Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. In addition, many of the books reviewed on this site were received free from the publisher through various book review bloggers programs. I am never required to write a positive review. On ocassion I will review a book that was not provided by the publisher. If that is the case I will note it on that particular post. Otherwise, assume that it was. All opinions I have expressed are always my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A moment of weakness review

A Moment of Weakness (Forever Faithful, #2)A Moment of Weakness by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jade and Tanner could love be any sweeter "that" summer? And yet misunderstanding and misinformation leads to heartache. Jade finds herself wed to another, a man less than ideal. And yet......all hope is not lost when divorce and a nasty child custody case bring Jade and Tanner together again.

I appreciate that Kingsbury addresses real life, less than perfect issues. Even the "best" Christian makes bad choices in their life. It is how you respond to those choices that matter. I especially loved the prayer life/God conversations each had with God. Kingsbury does a good job of showing different views of what that can look like. And Tanner's acceptance of God's gift, all I can say is make sure you have a box of tissues!

While the story is predictable, and you probably already know how the story is going to end, it is an enjoyable pleasure read with a good moral compass. After all, isn't that what Kingsbury does?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I am N review

I Am N description:

Yousef, whose mother threatened to kill him for having a Bible, now smuggles Bibles the way his family once smuggled drugs.
After Parveen’s employer beats her for attending church, Parveen begins to help other young Christian women who work in Muslim houses.
Abdulmasi kills hundreds of Christians in northern Nigeria with no remorse—until the day he chooses a new life of faith and sacrifices everything for a God of love.

What can we learn from these faith-filled brothers and sisters around the world? How can we pray for them? And what do their remarkable stories teach us about a God whose light shines in a dark world?

I-Am-N reminds us that we are each “N”—as radical Muslims in Iraq identify followers of Jesus the Nazarene. Wherever we live, we have camaraderie with those who are persecuted. So come meet their families. Read their stories. Deepen your faith in a God who gives us the courage to shine in a dark and hurting world.

My review:
 You almost can't turn on the news without hearing about ISIS or troubles in the Middle East.  In I Am N, The Voice of the Martyrs strives to move the story from sensational headlines to personal connections.  Each of the 17 stories are real.  Some end horribly in martyrdom.  Others end with new Christians reaching out to others in their community sharing the truth of Jesus despite the personal risks.  All will bring home the reality of what it truly is to abandon self and whole-heartedly serve God.

My church had already committed to praying for the Christians facing Islamic extremists several months ago.  You will see many of us wearing orange (because of the jumpsuits the prisoners are often wearing when shown on the news) bracelets with Hebrews 13:3 on them as reminders of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living it first hand.  This book has helped to guide how I pray for these people. 

The only negative (besides the obvious need to write such a book) is that the writing seems very impersonal and almost cold.  Not that I think the authors don't hurt for those they write about, but as if they have distanced themselves from the horror.  The stories present the facts with little emotion.

As an effort to share the stories of those who are N, Voice of the Martyrs has truly succeeded.  I dare say you will be changed after reading this and will no longer be able to read the headlines or watch the news without realizing that every person being terrorized by ISIS has a story, has a family that loves them, has a desire to live....and yet their faith in Jesus love is such that they refuse to turn their back on Him.  I never thought I would see persecution like in the days of Nero.....yet here we are......

Looking for Home review

Looking for Home Description:

 With his mother dead, his father gone, and his older brothers and sisters unable to help, eight-year-old Ethan Cooper knows it’s his responsibility to keep him and his younger siblings together—even if that means going to an orphanage.

Ethan, Alice, Simon, and Will settle into the Briarlane Christian Children’s Home, where there’s plenty to eat, plenty of work, and plenty of talk about a Father who never leaves. Even so, Ethan fears losing the only family he has. How can he trust God to keep him safe when almost everything he’s known has disappeared?

The first book in the Beyond the Orphan Train series, Looking for Home takes us back to 1907 Pennsylvania and into the real-life adventures of four children in search of a true home.

My Review:
When I was given the opportunity to review this book I was a bit confused.  I had never heard of the orphan trains.  Apparently (according to Wikipedia anyways)
The Orphan Train Movement was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded Eastern cities of the United States to foster homes located largely in rural areas of the Midwest. The orphan trains operated between 1853 and 1929, relocating about 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children.
In this series Richardson bases the main characters on the lives of 4 orphans and their experiences.  While names have been changed the events are as close to accurate as the memories of those the characters have been modeled after.

That being said, I think this would be a great way to introduce younger children to this time in history.  The main character, Ethan, is 8 years old in 1907 when this story begins.  He is the oldest of the children being sent to the orphanage with his 3 younger siblings and is tasked with looking out after them.  His older siblings had obtained work and thus were able to support themselves, but unable to support their younger siblings.  Ma has passed on and Pa is out "working on a boat" but we are led to believe that he has abandoned the family. 

As the first in the series this 12 chapter, 170 page book covers the children's trip to the local orphanage and their first year there.  It is written in such a way that an elementary age child would easily be able not only read the book but connect with the characters.  I believe this would also be a wonderful read aloud for lower elementary students as well.  And if you are a lover of living books, this would be right up your alley. 

Look for reviews of the next 3 books to come soon!