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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Road Home by Beverly Lewis

The Road Home by Beverly Lewis is the newest novel by this fantastic writer.  In this Amish love story Lena is the oldest of 10 children and as long as she has been alive she has never left Centreville, Michigan.  She loves it here, she loves living with her family and helping care for the littler children and she loves her fiancĂ©, Hans, whom she plans to marry soon.  She is especially close with her littlest sibling, Chris, whom she has just gotten off to school since her father had taken her mother to the school where she taught as a substitute that day.  When 2 police showed up at the door she knew that something bad had happened but that didn't prepare her for the devastation of learning that both her parents had died in an accident.  That was bad enough but to find out that the farm had to be sold and the children were to be split up into different families was the worse part.  They couldn't even grieve together for long as the children were divided as best the bishop could do since he thought that Lena was too young at 18 to care for all of them and be responsible for the farm.  The bishop could find homes for the rest of the children and some of them even were able to live together but there was nowhere for Lena except for her aunt and uncle, Mimi and Harley, but they lived in Pennsylvania so far away and unable to see her family clear until Christmas.  How would Chris get along without her?  Luckily he was able to live with his grandparents who lived right next to them but he was so distraught to be loosing first his parents and know the sister who had practically raised him.  But there was nothing to do about it and soon Lena was sent to Pennsylvania.  Mimi and Harley were wonderfully nice to her and she was able to earn some money sewing in Mimi little shop.  How would she be able to get through all of this and not see any of her brothers and sisters until Christmas?

I loved this book as I love all of Mrs. Lewis' books.  She doesn't make her characters too good to be believed but she also doesn't downgrade the Amish in favor of another religion.  She faithfully tells the story of the great faith of Lena even though so much bad has happened to her.  Lena never gives up and eventually even when an opportunity to come home happens she choses to stay and help Mimi because she is in a crisis of her own.  Lena always relies on trust in God to get her through the day and back to home.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

An Amish Heirloom by Clipston, Wiseman, Fuller and Irvin

An Amish Heirloom by Clipston, Wiseman, Fuller and Irvin is four stories in one novel.  Imagine getting 4 for the price of just 1 novel.  The first one, A Legacy of Love is from the Amish Homestead series by Amy Clipston.  This story continues the story of the King and Dienner families and their association with volunteer fire department.  Leon finds himself yearning for a family of his own.  He also finds himself looking more often at his old flame, Susie Bontrager, who just happens to be planning her upcoming wedding to Josh.  They had broken up but remained "just friends".  Susie seems to possibly be more than just interested in Leon as more than just a carpenter who can repair the old rocking chairs for her new home.  She is beginning to wonder if it is too close to her wedding to call it off because she is afraid that she is not truly in love with her fiancĂ©.

In the next story, The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman, Emma Fisher and her daughter Catherine are working in the basement looking for items for the church auction.  Emma knows that Catherine is bothered by something but she just won't talk about it.  While looking for items to sell Emma becomes sidetracked by on old cedar chest belonging to her great-great grandmother with a key broken off in the lock.  Catherine and Emma set to finally breaking the lock to see inside and find what old treasures have lain hidden in the chest for so many years.  They find the usual family heirlooms and a stack of old letters tied with a blue ribbon along with a wedding band (Amish don't wear rings). Finally after much discussion Catherine convinces Emma to allow the reading of the letters and so they are mentally transported back to her great great grandparent's courtship time.  As they read these letters Catherine is reminded what she needs to do for her own happiness and her husband's happiness in their marriage.

The next story, The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller continues the story of Shane Broyles.  She had lived a short time among the Amish as he refurbished a farm house and then sold it.  He found himself drawn to the lifestyle of the Amish and now was considering joining them as a member.  Shane finds himself also drawn to Lucy who is Amish but he knows that she is not the main reason he wants to become Amish.  He had become friends with Lucy when her dad and she  had helped him with the farm restoration and future sale.  Lucy is drawn to him but she knows that she has found him to be off limits since he is not Amish but also engaged to Jordan.  This story continues their story and the reader learns how they decide their situation. 

The last story is The Midwife's Dream by Kelly Irvin.  Iris Beachy is the community lay midwife.  She has delivered many of the children in her area but none so interesting as the teenaged unmarried and pregnant couple that she stumbles on while returning home from a delivery.  The couple are accepted into the Beachy home for their delivery on their way to Texas.  The next day Iris is shocked to find that the parents have left in the middle of the night leaving their baby with a little bag of baby clothes and formula.  Iris doesn't know what to do.  Her father went to meet with Freeman the community's bishop to decide what to do about the baby.  But Iris knew what she wanted to do--she wanted to keep her and raise her as her own.  Would they allow it?  Would the parents come back for the baby as they promised in the letter the mother left with the baby?

Read these little stories for simple well written Amish stories.  I am sure that you will love them as I do. This book was provided by BookLook for this review.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I Can Only Imagine by Bard Millard (children's edition)

I Can Only Imagine by Bard Millard (children's edition) is a wonderful retelling of the song of the same title.  This book goes through the song sometimes with different words for children.  The story line lets the imagination of a child explore what they think heaven would be like.  Where would they live?  Would it be in a big house with big rooms?  Where would they play? What would they play like and would there be playground equipment?  Would they have chores at their house?  What would food be like in Heaven?  Would they have pets in heaven?  What about music in heaven?  Would they sing? And would God sing along?  What would it be like to be able to talk to God and ask questions?    What would it be like to live right along side of God?  What is God like?

This book doesn't really answer the questions just allows the child to think about what they think that heaven would be like.  Their questions are not so different than what a grown person would ask are they not?  What would Heaven be like?  What would we all like to ask God?  When we get to heaven there is so much to ask and all eternity to ask it in.  This book has beautiful pictures for the nonreader to enjoy as well as the delightful story to read.  Get this book and give it to any child for birthday or even for baby showers.  What a wonderful book for any child to listen to an adult to read them. 
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I Can Only Imagine byBart Millard

I Can Only Imagine byBart Millard.  Oh my gosh I just cannot believe that Bart invited me into his life so completely and honestly.  Bart Millard just in case you don't know is the lead singer of Mercy Me.  His childhood was terrible.  His dad beat him. His mom left him at a very young age.  But this is what Bart did to escape that cruel life-- he went to school and church.  He took every opportunity to escape his home and be in church and do whatever that church had to offer.  His dad was a great athlete in his day and Bart tried to be like him but when his ankles were crushed in a football accident Bart found his gift.  God had given him a voice to sing songs up to heaven.  "I Can Only Imagine" is Bart's gift to his father after his death.  The movie evidently doesn't show it (I have never seen the movie) but Bart's dad was a good guy who after suffering a head injury became an awful guy then when he was given a death sentence of cancer Bart's dad turned to God and once again became a good guy.  Bart learned to love and appreciate his dad during this time.  This song which Bart wrote in 10 minutes is Bart's gift to his dad using the comment that his grandma made while leaving the gravesite.  Bart gave this gift to Amy Grant to sing so that it would become a great song but Amy in her love for Bart gave it back to him knowing that this song was his song and that this song would put Mercy Me at the top of the charts.

I would recommend this book for reading to anyone whether or not they have heard the song or not, though I cannot imagine not having heard this song.  This song topped the charts for Christian Music and then managed to crossover into many other venues of songs.  This book shows the courage that it takes to be Bart both as a child victim of horrible abuse as well as the hardworking man who wanted to sing songs up to heaven and make it in singing and then finally making his marriage be the success that it is today.  This book is a great Christian read, a great Bart Millard/Mercy Me read, a great social justice read.  I can't imagine anyone not reading this book and enjoying it even though I cried so much that my sinuses are surely cleared forever.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.   

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere is the second in the London Beginnings series.  Ms Delamere has already drawn the reader into late 19th century London with her first book The Captain's Daughter which introduces the reader to the Bernay daughters.  This second book brings to the forefront the eldest daughter, Julia.  Julia wants so much to be accepted into the first medical school to open its doors to women.  She was raised in the orphanage just as her sisters had been but in the beginning she had a benefactress who had been paying her was through school but that had recently stopped.  Luckily she had saved back a little and could complete this session.  The next step was to pass the entrance exam and get into medical school.  She planned to trust her finances to God in prayer.  While on her way to attend a lecture she was in a train accident.  She was not badly injured but unfortunately Michael Stephenson was hurt badly and luckily from her nursing background she knew just what to do in order to save his life until his family could get him to the hospital.  After Michael, a rising barrister, was back to his sister's home to finish healing Julia decided to pay him a visit to make sure he was doing well.  Michael was still in a lot of pain but agreed to meet the penniless Julia in his sister's fine home.  Michael was thankful and Julia managed to convince him to tutor her in Latin to help her pass her test as a way to pay her back.  Julia knows that in order to achieve her goals of becoming a doctor and then going into the mission field in Africa she must not marry.  If she would marry, her husband would have the say so of what she could and could not do.     Michael already had plans to marry Laura, a woman that he didn't love but had money and respect of the those in the circles that Michael and his sister wanted to be back in.  While he and his sister were young his father had lost all standing in society.  Michael was on his way to being a well respected lawyer in a well respected firm.  His boss was close to being a judge leaving an opening for Michael to step into his shoes.  As Michael tutors Julia they begin to grow fond of each other.  What will happen?  Will Michael declare his love for Julia and take a chance on loosing out on the foothold he had managed to attain in society?  Will Julia give up on her dream to become a doctor in the mission field?

I loved this book.  It has an accurate background in the law and medical field of what could and couldn't take place in society.  It also opens the readers eyes to what it means to be truly poor--not just the inability to have the latest fashions but to be truly hungry.  It shows how the rich still cannot be accepted into proper society because it wasn't old enough money therefore shutting the door to certain careers.  To be well thought of required more than just money but also must be above reproach in every aspect of their life--as in the mentally ill could not be well thought of.  I would recommend this book for reading for anyone interested in historical romance novels.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.