Book Review: McGraw-Hill’s National Electrical Code 2011 Handbook Twenty-Seventh Edition


The Disclaimer: While I am not affiliated with McGraw-Hill in any way, I did receive my copy of this book for free from said publisher in agreement for my review (favorable or otherwise) of said book. This disclaimer is done in accordance with this document put out by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Book

Book: McGraw-Hill’s National Electrical Code 2011 Handbook, Twenty-Seventh Edition
Author(s): Brian J. McPartland
Frederic P. Hartwell
Joseph F. McPartland
Pages: 1,642
Binding: Hard-cover
Publisher: McGraw-Hill

The Review

This book is a great tool for any electrician looking to navigate his or her way through the myriad of rules presented in the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code as published by the National Fire Protection Association. From the very beginning it gets right down to business and begins with detailed explanations of every bullet point presented starting in Article 90.

While I won’t say this is a perfect book, it is extremely thorough and – as an added benefit for some of the more computer-savvy amongst electricians – there is a full PDF copy (which is fully searchable) of the book available for download (the code is under one of those scratch-off areas in the very beginning of the book).

If I had any complaint of the book at all, it would be it’s apparent lack of tables. The most glaring of these omissions – at least for me – was the motor tables that come after 430.245 (labeled XIV. Tables). The only reason I can think of for the tables not being included are that they are really pretty self-explanatory and need no further interpretation. There is, though, no where in the book that I have found that expounds on why the tables have been left out (or even that they have been left out).

Aside from that, I really enjoy McGraw-Hill’s book. I find it is going to be a valuable addition to mine – and many other people’s – library for as long as the 2011 NEC is enforced. I strongly recommend this book unless you feel that the tables in the NEC need further explanation. In that case, you may not find this book to be as useful as I have found it.

The Rating

The ratings are based upon a 5-star system with 5, of course, being the best, none being the worst.

Content: 3
Presentation: 5
Portability: 3
Access to additional resources: 5
Overall: 4

Radically Sold Out For Christ

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There is a call for each and every Christian, and it is not of mediocrity. It isn’t of material, worldly wealth. It isn’t to feel good about oneself. it isn’t even about a long, healthy life. Anyone who tells you it is is flat out lying to you. God does not care about the so-called American Dream. God does not care about making you wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice (Matthew 19:16-30). He does care about your soul. He cares about molding you in a way that allows you and Him to walk as closely and intimately as possible.

There is no two ways about it, either. Christ made it very clear while He was on earth that one cannot serve both mammon and God (Matthew 6:24). You cannot serve money and God (Matthew 6:19-21). You cannot serve the world and God. It’s one or the other. Black or white. Dark or light. Hell or Heaven. He went so far as to even tell us not to worry about clothing or food (Matthew 6:25). Yet what do most American Christian’s worry about? Food. Money. Clothing. Status. The Jones’. Where does it all stop? Sure it’s nice to have nice things. I enjoy having clothes that fit and look nice. I enjoy eating good food and living in comfort. Yet for all the people in the U.S. who are better off than I am, I still am in something like the top 10% to 5% of people in the world who can count those as things I take for advantage.

In Acts we find brand new Christians so radically sold out that they, without any prompting from man, sell everything and lay the proceeds at the feet of the apostles so that all may be taken care of. When’s the last time you saw someone who went up to the alter, give their life to Christ, and then sell everything and give to those in need – starting with our Brothers and Sisters and moving on to others – without even a second thought? I’ve never seen it nor have I heard of it happening in my 33 years of life (by the way, if I was Christ I’d have been hung from a cross several months ago yet who am I to live on this earth longer than He who saved me from an eternal death?). I’ve not read about it except in the Bible. Surely it’s happened somewhere? Right?

Well I don’t own a home, a car, or much of anything except some clothes, a few electronics (5+ year old computers I probably couldn’t give away much less sell), and debt up to my ears. What’s a man to do? He’s to be totally, radically, forever sold out to Christ. The best I can say for myself is that I’m working on it. I’m part of a great house church. I have a wonderful, God-fearing wife. I have wonderful, God-fearing friends/family. I know where I can go to be fed. I know where I can go to receive instruction. I know where I can go for counsel. Friendship. Love.

Spiritual growth and maturity are part of the process of becoming radically sold out. You cannot become off-the-wall-nuts for Christ without growing spiritually. It just won’t happen. Sure you start off on the milk, but once you’re done with the milk that’s it! I know of at least twice in the NT letters the author has to rebuke the audience for not growing spiritually! God takes His Word, and His call to us, very seriously. It’s time we did to and put away these so-called preachers that only offer worldly blessings.

The world – and it’s so-called blessings – will allow you to go straight to Hell without a second thought. God, on the other hand, died so we wouldn’t have to. Don’t be a Laodecean (Revelation 3:14-22). Don’t hunker the fence to try and get the best of both worlds. You can’t have the best of both worlds. It’s either an eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:15) or eternity with God. Get prayed up, get a good foundation in His Word, and don’t just expect a “Get Out of Hell Free” card. This isn’t Monopoly. This is for keeps. This is for real.

Family Ties

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In many families, growing up is part of the process. We are born into a family chosen for us by God. We grow up, mature, and eventually move out and move on and start our own families. At least, as I understand it, that is what the process should be like. Part of that process, too, is being nurtured by those whom we grow up around us and encouraged to seek out Truth wherever we may find it.

There will be times, even, when we have vehement disagreements with our family and when they (or we) will do things that make you regret that they are part of your family. It happens, we are human after all. What doesn’t change, though, is that we are still family. Being such we are still called upon to love on each other and retain that love for one another even when all reason says that we would have every right to stop loving that person.

Often it seems that we are unable to live up to that very big responsibility of being brother or sister, mother or father, son or daughter and don’t bother trying to “interpret” anything. It is a responsibility. Our family can never be fully deceased when we (rightly) include all of our adopted brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Adopted through who? Through God when we give ourselves over to His will and call His Son our Lord and Savior.

Family ties are not and should not be broken just because you’ve moved on to a new home. When you reject God’s command for us to love one another (and even to bless your enemy, if you count a fallen away brother, sister, mother, father, son, or daughter as such though I believe doing so is unbiblical in the highest) you are acting out of order. I have an unquenchable love – not of my own desire or even my own will – for my entire Family, even if I don’t agree with them all the time.

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