Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adventures in Saying Yes by Carl Medearis

Adventures in Saying Yes by Carl Medearis is a book written on the life of the Medearis family on mission in the Middle East.  He says he does not try to turn people into Christians but rather talk to them and teach them about Jesus.  He says that most of Moslem faith are opposed to becoming Christian but have no opposition in fact welcome learning of Jesus and His teachings.  He and his family moved to Beirut in 1992 with his 2 baby daughters and then 2 years later a son was born  to their young family.  They lived there during the entire growing up years of their children.  Their children were steeped in Arab culture.  They were there during 9-1-1.  They talk of being afraid of talking to Moslems about Jesus but when they did it they found that they had nothing to fear.  They loved hearing the Good News.  Oh Chris the wife was not on board at first.  This was one of Carl's lessons in patience--he had to wait until Chris heard the call to go to the Middle East.  Once Chris heard the call the young family lost no time selling their "stuff" and making their way into this adventure of saying yes to God.  This family now has 30 years of experience.  They now know the language and the Arab culture.  They are back living in Colorado still saying yes and teaching about Jesus.

I didn't know what to think about this book before I read it.  I had many of the preconceived notions about Arabs that many Americans do.  This book opened my eyes to many things, but most of all to saying yes to God and no to fear.  I was hoping that it would tell me more on how to know what is God's call and what is what I want or wish.  That one is still much up in the air.  I would advise this as good reading material for any who wish to know more about what going into any mission field is like as well as finding out how to say no to fear of rejection or failure.
I received this book from Bethany House for this review.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron is the latest novel by this author.  In present day California Sera marries her great love, William Hanover, who from all appearances lives the charmed life and Sera has just fallen into a Cinderella life.  But because even in fairy tails dreams don't always come true neither does Sera's.  Before the ceremony is even over William is being arrested for selling artwork that they say isn't his to sell.  Time step back into 1940s---In Prague Kaja and her sister has barely escaped Nazi occupation and has settled into London not as a reporter as was her plan but rather as a secretary to the editor.    Somehow a paper containing information that the Nazi concentration camps are killing Jews (she is half Jew by her father) by the thousands.  Her parents are still hiding in Prague and though Kaja is falling in love with Liam she feels she must go back and get her parents out to safety.  Instead Kaja and her parents are arrested and sent to Terezin, a concentration camp.   This is the story of their fight to live and treat each other with love as all around everyone is being mistreated and starved to death.  This is the story of a Nazi soldier trying his best to do what he can to treat the Jews with humanity while following orders he cannot avoid.  This is the story of how WWII still affects families today.

I loved reading this story though it was at times difficult to read.  I have an interest in World War II since hearing the was stories from family members.  This story doesn't dress up war but it is not the most difficult concentration camp book I have read.  I wouldn't have children under middle school age read this book and I would be choosy about the middle school readers.  It does mention school children though none of them are graphically murdered and none are raped.  It is a good read and we should all know of the atrocities that happened in Nazi occupied Europe in the 1940s.
I received this book from Booklook for this review.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Together with You by Bicoria Bylin

Together with You by Bicoria Bylin is a love story but is also a story very much dealing with the issues of raising a special needs child with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).  Carly has her masters in social welfare and is working on her PhD.  She is  specializing in fetal alcohol disorders but is not currently working because of Allison who is a teenage girl who ran away from the facility that Carly worked at quite some time ago. Carly absolutely cannot quit blaming herself so now she works as the manager for a toy store.  Dr. Tremaine is a single dad trying to raise his 2 boys with their mother and his daughter on his own since the death of her mother.  Penny is his only daughter and is now 5 years old.  Penny was born with FASD and though high functioning contributes to the many difficulties of being a single dad and finding yet another nanny because the last one just quit.  Penny has run away once again but this time it is in the mall and now the police have posted an Lost Child alert over the loud speakers.  Carly fairly quickly spots Penny and is now holding her attention until the parent and police can come and get her.  Dr. Tremaine arrives first and notes that Carly has an understanding of Carly and quickly tries to hire her as nanny once he realizes her capabilities. 
Carly and Ryan (Dr. Tremaine) quickly find themselves drawn to each other but know that for the nanny situation to work they cannot also become lovers.  Carly works  her magic not only on Penny but is a calming influence on the teenage boys who are also a challenge for their dad.  Carly works within the family to help Ryan with tips on managing hormones while instilling discipline and love in the household.  Carly and Ryan find themselves getting closer though they try not to.  This book is on how they learn to live together in a working relationship without developing a personal relationship or does it?  hmmm.  You will have to read it.
I loved this book and highly recommend it as good casual reading for those liking Christian love stories as well as those interested in special need children.  Any age that is interested in the subject matter could read this book.
This book was provided by Bethany House for this review.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Pharoah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

The Pharoah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews is the story of how the Pharaoh's daughter may have come to be by the river to see and later to raise Moses to be God's own hands and feet in the saving of his people from a centuries old lifetime of slavery.  This author weaves the Biblical story of Moses life and fills in the gaps in the truest fashion with additions that could have happened.  Anippe has grown up in a life of luxury as well as the fantastical world of the multitude of gods in the Egyptian culture.  She knew her father as a god as well as later on her brother, Tut became a god when he became king.  She has a great fear of childbirth after watching her mother die in childbirth and is afraid to bear her own child.  She takes on deception by convincing all those around her that the baby she found floating in the reed basket in the river is her own son.  She takes on his sister Miriam as her servant and also becomes acquainted with her son's natural mother since she needs a wet nurse for her son.  She begins to wonder about this new god of the slaves which they call El Shaddai.  Could it be that they are right and that her family is wrong about the god system?  Could it be that there is only one God and that He is all powerful?  Is there a God out there that cares about Anippe and loves her?

This story is one that I expected and did love.  I found it hard to understand the beginning and the foreign words intermingled occasionally with the regular English language.  After that first difficulty it was worth the great telling of this ages old story.  I truly loved this rendition and I liked that the author also tells how she came about her decisions on how she decided to tell this story and where to place it in history.  This story has been fictionalized but where the author knows the actual history she tells the historical facts.  The only way the story could have been helped in my humble opinion is that it would have been nice to have had a small dictionary in the back for the foreign words.
This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for this review.