4.25.2012

The Fiddler By Beverly Lewis

A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler--and the young Amishman's charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever.
Ah, Amish fiction, why does it feel like fresh air to me? Maybe it's the romance? Maybe it's the love and happiness? Maybe it's the clean writing style? Maybe it's a bit of all 3! I love the lack of lewdness in romance novels, it's nice to read something fresh and not smutty because relationships really are based on so much more! I thoroughly enjoyed Beverly Lewis' character development and since this is just the 1st book in this series, I look forward to the others! The Fiddler is about two young hearts and a chance encounter and the struggles they are facing, one being English and one from the Amish community. It's about expectaations, faith, and God's timing. I would definitely reccomend.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Heaven Is Now: Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace By Andrew Farley

What if heaven wasn't just meant to be experienced after we die? What if heaven can be enjoyed here on earth--right now? Bestselling author Andrew Farley shows us how to take in the beauty of heaven no matter what our circumstances. With insight firmly rooted in the reality of pain and suffering, Andrew assures readers that heaven is not some pie-in-the-sky dream for the future--it is now. He shows us how to awaken our five spiritual senses in order to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the grace of heaven, even in the midst of trouble here on earth. He says the heaven we can experience in this life lies within us, far beyond the reach of the world--but well within our grasp.
A great pick me up for any Christian! The author tells us that we don't have to wait for eternity, eternity begins today. I'm not sure this book was meant to be read in one sitting, but I find it is more of a bit by bit book. Read a section, study, ponder and dig deeper into what the author is saying about what God intended. The author does use scriptural context to back up what he is saying. A good read most definitely, great for study and focus groups!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Choose Joy; Because Happiness Isn't Enough By Kay Warren

When all your fondest hopes and wildest dreams come true, and your heart nearly explodes with happiness, it's easy to feel joyful.But what about the valleys? When nothing seems to go your way? When everything is falling apart? When God is silent, and you feel all alone?Where does joy fit into those moments? In Choose Joy, acclaimed author and Christian leader Kay Warren shares the path to experiencing soul-satisfying joy no matter what you're going through. Joy is deeper than happiness, lasts longer than excitement, and is more satisfying than pleasure and thrills. Joy is richer. Fuller. And it's far more accessible than you've thought.Joy comes from God . . . and it can be yours! Today.
The feeling I get from this book? The choice is yours. Ultimately people can do or say what they want, but God has given you your own mind to make up, we can either live in anger and depression and sulk in our own misery or we can open up, be happy and live in joy despite the trials! Joy is in the everyday! This book will help you open your eyes to the things around you and help you realize the choices you're making. Sure things may not be going the way we want them to, but that doesn't mean they're not going the way God intended. We tend to look so long at hard at the bad times that we're missing out on joy in other things.This book was clearly written by a woman as an encouragement to women but that doesn't mean men shouldn't read it. In fact, they can apply each practice to their daily living as well. I would definitely reccomend.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Ben Ripple By Lisa Elliott

On August 12, 2008 Lisa Elliott received the phone call that changed her life forever. It was from her husband, David, on his way to the hospital emergency room with their 18-year-old son Ben who was subsequently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After a one year and one week valiant battle, Ben was promoted to his heavenly home. Throughout his life, but even throughout his death, Ben's Christ-like attitude became an inspiration for thousands around the world who followed updates Lisa posted on a Facebook blog entitled, "Prayer for Benjamin Elliott". It was appropriately re-titled, "The Ben Ripple" upon his death. This is a victorious and candid journey of one faith-filled mother who sought to use her story for the glory of God through her pain, loss, and grief. It provides validation for those dealing with a family crisis, hope and inspiration for those who are grieving loss, and practical help for those desiring to be comforters.
As a person who lost a best friend at the age of 10, a Dad at the age of 20, a Grandmother at the age of 23 and countless other relatives and friends, I feel like I'm well versed on loss even at a young age. The tag line for this book really got my attention “Choosing to LIVE through LOSS with PURPOSE” because that's exactly what it is, a choice. We can choose to live through it and let it drive our purpose for living and help others, or we can succomb to it, live miserably and wait to die ourselves. But the author is choosing to live through it, in spite of it and help others cope and find a purpose in it all. The book is a tell all of a sons battle with Leukemia and a Mother's raw emotions and the faith that kept her strong. I highly reccomend this book and I cannot imagine losing my son, I would be devastated, but this book opened my eyes and made me realize that every second we have with loved ones is nothing but a gift from God. Cherish every moment!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now from your favourite bookseller."

The Lion Cubs By Chrissie M. Dennis

Fifteen-year-old loner Lexi Vogan has had enough. Four foster families in two years would be enough to make anybody run away! Alone in the world, she flees to Jacksonville where a group of runaway teens live in abandoned tunnels below the city. It seems like the perfect place for a forgotten face. Liz Swavier, thirty-six, became a widow two years ago when her husband succumbed to cancer, but she's managing just fine. At least, that's what she tells herself. Working long hours as a doctor in the ER, Liz's friends and family grow concerned that she's hurling herself into work to numb her grief. Then, on a typical Friday afternoon, an appointment with divine intervention causes these two very different lives to collide, beginning a journey towards restoration that only an all-knowing, loving God could weave together.
What a facinating read, could not put it down!! I have to admit, frst when I started reading I didn't think I would enjoy the chapters flipping back and forth between Liz & Lexi's first person view but I believe it gave the book a whole new insight. What a facinating story about an orphan runaway named Lexi & Liz and how God intervened to make their paths cross. Lexi's been in several foster and group homes and experienced things no child should ever have to go through, but we know it happens everyday. Liz is a workaholic nurse who never takes time for herself because she's afraid of her emotions since her husbands passing. God is in control of both their lives, even though Lexi tends to claim he's not real, and shows us how his timing is always perfect as he causes both the girls to break down walls and open hearts that not everyone is evil or out to get you. This book is about hurt, anguish, deceit, then moves on to forgiveness, happiness, and new beginnings. I couldn't have thought of a better ending to a wonderful read! Definitely reccomend you pick this one up. But beware, dishes will go unwashed and laundry will pile up because you just have to see what will happen next! Enjoy!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now from your favourite bookseller.

“Selections from One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters” By Ann Voskamp

Pairing her own artistic photography with profound insights from her blockbuster best-seller, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”, Ann contemplates: How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt and all these daily duties? What does a life of joy look like when your days are long, hard and sometimes dark? Where is this good God, and what is He providing here and now? “Begin to wake to the wonder of the small. Begin to find joy in what really matters,” Ann writes. “Begin to change your one wild life.”
Such a beautiful, beautiful book; wonderful for my coffee table! I love to share it with everyone because there truly is joy in the simple everyday things! The photos paired with the inspirational writings are so breathtaking, it leaves nothing to be desired. It opens the readers eyes to noticing the beauty that surrounds us everyday. I'm so happy I chose to review this book and i also downloaded the free app on my iphone for a little inspiration on the go, it's available here www.onethousandgifts.com/get-the-app. I'm now also looking forward to reviewing Ann's first book, just have to find it!! I would definitely reccomend it to anyone, it is also a great book for someone going through dark times, or illness as I found it brings about happiness and inspiration for every situation, helping you find the joy in your own life. Ann is a very gifted writer and I look forward to more of her books.
About the Author: Ann Voskamp is the “New York Times” bestselling author of “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,” a homeschooling mom of six and the wife of a full-time farmer. Ann is a passionate global advocate and communicator for the poor through her partnership with Compassion International. Ann’s background in education from York University and the University of Waterloo laid a firm foundation for her work.

Covenant Child By Terri Blackstock

Amanda’s heart broke as she watched them drive her beloved twins away. She resolved to hope . . . and to fight for them to her last breath. Kara and Lizzie are heiresses to one of the largest fortunes in the country. But when their father dies suddenly, the toddlers are ripped from the arms of Amanda, their loving stepmother, and given to their maternal grandparents, who only want the children’s fortune for themselves. While even the stipend their guardians get for supporting them is squandered, the children are left to raise themselves. Kara and Lizzie grow up believing they are worthless . . . until the day when they learn the truth.
I love fiction, it totally draws me in, this book was no different. This is a story of twin girls who were taken from their loving Stepmother and placed in the care of their Grandparents when their Father suddenly passes. The grandparents are greedy and deceptive toward the girls and their inheritance but their Stepmother commits to preserving and caring for the girls inheritance until she can reveal to them the truth. This story falls along the lines of deceit and betrayl and opens our eyes as to how Satan tries to hurt us by doing the same as the Grandparents did in the story, but God is preparing a home for us and preserving our fortunes the same way Amanda was for the girls. I do believe this book could have been a series as to develop the characters more and go into more depth about the hurt, anguish & animosity that the girls were caused and then elaborate on the Stepmothers love, patience & mercy she showed towards the children after all these years. I would definitely reccomend this book.
I recieved this review copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

4.11.2012

He Chose The Nails By Max Lucado

Linger on the hill of Calvary.

Rub a finger on the timber and press the nail into your hand.

Taste the tinge of cheap wine and feel the scrape of a thorn on your brow.

Touch the velvet dirt, moist with the blood of God.

Allow the tools of torture to tell their story.

Listen as they tell you what God did to win your heart.


I've always loved Max's biblical sound writings and this was no exception. This book leads me back to the song lyrics "When He was on the cross, I was on his mind..."
How much Christ has done for us that we don't even realize? Sure he died on the cross for our sins, but what about the nails in his hands, the crown of thorns on his head?
This is a very encouraging read, the crucifixion is broken down into different parts to help us understand God's promise in each one.
I would definitely reccomend this book, it will help you realize what God did for each and every one of us on this earth. A really great reminder around this time of year as well as we celebrate the cruicifixion and resurrection.

4.01.2012

Named By God By Kasey Van Norman


In many ways, Kasey Van Norman has suffered more heartbreak than one woman can bear. Growing up, she endured her parents’ divorce, date rape, and years of addiction to sex, cutting, and eating disorders. As an adult, Kasey has endured a painful miscarriage; the heartbreak (and restoration) of infidelity; a cancer diagnosis; rejection by her friends, church, and community; and her mother’s death from cancer. But at the end of this twisting path of sorrow, Kasey walked out of the wilderness and into a place of God’s merciful and miraculous healing and redemption. In Named by God, Kasey shares her story of God’s infinite grace and compassion so that others might learn from her experience as they encounter a depth of Jesus like never before!


I've always enjoyed reading and hearing other peoples personal testimony and this book was no exception. Kasey retells of her experiences, things that no one should ever have to go through, but unfortunately it happenes every day. She is very open and honest and shows how God has brought her through it all and she came out fighting, and tells us how, without Jesus, we are nothing.
This story is about hope & healing and the power of truth and forgiveness. Giving it all to God, in every situation. I would definitely reccomend this book to anyone whos going through rough waters, it will lift you up in the darkest hour.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Spirit Wars by Kris Vallotton


Just as enemies fought Joshua in the Promised Land, and Nehemiah faced opposition as he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, our enemy will fight us as we approach the spiritual terrain God has promised us. Most Christians retreat at the first sign of conflict because they fail to recognize the true nature of the battle. But you can prevail in freedom and joy.

Sharing his deeply personal story of demonic bondage, torment and ultimate deliverance, pastor and bestselling author Kris Vallotton turns the idea of spiritual warfare as we know it on its head. He reveals the diabolical lies and strategies of the enemy--attacks and traps so subtle and deceptive that we may find our souls and hearts imprisoned without even knowing it.

No more! Now you can win the invisible battle against sin and the enemy. Victory is within your grasp. Will you take hold?

Spiritual warfare is very real in the world today, just as it was in Biblical times. So often we have trouble deciphering what's what when it comes to spiritual beings. This book helps us realize we need to call on God to help us know and conquor the evil lurking in the world, in our own lives. The spirit of opression will try and knock you down, attack you when you are at your weakest, but with God's help, we can overcome.
The autor is not just speaking based on research. His writings are Biblically sound as well as first hand. He's been there and knows what he's talking about.
I would definitely reccomend this book for anyone who is unsure what's what. It really helps you decipher the good from the bad.

I have recieved this book from Bethany House Publishers (Chosen Books) in exchange for an honest review.

Angels Are For Real by Judith MacNutt


Angels have been, and will continue to be, a vital part of God's Kingdom--from creation to Jesus' birth and ascension to the end of days. Throughout the ages they have been messengers, protectors, healers, comforters and more to the people of God. Sometimes their presence is as subtle as a whisper of wind, other times as visible as the sun.

In this accessible, comprehensive and encouraging guide, Judith MacNutt pulls back the curtain on these intriguing heavenly beings. She offers insight and many stories of miraculous encounters, revealing what the Bible says about

what angels look like
what they do
why they are important in believers' lives
the heavenly hierarchy
what fallen angels are
and more
When you begin to grasp the importance of angels to God--and your very own life--you will better understand God's power and His extraordinary love for you.


I have read books before about Angels being God's messengers, so I figured this one would be about the same. I do appreciate the authors points and stories but I expected it to be more like a Chicken Soup for the soul type book, with all short stories.
It was still a good book, just not what I expected.

I have recieved this book from Bethany House Publishers (Chosen Books) in exchange for an honest review.

10 Things Jesus Never Said By Will Davis, Jr.


Too often Christians carry a lot of guilt and baggage when it comes to their relationship with God. The problem is that so many of us believe unbiblical, damaging things about how critical God is and how fed up he must be with us. But many of the things we think Jesus would say to us--things like "I can't believe you call yourself a Christian," "If you really loved me, you'd try harder," and "I'm so disappointed in you"--are things he never said. The solution, says Will Davis Jr., is to stop believing the lies and start believing the things Jesus did say. In 10 Things Jesus Never Said, Davis unmasks commonly believed myths about our relationship with God and shows readers how to replace this pervasive theology of failure with the truth of how Jesus really feels about them. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter help small groups or individuals apply these truths to their current situations. Anyone who has ever felt that they didn't measure up to God's standards will love this freeing exploration of grace and forgiveness.


Christians carry so much guilt and shame from things in the past and things that, as humans, we hang onto instead of turning them over to God. The autor explores different cliches that we so often hear like "you've gone to far". Well this is clearly explained on page 45 "You haven't gone too far. You may indeed be dirty, covered with sin - in reality we all are - but you're not too dirty. No one is."
This gives us a new hope, while we are yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 Something we so often forget.
We are never to far from God that he can't save us from ourselves and our sins. I think this book needs to be read whether you are a sinner, new convert or an old time christian. There's so much here the auto talks about that lingers in the backs of everyones minds. Such a great read.

You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be By Holley Gerth



Psst . . . pull up a chair and I'll tell you a secret. You'd better lean in close for this one.
Ready?
You don't have to do more, be more, have more.
I'm sure there are security alarms going off somewhere. You should probably hide this book when your in-laws come over.
But it's true.
It's the kind of true that will change your life, set you free, and make you wake up smiling for the first time in a long time. I know because that's what it did for me. . . .

So watch out, sister. If you keep reading you just might be next.

With this heart-to-heart message, Holley Gerth invites you to embrace one very important truth--that you truly are already amazing. Like a trusted friend, Holley gently shows you how to forget the lies and expectations the world feeds you and instead believe that God loves you and has bigger plans for your life than you've even imagined.

What a great read, a breath of fresh air, a cool drink of water....
Every woman needs to read this book, in it's entirety. It's more of a handbook for everyday living, agreat book to share with friends over a cup of coffee. This book tells us that while we try to do everything, we simply can't, we can just do the best we can. We are put on this earth to please God, to worship God to work for God, not man. So the only expectations we should be trying to live up to are the ones God has placed before us.
There is a study guide in the back that would make it perfect for a ladies group.
I would definitely reccommend this book.





"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus By Joyce Magnin


Aging and widowed Harriet Beamer insists she’s getting along fine with her dog Humphrey in Philadelphia … until she falls for the fourth time, injuring her ankle and causing her son and daughter-in-law to cry foul.

Insisting Harriet move in with them in California, they make a bet that her ankle is broken and she foolishly promises to move if they’re right. Four X-rays later, Harriet’s ankle – and her heart – are broken. She packs up, ships her huge salt-and-pepper-shaker collection to California, and prepares to move away from the only life she knows.

The catch? She’s doing it her way. Just wait until her daughter-in-law hears Harriet will travel cross-country only by public transportation and alternate means. What follows is a hilarious, heartwarming journey by train, metro bus, taxi, and motorcycle. Along the way, Harriet discovers that although her family thinks it’s time for her to be put out to pasture, God has a different plan.

What a heartwarming story! Harriet Beamer is such a determined, funny old lady, you'll fall in love with her from the beginning! As she travels across country by whatever means possible, bus, train, motorcycle, helicopter, she takes the reader on a wonderful journey through cities, towns and mountains on her journey to California and the people she meets along the way. I felt like I've been places I've never even heard of! I hope this is not the end of Harriet Beamer, she needs to make more travels, maybe backpack across Europe? I hope so!
This is my first book by this author and I can say I truly loved every minute I spent reading it. I would definitely reccomend it to anyone looking for a good laugh and lighthearted read!

Check out Harriets blog at http://harrietbeamer.blogspot.com/