forms. Maybe with some help from the Web, I could find an address or addresses where you can send the letter—”

“No,” Fred interjected. “I don’t want to mail it. It’s taken me a long time, Joel, but now that I have something of value to offer her, I want to know that it’ll get put into her hands. I don’t know who else to ask. I thought this thing through till my head feels like I’ve got two tumors, not one, and I keep coming back to you. I need you to do this.

“My daughter, Julia, will be my only heir, and you will be the executor—if you agree to it, that is. This search shouldn’t be complicated, but if it is, you can take any funds you require for it from the inheritance provision that you will write up with my signature and a third-party witness. I’m not a rich man, but I’m not a poor one, either, thanks to some of the investments you’ve helped me with.” He stopped. His outburst had winded him.

Fred prepared himself for disappointment as he watched Joel struggle with the ramifications of his request. Things that should be simple and straightforward were sometimes the opposite. For a lawyer to take on the unknown with no guarantee was a leap, and Fred knew it.

Joel hesitated for a moment, then gave a quick nod.

“I’ll do it, Keegan,” he told him.

As they shook hands over the agreement, Fred sighed with relief. He knew Joel would see it through. It was enough.

The Lost Commandment

This book really taught me a lot about how we are supposed to love one another. It made me rethink God's expectations. Nina

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 Lost Commandment: Have We Missed What Jesus Really Wants?

Kregel Publications (June 3, 2009)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***


Dave Greber is an attorney in private practice. As a leader in his community, he has been interviewed by television, radio, and newspaper reporters and has served on the boards of several community organizations. Dave and his wife, Lynne, cofounded Live Faith Ministries, an organization teaching Christians how to experience the amazing joy of Christ.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (June 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825429358
ISBN-13: 978-0825429354



“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” That’s what my pastor preached, quoting the Golden Rule from Luke 6:31. It was an ordinary Sunday, and I settled in for a good sermon on a very familiar theme. As I listened, I looked through the four Gospels to read what Jesus said about love.

And then my eyes landed on twenty words that changed my life: Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

I’d been a Christian for twenty-five years. How could I have missed this commandment? But when I talked to my Christian friends about it, they too seemed to have missed it. Every person I asked about Jesus’ new commandment answered me with a blank stare.

No problem, I thought. Somewhere there must be shelves of books about the new commandment. After all, it was among Jesus’ last words at the Last Supper. He even repeated it (John 15:12, 17). And it’s been two thousand years since the new commandment was given. It’s not so new anymore.

So I went looking. I asked my most devout Christian friends whether they knew of any books on the new commandment. I went to Christian bookstores. I searched the Internet. I went to a seminary library. I found almost nothing—and nothing at all of book-length—on what I now consider to be the “Lost Commandment.”

I continued to study John 13–16. As I did—as I realized the significance of the Lost Commandment and in particular the surprising link between obedience to the Lost Commandment and joy—my life changed. Jesus said, in effect, “Do you want me to take joy in you? Do you want to experience complete joy? Then do this: love others as I have loved you!” (John 15:10–12, author’s paraphrase).

Practicing obedience to the Lost Commandment brings our faith alive—a faith that results in an amazing, joy-filled life. We discover God’s purpose for our lives. We experience Jesus’ presence and become more like him as we love others the way he loves us. The Lost Commandment also changes our prayer lives. It enables us to better understand God’s will on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. Our relationships improve as we love others the way Jesus loves us. And those who don’t know Jesus sense his presence in our lives and want to know more about him. No other verse—including the Golden Rule—better summarizes how God expects Christians to treat other people.

Jesus wants us to experience the complete joy of knowing his will. He doesn’t want us to live our lives wondering, “What would Jesus do?” Instead, he wants us to know the answer to “What did Jesus do?” And then he wants us to do likewise in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This book is a practical guide to loving others in obedience to the Lost Commandment. Two premises guide the way this book is organized and written. The first is that we must focus on the Lost Commandment itself in order to follow it. Jesus said that our obedience to this commandment brings joy to him and complete joy to us. And in chapter 1, I describe some of the ways we experience this joy, which thrives even in the midst of pain and adversity.

The Lost Commandment is different from the Golden Rule. That’s why Jesus called it “new.” No doubt, the world would be a much better place if everyone did follow the Golden Rule. But true as this statement is, it misses the point: Jesus commanded us to go into the world teaching others everything that he had commanded us (Matt. 28:20). In chapter 2, then, I explain how the Golden Rule is different from the Lost Commandment, and why I believe Jesus intended to replace the Golden Rule with the Lost Commandment.

The second premise of this book is that everything that Jesus has done for humankind throughout history, as revealed in the Bible or experienced in our individual lives, is both an expression of his love for us and an example of how we are expected to love others. Therefore, to obey the Lost Commandment, we have to become students of Jesus’ love for us so that we can better love others in this same way. Part of what brings us joy as we obey the Lost Commandment is, in fact, having a better understanding of the depth and breadth of Christ’s love for us.

Whether you agree with the first premise of this book or not, the second premise stands on its own. It is not controversial, and represents the majority of the teaching of this book (chapters 1, and 3 through 18). As followers of Jesus, we are called to demonstrate his presence in our lives by the way that we love others (John 13:35). His life is our life example (John 13:15; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Tim. 1:16; 1 Peter 2:21).

As we study Jesus’ love for us, particularly as revealed in the New Testament, we discover that it has six major elements that follow a logical sequence and yield practical principles for our lives with God and others. Parts 2 through 7 of this book express these elements as themes.

To follow Jesus, we must have a close, personal relationship with God, whose love for us can heal the pain in our lives, as we follow in Jesus’ loving footsteps (part 2).

Our relationship with God requires us to accept Christ’s mission to transform our lives, and to bring others into a close, personal relationship with God. We do our part primarily by paying Jesus’ love forward to others with the help of the Holy Spirit (part 3).

Our mission, like Christ’s, is an expression of humility toward God and others (part 4).

As we follow Jesus’ example, our humble dependence on God enables us to tap into God’s power through obedience to his commands, the most important of which is to love others as Jesus has loved us. The Holy Spirit gives us the power and understanding that we need to obey God as we speak with God, study his Word, and learn from others who follow Jesus (part 5).

Our humble obedience to Christ leads us to forgive and serve others. God’s forgiveness (part 6) makes it possible for us to become reconciled to him. He commands us to forgive others as he has forgiven us, and he empowers us to reconcile with them. He also helps us to act as peacemakers who help others find peace with each other.

As Christ lived his life on earth in service to us (part 7), so he calls us to serve others as though we were serving Jesus himself. We are called to give time and money to those most in need, according to the priorities God gives to each of us.

This book provides more, though, than an overview and a framework for understanding Jesus’ love. It also contains insights and illustrations that demonstrate how to allow Jesus’ love to flow to others through our lives. Whether you don’t know Jesus, you’ve just met him, or you’ve known him for years, this book will help you experience the complete joy that comes from loving others as he has loved us.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will use this book to help you find the only love that brings complete joy, and that leads not merely to life but to abundant life.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Celtic Treasures

Fully enjoyed reading this book, and the pictures. Nina
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:

Celtic Treasure

Lion UK; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***


Liz Babbs is an award-winning author, performer, broadcaster and retreat leader. She has written many books on the subject of spirituality, including The Celtic Heart, The Pilgrim Heart and Into God’s Presence.

Visit the author's website.
Visit the book's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.95
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Lion UK; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0745953557
ISBN-13: 978-0745953557