Friday, March 30, 2012

Indelible

Title: Indelible

Author: Kristen Heitzmann

Publisher: Water Brook

Pages: 338

Year: 2011

Note: I received a complimentary copy and the review can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

Indelible means, “1.making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like: indelible ink. 2. that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like: the indelible memories of war; the indelible influence of a great teacher.” (Dictionary.com/Random House Dictionary 2012). The word is an adjective so it describes for us, but what exactly is the author describing for her readers? This is what I thought when I looked at the title, having never read any previous novels by this author.

Now having finished this novel, I can tell you that it definitely leaves an impression. What kind of impression? Well, I think for each reader it will be as unique as the person themselves. The setting for the story is the state of Colorado, United States of America. The characters are revealed little by little as each page is read.

There is a mystery to be sure not just action, but how the characters are in themselves a mystery. Their past and present lives are peeled away for us a little at a time. Each character is slowly shown to be transparent with a revelation seemingly in each chapter. The sheriff, Olympian, Cody, Nattie, Sarah, Whit and Aaron are just a few of the intriguing people.

Someone lurks in the shadows, quoting passages from a book. What book? I can’t tell you or it would ruin the story for you. There is a reporter who wants the scoop from Travis about…oh wait, I can’t tell you that either! Okay, maybe I can tell you about Cody who was saved by Travis from…wait, I can’t reveal that either. Uh, I guess you are going to have to grab the book and strap yourself down for the ride of your life! The story takes you from town, to hospital, city, art gallery, ski slopes, and mountain climbing. Add to these desertion, abuse, amputation, pain, revelation, salvation, love and you’ve got some of the ingredients that come together to make Indelible an excellent, riveting novel.

So pick up a copy, a cold drink, a comfy chair or sofa and go for the ride! This is one novel you don’t want to go without reading. Have fun! I did and it was a great ride!

Resignation of Eve Review

Title: The Resignation of Eve

Author: Jim Henderson

Pages: 320

Year: 2012

Publisher: BarnaBooks

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers. Read my other reviews of different books: http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

As I sit here preparing to write a review on this book, I can’t help wondering how to start. There are many thoughts and emotions rattling within me, so before I started I stopped and asked for the Lord to help me because I wasn’t sure how to put forth what was inside. Jim Henderson took three years to put this book together, interviewing many women regarding many issues. He includes in the book what research showed as far as women and church. The author gives his readers an insight as to where he is coming from and how he got there. I appreciate that about an author or anybody, being honest in that we all come with preconceived ideas from life. Also included at the end of each section are parts other women or men wrote, but their identities are kept anonymous.

The main purpose of writing this book, doing interviews, research and all was to find out why women are: 1) leaving a church basically for good, even while some are there in flesh but their heart is far away, and 2) others staying in the church without worrying about why women aren’t in leadership positions. Now please realize this is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak as to what is in the book. There is much more to what the author writes. In reading this book, it took a while to see what the interviewed women were saying. Of course, not all of the conversation is presented, which is understandable. At the end of each interview, the author has a small section labeled, “My Take”. In that small space, he shares what he thought about the interview, what was said and other sentiments drawn from his experience. Mr. Henderson leaves his major conclusions until the end of the book.

In the final pages of the book, he says he has no plans to write another book like this so he had to choose what to include and what not to include. Again, I appreciate him stating this as well as what he doesn’t touch on specifically, but how he feels in general about unspoken issues.

There are very few books I don’t care to read. In fact, I have a stack yet to read, review and contact authors. It took me less than 1 ½ days to read this non-fiction material as it is easy to follow the thoughts of the women interviewed and the author’s conclusions. The research material included may be of interest to some, but to me it isn’t what is important when drawing conclusions or making decisions about important issues. While I am open to hearing what others think about an issue and love interaction about the problems addressed, I don’t want to stay there. Opinions are just that--what someone concludes or thinks about an issue. It is important in dialogue to learn about others, but in the end one must decide who is the “final authority” in his/her life.

It is heart-wrenching to read of how some women are being treated, but then again that is only one side of the coin and not a complete picture. In the book, women left not only the “church”, but their faith as well. While it may seem to be the church’s fault, that isn’t how God sees it. Each one of us must give account for our own lives. There are also women who are presented as being resigned in that “since this is the way it is going to be” they just work with the system or around it or through it.

In all the pages I read, only a couple of Scripture portions were cited. What happened to the whole counsel of God? Where is guideline of 2 Timothy 3:16-17? ”All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.“ (NIV) It must be made known that we are finite and cannot tell the Infinite what to do. We cannot think, play or work in the world and be a biblically thinking Christian sometimes. The Church is not the ultimate authority upon which we stand. It is Christ, the living being, who stands firm, and we as the Church must be available to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Opinions come and go. Jesus Christ came and went, and is coming again. What do you base your hope in or on? Who is the ultimate authority in your life? If man is placed next to God as if on equal footing, then to me it is God’s authority every time that is supreme and not because I say, but because He is! If opinions and experiences of man are placed next to the Word of God, I take the Word of God as authority above all else. The Word of God transforms me, the World and the Body. What transforms you? What influences you? What will be the base on which you stand when He returns or you face Him first?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Because of Me By: Fay Lamb

Title: Because of Me

Author: Fay Lamb

Year: 2012

Pages: 349

Publisher: Treble Heart Books

Note: I received a free copy from the author.

Honestly, what do you think of when you read the title of the novel? Do you imagine romance? Yes, there is that element. How about families torn apart because of the decisions or actions of others? You would be right there too, that is in the novel. Would you think of issues such as rape, having a child, prison, forgiveness, healing and perhaps restoration? These are also included in this debut novel by Fay Lamb written with a sensitive heart on issues that are, to say the least, tough.

Kip, Jervis, Michael, Rhonda, and Isabel have something that ties them together in a way that is not typical to most characters or settings of a story. No, this is not a true story but it may come close to expressing the various emotions faced by women as well as men. Add the element of a matriarch who wants to control others’ lives and hide the shame she feels by any means plausible. What means does she use? Is it money or the drive for power? Who are those that would most benefit from her desire to control and cover up the “shame” she feels?

Let’s add to the story a district attorney who wants to climb the political ladder along with marrying Isabel’s sister, but for what purpose? We have Cole who loves his mother and longs for the love of a daddy; he has such a childlike faith. Yet, no matter what he endures whether emotional or physical to whom does he cling?

Murder is part of the plot as well. Wouldn’t you know it? While a son is wrongfully imprisoned and something happens to his mother, but where is his father? Michael grew up without his father. He had only his mother and a woman he considers his second mother. Will they still believe in him and love him even though he goes to prison? How does someone who forced another to watch a violent act come to repentance and then become a preacher? Is he really one or just fooling with people again?

Jervis has one thing on his mind all the time and only one thing. No one will stop him or stand in his way either. Does he value life at all? Where did he learn the “tools of the trade” and have such connections even though imprisoned? Oh, there is something else on his mind a lot of the time too, some $30,000. Where did he get that kind of cash?

Have I peaked you curiosity yet? I sure hope I have. This is an excellent novel filled with believable characters, riveting plot, subplots, and action that makes you read until your eyes ache! For a budding author, Fay Lamb sure comes out in full bloom! When you read this novel, it is amazing that someone wrote such an intriguing story that captures you from page one and doesn’t let go until the very last page. Fay did an excellent job dealing with some tough issues, and the choices her characters make along with the outcome of their choices. It exhorts one and all that forgiveness, though not easily given, should none the less be given. Also included in this novel is the truth that we don’t have the ability to forgive on our own. We must have utter dependency on God to help us forgive. I hope you get yourself a copy of Because of Me, to read as well as to enjoy the many picturesque characters that are within the pages of this fictional story. From my point of view Fay’s book is a 5+ star rating. Fay’s internet address is www.FayLamb.com Available through all fine book retailers, Amazon.com, and Mountainview Publishing, a division of Treble Heart Books. Purchase the book at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Because-of-Me-ebook/dp/B00722KIME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327670357&sr=8-1 Or at Treble Heart Books at: www.trebleheartbooks.com/MVLamb.html Purchase the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Because-of-Me-ebook/dp/B00722KIME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327670357&sr=8-1 Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is soon to be released by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing. Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010. In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board. Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Introducing Fay Lamb

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is soon to be released by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing. Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010. In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board. Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

English Historical Novel: The Fall Line

Title: The Fall Line

Author: Errol Burland

Pages: 512

Year: 2006

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing (http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/index.html)

Note: I received a complimentary copy of “The Fall Line” from Dorrance Publishing Company as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Review Team.

What do you find intriguing about a historical novel? Is it the characters, time period, setting, or perhaps the author? This is the first book I have read by this author. If you have never heard of this author’s name before, know this, this is her first novel and what a novel it is too! Naturally, the title reminds one of the colonial period when America was still forming, finding its way to what it would eventually become. However, as I was not a very good student at first of history, there was much to learn about this time frame.

From the start, it is evident that the author knows how to craft an excellent story. I was amazed when I started to read and see such quality come forth from a novice. The characters, setting, plots, and subplots are well written. In fact, the whole novel is par excellance! Though such a large novel might make you wonder if you can stay with it to the end, let me reassure you, there will be no problem with that!

In this book, there are many interesting details of England’s customs and history, rebellion, family, treason, friendship, marriage, and more that are so well-woven into the book it is hard to put down. Within the pages, we see the element of arranged marriages between young people, dowries given, land grants, kings, even a mention of Cromwell. In the colonies, we find the King’s appointed governor, appointments to offices, taxes, slavery, common people with no say, and more. This is a time so distinct in comparison to today, yet the characters remind us of those we know or may know today. Back then religious as well as political affiliations were well known and could make or break one’s path to adulthood or experiences of adventure.

When this novel begins, there is a man who has high hopes and even higher aspirations, but is that all? His first wife has died years ago, leaving him with three children who are now grown. He has remarried, having more children, but out of five only one has survived, a girl named Lyn. Lyn is the name she loves to be called by the most and Nat is a childhood friend. Together they mutually pledge a lifelong friendship, which turns into love as they grow older. Nat has a friend named John Grey who is a lawyer and a devoted friend of Nat’s though he doesn’t share Nat’s ways of living.

Lyn’s mother dies during childbirth, but before doing so gives her daughter advice which Lyn carries through her adult life. Lyn’s father is a man with dark secrets that the servants know about, but they never speak a word of them. As the story develops, you begin to see her father’s true character or lack of it. Though Nat’s character isn’t a shining one, his father sends him to Virginia to hopefully see his son grow into a well-rounded and wonderful man. There is rebellion in the wind in the Virginia colony. Why? It isn’t only the King’s appointed man that brings trouble to the colonies, there are also Indians about. Are any in league with the English?

One cannot rate this novel anything but 5-star, and exceptional to say the least! I highly recommend it because the author doesn’t expound on “sex”; she glosses over marital relationships. Second, there are only a couple of brief curse words, which is amazing considering the length of the book. Finally, above all, it is well written, captivating to the reader, and fascinating to say the least! Grab a copy, settle down and get lost in the pages of this wonderful historical novel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Maid of Fairbourne Hall Novel Reviewed!

Title: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Author: Julie Klassen

Pages: 416

Year: January 2012

Publisher: Bethany House

Does the time period of the 1700 to 1800’s interest you? What about the history of servants, the different levels, rules and more? Did you even know that Sarah and Samuel Adams, Jane Austen as well as many others wrote on the subject of servants in that time frame? At the beginning of each chapter, the author shares some snippet of wisdom from those who wrote about the subject whether in a book or letter or a different source. Whatever one thinks of such practices, you may find that it helps add to the understanding of the time period in which this excellent novel is set.

This was the first book of this subject and time period I have ever read as well as the first from this author. I found this book inspiring and very riveting. It also helped that the chapters were not of such a long length as to lose my attention either. The author has many scenes and plots that she flashes back to time and again without ever losing the attention of the reader.

Margret Macy is the main character of this story, as is Nathaniel Upchurch, his brother Lewis, and a sister named Helen. Margret was raised with a sister and brother both of whom are younger. Margret lost her father, and her current step-father is a shady character to say the least. There is an undercurrent of something far more sinister going on in the story. The undercurrent is so strong that along with other forces Margret is pushed in a direction she despises so much that she leaves in the cloak of night and ends up…where? Next, we see Nora working in the Upchurch home as a servant; she is the newest member of the staff and the lowest in rank. Who is Nora and why doesn’t she know how to properly do her job? Nora doesn’t have anything but a pair of spectacles, a cameo pin, and a little money. Oh, and the money Nora has she takes from another maid, causing that maid to lose her job. Nora left London and goes to …well, you better find that one out for yourself.

Also included in the story is love to be found in unusual places between unlikely people as well as shady characters, dueling, pirates, devotions and so much more. Lewis Upchurch is the eldest, Nathaniel the youngest with Helen in between them in age. She loves her brother Lewis and is rediscovering her youngest brother, Nathaniel, has decided to love the Lord. He comes home from Barbados because his father ordered him to as Nathaniel’s faith interferes with his father’s use of slaves on the plantation. There is a revolt in the story and a change in the heart of his father.

It is hard to stop here, but I must before I share too much more. Then again, if I did, it would probably be the whole book itself! Get this 5 star book as soon as you can, grab a comfy chair, a tall cool ice tea or a cup of coffee and then travel back in time and get lost reading! I know I was enjoying this book so much my guys couldn’t bother me! Grab the book, get lost in the story and enjoy! You will be more than happy you did!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Christian Contours Book Reviewed!

Title: Christian Contours

Author: Douglas S. Huffman, Editor

Pages: 240

Year: 2012

Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional

Note: A complimentary book was received from Kregel for this review. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

Christian Contours is a good resource and easy to read, thought provoking as well as resourceful. The book is a compilation of short essays that help Christians to understand loving God with their mind as well as their heart and how to do so. The editor begins his Preface of the book stating the aims or goals of such an undertaking. Next, Douglas Huffman introduces us to the authors whose writings we will be reading in the following pages. The overarching challenge the book places before the reader is loving God with our entire mind, not just the heart or emotions.

There are two main parts of the book that deal with Biblical Worldview--what it is, how many viewpoints there are, and the worldview relationship to truth. In the second half of the book, readers are then exhorted to worldview thinking and responsibility. Each of the articles or essays places its aim on the table right up front for all to see. Then, as the reader progresses, there is a presentation of material to consider seriously. Finally, at the end of each chapter there are questions for either discussion or personal reflection, whatever the reader decides to do.

In the back of the book is an Appendix that presents a Comparison of Worldviews, followed by Christian Professional Organizations, then the book closes with an extensive Bibliography for any who choose to pursue further study or understanding. One of the benefits of reading this book is it is written for any interested person to read, so don’t dismiss the book as just something “beyond” one’s understanding. Second, it is not written as an exhaustive book on the subject of Biblical Worldview, which is stated by the authors more than once.

I read the book in less than one day, which was good for me. I had to think about what I was reading not merely spend time without using my mind. There were parts, I confess, that weren’t easily understood by me, but I am glad I read it. Within the authors comments and quotations there were occasional parts that I didn’t agree with. As a Bible study teacher, I always see this as a good quality. Any book other than the Bible will not always be 100% true, only the Scriptures are. All who participated in this book agree that above all else Scripture is the sole foundation and source of truth alone, nothing more, nothing less. Personally, out of 5 stars I rate it as 4 stars, and a challenge for small group leaders to utilize this tool to help train, nurture, and strengthen the people they lead.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Coming Revolution Review

Title: The Coming Revolution: Signs from America’s Past that Signal Our Nation’s Future

Author: Dr. Richard G. Lee

Pages: 256

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Year: 2012

Note: I was provided a copy for review by BookSneeze.com. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

How much history of our nation do you know? Can you remember facts, places, people or events? Are you a student of history? Now when I say student, I don’t mean as in academia. I refer to being one who is constantly learning about history. There are a variety of paths and periods that anyone can choose to learn about. For example, you may study a particular nation and within that nation a particular religion, country, race or belief system--the sky is the limit. It never ceases to amaze me how many history books are written, what is purposed in them or even what comes out from the author’s perspective on what he/she studied. Just as there are many ways to look and learn from history, there are just that many more conclusions drawn.

This is such an exciting time to live in our nation and to be a part of this moment. Why? Some may even be questioning my sanity as they may not agree it is exciting, but frightening. I would agree there is some trepidation that exists. I was not interested in history when I was in school from kindergarten through graduation with a Bachelors degree. I can’t say it was always because of the way some teachers presented it like it was a desert--dry, hot and not exactly a place where one would want to stop and look around. Part of the problem was me; I simply didn’t care. Once we said our pledge of allegiance in school and the day began that was where my interest stopped. So I missed a lot of opportunity to learn or even let interest cultivate.

Now many decades later (don’t ask how many!), I see where it is imperative to review our history and to be an active participant in upholding our Constitution against any and all who seek to undermine it in any way. Dr. Lee’s book begins with the purpose for which he wrote the book and from what perspective. Many people today, both of Judeo-Christian backgrounds and those who aren’t, may learn anew our nation’s history. In a story-type setting, Dr. Lee presents in a clear and concise manner what our forefathers thoughts were when it was a war against all tyranny, against Britain and all others who sought to advance laws upon the people of this land without them having any representation or say in the matters that affected their everyday lives. Today’s revolution may not be bloody as the author agrees, however, the feeling that America needs to stop what is encroaching does. Why? Well, read the foundation the author lays in this excellent book.

Dr. Lee lays out the hope that change can happen without the need for blood to be lost if we take care now to arise, stand firm and be agents of change. Within the pages of history, as well as in our recent past, events have caused divisions within the nation to stop America proclaiming her unity and pride with a force felt around the world. If for some reason American’s let the lie that what they do or don’t do makes no difference, it can change the outlook in ways we have yet to imagine. The Coming Revolution shows the history of the impact that ministers make in their members’ lives as well as in the foundation of America. Dr. Lee wrote a book everyone can learn from, gain a perspective of hope from, and then begin to impact this nation for good for generations to come. Will you please take time to read this book, pray through the ideas and be involved for the good of America’s future? I know I will. In the words of Joshua (24:15b), “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” as well as our great nation!

From my family to those past and present, thank you for your sacrifice for our nation. We may not know your names, looks or anything about you; however, God knows and we pray that He will bless you all with courage, humility, and wisdom.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Charles Colson: THe Sky is not Falling

Title: The Sky is Not Falling

Author: Charles Colson

Pages: 233

Publisher: Worthy Publishing

Year: 2011

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review. Read other reviews at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

Have you ever picked up a book and known that somehow this book is different from others? Sure it could be different because of genre, language, classification and more. When is the last time though that you read a book to “think”? Most read to relax and enjoy a moment not thinking or being burdened by the chores of the day. I read for enjoyment just like other people do, but I also read to think or learn. Most people are so tired from everyday work, home and family responsibilities that “thinking” seems to fall off the proverbial “to do” list. For others reading a book that makes them “think” is like going back to school, which isn’t always a pleasant memory for many.

Our society in general has had the love of learning, thinking or reading drained from it by “entertainment” venues. While an occasional movie or TV show might be something helpful, I propose it shouldn’t replace “love God with our entire mind”. Entertainment wants us to just sit back and let whatever comes into our minds, which can be devastating, happen. So why not read a book that has something to offer to our minds as well as to our hearts?

The Sky is not Falling is one such book. Charles Colson took articles he wrote originally for Christianity Today and overhauled them. He updated the content, showing the truth he has shared over the past decades to still be truth today. It is not a book filled with Scripture references if that is what you think it contains. It is a call to look at the opportunities for people to bring change at the most fundamental level, our communities.

Charles Colson relays example upon example of what works and what doesn’t work. He presents clearly and concisely encouragement to work to bring about change instead of caving in to fear. Colson delivers exhortations from past attempts at change so that the mistakes aren’t repeated. Within the pages of the book, you will read where various people from other cultures have seen America’s problems as well as clearly the reason for those problems long before America has seen them. There are others from within our nation who challenge us to take a different approach to the difficult issues of today, to see beyond the moment, which then gives us all renewed hope for a better tomorrow.

After you get the book, take time to read carefully and with discernment. Pass the book along to others to read perhaps even discussing ways to make the proposals a reality in your neighborhood, work and other spheres of influence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Reviews from a Book Lover: Illusion by Frank Peretti Giveaway

Book Reviews from a Book Lover: Illusion by Frank Peretti Giveaway: About the book: Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or...

Protection for Hire Review!

Title: Protection for Hire

Author: Camy Tang

Pages: 336

Publisher: Zondervan

Note: The author graciously sent a complimentary copy for review. You may follow and contact the author through her website at www.camytang.com. Feel free to read other reviews by Lisa on her blog http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

What do think of a novel that has many twists and turns, exciting action and more? Would you read a book that kept you turning pages to find out how it was going to turn out? The well-developed characters in “Protection for Hire” are the usual run-of-the-mill kind. Woven throughout the story are themes of choices, family, murder, blame, truth with the story taking place in San Francisco.

The main female lead in this fictional adventure comes from two different nationalities. She is loyal and a fighter. When she goes to prison for manslaughter, her life really takes an unexpected turn that affects both those closest to her as well as others that aren’t.

During her incarceration, life on the outside of the walls still goes on. Yet, the impact of the change within Tessa causes her to have to make very difficult choices upon her release. Will she return to life within the “family business” or choose to make a stand and risk all, even her life, to save what some would consider the “unlovable”?

Her lawyer has a past too. Charles thinks he can run away from or bury deep within himself his past, but now he isn’t so sure he can anymore. What brings it to the forefront of his life now? All Charles wants to do is become a partner in his law firm. His pro bono case is taking more hours than the lead lawyer, a partner in the firm, likes. Though Charles assures him he will work more hours without billing or slacking on other cases, this lead lawyer fights him on every request, turn or decision that is out forth.

Touching all these characters’ lives is a woman and a 3-year old boy, and someone wants the woman dead. Why does Heath want his wife dead just because she left him after he hit her? Heath hires some unsavory people to search for her, find her and hurt anyone who gets in the way. Elisabeth is told money that she inherited when she got married is all gone, so how is she to live now and provide for little Danny?

On top of this, there are two mothers who are very different; they even show their affections in totally unique ways. Charles has a brother who can defend himself and eat his mother’s cooking. Does his life have anything other than that occurring?

This is the first novel I have read by Camy Tang, and I am glad to say it will not be the last. She is definitely a gifted writer with a flair for action and adventure with all sorts of different cultures and belief systems. Camy is a Christian who speaks her belief in Him brilliantly in her writing. I know that if you read “Protection for Hire” you will be so glad that you did! My rating for her novel is a 5+. Pick up your copy of her book today, turn the noise off and get ready for an adventure!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God's Story Your Story Review

Title: God’s Story, Your Story

Author: Max Lucado

Pages: 288

Publisher: Zondervan

Year: 2011

Note: A compliment copy was provided by http://www.demossnews.com/books/ Other reviews by this blog writer can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/

I’ve never been an author and never published anything. How about you? Ever stand on the edge of a cliff and wonder “if I…, then what?” Sometimes in our lives we don’t remember that we are writing and publishing; we just aren’t aware of it. Our lives are time spent in various amounts with various people as well as alone in various activities or maybe in quiet. We write memories on the hearts and minds of others as they write on ours as well. It may be that what is written isn’t ever published, but in view of eternity the writing is made known. Is it seen before then? What do you think?

We are created beings by one Creator. The Creator’s story envelopes everyone. Whether people want to recognize it or not that will never change the truth of it. In this book, Max Lucado writes how God’s story can be our story. He is right; it is a choice to follow Him. God is constantly showing Himself to us in more ways than our finite minds can ever comprehend.

In ten short chapters, Max shares the wonder of God, the wisdom of God along with real-life stories that remind him and us that Someone is calling us. Like Jesus, we have an assignment. Satan doesn’t want you to know about the assignment or the God who wants you to know Him. We don’t have to live each day alone or on our own. We all get side-swiped by various tragedies, surprises, life and death. When you wake up, have you heard God calling you? Do you ever sense His presence right there with you, leading you?

Are you filled with anticipation for His return or are you burdened by today? When someone you love dies, do you cry? Guess what? Jesus did. When we graduate from this life, no more tears, sorrows, burdens…..ever! Reading this book will encourage you, make you stop and think and realize you aren’t the only one who hurts, wonders, questions or seeks. Your heart will be touched by the various truths Max shares and the stories he tells. The neat thing is you will be reminded that all of us are on a journey. Where is your destination stop? Who are listening to? Ever stop long enough to know the way He has for you to go? The writer’s style is very alluring, easy-paced and enjoyable. Don’t let that fool you though. It also helps you focus on God and decide is God’s Story also yours? I hope so. I know it is mine and I can’t wait for Graduation Day! Read the book and you will know what I mean.

Sites to see: www.hisismine.com and www.MaxLucado.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Concluding 1 Peter Lesson 9

Title: 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times

Author: Sue Edwards

Year: 2011

Pages: 102

Publisher: Kregel Publishers

Lesson 9: Strengthen your Kin (1 Peter 5)

1 Peter 5 speaks to two generations: the elders and younger people. How important do you feel it is for the older generation to encourage the younger generation on their faith journey?

There is no question as to the necessity of those who have walked with the Lord and studied Scriptures to share their wisdom with others. What perhaps keeps this from happening is that the older generation doesn’t feel valued by the younger generation nor are they given the time to learn from them. Likewise the younger generation hasn’t taken advantage of what older, wiser people have learned. There is also the “instant” mentality that has crept into the Body of Christ. It can be inhibiting in building relationships, since it takes time as well as commitment to learn from each other. 1 Peter 5 has a lot of instruction in it that we need to allow to pierce our hearts. Whether an elder or younger person, one characteristic Peter seeks for people to have is humility. In society today we have many examples before us of self-centered living. The Body of Christ can be an example of being humble servants of God by not living for “self”, but humbling ourselves first before God. Then, with tender hearts, we can serve others.

1 Peter 5 commands us to “cast all our anxieties” on Him, why “because He cares for us.” The word cast literally means to throw. What encouragement that is today as we have financial, physical, and emotional cares or worries, even anxiety! This enables us to function with a view more towards eternity than the earthly day-to-day cares of living we have. The first thing is humbling ourselves, next we cast our cares on Him, and finally we must be sober and stand firm. The reason to humble and then cast our cares on Him is so we can be sober-minded, clear-minded and not bogged under with so much of life. We can then stand firm and resist the devil who seeks to utterly destroy us, leaving nothing behind when he is through. 1 Peter 5 has much more to learn from than what is written here. However, living humbly before God, casting all my cares on Him frees me to stay alert and stand firm until my journey here ends.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not in the Heart

Title: Not in the Heart

Author: Chris Fabry (www.chrisfabry.com)

Pages: 432

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

Year: 2012

Note: I received a complimentary copy from B & B Media Group, Inc. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.

What options are there for one with overwhelming gambling debts, a failing marriage, and a distant relationship with your kids? What if you wanted to hide yet had this feeling that not only were you being followed, but threatened too? How would you cope with a son so close to death because a heart donor can’t be found? Then, when a donor is found, he is in jail!

Not in the Heart has many issues, themes, subplots and a riveting, page turning story. Truman is a man who once knew the height of success as a reporter, now the only thing he knows better is casinos. Ellen believes in God, and Truman’s ability to tell the truth of a story even though he left her holding the burden of the family. Aiden, Ellen and Truman’s son, is on life support. Will he be able to live long enough to get a heart donor? Abigail, his older sister, is like her father, but not like her father. The family unit is divided in many ways, torn between love and anger, fear and peace, life or death.

It is more than a story of a physical heart; it is a story of the heart that God wants to inhabit as well as give the gift of eternal life to those who turn to him. Everywhere Truman turns people are either talking or praying to God; however, the flip side of his life is that there are those who want their money or him dead. Interwoven with all this, is a man who has political clout and doesn’t care about anything but pursuing his vested interests. Is he the only one?

On top of all this, there is a book to write, a story to tell. There are those who want it to be published for a variety of reasons. Truman is good at what he does. He tells the truth of a story no matter where it leads. He has witnessed some awful things, but how much of it is he willing to deal with? Is this God he sees his wife and son pray to for real or just a crutch? Trying to see and understand the reality of this God amidst the backdrop of his life leads Truman on a path that brings about an ending that will stir your heart.

Real life issues are brought up within the pages of the story. Issues that not only impact the here and now, but the then and there. It rates a 5+ star from me for it is one of the best novels I have read within this genre. Once you start this book, there will be no stopping until you read to the end, so make a space in your calendar to read Not in the Heart. You will be more than glad you did!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1 Peter Lesson 8

Title: 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times

Author: Sue Edwards

Year: 2011

Pages: 102

Publisher: Kregel Publishers

Lesson 8 (pages 65-72): Persevere with the End in Mind

How comfortable is our society with talking about and dealing with our own mortality?

I wonder if our society even recognizes “mortality” anymore or if the Church does. It appears that we have “dressed down” or “quieted down” mortality. How do we really face the issue, if we even do? For those who have a relationship with the Lord, it is amazing that we can “walk in the valley of the shadow of death”, but we never have to allow the fear to capture the soul. To those who are in Christ, it is but a shadow, a passage from this life to life evermore with Christ. Society doesn’t face the reality of the eternal with honesty. Many express nice sentiments or feelings, but they tend not to be rooted in the Truth of where that person may be spending eternity. They devise clever ways to express what they consider truth, but by reading the Bible, it is evident nothing could be further from the Truth. Society and perhaps the Church as well have no “fear” of God. We, the Church, make Him sometimes appear different than the Holy Righteous God that He is. Therefore, why should society have anything but nice thoughts, mere smoke as it were, to comfort them, which amounts to nothing?

Peter offers instructions on how to live with the end in mind. Placing a priority on prayer is of utmost importance. What two characteristics greatly enhance an authentic and consistent prayer life?

The two characteristics are: a clear mind & self-control. When I went back to the original language and read more, it seems that Peter is referring to denying themselves anything that would cloud their thinking and therefore inhibit them in prayer. Clear-minded was defined as “to be of sound mind, be in right mind, sober” (Vines). Self-control meant “to abstain from wine, be sober, watch” (Vines). To me, this doesn’t “enhance” prayer as much as gives a command in order to be able to pray. How would this apply today? I think for those who consume alcohol once in a while this applies. However, I wonder if it isn’t also applicable to anything that distracts us from being single-minded when we pray or anything that will prevent us from being able to be in communion with Him through The Holy Spirit without having our minds filled with “horizontal” thoughts to the point that we are “vertically” unattached.

In light of the blessings ahead for faithful believers, how should we live, even in hard times? Regardless of if the times are hard or not, daily living with the eternal perspective changes how we respond, react or view the temporal life on earth. I have been learning this through a long season of trials, sufferings, deaths, caregiving and more.