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Showing posts from July, 2017

Lots of mess with a little moxie

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If you're a Christian woman and you haven't heard of Jen Hatmaker, you might be living under a rock. Her previous books (7, Interrupted, For The Love, etc) have been bestsellers, accompanied by rave reviews and scores of Christian women following Jen on social media and attending conferences where she speaks. My first exposure to Jen Hatmaker was when her book Interrupted came out several years ago. I read it when it came out and mostly loved it. I loved her honesty, her heart for the poor, her heart for being the hands and feet of Jesus in real and practical ways to the church and to the community at large. However, since then she seems to have slipped further and further away from the traditional Gospel of Jesus and closer and closer to what some might term "emergent" theology, capped off with her public announcement that she believes same sex marriages are holy and that God blesses them. I decided to give her newest book, Of Mess And Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out …

A Letter From Lancaster County

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I'll be honest: I'm not necessarily a huge fan of Amish fiction. Oftentimes it tends to be idealized, unrealistic, or contrived. However, I decided to check out Kate Lloyd's new book, A Letter From Lancaster County (the first in her new Lancaster Discoveries series) because it seemed so unique. The main characters are not Amish (although one is Mennonite), but many of the supporting cast are Amish and it is set in the heart of Amish country, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The back cover says:

"Two Sisters Get a Second Chance at Life and Love

Angela
Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.

Rose
Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more di…

Get Out Of That Pit

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I was super excited to get the chance to read and review the 10th anniversary reprint edition of Beth Moore's Get of That Pit: Straight Talk About God's Deliverance. I hope you're sitting down, because what I'm about to say might shock you: I've never read a Beth Moore book before. I know, crazy, right? I've read about a million books, but I've never picked up one of hers before, although I've certainly heard of her and know that she has a large Bible study ministry and following. Get Out of That Pit seemed like a good place to start, since it's one of her most popular books, having sold 750,000 copies. The back cover says:

"From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free.

This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well—to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defie…

Here And Gone

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I couldn't wait to read Here And Gone by Haylen Beck. Haylen Beck is the pen name for established author Stuart Neville. I haven't read his books under his real name, but am definitely going to check them out now! Here And Gone is being touted as the best thriller of the summer and "one of the best debuts of the year" (Harlan Coben). The description says:

"Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them...

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hear…

His Guilt

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His Guilt is the second book in Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish of Hart County series, the first being Her Secret (which is also read and reviewed - loved it!). I was so excited to read the next book because I loved the first one so much (it looks like there will be at least two more in this series, can't wait!). This book shifts focus to Mark Fisher and Waneta Cain. The back cover says:

"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...

Neeta is one of the few people in …

A Fierce Love

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A Fierce Love: One Woman's Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage by Shauna Shanks is an incredible picture of God's love, redemption, and plan for marriage. The book description says:

"Love is easy to give when you are getting it back. Are we still called to God’s plan of how to love when we are getting none in return? Shauna Shanks’s brave journey through obedience reveals the outcome of when we dare to follow God’s ludicrous outline for love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Wrecked with news of her husband’s affair and his request for a divorce, Shauna finds herself urgently faced with a decision. Does she give up and divorce her husband and move on, or does she try to fight for her marriage? The former choice seems to contradict God’s plan for how to love, such as “love never gives up,” “love is patient,” and “love is kind.”

Taking God at His word and assuming the love chapter was really meant to be followed literally word by word, she not only finds herself fallin…

Hiding From The Kids In My Prayer Closet

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I was instantly attracted to Jessica Kastner's first book, Hiding From The Kids In My Prayer Closet: Finding Grace and Laughter When Motherhood Gets Real because of the hilarious title and cover. I love the mental image of hiding in the closet (or the bathroom - hey, the door locks and it keeps them out longer!) from the kids. I may or may not have done this once (or fifty) times before. I have four kids all approximately two years apart, and while I'm finally out of the infant/toddler/preschool trenches, I can assure you that it never really gets any easier, the problems just change. Hiding From The Kids is divided into seven sections: This Is What Happens When You Stay Home, This Is What Happens If You Attempt Escape, This Is What Happens When They Outgrow Their Pull-Ups, This Is What Happens When You've Given Up Perfection, This Is What They'll Expose You To, This Is Why We Have 'Em, and Enough Of This Foolishness ... Bring On The Takeaways!. The back cover say…

Almost There

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Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move by Bekah DiFelice is a book about longing - longing to fit in, belong, feel at home. I moved away from my hometown when I got married at 18, and have now lived in my "new" town for 15 years, but I still don't necessarily feel completely "at home" here. So I thought I'd pick up Bekah's new book and see if it spoke to me. The book description says:

"Recipient of Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review!
On the move . . . again? Wondering when you will “arrive”?

Sometimes God leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are. That moment you depart, you experience reinvention, renewal, and freedom. You get a redo on the adjectives associated with your name.

Almost There is for those on the move and those who feel restless right where they are. It’s for those who struggle with not belonging, with feeling unsettled, with believing that home is out of their reach, at least for the mo…

Just Look Up

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I'd previously read and enjoyed Courtney Walsh's novel Paper Hearts, so I was excited to read her newest book, Just Look Up. The book description didn't immediately pull me in, but the cover was so pretty that I decided to pick it up - and I'm so glad I did! The back cover says:

"After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home―a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work―something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he s…

Pray About Everything

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Pray About Everything: Cultivating God-Dependency by Paul Tautges promises to be a manual or handbook for the Christian on prayer. My go-to prayer handbook has always been John R. Rice's Prayer: Asking and Receiving, but I love reading new books about prayer. The description says:

"Believers need to learn how to pray about everything, but so many unanswered questions hinder our progress.

What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?

How do I pray for my non-Christian friends?

When does the Holy Spirit pray for me?

In this book, a seasoned pastor and counselor answers these questions--and many more--by effectively instructing us with biblical principles, examples, and commands. By doing so, he encourages us to develop a life of prayer. Pastors, elders, and small group leaders will also find this book an indispensable help to cultivating an atmosphere of God-dependency in their local church.

Pray About Everything delivers an urgent call for believers to commit themselves to re…

He Calls You Beautiful

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I've always been interested in the elusive Song of Solomon/Song of Songs. We don't necessarily hear tons of preaching and teaching on it, except sometimes in marriage classes or couples retreats. I was excited to do an entire Bible study on Song of Solomon with Dee Brestin's new book, He Calls You Beautiful: Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs. The back cover says:

"I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.…
—from the Song of Songs

Did you know that God loves you with a passion—and He wrote a love song to help you experience that love in a personal way?

Tucked away in the pages of Scripture is one of the most fascinating and most misunderstood books of the Bible: the Song of Songs. Although the Song of Songs details a passionate, earthly love story, it is intended to illuminate the best love story, the intense love God has for us, His beloved.


In He Calls You Beautiful, Bible teacher Dee Brestin explores this love song from God to reveal transformative tr…