Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blind Justice

Blind JusticeBlind Justice by James Scott Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

James Scott Bell is an excellent author. He has a gift of using words to paint a picture. As I read the book I could see the characters, places, and events in my head. This story is about a washed up lawyer who takes on a case for a childhood friend who he had not seen in years. The childhood friend is challenged mentally but has married and whose wife is murdered. He (the childhood friend) is accused of the murder. Many colorful characters are introduced in the story. One character, the PI who the lawyer hires, is a former football player that often quotes Shakespeare. If you enjoy suspense with a Christian theme you will enjoy this book. Just a couple of quotes I will give you from this book. The following quotes are quotes the author uses from the book, Pensees written by Blaise Pascal, a seventeenth-century mathematician and physicist. Pascal underwent a dramatic conversion to Christianity and set out to write a defense of the faith. He died before finishing, but his notes survived and were collected in Pensees. I trust these quotes will encourage and challenge you!

When we see the blindness and misery of man, when we look upon the whole universe in all its dumbness and upon man without light, abandoned to his own devices, without knowing who put him there, what he has come to do, or what will become of him when he dies, and is so incapable of knowing anything, I am overwhelmed by fear. I am like a man carried off in his sleep and left on some terrifying desert island. There, he wakes up without knowing where he is and with no means of escape. I am amazed that people are not driven to despair over this condition.  p. 315

There is enough light for those who desire only to see. p. 372

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Vince Dooley's Tales from the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs

Vince Dooley's Tales from the 1980 Georgia BulldogsVince Dooley's Tales from the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs by Vince Dooley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book details the games from the 1980 National Championship Season of the University Georgia Bulldog team. One of the seniors on that team, Scott Woerner, was a classmate of mine in high school. The first chapter in the book tells of "The Pig" incident. I had never heard about this situation. Some of the team members decided they would kill one of the pigs at the UGA Botanical Gardens where the did swine research. The pig was cooked and eaten at the annual party before the 1980 season. The five football players involved in the "Pig" incident were Scott Woerner, Chris Welton, Frank Ross, High Nall, and Nat Hudson. It was very interesting to see how Coach Dooley handled the situation. I love reliving all of the games from this championship season. I was in college in Pensacola at the time and had to listen to most of the games on radio. Although I did see the UGA USC game on TV and also the Sugar Bowl vs ND.

Sometimes in the book it was hard to understand who was talking also the book flipped back and forth from the 1980 season and other seasons that Dooley recalled (sometimes this was a bit confusing). I wish the book would have spent more time detailing the recruitment of each of the players that played a significant role in that season. Of course the book did detail Herschel Walker's recruitment.

But I believe all Bulldawg fans will enjoy this book!

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American Scandal!: The Solution for the Crisis of Character

American Scandal!: The Solution for the Crisis of CharacterAmerican Scandal!: The Solution for the Crisis of Character by Pat Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pat Williams has written an excellent book. Many, many great quotes and valuable information and encouragement is contained in this book! I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

Core values are of no value unless they reflect God’s values.  p. 47

My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they are popular. You make them because they are right.  ~Theodore H. Hesburgh p. 47

If He knows you’ve done the right thing, and you know you’ve done the right thing, then it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. p. 60

Truth is a hard master and costly to serve, but it simplifies all other problems.  ~Ellis Peters p. 78

I think that honesty is still the best policy. I think morality still pays off. I believe in all those old-fashioned things because I honestly think they work.  ~Ann Landers p. 78

The first step in greatness is to be honest.  ~Samuel Johnson p. 78

Skilled ignorance is often more powerful than knowledge and honesty, but only temporarily, only for a short time. In the long-run knowledge and honesty will pay off.  ~Vince Lombardi p. 80

Honesty has to be my number-one ingredient for success. Honesty means being sincere. It also means being fair in your deals and agreements.  ~Dave Thomas p. 80

Remember, them, as long as you live, that nothing but strict truth can carry you through with either your conscience or your honor unwounded. It is not only your duty, but also your interest, as a proof of which you may always observe that the greatest fools are the greatest liars.  ~Lord Chesterfield p. 81

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.   ~Winston Churchill p. 82

I think of Lew Wallace, who wrote Ben Hur. He began working on the book with the intention of discrediting the idea that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. However, as he researched for the life of Christ, his attitude began to change. His doubt slowly began to melt away, culminating in the day he got down on his knees and surrendered his life to Christ. His classic novel, made into a movie that won ten Academy Awards – including Best Picture – became a wonderful affirmation of the Gospel.  ~Pat Williams pp. 83-84

Let us so live that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry.  ~Mark Twain p. 91

As you are in private, so you are in public. What is in a person’s private life will eventually surface in public, for good or evil.  ~Joe Gibbs p. 96

You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.  ~Joe Sabah p. 139

You may be dissappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.  ~Beverly Sills  p. 140

Joy doesn’t come from having more money than anyone elsew. It isn’t the feeling you get when you receive the promotion that your co-worker really wanted. It doesn’t spring out of an absence of troubles in your life, but rather from an understanding that God is using whatever troubles you experience to strengthen your character and make you a better human being.

Joy is an inner sense of peace, contentment, and happiness that stays with you even when things aren’t going your way. Joy is keeping a smile on your face when people look at you and ask, “What in the world have they got to be smiling about?”

For the most part, joy comes from God’s presence in your life. It’s impossible not to have joy if you’re walking with God on a daily basis. But joy also comes from maintaining an attitude of gradtitude, from doing what the old song says:

Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.   pp. 148-149

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.  ~Dr. Seuss p. 176

Former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani has always kept a small sign on his desk. The sign bears two words: “I’m responsible.”  p. 176

The good news is that the best season of your life can be ahead of you, no matter what your age or circumstances … if you choose to make it so … because 90 percent of your potential is not only untapped and unused but undiscovered. That’s not just good news … it’s incredible news!  ~Tim Hansel p. 179

If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.  ~Dear Abby p. 181

The worst thing you can do for those you love is the things they could and should do for themselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln p. 181

As far back as he could remember, the young man had always wanted to be a writer. He spent almost every moment of his leisure time working on his craft, and the more he wrote, the more his passion for writing grew. Now, in his twenties, it was becoming apparent that he had chosen the wrong profession. He had received more than 120 rejections from various publishers. Their form letters said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and decorated the walls of his apartment. Not one of his short stories or novels had been accepted, but the young man continued to write and look for new publishers who might be interested.

On the 123rd try, someone finally said yes. A publisher was willing to take a chance on This Side of Paradise. That’s when the writing career of F. Scott Fitzgerald finally got going.  p. 193

To finish first, you must first finish.   ~Rick Mears p. 215

If you’re too big to do the little things, you’re too little to do the big things.  ~Terry Johnson p. 223

Humility is not denying the power you have but admitting that the power comes through you and not from you.   p. 223

Someone asked Dr. Albert Schweitzer how children learn, he answered: “First by example. Second by example. And third by example.” p. 259

Francis of Assisi once invited a young monk to go with him into a neighboring village to preach. Francis had already gained a widespread reputation as a great man of God, so the monk accepted his invitation with enthusiasm. The two of them traveled into the town, where they spent the day tending to the needs of the poor and suffering. All day long the young monk waited for Francis to set up a place where they could preach; but before that ever happened, the sun started to set, and it was time for the two men to head back home.

On their way out of town, the monk told Francis that he was confused and disappointed. “I thought we were going to preach,” he said.

Francis responded gently, “My son, we did preach. We were preaching while we were walking. We were watched by many, and our behavior was closely observed. It is of no use to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk.” On another occasion St. Francis advised his followers, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.” p. 259

We have to decide if we want to impress people or influence them.  ~Tom Landry p. 260

The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you.   ~Rick Warren p. 261

People are changed not by coercion or intimidation but by example.   ~John Maxwell p. 261

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.   ~Edmund Burke p. 278

Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.  ~Ralph Waddo Emerson p. 279

Fear God, and you need not be afraid of anyone else.   ~Woodrow Wilson p. 280

Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common ones and make them great.   ~Orison Swett Marden p. 285

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.  ~Augustine p. 291

I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sunrise; not because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else.   ~C.S. Lewis p. 292

Faith is like a muscle; it grows with exercise, and the more we know of the trustworthiness and faithfulness of God ... His grace, love, power, and wisdom … the more we can trust Him.   ~Bill Bright p. 292

How did we ever get the idea that faith in God is connected to hard-backed pews, boring sermons, and dirge-like music? It is incredible to me that anyone could come into the presence of the Creator of the Universe and be bored. God isn’t some white-bearded grandfather who likes to tell boring stories about the good old days. There is absolutely nothing about Him to bring on a yawn or cause your eyelids to start drooping.  p. 294

The story of Jesus is the story of a celebration - a story of love … Jesus embodies the promise of a God who will go to any length to win us back. Not the least of Jesus’ accomplishments is that He made us, somehow, lovable to God.   ~Philip Yancey p. 296

There’s nothing that goes on where God says, “Oops, I missed that one.” Every circumstance that happens in life, God has control of.   ~Matt Ware p. 297

Chances are good that you’ve never heard of Matt Ware, the young man who is quoted above. Chances are also good that you would have not heard of him except for the terrible accident in 1998 that left him paralyzed. Matt was a standout high school basketball player with dreams of further success in the sport. Of course, those dreams died the day Matt was injured.

Matt doesn’t understand why this happened to him, but he isn’t bitter or angry about it because he knows for certain that his life is in God’s hands. He has faith that God always sees the big picture, and he trusts that God is in control of everything. Does that mean God caused Matt Ware to become paralyzed? No! What it does mean is that God knew that it had to happen, and that He allowed it for some greater good that we are not yet able to see from our vantage point.   pp. 297-298

God is too good to be unkind,
He is too wise to be confused.
If I cannot trace His hand,
I can always trust His heart.   ~Charles Spurgeon p. 298

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular … it is why he does it. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart, and he can therefore do no common act.   ~A.W.  Tozer p. 303

You can buy a man’s time. You can buy a man’s physical presence in a given place. You can even buy a number of skilled muscular, motions ecah day. But you cannot buy enthusiasm and loyalty. You must earn these.   ~Clarence Francis pp. 326-327

Golden Rule principles are just as necessary for operating a business as trucks, typewriters, or twine.  ~James Cash Penney p. 337

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ronald Reagan: Fortieth President of the United States

Ronald Reagan: Fortieth President of the United StatesRonald Reagan: Fortieth President of the United States by Zachary Kent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I try to read any book I can find on Ronald Reagan. He is my favorite President of all time. This book is a school book for children. Almost anyone could read it in one setting. It didn't have anything I have not already read, but it sure does take me back to a time in our country that we could be happy. The last few pages is a time line of significant events in the life of our country beginning in Ad 982. The timeline is highlighted for all events that took place in Reagan's lifetime. The timeline ends in 1993. The back cover lists all Presidents with dates served from George Washington (1789-1797) through Bill Clinton (1993-    ).  If you are a fan of Reagan and if you have children or grandchildren this is a book to add to your library.

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From Herschel to a Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson

From Herschel to a Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry MunsonFrom Herschel to a Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson by Larry Munson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It brought back some many memories of the great UGA teams. Larry had a way to paint a picture of each and every play. I always listen to him even when I was at the game live. There are several areas I wish Tony Barnhart and larry Munson would have dealt with with more detail. One area I would like to know a lot more about would be his family. What vocations are his children involved? How did he meet his two ex wives? I would like to heard a lot more on his time with the Braves and the Falcons. The details about those two pro teams were enjoying reading but I desired to hear more stories. I hope someone in the future will write a more detailed account of Larry's life.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first CenturyThe World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first saw the title for this book, "The World Is Flat," I did not know what to think. Then I saw the subtitle, "A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century," and thought it would be an interesting read. The author, Thomas L. Friedman, does an excellent job explaining how the world has become flat. By flat he means that the world has become smaller in the sense our neighbors are now people from India to China to Europe. Friedman notes that the internet has had the most impact on this flattening. Did you know that often a CAT scan that you have done in the US often is read by a doctor in India or another nation?  I know through experience that often "help desk" for computer problems, modem, router, tv, etc problems are directed overseas, but never knew that medical issues, tax preparation, and many other things are sent overseas with the results emailed back to our nation. Friedman explains that not only is this cost effective (wages are usually lower in other nations), but also the services can be completed while we sleep because of the time difference. Friedman makes a case that this flattening benefits both countries. He goes in detail the "Ten Forces The Flattened the World," including: 11/9/89 (Berlin Wall falls); 8/9/95 (when Netscape went public); Work Flow Software (many software programs working together to create one project); Open-Sourcing (many people making software free to help other applications, such as Apache); Outsourcing (finding other companies often in other countries that can do part of your companies work cheaper then you can); Offshoring (moving a company to another nation to take advantage of lower wages, health care etc. to make things cheaper); Supply-Changing (how companies all over the world work together to sale their products-good example is Walmart); Insourcing (when a company combines their service with other service-a great example is UPS who no only delivers packages but also does other things like repairs computers for Toshiba); In-Forming (how anyone with a smartphone, laptop, iPad, etc. can check facts in an instant-example: sitting in church you hear the pastor say something that does not sound right, just google it on your iPhone); and The Steroids(digital, mobile, personal, and virtual all wireless).

A couple of interesting things that I found in the book was the following: There is a McDonalds that when a driver goes through the drive through and orders he is actually talking to a person in another state. The order taker takes the order then emails it back to the McDonalds where the driver ordered. They found this speeded up the process by several seconds. The other thing I learned is that in today's world the bottom line is much more important then relationships in business. He gave an example where a salesman who was accustomed to building relationships (often the salesman would supply NFL tickets to his clients) found that his clients only wanted to communicate through email no face to face contact.

After reading this book I was reminded how many Bible prophecies seemed very difficult to be fulfilled, but with all the technological inventions it is easy to see how they will be fulfilled. I am sure we will see many more inventions in our lifetime.

If you are interested to learn how our world has grown smaller I highly recommend this book!

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012