February 27, 2013

Actor Dale Robertson dies in California hospital

Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Robertson's niece, Nancy Robertson, said her uncle died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., following a brief illness.

Dale Robertson had bit parts in films including "The Boy with the Green Hair" and the Joan Crawford vehicle "Flamingo Road" before landing more high-profile roles such as Jesse James in "Fighting Man of the Plains."

In the 1950s, he moved into television, starring in series such as "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957-62), "Iron Horse" (1966) and "Death Valley Days" (1968-70).

Robertson continued to work in TV in the 1970s, and in the 1980s he landed roles in the popular night-time soap operas "Dallas" and "Dynasty."

In 1993, he took what would be his final role, as Zeke in the show "Harts of the West," before retiring from acting to spend more time at his ranch in Yukon, Okla., where he lived until moving to the San Diego area in recent months, Nancy Robertson said.

Dale Robertson would want to be remembered as a father, a grandfather and an Oklahoman, she said.

"He came back a lot when he was in Hollywood, and he came back (to Oklahoma) after retiring," she said.

"I remember him as a larger-than-life fellow," she said. "When he was in town it was always very exciting. It always meant something magical was going to happen," such as another actor or performing artist accompanying him on his visits.

Born Dayle Lymoine Robertson to Melvin and Vervel Robertson in Harrah, on July 14, 1923, Robertson attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights to earn money.

He joined the U.S. Army and fought in North Africa and Europe during World War II. Robertson was wounded twice and awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars and the Purple Heart.

While stationed at San Luis Obispo, Calif., he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and the 6-foot-tall, 180-pound Robertson soon was on his way to Hollywood.

Will Rogers Jr., son of fellow Oklahoma-born actor and writer Will Rogers, once told Robertson to avoid formal training and keep his own persona.

Robertson received the Golden Boot Award in 1985, and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

He was married several times, most recently in 1980 to Susan Robbins, who survives him along with two children.

Nancy Robertson said her uncle will be cremated and that a memorial service will be held in a few weeks.

February 25, 2013

Great for Believers and Non-Believers Alike

Passion by Mike McKinley

The Good Book Company has released a new book in perfect timing for the Lenten season. Believers and non-believers should check out Passion by Mike McKinley. McKinley is also author of Am I Really A Christian? and Church Planting is for Wimps.

Walking readers through Luke's Gospel, pastor and well-known author Mike McKinley looks at the events of the last day of Jesus' earthly life. At each point, he pauses to marvel at the love Christ has for His people; and shows how Jesus' people can learn from His passion, His care, and His integrity.

The book offers a wonderful series of meditations on Jesus Christ’s life-changing and universe-altering final day. Thoroughly rooted in the beauty of the gospel, Passion draws us back again and again to reflect on these timeworn truths.

I highly recommend this book. It was so fascinating, I read it in one sitting. Now I'm re-reading it a piece at a time as a Lenten devotional.

I received this novel compliments of The Good Book Company for my honest review.


Take a Chance on It!

Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren

With Susan May Warren's Take a Chance on Me, you'll pick it up because of the cover and the name, but what will grab your attention are the words on the back cover; a summary so carefully written that you'll take the book to the counter and say, I want it!

Darek Christiansen is a brooding bachelor with a dark shadow that seems to be following him - sadness, grief or guilt - as he strives to keep his family's resort and his young son together. Ivy Madison is an attorney who is new in town and doesn't know the history but soon gets involved with Darek and the family in such a way that it reads almost like a non-fiction story out of a life of a family down the street.

I received this novel compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review. It's a delightful book! You'll most definitely want to take a chance on it!

February 24, 2013

Everyone Should Read The Romance of Grace

In The Romance of Grace, Jim McNeely explores Bible passages that tell us what God really wants for us and what His love means. This is the love of a God who chose to give His life for ours. The Romance of Grace is about saving our religion. I believe that unless we heed its call, to put grace absolutely without condition and frontally as the be-all and end-all of the Good News, we will lose completely. The real grace of Jesus Christ shines from this book. Grounded in Scripture and rich in contemporary illustrations, grace is revealed as bringing assurance and restoration and relationship. The Romance of Grace is a serious contribution to the way we approach Christianity. Join Jim in his exploration of life in God's unconditional, redeeming, amazing grace. The truth: "Not that we loved God, but that God loved us."

About the Author: Jim McNeely is a teaching pastor and elder at Dakota Creek Christian Center in Blaine, Washington, where he lives with his wife, Betty, and their four sons. Formerly president of New Century Data, with clients such as Lockheed Martin and American Airlines, he now works as a programmer and database administrator in the health care industry.

I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for this review.

Every Woman Needs to Read This Book

Freeing Tangled Hearts
by Dolores Kimball

This is a book every woman needs to read again and again. It is biblically accurate, a practical guide to daily living, and sensitively written without any sugarcoating. It confronts the common sin issues that women (and men) all too often excuse or choose to ignore. The biblical and personal illustrations are very well done and drive home the truth of freeing the tangled heart. In a compassionate way, Dolores encourages us to be the women the Lord saved us to be. Only by taking our eyes off ourselves and focusing on God can our tangled hearts truly be freed.

John 10:10 - I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Web site: http://www.freeingtangledhearts.com/

Click here to download the Freeing Tangled Hearts Study Guide.

I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for this review.

A Nice Start to the Glenbrooke Series

Secrets, Glenbrooke Series #1 by Robin Jones Gunn

This is the first book in the Glenbrooke Series and also the first book that I have read by Robin Jones Gunn. I must say she did not disappoint. I enjoyed this book. Jessica Morgan learns many valuable lessons in life. Secrets take us places we don't want to go and causes you to go deeper and deeper into darkness. Jessica strives to do things on her own and in time learns to depend on others and the Lord. Secrets is a book that would be great for new believers, or even for those that aren't, as it teaches truths that everyone can learn from.

Author’s Web site: http://www.robingunn.com/

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

February 22, 2013

Chrome Extensions I Couldn't Live Without

There are three Google Chrome browser extensions I use many times per day. All three are written by genius programmer Jason Savard. They are: Checker Plus for Gmail, Checker Plus for Google Reader, and Checker Plus for Google Calendar. I highly recommend them all.

Checker Plus for Gmail
This Chrome extension displays new emails and the sender's contact photo, get desktop notifications or even listen, read or delete them without opening a Google Mail tab! Plus many options.

I have several Gmail accounts that I check very often. This extension allows me to keep tabs on all my accounts with ease. It's a breeze to use, and I've never had any problems with it whatsoever. Try it by clicking here.

Checker Plus for Google Calendar
This Google Chrome extension allows you to see your upcoming events and the current date on the icon, get desktop event reminders, add events from the popup in month, week or agenda view without ever opening Web page, gray out past days, plus many options.

This extension helps me keep my life organized and we all need to be more organized. Add all your appointments to your Google calendar easily. Add your favorite sports teams to your calendar so you never miss a game. The extension is simple to use and very reliable. Try it by clicking here.

Checker Plus for Google Reader
This Google Chrome browser extension can preview your unread Google Reader items without opening the Web page and get desktop notifications with lots of options.

I use Google Reader so I can quickly keep up on the latest news. This extension makes using Google Reader twice as easy and so much faster. It's another terrific extension by the Green Programmer, Jason Savard. Try it by clicking here.

February 18, 2013

Three Ollie Chandler Novels in One E-edition

Ollie Chandler Collection: Three Novels: Deadline, Dominion, Deception / Combined Volume
By Randy Alcorn

I am an avid reader of fiction, and Deadline is my top pick out of hundreds and hundreds of books. Other than the Bible, Deadline has done more for my faith than any other book has. This is because Randy Alcorn helped me to see Heaven in a way I'd never imagined before. One of the biggest lies ever told is that Heaven is boring. Heaven is better than anything that we can imagine. It would be a great gift, especially for a gentleman, as it is the story of three men who are friends and their faith journeys.

I highly recommend Dominion by Randy Alcorn. The book provokes thought about what goes on in our lives and how Christ through faith will extend that existence into eternity. The storyline is great fiction and competes with the very best mystery writers of today. The underlying current is how sin in the form of abortion, racism, gangs, drugs, and excessive political ambition results in pain and ultimate separation from God forever.

It's a wonderful story, full of humor and adventure. You can visualize everything Randy Alcorn writes. It's thought provoking, dramatic, and spiritually packed. Don't miss this suspense thriller as it is a must. It's a great read and one of the best novels ever--Christian or not.

Click here to read Chapter One.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Book Review: The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul

The author packs a lot of interesting and informative information into this 130-page book on the Lord's Prayer. This is a book I would have no problem giving to a new believer looking to develop his prayer life or a mature believer looking to examine the model prayer.

The first chapter is "How Not To Pray." In learning how not to pray one also learns in very general terms how to pray. This is a terrific first chapter that introduces the account of the disciples asking Jesus how to pray. Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, "Jesus' intent was to give His disciples a model prayer, an example to follow, one that would teach them transferrable principles for conversation with God."

In the main portion of the book, Dr. Sproul breaks down each section of the Lord's Prayer and explains what it means, featuring such topics as the fatherhood of God, the kingdom of God, the will of God, the nature of sin and forgiveness, the dangers of temptation, and the cunning of Satan.

The final two chapters of the book deal with questions and answers, and a longer treatment of the purpose of prayer in light of God's sovereignty. I really appreciated the appendix that answered several questions for me.

I enjoy R. C. Sproul's teaching because he excels at encouraging Christians to think more deeply about biblical truth than they ever thought was possible. He clearly explains the Scriptures with sentences that are simple and accurate. The Prayer of the Lord is an immensely helpful and practical resource for any who desire a richer, more biblically-informed prayer life. This little book now takes its place with the classics on prayer.

I will be receiving a free printed copy of the book as compensation for my review.

February 09, 2013

Animals and God

Before reading this book I wasn't familiar with James Robison or his Life Outreach International ministry. Frankly, I've always been leery of televangelists. There's something about the way they ask for money that I find unsavory.

However, I do have a heart for our furry friends, so I recently read Robison's book, God of All Creation: Life Lessons from Pets and Wildlife.

The hardcover book with 28, easy-to-read meditations has a lot going for it. Animals for one. Deb Hoeffner's charming, black-and-white pencil illustrations for another. Third, it offers an easy presentation of Scripture told through the quirks and habits of animals. It's also a nice size; easy to hold while sipping coffee.

Within its 160 pages, Robinson shares insights about God and Christian living that he learned while observing his own pets and animals.

If you're looking for a gift for an animal lover, or maybe for someone who is reluctant to crack open a Bible, these Scripture-laced stories are a good bet. In three words: easy, encouraging, thoughtful. And nowhere did the author ask for a donation.

Click here to read Chapter One.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

February 08, 2013

Three Great Novels in One Edition

Karen Kingsbury is a favorite author of mine. She writes truly life-changing inspirational fiction. You can't beat getting three of her novels in one edition.

Where Yesterday Lives
Ellen returns to her childhood home after her father's death. She tries to make peace with people and events from her past. Ellen has no idea what God has in store for her.

When Joy Came to Stay
Maggie and her family are on an uncertain journey with depression and all that comes with it. Faith in God will see them through. Having lived with clinical depression my whole life, this one really hit home.

On Every Side
Faith is a young woman who must make a stand for the truth of God in our uncertain world.

I highly recommend purchasing this nicely-priced book.

Read Chapter One. Please click here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.