Monday, November 20, 2017

The Sacred Slow by Dr Alicia Britt Chole

The Sacred Slow by Dr Alicia Britt Chole is a book which can be used as a personal devotional or a guide for small groups to use.  This guide book will help you to get close to God in a way you never have completed before.  This book will guide you to finding the love that only God has for you.  This book is divided into 52 experiences which you can divide into 52 weeks of study or 12 weeks of study.  Personally I divided it into 12 weeks of study as I went through the series.  This book invites you to look inside yourself and see the true you--not the you that you wish you were nor the unlovable you--but rather the you that God loves.  Honesty is hard to see in oneself but God sees you honestly every day and loves you more than anyone can.  You are worth it but you must look at yourself and see it for yourself.  You cannot look at yourself honestly in the next 2 hours however so this book helps you with exercises to look at yourself honestly and love yourself as God does.  There is no reason to lie to God since He knows everything about you and He loves you.  God doesn't however work on our timetable.  He works in the endless period of time for all eternity.  This books starts with making your own Life Scroll from the toolbox in the back of the book and then working on this scroll throughout the book to help you see yourself more clearly and honestly.  I found myself as I worked through the book finding that the honest me changing as I found the me that God loves.

Read this book if you are looking for a change in your life--a change that will bring you closer to God. 

An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin is a collection of Christmas Amish love stories all in one big book each written by a different author.  The first novella is by Ms. Wiseman and of course is well written as always.  Naomi, her mother Barbara and her Grandmother Ruth all find themselves living together.  Ruth has been desperately searching for a new husband after the death of her husband 10 years ago. Not only is she looking for herself but also to the embarrassment of both Barbara and Naomi for them also.  The 3 rent out the daadihaus to 3 non suspecting men and Ruth immediately pounces on them.  This story will keep the reader giggling at Ruth's antics to procure a man for each of them as they head to a surprise ending for Christmas.

Next is the story of Emma Bontrager preparing to spend her first Christmas alone after the death of her husband of 45 years.  Emma has been invited to spend Christmas with others but a freak snowstorm forces her to stay home alone. Not only that but this cat has come into the house and has made itself at home even though Emma has never would let an animal in the house nor wants this one in either. A friendly group of 6 teenagers stop by to check on her but the snow makes them have to spend the night with Emma and now her cat.  This unlikely group help Emma find hope to embrace her future without her husband and enjoy the holidays with the teens as well as enjoy her new housemate, Henry the cat.

In this next novella David Byler finds himself preparing to wed his beloved Molly Shrock.  David had returned to the Amish community after living for a couple of years as "English".  During his English years he had fallen in love with Bobbie.  Bobbie then left for college but David was unwilling to leave and so the relationship had ended.  But now Bobbie was back to help her father after his heart attack and David found himself drawn to her.  David still loved Molly but Molly had seen David drawn to Bobbie and so retreated until David decided what he would do.  Will David go English to be with Bobbie, his old love, or will he stay with the Amish community and marry Molly?  Read this book to find the answer.

Ellie Whetstone has inherited her aunt's property and so following the GPS finds herself in the wrong house by accident.  Ezra, the widowed owner, finds her in his home and points her in the direction of her own freezing cold house.  Ellie starts a fire to warm the place up and smokes the whole house.  Ellie opens windows and settles in for the cold night with her show dog, Lulu.  After a freezing night Ellie lets out Lulu and she heads out in the woods and doesn't return.  Ellie heads out in her pajamas through the snow to find her beautiful expensive show poodle.  Following the tracks she finds her in Ezra's house with his young daughter, Allison.  Ezra is aggravated that not only is Lulu in his house again but is lying on his daughter Allison who needs to be watched closely for her frequent seizures.  This begins the love affair of Allison and Lulu but also increased seizure activity.  Read this book to find out how Ezra teaches Ellie to live in a house not equipped with electricity as she prepares to sell her aunt's property.

All 4 of these books will work their way into your heart as you read.  I loved all 4 and they all make quick reads.  I would recommend them to anyone who loves reading Amish love stories.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Proving by Beverly Lewis

The Proving by Beverly Lewis is the next delightful novel by this author.  Amanda Dienner had grown up as a twin to Arie.  It was a very good life and she enjoyed it immensely and could not imagine any other life but to marry her beloved Josiah and live forever in the same community.  That was until she caught Arie and Josiah kissing and that was after catching them joking together many times.  But that was 5 years ago, and Amanda had left the community and was living 'English' in her own apartment in Kansas with a job she loved.  When she got word from her brother that her mother had died and that she had been left the family home turned Bed and Breakfast at the same time as she lost her job it seemed that the sale of the home might help ease her financial problems but the stipulation was that she had to successfully run the Bed and Breakfast for a year in order to own it.  Could she return home to run the business as her mother's will demanded? 

She accepted the challenge and returned to Lancaster county and started to run the business but first off she fired her sister Arie.  Then the rest of the staff slowly one by one quit.  Finding herself run ragged she prayed for help and it came in the unlikely form of an irritating strong willed customer who didn't even want to be guest at the Bed and Breakfast.  These two unlikely strong willed women learn to work together and even mend fences between the Amish in the community and Amanda.

Read this book if you love Beverly Lewis books-since this is a good one, read this book if you love Amish fiction, read this book if you love Christian love stories, but most of all read this book is you love to read.  Ms Lewis is a great author and I always love to read her books.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton is another novel of the settling of the west by this wonderful author.  She tells the story from many points of view including the Native peoples, the white settlers but also in the unexpected point of views of the army and the politicians.  She tells of the selfish wants wishes and desires as well as their religion of wishing to do as the Master tells them.  She gives the background as well on how they formed their opinions.  Reading Ms. Benton's story helps the reader to understand that they all thought that they were correct in their thinking and helps our understanding as to the why of their thinking.  In the beginning of the book I found myself changing my mind so often in who was right and who was wrong but I feel I didn't understand until also the end that only God is right and holds the future and that if only we would patiently watch and wait our life as well as those around us would be so much enriched and bathed in His love that He so much wants to give us.  God only wants good for us and that is what this whole book told me.

Claire does not want to go west and settle there; she is happy living on her uncle Alphus's farm and working there.  Philip her husband is set on proving to Claire that he can provide for his family by himself and so they are headed west.  Not headed west with the planned group for they were late meeting them but headed out on their own to try to catch up with the group.  Then the broken axel happened and with it the broken wheel and so Philip headed out on his own to find help to fix both of them leaving Claire alone to protect Jacob her son while in labor with the next baby. She couldn't help that Philip had never come back to them.  She couldn't help that the storm had come up.   Claire just left Jacob for a moment and just because she was afraid that she would scare Jacob with her pains but that moment was just enough to allow Jacob to get away.  Claire was still in the intense pain of labor but she was steadily looking for him.  Jacob was only a toddler where could he have gone?  Then she saw the moccasin tracks and she knew why Jacob had left--he had been carried off by someone.  Then she spotted Jeremiah.  A white man wearing moccasins.  Was this who took Jacob?  Another pain, she was going to have this baby soon.  She tried to rush Jeremiah to get back Jacob but in the end Jeremiah helped her have this new baby and set her on the trail to find Jacob.

This book is so good.  Anyone who loves reading a western set love story would love it, anyone who loves history would love it, but most especially anyone who loves reading just a good novel will love this book.  It is a can't miss book.  I received this book from Waterbrook Publishing for this review and I am so grateful for this opportunity.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford

The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford is my newest favorite book. Oh I know I have said that before but this one is hard to beat.  Jim has nothing to truly explain why he turned the exact opposite direction to the right hand turn he always made to the local Starbucks or why even though he always drank one cup of coffee per day why he had to have another one that day.  But when Jim stepped into Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits to buy his first cup of senior 25 cent coffee that day Jim's life was forever changed.  When Jim looked at the obviously handicapped little boy sitting at the table listening to his beat up old radio he couldn't look with only pity, in addition he had instant interest in that little special needs boy and so he ask the cashier about him.  He was told he was Pearl's grandson and learned that the boy sat there all day Saturday and Sunday while his Grammy worked 9 hours each day. Then when he was told that HK was blind and had cerebral palsy he just had to talk to the boy.  He ask him what his name was and then HK took over the questioning and for the next 15 minutes HK learned everything he could about Jim.  Jim spent Saturday and Sundays for awhile spending time with HK and getting to know and love him.  Then began the friendship which was a father and son type.  Eventually HK began to spend Saturday nights with Jim and his wife Brenda so that he could attend church with them on Sunday morning.  HK's mother had died in a car accident prior to him being born, his father was an alcoholic.  His grandmother was the only stability that HK had, but Pearl was desperately poor.  Jim and Brenda bought suitable clothes for HK to wear to church and then later to other outings as they came along. The questioning of Jim's first meeting was the only was that HK had for social talking.  Jim taught him conversational talking to others.  Jim taught him to love football, fishing, boating, flying, and other things that little boys like to do. 

This book shows how important one can be in the life of a child.  Jim and Brenda took the time to get to know the little special needs child and then stood back and watched him blossom into the person that God created him to be.  It is said that everyone has a talent and HK certainly did.  HK could remember everything that happened in his life from about age 3 or 4 until the present.  If you told HK your birthdate he could tell you what day of the week you were born.  HK greeted Jim with, "Hi Mr. Bradford" as soon as he walked into the restaurant before Jim said anything.

Read this book.  You won't be sorry.  You too will be taken in by this little boy, HK, and his friend Mr. Bradford.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller

The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller is from the Amish Letters series.  This novel is about the life of Leanna Chupp.  Leanna is different in many ways from many women and most all Amish women but she was happy in her life of being single and working as a  in her friend, Daniel Raber's shop.  Both Daniel and Phoebe were very important to her and she was so excited to find out that Phoebe was pregnant again.  Leanna lived by herself in the little house next to her brother and his family but shared most meals with them and was content.  Daniel and Phoebe were happy about the new baby but since Phoebe has lost the other pregnancies they didn't share their news with anyone else and besides they were grieving the loss of Daniel's Grandmother to whom he was very close.  Daniel had a brother Roman but he had left the Amish.  What Daniel didn't know is that Roman had a letter from his grandmother just like he did and Roman was coming back to make good on his grandmother's great wish which was that the brothers iron out their differences.  Daniel had just had to fire Leanna and not even tell her why when he found out that there was gossip that Daniel was having an affair with Leanna.  How can things be so messed up in an Amish community?  Find out how the Rabers and the Chupps figure out how to live with all these problems.

I loved this book as I do love to read this author's writings.  Her books are well written and easily hold the attention of the reader. She does not make the Amish sound unbelievably perfect but rather a more honest telling of their story and some of their faults along with their goodness.  This book is really not so much a love story as a story of the Raber brothers and how they learn to become loving brothers again as their beloved grandmother wished.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Master's Mind by Lance Hahn

The Master's Mind by Lance Hahn looks into the Master, God, and tells what the Bible reveals that God wants for us.  He does not want us insecure, depressed or confused.  Rather he wants freedom for us; freedom to live as He created us to be--hopeful, strong, peaceful, joyful and loving.  Why are we so quick to believe what the world has to say but slow to believe that God wants for us freedom not slavery to the world.  When did we get so out of focus with what God has created us to be.  Why are we so quick to believe the criticism that the world has for us but not believe that God only wants good for us?  Why would He forgive us over and over and accept us back into His arms if He did not love us?

This book is like a welcome warm hug from the Master-God who would call us His children if only we would let Him.  God wants us to give up the anxiety that the world has to offer and accept the peace that only He can give.  This book helps the reader to look at their own personality and see the goodness as well as the flaws and helps them to then change their thinking to being more in line with the Master's plan for them.  This book is not your usual self-help guide which makes it seem that it will be easy to change your way of thinking and turn around your life.  The author is rather very open about some of his own insecurities and problems and how difficult it is for him to change and also how often he fails and must start again.
This book was provided by Handlebar for this review.