Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Wooksmall is self discribed as a  romance from the heart of Amish country and that is what it is.  Mattie has moved from her childhood home in Pennsylvania to Ohio to make a new life for herself after her childhood sweetheart, Gideon had broken up with her.  She has made a new life for herself setting up a bakery business and getting aquainted with Sol.  Sol offers her a security that she didn't have with Gideon but she know that she will never love Sol as she loved Gideon.  When Mattie's bakery catches fire and burns to the ground she finds that she has to return to her parents home to plan her aunt's wedding.  The story is of her return to Pennsylvania and acceptance of Gideon and her new relationship.

I read this delightful book in one setting it was so good.  Cindy Woodsmall draws the reader into the Amish community and leaves them wanting more.  I sure do hope that there is more of this story in another book yet unwritten.  I was left wondering how Mattie and Gideon would marry and raise their children.  Please continue writing Ms Woodsmall.  I would recommend this story for any age group.

I recieved this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Exceptional Life by Stephen Arterburn

The Exceptional Life by Stephen Arterburn is a self help book to take you from what ever your life is now to the life that God intends you to have. Arterburn identifies the 8 roadblocks to living and shares how to get the life that you want from sharing his own life experiences as well as those of his friends and relatives.  He show you how to break down the barriers and get the life you desire.  He guides you through giving up guilt, resentment, fear, anger, instant gratification, helplessness, isolation and addiction in order to recieve hope, love, trust, forgiveness, patience, power, connection/community, and freedom.

Arterburn in his book reminds us of things we already know in an easy to understand way.  In the first chapter he tells us what the book is about and in the following chapters he goes into further detail.  Since he is not giving new information one could read the first chapter and the last chapter which sums up the book and probably get the whole book.  I would probably advise reading this book if one was young and just starting out on your own but it is too slow for those of us with a lot of life's experiences.

I recieved this book free for this review from Bethany House  a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter

The Accidental Bride  is about a young hardworking woman, Shay, who is raising her daughter alone after the death of her parents and the father of her daughter, Olivia.  She is about to loose the family farm that has been in her family for generations.  She has been praying to God for help in finances but is proceeding on working as hard as she can to save the home she has always known in the meantime while the bank seems to be making preperations to foreclose within the month.  Her long lost love from 14 years ago, Travis, shows up in town and through a comedy of errors Shay finds herself married to him because of the old marrage license finding its way to the minister.  Travis the man who jilted her decides to try to make the marrage work.  He still loves her and has the money to make the financial problems go away.   He strikes a deal with her to try to make it work for 5 months and then will walk away if it doesn't.  Shay because of her money situation and also though she won't admit it still loves him agrees to the plan.
I liked this book.  It is a Christian love story between the two who are still in love teenagers 14 years later.  There are no deep plots here it is a simple love story to read just for the pleasure of reading.  I would recommend it to any female above the age of about 10 or 12.  There is only suggestion of sexual encounter so there is no need to worry about your youngest child reading this but it is adult enough for moms to enjoy also.
This book was provided free for this review from Multnomah Waterbrook Publishing.  They make no stipulations that this be a positive review.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Promise of Provision by Derek Prince

The Promise of Provision is a book of God's promise to his faithful followers of abundance.  It is not however a book preaching to pray for whatever it is that you want/need and it will fall from the sky.  It is a book of the Bible stating not only that if one prays for abundance of whatever your needs are that you will recieve them but also stating what the Bible states what it is that God wants you to do with that abundance.  This is different from the greedy abundance books that seem to abound on the popular Christian bookshelves today.  This brings forward the scripture, "To whom much is given, much is required."  Prince takes the reader step by step into how to aquire abundance from God but also in the confines of this rather small book (175 pages) but also step by step into what your requirements are. 
I have to say that I am not much of a "self help book reader".  I am also not much of a "pray for money and you will have bushels of it readily available no matter how stupid you are about your spending habits" kind of a person.  This book however drew me in and got me with all the clear instructions and Biblical background.  This is a book that I can readily advise others to read.  It will not only increase your finances but will more importantly increase you spiritual well-being.  This is a book with scriptural background that did not pick and chose small verses on which to base a book but chose much of the whole Bible to base his theory.  I would recommend this book for reading for any Christian-a new Christian so that he would get off on the right foot and an experienced Christian because we all need to be reminded of our duties as Christians.  One of the quotes that I find most enlightening is that "God is not I was or I will but I AM.
This book was provided free to me for this review by Chosen a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack

The Fourth Fisherman is a true story of how 3 Mexican fishermen became lost at sea with only their past history of survival techniques, their faith in God and a Bible lived for over 9 months on the open ocean.  They lived on raw fish, turtles and rainwater.  It also tells the story of the author who was a drug and alcohol addicted wealthy man in Hollywood.  This man was rich in money and poor in faith.  The connection is that both were lost and that is told in the intertwined story of faith--The fishermen's continued faith and the rich man's finding and learning to live within God's loving arms.
I liked the way that this book tells both the stories together and shows how being lost in faith is much worse than being lost at sea.  Being lost at sea is only for this life but being lost from God's love is a forever thing.  I look forward to being able to see this story told on the big screen because I can see it being a story to tell to the masses in way that a book cannot.  So many young people are willing to go to see a story but are not willing to read the book and this is a story that needs to be told.  The only critique that I would put forward is that the book drags at the end where it tells of getting the story to market.  Other than that kudos to the author, JoeKissack, for having the convictions to tells a story that was not easy to tell and to his wife Carmen for sticking with him (it couldn't have been easy).
This book was provided free to me for this nonbiased review.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall is about Sylvia Fisher who at the beginning of the book has just had her fiance dump her for her sister.  Sylvia has always helping in the running of her father's dairy farm and to help deal with the feelings of rejection she has decided to leave the family farm and go away to work for another farmer who had placed an ad for work in the paper.  This is a big decision for Sylvia both financially, (she stands to lose her inheritance as well as her life savings) as well as she needs her father's blessing to avoid being shunned.  Sylvia pours herself into trying to revive a poorly run farm and get it back on its feet.  To further complicate matters Aaron Blank the alcoholic only son of the farmer returns after spending time in rehab with the plan to move his parents to an easier lifestyle in town.  His plan is to sell the farm and buy a business in town.
The Harvest of Grace is the third of the Ada House series.  I wished that I had read the first two books as they were probably just as good as this one and I would have more easily followed the story line but even so Cindy Woodsmall has a little 1 1/2 page catch up telling the previous story so far.  This is a delightfully well written book of life in one Amish family.  These people have the same problems as in any family but are solving them following the rulings of the Amish church to which they belong.  I loved this book and I would suggest this as good reading for any age.