..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Brett Yesterday

Daemon by Daniel Suarez

I read about 1/4 of this book and it just didn't catch me so I decided to spend my time on the next book in my TBR pile (To Be Read). I think it might be more interesting to people who are deeply computerized.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

I really liked this book. This is John Harwood's first novel. His most recent novel is The Seance and I read that last week and did a review on it. I had a little confusion because there is nothing to indicate what time period you are in. If he had just added something like, "The plane flew overhead..." or "The sound of the horses as they stepped in the carriage..." would have given me a reference point. And he does go from 2008 back to 1890's so you need some period reference points.

A young teen boy living in South Australia with his parents begins corresponding with a crippled girl in England named Alice. Gerard and Alice fall in love over the years of writing to each other. Alice doesn't want Gerard to see her because she was afraid Gerard would be disappointed with her or feel sorry for her. Gerard's mother is an enigma in his life. She used to tell him stories of England. Her parents died in an accident and she and her sister lived with their Grandmother Viola and Aunt Iris. But there was something mysterious that happened and his mother refused to talk to him about it. He sneaks into her room and pries open a locked drawer to find some clues but his mother catches him and she drives him out of the room and changes her hiding place. From then on she refuses to talk about her family or England again. She loves him and becomes ever more anxious that something will happen to him. But when his father dies, Gerard decides to start saving his money to get away and go to England and see Alice whether she wants him to or not. He makes it to England for a vacation but he is disappointed and unable to find Alice. So he comes back to Australia. He goes through college and works in the library until his mother dies. Then he sells out and moves to England to find Alice and find out what happened to his mother.

Harwood used a technique that shook things up a bit for me. Grandmother Viola wrote really neat, off-the-wall stories and he intersperses them throughout the book and you learn clues from them. He also uses the letters from Alice and from Gerard at times too. It blurred the lines too much for me until I would get Grandmother Viola mixed up with Irene De Vere, Cordelia with Anne and Beatrice with Phyllis, etc. I think I should have read the book through instead of putting it down until the next day because I probably wouldn't have gotten them confused. Or, was that his intention? Nevertheless, I liked the book and would read more by Harwood.

I recommend it for everyone (although there are some slight adult things such as when Gerard tells how their letters became erotic but Harwood doesn't go into detail).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Brett Growing, Taken 3/22/2009

The Seance by John Harwood

The Seance by John Harwood

I loved this book! Using a different style, Harwood writes a gothic thriller set in Victorian England. In six parts, Harwood writes with the voice of several main characters. Part I is told by young Constance Langton. As a child, her sister, Alma, died and her mother slipped into deep depression that never lifted. As a young adult, her father finally leaves them and Constance hopes taking her mother to a seance will give her some peace and bring her out of her depression. But the result is tragic and she's left alone. She meets a new uncle who is happy to have her live with him. Then she gets news that she has inherited Wraxford Hall and the solicitor who contacts her has a story to tell.

Harwood then starts Part II from the voice of the solicitor, John Montague. Part III is told from a third main character, Eleanor "Nell" Unwin. Part IV continues from Eleanor "Nell" Unwin Wraxford. Part V returns to John Montague and Part VI returns to Constance Langford. Told with the different voices made it different from most English gothic mysteries and I enjoyed it.

Wraxford Hall is an abandoned mansion in the English countryside with it's own tragic stories that make you shiver at night! I highly recommend this book, even teens! And I'm currently reading Harwood's first novel, The Ghost Writer, and I'm enjoying it too so far. The Ghost Writer won the 2004 International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel. Harwood was an English professor for 25 years and lives in Victor Harbor, South Australia.

Brett and the Easter Bunny

Jenny took Brett to see the Easter Bunny this weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twelve Tribes of Israel - Gad



Gad means “Fortune Cometh”

Jacob's seventh son, by Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, and the brother of Asher. He lived to be 125 years old and had 7 sons when he left with his family to move to Egypt: Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

Because of his great strength, he was not presented by Joseph to Pharaoh, lest Pharoah should appoint him one of his guards.

Moses was buried in the territory of Gad.

Barzillai (2 Samuel 17:27) and Elijah (1Kings 17:1) were of this tribe.

Jacob prophesied that the tribe of Gad would provide brave troops who will lead the children of Israel to victory in the conquest of the Promised Land, then return to their inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan.

The portion allotted to the tribe of Gad was on the east of Jordan, and included the half of Gilead, a region of great beauty and fertility (Deuteronomy 3:12), bounded on the east by the Arabian desert, on the west by the Jordan (Joshua 13:27), and on the north by the river Jabbok. Not the flat sheep walks of Reuben and Moab, but well wooded, especially in the N., with sycamore, beech, terebinth, ilex, cedar, arbutus, and enormous fig trees. Among its cities were Ramoth, Jaezer, Aroer, Dibon.
The ruins of Dibon with modern Dhiban in the background

The spacious uplands, with their wide pastures, attracted the great flock-masters of Reuben and Gad. Because they were not in the Promised Land proper but on the east bank of the Jordan, these tribes are sometimes referred to as the two and a half "trans-Jordanic tribes" (including the half tribe of Manasseh). They would have the best land, but it also was the most exposed and vulnerable. The desire of earthly things prepares men for destruction.

Moses was upset when they requested these lands and spurned the Promised Land. It seemed that they were repeating the sins of the spies first sent into the land 40 years before. They came back with reports of how wonderful the land was but how impossible it would be for them to take it. This had cost them 40 years of wandering in the wilderness due to their unbelief. Every man who had left Egypt, died in the Wilderness without going into the Promised Land of Canaan (except for the 2 spies that had tried to encourage the Israelites to take the land with God's help). Now, a new generation, was about to follow Joshua and take the land but the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half tribe of Manasseh were asking for lands on the east side of Jordan! It seemed that they were spurning their divine mission of settling Canaan.

In response to their appeal, Moses assigned them their tribal portions on the east side of the Jordan River: only on condition, that their men of war should go over with their brethren, and take their share alike in the hardship and in the glory of the conquest of Western Palestine. They agreed and Moses blessed them. Moses said of Gad, "Blessed is He that enlargeth Gad; he lieth down as a lioness, and teareth the arm, yea the crown of the head (of his foes); and he provided the first part for himself, because there was the leader's (Gad's) portion reserved ,” Gad at the head of the tribes asked Moses for the conquered land east of Jordan, even as they took the lead above Reuben in fortifying the cities Dibon, etc. Their name accordingly is prominent on the Dibon stone.

Gad came with the heads of the people (i.e., he according to his stipulation to Moses went at the head of the tribes to conquer Canaan W. of Jordan, along with them), to execute the justice of Jehovah (Moses prophetically foresees Gad will do what Jehovah required of His people as righteousness). When the victorious campaigns of Joshua were completed, the warriors of Reuben and Gad returned to their possessions in the East. They halted, however, in the Jordan valley to build the mighty altar of Ed.
Maybe it looked like this horned altar.

They feared lest the gorge of the Jordan should in time become all too effective a barrier between them and their brethren on the West. This altar should be for all time a “witness” to their unity in race and faith.
The Jordan River

A fertile valley east of Jordan

In Numbers 2:10, 14, we find Gad united to Reuben on the south side of the sanctuary. Companionship in arms and hardships in the wilderness naturally led them to desire each other for neighbors; also similar pursuits in tending flocks and herds led Gad to alliance with Reuben. At the first census, Gad 45,650, Reuben 46,500; at the last, Gad 40,500, and Reuben 43,330. Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of the tribes they two alone remained shepherds still after the intervening centuries since Jacob left Canaan for Egypt. They therefore received the pasture lands E. of Jordan for their possession (Numbers 32), as suited for their "multitude of cattle," but accompanied the nine tribes and a half across Jordan to war with the Canaanites; and only after their conquest and the apportionment of the whole land to their brethren "at the doorway of the tabernacle of the congregation in Shiloh, before Jehovah" (Joshua 19:51, Joshua 22:1-8), were they dismissed "to their tents and the land of their possession."

Reuben and Gad were absent from the muster against Sisera by Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:14).

This tribe was fierce and warlike; they were “strong men of might, men of war for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, their faces the faces of lions, and like roes upon the mountains for swiftness” (1 Chronicles 12:8).

In the time of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49: 1) their cities were inhabited by the Ammonites. Who were the Ammonites? The Bible explains that they originated from the incestuous event between Lot and his daughters following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The firstborn gave birth to a son and named him Moab. He is the father of the Moabites. The younger also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites. The Ammonites did not allow the Israelites passage through their lands when they were wandering through the wilderness.
Genesis 19: 29-38 When God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot lived, he remembered his promise to Abraham and saved Lot from the terrible destruction.
Lot was afraid to stay on in Zoar. So he took his two daughters and moved to a cave in the hill country.
One day his older daughter said to her sister, "Our father is old, and there are no men anywhere for us to marry.
Let's get our father drunk! Then we can sleep with him and have children."
That night they got their father drunk, and the older daughter got in bed with him, but he was too drunk even to know she was there.
The next day the older daughter said to her sister, "I slept with my father last night. We'll get him drunk again tonight, so you can go to bed with him, and we can each have a child."
That night they got their father drunk, and this time the younger sister slept with him. But once again he was too drunk even to know she was there.
That's how Lot's two daughters had their children.
The older daughter named her son Moab, and he is the ancestor of the Moabites.
The younger daughter named her son Benammi, and he is the ancestor of the Ammonites.

Gad furnished a refuge for some of the Hebrews during the Philistine oppression (1 Samuel 13: 7).

To David, while he avoided Saul at Ziklag, certain Gadites attached themselves (1 Chronicles 12: 8). A company of them also joined in making him king at Hebron (1 Chronicles 12: 38). In Gad the adherents of the house of Saul gathered round Ish-bosheth (2 Samuel 2: 8).

To Gad, David came in his flight from his son, Absalom, who was trying to take over his kingdom (2 Samuel 17: 24).

Gad fell to Jeroboam at the disruption of the kingdom.

Gad formed the main theater of the long struggle between Israel and the Syrians.

At Ramoth-gilead Ahab received his death wound (1 Ki ngs 22).

Under Jeroboam II, this country was once more an integral part of the land of Israel. Jeroboam built the fortress Penuel to keep the men of Gad in check. In 734 BC, however, Tiglath-pileser appeared, and conquered all Eastern Palestine, carrying its inhabitants captive. Gad was carried into captivity at the same time as the other tribes of the northern kingdom by Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, (1Chronicles 5: 25-26).

1 Chronicles 5: 20-22 Whenever these soldiers went to war against their enemies, they prayed to God and trusted him to help. That's why the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh defeated the Hagrites and their allies.
These Israelite tribes captured fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep, two thousand donkeys, and one hundred thousand people.
Many of the Hagrites died in battle, because God was fighting this battle against them. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh lived in that territory until they were taken as prisoners to Assyria.

1 Chronicles 5: 25-26 The people of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh were unfaithful to the God their ancestors had worshiped, and they started worshiping the gods of the nations that God had forced out of Canaan.
So God sent King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria to attack these Israelite tribes. The king led them away as prisoners to Assyria, and from then on, he forced them to live in Halah, Habor, Hara, and near the Gozan River.

What a brave army these frontier-tribes (Reuben, Gad, half tribe of Manasseh) brought into the field against the Hagarites. Who were these Hagrites? They were descendants of Abraham and Sarah's Egyptian maid, Hagar. Abraham and Hagar's son, Ishmael, married an Egyptian woman. The Hagarenes were descendants of the bond woman, Hagar, (vs. Sarah, wife of Abraham). Abraham and Sarah's son, Isaac, was the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel including Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. Isaac was the son of promise, the son of the free woman.

Gad had 44,000 men and upwards, all strong, brave, and skillful in war. And they acted like Israelites! Crying out to God. Just as their believing father, Abraham, trusted in God. Their need drove them to God and they were helped by God. Though far outnumbered, they slew many (1 Chronicles 5: 22), took 100,000 prisoners, enriched themselves greatly with the spoil, and settled themselves in their country. Had they kept close to God, they would have continued to enjoy His blessings and their new land; but they transgressed against the God of their fathers.

God stirred up the wicked Assyrians and used them as instruments to execute his just judgment against sinners, although they were led by malice and ambition. Pul is mentioned as being the first Assyrian king who attacked the land of Israel (see 1 Kings 15: 19). The deportation began, however, only with Tiglath-pileser, who led the East-Jordan tribes into exile (see 2 Kings 15: 29).

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