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Showing posts from December, 2014

End of the Year Wrap-up

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14. NKJV.

Merry Christmas

(Review) An Amish Second Christmas-Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer

Publisher: HarperCollins Christian Publishing/Thomas Nelson, October 14, 2014.
Genre: Amish love story, novella.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 419.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
Source: Library.

Link for the book @ Amazon. 

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman
Katherine Zook and her children are working through the grieving process since Elias Zook died. A mysterious man brings a surprising twist to the untold story.

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid
A stranger in town visits the bakery where Joy works. The first anniversary of her parents death is approaching. An expectation from a beau proceeds a change in direction for life.

A Gift For Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller
A family coming to terms with their mother's choice.

The Christmas Apron by Tricia Goyer
Ammon Schwartz is preoccupied in caring for his mother. His large family has recently moved to Montana. Esther Glick's delicious pie was auctioned and bought by Ammon. Their friendship leads to helping each other un…

(Review) All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin

Publisher: Bethany House, 2005.
Genre: Fiction, family saga.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 400.
Rating: 3 stars for good.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link @ Amazon. 

Kathleen Seymour is having a "no-good-very-bad-day." A fight with her boss. A phone call from the police department about her teenage daughter. A fight with her daughter. And an invitation to attend a party for a dad she's not seen in over 35 years.
Too many events have stirred Kathleen's childhood memories. A trip back to the past (literally) is a chance for closure.

My Thoughts:
There are a few aspects of the book I really liked. There are a few aspects I did not like.
What I liked:
Multiple main characters. All the characters link together (family), but show different personalities, choices, time periods, and world history events. Coming of age story. I love the time period of the 1940s and 1960s.  What I disliked: The ending is wrapped up tight with a cute little bow. The entire book had been about b…

(Review) The Sweet Side of Suffering: Recognizing God's Best When Facing Life's Worst by M. Esther Lovejoy

Publisher: Discovery House Publishers, March 4, 2013.
Genre: Non-fiction, suffering, faith, Christian growth.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 160.
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link at Amazon. 
Link at Christian Book.

The theme is on suffering and blessings that follow.
Ten chapters all begin with the words "The Sweetness of...."
Sweet and suffering are not words that humanity wants in one sentence. But only God can take a hardship and bring blessing.
Lovejoy gives examples of Bible characters, herself, and others to explain her point in blessings coming from suffering.
The sentence that I believe is the focal verse of the book: "God is faithful in all circumstances."

My Thoughts:
The Sweet Side of Suffering is a concise book, which will help a person going through a life struggle and are looking for a place of comfort. Our comfort comes from the Lord. And The Sweet Side of Suffering affirms what we know in our mind, but need to be remind…

(Review) Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, August 17, 2012.
Genre: Christian fiction, World War I, the South.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 400.
Rating: 4 Stars for very good.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link for the book at Amazon,
Christian Book. 

The time period is the last half of 1918. World War I is in the final stages, the flu epidemic has begun.
Ella Wallace manages a store. It's a store and job she didn't want. It is a means of support for herself and three sons.
Her husband Harlan Wallace disappeared. It is not believed he died, he ran-off.
Land was given to Ella from her father. It is in a coastal area of Florida. The land is wanted by unsavory men. Men who will not tire of depraved antics to soften Ella's resolve in not selling her legacy.
Ella is a haggard woman. She reminds me of the woman photographed in the 1930s by the female photographer Dorothea Lange.

My Thoughts:
An additional character is in the story, which is an anomaly in Christian fiction, a Native Amer…

(Review) Hidden Places by Lynn Austin

Publisher: Bethany House, July 1, 2001.
Genre: Fiction.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 436.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link @ Amazon for the book: Hidden Places. 

Eliza Wyatt is a young widow with three children. Her surly father-in-law has recently died. Her beloved husband died a year before.
The Wyatt Orchard is the source of income for her family. It is their home. It is her source of security. It is the future hope for her children. It is a legacy she had planned to pass on to her children.
Bad business decisions have left her in a bad state.
Meanwhile, a stranger arrives at her door asking to help work the place in exchange for a meal. Eliza's daughter believes him to be an angel. An angel disguised as a hobo.
Meanwhile, Eliza's late husband's aunt Batty, has come to live with them.
The time period is the early years of the Great Depression.

My Thoughts:
This is one of the BEST Christian fiction books I've read.
I had a difficult t…

2015 Operation Deepen Faith

Operation Deepen Faith is more of a perpetual challenge that has been ongoing for a few years. Becky has tweaked the challenge over the years, but the motivation behind the challenge is the same-READ the BIBLE. The author of the challenge is Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible. To read more information on the challenge and to sign-up: 2015 Operation Deepen Faith. 
My goal for this challenge is I, II, III, IV, and V. I plan to take part in all of the choices!
Goal I is Wonderful Words of Life---read the Bible.
Goal II is How Firm a Foundation---study one book of the Bible all year, read the book at least four times.
Goal III is Deep and Wide---read multiple books of the Bible in multiple translations.
Goal IV is Meditate or Memorize---choose a verse to read and reflect on, not necessarily memorize.
Goal V is Christian Non-fiction---read theology books.

For goal number I, I plan to read the whole Bible from the NKJV. I've grown to love this translation. I love the beauty of the prose. …

(Review) No Greater Valor: The Siege of Bastogne and The Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory by Jerome Corsi

Publisher: Nelson Books, October 28, 2014.
Genre: Non-fiction, World War II, The Battle of the Bulge.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 384.
Rating: 4 Stars for very good.
Source: Free copy from Book Look Bloggers, HarperCollins Christian Publishing in exchange for a review.

Author information:
Jerome Corsi has written and coauthored many books and articles, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Unfit for Command. Corsi is the founder of the Iran Freedom Walk. He has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC regarding Iran, as well as in hundreds of radio interviews. (Information from Book Look Bloggers.

Further links:
From the History channel website.
From the US Army website. 
a battle book of the event, 
and from 

The Battle of the Bulge began on Saturday, December 16, 1944. The word bulge is defined as the bulging of the German offense against the Allies. On a map it looked as if there was a bulging pattern in the German offense line. The battle ended in late January 1945. …

(Review) The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks

Publisher: Lion Fiction/Kregel Publications, September 26, 2014.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 608.
Rating: 2 stars for okay.
Source: Free copy from Kregel Publications in exchange for a review.

Link for the book @ Amazon,
and @ Barnes and Noble. 

1536-1539, England.
The Heretic follows a four year span in the life of a monk named Pacificus; and during the age of Henry VIII and the Reformation movement in England.
Brother Pacificus holds dearly to his "true" Church. The heretics are the people devoted to the English Bible and the Reformation movement.
The list of characters introduced in The Heretic are lengthy. For example: Henry VIII and his court, the fellow brothers of Pacificus in the abbey, and a family named Fenton. I counted 52 characters that are on the character list.
The story is written in the present first person narrative.

My Thoughts:
I had a difficult time bonding with the story. After reading over 600 pages, I never became in…