Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We're Going To Disneyland!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I will be back in a few days. For now, I need to pack up. My son and I are going to Disneyland to celebrate his birthday! Have a great weekend!!!!!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Because I Love My Husband So - The Gift

Every now and then, we play this song at my station, and I think how much I love it and how much it reminds me of my husband. So since we are celebrating our THIRD married Christmas and we are also closing in on our anniversary of the day he proposed, I thought I would share this song here. It is full of all the love I feel and perfect since I just do not have the talent to bring this out myself. :)

Merry Christmas to the love of my life, Scott.


The Gift - Jim Brickman

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Night Before Christmas



The errands are done, we are snug and warm,
I even have cookies made, and so storm.

My cat is being cranky, but that is not surprise,
his decision to eat present ribbon was simply not wise.

My son's watching Star Wars, the hubs is reading the paper,
and I am relaxing before tomorrow's cooking caper.

Caper? Really? Oh my friends, you have not seen me cook! I digress completely from this Christmas rhyme, but I have to tell you, I am the MESSIEST cook EVER! Plus I am so burned out from all the driving around for the last minute things, I couldn't possibly string along another word!


Back to my not so fabulous cooking process. I will use every pan I own. I will use every knife and strainer. How did my mom do it? She always finished each and every holiday meal ON TIME with NO MESS. Yes!!! She did it! I have no idea how. I assume that she did the whole clean as you go thing. I guess that is what she did. I never really watched the process too much while growing up, because I was pretty much busy playing with toys, and cooking was frankly...scary. Hanging out in the kitchen was not really an ideal for me. I played. At the time, that was my role. I played with toys, looked cute in whatever little Christmas outfit they put on me, and I spilled milk at some point. I totally should have watched the process. I am sure it would help me by now. *sigh* That is tomorrow's worry though. :)

Tonight is going to be nice and simple.

1-- The family is eating left overs so I can chill out before the cooking marathon that should start sometime around 5 am.

2-- We made our cookies for Santa (peanut butter with those Hershey kisses in the center. I would have made chocolate chip, but I am still struggling with baking at a high altitude.

3-- At 7:00 pm we will watch "It's A Wonderful Life." That is my husband's fave. :)

Once Alex (my son) is asleep, I can work on the stockings. Everything is sitting in the car in wait for the moment he hits the bed. I had no intention of going to bed early (I have a hard time going to sleep early on Christmas Eve), but my son has been begging me to. He wants to get in on unwrapping the presents ASAP. I can't say that I blame him. OOOOH!!!!! That reminds me. We do have a present to wrap still! Oh well. I better run.

I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Okay...New Year's Is Coming! Thinking On Resolutions


2010 is banging on the door, and I am dying to let it in! I am ready to make this new year a stunner! I am thinking up resolutions, but not quite resolutions. I have friends who tell me that it isn't right to make resolutions because I am a Christian, and I don't quite get what they mean there. I haven't found anything in the Bible that says it is wrong, and I am certainly not holding a resolution over I don't know. I have other friends who say that you are only setting yourself up to fail. That may be the case, but as far as I am concerned, it is worth trying even if you do fail. No? I think the important thing is to focus on changes I'd like to make. If I succeed...YAY!!!!!! If I what? Standing still just gets you nowhere anyway. I'd rather move a little bit and change my perspective some.

This is not to say that I have even one resolution figured out.

Okay...I kind of lie. I have one in mind. Hey, maybe even two. Next week, I'll be meeting with a thyroid specialist, and I am hoping that he will get me on track with my meds. It is a long shot in ways, but I am keeping a positive outlook on it. It will be nice meeting with someone who actually understands that not all people have "classic" thyroid blood work. I am hoping that with the proper meds, I will be able to focus on getting my weight in line and frankly just plain focus! :)

Before that, we are hitting Disneyland, and I am really looking forward to the fun to be had there! What a great way to end the year!

Wow...I just totally jumped off topic, but really, I am only in the beginning phases of building my New Year's plans. It is all good. :)

Back soon with a plan! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Annoyance of the Day


Generally, I am pretty easy going. I worked in customer service (many years as a waitress, bartender, and cocktail server) for far too long to get all jangled up in knots over much. Today, I again deleted several comments without publishing them, because someone is spamming me with a deal that I am just not interested in. PERIOD.



Okay...on to the cute kittens. :)





Nothing takes the edge off like some adorable kittens. :)

I wont be posting much this weekend. We have a lot of last minute prepping to do before Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Thursday at Kelly's Work

We had a massive amount of Christmas CD giveaways this morning. I spent hours...seriously...HOURS sending them out and writing letters. I got this done literally ten minutes AFTER I was supposed to be on my way home. And now it is even later before I hook it up here. With Free Shipping has to be up now! I hope everyone is enjoying their week!


This is my last post before Christmas! Can you believe that Christmas is soooo close?! I am excited! I hope you are too.

Don't forget that today is Free Shipping Day! Not all stores are participating, but quite a few are getting into the free shipping spirit today! For more details and stores, go to You can enter the name of the store you are looking for or even look according to category.

LINKY: Free Shipping Day


I am starting to focus on saving money via groceries again, and I have been looking for any place I can get coupons. I found some awesome printables at Campbell's website Campbell's Kitchen . Head on over to Campbell's Kitchen to see what is cooking. Oh man!!!! Can you believe I just typed that?

Here are just a few of the printables:

Campbell's® Cooking soups --Save $1.00 on any four (4) Campbell's Condensed "Great for Cooking" soups.

Pepperidge Farm® Cookies--Save $1.00 on any one (1) Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection, Holiday Cookie Bites or Pirouette® Rolled Wafers.

Campbell’s® Chunky™ soups--Save $1.50 on any three (3) can or microwavable bowl varieties of Campbell’s Chunky soup.

Campbell’s® Select Harvest®
soups--Save $1.50 on any three (3) can or microwavable bowl varieties of Campbell’s Select Harvest soup.

V8 V-Fusion®
Juice--Save $1.00 on any one (1) 46 oz. variety of V8 V-Fusion Juice.

Pepperidge Farm®
Frozen Bread--Save $1.00 on any two (2) packages of Pepperidge Farm Frozen Bread.

100% Vegetable Juice & V8 Splash®--Save $1.00 on any two (2) 64 oz. V8 100% Vegetable Juice or V8 Splash beverages.

Pepperidge Farm
® Puff Pastry Turnovers--Save $1.00 on any two (2) packages of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Turnovers.

Campbell’s® Select Harvest®
soups--Save $1.50 on any three (3) can or microwavable bowl varieties of Campbell’s Select Harvest soup.

LINKY: Campbell's Kitchen Coupons

Fry's main page also has a wonderful link for printable coupons as well as links to my favorite sites (Shortcuts, Cellfire, p&g eSaver) where you can download the savings right to your card! I love the chance to get the most bang for my buck.

LINKY: Digital Coupons

With the end of 2009, I have been thinking about ways I can up my savings quotient. I read in a magazine recently that more families waste money by grabbing items for dinner on the way home after work. This makes sense to me. You are most likely tired, in a hurry, hungry and probably not feeling at your creative best when it comes to whipping up that meal. I have to say, I have experienced that. I don't rush off on the way home and purchase a prime rib, but I definitely am not as price savvy as I am when I hit the grocery store for my weekly shopping romp. I am also usually toting my son along with me at this time, and really, he is hard to shop with. The kid knows how to get me to buy things I normally wouldn't like donuts and chocolate milk!

I have seen many blogs involved with Menu Planning Monday, and I thought this would be a great idea to embark on! I really have struggled with the whole motivation to sit down and do this and the worry of where the ideas will come from, but there really is no need to worry. Organizing Junky hosts Menu Plan Monday every week for bloggers to link up with their ideas. This is a great place to get a little inspiration. I am going to do some serious research in the next couple of weeks, and then I am going to dive in! I am pretty excited. It will be nice to see how much we can save. Check out Menu Planning Monday for yourself at Organizing Junky.

LINKY: Menu Planning Monday



Arizona Snow Bowl opened today. If you like skiing and you have a birthday during ski season, you should definitely head on over for free skiiing on your birthday. You have to have the proper ID with you. Follow the link for more info.

LINKY: Snow Bowl Free For Birthdays!


Free track "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" from MercyMe Christmas Album "The Christmas Sessions" at Free CCM. AND!!!!! They are also giveing away an entire album for free on their website IF you sign up for their newsletter.

LINKY: FREE CCM LINK "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"

LINKY: MercyMe 10 Live


Do you have a golf lover in your family? I don't, but if I did, I would sign them up for this freebie from Rewards Gold. I get several magazines totally free from Rewards Gold because of doing littler surveys. This freebies is for Golf Digest Magazine. If you have a golfer friend, this would be an awesome hook up for them!

LINKY: Golf Digest


This is my last posting for gifts in a jar. I love biscotti so I was pretty excited about this recipe. It looks very easy.

Biscotti Cookie Mix in a Jar

This would be a great gift for Christmas or even a nice thank you gift with a bag of yummy coffee!

In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients:

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. chopped almonds

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. dried lemon peel

1/4 tsp. dried orange peel

Place the mixture in a pretty jar or airtight container and include the following gift tag:


1 package Biscotti Mix
3 large eggs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. anise extract
1 large egg, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine Biscotti mix with the eggs, butter, anise, and extra egg yolk from separated egg. Mix on low speed until the dough is smooth.

Roll dough out into two 12-inch logs, about 3 inches wide. Place logs onto a cookie sheet and brush with remaining egg white. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Cut the logs diagonally, into 1/2-inch slices. Bake the slices on their sides for another 12-14 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container

Blarney Stone Jar Cookie -
From Joyce's Fine Cooking

Blarney Stones Cookie Mix In A Jar

1 3/4 cups flour; * mixed together
1 teaspoon baking soda; * mixed together
1 teaspoon allspice; * mixed together
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups peanuts; salted

Use a one quart wide-mouth canning jar.
Stir together the flour, baking soda and allspice. Set aside.
Layer the sugar, the raisins, the nuts and then the flour mixture,
packing each layer well.
Seal, decorate the jar and attach the recipe tag to the jar.

Blarney Stones Cookies
You will need:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
large mixing bowl
Yeild: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Pour the contents of the jar into a large mixing bowl and mix the contents
thoroughly. Hands works best. Mix in the butter, eggs and vanilla until
thoroughly blended. Make teaspoon size balls and drop on to a greased
cookie sheet. Bake in oven at 375 degrees F. for 8 - 12 minutes until the
edges are lightly browned. Cool.

Lastly, there is an awesome book full of recipes and crafts for this holiday that you can download from Recipe Lion. I received several emails about this fabulous book. I just browsed it, and there are lots of great ideas!

LINKY: Mason Jar Recipes from Recipe Lion

I will be back to post the sales, but I have to head out now.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Primal by Mark Battterson - Book Review

* Category: Religion - Christian Life
* Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
* On Sale: December 22, 2009
* Price: $17.99
* ISBN: 978-1-60142-131-9 (1-60142-131-1)

Click here to purchase: Primal A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

First I would like to once again give a big thank you to Liz from Waterbrook Multnomah a division of Random House for providing me with a hard copy of Primal by Mark Batterson to read and review. Although the book was provided for the review, the review is my own honest opinion.

About the Book (from the publisher's website):

Our generation needs a reformation.
But a single person won’t lead it.
A single event won’t define it.
Our reformation will be a movement of reformers living creatively, compassionately, courageously for the cause of Christ.

This reformation will not be born of a new discovery. It will be the rediscovery of something old, something ancient.

Something primal.

Mark Batterson, Primal

What would your Christianity look like if it was stripped down to the simplest, rawest, purest faith possible? You would have more, not less. You would have the beginning of a new reformation—in your generation, your church, your own soul. You would have primal Christianity.

This book is an invitation to become part of a reformation movement. It is an invitation to rediscover the compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy that turned the world upside down two thousand years ago. It is an invitation to be astonished again.

My Review:

From the first page, I was pulled into this book. I was completely engaged in the examples he gives on how to love to love God more fully. It was full of simple insight. Some main points that really hit home is not just acting like a Christian but reacting like a Christian. This was like a bell that went off in my head. I work at a Christian radio station, and there are times when some people can be a bit rude. I grin and bear it and try with all my heart to continually be kind. I did it, because it was my job. Now I do it, because I am truly trying to react with the love of God. I am still behaving the same way (in a kind and loving manner), but I don't feel like I have been run through the ringer any more. That was an infinitely perfect lesson.

This is a book that I believe can really offer a fresh perspective on loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. It is written in a smooth manner, and there are wonderful and inspiring real world and real people examples. I definitely would recommend this book, and I actually have already. I have several friends waiting for it to come out on December 22nd.

The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

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:

The Sheriff’s Surrender

Barbour Books (December 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Angie Brillhart of Barbour Publishing for sending me a review copy.***


Award-winning author Susan Page Davis is a mother of six who lives in Maine with her husband, Jim. She worked as a newspaper correspondent for more than twenty-five years in addition to home-schooling her children. She writes historical romances and cozy mysteries and is a member of ACFW. Visit her Web site at

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $10.97
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602605629
ISBN-13: 978-1602605626


Fergus, Idaho

May 1885

Gert Dooley aimed at the scrap of red calico and squeezed the trigger. The Spencer rifle she held cracked, and the red cloth fifty yards away shivered.

“I’d say your shooting piece is in fine order.” She lowered the rifle and passed it to the owner, Cyrus Fennel. She didn’t particularly like Fennel, but he always paid her brother, the only gunsmith in Fergus, with hard money.

He nodded. “Thank you, Miss Dooley.” He shoved his hand into his pocket.

Gert knew he was fishing out a coin. This was the part her brother hated most—taking payment for his work. She turned away. Hiram would be embarrassed enough without her watching. She picked up the shawl she had let fall to the grass a few minutes earlier.

“That’s mighty fine shooting, Gert,” said Hiram’s friend, rancher Ethan Chapman. He’d come by earlier to see if Hiram would help him string a fence the next day. When Cyrus Fennel had arrived to pick up his repaired rifle, Ethan had sat down on the chopping block to watch Gert demonstrate the gun.

“Thank you kindly.” Gert accepted praise for shooting as a matter of course. Now, if Ethan had remarked that she looked fine today or some such pretty thing, she’d have been flustered. But he would never say anything like that. And shooting was just work.

Fennel levered the rifle’s action open and peered at the firing pin. “Looks good as new. I should be able to pick off those rats that are getting in my grain bins.”

“That’s quite a cannon for shooting rats,” Gert said.

Ethan stood and rested one foot on the chopping block, leaning forward with one arm on his knee. “You ought to hire Gert to shoot them for you.”

Gert scowled. “Why’d I want to do that? He can shoot his own rats.”

Hiram, who had pocketed his pay as quickly as possible, moved the straw he chewed from one side of his mouth to the other. He never talked much. Men brought him their firearms to fix. Hiram listened to them tell him what the trouble was while eyeing the piece keenly. Then he’d look at Gert. She would tell them, “Come back next week.” Hiram would nod, and that was the extent of the conversation. Since his wife, Violet, had died eight years ago, the only person Hiram seemed to talk to much was Ethan.

Fennel turned toward her with a condescending smile. “Folks say you’re the best shot in Fergus, Miss Dooley.”

Gert shrugged. It wasn’t worth debating. She had sharp eyes, and she’d fired so many guns for Hiram to make sure they were in working order that she’d gotten good at it, that was all.

Ethan’s features, however, sprang to life. “Ain’t it the truth? Why, Gert can shoot the tail feathers off a jay at a hundred yards with a gun like that. Mighty fine rifle.” He nodded at Fennel’s Spencer, wincing as though he regretted not having a gun as fine.

“Well, now, I’m a fair shot myself,” Fennel said. “I could maybe hit that rag, too.”

“Let’s see you do it,” Ethan said.

Fennel jacked a cartridge into the Spencer, smiling as he did. The rag still hung limp from a notched stick and was silhouetted against the distant dirt bank across the field. He put his left foot forward and swung the butt of the stock up to his shoulder, paused motionless for a second, and pulled the trigger.

Gert watched the cloth, not the shooter. The stick shattered just at the bottom of the rag. She frowned. She’d have to find another stick next time. At least when she tested a gun, she clipped the edge of the cloth so her stand could be used again.

Hiram took the straw out of his mouth and threw it on the ground. Without a word, he strode to where the tattered red cloth lay a couple of yards from the splintered stick and brought the scrap back. He stooped for a piece of firewood from the pile he’d made before Fennel showed up. The stick he chose had split raggedly, and Hiram slid the bit of cloth into a crack.

Ethan stood beside Gert as they watched Hiram walk across the field, all the way to the dirt bank, and set the piece of firewood on end.

“Hmm.” Fennel cleared his throat and loaded several cartridges into the magazine. When Hiram was back beside them, he raised the gun again, held for a second, and fired. The stick with the bit of red stood unwavering.

“Let Gert try,” Ethan said.

“No need,” she said, looking down at her worn shoe tips peeping out beneath the hem of her skirt.

“Oh, come on.” Ethan’s coaxing smile tempted her.

Fennel held the rifle out. “Be my guest.”

Gert looked to her brother. Hiram gave the slightest nod then looked up at the sky, tracking the late afternoon sun as it slipped behind a cloud. She could do it, of course. She’d been firing guns for Hiram for ten years—since she came to Fergus and found him grieving the loss of his wife and baby. Folks had brought him more work than he could handle. They felt sorry for him, she supposed, and wanted to give him a distraction. Gert had begun test firing the guns as fast as he could fix them. She found it satisfying, and she’d kept doing it ever since. Thousands upon thousands of rounds she’d fired, from every type of small firearm, unintentionally building herself a reputation of sorts.

She didn’t usually make a show of her shooting prowess, but Fennel rubbed her the wrong way. She knew he wasn’t Hiram’s favorite patron either. He ran the Wells Fargo office now, but back when he ran the assay office, he’d bought up a lot of failed mines and grassland cheap. He owned a great deal of land around Fergus, including the spread Hiram had hoped to buy when he first came to Idaho. Distracted by his wife’s illness, Hiram hadn’t moved quickly enough to file claim on the land and had missed out. Instead of the ranch he’d wanted, he lived on his small lot in town and got by on his sporadic pay as a gunsmith.

Gert let her shawl slip from her fingers to the grass once more and took the rifle. As she focused on the distant stick of firewood, she thought, That junk of wood is you, Mr. Rich Land Stealer. And that little piece of cloth is one of your rats.

She squeezed gently. The rifle recoiled against her shoulder, and the far stick of firewood jumped into the air then fell to earth, minus the red cloth.

“Well, I’ll be.” Fennel stared at her. “Are you always this accurate?”

“You ain’t seen nothing,” Ethan assured him.

Hiram actually cracked a smile, and Gert felt the blood rush to her cheeks even though Ethan hadn’t directly complimented her. She loved to see Hiram smile, something he seldom did.

“Mind sharing your secret, Miss Dooley?” Fennel asked.

Ethan chuckled. “I’ll tell you what it is. Every time she shoots, she pretends she’s aiming at something she really hates.”

“Aha.” Fennel smiled, too. “Might I ask what you were thinking of that time, ma’am?”

Gert’s mouth went dry. Never had she been so sorely tempted to tell a lie.

“Likely it was that coyote that kilt her rooster last month,” Hiram said.

Gert stared at him. He’d actually spoken. She knew when their eyes met that her brother had known exactly what she’d been thinking.

Ethan and Fennel both chuckled.

Of course, I wouldn’t really think of killing him, Gert thought, even though he stole the land right out from under my grieving brother. The Good Book says don’t kill and don’t hate. Determined to heap coals of fire on her adversary’s head, she handed the Spencer back to him. “You’re not too bad a shot yourself, Mr. Fennel.”

His posture relaxed, and he opened his mouth all smiley, like he might say something pleasant back, but suddenly he stiffened. His eyes focused beyond Gert, toward the dirt street. “Who is that?”

Gert swung around to look as Ethan answered. “That’s Millicent Peart.”

“Don’t think I’ve seen her since last fall.” Fennel shook his head. “She sure is showing her age.”

“I don’t think Milzie came into town much over the winter,” Gert said.

For a moment, they watched the stooped figure hobble along the dirt street toward the emporium. Engulfed in a shapeless old coat, Milzie Peart leaned on a stick with each step. Her mouth worked as though she were talking to someone, but no one accompanied her.

“How long since her man passed on?” Ethan asked.

“Long time,” Gert said. “Ten years, maybe. She still lives at their cabin out Mountain Road.”

Fennel grimaced as the next house hid the retreating figure from view. “Pitiful.”

Ethan shrugged. “She’s kinda crazy, but I reckon she likes living on their homestead.”

Gert wondered how Milzie got by. It must be lonesome to have no one, not even a nearly silent brother, to talk to out there in the foothills.

“Supper in half an hour.” She turned away from the men and headed for the back porch of the little house she shared with Hiram. She hoped Fennel would take the hint and leave. And she hoped Ethan would stay for supper, but of course she would never say so.

My Review: A strong female character, a quickly moving story, and a little mystery amount to just the kind of story I love. What a delight it was getting the opportunity to read and review The Sheriff's Surrender and to find that it was only the beginning of a four part series (Ladies' Shooting Club) was the icing on the cake!

The introduction of several characters did not take away from the story at all. It all rolled together well, and only makes me more interested in settling in! I especially enjoyed seeing their growth. I am definitely developing a deeper appreciation for the Western genre.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Primal Blog Tour -

  • Category: Religion - Christian Life
  • Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
  • On Sale: December 22, 2009
  • Price: $17.99
  • ISBN: 978-1-60142-131-9 (1-60142-131-1)
Purchase Link: Primal A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson

First I would like to give a big thank you to Liz from Waterbrook Multnomah a division of Random House for providing me with a hard copy of Primal by Mark Batterson to read and review. My review will be up later this week, but let's start with a little information about this book!

ABOUT THIS BOOK (from the publisher's website):

Our generation needs a reformation.
But a single person won’t lead it.
A single event won’t define it.
Our reformation will be a movement of reformers living creatively, compassionately, courageously for the cause of Christ.

This reformation will not be born of a new discovery. It will be the rediscovery of something old, something ancient.

Something primal.

Mark Batterson, Primal

What would your Christianity look like if it was stripped down to the simplest, rawest, purest faith possible? You would have more, not less. You would have the beginning of a new reformation—in your generation, your church, your own soul. You would have primal Christianity.

This book is an invitation to become part of a reformation movement. It is an invitation to rediscover the compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy that turned the world upside down two thousand years ago. It is an invitation to be astonished again.

Want to know more? Check out this link to an excerpt: Excerpt of Primal

This book is pretty amazing. Come back on Thursday for my review!

Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur

This was not one of my reads, but I still wanted to share. :)

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:

Wisdom Hunter

Multnomah Books (September 20, 2003)

***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***


Randall Arthur is the bestselling author of Jordan’s Crossing and Brotherhood of Betrayal. He and his wife have served as missionaries to Europe for over thirty years. From 1976 till 1998, he lived in Norway and Germany as a church planter. Since 2000, he has taken numerous missions teams from the United States on trips all over Europe. Arthur is also the founder of the AOK (Acts of Kindness) Bikers’ Fellowship, a group of men who enjoy the sport of motorcycling. He and his family live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books (September 20, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590522591
ISBN-13: 978-1590522592


PART 1: 1971-1972

Jason cleared his throat. His wife knew what was coming next, and the pain within her rose again. At every evening meal for the last five hundred and fifteen days he had prayed aloud for their daughter, always working his way slowly through the prayer, emphasizing each word as if to prove his sincerity.

"0 God," he said tonight, "wherever Hannah might be right now, we ask that she'll know your protection. Thank you for watching over her. And thank you even more that one day you'll honor our faith and bring her home."

He paused, as if to arrest the Almighty's attention, then continued with a faltering voice. "Just-just make it soon. We miss her... "

LYING ON THE living room couch, Hannah Freedman proudly realized once again that she was the reason Cody had emerged from his loneliness. He was absolutely consumed by her-and the thought was enthralling. Admiring her diamond-studded wedding band, she gratified herself with the reminder that Cody always treated her like a princess, as if by royal decree she had somehow granted him a new life.

At this very moment, alone in their suburban Miami home, she could feel his infatuation. It lingered in every room, echoing in the easy recall of Cody's loving words and embraces.

Hannah turned heavily upon her side, the baby in her womb preventing her from rolling all the way over onto her stomach. She smiled. It was like a fairy tale. She and Cody had met only ten months ago-she a runaway, not yet eighteen; and he a well-bred, 25 year-old professional. Now they were together forever. How could it be real? How could they have it so good?

She reached over her head, retrieving from behind her a framed photograph of Cody that sat alone on the end table. The picture had been taken only weeks before she met him. It was the same handsome face, the same green-eyed, ash-blond man who was now her husband-but he had been so different then. There was a smile on the face, but it was hiding a sense of loss that had governed his life ever since the death of his parents in a plane crash two years earlier. From that seemingly unshakable disorientation, she had rescued him. Likewise, Cody had taken her from a miserable existence and placed her on a lofty pedestal of fulfillment beyond her wildest dreams.

Her spirit soared with gratefulness as she pressed the photograph to her chest. Lost in blissful thoughts, she relived for the thousandth time the nonstop passion of the last ten months. First, the explosive romance-the instant chemistry, like gunpowder contacting fire. Then came the unplanned but welcomed pregnancy, followed by the exchange of wedding vows seven and a half months ago. Every day had been glorious. If she could live all of it over, she would not change a single detail.

A wall clock across the room began to chime the hour, and Hannah closed her eyes and stilled her thoughts to listen: Four o'clock. It was four o'clock, Friday afternoon, December 15th. The "Christmas spirit" with its commercialism was in full swing-and she, Hannah Freedman, had everything in life a woman ever dreamed of: a large and beautiful home, a flaming love life, and emotional security. In only forty minutes her lover would be home from a day's work at his veterinary clinic, ready for their usual early and intimate dinner together. And in only fourteen days, according to the doctor's calculations, she and Cody would cuddle their first child.

She lifted the photograph and contentedly stared through tears at Cody's picture. For the first time in her eighteen years, she knew what it was to live and to love.

She slowly reached over her head and carefully returned the photograph to its place. She contemplated getting up from the couch. But due to an early morning burst of energy she had already put in a full day of cleaning house and baking Christmas cookies, and the work had left her exhausted. Her small frame, now carrying an extra twenty-six pounds, simply refused to rise.

AT 4:40, CODY came in the back door. He slipped quickly through the kitchen, moving his six-foot-three, 170-pound athletic body with the fluidity of a cat, and began singing: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to live with a blue-eyed Georgia girl, hey!"

On the living room couch Hannah awoke from her light sleep, and broke into a smile as Cody continued singing heartily off-key: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to love my blue-eyed Georgia girl!"

When Cody poked his head around the corner, Hannah was applauding. "Coe," she said, extending tired but inviting arms, "you can love this blue-eyed Georgia girl anytime you want to."

Like a moth to a flame, Cody was drawn into her arms. Kneeling on the plush gray carpet beside her, he kissed her full, moist lips as if he had been starving for her for weeks. When he finally withdrew, he looked into her eyes and said with intensity, "Hannah, you're so beautiful-even when you're tired"

So often before he had told her she was beautiful-and had never stopped, even after her pregnancy began showing. Spreading her arms playfully like wings, Hannah nodded toward her body. "You like it, huh?"

Cody smiled his reply, then ran his fingers slowly through her long, thick auburn hair. "Hannah," he moaned in earnest, "I'm missing you, bad."

"How much?" she asked with delight.

"You really want to know?"


Cody grinned. "Well, I'll tell you. I accidentally gave overdoses of antibiotics to four different dogs today and killed them all," he joked, "simply because I couldn't get my mind off you. All I've done today is dream about being with you."

Feeling aroused, Hannah slowly pulled him into another fiery kiss.

It took every ounce of self-control Cody could muster to keep from going further. When Hannah finally released him, he fell reluctantly to the floor and stretched out on his back. "Just you wait," he said with gusto, "till we're able to be together again. I'm going to make it unforgettable."

Hannah laughed seductively. "Are you sure you can hold out until then?"

With surprise, she watched Cody's mood turn sober. He rose to kneel beside her again, and took her hands in his. "Hannah, if I had to, I'd be willing to wait the rest of my life for you."

There was no doubt in Hannah's mind that he meant every word. She felt his sincerity as certainly as if it were rain pouring down on her. Instinctively she pulled him into another tight embrace.

“Cody,” she confided in his ear, “this will be the best Christmas I've ever had. And the reason is you…”

AFTER DINNER Cody raved as Hannah placed the tray of Christmas cookies on the dining room table beside him. "Better looking than Mother's used to be," he said. Taking a bite, he nodded, "And every bit as good!"

An LP of instrumental Christmas music was playing softly in the background. Hannah sat down to hear Cody finish telling her about his day: setting a German shepherd's broken leg, diagnosing an old tomcat that was refusing to eat, bobtailing a four-day old boxer, and giving an array of shots.

"And Mrs. Gravitt brought in her Dalmatian again," he said, then paused.

"And?" Hannah asked.

"And it should be the last time!" he smiled with satisfaction. "He's fully recovered, and Mrs. Gravitt is as happy as any client I've ever had."

"She should be," Hannah reassured him. "That dog was nearly dead two months ago when she first brought him to you. It was a miracle anyone could save him. But what can I say? You're the best!"

"Well, maybe not the best… But..."Cody tucked his thumbs beneath imaginary suspenders, in a mocking pose of greatness. They both erupted into laughter.

"Say," he said after finishing another cookie, "I called Reed's Travel Agency this morning. They promised they could reserve the cabin-"

Before he could complete the sentence, he saw Hannah suddenly gasp for breath, tense in her chair, then let out a low groan. Cody was immediately face to face with her, gripping her shoulders. "Are you all right?" he demanded.

She finally began breathing, then looked him in the eye and gave the most surprisingly beautiful smile he had ever seen. "I think so... I... uh... yeah, I'm okay," she answered. "My water just broke." She could feel the warm fluid puddling around her buttocks and running down her leg. For a moment she was embarrassed, but the feeling was quickly overcome by an acute surge of pain.

Still trying to figure out what to do, Cody saw Hannah tense again. He gripped her hand in silence, stunned by the piercing hurt locked on her face.

Several seconds later, Hannah relaxed and took a deep breath. "I'm not positive," she said, "but if that was my first contraction, we may be mommy and daddy two weeks earlier than we thought."

Elated, Cody held her in a big hug and said, "Can you believe it?" He started dancing around the table. "We're going to be a family!" he shouted, as Hannah laughed.

THEIR CELEBRATION was soon tempered by the quickly recurring pains, and the rush to leave for the hospital. Within twenty-five minutes from the time Hannah's water had broken, she was seated beside Cody in their Ford station wagon. He was timing her contractions, which now came at less than three-minute intervals. The quickly paced labor pains, coming so soon, made Cody nervous. He tried to relax, but it was all so new. And this was his wife, his baby.

This is happening too fast, he thought, calculating that the trip to the hospital would normally take twenty-five to thirty minutes. This time, he decided, it would have to be less than twenty. No stranger to speeding, he was confident he could meet the challenge.

He glanced at his wristwatch-5:51-just as they were leaving their residential area and approaching the nearest main road. One look ahead quickly confirmed a rising worry: It was rush hour. Traffic on the main road was packed, moving at only a fraction of the normal speed.

For the first time, Cody felt panic. To hide it, he forced a grin and said to Hannah, “I love adventure, but this is a little too much of the good stuff.”

She smiled briefly, before yielding to the start of yet another contraction.

Soon the eruptions of pain were less than two minutes apart. Hannah bravely fought back. Everything's under control, she kept telling herself. Be strong, be strong. Impossible as it seemed, each contraction hurt worse than the last, worse than anything she had ever felt in her life.

"Just hang in there, babe," Cody said. "I'll get you there."

The line of cars crept forward to an intersection which he realized was approximately their halfway point to the hospital. The flow of traffic halted again as he saw the same set of stoplights change to red for the second time. With mounting fear he looked at his watch: 6:16.

Suddenly, Hannah leaned forward, grabbed the dashboard with both hands, and screamed. Cody reached out and touched her shoulder. He was now almost beside himself with panic. "Are you going to make it?"

When her pain had passed its peak, she found her breath and shot back, "I don't know... Just hurry!"

He knew then what he had to do. And on impulse, as if the adrenaline surging through him had switched on a machine, he did it.

Trying to take charge of this desperate situation, he lurched the station wagon out of their traffic lane. Sounding his horn and flashing his headlights, he charged through the intersection and down the avenue, straddling the middle line.

Hannah did little more than flinch. The thought of how crazy it all seemed flashed in and out of her mind.

"I'll get you there," she heard Cody say again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shadow Government by Grant Jeffrey

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:

Shadow Government

WaterBrook Press (October 6, 2009)

***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***


Grant R. Jeffrey is the internationally known prophecy researcher, Mideast expert, and author of Countdown to the Apocalypse, The New Temple and the Second Coming, The Next World War, and twenty other best-selling books. He is also the editor of the Prophecy Study Bible. His popular television program, Bible Prophecy Revealed, airs weekly on TBN. Jeffrey earned his master’s and PhD degrees from Louisiana Baptist University. He and his wife, Kaye, live in Toronto.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400074428
ISBN-13: 978-1400074426


Part 1




Chapter 1


In the War Against Privacy, You Are the Target

An undeclared but very real war is being waged on your privacy and freedom. Your movements, personal communications, preferences, loyalties, habits—all these things are no longer private. And in spite of the fact that our privacy and liberty are under attack on multiple fronts, the average citizen in the Western world seems blissfully unaware of the threat.

We assume that our privacy, “the right to be left alone,” is secure. We couldn’t be more wrong. High-tech surveillance methods used by governments responding to the threats of terrorism, drug trafficking, tax evasion, and organized crime are stealing one of your most basic human rights—the right to privacy, the right to be left alone.


An interesting metaphor for the invasive surveillance society is found in a fascinating proposal for eighteenth-century prison reform. In 1785 philosopher and legal reformer Jeremy Bentham advocated that the English government build a state-of-the-art prison to more efficiently observe and guard dangerous prisoners with twenty-four-hour surveillance. Bentham’s proposed Panopticon prison called for the use of optical instruments and mirrors to allow a very small team of guards stationed in a central tower to observe hundreds of prisoners. Bentham’s system was designed in such a way that prisoners would never know when they were under active surveillance.

The idea was that the fear of continuous surveillance would motivate inmates to police their own behavior. Tragically, the practical application of Bentham’s nightmare vision is becoming reality in the twenty-first century. Advanced surveillance technologies available to government, corporations, and even your neighbors have created a twenty-four-hour, 365-day, total-surveillance society—the same system that would have violated the privacy of British prison inmates in 1785.

The current British home secretary, Jacqui Smith, exercises political control over all UK counterintelligence operations. This includes Scotland Yard’s

Counter Terrorism Command, the Security Service (MI5), and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British government’s global eavesdropping operation. Smith is working to establish an enormous computer database that would collect for analysis every telephone call, all Internet searches, and all e-mails being transmitted within or outside of the United Kingdom.1

Your Life on Camera

Smith’s plans are but one manifestation of the all-seeing, all-hearing surveillance. The installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public places makes our daily activities, including our private interactions, a matter for close examination by unseen observers. My wife, Kaye, and I conducted a research trip in the United Kingdom in 2008. Although I had previously documented the massive adoption of CCTV by local councils and national authorities in the UK, I was stunned to see the extraordinary expansion of that type of surveillance. By the end of 2008, millions of CCTV cameras were monitoring the activities of every citizen and visitor in the country. The United Kingdom, the mother of Western political freedom and democracy, is now the most obsessively watched society in the West.

Surveillance cameras followed us during every step of our passage through UK customs and British immigration at Heathrow Airport. And it didn’t stop there. We were on camera as we acquired a car at the rental car agency office and as we proceeded out of the airport parking garage. As we entered the main highway, we noticed traffic-control cameras monitoring virtually every mile and covering every road, even in small towns. More than two thousand car-recognition cameras capture photos of cars, license plates, and drivers along with their passengers. Cameras recorded us as we purchased gas and food. Recent estimates by British authorities suggest that citizens and tourists alike will be captured on camera an average of five hundred times every day. Even London’s city buses are outfitted with an astonishing sixty thousand cameras, in addition to the ten thousand CCTV cameras on subway cars and trains.

But despite the almost universal presence of CCTV, even in back alleys, law enforcement authorities report that the cameras have not suppressed violent crime as much as they have displaced it. Surveillance cameras motivate criminals to move their activities a few blocks away—to a location with less-active CCTV surveillance.

A few years ago a million CCTV systems were operating in the United Kingdom. However, a 2008 article in the Guardian stated that an astounding 4.2 million CCTV cameras were being used in the surveillance of UK citizens and tourists.2

Cameras That Hear

It now goes far beyond simple cameras mounted on utility poles. Scientists have developed “listening” cameras that, paired with artificial intelligence software, recognize particular sounds such as gunshots, car crashes, and breaking glass. In response to certain sounds, the camera rotates and captures what could be a criminal or terrorist act. Despite the enormous financial cost and the invasiveness of the CCTV system, a report by the UK Home Office concluded that better street lighting is seven times more effective in preventing crime.

If watching you and listening to what you are saying is not enough, some new versions of CCTV technology enable police supervisors to confront you verbally through a speaker system. Law enforcement personnel can issue an immediate warning if they feel you are engaging in illegal behavior. And just in case all of this has not been disturbing enough for you, some UK municipalities are broadcasting local CCTV coverage on television. They ask citizens to tune in and watch so they can inform on the activities of their neighbors. Welcome to the world of block informers, a system you thought was limited to the horrors committed by the Nazis, the Soviets, and Communist China.

CCTV surveillance doesn’t end with cameras posted in public places. Miniature security cameras designed to promote safety and control crime on private property are now used for vastly expanded purposes. Companies use CCTV for the continual surveillance of employees during work-hours. They are observed at their desks, in washrooms, and throughout the office area. Employers justify the spying operations against employees, vendors, clients, customers, and visitors as a way to combat theft and industrial espionage. No matter what reasons are used to justify the surveillance, you are losing your privacy in just about every setting imaginable.

We live in a total surveillance environment that closely resembles the horror described by George Orwell in his famous novel 1984. Orwell described a future global regime composed of three totalitarian governments. In comparison to his horrific vision, computer technologies developed in the last few decades have created a daily environment far more threatening than any faced by the character Winston in 1984.


The loss of privacy goes far beyond having your public activities monitored on camera. Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, declared some time ago that “privacy is dead, deal with it.”3

There are legal means that individuals and businesses can use to acquire and store information about you, obtained from your use of the Internet and even from such ordinary activities as shopping for groceries, buying a movie ticket, or ordering items online. You might think that you don’t provide information to governments, law enforcement agencies, and marketers. However, you are dispensing vast amounts of personal information every time you use a check, credit card, or debit card. Every time you make a purchase using these forms of payment, you supply information on your bank account, financial history, buying habits, and product preferences.

It seems that no information about you is insignificant. Your Internet searches, your online shopping, the e-mails you send, and the Web sites you access—all of these are of interest to someone. The subjects that attract you, the causes you support, your brand preferences, the topics you research on the Web, your reading habits online—all of these are important to Web site operators. Everything you do on the Internet, including visiting Web sites and chat rooms, sending and receiving e-mail, researching health issues and medical questions, and shopping is permanently recorded in a computer database. Google, the most popular Internet search engine, has admitted that it gathers and stores information on every one of the more than 330 million Internet searches completed every day.

What’s more, every e-mail you’ve ever sent or received and all the online searches you have completed are available to police and intelligence agencies. Who is so careful in what they say in private e-mails that they would never include a statement that might someday be considered suspicious to certain government authorities? And who considers the potential damage to their future career plans or credit rating that could result from research they have done using the Internet? For example, an innocent medical search to gain information about a disease such as Alzheimer’s, even if you are doing the research for a relative or friend, could be accessed by an investigator during a background check when you apply for a job. Even the possibility of a link between a prospective employee and a devastating disease could be sufficient cause to reject your employment application.4

Your Entire History on Exhibit

Attacks on privacy are not new. Beginning in 1917, after destroying the first elected government of Russia, the new communist dictatorship of Lenin began a process of secret police surveillance of its entire society. Even in the democratic nations of the West, government intelligence and police agencies created a surveillance system to monitor citizens’ activities. Prior to this war on privacy, only the few individuals suspected of criminal activity, sabotage, or sedition were considered worthy of police surveillance. But now, with rapid advances in sophisticated surveillance devices and computer technologies, most national governments have developed an intense interest in every citizen. Governments gather enormous amounts of previously private information on the assets, activities, communications, financial transactions, health, and political and religious activities of virtually every person on earth—and with relative ease.

Many military intelligence agencies, government agencies, and large corporations have introduced sophisticated security systems requiring employees to wear a badge containing a radio frequency identification microchip. This RFID chip enables companies, agencies, and organizations to monitor the location and activity of every worker during every moment he or she is on the premises. When an employee enters the office, a computer records the exact time and begins monitoring his or her every move throughout the day. Security sensors at strategic locations throughout the office complex record the location and duration of the activities of the badge wearer.

Many office phone systems monitor all private phone calls made by employees while at work. Computerized phone systems maintain a permanent record of all known phone numbers of clients, customers, and vendors. If an employee places a personal call, the phone system records the unauthorized number and produces a report of the employee’s private calls, along with the duration of such calls. This data can be used against the employee at the next performance evaluation.5

It’s interesting that U.S. corporations are using secret employee surveillance more than businesses in any other nation. The American Civil Liberties Union has warned, “Criminals have more privacy rights than employees. Police have to get a court order [to eavesdrop on suspected criminals], whereas in the workplace, surveillance can be conducted without safeguards.”6 Computer network security supervisors in many companies go as far as to monitor the keystrokes and productivity of all employees who use a computer in their work. Employees often complain about the stress they experience knowing they are being monitored constantly throughout the day. In many companies, computer spy ware monitors an employee’s Internet activities. Add to this the growing use of random drug testing, secret cameras in washrooms, and intrusive psychological questionnaires. The bottom line is that companies are creating an adversarial and unhealthy psychological environment for workers.

You should be appalled to know that your local and state police, federal intelligence agencies, government officials, employers, and even curious neighbors and business competitors can acquire virtually all of your private information. A record of your travel destinations, the newspapers and books you read, your video rentals, your pay-TV choices, your traffic tickets, your medical tests, as well as your private purchases are recorded in computer files. Anyone with enough computer knowledge can access your information, legally or not.

There is a growing public awareness and concern about the numerous attacks on our privacy through the misuse of computer records. However, the United States Congress and Canada’s Parliament have failed to enact serious laws to protect the privacy of citizens’ medical, criminal, and financial records.

Your Secret Life Now on Camera

Security companies that work under contract for large corporations have found ways to make use of advances in surveillance devices. Virtually invisible pinhole cameras can be placed behind a wall to monitor everything that goes on in an adjacent room, both visually and audibly. The tiny lens, which is the size of a pinhead, is unnoticeable. Infrared cameras can record images silently and in near-total darkness. Another type of surveillance camera can be concealed in a mobile telephone, recording events through the tiny hole normally used for the microphone. This tool often is used for industrial espionage, stealing trade secrets from a competitor. It is also useful in gaining the upper hand in business negotiations. For example, during a face-to-face meeting in a protracted negotiation, the user of the cell phone can leave the phone in the boardroom when he exits to take a break. As the other team discusses their strategy, supposedly in private, the cell phone is recording the conversation.

Surveillance devices are also being used much more widely by individuals. For several hundred dollars, you can obtain a device that enables you to monitor every conversation that takes place in your home or office while you are away. A remote monitoring device known as the XPS-1000 allows you to listen to conversations in your office or home by using the telephone. From a remote location, you dial your phone number using a secret activation code. The phone will not ring, but from that moment on, you can monitor every sound in the room where the phone is located. Another tiny device, a micro transmitter powered for three months by a miniature battery, can be left in any room and will broadcast for a distance of up to one thousand yards to a hidden radio receiver–tape recorder.

While fascinating, the miniaturization of cameras, microphones, and recording devices has stolen what was left of our privacy. If a person is determined to monitor your activities, you can’t prevent it. You can try to guard your privacy by using a software program or device designed to protect your communications. But in doing so, you will have inadvertently alerted intelligence agencies and private investigators that you have something worth keeping private. This may cause them to increase the level of surveillance in an attempt to discover why you want to avoid it.

Abuse of Legitimate Data

All U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), can access data from the National Identification Center to identify and monitor every registered gun owner in the United States. However, we have to ask this question: what else will government agencies pursue using legitimate and legally acquired data?

Two of America’s most secretive agencies, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Security Agency (NSA), maintain a massive global surveillance system known as Project Echelon. This system can monitor every telephone call, fax, Internet search, and e-mail transmission worldwide. (We will look more closely at the remarkable capabilities of this massive surveillance system in chapter 5.) We need to face the sobering truth that we can’t escape the growing surveillance capabilities of all governments, both East and West. These developments turn our attention to the last-days prophecy from the book of Revelation about a coming totalitarian police system. John warned that a person’s every activity will be controlled: “That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name”

(Revelation 13:17). Remarkably, John was describing a universal population control system that would impose some kind of numerical identification on every person in order to monitor his or her financial transactions, trade, business, and ability to buy and sell. This system will enable law enforcement authorities working for the Antichrist and his partner, the False Prophet (see Revelation 13:16), to control the world’s population through a unique ID, based on the number 666, on everyone’s right hand or forehead. The recent subcutaneous pet identification chips could easily be inserted in each human being.


Government authorities, national security agencies, and businesses that market and sell consumer products know far more about you than most of your friends and family will ever know. People you will never meet have compiled personal information about the details of your daily life, place of residence, type of residence, spending habits, and financial assets. Government agencies justify the invasion of your privacy by reminding us of the threats posed by international terrorism, organized crime, the influx of illegal immigrants, and citizens who defraud the government as welfare cheats or tax evaders.

The NSA possesses detailed records of millions of U.S. citizens, including your communications, health status, medical treatments, employment status, vehicle ownership, driving record, criminal record, and real-estate holdings. In addition, all of your credit records, banking and financial transactions, credit rating, educational transcripts, and travel records are available to many major corporations and government research institutes.

Your life is also of great interest to foreign governments. Most of the Western democratic governments, as well as the governments of China and Russia, are thought to maintain enormous computer databases filled with details about millions of U.S. citizens. Data storage is just the first step. Next will be the most effective ways to organize, categorize, and use this private information. This hurdle will be removed when the government assigns a unique identification number to each citizen. Once that is accomplished, the staggering number of separate files on individual citizens in various databases can be combined into a single massive intelligence file. (We will talk more about this process in chapter 3.)

A confirmation of the consolidation of citizen data was publicized in the Canadian press on May 19, 2000. The Canadian government reluctantly confirmed that up to two thousand significant pieces of information had been assembled on virtually every Canadian citizen in a massive database known as the Longitudinal Labor Force File. As a result of strident public criticism following these revelations, the Canadian government promised to destroy the computer program that linked these files. However, the federal government admitted they still will retain computer data on more than thirty million Canadians— data that are retained in separate computer files held by a variety of government departments, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Immigration, and provincial police forces.7


Your credit and debit cards are much more than a convenient way to pay for goods and services. The magnetic strip on a credit card or debit card holds electronic data verifying your identity, as well as information validating your right to access particular computer databases, such as your bank accounts. More and more, these cards are being replaced by higher-security smart cards that contain even more information about you. A smart card contains an embedded RFID chip capable of holding millions of times more digital information than is contained in a card’s magnetic strip.

Smart cards provide high levels of security, since they are capable of storing biometric information, such as the iris pattern in the eye of the authorized user. These new cards will document the user’s identity by measuring 173 distinct characteristics from the rings, burrows, and filaments within the iris. The stored data is compared with an iris scan made by a surveillance camera that can read your iris pattern from a distance of several yards.

Other identifying data include your precise hand geometry, which involves identifying you by measuring the length of your fingers and the translucence and thickness of your skin. Infrared scanners can reveal and record the patterns of veins on your palm or the back of your hand. Voice-recognition software can confirm your identity through digital measurement of your voice tone and timbre. Incredibly, a new machine can puff air over the back of your hand, analyze your subtle body odors, and detect as many as thirty separate trace chemical elements that supply a positive identification reading.8 All of this data, and more, can be stored in an RFID chip.

Soon you will be able to replace your credit and debit cards with one very secure smart card that is virtually immune to counterfeiting and attacks by hackers. The data will be encrypted, and your unique passwords—including biometric information—will be required for you to use the card. More than two and a half billion radio frequency smart cards now in use worldwide can perform these functions:

cash transactions such as rechargeable stored-value cards that carry a predetermined monetary value
confidential transferring of medical data to paramedics and hospital in the event of a medical crisis
control of entry into high-security workplaces and computer systems
access to air travel as well as to trains, subways, and buses

These are some of the benefits of the smart card.9However, the growing use of RFID cards will make it possible for government, police, and intelligence agencies to track the activities, location, communications, and financial transactions of every citizen from cradle to grave.


Growing concerns over privacy have motivated representatives of member nations of the European Union (EU) to create an international standard for privacy. The basic rules are as follows:

All privacy regulations apply to both government and private organizations.
Data collection should be limited to that which can be obtained legally and with the knowledge and consent of the citizen subject, except where this is impossible or inappropriate (e.g., criminals).
Data sought on individuals should be limited to the original purpose and kept up to date. The purpose of data collection should be specified, and subsequent use of data should be limited to the original purpose.
No personal data should be disclosed to others without the consent of the subject or without a court order.
All personal data must be kept secure using all reasonable precautions.
All citizens should be able to access, review, and challenge inaccurate data held in databases.
The government agency controller of the database should be legally and criminally accountable for abiding by these privacy principles.
The policies and practices of organizations holding databases on individuals should reveal the information to those who legally inquire.
Private data collected by EU member corporations and states may not be transmitted to organizations in nations that do not have privacy regulations equal to those of the European Union.10

The introduction of similar legislation in America, Canada, and other democratic nations could provide significant protection against the abuse of our privacy. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international group of twenty-nine developed nations from North America, Europe, and Asia that has suggested the creation of powerful, binding privacy standards for both governments and businesses.11

The reality is that the growing attacks on our personal security are rapidly overwhelming the proposed defenses. One potential solution is to use a smart stored-value card that would allow a person to make a payment while the card restricts the merchant from accessing the purchaser’s identity. The card would also prevent merchants and anyone receiving an electronic funds transfer from tracking previous purchases made by that customer. For example, a smart card developed by Mondex International allows customers to transfer funds from their card to a merchant’s account to make a purchase. However, when the merchant’s bank accepts the transfer of funds to cover purchases made using Mondex cards, the bank is not able to identify the actual purchasers. A similar system is used by Visa International in its Visa cash card. The disposable card does not permit merchants to identify the person who used the card.


There are hopeful signs that, after years of indifference to the threats to our privacy and financial security, the public is awakening to the heightened dangers posed by new surveillance technologies.

When it was revealed that Intel Corporation had embedded in every Pentium III chip a secret serial number that would allow the person using the computer to be identified, customers and privacy groups launched a protest.12 Additionally, Microsoft had embedded a hidden identification number in all documents produced by any computer using Microsoft software. The protests that followed forced the company to provide a free software program that eliminated the identifying number.13 However, the vast majority of computer users of Microsoft software are unaware of the privacy problem, and most lack the expertise to fix it.

If we are to protect what little privacy we still have, we should encourage a healthy debate about the relative advantages and disadvantages of each new technological development. Citizen involvement and thoughtful protest against the governmental and corporate threats to our privacy can slow down this relentless attack. We need to defend our right to maintain a personal life that is free from outside interference and intrusion.

Still, in violation of constitutional guarantees to the contrary, our society continues to move toward an all-encompassing surveillance society, which is described in the prophecies of the book of Revelation. We will live to see the time when our right to privacy and the freedom to be left alone are nothing more than distant memories.

My Review: One of my early memories is when I was about 4 years old. I was at my grandparents house and opened one of their closets in one of the spare bedrooms. It was a large closet and it was full of canned goods and vitamins. They also had a safe full of silver coins. My grand parents were waiting for the end times. Since that time, I have been aware of things like bar codes (literally I remember the first time I saw a bar code. It was on a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum and I was 9 or 10 years old. It wigged me out), the mark of the beast, tribulation, and the second coming.

Shadow Government details the various ways that we as US citizens can be tracked. Some of the ways I knew of already. Though there were a few that I didn't know much detail on. I can see the value in a book like this, but I also see that my family has been aware of the end times for most of my life time. I am 42 years old now, and have seen my family go a little overboard on trying to prepare. I do think that these things are pointing to the end times, but that doesn't mean it is tomorrow or even next week. At the same certainly can be. God only knows the answer to this question.

For myself, the last chapter, Preparing for the Last Days was the significant chapter. If you are a Bible believing Christian, you are aware of what is to come. For me it is more important to get yourself right with God and be there for others. Show them His love. I don't believe we should be worrying about a time table. We need to act in love now.

This is a book that was not really for me. It was informative, but as a person who grew up around people who were always waiting. It was a reminder of how you can waste time with those worries. BUT it is also a good book for showing how scripture points to many of the things that are taking place. This might be a good tool for some to share with those they feel would best be served by this information. We all are reached in different ways.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Mayhem - What Would You Do If....

Welcome to Monday Mayhem
Every week is something different.
Have fun!

Today's meme- What would you do if.......
Simply copy and paste this into your blog post and answer each prompt with an image, words or whatever makes you happy.

What if during holiday gift giving someone gave you....

A fruit cake?
Priester's Fruit Cake Tin 3 lbs. 6 oz.

Donate it. The fact is...I do not like fruit cake, and I don't know anyone who likes fruit cake. I have matured quite a bit, and with that I have discovered that I enjoy foods that I once did cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash, peas, but I have yet to enjoy fruit cake. Hopefully most anyone I know would not purchase it, but if they did, it would have to be donated to someone who might enjoy it. Any one want to call dibs?

An ugly sweater?

This happened to me. One Christmas when I was 19, I received a light turquoise sweater vest with a panda on it. The panda had GLASS EYES! I kid you not! It was singularly the most creepy and unattractive sweater vest I have ever owned. I haven't owned many sweater vests. In fact...I don't think I owned any other than that one. Man was it gross! OOOH...I forgot to add....that it just sat in my drawer. I had no idea what to do with it.


When you get a gift like this, all you can do is simply ask if the person thinks you smell. Hopefully they are just bad gift purchasers, but you might as well jump in with both feet and ask the tough questions. Am I wrong here?

A check for $5

The front side of a substitute check.

Cash it. What else would I do? I never scoff at money. Of course if the check is signed by this Jane Doe broad, I'd probably just toss it.

Mr. T

Who wouldn't be excited about this gift? With the price of gold, I would CLEAN UP! I would be very, very appreciative. :)

A lump of coal

I would display this proudly. It isn't every year that you qualify for a lump of coal! still beats the sweater vest AND the fruit cake.

Miley DVD

The World According to Miley Cyrus: DVD Cover offense...lovely girl, but I'd regift. There are plenty of teenagers I could give it to.

So, what is the worst gift you have ever received?

Sit down...this could take a while. I have several. I was given a full spectrum light bulb, root beer making kit, make your own journal kit (yes...not a journal, but a craft that will eventually be a journal if you don't mind bookbinding), a hand held shark vac, and five inch heeled thigh high black patent leather books (I am NOT kidding). OOOPS...EDIT See. That is how much I hated them. Well, I didn't hate them exactly. But, let's face it...I wasn't the one who was supposed to benefit from them. ;)

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