Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jesus on Every Page by David Murray

Jesus on Every Page by David Murray is a book about not only seeing the stories of Jesus in the New Testament as the reader often does but also seeing the stories of Jesus as the Hebrews of the Old Testament days did—in the Old Testament.  Mr. Murray takes the reader through all of the Old Testament Books of the Bible and shows us how the Old Testament is not just a historical accounting of God’s people living until Jesus came but their knowledge and expectation of the Messiah’s coming and their salvation through grace.  He states that the Old Testament people were also saved by the grace of Jesus Christ by their own belief in the coming Messiah.  They were not surprised by Jesus appearance that rather that it was expected.  He further states that this revelation is presented to us as early as the 3rd chapter of Genesis.  He says that the model for the coming Kingdom was presented in Genesis when Adam was created to be the 1st Prophet, priest and King and received God’s Word and worshiped in the Garden Temple.  He failed but Jesus fulfilled as Adam didn’t and Jesus made His people once again Prophet, priests and kings again by His perfect sacrifice for all of mankind’s sin.
He further states that the Bible isn’t written to be about moral/ethic it is rather about God.  It is not an advice column it is our insight into God’s plan and God’s love for us.  It is about what God thinks and wills for His creation.   The Old Testament was the word and work of God for Israel, the Church in the wilderness.  Israel’s national security rested on God’s anointed king and David won because God fought for him.  This was God’s doing—David’s doing was his great faith in God and the knowledge of grace through the coming Messiah.  David knew of this because God told him and he wrote it down in the Psalms.  David knew that the king of whom he sang was not David but rather the coming King and Messiah.   David sinned many sins and they were not his undoing but rather David had great faith and that was why he had great successes in his kingdom.
This book is a good book for the reader to understand the Old Testament.  I have always been a person who believed that one cannot learn, understand or even completely understand the New Testament stories without knowledge of the Old Testament.  I am even a person who enjoys reading the Old as well as the New Testaments but I learned much from the writings of Mr. Murray.  He writes interesting details of insight into how the Old Testament people knew and were waiting for the coming Messiah but occasionally I think he is looking for the information that he wants to find and so he does.  That being said I am glad that I read it and learned much from the experience.  I would recommend this book for readers looking for an easy to understand scripture lesson on the Old Testament.
 I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer tells the story of Christina Willems who was raised by loving parents who worked in the mission of the poor around them.  They ran the local poor farm.  When Christina’s father died he left her with no money but had trained her to run the poor farm after he was gone and she had done an excellent job though the man in charge did not believe that a woman could do the job and did not send the same amount of support for the mission than had been available for the running of the farm when her parents were alive.  She was managing just to make it until one night blind little Tommy awakened her after smelling smoke in the air.  The managed to get everyone out of the burning building but then she was faced with not only rebuilding the structure but immediately needed to find temporary shelter for her charges.  It proved to be especially difficult to find a place for little Tommy until she finally practically forced but way of guilt to get the mill owner to take him.  She had told everyone that it would only take a short time to get the poor farm repaired but then the manager of the mission group started dragging his feet to release the money needed for repairs and suspicious things keep happening at the building site—such as someone cut up all the donated lumber one day.  It takes a deep searching of her faith and the community to find a solution to this problem and learn to work together.  The church learns to put their faith to the test and open their arms to those previously not regular attendees.   Christina learns to pray not for her own plans for the poor farm but rather that God’s will be done for the mission.
I liked this story of a small Kansas community in the early history of our country.  It tells of how hard it was and still is to live a life of faith even when unfair things keep happening that are beyond your control.  When the story of those lying around you have a story which sounds more likely than the truth which sounds so unbelievable to takes strong people to stand up and say I believe you when the police do not.  It also brings out that even when you are doing everything that you can for your mission that it is still not your mission but it is God’s mission and you must do what it is that God wants you to do for His plan not for your plans—they may and probably are different.  I can recommend this good reading material for older children and adults especially women.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for this review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma

Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma is a novel about a true story taking place in the Netherlands during World War II.  This story tells of the Kooistra family during the closing days of the war.  The Dutch police were working closely with the Gestapo trying to round up and kill any Jews or Dutch Resistant’s who were still fighting against the Germans.  The Germans were also regularly rounding up any men or boys still hiding in the homes to fight on the front lines in the rapidly losing battles of 1945.   Cornelia was living at home taking care of her little brother, Johan, who was 20 and in hiding from the Gestapo.  Cornelia’s husband, Hans, had died 4 years ago on their wedding night the first day of the war fighting with the poorly armed Dutch army against the Germans and she bitterly mourned his passing every day.  Her sister Anki lived nearby with her husband.  All are Christian but Anki’s husband, Piet, was the most staunchly literal in his beliefs but was openly able to live in the home because of his job working on the farm to provide for the army’s food.   Cornelia has her hands full trying to keep Johan in the house because he so wants to join the Resistance and fight for their freedom from the Germans.  In the opening chapter Gerrit, a Dutch Resister is on the wrong side of a firing squad and Johan hears him moaning from his wounds and brings him into the home to be healed by Cornelia and Anki, who happens to be a nurse.  Anki is forced to lie to Piet in order to protect the family and Gerrit because she knows that Piet would not lie for any purpose.  This brings the Kooistra family into the beginnings of working in the Resistance for Netherland’s freedom.
I know I read a lot of books and like a lot of what I read but I really love this book.  It is a page turner that is difficult to put down.  Some really good books force the reader to read several chapters in order to introduce the characters and get the reader into the book but this book grabs the reader in the very first chapter.  This book tells the story of the waning days of the liberation of the Netherlands by the Allied forces lead by the Canadians.  It tells of the terror of the Dutch citizens living under German rule during the war.    The story brings out how difficult it is just to live a Christian life while there is a war going on in the country in which you live and the difficult decisions that daily life forces you to make.  Is it ok to lie in order to protect your family?  Is it ok to steal in order to feed your family?  Who is my family, my brother or sister?  So many blessings that we take for granted today were difficult decisions during the German occupation of the Dutch in the 1940s.  This book can be read by older children (at least Middle School age) and should be read by all adults.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.