Review: Killing Jesus: A History

Killing Jesus: A History
Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a secular take on Jesus. It is presented mostly from a Roman point of view. I learned a few things about Caesars and Roman history that I had not known before. As in O’Reilly’s previous books in this series, this one is very engaging and a quick read. As a Christian, I did not read anything that I thought was objectionable or contrary to what I know and believe from Holy Scripture. However, as with the previous books in this series, he wrote in feelings and thoughts for the characters in the story that we would not otherwise know. Other than those things that make this almost a fictionalized read, it was a very interesting and factual book that I would recommend for anyone who wants to know the historical account about Jesus but not a doctrinal, theological one. For that, I would recommend the Gospels in the Bible.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

World Series Loss

So the Cardinals did not win the World Series last night. The Boston Red Sox were victorious. However, if we were going to lose to any other team in baseball this year it was going to be the Boston Red Sox. This year’s World Series matchup was between the two best teams in the major leagues.

The Red Sox are certainly deserving of their win. They played very well. This is not to say that the Cardinals did not play well, but we certainly left a lot of men on base without bringing them home. At least we didn’t let the Red Sox sweep us like they did in 2004. The Red Sox won the first game, the Cardinals won the next two games, and then the Red Sox won from there.

This was a World Series of interesting occurrences and some strange things. The second game, the game the Cardinals won in Boston, ended with an obstruction call. Allen Craig tripped over the Red Sox’s third baseman on his way to home plate and the umpire awarded him the run even though he had been tagged out by the catcher. In game four, the Red Sox got their final out to win the game with a pick-off at first base. Kolten Wong had a lead off the base, and instead of pitching to the batter the pitcher threw to his first baseman and Wong couldn’t get back in time. No other World Series games had ever ended in either of the ways these two games ended.

Another interesting piece of history, the Boston Red Sox had not won a World Series at Fenway Park since 1918. This is not to say that they had not played and won World Series games at Fenway since 1918, but that they had not completed a World Series at their home stadium since then. In 2004, when they won their first World Series since 1918, they swept the Cardinals and won the Series at Busch Stadium. Last night, they were able to celebrate with their own fans as they won their third World Series victory in the past 10 years. So much for the curse of the Bambino. They have nothing to complain about anymore.

All in all, I’m okay with which team won last night. The Red Sox played very well, and they were certainly deserving of their win. Although it would be nice if the Cardinals would work on their batting skills in the off-season and in spring training for next year.

Cardinals Baseball

I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. I grew up and currently reside in St. Louis county, so it comes with the territory. I like to say that you can’t live in St. Louis for any long period of time without becoming a Cardinals fan. It’s kind of contagious!

Last night the Cardinals won game 6 of the National League Championship Series which is sending them to the World Series. This will be their 19th World Series and hopefully they’ll win their 12th World Series this year.World Series Bound

Last night’s game was just a great game of baseball. Our players were working well as a team and managed to put forth great pitching, great hitting, great running, and great catching. Carlos Beltran had the best catch of the night with a near-diving catch in right-field for an out. The NLCS MVP award went to Michael Wacha, a 22 year old rookie pitcher who pitched a great game. The final score was 9-0, which was unusual for the series. We fans really couldn’t have asked for a better game or a better team!

Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins

Since my husband became the pastor at our current church back in May 2012, we have received tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, homemade bread, corn on the cob, and sweet potatoes from various church members. While we live in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO, the area we live in used to be a farming community, so many of our church members grew up farming and still have home gardens.

When we first received sweet potatoes at the end of last Summer I had no idea what to do with them. I’d only really tried sweet potatoes once before, and they were too sweet for me in a savory dish. The typical sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top did not appeal to me, either. I wanted to do something with them, however, because I didn’t want them to go to waste. A few of them were passed on to my mother, one or two went to one of my sisters who had a baby at the time, and then I searched for recipes for what to do with the rest. I settled on using the sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin in a pumpkin pie recipe, which was delicious, and you couldn’t really tell the difference. I also found a Sweet Potato Muffin recipe on Rachael Ray’s website. Since chocolate chips make everything better (when a dessert recipe calls for nuts I always substitute in chocolate chips), I slightly modified her recipe by throwing some yummy chocolate in.

Today I boiled and mashed up some sweet potatoes to make into delicious muffins. My children enjoyed them, I enjoyed them, and I’m looking forward to eating some later.

Here’s the recipe for your enjoyment, straight from Rachael Ray’s website:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper liners. (I often use a mini muffin tin instead for the kiddies.) Mix everything together until just combined, but don’t overmix or the muffins will turn out tough.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. The muffins should have a spring to them when you touch the center. Dump them onto the counter to cool.

I typically make mini-muffins, because my children eat them better than regular sized. Those should bake for 7-9 minutes. Also, feel free to add however much chocolate chips you would like. I know I will!

Romans 5

Peace with God Through Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

I can’t say that I rejoice in my sufferings. Suffering, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, means “pain that is caused by injury, illness, loss, etc. : physical, mental, or emotional pain.” Why would I rejoice when I’m in pain? I’m more likely to grimace, be unkind to my family, etc. It is very tough to see that sufferings help us to grow as people when we are in the midst of them.

Thank God that, though oftentimes I do not rejoice in my sufferings, I do not trust Him as I should, and in so doing I break the First Commandment, even this sin is covered by Christ Jesus. Even my hopelessness is covered by His blood. I certainly can rejoice that I am reconciled to God. And I pray that I will also be able to rejoice in my sufferings so that I can endure with hope.