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Thursday, 25 August 2011
A Young Man's Guide to Making Right Choices - A FirstWildCard Blog Tour Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

There are a lot of books out there that are written for young people to "help" them make the right choices in life. Unfortunately, many are written from a very worldly perspective. However, some books from so called Christian distributors don't always fit the values that I have set forth for my family. When I saw this book, however, I knew before even reading it that it would be a good fit. And, after I received the book, I was not disappointed. Jim and Elizabeth George are well respected conservative Christian authors and I have no problem recommending this book. Read further for all of the details.

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:

A Young Man's Guide to Making Right Choices

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Jim George and his wife, Elizabeth George, are Christian authors and speakers. Jim, author of A Husband After God’s Own Heart (a Gold Medallion finalist) and The Bare Bones Bible Handbook, has MDiv and ThM degrees from Talbot Theological Seminary. He has served in various pastoral roles for 25 years and on The Master’s Seminary staff for ten years. Jim and Elizabeth have two married daughters and are grandparents.

Visit the author's website.


Guiding a young man toward making right choices will equip him to think carefully about his decisions, assuring a more fulfilling and successful life. Help boys to gain the skills they need for facing all life’s challenges.

In this book, Jim George focuses on all the high points of a young man’s life—the things that matter most. Teen guys will learn…

  • why prayer and Bible reading are so essential

  • what makes for the best kinds of friendships

  • how school and social skills contribute to a strong future

  • how to stand strong against temptation and peer pressure

  • what contributes to healthy and biblical perspectives on dating and purity

Young men will enjoy Jim’s balance of biblical insight, personal anecdotes, and candid forthrightness. And they’ll gain the skills they need for making right choices in response to all the challenges that come their way.

Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930256
ISBN-13: 978-0736930253


Making the Right Choices

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.  —  Joshua 24:15
Jason, a typical teen guy, was suddenly jolted out of a deep sleep by the clamor of trash cans being rolled to the street curb. At first he was mad, wondering,     Just who do they think they are making all that racket so early in the morning? Don’t they know a busy guy needs his sleep? Then a second wave of adrenalin hit, this time with fear, as Jason rolled over and looked out his window. Oh, no!   That’s Dad doing my chores…again!   I’m really in for it this time!

What time was it anyway?   Jason thought as he looked at his alarm clock. Oh, no, I’m late  —  way late! Did I forget to set my alarm?   He had planned to get up early to finish his English paper, which was due today! Drat and double drat! There were a lot of things he had planned to do last night — finish his English essay, work ahead on his history paper, maybe catch up on his Bible-reading schedule for his church youth group, and finally get around to writing a thank-you note to his aunt for the birthday money she sent several months ago. (That was his mom’s Number One assignment for last night, and he had thought to himself,   No worries; it’s waited this long. Maybe tonight, right?   On and on…and on…Jason’s “Things I Meant to Do” list went.

But Jason had ended up getting a little sidetracked. And why not? The money his aunt gave him had been well spent…on a new DS game. Well, one challenge level led to another, and before long Jason had battled the “forces of evil” so long on his game (a full hour past the bedtime curfew his parents had sent) that his mom had forcefully interrupted and made him end his simulated life-and-death struggles and turn out his light.

Life Is Full of Choices

Jason had begun his evening with great intentions of making right choices. But something pulled him away from those good intentions. And in the end — actually, the next morning — he began to suffer a landslide of consequences due to those bad choices.

As the section title says above, life is full of choices. And the funny thing about choices is that sometimes the same exact choice might be bad for one guy but okay for another. Take, for example, the simple choice of breakfast food. Jason’s friend Marty is trying to make the basketball team. He’s a great shot, but he has a problem keeping his weight down, so he needs to be more disciplined about what he eats. Eating several bowls of a certain cereal each morning with lots of milk and sugar would be a huge caloric problem for Marty, but it wouldn’t be a problem for Jason because he’s as thin as a rail!

Do you realize your choices for each day begin at the end of the previous day, when you decide what time you need to get up and then set your alarm? And the next big choice is actually getting up when you hear the alarm clock…which then leads to getting dressed, doing your chores, eating breakfast, and getting to school on time. Your choices continue right on through your day and include doing your homework and being a good family member when you get home, until you set the alarm again at the end of the day.

Yes, life is full of choices. Someone said it well:

My life is not made by the dreams I dream but by the choices I make.1

Choices Through the Rearview Mirror

You’ve probably been to a camp or retreat or youth meeting where there was a “guys’ sharing time,” a time when those who were brave enough recounted some of the choices they made in their past. It’s as if they’re looking at their past in a rearview mirror. (If you drive, you know all about looking into the rearview mirror to see what’s going on behind you, and if you don’t drive, you will one day!) Now, the guys who shared were no longer living back in their past, but they could still see, remember, and taste the consequences of their choices — both the good and the bad. Their sharing may have included phrases like…

I wandered off the path…

I became like the prodigal son…

I fell away from the Lord…

I got sidetracked in sin…

I lost my first love…

I strayed from the truth…

I made some wrong decisions…

I went off the deep end…

I got in with the wrong crowd…

I’ve sat in on a few of these sharing sessions myself, and I couldn’t help but wonder, What happened? How does someone wander off the path, lose their first love for Jesus, stray from the truth, fall off the deep end, or get involved with the wrong crowd?

Well, we both know what happened, don’t we? Somehow, at some time, for some reason, a wrong choice was made. Maybe it was just a little lie. Just a little shading of what’s right. Just a little bending of a rule. Eventually, as this happens again and again, there comes a day when making wrong choices became all too easy. And it’s usually not until then that a guy realizes his life has become a mess.

Checking Out God’s Word

It’s one thing to read a book written by an author about a subject, but it’s quite another to read the Book — the Bible — written by the Author of all things, God Himself. In this book, I’ll share a lot of thoughts and tips with you. Most of them are things I’ve learned over the years. I’ll pass them on to you as a young man who’s in the process of making decisions that will shape your future. But the things you should definitely make sure you take to heart and pay the most attention to are the things God Himself tells you in His Word, His Book, the Bible.

When you get to this section in each chapter — entitled “Checking Out God’s Word” — you’ll find a number of Bible verses. I’ve included the text of the verses for you so you can read them without having to grab your Bible. I also invite you to mark up the verses and make notes. You don’t have to do that if you prefer not to. But don’t hesitate to circle certain words and underline things you want to remember. Put a question mark beside anything you wonder about or want to know more about. You can even draw in the margins. I’ve tried to leave enough space for you to write out your thoughts about what God is saying. Do whatever will help you understand the verses and make them your own. (And of course, it would be a good idea at some time to look up the verses in your Bible.) Here we go, from God’s Word to you.

The Israelites made a choice — Joshua, the leader of God’s people, asked them to do exactly what we’ve been talking about — to make a choice. Listen in as Joshua speaks to the people about choosing between serving God and serving false gods. According to the verses below, what choice did Joshua give to the people? And praise God, if you read further in the book of Joshua you will discover that the people made the right choice, choosing to serve God.

Fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:14-15).
Lot made a choice — Lot was the nephew of Abraham. Because of the large number of cattle the two men possessed, Abraham asked Lot to choose between two parts of the land. One part was green and with plenty of water — perfect for grazing cattle. The other part was dry hill country and not so perfect. In fact, it was a desert. According to the verses that follow, what was Lot’s choice?

Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered…So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east (Genesis 13:10-11).

Sadly, Lot did not choose wisely. He chose the grassy green pastures — which just happened to be near the two most wicked cities of his day, Sodom and Gomorrah. His choice was based on what looked good. Unfortunately, the consequences of that choice were devastating for Lot and his family.
Joseph made a choice — Joseph was a teenager when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. There, in a strange land, Joseph was all alone without family. In time, his master’s wife flirted with him and wanted him to sin with her. After all, nobody was around, she explained. Who would ever know?

How should Joseph respond? Note his choice and the reason for his choice.

He refused…[and] told her…“How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:8-9).

Joseph chose to live his life God’s way. He honored God. God then honored Joseph’s choice and made him a leader of the land of Egypt and the savior of his family.

Daniel made a choice — Can you imagine being taken prisoner and forcefully moved to a foreign land as a teenager? And once you got there, you were told to turn away from your religious beliefs and to follow instead the ways of those who lived in the pagan land? Well, that’s what happened to Daniel. In the place where he was taken, Daniel was told to eat foods that were forbidden by his Jewish background. What pressure! What did he do?

Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way (Daniel 1:8).

Daniel chose to live life God’s way — not only on this one occasion, but also numerous times during his many years in this foreign land. At every step and every day, God blessed Daniel and promoted him to high positions of leadership.

Things to Remember About Choices

 — Attractive choices sometimes lead to sin.

 — Good choices have positive long-term results.

 — Right choices are sometimes difficult.

Making the Tough Choices

I’m sure you already know your actions are a matter of choice. Sure, some choices are made for you. They are out of your control, and are made by those who are responsible for you…like your parents, your teachers, your coaches, and your youth leaders. But many choices each day — and almost each minute of the day — are yours to make. Do you yet realize that these choices are a matter of your will? You get to decide what you will or won’t do, how you will or won’t act. You make the choices, which means you can’t blame anyone else for what happens next.

As you prepare to make the tough choices, the choices that must be made, can you think of one tough choice you need to make right now? What’s holding you back? Peer pressure? Fear? Pride?

Pray young Solomon’s prayer right now. He asked God, “Give me wisdom and knowledge” and “Give your servant a discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong” (2 Chronicles 1:10 and 1 Kings 3:9). Then make that choice — the one that’s keeping you from living your life God’s way. Make the right choice, however tough it is to do so.

Things to Do Today to Make Right Choices

Read again the section “Choices Through the Rearview Mirror.” Do any of the comments mentioned in the guys’ sharing time fit your life today? If so, talk it over with God. Admit to God any wrong choices you’ve made. Then ask Him for the wisdom to make the right choices starting right now.

Read again Joshua 24:14-15 (see “Checking Out God’s Word”). As you look at your life today, do you think you are making the kind of choice Joshua and the people made, the choice to serve God and God alone? Why or why not? What first right choice will you make to begin choosing to serve God, to live for Him? Is there something you should be doing, but aren’t? Something you know God wants you to do, but you’re not? Be honest. The king and warrior David was brutally honest with God. He asked God to…
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

As you have already read, choices are a matter of your will. You get to decide what you will or won’t do, how you will or won’t act. Think of two or three things you can do daily that will better prepare you to make right choices. Then, of course, begin doing them.
Guy to Guy

Jot down three things Jason failed to do that started his day down the road to chaos.

What could you tell Jason to do differently tomorrow?

Of all the verses shared in this chapter, which one meant the most to you, and why?

In what ways are you like Jason, and what new choices do you need to start making?

Would You Like to Know More?

Check It Out

Read Proverbs 1:10-19. What warning is given to the young man in verse 10?

What is the advice given to this teen guy in verse 15?

What is the end result for those who make the choice to participate in evil deeds (verse 19)?

It’s your turn to read about Lot’s choice. Read Genesis 13:5-11. How is the situation described that made a decision necessary (verses 5-7)?

What did Abraham propose as a solution (verses 8-9)?

What choice did Lot make, and why (verses 10-11)?

Now quickly scan Genesis 19:12-29. What were some of the results of Lot’s choice?

What choice was made by two brothers in Matthew 4:18-20?

What choice was made in Matthew 9:9?

Have you made this choice, or do you need to? Be sure to think about it.

God’s Guidelines for Making Right Choices

Treat each day as being important. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Admit your need for wisdom…and ask for it!    “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5)
Work at developing a deep respect for God.    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Make sure you have a vital relationship with Jesus.    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).
Be willing to pay any price for the truth. “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).

God’s Guidelines for
Making Right Choices

Treat each day as being important. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Admit your need for wisdom…and ask for it!    “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5)

Work at developing a deep respect for God.    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Make sure you have a vital relationship with Jesus.    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).

Be willing to pay any price for the truth. “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).


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Posted by tink38570 at 8:13 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011
It's New! It's Exciting! It's the 1st Ever TOS Crew Blog Hop!
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

Crew Blog Hop

You've heard me talk about the TOS Homeschool Crew a lot. It's a group of homeschool bloggers that test homeschool products and blog about them. I always point you to the TOS Crew blog that lists all of the homeschoolers who tried out a particular product. Sometimes, though, you may not have need for that product so you don't visit the other blogs. Even when you do go to the Crew page and click on a link to one of the blogs, it only takes you to that review. Now is your chance to visit some of the crew members blogs to see what they do when they aren't reviewing products. AND...you get to participate as well! You can add your own blog to the list.  

Just click on one of the following links to get to one of the host blogs - Glimpse of Our Life, Our Homeschool Studio, or Our Village is a Little Different - and join in the fun!

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:48 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2011 10:55 AM CDT
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Monday, 22 August 2011
Hope Isn't a Bad Four Letter Word!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Compassion International

Give a child hope today. Click on the banner at the top of this page.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:28 PM CDT
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Saturday, 20 August 2011
It's H Time at Destination Disney!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

Last week I joined the Destination Disney Meme that was started by a good friend of mine. She's been going through the alphabet and having folks write (or take pictures) of things that they enjoy about Disney that begins with the letter of the week. This weeks letter is H. At first I didn't think I would have a whole lot of "H" things to write about, but after I got to thinking about it I realized how wrong I was. So, without further ado. Here are my favorite "H" things about Disney.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review - I have been to a lot of the shows at Disney World. Each one of them has it's own flavor and it's own appeal. The Hoop-Dee-Doo has to be one of my favorites. I can't remember the first time I saw this show. It was years ago with my family. Good family memories are always special to me, and The Hoop-Dee-Doo will bring good family memories. There is something for all ages in this musical comedy, which includes a lot of audience participation. Seeing it is always a lot of fun, no matter how many times you've been there.

But, family memories are only one reason that I enjoy the Hoop-Dee-Doo. I've blogged many times about working in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom and about working at the Polynesian Village Hotel. What most folks don't know is that I worked for one summer at Fort Wilderness Campground which is where the Hoop-Dee-Doo is located. I have many, many fond memories of working there. Fort Wilderness and the Hoop-Dee-Doo are special places for me.

The Holidays at Walt Disney World - Now, this isn't a particular attraction or place at Disney, but a time of year. And, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years is a special time at all of the theme parks and hotels at Disney. It is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

The decorations are beautiful, the special shows are fantastic, the fireworks are awesome, the parades are spectacular...there is really nothing like it. But, the thing that makes this time of year special for me is yet another family memory. I'm not sure if they still do it, but when I worked there, Disney put on a special "Cast Christmas Party" where they shut down the Magic Kingdom early and allowed only employees to come into the park. They treated us like royalty. Each year they gave us a special ornament or other Christmas decoration, and there was a place where we could go to get a free holiday family portrait made. There would be free snacks, the merchandise was discounted, and, there would be special restaurants open that served their food at special prices. Of course, there were several days to choose from. On the days that you didn't attend, you usually had to work. After all, someone had to "put on the show" Laughing. Again, I have special memories of going to the cast Christmas party with my dad and mom and my brother. Later, after my brother, David, got married and moved away and I got married, Sarah would attend with us. We still have the ornaments and pictures. More, special, special memories.

My final "H" memory is kind of a cheat - Disney's Hollywood Studios. I say "kind of a cheat", because I remember Disney's Hollywood Studios as Disney-MGM Studios. In fact, when Hollywood Studios first opened, we got to go through it before it even opened to the public. Before any big park or attraction opens at Disney, they allow the employees to go through it first so that they can work out all of the kinks. Well, that's what they did with Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM). This time, it was Mom, Dad, my nephew, Chris, and I (this was before marriage).

It was all new and fascinating to us. The restaurant concepts were/are really different and neat. From the Prime Time Cafe where "mom" actually serves you great home style meals in a 1950's style kitchen - complete with a TV showing '50's shows to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater where your table is a convertable and you are served by waitresses on roller skates while you watch hilarious clips from B-rated 50's sci-fi movies.

The new shows and shops were also amazing to us. Really, Hollywood Studios is a place and park of it's own.

But, as usual, my best memories of Hollywood Studios is with - you guessed it - family. When the park first opened, there used to be a place where you could "star" in your own movie. They would dress you up, you would rehearse a few times, then they would film it and you would buy the video. We still watch the "roll on the floor laughing" western that Mom, Dad, my nephew Chris and I put on.

A good friend of ours, PJ Finster, worked at "The Great Movie Ride" when the park first opened. The Great Movie Ride is a really neat concept where your guide actually becomes part of the show. It was fun to see PJ do some acting and brag to folks that we actually knew him.

Later, taking Sarah to Hollywood Studios was also special. We would have "date days" where we would go to the park for the whole day, eat at special restaurants and explore the park together. More special memories.

Well, those are a few of my favorite "H" places at Disney. You can see why they hold a place in my heart. Now, why don't you head over to the main Destination Disney site and check out some more "H" favorites by clicking on the websites of other folks who have joined in the fun. Just click on the banner at the top to get to the main site. I hope that all of the stories bring back special memories for you if you have been to Disney, and, if you haven't, I hope that they inspire you to go. It really is worth it. Happy Reading. 

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:28 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 August 2011 11:40 PM CDT
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Friday, 19 August 2011
A Fantastic Blog about a Fantastic Place
Mood:  happy
Topic: General
Most of you know by now that I am a big fan of Disney. AND, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you also know that I am a big fan of Jeff Dixon. Jeff Dixon is a fantastic preacher, author, and, also, a Disney aficionado. He writes a great blog that gives some really neat tid-bits of the life of Disney and his great theme parks and mixes in some life lessons that we can all learn from. It's one of those blogs where you crave a new post. It makes my day when I open my email and find a notice that Jeff has written something new. His blog must be a well kept secret, because it only has six fans so far, but I'm hoping that I can boost his day and hopefully the days to come of some of you by introducing you to each other. Just click here to find out what all of the excitement is about. I'm also including Jeff's blog in my favorite blog section in the left hand column. If you like his blog, why not leave him a comment. I know he'd be glad you stopped by. Happy Reading!

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Posted by tink38570 at 8:56 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, 19 August 2011 8:59 AM CDT
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