Sunday, December 10, 2017

You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

You're invited into the small town homey feel of Thunder Creek, Idaho.  City girl Samantha returns to be caregiver to her grandmother.  She gets an unexpected surprise when she finds out her lost love Nick is the very man who rescued her grandmother from her fall from her horse.  There is an undercurrent of longing mixed with bitterness inside of Nick as he begins to spend time with Samantha.  Samantha has unresolved fears from her childhood that mix with her resentment of Nick's zest for adventure.  Two seemingly polar opposites yet they can't deny the attraction and friendship that is building up to something more.  Through the help of a strong family, community and church connection they each begin to find healing.  What God has in store for their future begins to unfold before their eyes.

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers and was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blessed Are the Misfits by Brant Hanson

Incredible!  Comforting!  Awesome!  Inspiring!  Assuring! I want to put exclamation after exclamation in my review of this book.  Brant Hansen has a very different outlook and inner look at spiritual matters that really blessed  my heart.  Over and over his words said to me:  I am okay to God.  The worse thing that Christians do to themselves or to each other is to give a sense of judgment for things we have no right judging in ourselves or others.  The words in this book very pointedly, often with humor or startling bluntness, tell me that God is someone that can be depended on even when I can't feel Him, see Him or understand what is going on.  At first glance the opening words of this book might seem sacriligous or discouraging because of the lack of emotion.  But I found that actually understanding that we don't have to be on a spiritual "high" to receive God's grace and love is extremely calming to my soul and gives me such a sense of peace.  The stories shared and ideas discussed are really deep.  I found myself reading a line and then sitting there and thinking:  Wow... Just wow what a God we have. 

I received this book from book bloggers and was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, December 4, 2017

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs

The cover of this book is so beautiful it caught my eye immediately.  I thought I like the proverbs and this will be a good devotional book for the month.  After reading the first chapter it was so good I went on to read the next chapter.  Needless to say I didn’t stick with my one chapter a day plan.  The author fills the pages with honest, open, narrative of her own experiences that other women can easily relate to.  She even encourages us that if we think we can’t relate to a certain topic in a proverb to think of it in a new way that can apply to our lives.  Each chapter ends with a short personalized prayer and then a “One Minute, One Step” exercise.  This is the very best part of the book!  In each “One Minute, One Step” portion the reader is given a 60 second assignment.  Liz challenges us to take the 60 second plunge and do it right then and not put it off to later.  She is right on about doing the challenge while the devotional is still fresh in your mind.   For example interesting challenges for your soul like putting money away in an envelope and carrying it around in your purse praying for the right person to give it to.  Or swallowing our pride and picking one thing we need help with and then asking someone to join us in that task.  These short challenges are fun and packed with meaningful self-insights.  I loved it!

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books but I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Sawyer doesn't have to use a lot of "Fancy" words to draw us into the story.  Her straight forward manner with detailed dialogue draws the reader to the characters immediately.  This book from the start holds intrigue with the disappearance of a precious three-year-old little girl.  The main meat of this story however is not really about the mystery of the missing child.  It is about the secrets we hold deep inside that make us ill and keep us from really living.  Hazel has deep-seated guilt over the disappearance of her baby sister and this guilt has colored every aspect of her life.  It is especially damaging to her relationship with her own daughter, Diane,  who has felt stiffled by Hazel's overprotectiveness through the years. Fast forward to Diane becoming a mother and her adult daughter Meghan is in a serious car accident.  This amazing story of God's physical healing of Meghan while simultaneously emotionally healing Hazel and Diane makes this "keeper".

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp

If you've never read any of Ann Voskamp's books the description of the book pales dramatically to her actual written word.  She's a master at words that evoke images, emotions and a desire to draw closer to God.  Her writing is raw, heart-felt, stirring, shocking and transparent.  She allows us glimpses into her own heart to help us better understand the heart of God.  This lovely book is filled with photographs of her farm, home, and family.  From a bowl of cherries to the wheat fields to a child's toes we are drawn into her intimate world.  This book is a devotional book with a challenge.  The challenge to spend 60 days giving of ourselves to a hurting world.  She invites us to give sacrificially as Christ gives to us.  She challenges us to go outside of our comfort zone and use our imagination to find ways to "pay it forward" to someone who is hurting.  She gets down to the gritty realities of  our hesitation to do good for those who rub us the wrong way and asks us to give of ourselves to them in a meaningful way.  The end of the book has pages where the reader can write how they lived given in that day - for 60 days.  Then there are 60 heart challenge ideas on how we can pour out ourselves to be a gift to others.

I received this book from BookLook but was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

The Crooked Path delivers a beautifully tender love story. If you're tired of "steamy love scenes" with little emotional depth then you'll love this book.   It is deeply passionate and at the same time a "clean" love story.  The love between characters is built slowly and sincerely through the pages.  It is heart stopping at times and agonizing at others when love seems just out of reach.  The details rendered in this book make the Africa of old come alive.  Through the eyes and heart of Lettie we meet her childhood friends and first crush.  At the beginning of the book we find Lettie a very shy and unsure girl.  As the story progresses Lettie gains strength in her faith and in who she is.  As she accepts herself she begins to blossom in ways she could never imagine.  The affects of WWII and emotional trauma on her friends changes the way they thought life would turn out.  Through it all is woven a thread of hope and an appreciation and reverence for being alive.  Lettie and her friends must each find their own way to savor the precious moments as they come and the courage to go on when detours, deadends and roadblocks seem to prevent their dreams from coming true.

I received this book from BookLook publishers but was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Little Book of Bible Stories by Jean Fischer

This lovely little book is filled with adorable Precious Moments characters that will delight the hearts of young and old.  Little ones will enjoy holding their very own Bible story board book with easy to turn pages.  Parents will appreciate the durability and beautifully depicted Bible stories on each page.  Stories from Creation to Jesus resurrection are told in clear, simple language yet with enough description to make the story interesting.  Each story has two pages.  Page one is the story.  Page two is the illustration with a short poem or prayer and Bible verse to emphasis the Bible story.  Illustrations have lots of color and cute details such as baby birds in nests and lambs with shepherd boys.  There are multi-cultural children included in the illustrations.  Jesus is illustrated with olive toned skin.  Throughout the book Precious Moment children are shown in modern day settings and in Bible story time frames.  The scriptures included can be used to help a child begin to memorize short passages of scripture.   Whimsical yet with deep spiritual truths - this book is perfect to help your child know the Bible stories in a more personal way.  It can be used in children's church or church schools as devotional readings or at home for family worship or at bedtime before you tuck your little one goodnight.

I received this book from Booklook publishers but was not required to write a positive review.