This book has sealed Miralee Ferrell as one of my favorite authors. Taking place shortly after Blowing on Dandelions, the story expanded slightly on D...moreThis book has sealed Miralee Ferrell as one of my favorite authors. Taking place shortly after Blowing on Dandelions, the story expanded slightly on Dandelions but largely dealt with Pastor Seth and why he was still single at 27. It also introduced some of the problems faced by the Chinamen who came to America during this time period, as well as the prejudice held by some of the white folks. I quickly saw the 'train wreck' that was going to happen, yet the characters were so real to me that I had to know how they came through it all. If you like historical romance then you might like this story, but I recommend you start with Blowing on Dandelions.(less)
As always, Shelly & Heather provide a book that is a quick, easy read but FULL of wonderful, easy-to-follow information. I've learned to always be...moreAs always, Shelly & Heather provide a book that is a quick, easy read but FULL of wonderful, easy-to-follow information. I've learned to always be sitting at my desk when I read their books because I know I will want to pull things up and try them out as I read. More than once in this book I read a section and thought, "It can't be that easy." Yet, it was! I truly appreciate the care and concern these authors put into their books and resources. (less)
Another great addition to the Sister J series. A quick read with some great moments. If you've read of any of this series, I recommend you start with...moreAnother great addition to the Sister J series. A quick read with some great moments. If you've read of any of this series, I recommend you start with book 1.(less)
I love when I find a great book. It’s even better when the authors find a way to make the book even better! That’s exactly what Lindon and Sherry Gare...moreI love when I find a great book. It’s even better when the authors find a way to make the book even better! That’s exactly what Lindon and Sherry Gareis did with their book Declutter Now!
What I Thought Earlier this year, the Gareis’s released an 8-Week Study Guide as a companion to their book. It’s designed to be used with a small group, although I worked through it by myself without any trouble.
The book is the foundation for the study, and the study by itself will not be nearly as effective without the book. But after reading through it, I highly recommend gathering a few of your friends and going through it together. The study is laid out in a very group-friendly way, and it includes many questions to get some great discussions started. I was impressed at the variety of questions they listed for each chapter, making it easier to keep conversation flowing in different mixes of people.
In addition to the discussion questions, each chapter also has a memory verse related to the material and an action plan to help motivate you to make good choices and act on them. And like the book, I never felt any condemnation; I felt lots of encouragement to get moving in the right direction.
The only potential downside is that the discussion question section does not leave you a lot of room to write. I don’t tend to write much in my study books, so this wasn’t a problem for me. But if you like to journal out answers, you will want to consider having a separate notebook nearby.
The Bottom Line – 5 stars This is the perfect companion to the original book, adding in tremendous value so friends can work through the concepts of decluttering their lives together. I highly recommend small groups take a look at this study.(less)
Rita Gerlach is another new author for me, but when I saw lots of good reviews, I decided to give her a try. I wasn't disappointed with the Kindle dow...moreRita Gerlach is another new author for me, but when I saw lots of good reviews, I decided to give her a try. I wasn't disappointed with the Kindle download, which is actually two books in one: Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains.
What I Thought The author intertwined the story line into 1770s history very well, and she went deeper than the typical surface issues between England and the American Colonies.
In England, Mrs. Gerlach touched on the disparity between the aristocracy and the poor, as well as the plight of those who sympathized, or even agreed with, the complaints of the Colonies against the King. While she focused more on what was going on with the Indian raids on the colonial western frontier than between the Loyalists and Tories within towns, she didn't fail to leave out suspicions of new visitors from England, the Acts being passed by Parliament, and the attempt to starve out Boston.
Many parts were hard to read, but only because of the brutality common in the time period: in America, the Indian raids that ended in scalpings, and in England, the immediate hangings of those who believed to aiding the colonists. The author also brought to life the lack of mercy on any side, the brutality within some on all sides, and the lack of respect for many; several tough topics that the author wrote about faithfully.
Yet the storyline kept me reading. The main characters were well developed and believable, struggling through issues of faith as well as the social and political turmoil of their day. I particularly enjoyed Thorns in Eden, although it ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, so I was thankful The Everlasting Mountains was just a turn of the page away.
About the only reason I downgraded my rating is the editing of both books. I didn't see an overwhelming amount of mistakes, but still enough for me to make a mention of it. Some were simple errors, others were minor storyline problems, but many of them pulled me out of the story to either figure out what was really meant or to consider whether I had missed something.
The Bottom Line - 4-1/2 stars In spite of the editing issues, this book is well worth reading, and I would have no trouble picking up another book by this author. Her story telling skills are very good and her knowledge and research of the time period and locations are excellent. If you like historical romance or fiction dealing with pre-revolutionary America, I recommend giving these books a try. (less)
This is not normally a book I would invest the time to read fully simply because it is very detailed. Yet is came highly recommended by a friend who l...moreThis is not normally a book I would invest the time to read fully simply because it is very detailed. Yet is came highly recommended by a friend who loves it and so I determined to read it. What is contained within its pages is a love story that I believe many of us long for but will not commit ourselves to producing. The great love Sheldon (the author) and Davy (his wife) promise each other is something that took great personal sacrifice and tremendous courage--a total focus on the other that united them, their hearts, and their minds like no one I've ever known.
But this book is considerably more than that as well. As Sheldon and Davy seek to learn more about Christianity, as they research and consider Jesus, as later as they are confronted with life, they never do so lightly. The author reveals his struggles and doubts, where he sought counsel, and the conclusions he reached. I found myself looking at God with fresh eyes as I considered powerful questions, some asked by the author's friend CS Lewis:
"Do fish complain of the sea for being wet? Or if they did, would that fact itself not suggest that they had not always been or would not always be purely aquatic creatures? Then, if we complain of time and take such joy in the seemingly timeless moment, what does that suggest?"
Yes, this is a book worth reading. But I suggest you take your time to savor what the author has left for us within its pages.(less)
When you think of people from the Bible, Abishag is probably not someone most people would name. Yet she is there in 1 Kings 1, the Shunammite virgin...moreWhen you think of people from the Bible, Abishag is probably not someone most people would name. Yet she is there in 1 Kings 1, the Shunammite virgin found to keep King David warm at the end of his days.
Several people from the Bible capture my imagination, many of them minor characters in the story of salvation, some of them even nameless on the pages of history. Abishag is one of those whose story I've often considered. As I would read through 1 Kings, I wondered what she thought about her assignment to serve and warm the King, what she left behind, what she sacrificed to serve, and what happened to her after David's death.
Ms. Gilliland weaves a beautiful story, creating possible answers to these questions. Yes, most of the story is pure fiction, yet when she could I see an effort to stay true to Scripture. I see where parts of 1 Kings that were not mentioned (like Adonijah setting himself up as King before David's death), yet while these events are major on the biblical stage, they are minor to the story of Abishag, and that's the story the author strives to tell.
The book was touching, and I felt the turmoil within Abishag as she dealt with the choices laid before her. Ms. Gilliland created a sympathetic yet strong character who I wanted to find happiness. The character King David was delightful, and I loved many of the conversations he and Abishag had as she spent her days caring for him.
Cautions The story takes place within the walls of King David's palace, complete with his out-of-control son Adonijah and concubines. While the author does a good job of handling the topics with care, I would hesitate before recommending this book to teen or sensitive readers. Topics touched on within the books include: several angry concubines David rejected after Absalom slept with them, one concubine who loved the King yet was not called into his presence in his older years, and Adonijah who treats women as possessions and molests Abishag a couple of times.
The Bottom Line - 5 stars If you like to explore fiction based on actual biblical events or fiction based in Bible times, this book is worth considering.(less)
Excellent! I think the book could easily be summed up with this from page 276:
"I have concluded that we don't have a 'marriage crisis' in the Christia...moreExcellent! I think the book could easily be summed up with this from page 276:
"I have concluded that we don't have a 'marriage crisis' in the Christian community; we have a crisis of faith. The point is that we all have to come to grips with one question: 'Do I or do I not believe what Jesus Himself said.'"
He's right. In the Bible men are told to love their wives, and women are told to respect their husbands. I believe that's the very core of what God put into us and He gave us clear instructions that cut to the heart of our needs. Proverbs 14:1 says the foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands, and most of us are guilty of that very thing. Dr. Eggerichs has done an excellent job in this book breaking down the hearts of men and women, making the core desires understandable. And with many examples from his conferences and his own marriage, he makes it clear where many people often make mistakes -- by not loving/respecting their spouse or my misinterpreting the motivations behind their spouse's actions.
This is a great resource for anyone wanting to improve their marriage and help it last to the end.(less)
A great little resource for writers on infusing romantic tension into scenes, including several examples for each technique. I particularly appreciate...moreA great little resource for writers on infusing romantic tension into scenes, including several examples for each technique. I particularly appreciate that Mrs. Lessman doesn't draw out the lesson longer than it needs be, but instead gets straight to the point, provides an example or two, and moves on. Perfect for referencing again later!(less)