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.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

All Saints by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle

All Saints by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle the surprising true story of how refugees from Burma brought life to a dying church.  This is how a rich white church in Smyrna Tennessee have an argument among themselves then split taking away the most influential part of their congregation away along with the majority of the money find success in God's arms and planning.  This white church is dying and most of the congregation has left along with their money.  The beautiful church building surrounded by beautiful grounds has a huge debt.  Their new pastor, Michael, has recently graduated from seminary.  Slowly Michael in rebuilding the congregation but the new income is not in keeping with the debt and now they are looking at foreclosure.  There is a community of Karen refugees from Burma three of whom meet with Michael and ask him if the church believes in Jesus.  Michael says yes and then begins Michael's step in truly believing and trusting that God would provide his every need.  The refugees are John and Daisy Kunoo the elderly parents of Ye Win.  Ye Win who speaks English explains that they are looking for a church for their group of 70 refugees.  Ye Win every Sunday tirelessly brought van load after van load of refugees more than doubling their church attendance.  These new refugees began attending regularly even though they did not speak English.  Some of the few remaining white congregants quit coming to church but the remaining few learned to accept these new strangers into their midst, love them and help them to thrive in this new land of America.  Working with the church the two groups learned from each other and managed to save this church from bankruptcy.  The Karen though most were professionals knew how to farm and so they did.  The congregation worked together to sell the farm products that they didn't need for their own use and helped to pay down the debts. 
This book is a great read for all those our there seeking to find a closer relationship with God.  This book is about desperate refugees in Tennessee just seeking to survive.  They needed the necessities of life--food, a roof over their head and a place to worship.  What they found was a church that was financially drowning in debt who had extra land to sell.  When the two got together the refugees taught the church how to more profitably use the land for a farm and the church taught them English and how to survive in this new land and the two together learned to love and trust each other and to become more close to the God that both served. 
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty is a book that I didn't expect to enjoy.  I thought it would be a helpful self help book to increase my ability to negotiate.  These two authors have been employed as consultants for very large companies such as Sony and Paramount Studios.  This is an easy to follow guidebook for your own personal use.  I had no idea of the amount of times that everyone negotiates with others in their daily life.  These things can be a simple process of buying a bed to the more complex buying of a car or a home.  Then there are the things that one thinks of when thinking of negotiating such a asking for a raise or even negotiating deals at your job.  This book suggests that if you are planning to continue having a good relationship with the person with whom you are negotiating that you should plan for a win-win solution.  You should not plan to win the argument but rather negotiate the deal so that both people are happy with the deal.  This book suggests that you don't want people to cringe when they see you coming but rather the person that they are happy to return to when they next need to negotiate with you. 
When I picked this book I was thinking it would come in handy for requesting a raise from my boss but I had no idea of the negotiating that everyone does just as they go through life.  For instance negotiating with your child about why he can't have the latest toy that everyone has.  You know that child, Everyone, with the perfect parents and endless bank account.  And don't forget the negotiating with your spouse regarding where or what to eat for supper or what movie to pick for viewing.  The authors have named the various techniques names which are easy to remember and also describe what the technique is at the same time.  One such technique is the Puppy Dog which is the technique of letting the buyer play with the object whether the puppy, the car or something extravagant like a boat for the day or the weekend so that they have the opportunity to fall in love with it before negotiating the price.  This book is priceless in the amount of information contained in it.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling is the beginning of this authors new series, Under Northern Skies.  This is the story of Rune and Signe Carlson's immigration to America.  Rune's uncle, Einar sent a letter offering land and passage to Minnesota in exchange for working for him lumbering in the forest he owned and caring for his ailing wife.  Signe who is pregnant with their forth child does not want to go.  She loves living among their families even though they are so poor that they mostly eat porridge every day. Rune sees America as an opportunity that he would never get if they stayed in Norway and accepts the offer to move his family which included 3 sons to Minnesota.  The trip over the ocean was much harder than any of them but then when they get to the farm they find it in much worse condition that they expected and the work much harder than they expected.  The boys, Bjorn, Knute, and Leif, were all school aged but Einar expected them to all work like men.  Einar was a hard man never asked always demanded and always, always was stern.  Gern his wife was always screaming to Signe for something that she wanted and was also demanding in her own way but since she had gotten so weak and sick with her heart was unable to  be as demanding as Einar.  Signe stood her ground however when Einar said that the boys would not be able to go to school and so the 2 younger boys went to school when September came leaving only Bjorn to work in the forest with his dad and Einar.  Bjorn had a love of timbering and was glad not to go to school and oddly enough even Einar was more pleasant in the woods.  Signe on the other hand was in the house with Gern.  Signe had decided that she would make Gern well and started demanding that she move and get out of bed and at least sit in a chair.  Gern slowly but surely became stronger and as she regained her health she also became more nice and less demanding.  All were learning English, the boys were learning in school, and things continued to look up until the horrible accident with Bjorn.  How would they continue?  Well partly by Signe and Rune standing up to Einar and Signe figuring out just how much they owed Einar and realizing that they had already paid him back with all their hard work.  Read this book to find how this God loving family meshed with their hard unfeeling relatives and become one family.

I loved this book though I am not nearing as patient as Rune and Signe were with their relatives.  I believe most any older girl or woman would enjoy reading this delightful book on their coming to America.  There is little violence in this story and what there is would have been considered strict discipline in those days. There is no sexual content.  Any child who wished could read the book if they had the ability.   I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston is the 4th installment of the Amish Heirloom Series by this author.  Where the others in the series feature the 3 daughters of Mattie and Leroy Fisher this segment of the series looks back into the life of the parents, Mattie and Leroy and how they spent their childhood as the very best of friends and though Leroy always knew that he loved and wanted to spend all his life with Mattie it took some convincing for Mattie to realize the great love that she had for Leroy. Mattie catches the 3 girls looking through her beloved hope chest just after they find the baby boy's clothing.  Mattie can no longer keep the secret that she and Leroy had never shared with the family.  Mattie in fact had met and in a whirlwind courtship had married Isaiah and at the beginning of the novel is pregnant and eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child.  Isaiah had run to the bank quickly before lunch but when he didn't return for lunch and then the police officer had knocked on their door to change her life completely.  The officer reported to the family that Isaiah had been in the bank during a robbery and in order to protect a woman had been shot pointblank in the chest.  Mattie doesn't know how she will be able to care for herself and the expected baby but moved back into her parents tiny home.  Within 4 months time though Leroy stepped forward and offered to marry her and help her care for the expected baby.  Mattie loved Leroy but only as a friend, Leroy on the other hand had always loved Mattie as much more than a friend from childhood.  This is the story of how Leroy and Mattie grew to love each other and even though the great tragedies that threatened to tear them apart in their first year together their love grew to be the one that would be a strong base for their family.

I loved this story quite possibly the best of the series.  Often an author starts out a series with the best story and then the others fill out the plot begun in the first.  But this series held the interest for the build up to the 4th installment it seemed to me.  I love this author's ability to tell a story and make the reader fall in love with her characters.  Great job Amy Clipston. 
 I received this book from BookLook for this review.