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  • Ms Winston - My First Barbie!I have been a collector of dolls off and on for about 40 years, but never got around to adding a Barbie to my collection. This is a lovely doll that is just as pictured in the photograph on the product page. Because it does come in the toy category, I did complete the star rating, but for an adult collector it is probably meaningless. I intend to keep the Holiday girl in her collector's box at least until December, but I did take a good look at her outside the box. The dress is lovely and appropriately festive. Barbie's hair is long and blond with a great curl that I can only dream of! She has the typical Barbie regular features and makeup -- although I do think her neck is too long, we can't go by the human body to judge Barbie. The box says the age range is 6 and up, but I don't think that this is a doll to be played with, but rather one that should be displayed, even if it is given to a child. Keeping that in mind, the giver needs to know his or recipient pretty well. If this is for a child that likes to make Barbie into an action figure, I think there are less expensive alternatives, as the doll retails for about $50.00. Good edition to an existing collection or to start one from scratch.
  • Jennifer L. Barker - Book Review: RadicalA few months ago the Lord told me that He wanted me to read through the Old Testament prophets. At first I thought that it was a crazy idea!! Those are difficult books to understand! (So disrespectful, I know.) But, like He always does, He kept talking to me about it and I finally gave in. Sometimes the things you fight the most are the ones you get the most blessings out of. So it is with the prophets. I'm taking it slowly, just one chapter a day. I want to be able to absorb what I'm reading.

    There seems to be one theme that is woven through these books: taking care of the poor. God makes it very clear; He hates it when the poor are neglected. In fact, this is one of the reasons He judged Israel. If I didn't know any better, I would say that God does have favorites and they are the poor people.

    Where does that leave us as Christians? This is where the book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream comes in. When I began reading this book, the information in it was like icing on the cake after all I'd read in the prophets.

    David Platt does not pull any punches when it comes to interpreting what it truly means to follow Jesus. It's not an easy thing. You know, just say a prayer and you're good to go. Do we need to acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord and confess Him with our mouth? Yes. But, if we are to truly understand what it means to be a Christian, we need to read what He said to His disciples about denying ourselves and turning our backs on the wealth of the world.

    It is so easy to be just like the rich young ruler that didn't want to sell what he had and give the funds to the poor. We may not have as much as someone else or even as much as the ruler in the story, but we are rich. We have enough to buy luxurious items, even if they are small. What does Jesus ask of us? He asks that we sacrifice our desires to give to those who are in need.

    I like what Platt states in that there is nothing inherently wrong with having wealth. There is nothing wrong with living in this land of plenty that we are so privileged to live in. The question is this: what are we doing with the excess money we make that is not needed for food, clothing, and shelter? Are we spending it on our wants or on what is important to Christ: the poor?

    This is what it means to be radical in our faith. If the desires of Christ's heart is important to you, then take the time to read Platt's book. It will change your thinking and your life.

    "Dr. David Platt is the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, a four-thousand-member congregation in Birmingham, Alabama, comprised of world-impacting disciples who really believe that as a church they can shake the nations for God's glory...David has earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia and three advanced degrees, including a doctor of philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Brook Hills, he served the seminary as dean of chapel and assistant professor of expository preaching and apologetics and was on staff at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans."[1]