Sunday, October 30, 2016

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

 Like a gently flowing river that picks up speed and hurls you over the white rapids - this book will have you hanging on to every word.  Persomi lives with a drunkard father and cowering mother.  From an early age she must find the inner strength not to give in to the depression and despair.  At each turn and twist of her personal journey she chooses to walk with integrity and look for ways to live fuller while seeking her own special purpose in life.  The author takes us through Africa's history during the atrocious time of Apartheid.  She shows us the political climate and various viewpoints held.  The reader will experience this in a heart wrenching way through the individual characters in the book and the consequences their held beliefs cost them.  The ramifications of dark secrets will impact Persomi in heart wrenching ways that no one could predict or imagine.  She is a character of rare steadfast faith and hope that shines like a light in a very dark time.  This is a 388 page book and I read it in one sitting because it is that good!

I received this book free from the publishers.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

This is a much needed book on how to find Sabbath Rest.  This is an intelligent look at Sabbath from the perspective of a Biblical base as well as modern day research studies that confirm why a Sabbath rest is beneficial. But it is in no way a dry dissertation.  Shelly Miller brings to life Sabbath by personal stories that reflect the wonder, joy and healing of Sabbath.  She begins with Hebrew and Greek words that amplify the Sabbath rest God intended.  She goes on to explain the reasoning behind a Sabbath day and also sabbath moments where we carve out times of spiritual rest with just God and ourselves.  She emphasizes the "no guilt" mantra but rather a happy anticipation of the Sabbath day and times of restfulness throughout our every day week.  The reader is encouraged to guard the Sabbath as a treasure.  She explains that it is only in this Sabbath rest that we will discover precious jewels.  God made our bodies as such that if we do not participate in the Sabbath rest we will discover a forced rest by illness or anxiety.  Sabbath rest includes physical rest, mental rest and spiritual rest.  Through Bible references, scientific studies and personal experiences the author gives a picture of how precious and valuable the Sabbath really is.  The book concludes with a section on practical prompts to help the reader start to enjoy the Sabbath.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

This author is a wonder!  She blends the picturesque scenery of Prince Edward Island with down to earth characters adds in a dash of charm with a remodeled inn and mixes in romance, mystery, and grace.  Liz Johnson immediately grabs your attention and holds your interest throughout the story.  It is almost an oxymoron with the tale gripping you at each turn with breakneck speed and at the same time the characters are in a very laid-back, peaceful atmosphere.  there are characters of different ages, dilemmas and experiences but their lives touch one another with profound impact.  You will read about a survivor's guilt and the battle within to find forgiveness and joy in life again. The reader is also shown a glimpse inside the head of someone who always comes in second.  The beauty with how the author deals with guilt -real or not deserved- is amazing!  This is just a superb story that demonstrates what believing in God's grace can do for us in intimate detail in real life situations.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

This story will take you right into the heart of God's people as they begin their journey to freedom from Egypt.  The tale immediately takes on a aura of intrigue.  You can almost taste the manna, feel the dust and grime on your face and feel the awe at witnessing the hovering cloud with shekinah glory bursting from it's midst.  Author Connilyn Cossette shares many factual details of the desert, the customs and times into her book.  She has a gift of sharing people's emotions, thoughts and actions in vividness that makes the reader feel they are part of the story not just a bystander.  The story of Shira, Ayal and Dvorah takes the ideal of forgiveness down to the hard root level of how this would play out in real life. Even as I read their individual stories I found myself at some points judging the characters of this book. I didn't always like them.  I was angry and horrified by their actions.  I even thought to myself, "Where is the author going with this?"  But with amazing skill and insight into God's way of seeing a person's soul she brings to life a wondrous picture of how much God wants us to be His beloved children no matter what our past may have held.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit.

Mary Engelbreit and joy go hand in hand.  I don't think it is possible to be disappointed by any product by Mary Engelbreit.  I love them all!  But her books are just superb!  Lovely, lovely illustrations.  If you know ME then you know how heart warming her illustrations are.  If you've never experienced a Mary Engelbreit illustration you just must get this book.  They are whimsical and will delight your heart!  I love that this book has a multi-cultural cast for characters.  So beautiful!  The story line is the story of Jesus birth as seen through a children's play production.  Each scene depicts a portion of the nativity with Mary's adorable characters dressed up in costume.  This will be a real winner for children and adults alike.  I can't say enough good about Mary Engelbreit.  She has such talent as an illustrator.  For me her illustrations reach my heart because she has heart.  The Bible verses and quotes she adds to her illustrations just make it all come together in a awe inspiring manner.  This book is worth every penny.  It's a work of art in picture and prose!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Love Unending by Becky Thompson

This is a book to help young mothers reignite their marriage after being consumed with caring for little ones and focused on their children’s needs.  It is a pleasant mix of marriage advice and personal down- to- earth stories from the author.  The book is a 21 day plan to a more fulfilling marriage.  Each chapter deals with a facet of daily married life.  For example one chapter is titled:  Greet Lovingly.  The author asks us to examine how we greet our husbands when they come home each evening.  What I liked about this book is that Ms Thompson selected areas that one might not realize affects a marriage as deeply as it does.  Does it really matter how we greet our husband?  But in each idea that she presents she brings in her personal life story to illustrate how important each chapter is to making your marriage what you long for it to be.  Then she gives you a challenge.  It’s like homework.  Something you do after you’ve read the chapter.  At the end of each chapter there are lines for writing down your husband’s reactions, how you felt and how the “experiment” went.  Throughout the book she reminds us over and over to start each day new.  This gives fresh hope to every marriage not matter what state you may find it in.  This is a very positive book!  Easy to read, easy to understand yet shares profound thoughts and encouraging throughout the entire text.  This 21 day challenge in book form is definitely worth the effort and doable.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

What I love about Suzanne Woods Fisher’s characters is that you can’t put them in a tidy little box and predict what their next move will be.  They are full of surprises and as complicated as real life people.  This is what endears them to the reader!  I’d love to have Birdy as a friend or sit down and chat with Ruthie.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Bishop (pastor) who cared so much for his congregation as David does for his “flock”?  And although we get to glimpse into the unique world of the Amish community we also see that people everywhere have similar heartaches, woes, concerns and dilemmas and God is the Counselor who hears our pleas for help.  This is the third book in the Bishop Family series and shows the spiritual and emotional growth of characters we’ve come to love in Fisher’s other books. 

I received this book free from Revell publishers and was not required to write a positive review

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Christmas Love Letters from God (Bible Stories) by Glenys Nellist

This is possible the best children's author there is!  Glenys Nellist has an amazing gift for telling Bible stories with depth and astonishing profound prose!  Yet at the same time the story telling engaging young children and keeps their interest.  Her stories are worded so little ones can understand God's great love for them.  Absolutely stunning illustrations with warmth and beauty!  In the Christmas Love Letters from God it starts with the prophecy in Isaiah of the coming Savior.  Through the pages of this book a child sees each Bible characters significant role in the birth and welcoming of Baby Jesus.  Each page has a piece of the story, a corresponding Bible verse and flap that lifts up to reveal God's love letter.  The love letter relates what the Bible character witnessed to your child's life today.  The book tells of the reaction of Mary, Joseph, the angels, shepherds and wise men to the Baby Jesus.  The highlights of the Nativity are all there but in a deeper, brighter way.  This rendition really reaches your heart.  As an adult reading this book I am in awe of the gift God the Father sent and children's hearts will be awakened to the wonder of the love wrapped up in a baby named Jesus - God with us.  At the end of the book is a letter that your child can write his/her name in to accept this gift of Jesus into their own hearts.