Thursday, January 23, 2014

We Are Spiritual Beings

As spiritual beings we tend to look for the meaning in the words authors put to paper.  Such is the case with this book.   Selena Sarns has worked to link the inevitable spiritual tendencies in this human drama to the love and works of God even though there is no mention of Him; good, bad, or otherwise.

So, I read this devotional book after I saw the first movie.  I have not read the series as yet, but I did find the movie enjoyable.  This book of devotions covers the entire book series so there are spoilers.  I had a good idea of what to expect from certain scenes in the second movie based on this book.   

Selena Sarns does a good job of relating how a scene from the books reflects, or does not reflect, the characteristics of Jesus and how His followers should behave towards others.  Each devotion starts with a passage of scripture followed by a summary of a scene from the series.  While God may not be a specific part of the Hunger Games series itself, God is very present in this devotion.

This is great for a parent, or friend, of a die-hard Hunger Games junkie—and there seem to be a lot of those.  Whether it’s a book you read together with you child or just to gain knowledge to help a friend think more deeply about Jesus Christ, this book is worth reading.

For More information--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from The Bible People through BookCrash in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Not For Me At This Time

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I truly have had a difficult time getting into this book.  It’s not that the book isn't good because when I read it I believe that what I am reading is interesting and has a slightly different take on Biblical events.  It just doesn’t keep me wanting more; I could put it down and not think of it again.  A book should keep you coming back for more.  Maybe I’m getting old or maybe it’s just a tad too irreverent for my tastes.

That being said, I think Finding God In The Bible would be best suited for someone who has had a similar struggle with knowing Jesus as that of Mr. Wilson’s.  We all come to faith in ways that are unique to each of us and a book like this could get someone thinking and asking real questions about God.  I think that is a very good thing.  So this might not be the book for me, I will find someone who needs it and hopefully it will lead to a better understanding of who God is.

For more information and to read and excerpt of this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.

Fun, Light Read

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I grabbed this book because the genre is a bit different than most of the stories in Christian Fiction, there are not a lot of books written about the 1920’s and 1930’s.  So I looked forward to reading this story about the rich, bored gentleman-Drew Farthering-finds mystery and excitement on the grounds of his home during a house party.   Joined by a friend and an American girl, they set out to unravel the mystery that had fallen into their laps.

Rules ofMurder is an enjoyable and easy story to read.  The characters are engaging and likable.  The only problem I had was the lack of mourning for those who died.  It just seemed that Drew and his friend are a bit too flippant about death.  That could just be to help reflect Drew’s present spiritual condition.  Overall, the story is worth reading and would make a great vacation or travel companion.

For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Awesome Story

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I have yet to read anything of Lynn Austin’s that I have disliked.  ReturnTo Me is a great story of the Jewish exiles in Babylon returning to the destroyed Holy City of Jerusalem.  The story delves into the reasoning behind why some of the exiles wanting to go back to Jerusalem so badly and why others felt just as strongly about staying in a foreign land.

I know that when I read the Bible I forget that the people who inhabit its pages had all the same feelings and sensibilities as anybody else I know.  I think a narrative such as this can help us to think more deeply about the emotions and reasoning behind the decisions the people of the Bible made, whether good or bad.  Why was Iddo so eager to face adversity to travel to a devastated city?  Why was his wife reluctant to leave Babylon.  What would lead someone to leave behind a faith in the Living God to follow idols?  What could turn their hearts back to the LORD.  Looking deeper into the lives of these fictionalized people can help us better understand ourselves and those around us.  Hopefully it will help us think and pray for others before we pass judgment on them.

This was a great story and a worthwhile read.

For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Very Informative

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This little book is packed full of information.  Dr. William H. Marty has undertaken the task of bridging the gap in Biblical history; the so called “Silent Years” between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament.

While not exhaustive, that would take a few volumes to explore several hundred years’ worth of history, The World of Jesus does a good job of hitting the highlights of this period.  There are a lot of people to sort through and I have to confess that I got confused trying to keep the historical figures straight.  The chapters of the book are broken up by time period such as the Persian Period, the Greek Period, etc.  But many of the people can cover more than one period.  To me, the set up was a little hard to keep track of but I don’t know if it really could have been simplified more than it has.

Before receiving this book I had read a review claiming the book was a sensationalized view of history; the people treated like stars in the tabloids.  I did not find this to be the case.  Unfortunately people’s sensibilities really haven’t changed in twenty-five hundred years or so.  I do not think the tabloid comparison a fair one. 

This is a good book for anyone interested in learning more about the time between Testaments and will whet the appetite for those wanting to dig deeper into history.

For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why Did You Do This To Me?

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King is the last book in the Books of the Infinite series.  I am not pleased about this.  The tears were flowing as I realized I was reading the final pages and there was not likely to be any new pages in the future.  I truly did not want to leave this group of people behind.  Ela, Kien, and Akabe seemed to be real people dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

This third book continues the struggles of Ela, the Prophet of Parne, and Kien Lantec.  However, this novel focuses on Akabe the reluctant king.  He is out of his element in his new role as king.  He is impulsive and emotional and does not think things through before acting.   His brashness could cost lives and the Temple for the Infinite.
Akabe is very similar to the kings of the Old Testament.  Anyone who has read the Bible will recognize the parallels.  Some readers may not see the value of this, but I it helps us to see the people of the Bible is a different way.  It helps humanize them.  When we read through the Scriptures again we won’t know for sure what was going through people’s minds but books like King can give us an idea.  And when we see them as real then we can relate and learn from them.

These novels do not stand alone and you will only do yourself a disservice if you do not start at the beginning and read until the end of the last one.  You will be happy you did and, like me, wish for them to continue on.

By the way, I’m still waiting for my own war charger.

For more information and to read an excerpt--click here--or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweet Novella

Dandelions on the Wind

Far from her Danish home and family, Maren makes the best of her life in war ravaged Missouri.  After coming to America for a prearranged marriage, the bridegroom backs out, Maren finds refuge in the home of the Widow Bratenburg helping to raise the woman’s granddaughter.  When Civil War Veteran Rutherford shows up to reclaim his little girl and his place on the farm, Maren begins to look for a way back to Denmark and her family.  But her heart might not let her leave.

This was a nice short story.  The main characters each struggle with issues-some they have no control over, others are results of actions they took-that leave them feeling that love will not come their way.  But, of course, a sweet summer story should have a happy ending and this one does.  It’s definitely a great way to wind down the last days of summer vacation.
For more information about this book and to read an excerpt--click here-or on the title above.

I received this book from Waterbrook Press free of charge in exchange for an honest review.