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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Memories of Ice - A Hockey Poem


Memories of Ice - A Hockey Poem

Early mornings
Time with dad
The dark sky
Rink comes to life
The smell of the ice
6am on the ice

Church athletic league
Outdoor practices in Bath in January
Howie Meeker hockey stick
Centre 70 - Cataraqui Community Centre
Games against friends and foes

Laughter
Hard work
Fun
The smell of the ice

Love of the game



Note: a friend shared this picture on facebook a while back. I loved the picture and it immediately drew back memories, memories of playing hockey, early mornings with my father. And I wanted to write about it. I have worked on a few prose pieces but not been happy with any of them. Tonight this was a free verse poem that came to me as I was looking at the picture yet again. For now it will need to do. You can read about 20 of my other poems some going back more than 30 years here.


Photo courtesy Kevin Haggerty.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Relic of Perilous Falls - Raymond Arroyo - Will Wilder Book 1

The Relic of Perilous Falls
Will Wilder Book 1
Raymond Arroyo
Antonio Javier Caparo (Illustrator)
Crown Books for Young Readers
A division of
Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 9780553539592
eISBN 9780553539615
ASIN B00TCI2AAE




I read this book and I did really enjoy it. But it reminded me of other books and series. It reminded me a bit of the 39 Clue Series, it also reminded me a lot of the The Grey Griffins Series by Jon S. Lewis and Derek Benz, and also of Roland West, Loner by Theresa Linden The book does have a great pace, is full of surprises, and it is a fun read. But again as I was reading it I kept comparing it to other books and series I had read. I finished this book a few months ago and have picked up book 2, but book two keeps getting bumped in my reading list because of those nagging but's. I did really enjoy the explicitly Catholic element of the story. In many ways it is like a young Catholic Indiana Jones story. I can't wait until my son is a little older and will reread this book with him.




Will Wilder seems to have a knack for getting in trouble. He is head strong. Smart; and some might say a little too smart. But with an emerging gift and a darkness rising. Will's impulsive behaviour might put a lot more at risk than just his own hide and that of his friends and family. The book is full or surprises, and finding out that Great Aunt Lucille is much more than a curator is one of the biggest. As darkness is on the rise, Will along with his close friends must put things right and fix the mess that Will has created.

The writing in this book is very solid. It is the first of Arroyo's fiction that I have read. I am part way through a couple of his non-fiction works. The pace is good, the characters flesh out well, even if Will's growth is rather rapid. But when one is thrusted into extreme situations it is usually sink or swim and he does an admirable job of keeping his head above water. There are some great secondary characters like Shen and Bart are a great addition to the story. Along with his aunt and his friends Simon and Andrew it is time to face an ancient enemy and to battle darkness.




There are a number of illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo. These pencil sketches have a lot of details in them and help bring the story vividly to life. The book has previously been published as Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls I am not sure I would have ever picked it up with the original title and cover. But I am glad I did for it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to more in the series.



I especially enjoyed the prologue giving us some background going back to the Nazi's and WWII. It was a great set up for the story. Overall a really good read. If it was not so similar to other books and series I had read would likely have been a 5 out of 5 stars. I do look forward to reading book 2 and rereading this volume with my son in a year or two. And looking forward to more reads from Arroyo in the future.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Raymond Arroyo:
Non Fiction:

Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles
Mother Angelica's Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures
Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality
The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica
Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence: The Last Years and Living Legacy

Fiction:
Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots (with Laura Ingraham)

Will Wilder Series:
The Relic of Perilous Falls
(Previously published as Kerman Derman and the Relic of Perilous Falls)
The Lost Staff of Wonders

Contributed to:
Shaken by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out about Priests' Sexual Abuse






Monday, 28 August 2017

Prayer of the Day - Memorare


Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it
known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy
help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins,
my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and
sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my
petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.



Sunday, 27 August 2017

Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle - Mary Lea Hill & Matthew Archambault - Encounter the Saints Book 22

Saint Paul
The Thirteenth Apostle
Encounter the Saints Series Book 22
Mary Lea Hill
Matthew Archambault (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819872241




Having read almost half of this series now I must state it is an incredible series! I have done extensive studies on Paul and Pauline Theology. In university I did a final year directed reading course that I designed on Paul. During that course I wrote a paper called: Who is Paul? Can we really know? This is my approach to Paul and Pauline Studies. And even though this book is written for younger readers I wish I had had it as a resource for my studies. And I am thankful to consider this book my children's introduction to the study of Paul, his life and letters. As a family we loved this book and the whole series. The Encounter the Saints Series, from Pauline Books and Media, are all wonderful reads. Written for younger readers, they are great reads for anyone who wants to encounter saints in a very real way. These books are great to read to children, with children or if you just want a good read for yourself. I started reading the series before reading them with my kids and we have now tracked down all 37 books currently available in the series in one format or another, and we are working through them together. But I must admit I have read many of the books more than once, reading it myself, and then reading it with one or more of my three children. 

The chapters in this book about Saint Paul:
Prologue 
Citizen of Two Worlds 
2. The Way 
3. Plans and Counterplans
4. Never the Same 
5. Narrow Escape
6. Unexpected Visitor 
7. Adventures  
8. Trouble and More Trouble   
9. An Invitation     
10. Freedom and Bondage  
11. On to Greece
12. Riot   
13. Miracle and Farewell  
14. The Prophecy 
15. Foiled Ambush 
16. "Except for these Chains..."  
17. Shipwreck! 
18. From the Eternal City...to Eternity    
Prayer 
Glossary 
Maps of Saint Paul's Journeys 



My children are familiar with Saint Paul from reading the bible, from Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and from sermons in church. But there were amazed to read his story in this format. They loved the four maps at the end of the book tracing his different missionary journeys. In fact their favorite part of the books in this series is often the prayer, but for this book they loved the maps.  They loved how the journeys were traced through the bible passages for each of the 4 mission trips. The prayer to Saint Paul:
"Saint Paul, you really are the thirteenthapostle, specially chosen by Jesus just as theoriginal twelve apostles were. Your meeting withthe Lord on the road to Damascus changed yourwhole life. You became so close to Jesus that hewas actually living his life again in you. This iswhy you could ask your friends to imitate you asyou imitated Jesus. This is why you want me toimitate you, too. 
I'm amazed when I think of all you wentthrough to spread the Good News, Saint Paul.Help me to love and follow Jesus as totally as youdid. I'm counting on your help. Pray for me,Saint Paul. Amen."
This prayer is one of the ones that is identical in The Saints Pray for Us. So they have encountered this prayer before and prayed it from the prayer book.



Like the other books in the series this book contains five illustrations. The illustrations in this volume are by Matthew Archambault, currently this is the only book in the series illustrated by Matthew. The illustrations on in a pencil sketch style. They are not as detailed as some in the series but are wonderful sketches and add nicely to the story, especially for the younger readers. This is also one of two books in the series written by Mary Lea Hill, but Hill has written about a dozen other books with an almost equal mix of books for kids and books for adult readers. 



This book is a wonderful introduction to Paul. It sticks very close to the biblical sources. It does not drift far into speculation. My children loved it, and I as an amateur Pauline scholar loved it as well. Having read this book three times now, first by myself, then with my son and finally with my youngest, I can state it holds up to multiple readings.  Another great book in an amazing series! 

Currently there are 37 books in this series, including The Saints Pray for Us, and I have read about half of them. I have read many of these books on my own and also about half of them with my children.  My oldest who is 11 can read them to me. She has also helped me read them to the younger children. My son who is 9 can read them with some help on the more difficult words, but he also enjoys just listening to these powerful stories. This series and this specific Book on Saint Paul are geared for readers between the ages of 9 and 12 but in our house they are loved by the 6 year old and myself and I am pushing 50. As mentioned this book is part of the Encounter the Saints Series; from Pauline Books and Media, and this book is an excellent read as is the entire series!  This family gives them top marks.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!


Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux The Way of Love
Saint Thomas Aquinas Missionary of Truth
Saint Thomas More Courage, Conscience, and the King
Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto: Shepherds of Fatima
The Saints Pray for Us




Saturday, 26 August 2017

Product Review - Organic Ground Flax Seed - Viva Naturals

Organic Ground Flax Seed
15 ounce
Viva Naturals
ASIN B00QFR9X8W



Viva Naturals is a new company to the Canadian Market. However they have been around since 2011 south of the border. Viva Naturals is striving to become an all-around health and wellness company.  They have product range includes; nutritional supplements, organic food, and beauty products to essentials oils. Their goal is to help you with your wellness goals, and thankfully they are expanding into the Canadian market place. I have had the benefit of receiving a number of their products to try at the same time. And have used many of them by themselves or in combination with each other. I have been impressed with each of them, but enough about Viva Naturals as a company and on to reviewing this specific product the Organic Ground Flax Seed. 

How I tested this product:
In Smoothies
Mixed in with fresh juices
Sprinkled on salads
In Soups
Mixed with yogurt and fresh fruit

Product Specifics:
Non-GMO
Vegan
Gluten Free
Certified Organic
Kosher
Product of Canada

Product Features:
High in Omega-3's
Source of Lignans
Good Source of Dietary Fiber
Fine, Easy-to-Mix Consistency
Cold-Milled

Pros:
Very finely ground
Mixes well
Subtle taste

Cons:
The reseal feature on the pouch does not work well

To be honest the fact that the package does not reseal is the only drawback I encountered from using this. I have moved it to a separate container for better seal and ease of access. I love adding it to help thicken smoothies, or just adding it to fresh juices. Over the years I have tried a few different brands of ground flax seed. This one is the finest ground I have encountered, and blends better than any other I have tried. 

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to try over a dozen products from Viva Naturals. I have been impressed with them all! This Ground Flax Seed  is a great product and I trust this product and the brand! As stated earlier these products are now available in Canada currently through the Amazon Marketplace. This is a great products at good prices, looking forward to trying more products as they make their way to the Canadian Market.




Viva Naturals Reviews:
Supplements and Nutritional:
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 32 Ounce
Organic Ground Flax Seed
Organic Goji Berries
Maca Powder
Coconut Flour: Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
Royal Quinoa Whole Grain

Chia Seeds
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Cacao Powder
Krill Oil 1250 milligram
Sweet Almond Oil 16 fl oz

Argon Oil 4oz



Essential Oil Difusers:

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 300ml, Ash Zen Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Pine Tranquil Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Espresso Tranquil Model




Friday, 25 August 2017

Welcome to Super Hero High! - Courtney Carbone and Darío Brizuela - DC Super Hero Girls

Welcome to Super Hero High!
DC Super Hero Girls
Courtney Carbone
Darío Brizuela (Illustrator)
Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780606402330
ISBN 9781524766115
ASIN B01M5I31BT



This book arrived for my youngest a few days ago. We have read it every day since. The first time through I read it to her. The second, she read most with help on some harder words. This last time she read the whole book to me. She loved the story and it is not the first of the DC Super Hero Girls that we have read. My daughter really likes this book. But she asks some good questions like: when does Harley Quinn become a good guy. How is Poison Ivy at Super Hero High? The continuity across the DC movies, TV Series and even series of books is so inconsistent. The one that surprised me the most was Amanda Waller as principal at Super Hero High.

But even with all the inconsistencies, and unusual decisions regarding who is on what side of the good and evil fence, this is a fun read that my daughter loves. And any book that a child reads again and again is a winner in my book.

The illustrations in the book are great for the reading level. They are not too detailed. They are bright and vibrant. They have a great feel and fit the story well. Over all a great levelled reader.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Product Review - Control Balm Strong Hold - V76 by Vaughn

Control Balm Strong Hold
5 fl. oz.
V76 by Vaughn
ASIN B01DSCZRF4



My hair is fairly curly and though I keep it short enough to not have ringlets anymore; I do struggle with finding a product that can hold throughout the day. Especially so that when I get home my wife doesn't say my hair is poofy. This product was a bit of a surprise. When I first went to use it the texture and consistence reminded me of white glue from my school days. The scent worked well and I have found that the more you work it either before applying or after the stronger the hold. If you just slap it in the hold will not be strong. But if you work it a bit, it really works well.

This product is about 1/3 cheaper than others I have been using for the last few years. I have had terrible luck with finding a product I like only to have it discontinued in a line refresh, I have given up on Redken because of this. So I only hope this product is around for a long time as it does the job very admirably for me. As a bonus my son who has even thicker and more unruly hair than I loved the product as well. So we can book look well groomed and stylish, and without a big expense.

Product Features:


  • Honey: Acts as a humectant to prevent moisture loss and leaves hair shiny and lustrous
  • Soy Protien: Moisturizes and improves hair elasticity and strength
  • Shea Butter: Rich in vitamins A and E, provides moisture to dry and damaged hair from the roots to the tips, leaving it healthy and shiny
  • Argon Oil: Nourishes and hydrates hair helping to reduce frizz and fly aways
  • No parabens, no sulfates, no petroleum, no gluten, no mineral oils

Company Focus:
V76 by Vaughn celebrates the tradition of men's grooming with a modern sensibility. The collection offers a range of products that covers every step in a man's grooming routine - from hair to shave to face and body care.

The Creator:
One of the most sought-after authorities in men's grooming, Vaughn Acord gave his first haircut as a teenager in 1976 then cut his teeth behind the chair at top salons and behind the scenes on photo shoots for Rolling Stones, GQ. His clients include names like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Brady, President Clinton and Ashton Kutcher.

I really enjoyed this product and look forward to reviewing some of the others that I am trying. Great product at a good price point.

Reviews of Other V76 by Vaughn Products:
V76 by Vaughn Energy Body Wash
V76 by Vaughn Control Balm Strong Hold
V76 by Vaughn Brightening Conditioner for Silver Hair
V76 by Vaughn Beard Oil


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Product Review - Viva Naturals Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Ash Zen Model

Viva Naturals Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
Ash Zen Model
Viva Naturals
ASIN B01N6HAB2D




This is the last of three diffusers from Via Naturals that I tested. My family fell in love with the Tranquil Model's that we tested. I am comparing this product to the other model from Viva Naturals and to 3 other models from other companies. This one now resides in our bedroom and we use it nightly to diffuse as we go to bed. Most of the other diffusers other than the Tranquil Model from viva that I have tried have either a 100ml or 200 ml basin for diffusing. This one has 300 ml. I can set it to diffuse for 6 hours and not empty the basin. This model is also easier to clean than any of the non Viva Natural diffusers that we have tried. It is easier to fill, easier to clean and has a greater capacity than many of the diffusers on the market. And those three things make it a winner in our books!

The features the product boasts are:

Helps You Experience Aromatherapy's Health-Boosting Benefits
Enhance your mood, fight mold and pathogens, relieve sinus ailments, improve energy and focus and savor other wonderful benefits that aromatherapy has to offer.

Elegant Wood Grain Finish
Ash-grey, vase-like design looks beautiful and enhances any room

Whisper-Quiet
The diffuser is extremely quiet with very little operating noise. You'll never be disturbed at work or while sleeping.

Sensory-Boosting Lights
Choose from 7 different LED modes to match your mood and create a powerful experience that soothes all your senses.

Automatic Shut-Off
The diffuser automatically shuts off once all the oil is dispersed. So you'll never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off.

4 Mist Modes
Diffuse and unwind at your own pace. Viva Naturals' Ultrasonic Diffuser disperses cool, aromatic, energizing, and calming oil droplets at 1-, 3- and 6-hour intervals, and includes a continuous mist cycle that runs up to 12 hours.

90-Day, 100% Money Back Guarantee
We offer a full 90-day, 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your diffuser for any reason during the first 90 days, simply return it and we'll refund you 100% of the price you paid. You risk nothing.

It lives up to those claims; or at least the ones I can verify. I appreciate this diffuser but prefer my other model from Viva Naturals. This one does all that it says it will but I prefer the aesthetics of the other model. But this is a great product and I can highly recommend it. 

It works well. And the kids love that there are 7 colors to choose from or you can  allow it to transition through them, when it is transitioning because of shades it is closer to 21 colors that it rotates through. A slight drawback is that the lid does not firmly affix, it just sits in the basin, so if it is knocked there is usually a bit of a mess. Our way of dealing with this was selective placement. Because of this we had to put ours up on a mantle so it would be less of a temptation for the children to keep switching the lights. It is a really good product, at a good price point. And I appreciate the Ash finish on this model, you actually need to pick it up to confirm that it is not real wood, but I prefer the Espresso or Pine finishes more. But that is a matter of personal taste.

Viva Naturals products are now available in Canada currently through the Amazon Marketplace. 


Viva Naturals Reviews:
Supplements and Nutritional:
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 32 Ounce
Organic Ground Flax Seed
Organic Goji Berries
Maca Powder
Coconut Flour: Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
Royal Quinoa Whole Grain

Chia Seeds
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Cacao Powder
Krill Oil 1250 milligram
Sweet Almond Oil 16 fl oz

Argon Oil 4oz



Essential Oil Difusers:

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 300ml, Ash Zen Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Pine Tranquil Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Espresso Tranquil Model





Tuesday, 22 August 2017

20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn - 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers

20 Answers The Bible 
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
Trent Horn
Catholic Answers Press

ISBN 9781683570110
eISBN 9781683570134
ASIN B01MDOMLF2



I have read all 23 books currently available in the 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers. And I believe that three more will be releasing in the fall of 2017. Of the 23 books currently available Trent Horn has penned 10 of them. And going back through my records 9 of those 10 received 5 out of 5 stars as a rating from me. And I have given 20 of the 23 5 out of 5 stars. So these are some excellent books. And I particularly enjoy Horn's clear crisp writing style. This little volume comes in at just under 60 pages, of that a few pages are recommend reads that flow from the final answer, and also 3 pages of references, endnotes for the 78 quotes.

No I spent the better part of 20 years in university, over that time I read a lot of books, numerous term papers, and many formal academic works. Some of them were excellent but many were a slog to get through. I have not found that with any of Horn's writings. They are engaging, convincing, and very well researched and presented. Now because of the centrality of the Bible to the Christian tradition, to the Catholic Church's history and theology, depending on the order you read the books in this series, a number touch upon the importance of the bible. So some of this book might feel familiar as you read it.  But when you pair this book with Jim Blackburn's 20 Answers Scripture and Tradition, you come to have a truly Catholic, a completely Christian understanding of the bible. How we got the bible, the relationship of scriptures to tradition, and how to use it in our fay to day life!

The 20 Questions that Horn answers in this volume are:

Introduction
1. What is the Bible?
2. How is the Bible the word of God?
3. How should Catholics interpret Scripture?
4. Why don't Catholics rely on the Bible alone?
5. What is the relationship between Scripture and Tradition?
6. How do we know which writings belong in the Bible?
7. Why are Catholic bibles bigger than Protestant bibles?
8. What does it mean for Scripture to be inerrant?
9. How can the Bible be inspired when the book of Genesis contradicts science?
10. Hasn't modern archaeology disproved the historical events of the Bible?
11. How can you trust the Gospels as biographical accounts of Christ's life when they are just anonymous documents written long after the events they claim to describe?
12. What about the thousands of contradictions in the Bible?
13. The Old Testament is full of archaic laws. Do we have to follow them?
14. Why doesn't the Bible condemn slavery?
15. Why does God seem different in the Old Testament compared with the New?
16. Why does God callously strike people down in the Bible?
17. How could God command the Israelites to kill innocent women and children?
18. Was the Bible's text corrupted when it was copied in the early Church?
19. Which translation of the Bible is the best?
20. How can I develop a better devotion to Scripture?

Many people even in the church today might read a book like this and dismiss it with a wave of the hand. Many others will not even be willing to pick it up. But I can guarantee that if you read this book with an open mind and heart you will be challenged and come away with a closer relationship to God, through his word. The bible is reportedly the most stolen book in the world, if only it was the most read and lived. 

The introduction of this book begins with these words:
"The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and almost everyone has a strong opinion about it. An atheist might view the Bible as a bunch of made-up myths about God and miracles. Most Protestant Christians, on the other hand, see an inspired, inerrant book that is the only authoritative source of Christian doctrine. Other people think it has some nice stories and moral teachings, but don't consider it the word of God. 
A Catholic approach to Scripture, in contrast, affirms that the Bible is inspired by God, but denies that it is the Christian's only rule of faith. It also affirms that the Bible, having God as its author, is without error. The words penned over a century ago by Pope Leo XIII, in defense of this controversial truth of the Faith, still resonate today:
'It is deplorable to see these attacks [on Scripture] growing every day more numerous and more severe. . . . By ridicule and scurrilous jesting, [critics] pervert the credulous and unformed minds of the young to the contempt of holy Scripture. . . . Should not these things, venerable brethren, stir up and set on fire the heart of every pastor, so that to this "knowledge, falsely so called," may be opposed the ancient and true science which the Church, through the apostles, has received from Christ, and that holy Scripture may find the champions that are needed in so momentous a battle?'
This booklet has been written to help you become one of the champions of Scripture that Leo VIII called for. If that sounds daunting, don't worry: most of the objections that critics make against the Bible exhibit a few common patterns and cite only a small percentage of the Bible. By reviewing these patterns and commonly cited passages you can learn to defend Scripture without having to examine each of the Bible's approximately 35,000 individual verses."
This is a great book in an incredible series. I cannot stress the importance of giving this book a read. I highly recommended it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Note 2: Currently this series of books is being offered at a 50% discount so get it while you can. That is right you can get all 23 physical books or all 23 eBooks for just $39.95! If you want a way to go deeper this year give this series a try! 


#20AnswersChallenge




20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons - Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism - Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement - Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life - Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn
20 Answers God - Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam - Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah's Witnesses - Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary - Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles - Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism - Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus - Trent Horn

20 Answers The Church - Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult - Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations - Michael O'Neill
20 Answers The Sacraments - Fr. Mike Driscoll


Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties - Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day - Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church - Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism - How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity - Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue - Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism - Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines - Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians - James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World - Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith - Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura - Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life - Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 - Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
...Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory - Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ - Dan McGuire

The Fathers Know Best - Jimmy Akin
Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love - Trent Horn
The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did - Eric Sammons
...

Monday, 21 August 2017

Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School - David Kirk

Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School
David Kirk
Scholastic
ISBN 9780439087278



My youngest and I recently read this together, a number of times.  It brought back a lot of memories, for my oldest loved the TV series Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, and we read number of the Miss Spider books together over a half dozen year ago. My youngest never really got into the TV show but she fell in love with this book right away.

In fact the day we picked up this book we read it through three times back to back. My daughter loved the cover and even though she is not fond of spiders she loved the story. She could really relate to not doing many things at school well, and even not liking some things at school. She fell in love with the young Miss Spider and we will need to track down other books with her and maybe even revisit the show.

Any book my child asks to read, even if it is rereading the same book is considered a winner. But this book has a great lesson and amazing bright vibrant illustrations. It is visually fun to read.

A great little book for young readers.




Sunday, 20 August 2017

Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

I was thinking about popes recently. Someone posted to Facebook asking people to share their favourite pope and why. I found that I could not immediately answer. For I have felt an affinity to a number of popes for different reasons. The first to come to mind was:

Pope John XXIII
Pope from October 28th 2938-June 3rd 2963


I went to Pope John XXIII primary school for SK, grades 1,2 and 4. And always felt closeness to him. The next that came to mind was John Paul II, I remember this man taking Peter's Chair, and he was pope for most of my life.

Pope John Paul II
Pope from October 16th 1978 - April 2nd 2005


Next was his successor. Pope Benedict XVI the scholar.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope from April 19th 2005 - February 28th 2013


Then Pope Pius XII, I encountered him often in my academic studies and have a soft spot for him, thought I could not specify why.

Pope Pius XII
Pope from March 2nd 1939 - October 9th 1958


And finally Pope Paul VI, he called reconvened Vatican II, he made John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI cardinals during his pontificate.

Pope Paul VI
Pope from Jun 21st 1963 - August 6th 1978


Back in my Windows XP days I used the below two as desktop backgrounds for a long time.

So which popes do you have a devotion to and why?






Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Organic Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Coconut Flour - Viva Naturals

Organic Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Coconut Flour
4 Pound
Viva Naturals
ASIN B00IDCFXG8



Viva Naturals is a company new to the Canadian Market, but they have been around since 2011 south of the border. Viva Naturals is working towards, is striving to become an all-around health and wellness company. . They have products ranging from nutritional supplements, organic food, and beauty products to essentials oils. They have a goal of helping you with your wellness goals, and now we are fortunate that they are expanding into the Canadian market place. I have the benefit of receiving a number of their products to try at the same time. And have used many of them in combination with each other and separately. I must declare that I have been impressed with each of them. But enough about Viva Naturals as a company and on to reviewing this specific product the Coconut Flour. 

How I tested this product:
Making Chicken Strips
Dusting on Fish
In Tuna cakes
In Sweet Potato Pancakes
In Smoothies
Pancakes

Product Specifics:
Non-GMO
Vegan
Gluten Free
Certified Organic

Pros:
Great taste
Versatile
Added fibre in smoothies
Works great as a wheat flour substitute

Cons:
The reseal feature on the pouch does not work well
Highly addictive so good you will not want to ever be out

To be honest the fact that the package does not reseal is the only drawback I encountered from using this. I love adding it to help thicken smoothies. It has become a staple in my kitchen and I do not see a need to look any further, for a flour substitute, and prior to encountering this product I had tried about a dozen different products and brans and had not settle on anything.

I had the opportunity to try over a dozen products from Viva Naturals. I have been impressed with them all. This coconut flour is an excellent product and I trust this product and the brand! I can think of dozens of other ways I want to try this product and look forward to doing so. As stated these products are now available in Canada currently through the Amazon Marketplace. This is a great products at good prices, looking forward to trying more products as they make their way to the Canadian Market.



Viva Naturals Reviews:
Supplements and Nutritional:
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 32 Ounce
Organic Ground Flax Seed
Organic Goji Berries
Maca Powder
Coconut Flour: Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
Royal Quinoa Whole Grain

Chia Seeds
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Cacao Powder
Krill Oil 1250 milligram
Sweet Almond Oil 16 fl oz

Argon Oil 4oz



Essential Oil Difusers:

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 300ml, Ash Zen Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Pine Tranquil Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Espresso Tranquil Model




Friday, 18 August 2017

Product Review - Philips Airfryer with Turbostar Healthy Fry, Cook, Bake, Grill HD9622/96

Philips Airfryer with Turbostar 
Healthy Fry, Cook, Bake, Grill with Double-Layer rack, 
HD9622/96
ASIN B01N0Y5W3V



Some products you are so excited about they might never live up to the expectations. I am not sure if that was the case with the Philips Airfryer or if it was just disappointing. I had been hearing a lot of friends talk about Air Fryers and Instant Pots and was really excited to try this out. But from the day I unpacked it it was a let-down. To start with the documentation in the package said to download the Philips Airfryer application to register and for recipes. The first thing the app does is ask you to select your model. There are almost a dozen models in the application but not this one. Then when you pick a model it reduces the recipes offered to those that can be made in that model. So I had to guess and play and try a few until I found some recipes to try.

So the first week I had it I tried a few different things. Then over the next month a few more, and then it sat on the counter for a few weeks until it was just moved to a shelf in the garage.

How I tested it:
Fries from fresh
Fries from frozen
Sweet Potato fries
Baked stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps
Chicken Wings
Baked Beet and Sweet Potato Chips


Over all the food came out well prepared. But the prep time and cook time was much, much longer than traditional ways I would have prepared the same recipes. And after doing some research based on the energy consumption I doubt it was an energy saver over traditional cooking methods. 

Overall I was underwhelmed! It is a well-constructed product but the time and effort without any energy savings just does not seem with it for me. I liked the double rack especially when doing the stuffed mushrooms or the wings.  So my rating for this product is just meh!


Reviews of Other Philips Products:
Philips HU4805/40 Series 2000 Humidifier