Alligator Jazz (book review)

Alligator Jazz book

Title: Alligator Jazz
Author: Samuel E. Pittman II
Illustrated by: Sheila Bailey
Print: Gretna, Pelican Publishing Company, 2018

This book is a short children’s book about an alligator that plays a saxophone. His saxophone gets stolen by a weasel. After finding the weasel playing the saxophone, the alligator gets it back and forgives the weasel of doing wrong and they begin to work together.

The story illustrates the goodness of forgiving someone when he asks for forgiveness, instead of fighting back and getting revenge. It also describes the challenges of change and doing what you love to do with the best of your abilities. It shows that when you do something great, not everyone will like it and some will be jealous and try to take it from you.

This book is an excellent book for younger children–28 pages. It is a large size, hard back book with full page pictures in color on each page. Sheila Bailey does an excellent job with the illustrations. They are well detailed, but not overly done. With all of the colors and animals in each picture, they will draw the attention of little children.

The story is written on a level that a 9-10 year old could read on his own. Younger ones will just enjoy the large pictures and great story.

Samuel Pittman is a middle school English teacher and track and field coach. He wrote this book with struggles in mind that people sometimes have to go through.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with children, or grand-children, that love to read or hear stories.

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Habakkuk 2:9 Building A House

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!” Habakkuk 2:9

Habakkuk had noticed all the people who refused to follow God were appearing to be prosperous and making it. He could not understand how the pagans could be wealthy, while the believers suffered, so he questions God about what He is seeing. God answers him. God points out that there will be trouble for the person who builds his house by evil ways.

A house is where a person lives, eats, and sleeps in. It is a representation of a part of their life. For some people it is a major portion of their life, while with others it is only a small part of their life. It depends on how much they work or travel.

Lives and homes are built all the time with money that is worked for. Most people will state that they have legally earned the money that they have to build their life the way that they want to. The real challenge is what a person means by work.

Some people when they do go to work, they cut corners all the time at work, not fully working, and still get a paycheck. Others do work hard all the time, but are doing things that are illegal or sinful to get their money. These are people building their house on something that is unjust gain.

Even though they appear to be successful, God is watching them and their time will come. Their house is not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. It is built upon things of this world and it will come crashing down in the end.

If you are believer, you must work at things that will honor God. Gaining money to build your life will do no good if it is gained by measures that does not honor God in any way or goes against God’s commands. If you sell something that promotes sin, you are building your house by unjust gain. If you do not give all of yourself to your work, when you are working, then you are building your house by unjust gain.

Take a look at your life and how you are building your house. What is the foundation? What are the materials you are using? Does it honor God? Or is it being done in the ways of this world?

I pray today that Jesus will be the foundation of your life; that you will build your life in God’s ways; that the work you do will show honor to God; and that you will be a witness of God wherever you work.

Jeremiah 7:9-10 False Security

“Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe” –safe to do all these detestable things?” Jeremiah 7:9-10

God had been watching the Israelites and was very upset with them. Many of them were living in sin, stealing, killing, adultery, lying, and worshiping other gods. As they were doing this, they would come into the temple of God each Sabbath day and say that they were the people of God and were safe. They felt that they were safe to do any sin that their heart desired.

There are many people all over the world who claim to be Christian. They go to church each Sunday and have a bible with them when they go. They know all the choruses and can quote all the major verses that need to be memorized. Yet, on Monday through Saturday, they live a completely different life.

Cheating, lying, stealing, gossip, drunkenness, drugs, immoral sex, adultery, anger, and many more sins are committed each day of the week. As they go to church, they do not repent of the sins in any way. They feel as though they are going to heaven, because they had confessed Jesus and are going to church, yet, refuse to live according to God’s ways. In church they are saying they are safe and will not be condemned.

God hates sin and sinful living. God is watching each person and how they really live their lives. Each person will be judged by how he lives his life.

As a believer, you must confess daily any sins to Jesus and request for forgiveness. You must be willing to turn away from all sin. Do not purposefully live in any sin, no matter how big or how small it is. All sin is sin and is detestable to God.

Do not believe that just because you know the bible and go to church each week, you are saved. You must believe in your heart and obey God. In order to truly love God, you must obey Him.

Are you allowing sin to reign in your life?

Or are you daily crucifying that sin and living for God?

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that God will empower you to turn from all sin; that God will break the habits of sin in your life; and that you will truly live for God each day of the week.