Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Miracles by Tim Stafford

Miracles by Tim Stafford is advertised as a journalist look at modern-day experiences of God’s power.  He shares stories that he has of first hand experiences, a young man of his personal acquaintance who was cured of foot pain so bad that he could not walk and is now 4 years later walking normally.  He told of acquaintances of his who were stricken with cancer that went to the same church and were not cured of their disease.  This book expounds on some of the hypothesis of why they may or may not happen but admits that he truly does not know why sometimes miracles happen and sometimes they do not.  He further states that the very idea that the diseases are not always cures indeed makes the ones who are cured a miracle.  Miracles do not happen all the time or they would not be miracles.  He believes that God works in many ways and miracles are just one of them.
This book will make you think.  It will make the reader look at their own belief or disbelief in miracles and think about what makes it true.  Mr.  Stafford looks at many religions beliefs in a positive light in regards to miracles even when it differs from his own.  I think this is a good book for anyone wanting to investigate miracles.  It explores miracles with a lot of wisdom.
This book was received from Bethany House which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

A Season for Tending is the first book in the new Amish Vines and Orchards series by Cindy Woodsmall.
Rhoda Byler has a gift of being able to see things just before they happen.  The Old Order Amish community that she lives thinks that this makes her a witch and rumors have been flying about her.  She has decided to spend more time alone in her garden and tending to her canning business in order not to be a detriment to her family.  She is feeling badly that the one time that this would have helped her family—the day that her sister died and she had that “feeling”—she chose to ignore it until it was too late to save her.  One day when she went into her garden to start the day’s work she spied a young drunk Amish girl, Leah, passed out in the corner of her garden.  This begins the adventure of Rhoda discovering her gift as being a blessing as well as helping the Amish family that Leah came from to realize the blessing that Leah was.
I loved this book.  I have read many of Ms Woodsmall’s books and this must be the best.  I can hardly wait to read the next in the series.  The storyline is well established and well written.  It is a must read for all lovers of Christian love stories and recommended reading for anyone just wanting to read a good novel.  It would be good reading for any above the age of 12 or13 and safe reading for younger.
I received this book for this review from Waterbrook Multnomah Press.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Ministry of Christ 1000 days by Jonathan Falwell

This book advertises to meet Jesus--a man both fully God and fully human.  He came to earth to be in mission with all those who ever would be on Earth.  He investigates the truths that these days were lived and asks how do these days and what He did and said impact the people of today.  What does He want us to learn from His mission on Earth.  It takes a deeper look at the last 3 years Jesus spent on Earth--those 100 days.
I enjoyed this book, though it’s not light reading or a quick easy read.  This book with insights by Jonathan Falwell, son of the famous Jerry, takes the reader through Jesus' last 3 years of service to the world.  It is only 179 pages long with an addition of notes and a study guide so it is not an in-depth study for self study or small group use but rather a good starting point or all round summary.  Well worth the time to read as well as to have on the shelf as a resource book.
I received this book from Booksneeze program for this review.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Perfect Square by Vanetta Chapman

A Perfect Square by Vanetta Chapman is another novel in the Shipshewana Series and like the rest is a mystery.
A young Amish woman is found floating face down in the pond owned by Tobias and his cousin, Reuben.  It is clear from the dress that this woman is not from the same Amish community as theirs but the local Amish had no idea that the local police department would blame Reuben for the crime.  Surprising to the local Englishers was that Reuben would not speak to the officer in his own defense even though the Amish community professed that they knew he would not have done it.  Esther, who is engaged to Tobias, and Deborah Yoder and Callie, an Englisher who owned the local quilt shop try out their sleuthing skills to solve this mystery—sometimes working with the police and sometimes alone.
I love this series and so I really liked this story.  Ms Chapman moves the story along nicely and adds interesting tidbits along the way to introduce Amish life without making them sound backwoodsy or too perfect.  It is a nice little mystery and a quick read.  Even if the reader has not read the rest of the series this story stands alone and can easily be read without having advance knowledge of the individual characters.  That being said I think that once you have read one of the series you will want to read them all.
This book was provided for me from Sondervan for this review.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan is a book promising the reader to have a better understanding of the major world beliefs in just minutes per day.  It has 40 short reading which one is suggested to read one per day.  The first 2 chapters describes religion and further informs the reader why the reader  should be interested in learning of the majors religions such as your local neighborhood, workplace and your child’s public school may expose you to them and therefore needing to understand at least a passing acquaintance with the religion.  It helps to clear up any misunderstandings of the religion and report how they differ from your religion.
Understanding World Religions is a quick daily read to give a very superficial understanding of each religion.  It is not for in-depth study and so the reader should not expect to learn everything there is to know on each religion but it does a very good job of helping to understand the basics of each religion.  It seems to start slow in the first 2 chapters but after that I enjoyed learning of each religion as introduced.  It seems to flow well from chapter to chapter.  I would recommend reading for anyone wanting to have a quick education on the various religions one might encounter in America or while traveling abroad.
I received this book for this review from Bethany House which is a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Searchers by Joseph Loconte

The Searchers by Joseph Loconte takes the reader to the Israel of Jesus day—into the valley of despair.  We are taken back to the Road to Emmaus on a day after Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross.  We join the walk with Cleopas and his friend where they meet a stranger who walks with them and strangely warms their heart.  They begin the walk in despair following the death of their leader and Messiah and end the walk realizing that they are eating with their friend, Jesus, and that they once more have hope.
 I liked this book.  It holds the reader’s interest as it offers a look at the major religious of today—Jewish, Moslem, and Christian.  He offers commentary both good and bad for all of them.  Mr. Lonconte forces the reader to look at themselves with a critical eye in order to accept the incredible grace offered to us by God.
I was provided this book for this review by Booksneeze.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer is the first book in the Merlin's Immortals series.   Young Thomas was raised by his mother only to the age of 10.  Even during this time though, both he and his mother had to pretend that she was his nurse.  His mother also made him promise that for his safety that he would always have to protect this secret.  He knows nothing of his past and only that he is meant to fulfill a destiny as an immortal.  He knows he must leave the monastery where he was raised by monks who felt more about themselves that the small boy who did their slave labor.
This book is set in medieval England.  This book is a fantasy that strives to bring to light the druids life of immortality.  There is some Christianity views in the book through the storyline but generally follows a fantasy druid view.  It is somewhat difficult to follow but that is part of the draw of the series to bring the reader back to read the next book in the series.  I would say this is a book for middle school and up readers of fantasy.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Press for this review.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer is a good read. 
Sarah Shelter has lived her Amish childhood with her best friend, Patty.  She had a great childhood right into young adulthood when Patty was killed in a freak boating accident at a local lake.  Sarah not only went into mourning at that time but also quit living her life and started living over and over in her past life with memories with Sarah.  She wanted to move forward, meet an eligible bachelor and get married but everything reminded her of Patty and something that they had done while she was alive.  But that was before Jathan Schrock visited their little town for a hiking vacation in their mountains.
I liked this little quick read.  I enjoy reading of the Amish lifestyle and this one does not disappoint.  It is a quick read that is hard to put down.  Read this one, you won’t be sorry.
I received this book from Zondervan for this review.