Y'all know that I love a good murder mystery, especially when it's based on a true story. Unfortunately, this is one of the most heartbreaking true stories that I've read.
This is the true story of a foster family and not just any foster family, thisY'all know that I love a good murder mystery, especially when it's based on a true story. Unfortunately, this is one of the most heartbreaking true stories that I've read.
This is the true story of a foster family and not just any foster family, this was the teach others how to do it foster family. They took all the tough cases and kept larger families together. They knew how to foster kids. This story is about a specific family of several kids that came into their care when their single mother ran into some problems with the law.
There was one little girl from the displaced family, Hannah, found a very special place in their hearts. It became clear during their time together that Hannah was not treated the same as her siblings by her birth mother, Karen. She showed fear and the other children distanced themselves from her. When it came time to return to live with their birth mother, Hannah begged to stay with the Moerke family. The Moerkes did all they could to keep tabs on her and to make sure that she was doing well in the care of her mother. They even offered to let Hannah live with them while her birth mother got settled in her care of her children. You can imagine the Moerke's heartbreak when they discovered that Hannah had been murdered by her mother.
It is this murder that brings the real story to the forefront, it's when Debra Moerke is given the opportunity to extend grace to Hannah's mother. It is that grace that is so mystifying and capturing as a reader. Karen, who only wanted what was best for Hannah, finds herself in a position of extending grace to the woman that stole the life of this young girl. The story goes on to share how the Moerke's were asked to adopt the infant that Karen gave birth to while in prison. And how that grace they extended to Karen grew and changed the lives of both families.
This story is such a great reminder that just because we offer grace, it doesn't mean that everything is going to turn out peaches and cream. It also gives us a very real picture of how grace not only changes the receiver but the giver. It's Debra that we see growing in her conviction of what she's supposed to offer Karen. It's what we see Debra giving up in order to extend that grace.
I really enjoyed this book, it was so very well written and a wonderful reminder that grace is difficult and it's messy and it is so very much worth the effort.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley for the purpose of review. I'm never required to give positive feedback but I'm always thankful when I can....more
I recently heard an interview on KLove with Mike Donehey about his new book. He talked about how people often ask what is God's will for my life. He pointed out that scripture is very clear about what God's will is for us. In Micah 6:8, for instance,I recently heard an interview on KLove with Mike Donehey about his new book. He talked about how people often ask what is God's will for my life. He pointed out that scripture is very clear about what God's will is for us. In Micah 6:8, for instance, we're told:
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
If we're reading the Bible, God's will is pretty clear but Donehey pointed out that the question we could be asking is what is God's life for my will.
One of the questions that Donehey has been asked several times is "When did you get your calling to be a musician? How did you know?" His answer to this question is really the basis for his book. I would love to share all of the different highlights and notes that I made but it would be practically the whole book.
Here are my thoughts on why you should read this. So much of our culture tells us that we need to identify our calling, passion, whatever you want to call it and pursue it. And there's an underlying thought that if you don't pursue it then you aren't serving God with your life. Donehey points out over and over again that serving God isn't about finding a singular thing to do but finding a singular purpose of heart to glorify God. He states that he wasn't called to be a musician but he likes singing and so he sang to bring God glory. And personally, I think we could all use a little more of that in our lives. A move away from defining ourselves by what we do and towards defining ourselves by whom we serve.
If you're feeling a little lost in regards to what you should be doing with your life, if you know a young person that could use a little encouragement in finding their way in regards to career, if you love being reminded that God is more interested in our hearts than our titles, this is the book for you.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley for the purpose of review. I'm never required to say positive things but I'm always thankful when I can....more
The Heartwood Crown is the second book in the Sunlit Lands Series by Matt Mikalatos. But don't worry if you haven't read the first book, The Crescent Stone. There's enough back story in this one for you not to be completely lost, but seriously, the fThe Heartwood Crown is the second book in the Sunlit Lands Series by Matt Mikalatos. But don't worry if you haven't read the first book, The Crescent Stone. There's enough back story in this one for you not to be completely lost, but seriously, the first one is so good, you should plan on reading it first.
The story of The Heartwood Crown picks up a short time after The Crescent Stone ends. Many of the characters have settled into various parts of their life. Madeline, Shula and Yenil are back on earth, trying to live as normal a life as possible but the Sunlit Lands and their struggles from there keep creeping back in. After a visit from an unusual guest, Madeline knows that she has to return.
What she didn't know were the difficulties that her friends Jason and Darius had been facing in the days after the attack on the Elenil people that control the magic of the Sunlit Lands. The end of magic as the people of the land know it is at hand and Madeline must decide if she will be the one to help usher in the new age.
This story does an excellent job of entertaining but beyond that, Mikalatos brings up issues that we all struggle with. He handles very difficult topics such as love, self-respect, and forgiveness in a way that allows the reader to identify their own struggles and come to a decision of if they can tackle them or at least admit their presence and how they may be affecting day to day life.
This is a young adult fiction but the themes and storyline capture the reader from a much broader age range. It is an excellent second installment and I look forward to reading any additional adventures that the Sunlit Lands may have for us.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. I'm never required to leave a positive review but always thankful when I can.
PS Matt, If you're reading this, is it possible that The Sword of Six Worlds is going to combine with this series? Signed, A Validus Fan Who's Still Waiting For More...more
Sometimes you read a book and you just aren't quite sure what to share about it. Just. You. Wait. by Tricia Lott Williford is one of those books for me. This book can help you work through some stuff that you've been dealing with which is kind of amaSometimes you read a book and you just aren't quite sure what to share about it. Just. You. Wait. by Tricia Lott Williford is one of those books for me. This book can help you work through some stuff that you've been dealing with which is kind of amazing considering it's more of a memoir than a self-help book. Most every chapter is a story of waiting and what has or hasn't happened in the midst of that waiting. There are three stages of waiting that are explored in this book: longing, becoming, and awakening. Overall, Williford does an excellent job of exploring these three stages all while pointing to the One that is in the midst of our waiting and is the answer to our desires.
Just. You. Wait. shares stories of waiting that range from fishing, to the DMV, to marriage, to deliverance from addiction. The reason why these stories all work is because she is deeply invested in each of the stories that she shares about even when they aren't her personal story. One of the things that surprised me is that by reading through all these stories, I was able to come to terms with some of my own personal waiting.
We all have things that we thought would happen or that we desire to be different. One of the things that Williford points to is that it's not in the receiving of the things we most desire that we encounter God, but it's in the releasing them to God and allowing them to be answered as God wills that we achieve understanding, peace, contentment. This book does an excellent job of helping you to walk through those stages of longing, becoming, and awakening.
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review from the author. I'm never required to leave a good review, but I'm always thankful when I can....more
Y'all know that I'm a big Andy Andrews fan, so I was very excited to read his latest, The Bottom of the Pool. The best way that I can describe this book is like sitting down with your friend and they remind you how it is. It's not like Andy is hawkinY'all know that I'm a big Andy Andrews fan, so I was very excited to read his latest, The Bottom of the Pool. The best way that I can describe this book is like sitting down with your friend and they remind you how it is. It's not like Andy is hawking some secret voodoo send me $5 and you'll get $5000 in the mail next week black magic. He's sharing the truth. And the truth is that if you're dealing with an obstacle in your life, there's a big possibility that you're thinking about it all wrong.
This relatively quick read is jam-packed full of good stuff. There are interesting stories about historical figures but the main story that runs throughout the book is one of a childhood friend. Andy's friend did something extraordinary one summer afternoon that illustrates how we can break out of cycles hold us back from achieving what we are created to do. Without telling you exactly what Andy has to share in this book, it might feel like it's some magical secret that will be difficult to obtain. But I would say that this book is really just a step by step walk through of his idea that confusion guards life's treasure. He shares how to be comfortable with confusion and to use it to leverage your best for your life.
The entire book is set up in a way to mimic the very idea that Andy is trying to get across. He shows with the way the book is written, the stories he shares, and the information exactly how the bottom of the pool concept works. It's so easy, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before and then you'll start applying in all sorts of areas of your life. This book isn't just for business folks, it's for everybody from us stay at home moms to the top executives to entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
This is definitely one of those books that you should buy two hard copies of. One for you to write in and take notes about and revisit. And the other to lend out to friends because you're going to want folks to be reading this so that you can talk about it with them.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for the purpose of review. I'm never required to give a good review but always thankful when I can....more