Love Lessons

Beth Wiseman is a well-known Amish fiction writer as well as a Christian fiction writer.  I was lucky to have been able to review Wiseman’s book His Love Endures Forever which is the story of an English girl who is friends with an Amish young man, Levi, and  is also pregnant by another Amish man, Matthew.  Danielle, the young pregnant girl, learns about love in this book.  She has been living with an older couple after her mother is abusive toward her.  She is lost and falls in love with an Amish young man who has dreams of something more beyond the boundaries of his Amish village and Amish church.

Wiseman’s book, the third book in her A Land of Canaan series, is a journey of reflection and lessons of love – true, unconditional love.  Not only does Danielle learn about the unconditional love of God, but Levi’s mother learns about unconditional love for others.  Daniells’s mother learns about seeking forgiveness and Danielle learns to forgive.  Danielle, Levi, and Matthew all learn about themselves in this coming of age story.

This is an excellent story of love – the love of family, the love of others, the love of God – and it is a story of forgiveness and learning.  I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

Author’s Web Site

Advertisements

Faith Seekers Amidst Doubt

Joseph Loconte, author of The Searchers A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt, uses literature, film, philosphy, history, and politics to examine the story of the Emmaus walk when two friends meet a stranger and begin the search for the truth in a world of madness, hatred, and doubt.  Loconte challenges the reader to thoroughly investigate his/her beliefs by pushing him/her to analyze Scripture in a manner that is fully immersed.  No more can the reader hold onto beliefs that have not been fully investigated and analyzed.  In our world of confusing and unsettling violence, many question God and His allowance of this evil.  However, Loconte uses all of the genres to push the reader to come to a better understanding of who God is and why He allows the evil.

Christianity Today states “This is a good book to give to someone who is looking at faith from the outside, but it will also be helpful to believers who have been led to expect tidy answers and neat resolutions and have come up hard against disappointment, absurdity, and loss.”  I would have to agree with that analysis.  Pick up a copy for yourself (put it on the coffee table after you read it!) and one for a friend or neighbor!

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

Max Anders on Biblical Prophecy

Max Anders, author of the What You Need to Know series, which encompasses lessons that can be completed in under an hour each on a variety of topics such as Salvation, Spiritual Growth, and the one that I read, Bible Prophecy. Anders book is broken down into 12 chapters explaining topics relevant to biblical prophecy from different evangelical positions. Our world appears to be in the “last days” which prompts much discussion as well as fear. Anders’ book assists individuals and groups with easy to read and discuss lessons.

Chapters include “What is the Big Picture of Prophecy?”, “What Are the Major Views on the Rapture?”, “What is Hell?”, and “Will All Prophecies Be Fulfilled?”. At the end of each chapter, you will find sections to summarize the chapter, check your comprehension, questions for further discussion, how to respond if there is unbelief, and Scriptural as well as other books to study the topic further. Anders series of books comprises what is titled “Basic Knowledge Curriculum” and is easy to read. One caveat that I encounter was that I did not always find it engaging as it was quite simplistic in style. However, he did not take one evangelical stand which was appealing to me. I believe that the series of books would be a good endeavor for a new believer to explore areas of Christian beliefs.

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

I review for BookSneeze®

Promises Fulfilled

On the cover of Pete Wilson’s latest book, Empty Promises, features a fortune cookie. For most people, the fortune cookie uncovers a small slip of paper that “promises” great things in our future. The same is true for horoscopes and dreams – we reach for a brighter future filled with promises of wealth, status, success, true love, and our every desire. However, those are only empty promises compared to the one true Promise, God. Wilson’s book is twelve short chapters with titles like: “The Seduction of Achievement,” “Addicted to Approval,” and “Chasing a Dream.”

Empty Promises was an enjoyable, informative book that encouraged me to look deeper into what gives me joy and purpose in this journey called life. I also found myself guiltily looking into a mirror through several of the chapters. However, the greatest thing is that even though I found myself seduced, addicted, and in a chase, I also found the truth about what promise was real and long-lasting. In Luke 10:41-42 Jesus said, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” The only promise needed and able to fulfill is the One who is truly able to promise joy, peace, and satisfaction.

I received this book free for review from Booksneeze. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with life to get a copy and settle in for some soul-searching time with the greatest Promise you will ever find or need!

I review for BookSneeze®

The Faithful Standing

Do you remember history class? The time when you learned about the American Revolution – when the people of America stood up against their oppressors, the monarchy in England. There is an old adage that says “history repeats itself” (or maybe that was just something that my dad would say about my behavior). Well, anyway, there are some who do believe that history repeats itself, especially if we have not learned valuable lessons from our past. Dr. Richard G. Lee is one of those people who does believe that the past will revisit us in the form of another revolution. That is the premise behind his latest book, The Coming Revolution Signs From America’s Past that Signal Our Nation’s Future.

Lee states that “considering the price our forefathers paid for the rights and privileges we enjoy today, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves, ‘Who are the American people today? Are we living up to the high standards of the patriots who risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the cause of liberty? And are we prepared to stand our ground when we’re confronted by men and women promoting some very dangerous ideas and beliefs (121)?’” Lee is not saying that America is facing another violent revolution, but rather “a revolution of faith and ideas, a new commitment to a higher cause…It means knowing who we are and what we are all about. A tremendous hunger for restoration of accountability exists in this country…(126)”

Readers of Lee’s book may very well find themselves at times feeling guilty for a lack of action. While reading another section one may be on one’s feet pride swelling within one’s breast. However, there are also times when one may be shaking one’s head both in agreement and astonishment of where history has played out in this country. His book definitely has the reader thinking about the country’s historical start as a Christian nation founded on freedom for one and all. Lee uses the examples of our country’s leaders and policies to illustrate the preponderance of Christian faith that has been the driving force for America. For example on page 150, Lee states, “This country’s record of compassion and service to the world is unrivaled, and we have never done it for profit; we do it because that’s the kind of people we are. We do it because this is a Christian nation – an exceptional Christian nation.” The only fitting end to that is – Amen.

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

I review for BookSneeze®

Song Bird

I have never been much of a “lover of the hymns.” That is until I began Robert J. Morgan’s book Then Sings My Soul Book 3. I found his book to be easy to read and loved the “old book” feel of the pages in the paperbook. I cannot read music and have always felt that the hymns were for those that could sing high notes and liked slow music. After reading the history behind the songs and the poetic quality of the songs, I have changed my viewpoint of the hymns. Although I still cannot read the music nor sing the songs, Mr. Morgan advised readers to utilize a hymnal as an additional resource during study and devotion time. He stated that readers could either sing the songs as a time of praise and worship or read the hymn as a poem of praise and worship.

The book is separated into segments discussing biblical hymns, ancient hymns, medieval hymns, German hymns, English hymns, Gospel songs, and contemporary praise. This book helped me to gain a greater understanding of the hymns, hymn writers, and church history. One of my most favorite hymns, that I did not realize was hymn, is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God.” I did not realize that this beautiful song was published in 1878 and was written by someone who enjoyed learning as much as I – Edwin Hatch.

I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, who loves hymns, loves poetry, loves history, or just loves God. Your knowledge of music, poetry, praise, and history will grow exponentially. I have gained a love of the hymns and now utilize a hymnal as a resource to praise God even though I cannot hold a tune in a bucket!

I received this book for free for review from booksneeze.com. The book can be purchased at Amazon.

I review for BookSneeze®

Sasha Drew Me In

When I read the synopsis of The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief I was drawn by the combination of special needs children and adoption. Larry Alex Taunton has written a powerfully informative book of his family’s journey through the adoption of Sasha, a young Ukranian orphan. Sasha, with her smile and determination despite her circumstances, drew Larry, his wife Lauri, and their three boys, Christopher, Zachary, and Michael into her world at the orphanage and inextricably bound her to their hearts forever.

Taunton has written this book as a combination of a type of diary of the journey and experiences as well as a synopsis of the government and corruption prevalent in the Ukraine. Reading this book illuminated the love of one family, the spunky attitude of one little girl, and the corrupt government a world away from me. As the mother of a young man who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder more than twenty years ago, I understand the difficulty with the perception of others concerning a child with special needs. As a lover of all children, I eagerly anticipated this book and to read about the overseas adoption process. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about overseas adoptions and to anyone who loves to hear about the power of love, family, and God.

This book is written from the perspective that the reader may not have any prior knowledge of the adoption process or the powerful effect of corruption in the Ukraine. It was an easy read but also will entice you to keep reading even when you are tired or have an appointment to get to! Great book!

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

I review for BookSneeze®

Just Jesus and Me

Devotionals are a way to dig into the
Bible in short readings.  Most devotionals feature a Scripture to
read and then the authors expounding of the Scripture.  Some even
feature a small prayer to close out your devotion time.  R. P.
Nettelhorst has written a devotional that is based on various topics
throughout the Bible.  It is set up as if Jesus were to advise you,
the reader, on topics that you might need to discuss with Him.

A Year with Jesus: Daily Readings
and Reflections on Jesus’ Own Words

gave me readings that I could utilize when a concern appeared before
my mind and heart.  Instead of just reading a chronological selection
of readings starting at Day 1 or January 1, this book features the
chronological headings, but also allowed me to choose to read based
on a topic such as Fasting or Repentence.  The book is divided into
sections entitled “Love and Hate,” “Truths and Lies,”
“Arrogance and Humility,” “Friends and Enemies,” “Belief
and Disbelief,” “Patience and Impatience,” “Deserved and
Undeserved,”  “Good and Evil,” “Fidelity and Treachery,”
and “Life and Death.”

We
live in a world that always portrays the either/or scenario or good
vs. evil.  It was nice to read a devotional that fits in with that
line of thinking but also shows the way of Truth and Light against
the backdrop of the way of Darkness.  I enjoyed this book and plan on
reading it again as a reflection book to encourage myself to dig
deeper into my relationship with God.

I
received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

 

I review for BookSneeze®

The Raw Simplicity of Grace

Grace is defined many ways and used many ways. Grace is defined as elegance, a pleasing quality, favor, goodwill, mercy, clemency, or pardon. It is used to describe someone. It is used as a name. It is even used as a form of sarcasm. However, the most profound use of grace is described in detail by Andy Stanley in his book The Grace of God. Grace is that behavior that we extend to others who have hurt us in some way because we have been given grace by God.

Grace is not earned but it can be paid back. Grace is free but comes with a price. Grace must be offered in order to be taken. God has given grace since the beginning of time when Adam and Eve first sinned. Andy Stanley begins with Genesis and describes in detail the grace – mercy, clemency, and pardon – that God has given to each and every person in creation. He beautifully describes that “grace doesn’t dumb down sin to make it more palatable” (xv).

Chapter1_FinalMS_GraceofGod

This book is broken down into thirteen small chapters that are easy to read and shows the beauty, power, and humility of grace. He moves from the Old Testament through the New Testament to illustrate the need for God’s grace, the implication of sin which leads to the need for grace, and the reconciliation of God to His beloved people through the gift of grace. The Grace of God would make a wonderful gift for someone seeking an understanding of grace.

I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com.

Broken and Beautiful

Stained glass is colorful, broken glass that is crafted into spectacular designs. In many aspects we, God’s greatest creation, are pieces of a stained glass “window” on the world. Each piece a different color, shape, and part of various designs. Patsy Clairmont’s book Stained Glass Hearts is a humorous journey into “life from a broken perspective.” Patsy is a noted author and speaker from Women of Faith®. She has written and co-written many books as well as been one of the featured speakers on the Women of Faith® circuit across the United States. If you have ever been privileged to listen to her humorous talks, then you have come away with a new insight into the brokenness of all of us and yet you learn more about the great love that God has for each of us.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which was set up into small chapters. Each chapter then utilized the arts to enable you to apply what you read. She gives you websites to visit for visual acuity and expansion of your reading, musical suggestions, and Scriptural references. This book enables you to laugh at yourself, spend precious moments with God, and journal your thoughts and possible applications. Throughout the book are quotes from various poets, authors, and theologians. One of my favorites is “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them, and their value will never be known. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (p. 187).

This small book is packed with all the wit, charm, and wisdom that is classic Patsy Clairmont. I received this book free for review from booksneeze.com. I have not been coerced into a positive review and the words are of my own volition and heart.

You may purchase this book from praisesonline.com.

I review for BookSneeze®