Categories
Alerts and Warnings Technical Support

PC Magazine’s Antivirus Reviews

If you’re looking for trustworthy advice on which is the best firewall and antivirus software to protect your computer(s), both paid and free, then look no further than PC Magazine‘s (PCMAG) antivirus reviews. I rely on PCMAG for their well-tested advice and I highly commend their recommendations to you. Here is a list of the pertinent antivirus reviews they’ve recently published:

“The Best Antivirus for 2014”

“The Best Security Suites for 2014”

“The Best Free Antivirus for 2014”

Be sure to read all pages of the articles, since each one spans across multiple pages. You don’t want to miss a single word.

My Personal Horror Story and Testimonial

Speaking from personal experience, I strongly agree with their evaluation of Zone Alarm’s antivirus. I highly recommend you avoid Zone Alarm’s antivirus software, whether included in a free or paid suite or as a stand-alone. While their firewall is hands down the best, their antivirus leaves you with a false sense of security.

As a highly satisfied user of their free firewall software for several years, I had such confidence in them that I finally decided to buy a multiple license of the Zone Alarm Extreme Security suite, which included their antivirus software, thinking all my computers would be as well protected as possible. It took only one miss of a virus in the winter of 2012 (as I later ascertained from the source of the virus) which was continually missed in regular scans until the summer of 2012 to convince me never to pay to use their software again! I knew something was wrong, but Zone Alarm’s antivirus scans kept assuring me there was no virus found on my computer.

After finally detecting the virus with a deep scan but then failing to restore normal functionality to my computer after removing the virus, I finally had to back up my entire host of user-created files and then re-install my entire OS (not to mention re-installing all my personally-obtained software and catching up on all the Windows updates since I’d bought my computer!). I then uninstalled Zone Alarm Extreme Security and, on the advice of a trusted friend who used to sell computers and their amenities, I purchased McAfee Total Protection. As an intermediate option at the time, I had been using a trial version of Norton Internet Security suite (which came with my OEM installation) until I could decide on which security suite to switch to permanently.

While Norton may have actually been the better choice, I haven’t had another infestation since 2012. In fact, prior to switching to Zone Alarm Extreme Security, I had always used Zone Alarm’s free firewall and AVG’s free antivirus together and had never had a virus during the ten or more years I used them. The only other time I had ever experienced a computer virus was back in 1999, which was the incident that actually prompted me to begin using antivirus protection! Nevertheless, in order to save money and stay well protected at the same time, I’ve decided to take PCMAG’s advice and go back to using Zone Alarm’s free firewall with AVG’s free antivirus together. Because I’ve used both of these free products as a team with such success in the past, I’m ready to trust them again.

My Personal Recommendation

With such effective protection with these free products, why pay my hard-earned money for negligible improvement? Of course, you’ll have to make up your own mind about what you think is best for you.

How about sharing your thoughts and experiences in a comment below? I’d love to hear from you!

 An Update on 4-14-2018

For visually impaired viewers, try browsing this comparison site:

https://www.comparitech.com/antivirus/

 

Categories
Religion and Politics Spiritual Insights

Happy Resurrection Day!

Jesus exiting tombResurrection Sunday is my favorite of all the Christian holy days of the year, because it commemorates Jesus’ victory over sin and the grave. Without Jesus’ resurrection from the dead the Christian faith is futile and meaningless. The Apostle Paul even said, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NKJV). That sounds to me like believing in Jesus’ resurrection is a requirement for salvation. Paul wrote similarly to the church in Rome “. . . that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NKJV). What does it mean to “believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead”? I believe it means to be absolutely convinced of it, just as we believe in our heart that the sun will rise again in the east tomorrow.

I pray that if you are a Christian you will observe this day in honor of Jesus and what He did for you. Don’t get caught up in the worldly observance of candy, bunnies, and coloring, hiding and hunting Easter eggs, neither of which has anything whatsoever to do with Jesus or His sacrifice and resurrection. I must admit that before I learned of the truly pagan origin of Easter, Easter bunnies, and Easter eggs I, too, was a big proponent of coloring, hiding and hunting Easter eggs. I no longer participate in that practice and I also now try to avoid calling the day of Jesus’ resurrection “Easter Sunday”, since the origin of the word Easter comes from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar on whom the whole pagan holiday is based. I urge you to focus instead on worshiping the risen Lord Jesus and honoring Him by attending corporate public worship and setting aside this day to rest and reflect on the goodness of God.

I pray that if you are not a Christian that you will consider what Jesus did for you by dying in your place on a cruel Roman cross so you wouldn’t have to be punished for your sins. Of course, if you don’t accept what Jesus did for you then His sacrifice won’t atone for your sins and you will have to pay for them yourself in an everlasting place of torment called Hell. If you want to escape the punishment of Hell and accept Jesus’ payment for your sins with His own atoning blood, then admit you are a sinner like everyone else who has ever lived on earth (except Jesus, of course), agree to leave behind your lifestyle of sin, and ask for His forgiveness and salvation. Then begin living for Him for the rest of your life. It really is just that simple.

If you’d like to know more about who Jesus is and what He did, I invite you to read the page “Who Is Jesus Christ?” on my Website. You may also contact me via email to express your questions or just leave a comment below. I wish you a most blessed and Happy Resurrection Day!

Categories
Religion and Politics Spiritual Insights

What’s So Holy About Holy Week?

jesus_descent_from_crossWhy is the week before Easter (better described as Resurrection Day) called Holy Week? In our so-called post-modern society where few people, including supposed Christians, know anything about Jesus Christ and the faith that worships Him (called Christianity), now is as good a time as any to explain this.

In order to explain Holy Week, however, we must first define the word holy. Essentially, it means something or someone set apart for a specific purpose and use. In the broadest sense, we could say that a woman’s fine china is holy because it is reserved for the most formal and/or special of dining occasions, but would that really be accurate? Actually, no, it wouldn’t, unless she used her fine china only for the service of God, because the truest meaning and use of the word holy is actually reserved for the pure worship of God. Therefore, in the truest sense, it is someone or something reserved for the service and worship of God (see Webster’s definition for further clarification). Of course, since other religions besides Christianity call their priests, instructional books, and other worship utensils holy, we are faced with the question of whether something can really be holy in the truest sense if it is devoted to the service and worship of anyone/anything other than the One True God. I want to go on the record right now and say that it can’t.

There are only two religions in the entire world that worship the same One True God, albeit with different understandings of Him, and those two religions are Judaism and Christianity. From the Christian perspective, because the Jews as a people have rejected Jesus as their Messiah (though more Jews are embracing Jesus as their Messiah every day), they worship God with a misunderstanding. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:1-2 NKJV). Therefore, based on the New Testament Scriptures and specifically on the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans in chapters nine, ten, and eleven, only those on the earth (whether Jew or Gentile) who understand, acknowledge, and accept that Jesus is the human incarnation of the One True God, that He entered the world as a sinless human being, lived His entire life as a sinless human, died as a perfect, sinless sacrifice in the place of all sinful humanity to atone for our sins, and resurrected to rule forever as King of kings and Lord of lords will be permitted to spend eternity with Him in the New Jerusalem, which is actually the New Heaven come down to the New Earth (see Revelation chapters 21 and 22). If Jesus did not really die on the cross for the sins of the world and if He did not really rise from the dead to rule over His Kingdom forever, then Christianity is an empty, meaningless, and hopeless faith.

So, what’s so holy about Holy Week? Well, because Holy Week focuses on the final week of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion and resurrection, it is a week unlike any other in the year. As wonderful as Christmas is (which is supposed to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ), it would be a meaningless celebration if there was no death and resurrection of Christ, for that is the holy purpose for which Jesus was born into the world (see John 18:37). Therefore, Holy Week is intended to be a time of both reflection upon Christ’s suffering and sacrifice and introspection upon our own relationship with Him (or lack thereof).

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday in commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where He was hailed as the King of the Jews by many of the Jewish populace, the people of Israel for whom He initially came. However, the chief priests and other religious leaders of that day rejected Jesus and His purpose of bringing reconciliation between God and His people, and they manipulated the judicial process to have Him executed by crucifixion, which ultimately fulfilled God’s Plan of Salvation not only for Israel but for the whole world. This is why Jesus prayed from the cross, “. . . Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. . . .” (Luke 23:34 KJV). The Apostle Paul further clarified this when he wrote, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8 NKJV; emphasis added).

jesus exiting tombAgain, I ask, “What’s so holy about Holy Week?” It is the remembrance of the most momentous event in world history, an event so momentous, in fact, that it changed the whole world. If Jesus had not died for the sins of all humanity and rose again from the dead, the entire universe would be without hope of ever being saved. As important as it is to believe that Jesus died for sinful humanity, however, it is equally as important to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. As the Apostle Paul also wrote, “. . . if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”(1 Corinthians 15:17 NKJV). Therefore, belief in Jesus’ deity, death, burial, and resurrection are all essential tenants of the Christian faith and for the salvation of one’s eternal soul, because belief in Jesus’ resurrection is inexplicable apart from His death on the cross, and Jesus’ death on the cross is useless without His resurrection and empty tomb. This is why Holy Week is so holy!

Do you have a relationship with Jesus the Christ (Messiah)? If not, Holy Week is an excellent occasion to initiate that relationship. It’s as simple and easy as accepting what Jesus did on the cross for you, turning away from your sins, and praying for Him to forgive you and become your Lord and Savior. If you’ve been a nominal (i.e., mostly uncommitted) believer in Jesus until now, Holy Week is an excellent occasion to develop and further deepen your relationship with Him. Remember that if you do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus (defined as one in which you truly believe He is God Who did all the Bible says He did and Who has a claim upon your soul and life), then you cannot be saved. Whether you are a Jew or Gentile, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior now and make this year’s Holy Week a truly holy week. If you’re still considering God’s proposition, however, I strongly encourage you to get my forthcoming book The Salvation of the LORD. It’s due out in late-spring or summer 2014, and it goes into great detail about what spiritual salvation is, why it’s necessary, how you can obtain it, and how you can know you’ve obtained it. Subscribe to or follow this blog to receive the announcement of its release.

If you make the commitment to accept Christ and become one of His disciples, will you also please leave a comment below letting me (and the whole world) know about your decision? I want to rejoice over and celebrate that joyous event with you! Happy Resurrection Day!

Categories
Publications

In Pursuit of Happiness: A Great New Bible Study for Women

JUST IN TIME FOR EASTER AND MOTHER’S DAY! What are Christian women doing with their freedom to pursue happiness? In her new study guide, In Pursuit of Happiness: Stewarding Freedom as a Modern Christian Woman, Laury L. Davis asks women to consider how they are handling this great stewardship. How is this blessing of freedom and opportunity affecting their marriages, homes and churches? In this 10-week Bible study she challenges women to evaluate their pursuits in light of God’s purposes.

In Pursuit of HappinessLaury L. Davis grew up near the shores of Lake Erie in Madison, Ohio. She graduated from Cedarville University in southern Ohio with degrees in business and Bible. She has ministered as a women’s speaker, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, event coordinator and drama director.

 She currently lives with her husband and three children close to the banks of the Mississippi in the Memphis, Tennessee area. They are active members of a non-denominational church where she has had the opportunity to participate in three short-term mission trips to Asia. She has been published in a variety of print and online magazines and has two books for women translated and distributed in other countries. In Pursuit of Happiness: Stewarding Freedom as a Modern Christian Woman (ISBN 978-0-9888528-5-3) is available wherever books are sold.

To schedule interviews or speaking engagements with Laury Davis, please send email to lauryldavis@yahoo.com. To obtain copies of In Pursuit of Happiness, simply order from such popular retailers as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and others by searching on the book’s ISBN: 978-0-9888528-5-3. You may also ask your local bookstore or library to order it from Ingram, Spring Arbor, or Baker and Taylor using the above ISBN or you may purchase it directly from the publisher’s online bookstore.

Read my review on Goodreads, and then read my other reviews, too! Special group discount pricing available when you order five or more copies from the Parson Place Press Bookstore.

 

Categories
For Writers

On the Air Via the Web: The Kevin Zimmerman Show

On March 20, 2014, my good friend and the subject of my book A Time for Everything: the Kevin Zimmerman Story, Kevin Zimmerman, hosted me on his weekly Internet radio program, The Kevin Zimmerman Show. I meant to post a link to the archived recording of that live interview sooner, but I’ve been rather distracted with other matters lately. Nevertheless, I guess it’s better late than never, so here’s the link for you to access it at your leisure: http://www.artistfirst.com/Zimmerman.htm.

In the interview, Kevin asks me to talk about my recent books I’ve written and published as well as some other projects I’ve been working on over the past couple of years. It has been about that long since he last interviewed me as his first guest on the pilot program of his show back on July 19, 2012. It was a fast hour for me, and I had a blast. I hope you find something helpful in all that I said about how to be your own publisher, too.