August 29, 2011

The Healer's Apprentice


I picked this book up awhile ago not knowing it was teen fiction. And when I discovered it was I put it up on the bookshelf and kind of forgot about it.

Recently I read some glowing reviews from adults and teens alike and decided to pull it off the shelf and give it a try. I'm glad I did!

It was a wonderful tale loosely based on the fairy tale...Sleeping Beauty. It takes place in the German town of Hildesheim in the 14th century, where Rose lives within the castle walls as a healer's apprentice.

I loved the way this author adapted her story from the fairytale. The meetings in the woods with a prince, the evil villain, the falling into a deadly sleep and the kiss!  She also incorporated a spiritual battle within the story, bringing a christian perspective.

It was beautifully done and I'm looking forward to her next book which is loosely based on my favorite fairytale...Beauty and the Beast.




August 26, 2011

Starfield

I don't usually post about music on this blog but I wanted to share this Canadian band "Starfield" that I absolutely love. They have such a love and passion for God that comes through their music. They don't water down the gospel, but instead sing it from their hearts. :) Here are a couple songs that I especially love:




                                                     
           Here's their website:    Starfield Website   

August 22, 2011

A Memoir of C.S. Lewis

Douglas Gresham writes a loving book about his step father in "Jack's Life" He honors C.S. Lewis and the impact he had on the lives of those he knew. He says here:

"Jack was the finest man and best Christian I have ever known. I loved him and dearly cherish his memory."

He starts with Lewis's childhood and continues through his college years and then into his later years.

While Lewis was in college he met Edward (Paddy) Moore. They became fast friends and eventually went off to the first world war. They made a pact to take care of each others families if one of them should be killed in battle.

Paddy didn't make it...and Lewis stayed true to his word and took in Paddy's mother and sister Maureen, who ..."had fled from a broken marriage and had been left totally isolated by the death of her son, Paddy. She had moved from place to place living in rented and often crowded accommodations, always poor and always insecure."

He also took in his alcoholic brother and gave him a secure home as well. The book goes on to tell of how Lewis met Joy (Gresham's mother) and his recollections of those days.

As much as I admire Lewis for his written works (he is one of my favorite authors) his servant heart and actions during his life speak much louder and really show what kind of man he was. Jesus was not just someone Lewis talked or wrote about... he walked with Him and served Him by serving others.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who loves C.S. Lewis and would like to get to know him better.

Lewis and Paddy



Lewis and his brother Warren
Lewis, Maureen and Mrs. Moore
Lewis and Joy


August 18, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

It was a nice surprise today when Crystal over at Just Another Book Lovin' Girl awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award! Like me, Crystal loves to read and has some great reviews and giveaways on her blog. Thanks so much for awarding me with this award Crystal!
 

The Liebster is awarded to bloggers with less than 200 followers. It is an opportunity to shine the light on great blogs and their authors in an effort to build readership.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.

2. Give the Liebster Blog Award to five bloggers and let them know in a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. Have blogging fun!

And now, for the new winners of the Liebster Blog Award:
  
1. Charity UAustenitis
2. Mary Ann - A Mom With A Blog
3. Michelle - Sweet Treats & Inspiration
4. Amber S. - Seasons of Humility
5. Linnie -  the BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY

These are all great blogs that I've enjoyed reading. Hope you check them out and enjoy them too! :)

August 17, 2011

Raising a Soul Surfer

This past weekend my husband and I were able to stay at the lake via an invitation from friends. There I enjoyed the good weather and this great book! Bethany Hamilton's mother tells her story of how she came to Christ and how her family got through the tough times during and after her daughter lost her arm to a shark attack.

I love hearing how people came to Christ. Cheri Hamilton shares her touching story of how she came to Him and I really felt her love of God throughout this book. In the introduction she states:

"My hope is that by reading our story you will be encouraged to pursue God regardless of the cost. He doesn't take away or allow you to go through pain to hurt you, but to heal and transform and draw you to Himself. God's plan is not to leave us as He found us, but to fill our lives with His purpose and His hope for an amazing future filled with His love!"

I thought that was a beautiful way of putting it and this book definitely portrays this. At one point in the book she talks about how she and Bethany had talked about giving glory to God in their lives. She recalls:

"I remember that Bethany and I prayed about this very thing several weeks before she was attacked. Our prayer went like this: Lord, bring Bethany into the center of Your will and use her surfing to glorify and honor Your name. It never occurred to us the manner in which God would answer our prayer."

As you read this book you will see how much God has done through this family and how God used their tragedy for His glory. So many people have been touched and brought to Christ through their lives that may have never otherwise.

I believe this is one of those books people will read and say to themselves I want to know her God! This was not just a good read, but a blessing.




August 10, 2011

Pompeii


I think I found a new favorite author! I really enjoyed reading this book. T. L. Higley not only captures the history of Pompeii and its people, but the history of the early Christians who met in secret, and the spiritual battle they faced. The story is fast paced and intriguing and I couldn't put it down.

The Romans who lived in Pompeii at that time were a very perverse people. They also were very class orientated. The Christians on the other hand were  kind, generous and didn't discriminate. The Roman hero of this story struggles with this, but later comes to terms with what the Bible really means when it says:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28


I love this. It doesn't matter what nationality you are, what kind of clothes you wear or what traditions you have. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, female or male...through Christ we are all equal.


The Jewish heroine of the story escapes slavery by disguising herself as a boy to becomes a gladiator and the author brings you right into this world where men fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowds.


The destruction of the city by Mt. Vesuvius is vividly described in this book and in the authors notes it was interesting to find out how this eruption preserved so much and left us with a "frozen-in-time city to unearth." I think this would be such an interesting place to visit.


Having never read anything by this author before I am looking forward to more of her stories from the ancient world. Now to just choose which one to read next!

August 7, 2011

erasing hell

"Let's be eager to leave what is familiar for what is true. Nothing outside of God and His truth should be sacred to us." Francis Chan

This is not just a book about hell but about seeking God and His Truth. This was not an easy book to read. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. But if you decide to, I would recommend you keep this scripture in the forefront of your mind:

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

This is one of those books you can not read without your Bible open right beside you. The authors implore you too without even asking. God's Word is powerful, especially when you open yourself up to it when everything in you wants to rebel against it. One thing the authors do ask, is that you pray before reading it and I recommend that as well.

After reading the first five chapters, chapter six really spoke to me. I wept through it. In a prayer Francis Chan writes:

"Please forgive me, Lord, for wanting to erase all the things in Scripture that don't sit well with me. Forgive me for trying to hide some of Your actions to make You more palatable to the world. Forgive me for trying to make you fit my standards of justice and goodness and love. You are God; You are good; I don't always understand You, but I love You. Thank you for who you are."

After reading this book, I'm finding myself praying this same prayer.

It made me think: who I'm I to judge what God does and says...He is God and his ways are perfect even when I don't understand them. It made me think about what it really means to be saved...if we are saved by believing all the right doctrines then we are all doomed. No one has all the doctrines down to a tee. Not Francis Chan , not Rob Bell. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus and that grace means even more to me after reading this book.




August 5, 2011

Hidden Affection and Heart's Awakening

It has such a beautiful cover but...I just finished reading Hidden Affections by Delia Parr and found it difficult to get through. It's the story of Annabelle and Harrison, two people who are thrown into a marriage from the start.

It's 1831 and they are found handcuffed to the robbed stage coach they were sharing. The sheriff accuses Harrison of mistreating her and forces a quick marriage. Harrison is a wealthy man who takes her back to his home until he can try to annul the marriage. There she befriends the estates housekeeper, Irene, who encourages her and helps her get through this situation.

This had so many ingredients for a good story but they all seemed to fall flat. The characters had no chemistry and Harrison just was not a nice guy. He was often rude and just not likeable. I just couldn't like him, not even in the end, when he has a change of heart.

I hope readers who didn't enjoy this book will not write this author off. Her first book, Heart's Awakening was so good. It was the story of  Ellie who is older, plain and has no prospects. She is given an opportunity to be the housekeeper of the newly widowed Jackson.

But he decides that marrying her instead will solve his problems...help with the rearing of his boys and the scandal of his first marriage. She reluctantly agrees. This is a story of a convenient marriage that turns to love. I thought it was beautiful and couldn't put it down.












August 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Over at undeserving grace is a thankful Thursday blog hop I thought I'd do this week. So here are some things I'm thankful for!

         God's grace  
         Family and friends
         Sunshine
         Flowers
         Clean water
         My comfy bed
         Rain
        Walks in the park
        Books
        Laughter
    

August 2, 2011

Heaven and Five People I'd like to Meet

I just started my new devotional on Heaven called "We shall see God" by Charles Spurgeon and Randy Alcorn. On day 6 it talks about who we will be in heaven. Will we be ourselves? Spurgeon points out Matthew 8:11 

"Many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven" 

By naming each man, Abraham, Issac and Jacob, Spurgeon points out that all in heaven, will be individuals as we are now. Each ourselves, but better. Randy Alcorn explains it this way:

"Distinctiveness is God's creation, not merely a fleeting whim. What makes us unique will survive. In fact, much of our uniqueness may be uncovered for the first time in Heaven. We'll be real people with real desires, but holy ones. We'll have real feelings, but feelings redeemed from pride and insecurity and wrong thinking. We'll be ourselves -- with all the good and none of the bad. And we will consider it, in just the right sense, a privilege to be who God has made us to be."

I love that we will be fully restored to ourselves... "who God made us to be"

Whenever I go to Chapters (our Canadian equivalent to the American Barnes and Noble)  a certain book on display always catches my eye, its called "Five people you meet in heaven." and it always makes me think of who has gone onto heaven that I have never met and would like to.

Here are five people I think I'd like to meet in heaven and get to know them as God made them to be:

C.S. Lewis-What a great mind. I have so many questions for this man.  I've learned so much from his books and look forward to getting to know him.

Sarah-The wife of Abraham. This is the one woman in Scripture that I find I relate to the most. She was often stubborn and impatient. Things I need to work on too. But she loved God with all her heart and put her trust in Him.

Oswald Chambers- What a passion for God. This man had a passion for God I have never seen in any other. I can't help getting excited about the Lord when I read anything he has written. He also loved to laugh and that's one of my favorite things to do!

Abraham Lincoln-What a life. I've always loved American history and this man is one who stands out as someone with integrity and morals. Who stood up for what was right and fought to bring a stop to the injustice of slavery. Whenever I read something about his life, I clearly see God's providence.

My Grandma-What a prayer warrior. I was very young when my Grandma passed away. I often think of her and look forward to meeting her in heaven. She loved the Lord and her and my Grandpa spend countless hours in prayer for their children and grandchildren and I often feel the impact of those prayers today.

We may not see now, how we are made in God's image, but one day we will, and I think it will give us one more reason to praise the Lord.
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