Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Intertwined Lives in Need of Giving and Receiving Grace

The Harvest of Grace, Ada's House Series #3   -     
        By: Cindy Woodsmall
The Harvest of Grace, An Ada’s House Novel by Cindy Woodsmall
Do you remember the song that starts out, “Grace, grace, God’s  grace.  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within..”.  This book reminds me of that song.  The main characters in this book are all in need of grace or need to extend grace to others (just like real life).  The drama unfolds as the people in the story deal with finding the grace they need to live their lives.
The is the third book in the Ada’s House set of novels.  I have not read the first two, but I will.  The Harvest of Grace is engaging; the story and characters grab ahold and you want to know that everything will work out for them, even if it’s not as they planned.
I usually shy away from Amish themed books because of the time warp sense that I get from reading them, but I didn’t have that problem with this story.  The only issue I had was keeping the characters straight at the beginning.   There are several characters that all interact and not having read The Hope of Refuge and The Bridge of Peace, the first two novels in the set, in which most of the characters are introduced, I got a little confused.  But there is a handy-dandy list of main characters at the back, which was very helpful!  The back story of each character is given so you won’t be at a loss reading the current novel.  All in all, a great story and I would definitely recommend picking up a copy.
This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beauty Can Be Created From Brokenness


Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont

“Seeing life from a broken perspective”, is the tagline and Patsy Clairmont has definitely had her times of brokenness in her life.  I am sure we all have jagged pieces of our lives that at time we do not know how anything of value can be made of them.  It is really not by our own strength that we can fix the broken places in our lives.  When we allow God to take control and fix our brokenness, He can transform the broken pieces into a beautiful work of art.

That is basically the premise of this book.  I felt a little like I was reading a personal journal as I made my way through this book.  Patsy Clairmont has a way of writing that can tickle you one minute and cause introspection the next.  This book is well worth the read, especially for those who are having a hard time with the broken pieces in their lives.

There are quotes, Scripture references, poems, etc., throughout each chapter.  The end of each chapter has a section called The Art Gallery, which has music, museum pieces, Scriptures, and such for you to look up and enjoy at your leisure.  My favorite quote from the book is, “When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.” –Author Unknown .  How true that is with literal gardens and the gardens of our hearts.  The good things we do are easily rid of while the things we hate doing stay stuck.

This book was provided free of charge by BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thank you for your dedication Mr. Awana

Mr. Awana

Mr. Awana : Sixty-Plus Years of Changing the World for Christ by Art Rorheim

Awana is a program that children the world over have enjoyed, learning the love and salvation of our God.  My own son loved his Puggles experience.  I am, however, not very knowledgeable about Awana, but being in children’s ministry I thought reading Art Rorheim’s story might be helpful or encouraging.

If I have learned anything from this book, it is that when you love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and when you give yourself over completely to God’s use, He is going to use you in a powerful way.  This book is Art’s life, which is entwined with the life of the Awana program.   There are amusing recollections as well as painful events that helped shape his life.

This book is great for those who have experience with Awana, and even for those of us who don’t really have too much background knowledge of the program.  The stories about Art and the people  in his life are engaging and make this a very easy and interesting book to read.  This is, however, not really a linear account of his life and the history of Awana.  This reminds me more of sitting with your Grandpa listening to him recount episodes in his life; sometimes when he was an adult and then the next time those from childhood, it jumps back and forth.  It is worth the time to listen and learn.

This book was provided free of charge by BookCrash in exchange for an honest review.

A Great Bible for Little Guys and Gals

     My First Hands-On Bible

My First Hands-On Bible NLT

My children and I have enjoyed using this Preschool Bible so much that I forgot I was supposed to be writing a review of it!  I have been using this Bible with two boys and a girl, 4, 3, and 2 years old.  Sometimes we use it when we are first getting up and others when we are doing school.  This Bible definitely works better during our school time because of all the quick activities that are involved.  They are all simple things that my children are more than capable of doing.  The activities are dispersed throughout each Bible story.  Sometimes we do them at the point in the story where it is called for and other times we do them at the end as a kind of review.

There are questions at the end of each story and more involved activities if you choose to do them.  The illustrations are cartoons but they not so cartoonish that they no longer resemble real people.  All passages are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.  I like that because it is not just a writer’s idea of what a passage says but the actual translation itself.

This is a wonderful first Bible for any child.  I defiantly recommend buying it for your child.

This book was provided Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.