afterlife · Apologetics · book review · Five Star Review

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell

Answering tough questions about heaven and hell
Image courtesy of Bethany House

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2017)


Grab your copy on Amazon!

*Book received for free from Bethany House Publishers*

Here’s a sobering fact: “More than 7,000 people die each day in the U.S. Nearly 11,000 are born each day.”(Answering the Toughest Questions, pg.28, 2017).

Bickel and Jantz began this book in the most logical way by asking: Is there an afterlife in general? The tone of the book is conversational, intellectual and made for very easy reading.

However, where the book excels in being  highly organized, the answers given may satisfy those who are deep in the religion and who never waver from the Word of God whilst “new school” believers like myself, believe in Christ but are not quite sure if everything the bible paints is 100% accurate or made clear.

The good part is that the authors actually save the biblical teachings for later. They offer information on the afterlife based off of sound research and used ingenious quotes from Peter Kreeft, Freeman Dyson, Alan Segal, and more.

The real question remains though: Were they able to give us what we want?

Well, the authors were humble enough throughout the book to mention that they do not have clear answers on everything. In fact, going with God, reading the bible and combing through research dealing with the afterlife is anyone’s best bet.

Another cool feature of this book are the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are tough too! Not something to take lightly. This is your afterlife we’re talking about here.

Below are a few teaser bits of what I learned from this book:

  • Before followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of the way because Jesus said it first that he was/is the way to heaven.
  • C.S. Lewis said “we have an innate desire for immortality so immortality(in some form) must exist.
  • Death may not sting, but it still hurts(I love how they put that!)
  • Life after death can be explained through biology, consciousness, teleology, and physics- to some degree.
  • Our brains and minds are separate. Therefore, when the body dies our minds or spirits will live on.

I enjoyed this book completely. It sort of rekindled my faith. I love reading theology and Christian living books for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share here? If you have reviewed the book also, let me know!

-The Write Web 🙂

Apologetics · book review · Communicating with God

Bandersnatch by Erika Morrison (a review)

Image courtesy of W Publishing Group

*Uncorrected advanced copy received for free from Netgalley

Bandersnatch is really for those  Christians who have had it with dry traditions and desire a real relationship with their Creator.

Bandersnatch  does not follow a linear pattern like a “normal” Christian self help book.

Erika Morrison’s book is more than that.

It is abstract.

For example, she provides a working theme and definition for Bandernsnatch(she makes it a verb):

“I’m inviting you to Bandersnbatch- that is, to acknowledge and embrace the unconventional habits and attitudes that are your birthright…”(xii)

And throughout the book, Erika shares a part of herself with us. She lets us in on that moment when she was a part of the charismatic church and could not speak in tongues but the Holy Spirit gave her another, important creative gift.

Or her thoughts about God that causes you to rethink how and why we worship because “all life is precious- God spoke it into existence.”(155).

Erika does not offer ten steps to worshiping God in some supreme way or even offer up a ten point guide as to why we should all Bandersnatch. The book is not written in “order” and so you can literally pick a chapter and start reading.

She  asks short questions so you can gauge your understanding of the text and your relationship to God.

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

Bandersnatch, Erika Morrison

W Publishing Group-Imprint of Thomas Nelson(October 6,2015)

ISBN: 978-0-7180-3622-5

Apologetics · book review · contemporary christian fiction · mystery novels

Review: ‘The Shadowed Mind'(A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2) is a Chiller

the shadowed mind, suspense booksIf you are a Christian and looking for a good mystery that seems to be ripped from today’s headlines and features a strong, flawed heroine. Then I strongly suggest Julie Cave’s Dinah Harris Mystery trilogy. And in The Shadowed Mind, the second book in this trilogy things get even deadlier.

Former FBI Agent Dinah Harris is now a consultant on the latest case: a cunning, terrifying killer emerges and decides who gets to live or die. Along with this event, Dinah learns about eugenics and euthanasia.

Briefly, eugenics is the science of improving the population by “breeding” those with good genes. Euthanasia is assisted suicide or “mercy killing”. And so in this mystery, there are people groups who publicly denounce these ideas but secretly they hold fast to them and what will raise goose bumps on your skin is the Julie Cave’s research that illustrates in real life people once held/hold on to these ideas, beginning with the history of The racial Integrity Act of 1924 or Sterilization Act which affected blacks of course and Indians and other non-white people groups. But it extends also to sterilizing those with histories of addictions, disabilities, and mental illness.

My Reaction:

Dinah Harris is touted as being the most talented FBI on the force and I guess this is before her depression and drinking took over because right now I see bits and pieces of how good she is as far as asking right questions and digging for clues but nothing really spectacular. But I do have a feeling this will pick up in the conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. Honestly, the books are just that good.

Also, I am a romantic at heart so I am wondering…when the heck will Dinah at least have some sort of gushy feelings for a dude?

Okay, maybe I’m picking, but seriously, this is a great series.

*Book received for unbiased review from author Julie Cave

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

The Shadowed Mind: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2 by Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)


Apologetics · book review · mystery novels

Deadly Consequences and Theological Thoughts in ‘Deadly Disclosures’

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris MysteryDeadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery by Julie Cave

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A prominent Secretary of the Smithsonian vanishes and is found dead.

FBI agent Dinah Harris is summoned to the case, but she has a problem. A drinking problem and it will take an act of God for her to get through this case which will shake the foundation of the Smithsonian and America as she knows it.

The case goes deeper as Dinah realizes there is more at stake here than just a missing Secretary. More dead bodies pile up as she and her partner Ferguson discovers that this case is one of faith versus science:

“…you really don’t want anyone to practice any religion except atheism, right?” Dinah said mildly. That doesn’t sound like freedom of religion to me; that sounds like religious persecution.”(pg.257)

Deadly Disclosures is an exciting mystery portraying the views of the humanists/evolutionists and the Creationists/Christians and those who will literally kill for their beliefs. The book has intelligent dialogue, believable crime scenes, and you can tell the book has been thoroughly researched.

Although the book has five star status, some people may find Dinah too dry and cold. Her personality was really stale and her drinking booze every day and night is seen as a hindrance to her relationship with others. However, she does have a devastating story as to why she drinks and wishes to die.

Another potential pitfall for readers could be how atheists and Christians are portrayed. You’ve seen this in faith films: Atheists are the bad guys and Christians are the nice, sweet people.

A very entertaining book that begs you to keep turning the pages.

*Book received for free from Julie Cave for an unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Book Details:

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #1

Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)

ISBN: 978-0-89051-584-6

Apologetics · astronomy · heaven · writing

As we wait on ‘Ring of Stone’ here’s some pics of Stone’s birth home…

As ‘Ring of Stone'(Book 2 to Mark of Fortune) is being prepared, I thought I’d share a few pics of the place where Stone of the Ice Rings is from. He was born on the “outskirts of Saturn” which can mean the ice rocks on the ring belt on some other place during that ancient time. Either way its beautiful- enjoy!

Click on the “The Basics of Saturn” to enjoy interesting, mind boggling facts on this gas giant!

*Disclaimer: All images are from and some may be artist’s concepts.

Dawn on Saturn
Cassini at Saturn’s Bow Shock
Apologetics · book review · Communicating with God

Review of ‘The Full Armor of God’ by Larry Richards

Recognizing the spiritual warfare all around us may not be the difficult part of the Christian life. The difficult part is knowing exactly what Paul meant when he wrote Ephesians  while in Ephesus a place known for serving gods and goddess; demons.

Larry Richards, Ph.D. has written The Full Armor of God: Defending Your Life from Satan’s Schemes. The book, although somewhat brief, gets right to the point of how Christians should read Ephesians, Acts, and Luke in the bible. The author mentions plenty of historical, literary, and personal examples to highlight the fact that spiritual warfare is purely real and can be dealt with:

Recognition begins when we understand that real spiritual warfare takes place within the hearts and lives of individuals. Satan operates what Paul calls, “schemes”(18)

In our day to day events, demons watch for an open door in an individual’s life in order to cripple the believer. There is hope: Paul mentions a few weapons believers have in their spiritual arsenal to help fight the war against the enemy: The helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sandals of peace, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

We must understand that all of the weapons except for the sword of the spirit are defensive methods. The sword is the only offensive tool mentioned in Ephesians. This is amazing to know because Jesus used the Word of God to defeat the enemy for a season while he was on a fast.

Below is a breakdown of the chapters:

Part 1: Understanding Spiritual Forces

Part 2: The Helmet of Salvation(Ephesians 1:1-23)

Part 3: The Shield of Faith(Ephesians 2:1-10)

Part 4: The Sandals of Peace(Ephesians 2:11-4:16)

Part 5: The Breastplate of Righteousness(Ephesians:17-5:7)

Part 6: The Belt of Truth(Ephesians 5:8-6:9)

Part 7: Conclusion: Ephesians 6:10-20

So, what is my reaction to this book? Spiritual Warfare is personal to me to begin with because I have experienced it in my life and used to grab up any spiritual book I could to help me understand a little more. No book is better than the bible of course, but Larry Richards gives some healthy background and advice as well as more tips on combating the dark forces with the power Christ has already given us.

The book is concise, easy to understand, and perfect for anyone wanting to understand just what the full armor of God is.

*This book was received from Chosen Books for my unbiased review.

Apologetics · Communicating with God · relationships · writing

Crooked rooms, misrecognition, and anger in Perry’s ‘Sister Citizen’

This is not a political review(I hate politics), but a review of words and what connotations that hold for every word and syllable for every American. Besides, words can hurt and sometimes kill but they begin as small seeds and they  grow in minds, hearts and eventually the spirit and what grows in these places becomes our truth.

This brings me to Melissa V. Harris-Perry’s profound and intelligently researched book “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes,  and Black Women in America”- a work that is timely and honest for some and too vile and “needs to be forgotten” for others.

The book hit on several good points, too many to place here on a blog post. There are a few terms Perry uses that forced me to slow down and reflect and remember. Misrecognition, rooms, and anger.

Black women desire the one basic thing a human needs next to water, food and air: Recognition. In 2012 it should not be a discussion at all about the validity of a black woman’s right to be judged as fairly as whites and men in general, but Perry uses statistics, past history, and recent history to show us that black women are still  misrecognized as something else.

Even when America first learned Obama had a black wife, I am sure many(including black men) went “Uh oh, she can’t be good for him. Will she submit to him? Will she be a mammy? Will she be the angry black women we loathe?

Turns out Michelle is none of that. She is herself, but we can’t change how others feel when they hear the words black and woman.

Secondly, Perry points out that black women live in crooked rooms. The “Crooked Room” is based on a study of  field dependence during post World War II when individuals were asked to try to stand upright in a crooked room. Some perceived themselves as straight while others considered themselves perfectly straight because they were aligned with the crooked room(Perry, 2011, pg. 29)

What does this mean?

According to her research of how African-American women have been treated in America and quite frequently by their own men, these women somehow feel that the room must be right and they are wrong. I thought about this room and I thought about media images affect African-American women’s look and outlook: they wear wigs. They perm their hair. They may even feel they need to lighten their skin and submit to bad men in order to prove they can be just as feminine as their white counterparts. Sad.

Could it be that black women already feel that America see them only as angry baby making machines and not as feminine women who are also human? Or could a black woman have tried for a shot in certain positions in business and entertainment, only to be watched like an eagle in case she *gasp*– reacts like a human being?

This brings us to another word: Anger. When Obama got into office, many people both black and white probably expected Michelle to be angry and unsupportive of her husband. And like I mentioned before about words and their connotations, they grow and grow and become our beliefs. America’s collective belief is that black women are angry all the time and so whatever Michelle says in emotion or in jest or just her being normal is readily under the big microscope of judgement.

Other black women suffer from this as well. Perry digs deep into the dialogues and documentaries of black women during  Katrina in 2005, the Duke 88 Case, and even how comedians feel about black women not obtaining a man-comedians as experts??? Yes, Perry exposed this as well.

So were there any solutions offered in the book?

Not really. This is why I enjoyed the work. In reality, no matter how many blogs, videos, companies, or honorable things achieved by people of color in general. Once something is planted, it takes root. Perry does mention about relying on other “strong sisters” and how we turn to God for our help or just continue to have strength pulled from nowhere, but no one knows that at the end of the day, the black woman can go into her private place, curl up like a little girl and cry her tears. She can finally take off her superwoman cape and armor, she can finally look into her mirror and see a staining blush upon her dark cheeks and say softly: I really am a human woman. Huh? W ho would’ve thought?

For more about Melissa V. Harris-Perry and her research please visit: