Friday, May 29, 2015

As Waters Gone By written Cynthia Ruchti


Title:  As Waters Gone By
Author:  Cynthia Ruchti
Website: http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/
Pages:  304
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
My rating is 5 stars out of 5!
What words can I use to describe a work of fiction filled with compelling characters and unexpected themes?  I read through the novel becoming emotionally involved in the scenes placed on the page which doesn’t happen all too often for me when opening a work of fiction.  However, As Waters Go By is definitely an exception!
The one thread that continued to weave throughout each part of the novel is Hope.  Not a flyby night kind of a feeling and definitely not based on the situations involved in the plot.  I reminisce what a masterpiece Cynthia has crafted to together as how various parts of the characters lives come together to speak so powerfully of what only God can be or do.  One mother a drug addict, a father incarcerated, an island in Wisconsin and an Inn owner/operator who is eccentric to the extreme words of wisdom flowing from her heart.
Characters in the novel reflect to readers how grace is a real, powerful and living gift from God.  Sometimes the conflict within the plot came from the internal tumbling of feelings and thoughts that some of the female leads experienced.  How delightfully wonderful that they took their pain and allowed God to teach them truths about themselves and then comfort others they meet.
Emmalyn Ross is the one of the female characters who is tossed about by the repercussions of her husband’s decisions.   Her journey to freedom from bondage, hurt to joy, hopelessness to hope, and short-sightedness to a broader view is deeply touching.  When she moves to an island refurbishing a cabin without knowledge of what the future held and only knowing she wanted a sanctuary is something most of us can relate too.  Wait to you read what else Emmalyn and others on that small island experience together!
Words sometimes fail to express the deeper feelings or stirrings I feel in my soul at times, like now.  All I can hope for is that you open the book and lose yourself in As Waters Gone By even if just to see what might stir within your own heart.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Long Fall (Hawk & Dove Series #3)by Penelope Wilcock

Title:  The Long Fall (The Hawk and the Dove #3)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  224
Year:  1993
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
This third book in the series follows the deepening friendship between Brother Tom and Father Peregrine as they continue their service in the monastic life to God under the St. Benedictine creed.  Even though the brothers are not to have friendships with particular brothers, this special friendship does develop.   Father Peregrine is under some stress as money is short and the list of repairs to their farm, which feeds them and provides revenue, is long.  Shortly thereafter, Father Peregrine suffers more physical tragedy, resulting in further disability on top of the injuries he sustained in book one of the series, The Hawk and the Dove.
Now, the fiercely independent and sometimes prideful Father Peregrine must depend on someone else for all his needs.  Brother Tom has trouble reconciling the man Father Peregrine has become to the man he once was and refused to visit Peregrine.  This hurts Father Peregrine tremendously as he has come to value and depend upon Brother Tom’s friendship.  Brother Tom in finally convinced to visit Father Peregrine and slowly their friendship re-establishes itself.  There are deep conversations about life and God between the two.
Negatives:  I missed the element that was present in the first two novels of the more contemporary characters of Melissa and her mother sharing these stories.  I also don’t agree with how Father Peregrine extracts a promise from Brother Tom to help him end his life when the time comes.
Positives:  I liked the touch of humor here and there sprinkled throughout the story.  I really was touched by the relationship between Brother Tom and Father Peregrine of spiritual mentor to mentee, the almost father to son aspect, as well as being able to share their deepest humiliations and struggles, making themselves extremely vulnerable while maintaining their respect and friendship for one another.
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Water from My Heart by Charles Nartin


Title:  Water from My Heart
Author:  Charles Martin
Website:  http://charlesmartinbooks.com/
Pages:  368
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Center Street
My rating is 5+ stars out of 5.
Charles Martin is a very gifted storyteller of the upper most class.  Before this new novel of his, I read another of his books titled, A Life Intercepted, which I really enjoyed.  Each book I have read has included an author’s note that shares his heart or reason for writing the book we readers hold in our hands.  Water from My Heart is no different in that aspect, except as I finished I was struck with how much this novel was so like a parable that it stole my breath away.
When I started the book, I wasn’t really being grabbed by the storyline, and I kept wondering where the author was going with the story.  Then, I discovered a tale told in first person by a man named Charlie Finn who for a long time in his life did many things without being aware of the consequences to others such as delivering drugs or not being open and honest with his girlfriend.  Charlie Finn loved the thrill of the hunt, the danger of out maneuvering his opponents and the adrenaline rush when danger was close on his heels.
Now, decades later, Charlie is face-to-face with the ramifications of his decisions and actions that rippled out and caused deep pain in many lives.  Charlie feels like he is dirty from head-to-toe and nothing he can do will ever help him cleanse the dirt or the wall of indifference from his heart.  How wrong he turned out to be.
At the end of the book, the author shares where the birth of the storyline came from.  It will touch you deeply as it did him if you allow your heart to be open.  Challenges to living a life indifferent to the pain, suffering and destruction in the world was recently brought to the forefront to Charles Martin’s life. Water from My Heart is not a novel I will soon forget or the call to no longer live separate from others.  While Charles Martin’s life is now moved in a new direction, impacting his family and others, I wonder how it will affect anyone willing to sit and read the book.
Take time to read and share with someone this amazing story that will show you how big God is, that He still works miracles and He is waiting for you to come as you are.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wounds of God (Hawk & Dove Series #2) by Penelope Wilcock


Title:  The Wounds of God (The Hawk and the Dove #2)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  187
Year:  1991
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
The second book in The Hawk and the Dove series also has the daughter, Melissa, asking her mother to tell her stories that have been handed down from generation to generation by the females in her family.  These stories center on a monastery in the early 1300s, featuring Abbot or Father Peregrine and the brothers who served with him in the monastery.  Young Melissa, who is now sixteen years old, is gaining much advice, knowledge and insight into how to live for God through these stories.
In this series of tales, we learn more about Father Peregrine and his ability or lack thereof to handle his disability and the reliance it causes him to have on others for help.  We see others reactions to his disability and a protective bond that has formed between Peregrine and his fellow brothers at the monastery.  The love Peregrine feels for his brothers he expresses in ways of humility, discipline, and putting them in a situation where they are forced to come to terms with their fear in order to allow them to completely surrender to God.
Just as in book one in the series, this second book is filled with spiritual examples with practical applications to put to use in situations and relationships.  Again, I couldn’t put the book down as I was, just like Melissa in the book, so drawn to see what Father Peregrine and his fellow brothers in the monastery were up to next.  I seemed to be always begging for another story just like her.  My heart was tugged at some of the ways Father Peregrine showed certain brothers the love of Christ by putting himself in a difficult or humiliating situations.  Readers will see Father Peregrine struggle with his pride, but remember Jesus’ sacrifice and wounds on the cross and then surrender himself to God.  I am so grateful to have come across this series that has so much to teach readers about how to live life with a God focus.
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457