Sunday, August 12, 2018

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is the third novel from the An Every Amish Season series.  In this as the reader might expect this is the story of Amish persons in the "Autumn" of their life.  Mary Katherine or Mary Kay as her friends call her has just married off the last of her 10 children.  She has finished raising them by herself after the death of her husband 7years ago.  Even though everyone, even her sons, think that she has done a fine job of it now her sons think that they have a better plan for her life than she does.  She would like to continue writing stories and help run a new bookstore with her friend, Dottie, but her sons and the elders of the church all think that she should give up her home and move in with her son and his family and help raise their children.  So far she has been able to avoid it but who knows for how long.  Her good friend Ezekiel needs a new cook for his restaurant that he has run for several years when his wife died.  It has produced a good income for him and his family but his children are also grown. Mary Kay doesn't want to work in a kitchen all day though.  When would she be able to write?  An English man, Burke, broke into her home one night and though she was scared she held a gun on him until she found out that he was just hungry.  She then prepared him a meal and took him to Ezekiel to be his cook.  That started Mary Kay and Ezekiel working on their project of finding help for Burke.  They found that do enjoy working together and Burke they find out is a Chaplain from the military.  They also find another project to work on that of Ezekiel's English young waitress who seems very troubled.

Why does Mary Kay have to give up her home?  Why does Ezekiel have to continue working in a restaurant that is no longer needed to provide income for his children?  Why can't Mary Kay write her thoughts and stories?  Why don't the men in her church and the sons that she herself raised treat her like a grown woman instead of a child? More importantly can Ezekiel and Mary Kay find love again after so much sadness from losing their spouses?  Read this book to find out how these Amish folks decide to live out these problems.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

10 Minutes in the Word:Psalms

10 Minutes in the Word:Psalms is a new devotional out by Zondervan.  This devotional is a way of reading through the Psalms in 45 days.  This study takes a mere 10 minutes per day.  Have you every wanted to read through the entire Bible?  And didn't make it?  Have you ever felt that you should read and enjoy the Psalms but you just can't get into it because it isn't a story--its poetry?  Maybe this is just me but when I saw this little tiny book promising that I would enjoy reading the Psalms in just 10 minutes per day I jumped at it.  This book brings to life David's writings.  This book helps the reader to see David as the man.  Helps to see David as a human with difficulties.  David loved God but he made mistakes-really big ones.  David loved God but he was afraid that his enemies would attack and kill him.  David trusted God but sometimes it was hard.  David experienced loneliness just like we do.  David's life was hard sometimes.  And even when David was king and the people did what he said David still made mistakes.

Read this book if you would like to read and know the Psalms.  Read this book so that you will know David and why he was such a favorite of God's.  Why God loved him and wanted only good for him.  Read this book of poetry and learn to enjoy it as you maybe have never before.
I was provided this book for this review from BookLook.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A Daring Adventure by Elizabeth Camden

A Daring Adventure by Elizabeth Camden was such an interesting historical novel.  It is based on the beginnings of the clean water act which was made easier by the chlorination of water which made purifying it cheap enough for cities to be able to supply to all their citizens.  This book takes the reader back to the early 1900s when cholera and typhoid were a quite common cause of death.  Many readers of today believe that the reason that modern people live longer today than the early 1900s was because of antibiotics but the real reason is because of the clean water act.  It is so much easier to keep people well than to cure them of typhoid or cholera.  This novel tells a fictionalized story of Dr. Leal who invented the first chlorine feed system which could cheaply chlorinate water systems of the cities.  Though it is quite common today and we don't really think much about it now, it caused quite a stir in May of 1910 when the courts ordered that it was safe to use. In the four short years from the beginnings of chlorination and 1914 when over half of the cities had adopted the technique the deaths from water contamination plummeted where ever the clean water was available .

But let us go back to 1908 when Dr. Rosalind Werner was working with Dr. Leal on his chlorination technique to bring clean water to the city of Jersey City.  It is a huge secrete because of the talk among the citizens that it will poison their family.  It is difficult to convince the wealthy lawmakers of the area that what is poison in large amounts will purify the water if droplets are used.  Dr. Werner has been asked to speak to a consultant, Nick Drake, who is working against the cause to try to convince him to trade sides.  When the two meet they instantly fall in love even though neither change their mind about which side they are on.  Unbeknownst to Rosalind though Dr. Leal is secretly working to go ahead and chlorinate the water system of Jersey City without telling anyone except those college students working with him on his new system.  Rosalind later finds out about Dr. Leal's work but agrees not to tell anyone including Nick.  Well as any reader can figure out Nick finds out and trouble happens in their relationship and they vow never to see each other again.  How will this story end?  As we know chlorination eventually happens but did Rosalind find love with the opposition namely Nick?  Do they figure out how to live with each others differences?  Read this book to find out.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman is the next book by this writer.  In this book she tells of 4  celebrations in the Amish faith walk.  In the first: The Gift of Sisters she tells the story of Hannah and Rachel sisters and fraternal twins.  They had always been the best of friends also that is until Abraham Stoltzfus had come into town.  Rachel had been very good friends with Gideon every since she was 5 until their moms had tried to through them together and marry them off.  It was offputting but then the first time Rachel saw Abraham it was love at first sight for her but for him as soon as he saw prettier Hannah he immediately fell for her. Hannah and Abraham had been dating for about a month and everything was going good for the two of them but Hannah and Rachel no longer were speaking at least not kindly to each other.  Hannah and Abraham were a planning a date and not the date that they told their parents about but a date to the Beekeeper's cemetery to make out.  When they got there though Abraham immediately became too demanding and wanted more than Hannah was willing to give.  Rachel was on her own date with Gideon when all of a sudden she got that feeling that Hannah was in trouble.  She tried to ignore it but she finally told Gideon that she had to leave and that they needed to go to the Beekeeper's cemetery because Hannah was in trouble.  When they arrived Hannah was running away limping with her torn dress.  Hannah then admitted Abraham had gotten mad when she tried to break up with him and she ran and tripped and twisted her ankle.  What she didn't tell them though was that Abraham ha said that he was going to go after Rachel because she would do what he wanted.  Hannah was then afraid of what he might try to do to Rachel.  What will these 2 do? Will they get back to being best sister friends?  Will Hannah continue to date Abraham to try to save Rachel?  Will Rachel see Gideon for the nice guy that he was and give him a chance?

Rebecca and Noah are very much in love in A New Beginning and they are planning the next step: getting baptized and then planning their wedding.  Noah decides against his better judgment to have another fling on the wild side and go to a party with his friend, Gavin.  Gavin had taken him to a party at the home of his rich girlfriend, Penny.  When they got there Gavin had gotten Noah a friend, McKenna, to stay with him and talk while Gavin and Penny were busy doing other things in another room.  Noah loved the beer at the party and maybe drank too much but not so much as to not notice the skimpy clad girls in their bathing suits especially McKenna who was not only beautiful but also nice to talk to.  So nice in fact that he broke up with his fiancĂ©, Rebecca the next day.  What he didn' know was that McKenna thought she was just being nice, she had a boyfriend of her own that she was interested.  When McKenna told Noah that the next day Noah was so crushed that she hugged him and the boy that she was interested, Paul, who happens to be Rebecca's sister saw them.  This story has a surprise ending and  tells how the couples end up. 

In the next novella, Priscilla King and Chester Lapp are planning their wedding day in A Perfect Plan but everything seems to be going wrong.  The house that Chester is building for them keeps having problems first the electricity (which they won't even use but they have to put in anyway because of building codes), then the roof which not only had a problem but the supplier had sent them shingles that didn't go together and Chester had not even noticed.  And that doesn't even count the day that Priscilla had arrived at home to find that her little sister Sarah had cut up her wedding dress to make clothes for her doll and right after finding out that she needed to make another wedding dress she found out that the person who was going to make her cake wasn't coming.  Just one thing after another.  Was God trying to tell them not to marry?  Will they marry or will the fates intervene?

The fourth and final novella is a Christmas story, A Christmas Miracle.  Mary and Gabriel King were very much in love when they at a very early age married.  Then the children came one after another until now they had 5 children who were always getting into everything.  Mary felt like she was a failure as a mother and a wife.  How did everyone else do it and she couldn't?  She didn't have a mother who could teach her things about running a house because she had died.  Her mother in law didn't like her children and didn't hardly ever even come visit them though both of her in laws visited Gabriel's sisters in another state all the time.  Rachel their young daughter went to stand in the Santa Claus line to ask for help for her mother.  Of course that brought great embarrassment to her parents but it also brought together coworkers Santa Bruce and Elf Joan into the Amish home to teach Mary how to run a household with their many children.  Will Mary and Gabriel accept the offer of help? 

These little novellas of about one hundred pages each are delightful little treasures that anyone would love to read and each can be read in one sitting.  I think that you will just love them.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Faith of Dolly Parton by Dudley Delffs

 The Faith of Dolly Parton by Dudley Delffs is a book written by an admitted fan who usually writes Christian literature.  This book on Dolly is focused on her Christian faith and is divided into 10 lessons.  This book focuses on how Dolly's faith keeps her grounded as well as willing to take risks in order to advance her career.  The writer explains how her faith keeps her grounded, helps her remember where she came from as well as remember to help those who came from Tennessee who were less fortunate than she was.  It explains how Dolly started right out helping her family just as soon as she started making money--well before she made it rich--and that as soon as she could help out her community and surrounding area she did.  She always credits God for all of her talent and successes.  She always says that there are more talented singers than she but that she was willing to go where God led her to go in her career.  This book also tells of times when Dolly got down and even considered suicide, even how she was going to do it but that God called her back in the form of her little dog to reconsider and then He made life better for her. 

This book also tells where her faith comes from-her family.  She tells of her mama's faith and prayer life.  She tells of her grandfather Rev Jake Owens who was a Pentecostal preacher and how she began her career at the young as of 6 singing during services.  But she also talks of finding a deeper faith at the age of 12 by visiting an old no longer used church building where she would sit and talk to God one to one and found a different more loving God than what she heard in the pastor's fiery sermons. This book introduces us to the loving God that Dolly found and lived with the rest of her life.  Not saying that it was all rosy but always Dolly found that God was there with her.

I enjoyed reading this book and seeing the faith of Dolly both before and after fame.  That fame didn't change her faith and that the faith she found as a child was big enough to carry her into the future and kept her grounded.  This simple faith was big enough for her no matter how her life and material possessions change she stayed the same faithful child of God.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid is the next Amish love story by Ruth Reid and is a part of the Amish Mercies series.  Catherine Glick has been dating Zach for 5 years which may not seem a long time to the reader but in Amish terms that is time to marry.  Catherine is waiting for her date for the evening to show up at the gathering at the Amish Table which was the restaurant that Catherine worked.  The fact that Zach was late was not unusual--he was always late.  Just as Zach arrived and the prayer is beginning who should walk through the door but her old boyfriend, Elijah.  Elijah had left the area 6 years ago and though he and Catherine had planned to marry he had married another without even telling her.  Then Zach tells Elijah that he can ride home with them and then Zach lets off Catherine first which of course led to an argument which surprisingly ended with Catherine proposing to him.  Catherine could tell that Zach did not want to marry her.  Catherine is embarrassed and so when the chance to help out her cousin in Florida with her bakery happened she decided to go.  Zach then decided that if she didn't go then he would marry her.  Catherine realized that not only did Zach still not want to marry her but just wanted to keep her home but Catherine wasn't all that hurt.  She decided that she needed to go to Florida to get away and clear her mind and think.   It would only be for 4 months and if it was meant to be then she would see then.  Little did she know that Elijah would be concerned about her going all that way by herself and he purchased a ticket to go with her to Florida and stay with his cousin, Toby.  Elijah wanted to talk Catherine into dating him and he had some explaining to do about that so called marriage that he so rashly entered into and spoiled his first chance for a life with Catherine.

Will Catherine and Elijah find their way back into each other's life?  This enchanting novel was such a delight to read.  The novel had so many twists and also the Amish lifestyle set up so many problems for Catherine and Elijah to work through.  Also Zach was in the picture.  He didn't seem to want to marry Catherine but he also didn't want Elijah to be there either.  Was it a jealousy thing or did Zach just have control issues?  Then the bus had a horrible accident.  How does this story end?  You will just have to read it.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Monday, May 28, 2018

NKJV Minister's Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Minister's Bible by Thomas Nelson.  This Bible would be a nice working Bible.  It is not the Bible I would use for sermon preparation nor any other talks/ lessons .  This very nice appearing Bible would make a nice presentation as a pastor uses it for speeches, sermons, or other talks or ceremonies.  There is a nice feel to the leather like cover.  There are some resources for preparing for ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, and dedications.  There are also some sample plans for the pastor to use when preparing for the above ceremonies including song suggestions.  There are some helps for preparing special sermons.  For sermon preparation I would hope that the pastor would have a different more in-depth Bible. This Bible would be a nice gift for any beginning pastor.  I would think an experienced pastor would already have all of this helps in their library but they would possibly enjoy having such a nice feeling Bible to use during the actual speaking. 

Now as for the actual Bible I loved it.  I love this version and plan to use it often in daily reading.  It is not a study Bible and should not be purchased as such.  There is 3 nice ribbons for marking your place as you do reading either in church or daily home reading.  The binding looks like it will last a long time and it is a nice small size but yet the lettering is easy to read.  The paper is thin and that is what makes it a small easy to carry Bible and after a few readings they don't stick together too bad.  I would buy it for a gift for a part time pastor, new pastor, or lay speaker.  I enjoy reading this version.  It flows nicely but is written in easy to read English.
I received this Bible for this review from BookLook.