Monday, November 12, 2018

Going Down to the River by Doug Seegers

Going Down to the River by Doug Seegers is an autobiography about Doug Seegers and how he wrote this song and it became a best seller.  Now I loved this book and I loved hearing how Doug found Jesus and lost sight of his goal and Jesus brought him back to the fold and along the way this song he wrote as a homeless songwriter and singer brought comfort to the author and those who heard it sang both on the streets and in concerts--but I gotta be honest I thought well this must be the man who actually wrote Alison Krauss' song, which as every one knows is 'Going Down to the River to Pray'.  Well I was a lot into this really great book before I realized my mistake but I am sure glad I read it.
 
Doug Seegers grew up with his brothers in a musical family.  His mother though never singing professionally was the most talented but gave up her chance at a career to raise the children as best she could with a hard drinking husband who dreamed of becoming a famous singer.  Doug became a hard drinker before becoming a drunk druggie.  He was very talented and many people tried to help him get off the drugs before he finally accepted the help and though he was by then in his sixties. He eventually found fame in Sweden and in the USA as a singer and songwriter as he always wanted to be.  Along the way he married a woman who was the mother of his son and daughter but he rarely saw them after he left his family--just as his father had done to him. 

This story is not a feel sorry for me book.  The author is very self honest with himself as well as the writing.  The author now mostly lives in Sweden and sometimes tours the USA for concerts.  Read this book for the knowledge of how this down on his luck finally came back to Jesus, got off the drugs and became what he was always meant to be-A child of God who sings.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Jesus Calling for Christmas by Sarah Young

Jesus Calling for Christmas by Sarah Young is a devotional for getting ready for Christmas that has nothing to do with presents (although this devotional would make a nice pre-Christmas present).  This little devotional has 50 days of devotions for the reader.  This book does not dive deep into scripture but rather has one page has a nice poem or story from Jesus to you the reader. Then the next page or two gives short little scriptures.  These little scriptures may be the familiar ones of the newborn but also includes scripture from the Old  and New Testaments which tell of His great love for you the reader.  Using this devotional could be used for the first 10 minutes of your day in Advent but really it can be used any time of the year.  It proclaims that Jesus came to the world to save both you and me but He came for always not just at Christmas.  This is the message that we all need to know.  Jesus is for all the year. 

This devotional has been made with great workmanship.  The pages are thick and glossy.  The padded binding feels nice in your hand.  The beautiful pictures are on every page.  They are of the lovely winter weather that we in the north enjoy at Christmas.  This is an easy to read book that could be read to the family during Advent.  Even the youngest child will enjoy the little short devotions. 
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Monday, October 15, 2018

An Amish Homecoming by 4 Authors

An Amish Homecoming by 4 Authors, Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kathleen Fuller; is a delightful book about 4 different women returning to the place of their birth to resolve past events and carry on with their future.  In Amy Clipston's story, No Place like Home, Eva Dienner returns after living with the family of her husband after his death.  Eva has been living there trying to help her husband's family deal with the tragedy of his untimely death.  Eva finds that Ian who was always her best friend and the man that her parents wanted her to marry has been living on her parents place helping farm and (she feels) taking over her place in the family.  Eva learns to deal with the jealousy and mistrust she feels when she sees that her aging parents leaning on Ian to help in their daily life.  As she sees this she is also remembering how important he has always been to her and she is beginning to be drawn back to the love of her youth. 

In When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman Sarah Zook has started a new life after 6 years of living on her own following the unwed pregnancy and probable rape when she was in her teens.  At the time she had been engage to Abram whom she still loves.  She chose to tell no one of the rape that possibly occurred one night when she had gone out with her English friend and got drugged.  She awakened with her clothing rearranged but simply can't remember what happened that night.  Sarah wants to face the truth but can she hurt Abram that much?  Besides all this she is finding herself falling in love with Abram even though he is so angry about her leaving.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray is about a young widow, Irene, who is staying with her elderly friends in exchange for room and board.  Irene is the biggest reason why the Wengerds can so easily continue living in their home but Marcus their only son doesn't trust Irene and believes that she is trouble and forces her out of their home.  Marcus loves his parents but is rarely around to help so was unaware of their problems with aging in their home by their selves.  As Marcus begins to help his parents more he finds out just how much help that Irene was providing for them and how valuable she is becoming to him.  Will the Irene and Marcus learn of each other's value in time to save Irene's place in the Wengerd's home before she moves out of all of their life?

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller is about stubborn Carolyn's return home to open a bakery which has been a lifelong dream of her.  Carolyn is living with her brother and his family and will accept no help from anyone in the community.  She doesn't trust the community since the former bishop tried to marry her off to a person she didn't love when she told him that she wanted to run a bakery.  The community had many persons who had trouble with the old bishop but of course Carolyn doesn't know this.  She only knows that she had to leave the community of her youth in order to live as she wanted.  This bishop was now gone and her brother was the new bishop and he asked her to come back and live with his family.  Atlee is visiting his friend in the same community while morning the death of his wife.  Atlee accidently knocks down Carolyn and in order to help her starts being the only person that Carolyn will begrudgingly allow to help to open the bakery.

Each of these stories ends with discussion questions if the reader would like to use them as study guides.  Each of these love stories can stand alone as a 100 page novella of their own as they are not a part of longer series.  This book could be read by any aged person and enjoyed.  I loved this book.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Less Than Perfect by Ann Spangler

Less Than Perfect by Ann Spangler is this author's next book.  And really is there a better author of the people in the Bible?  This author brings to life these people chosen by God and lets the reader see right into their life.  This author does not make them merely a villain nor a saint but rather lets you see the real person flaws and all.  She lets the reader see the reasons for the person's sins.  She lets the reader see why God may have chosen this person to do His work rather than someone that we ourselves may have chosen.  God appears to chose the most unlikely person to do His work.  A poor shepherd boy to lead the country of His chosen people over an obviously strong healthy soldier who was already leading the country?  Pick a prostitute to help lead His people into the promised land?  Surely there was someone else.  And then He chose her to be in His own linage when He would many years later to send His son to this world.  Then there is David, a man after God's own heart--even he had his women problems with emphasis on women not woman.  There is no one who would say that he did not love God but surely someone was there who didn't kill someone just to be able to have his wife!  The stories continue starting with Adam and Eve and their sins continuing through Jezebel, Jonah, and Judas.  She tells their stories then she also gives cultural background for their possible reasons for doing what they did either good or bad in those times.  She lets us know why it is so awful to be a woman alone in those times widow or never married.  She discusses with the reader the importance of having children and most especially a son.  In those times a woman had to have a man to take care of her. 

Read this book in order to more fully understand the people of the Bible.  It may change your opinion of them or maybe not but you will finally understand why they may have made the decision that they did.  Maybe you will understand because you have had to make some of those same decisions or maybe you just never fully understood the dilemma that this person was under in order to live in those times.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard

The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard is a book that will inspire you to find your passion and calling for your own life.  This is the story of how Kathy was called by God to do something about housing the homeless in Charlotte.  Kathy was no longer trusting and believing in God the way she did as a child.  Kathy was busy.  She was raising her 4 daughters to be good citizens of this country.  The family was already volunteering at the soup kitchen in their area.  Kathy's mother had mental issues and Kathy needed to help her in order to keep her mother's secret.  Then why did Denver a formerly homeless man from Fort Worth make her consider that she should do more?  Why did Denver's comment during the fundraiser event that she had invited him to speak just after reading his book,  Same Kind of Different as Me make her consider that she could do more.  Something big.  What was Denver's comment?  "Where are the beds?"  She didn't have time to be running around raising money to build a home for the homeless but she could avoid the constant whispering in her ear?  God, whom she had lost faith in, was calling to her to build Moore House.  Oh she didn't know that was what He wanted her to do---Yet or that she would name it that.  She just knew that the homeless needed to safe place to sleep and all of a sudden people were coming to her to either tell her of the need or to give the project money needed to do just that.  One of the homeless, Eugene Coleman was asked to speak at a fundraiser at a high school.  "Can you see me?" Coleman asked.  He waited a moment and then repeated the question, "Can you see me?".  Then he went on to explain that for 20 years of addiction  no one could see him.  No one but God and God had given him a second chance at life.  Then he told the students his story.  These high school students gave $6000 that day to help make Moore House.

This book is chock full of miracles such as that above.  Miracles that show that when God whispers into your ear to do something that you need not fear.  God will provide the means; all that you need provide is the faith that it will happen.  Read this book if you need just that push in your life to do what you are being called to do.  You don't have to be an especially talented person.  You just have to be willing to follow what God is leading you to do.
This book was provided by BookLook for this review. 

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.