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Third-Day-642x250Know anyone who is a graphic novel / comic book fan ?  We have a couple of them in my house.  My guys love to pick up a good graphic novel or comic book when they can.  They were delighted when we had the chance to review The Third Day, a new graphic novel style book from The Good Book Company.  This book is different from other graphic novels in that the authors took direct Scripture from the Gospel of Luke 22-24 (Holman). We know the scenes depicted best as the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Crucifixion of Jesus, and the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.  Yes, the events of Holy Week in a book reviewed during Holy Week!  Imagine that!

Since they are such graphic novel fans, the Tiede boys were happy to help with the review!

The Bottom Line

Caleb- Age 11

I thought this book was pretty good.  I especially liked the scenes which showed the crucifixion. I liked how close these scenes were to the Bible. I like graphic novels because there are fewer words and expressive pictures.  Usually graphic novels have bright colors, but these illustrations feel like they are more realistic colors that match the mood and the time period. I think the illustrations were really well done.  Most graphic novels have a lot of dialogue and this one doesn’t. I missed that a little.

Ben- Age 13

I think it was really neat that the book uses the exact words from the Bible. Some people who might not be willing to read the Bible, may be willing to read the gospel story in this format. That makes this a great book! In my opinion, the crucifixion wasn’t as realistic as it should have been. The illustrators showed more blood during the part when the soldier’s ear was cut off. In contrast, Jesus’s crucifixion didn’t show any wounds or blood.  I think it misrepresents what Jesus went through for our sins. He suffered, but we don’t get that from the illustrations.

The Final Verdict!

The book is wonderfully illustrated and so captures the emotion behind the scenes  and passion of the week. I love the idea of this series.  I think that there is a definite group of teens and even younger or older kids (aka adults) who will be intrigued by this series.  The tough part of this project is getting it all to come together–the visual with the actual Word of God.  It must not have been an easy feat!  I think that there are areas it really shines.  There are other areas it was harder to get the same feel as what a regular reader of a graphic novel expects. In all, I  think this was worth reading and checking out.  I hope that they have success in this project and that additional title will be released.

Third Day Pages

Book Description

Third Day cover“The Third Day” is the first in a range of short graphic-novel-style books faithfully illustrating the unadorned text of the gospel of Luke. It has a gritty, contemporary feel to it that is far removed from the clean, bright, graphic versions of the Bible already available for younger children. This resource will introduce the biblical account of Easter to teens and young adults who enjoy reading illustrated graphic media.

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: The Good Book Company (February 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909919551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909919556
  • Product Dimensions:  10 x 6.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Retail Price: $6.99
  • Available at:
  • Amazon
  • The Good Book Company

 

 

Author

Alex Webb-Peploe is an illustrator and web designer. He lives in Cheltenham, England with Hilary and his young son Caleb.Alex

 

Notice: I received a complimentary e-book for an honest review of this title through Shaun Tabatt at  Cross-Focused Reviews and The Good Book Company

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Salvation CrossWhy is the crucifixion of Jesus the single most important event in history?

In his new book, Salvation by Crucifixion, Dr. Philip Ryken answers this through seven relatively short but meaty chapters:

1. The Necessity of the Cross (Acts 2:23)
2. The Offense of the Cross (Hebrews 12:2)
3. The Peace of the Cross (Colossians 1:20)
4. The Power of the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18)
5. The Triumph of the Cross (Colossians 2:15)
6. The Humility  of the Cross (Philippians 2:8)
7. The Boast of the Cross (Galatians 6:14)

As you likely noticed, each chapter’s theme has a passage of Scripture that digs deeper into the significance of the Gospel.

Dr. Ryken explores the cultural significance of crucifixion of first century societies (Roman, Greek and Hebrew) and what made this type of death loathsome. He goes on to help his reader understand how our contemporary society has lost touch with how awful this form of death was and how the cross has become a “tamed” symbol of faith.  He points his reader back to the Old Testament promises of one perfect sacrifice to take away all sin but reminds us that no one ever thought that it would come through crucifixion of an individual man. Yet in God’s perfect plan, He saw the cross as demonstrating power and wisdom (1 Cor. 1:18) through a humble God-man who gave it all for us all. Ultimately, if we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sin, Dr. Ryken uses Paul’s letter to the Galatians (6:14) as our response to the cross– may we rejoice and have wonder in the saving power of our Savior’s sacrifice through His crucifixion on the cross!

Bottom Line

Dr. Ryken is an excellent writer who has the ability to cut to the point of his message in a very readable and succinct manner.   He writes to clearly inform his reader as a good teacher does. His writing style even makes statements you may know interesting, because you wished you thought of saying it that way!

Ryken set out to write a book that people who do not know the Gospel could easily read and clearly understand, and one that will cause the reader to see Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in a new and life changing way.  He certainly has obtained his goal.  I think that whether you are an established Christian or a new believer, you will find a clear message of Christ’ s sacrifice on the cross that will enrich your faith walk.  With Easter just about a week away, I believe that readers of this book will see new insights into Christ’s sacrifice for them.

If you want to dig deeper into what’s behind the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection…if you want to read a book that will inform as well as enrich your spiritual walk… if you wish you had a book that gave more knowledge to a seeking friend or new believing friend, consider picking up a copy of the I give this book five of five stars.

Book DescriptionSalvation by Crucifixion

Philip G. Ryken celebrates Easter with this thoughtful guidebook to understanding the cross. Seven answers to seven questions explain the why and the wherefore of the cross for a Biblical faith and a Christian life.

Ryken covers the necessity of the cross for salvation; the offense it gives to Jews, Gentiles, and any moral individual; the peace it brings to those who trust in Christ; the power it has to achieve God’s loving, saving purpose; the triumph it wins over sin, death, and the judgment of God; the humility it displays in the character of Jesus; and the boast it becomes for every believer.

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus (January 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781913072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781913079
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Retail Price: $9.99 paperback  / $7.99 e-book

Available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Christian Focus Publications

About the Author

Dr Ryken became President of Wheaton College in July 2010. Prior to that he was Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also a prolific author and a member of the council of The Gospel Coalition. Other books by Dr. Ryken can be find through this link.

Notice: I received a complimentary e-book for an honest review of this title through Shaun Tabatt at  Cross-Focused Reviews and Christian Focus Publications

photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC via photopin cc (modified)

 

 

 

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We’ve been home from our life-changing trip to Nepal for 5 days now. I think I can safely say I’m feeling almost human again.

(Jet-lag was killer.) Next time I come home from Nepal, I will not schedule things for the first three days.

(You read that right … I said next time. In addition to writing the book for and about Tiny Hands International and their work in Nepal, I’m asking God how He might choose to use me and my family in their efforts to Be the Kingdom. I pray that includes more trips to Nepal.)

I’ve spent much of these last five days reflecting on our 10 days on the ground in Nepal. I’ve dreamt about Nepal. The following image is one I’ve thought of countless times.

Neighborhood Man on the Street

This man lived on the street very near our guesthouse in Kathmandu. Unless we were going to our favorite breakfast haunt (Northfield’s), every time we left the guesthouse, I was lost in a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with countless shops that all looked the same. However, when we saw this man, we knew we were almost “home.” It didn’t matter what time of day it was, he was always there. He wore no shoes. He walked back and forth along the equivalent of an American city block. When he wasn’t walking, he was sitting on the second step that ran along the entire course of the Thamel shopping area, and while he sat, he wrote in a notebook. One day he wrote with a green pen, another with a black pen. I noticed. I saw him.

What I didn’t do was talk to him. We passed him every day that we were in Kathmandu and I never so much as greeted him.

When we were on the plane heading home, more than once I had moments of panic, like I had forgotten something back in Nepal and needed to go back. I forgot my shampoo in the bathroom … I should have left the rest of the protein bars with the little street family we befriended … I failed to let our neighborhood street man know that I saw him.

I think it might be regret whispering in my year, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

In my defense, our neighborhood man never asked for anything from us. He wasn’t begging, though his need appeared great. He was writing. I’m a writer, and I wondered what he was writing, but I never asked. Kadi told me later that on her way back to the guesthouse, after shooting pictures with our friend Matt, she saw about a dozen people gathered around him and he was reading to them. Oh, how I wish I’d heard (and had an interpreter with me).

As I prayed for the people in Nepal today – those we interacted with and those we did not – my mind conjured up the picture of our neighborhood man, but behind him stood a huge warrior from God’s army. Then I saw all the rest of those who are doing God’s work for Tiny Hands in Nepal, the children in the homes, the young woman who Tiny Hands intercepted 8 months ago and I interviewed, our little family on the street … and they were all surrounded by warriors from God’s army. Some had one sentinel, others had a whole battalion standing guard around them.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning,
for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
1 John 5:18

Regret is a miserable bedfellow. I don’t think God wanted me to wear that cloak or listen to that lie. That’s why He showed me that though Nepal is ripe with false teaching and strange gods, our God is doing a mighty work in this country – His country.

If you have a moment, please watch this great clip of someone who did take the time to find out what was being written … and the amazing outcome.

*Kadi (my talented and much loved daughter) took the picture I’ve shared above.   Check out Kadi Tiede Photography.

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cheeseburger pastaMy family has learned that I’m all about sticking vegetables in just about anything … zucchini in chocolate cake, green beans in tater tot hotdish, and mixed vegetables  in Cheeseburger pasta.

Let’s be honest, this is sort of a glorified macaroni and cheese with hamburger amped up with some mixed veggies. (I remember Barb Karsten, the mom of my elementary school friend, Amy, making macaroni and cheese and adding hamburger to it. I think I was in 5th grade, and I thought she was pure genius. I’m pretty sure I came home and told my mom I’d just had the best meal EVER!)

Here’s an uber simple variation …

  • 2 lb ground hamburger – browned and drained
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 4 cups shell pasta
  • 1 bag of mixed vegetablesBen Hamburger

Combine cooked hamburger, soups, water, beef broth, and pasta in the crockpot.

Stir to combine.

Add pepper to taste.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or until pasta is tender.

Finshed CP

Three bowls for three guys at home.  Still eating well!

three bowls hp

*Yes, I’m getting ready to leave Nepal as you see this post. We had a LOT of crockpot meals before I left town and I didn’t want to leave you all hanging, so I posted these in advance. :) You’re welcome!

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It’s been nearly 2 days since I’ve posted. Yesterday Kadi, Usha, and I flew on Buddha Air to Birgunj where we have border monitoring. Only in Nepal will you see a monkey strolling through the terminal. Our flight only took us 15 minutes, but if we had driven it would have been a 7 ½ hour journey. I’ll take 15 minutes and a cup of Nepali Milk Tea, thank you!Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

After landing we rented a taxi to take us to the border. This should have been a 30 minutes trip (max), but it took much longer. There was a ton of traffic. We laugh at the fact that we are now used to driving in the wrong lane and having big trucks barreling right toward us (think “playing chicken”) and then having our driver swerving into the right lane at the last minute.  My heart doesn’t even stop or speed up any more when that happens.

Nepal has an open border with India, so if you are Nepali or Indian, no one even stops you, you simply walk over the bridge and “Welcome to India!” We badeshi’s (white people) would have had to show our passports. It was nearly 100 degrees or more and SO dusty. Many of the people had never seen foreigners (aka white people) and we were absolutely the feature attraction.  As we walked back toward our taxi, I took this video of the traffic on the street. You really can’t appreciate it unless you see it!

Our taxi took us to the spot near where our border-monitoring booth is. We took a picture from a distance, but didn’t want to draw attention to the booth, so after picking up a Tiny Hands staffer, we drove on to the safe house.

At the safe house, I had a wonderful interview with the head of the sub-committee for this border monitoring station. He’s a pastor and his love for the Nepali girls was unmistakable. He desperately wants the girls in his country to be safe and to know Jesus. He shared a number of excellent stories with me. Then we went on to our hotel.

IMG_3236

 

Oh. My. Lands. Words can’t really describe our experience.  I absolutely love Nepal and don’t want to share anything that would make people think less of this country, but let me tell you that we had a WILD, SCARY adventure with our first hotel. After finding gecko poop on the bed and finding the culprit on the wall … and multiple geckos in Usha’s first room, we went to find ‘safe’ water to drink. Again, we drew much attention.

We decided to scope out the hotel restaurant where we were going to bring guests that night. One look told us we had to come up with a Plan B … and fast! Usha made a couple of calls and we decided to leave hotel #1. The desk staff was very angry and made us pay a ridiculous price for the room – because we sat in it with the geckos for 2 hours. Sheesh. We were happy to pay and get out! Then we moved to a little piece of heaven. The three of us girls shared a room and had the fastest wi-fi we’ve had yet in Nepal and air conditioning, which was a huge surprise and welcomed treat!

That evening I hosted dinner for the pastor, the sub-committee secretary, four border guards, one substitute guard, the safe house coordinator, and the pastor’s daughter. We had sweet fellowship and enjoyed a nice meal. They all dressed up (we were in our dirty jeans and t-shirts) and ordered simple things. None of them ordered anything to drink. Remember, they are used to eating dal baht twice a day … that’s it. I ordered a Sprite and encouraged them to order drinks. They were so excited! I can’t even tell you how humbling that is! 14 of us ate for 5200 NPR the equivalent of about $52. Unbelievable!

At the end of the meal they expressed their deep gratitude for us taking the time to treat them to dinner and spend time with them. They were so appreciative. I shared our gratitude for their difficult work and faithfulness to THI. Most of all, I thanked them for their obedience. I shared that Jesus asks much of all of His followers. Most put their fingers in their ears, hum “la la la” and behave like Jonah, running the other direction. Instead, those who are helping Tiny Hands, are like David. They are small, but they are taking on a GIANT and we can trust that our God will bring victory one day.

I have to briefly tell you about our breakfast. We wanted to play it safe, so we ordered buttered toast, 2 scrambled eggs, and Nepali Milk tea (Our favorite!!). After an HOUR with nothing served, we asked after our meal and they firmly said that the eggs take time. Hello? After another 30 minutes, Usha told them to cancel the eggs and explained that we had a taxi to catch. They wouldn’t do that and said, “2 minutes.” Then they brought us this …

IMG_3955

Oh. My. Gosh. I haven’t laughed so hard in at least a few days. (There’s a team joke that had me almost wetting my pants a few days ago too.) Apparently they curdled milk and then put eggs in it. Who knows what else! I asked why we got two bowls of this stuff and Usha said, it was because I ordered “2 scrambled eggs.” We did not eat this.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been so happy to feel our plane’s wheels touch ground in Kathmandu as I was this morning. After a much-needed shower, Kadi and I reconnected with Doug and Shirley. We missed them! Then we got some lunch as our buttered toast was long gone.

We ended our afternoon by taking two bags of goodies to the homeless mama and her two littles whom we have fallen in love with. She recognized us right away and was clearly happy to see us. This time we brought a baby doll for the little girl and a stuffed elephant for the little boy. The little girl and I played. She pinched my cheek and tried to touch my teeth. I think it was the white skin thing again … and I’m so blonde. Then we made fish faces to each other. Oh, my.  Carly Cronin, one of the THI staffers, has agreed to look in on our new friends for us.  I’m so glad we can still see them through her eyes.

1529790_309236672557108_1471540420_o

I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel now as the wi-fi is better here. I just keep crying. We asked God to break our hearts for that which breaks His. He is faithful and He answered that prayer. I can’t say I’m glad.

Tomorrow is our last day here – for this visit. I will be back. I am certain Kadi will too. Huge pieces of our hearts will be left here.

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