“The Returning” by Rachelle Dekker

“The Returning” by Rachelle Dekker, book review

Twenty years ago Carrington and Remko had to leave baby Elise captive in the Authority City. It was the worst day of their lives. They have never stopped thinking about her. Every year on her birthday, Carrington writes a letter to her baby, who is now a young woman.
Now the times are changing and the Seers along with Aaron are on the move. As they face incredible forces of evil, they are focused on just one goal which is to bring light to the darkness in the city.

This is the third book in the series- following “The Choosing” and “The Calling.” I have not read the other books in the series, and had a difficult time following the characters and truly understanding the plot. I often read books which are part of a series and am able to enjoy the book, as the author will give enough back ground to fill in the wholes. “The Returning” does not give enough of back ground information for me to understand and enjoy reading the book. So, I suggest you read the first 2 books in the series first.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Spectacle of Glory” by Joni Ereckson Tada” book review


” Spectacle of Glory” by Joni Ereckson Tada, book review

Joni has compiled a small book of daily readings which include a short personal story or illustration and a Bible passage. This book is a good way to begin the habit of daily devotions and Bible readings. It has a lovely cover and hard cover. These daily devotions are written to guide you to God. Joni brings a personal level of understanding to these daily passages, as she has been paralyzed for over 50 years, but has learned to lean on God!

This book is a nice gift for anyone on your list.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Handbar marketing group. All opinions expressed are my own.

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NIV Journaling Bible for girls, book review

NIV Journaling Bible for girls, book review.

The Bible is the most important book in anyone’s library. And this book, more than any other, is life changing, as it is God’s words to us. We should read it often and mark passages that are meaningful so we can find them again.

This journaling Bible is perfect for note taking and writing in, because it has large blank margins. These margins are perfect for writing and even drawing, for those who are artistically inclined. The cover is feminine and the pink elastic is functional.

I am a little disappointed that the Bible does not have study helps. It appears to be very plain. Realistically, it is a “blank canvas” for the girl who owns it, and very quickly will become filled with notes and pictures that will aid her in her study of the Bible.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this Bible from Handlebar marketing. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Cherished Quilt” by Amy Clipson, book review

“The Cherished Quilt” by Amy Clipson, book review

Emily works at her father’s leather shop, in addition to making quilts and other handmade items to earn money. She is the only daughter left at home, as her sisters have gotten married.

Christopher comes to work at his uncle’s leather shop to get away from home and all the bad memories. As the weeks progress he learns that he enjoys working with leather and is pretty good at it too. He also begins to relax enough to become friends with people in Bird-in-Hand. Emily and her family welcome him warmly, but he feels like he does not deserve friends.

Both Emily and Christopher learn to love others and forgive those who have hurt them.

I enjoyed this book. It is the third in the Amish Heirloom Series, so many of the same characters appear in all the books. However, there is enough back story to be enjoyed without reading the previous books in the series.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“of stillness and storm” by Michele Phoenix, book review

“of stillness and storm” by Michele Phoenix, book review

Sam feels the call from God to be a missionary in Nepal. He has a zeal that is relentless, even when there are problems that take many years to overcome. Finally after 10 years of preparation, Sam, Lauren and Ryan arrive in Kathmandu. Life in Nepal is hard! The primitive conditions make even the simple tasks of life difficult. Lauren feels the stress of this life the most. And Ryan has a really hard time adjusting to life as a MK (missionary kid).

After 2 years overseas, life has not become any easier for Lauren and Ryan. Out of the blue, a friend from her college days contacts Lauren and convinces her to create a Facebook Account. This begins a reconnect ion process with friends from America. She is quite surprised to receive a message from Aiden, a childhood friend. Over a few weeks, when there is electricity to charge the lap top battery, Lauren and Aiden exchange messages and catch up on the last 20 years.

This book is a chronicle of Lauren and Sam’s life, with an emphasis on their time as missionaries in Nepal. The story is not always a happy one, as the author shares very honestly about the troubles that some missionary wives and children experience. This is definitely not an aspect of missionary work that is openly discussed, but should be addressed. In the story Sam felt very strongly that he wanted to work independently of any established mission organization. However, I feel that this lack of oversight, accountability, and structure led to many of the issues that plagued his family. Large organizations may have rules and regulations that may hamper some ministry opportunities, but they have a support system in place to care for their workers on the field. This is something that Lauren and Ryan desperately needed.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher and the Litfuse Publicity Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch)

Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch), by Ruth Logan Herne, book review

Nick has been working on his family’s ranch his whole life. It is hard work, but he is proud to be there. After his wife left him, he poured his heart into 2 things: his daughters and the ranch.

Elsa has come to Central Washington to heal. As a therapist for children, she thrived on helping the little ones deal with difficult issues. Until one child was killed by her mentally ill father. Elsa took it so personally that she had to leave her job, town, and wanted nothing to do with children again.

This story is how both Nick and Elsa learn to trust again- both themselves and each other. It is a believable story set on a ranch in Central Washington. This book is the 2nd in the series, but gives enough background to stand alone.

I enjoyed the book and found the story sweet. I was happy when the “good guy” won in the end.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Missing Matissee” book review

“The Missing Matissee” by Pierre Matissee, book review

Pierre Matissee is a famous artist and he comes from a line of famous European artists. During WWII his world was turned up-side-down by the events in France and Spain. In an effort to keep him safe, his family changed his last name when registering him in school. But he did not understand the change and thought he was being disowned and was no longer worthy to be a Matissee.

This book is a chapter by chapter recount of his life before, during and after the war. There is a lot of description of the world events and how his family was impacted. He shared feely about how he was treated and his place in the family. His views were shaped by his age and his culture.

This is a well told story and would be especially interesting to an art enthusiast. It would make a nice gift to accompany a print by the artist.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Royal Christmas Wedding” by Rachel Hauch, book review

“A Royal Christmas Wedding” by Rachel Hauch, book review

Gone are the days of castles and knights in shining armor, but this light and cheery holiday book shows that there are still princes who are searching for their princess’.

Avery fell in love with a prince after her sister married the King. But when he did not show up for her high school prom, she was crushed and she finally got over him. But when her sister invites her and her mother for Christmas, following the death of her dad, all those feelings come up again. Can she dare to have her heart broken a second time?

Collin is a prince, but he just wants to be a regular guy. He works hard in the family business and tries to follow his father’s instructions. Several years ago he broke off his relationship with Avery because his father wanted it to end. Now he is older and wiser, and still in love with Avery. When she shows up for the Christmas holiday, he knows he has been given another chance to win her heart.

This is a light hearted and easy to read book. I enjoyed in while on vacation. It would be a perfect book to read in front of the fire during the Christmas holidays.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Newton and Polly, book review

“Newton and Polly” by Holly Hudlund, book review

Most of the world is familiar with the sweet hymn, Amazing Grace. But few know the whole story behind the precious words. This novel focuses more on Polly’s contribution while also describing John Newton’s life as well.

Newton grew up a ship’s captain’s son and early on was signed onto a ship to learn the sea trade. He became a typical sea man who gambled, drank and swore with the rest of his shipmates. He was an able shipmate and quickly rose through the ranks, despite his often disrespectful behavior.

Polly grew up in the dock town. He father was an inspector and known for always being honest, in a trade that most felt was quite corrupt. Because of this, he did not accept bribes which his co-workers did, and Polly sometimes felt the financial strain at home because of his low wages. But her family was a strong Christian one and there was love in abundance for all.

This is where Polly and Newton had their greatest conflict- knowing and loving God. Newton had no use for such a thing. Polly felt it was the most important thing in her life.

It was almost love a first sight for them both, but the days and weeks that followed were filled with many conflicts, followed by months and months of uncertainty.

I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and enjoyable to follow the story and learn more behind the words of the song.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“One of the Few” by Jason B. Ladd, book review

“One of the Few” by Jason B. Ladd, book review. A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview.

Jason Ladd has an incredible life story. First as a military kid shuffled around the world following his father’s postings. Then following ROTC scholarship commitments, he became a Marine. This book is the story of his life and how it has shaped his worldview.

The short, easy to read chapters tell a compelling story of a small portion of his life, but with the application of huge importance in his spiritual development and refinement. The book is divided into three sections: The Worst Day, Be Not Deceived, and Always Be Ready. Much of the content is related to being a Marine and the Marine way of life. While only a “few good men” become Marines, we can all learn from the principles and ideals the Marines follow. Ladd also shares forward thinking content in many of the chapters, encouraging readers with children to have an active and thoughtful influence in their lives, especially regarding spiritual issues

I enjoyed the book and learned a lot about the Marines. I was challenged to consider my worldview and how I influence those around me. I would recommend this for especially fathers as it has a lot of “male” examples and challenges. Overall, this is a very readable book and would make an interesting study guide for a young men’s small group.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.

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