“A Love Made New” by Kathleen Fuller, book review

“A Love Made New” by Kathleen Fuller, book review. An Amish of Birch Creek Novel, #3

We met Abigail Schrock in the previous books and grieve with her when her parents were killed in a buggy accident. Now she is back home with her sisters and trying to keep going. But when Joel, her boyfriend, breaks up with her, she is devastated.

Asa Bontrager has recently moved back to Birch Creek at God’s prompting. He is lonely without his family, but quickly rekindles friendships from his childhood. He is bored at his factory job and earns to begin his own bookkeeping business.

As Asa and Abigail sort out their feelings for each other and also try to follow God’s prompting for their lives, they encounter various issues with family and friends.

I have read the other 2 books in this series, so the characters were familiar and I knew the back story. This book develops the characters and demonstrates how God’s love can carry people through even the most tragic of circumstances.

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

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Gratitude: A Prayer and Coloring Journal” book review

“Gratitude A Prayer and Coloring Journal” Book Review

Gratitude. We should all feel grateful for so much. Family. Health. Job. House. Food. The list is really endless. And above all, God’s love and provision for us. But we often take all these for granted, until they are taken from us. One phone call…

The Gratitude Journal encourages us to write down those things we are thankful for on a daily basis. The beautiful design of this book just asks to be taken to a comfortable chair with a hot cup of coffee. And the black line drawings are just made for coloring, thinking and praying.

This is a very beautiful book. It is quite feminine in design and colors, so would make a really good gift for woman- birthday, Mother’s Day, graduation, or just as an encouragement type of gift.

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

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365 Pocket Morning Prayers, book review

365 Pocket Morning Prayers, book review

This pretty leather bound book is full of 365 prayers with short scriptures to be used as an easy way to talk to God and begin your day. The entries are numbered, so if you miss a day, you do not feel like you are behind. Each days passage is short, able to be read in 5 minutes or less. The physical book is really pretty, leather cover with trees and birds on the cover.

This book would be nice for a gift- birthday, graduation, Mother’s Day or just because. I found the entries very easy to read and understand.

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

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“befriend” by Scott Sauls, book review

“befriend” create belonging in an age of judgment, isolation, and fear
by Scott Sauls, book review

In our fast paced lives, being a friend has almost become something to check off on our to-do list. Author Scott Sauls has written a book that describes how as Christians we should be friends to all those around us. Being a friend should be very intentional, in his opinion, and very purposeful. It is also very Biblical.

This book is divided into chapters by topic and the reader is challenged to look at folks in their world a bit differently. He also describes how Jesus was a friend to those around Him while on earth. Each chapter has several personal examples which give the reader a much better idea of how this specific type of friendship will play out in real life. At the end of each chapter, there is a short summary, scripture references and discussion questions.

The book was easy to read and understand. I appreciated the examples, as they made it much easier for me to see how these types of friendships would work in real life. This would be a very good book to use for small group discussion with older youth, college students or adults.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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“Catching Heat” by Janice Cantore, book review

“Catching Heat” by Janice Cantore book review. Cold Case Justice series

Abby is still haunted by the murders of her parents, over 27 years ago. While the police declared it a cold case, she is still hoping for an arrest and conviction.

Luke is a PI who has been assigned to help Abby and others find the killer of a San Luis Obispo college coed over 25 years ago. He does not mind getting out of the congestion of Long Beach and spending a few days up the coast in SLO on this case. And spending time with Abby an extra bonus.

As this police story unfolds, long buried evidence slowly surfaces. The characters learn to work together and under extreme pressure. All the while obeying the law and keeping their spiritual lives intact.

This was an action packed story, with many twists and turns- some completely unexpected. Without giving away the end, it does end mostly on a positive note and the reader is not left hanging.

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

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Punderdome, a card game for pun lovers, review

-Punderdome, a card game for pun lovers, review

We often enjoy playing games around the dining table after dinner, and so this new game, Punderdome, was the new one we tried last weekend. A couple of college kids were home, so they agreed to try it out.

The rules were simple enough to understand, so we played several hands. As with most games, the first couple of rounds a are bit bumpy as we figure out the rules and strategy, and this was definitely the case here. But after a reasonable amount of time, we gave up. The basic feelings were: “None of us were any good at making puns off the top of our heads.” “We all agreed this was quite difficult. Only elite pun producers could enjoy this game.”

As a disclaimer: both are very intelligent, scoring well on the GRE. One is a senior double major philosophy and English- so I though he would do very well with this game. Basically, we did not enjoy the game and after giving it a good try, we put it away and played Apples to Apples.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this game from the producer. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“2 Chairs” by Bob Beaudine, book review

“2 Chairs” by Bob Beaudine, book review.  Subtitle:  The Secret that Changes Everything



This is a small hardback book that would be found in the gift book section or similar to the popular books that come out each year. The author credits his mother for suggesting this simple technique for meeting with God each morning. Designate a place a place 2 chairs facing each other. You sit in one and “invite” God to sit in the other. Then you work through 3 questions:

-Does God know your situation?

-Is it too hard for Him to handle?

-Does He have a good plan for you?

These questions apply to all areas of life, in all situations and for all time. Following the asking of the questions, we understand that God is all knowing, all powerful and all present, so He is in control of all situations and we can trust Him to work them out for His good. Therefore, we do not need to worry.

I found this book very easy to read. It has short chapters with many personal examples that add interest and information. In my opinion this is a strategy for a “young Christian” to use to establish a daily time with God. Sometimes it is easier to have a task (sitting in the 2 chairs) rather than just knowing you should pray. Personally, I was disturbed by the Joel Olsten example, as I feel he is not a true preacher of God’s word. This book could be used in a small group setting for good discussion.

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

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“The Wedding Shop” by Rachel Hauck, book review

“The Wedding Shop” by Rachel Hauck, book review

This is the third book of the series, but stands alone, if you have not read the other two. The story is about a wedding store in Heartsbend, TN, which has been closed since the 1970’s. The town is ready to sell the land to a new developer who wants to use it for a parking lot. But many town folks have fond memories of the store and want it preserved.

Haley Morgan returns home from the military following the death of her childhood friend, Tammy. She decides to try to open the Wedding Shop in memory of Tammy, as one day while playing, they made a “pinky promise” to run the shop together. Though it seems impossible, Haley is ready for a challenge.

Cora owned and operated the store from 1930-1970’s, and there are still lots of women who remember her and her family. She fell in love with a riverboat captain and waited years for him. Finally, she discovered he was already married. After years of waiting, Birch Good proposed and they were married. They truly lived happily ever after.

This book combines the 1930’s story of Cora and Birch with the modern happenings of Haley all in the context of the Wedding Shop.

I enjoyed the book. I have not read the previous 2,but was able to follow and enjoy the story line. This is a good book for those who enjoy historical fiction and all women who love wedding stories.

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

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Prince Noah and the School Pirates, book review

“Prince Noah and the School Pirates” by Silke Schnee

This is the second in the Prince Noah series and continues his story. Prince Noah is a young prince in a Kingdom where his parents rule. Prince Noah has now grown up enough that it is time to go to school, which is held on a fleet of ships Each ship has a different group of children- girls, boys, and special kids, which is Noah’s ship, as Noah has Down’s Syndrome.

After the ships sail and the teaching begins, all the students are dissatisfied with what they are being taught, and wish they could be on another ship. When a pirate ship attacks, the children all work together to over power the pirates and return safely to port. In the process, they have class together, and all the children learn better and have so much fun.

This book explains that children are all different but all special in their own way. Children work well together and learn from each other. Children with special needs are just kids too.

I enjoyed this story and think that children will too. It is a picture book, but is not for preschoolers, more appropriate for young elementary age students. Would be a great book to explain about inclusion learning models.

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

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“Guide Me Home” by Kim Vogel Sawyer book review

Guide Me Home, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review

Rebekah is just trying to hold her family together, after her brother wonders into Mammoth Cave and dies. To ease her mother’s grief, she gets a job at the cave to earn money for a grave stone. But the only job is a cave guide, so she dressed like a boy and gets the job.

Devlin Bale convinces his college administrator father to allow him to journey to Mammoth Cave to draw cave. Devlin hopes that by doing this, it will give his father a political advantage as he runs for office. In the search for other caves in the area, he discovers that many people have caves an some open into the large main cave. He tries to convince locals that they should sell their land to the government and move to a new place, to better themselves. This is met with a lot of resistance, as Devlin does not understand the strong ties these folks have with the land.

I enjoyed this story and the characters. There was a lot of history and adventure. There is a little romance through in, but to too much, so guys will enjoy this book as there is a lot of detail about the cave and surrounding areas.

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

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