Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help for single ladies

Lessons Learned as a Bridesmaid is a fun yet spiritually deep book, aimed at single women.  This book, according to the author, "is dedicated to all the ladies who may not feel as overjoyed to hear of yet another friend's recent engagement. This is for the young ladies who, as happy as they may feel to see a friend marry the person of their dreams, have that little ache in their hearts that says, “God, when will it be my turn?” My story is all about how to wait with contentment for your husband that God has chosen just for you." This book feels almost like sitting down with your girlfriends over a cup of coffee or tea and talking openly and honestly about how it feels to be single and what we can do to help those feelings.  
Lessons Learned as a Bridesmaid is a shockingly honest look at the author's life and relationships, with her friends, her family and her former boyfriends.  She chronicles several times she's been a bridesmaid, but she's not made it to the altar herself, to the shock of her Haitian family.  Through speaking about the end of one of her romantic relationships, she outlines the way she sought the Lord through and in her pain and how He healed her heart.  She says, and I agree, that one main problem we as God's children have is how impatient we can get while waiting for His perfect timing, especially where romance is concerned.  
This is a great book for singles of all ages, from late adolescence on.  It includes discussion/study questions at the end of each chapter, which would be ideal for a Sunday School class or small group.  It also shows two Biblical examples of waiting on God's timing, Sarah and Hannah.  
I found much encouragement in this book, being a single, never-married person in my early thirties.  This book reminds me that God is in control and He is working all things for my good.  There are several important Biblically-based lessons to be learned through this book for all women of God.
*I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Careful what you wish for

What if your fondest prayer was finally answered?  Would you really be as happy as you thought you'd be?
In Sunrise on the Battery, Mary Lynn finds out the answer.  She's a typical society mom, totally devoted to her kids and husband, and experiencing something of a spiritual awakening.  This includes meeting with a prayer group once a week.  Her most fervent prayer is that her husband Jackson will come to know the same Lord she has experienced.  When that finally happens, through his meeting with their priest, the results are far from what Mary Lynn thought they would be.  Jackson's new-found faith is being acted out in ways that are radically different from how Mary Lynn thought their lives would be.  
I found this story both challenging and engaging.  I totally identified with the characters and felt they were very vividly drawn out, almost to the point that they felt like real people I knew.  I could identify strongly with Jackson especially, who read voraciously, mostly to make up for something he felt he missed in his education.  I also love the imagery Beth Webb Hart uses to describe the Spirit's moving in people-e.g.-"...(Mary Lynn) felt a burning in her chest, like she had fallen asleep facedown on a heating pad.  It wasn't uncomfortable, but it felt full of energy, and she sensed that God's love for her, something wholly undeserved, was working its way into her very bones.  It was the best feeling she'd ever known.  She did not want the burning to end."  
I truly enjoyed this book and found it a good story and also thought-provoking about how we all live out our faith.  It also shows that our prayers being answered do not always end up the way we thought they would.  
I received this book free from the publisher and am not required to write a positive review, but one of my own opinion.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A fun read

In Cherished, we meet two women, Kelli and Heather, who are going through difficult changes in their lives.  Kelli is moving to a new city to be closer to her family, and also seeing for the first time since high school her former boyfriend who broke her heart.  Heather is a church-goer and choir member, but she was also involved with a married member of the church's staff.  
Kelli was a musician in high school, but after she and her boyfriend Brian broke up, she gave up music and devoted herself to her studies.  When she moves back to her hometown, her sisters-in-law eventually persuade her not only to take up music, but to reconnect with Brian, who is a recording artist.  
Heather meets Kelli and becomes good friends with her, as they both encounter the Lord Jesus for real and are discipled by Kelli's sister-in-law Cyn.  They and others in their family and close friends struggle with forgiving both themselves and those who have done them wrong.  In so doing they grow in a close friendship with each other and the Lord. Kelli finds peace with something terrible she and Brian did in their past through their musical venture.  
This is a wonderful example of how the Lord truly works all things out for our good.  This book is a fun, wonderful reminder of the Lord's faithfulness to His people.  It also shows us, above all, that He cherishes us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Curiosities of the Civil War

I found this book to be extremely interesting.  I have long been a student of history, and the American Civil War has always been interesting to me, even as a child.  In this book are many anecdotes, about every aspect of life during the war.  This book includes information about subjects that are not touched on in a lot of histories of the war, such as friendly fire.  Also interesting was the anecdotes about people who were unknown before and during the war, but would go on to make a great contribution to it later on.  Such people as Walt Whitman and Elias Howe were mentioned.  It is fascinating to me to see these great historical figures playing their part, however big or small, in this great and terrible conflict.
I found of particular interest the anecdotes mentioning the area in which I live, Northeast Georgia.  This one mentions Athens and UGA, about twenty-five miles from where I went to college.   "Experimenting with ways to increase the power of large guns, Pvt. John Gilleland of Georgia's Mitchell Thunderbolts developed a double-barreled cannon.  Balls linked by a chain were designed to 'mow down Yankees as a scythe cuts rye.'  When put to use, however, it was found that precise coordination of firing was impossible.  In a few test rounds, linked cannon balls 'whizzed around in erratic fashion' and killed two or three Thunderbolts.
This experimental weapon is commemorated by a historical marker on the campus of the University of Georgia at Athens." (p.163)
I think this is a great book, and would be a welcome addition to any history buff's library, especially as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max on Life by Max Lucado

     I have been a long-time fan of Max Lucado's work, and this book lives up to the expectations I have of his works.  In Max On Life, Max answers many questions he has received on topics such as marriage, prayer, etc. whether by email, letter, or face-to-face, from a Biblically grounded perspective.  What results is a book that probably everyone could find something that is helpful to them in.  It is peppered with humor, as are all his works, but it overall conveys both the author's and God's love, compassion and concern for all.
    I found this book very interesting, entertaining and enjoyable.  I also found it very applicable to my life in several areas.  This book is both fun to read and very practical.  I think I will return to this book often because of the pearls of wisdom Max includes in it, about many topics I struggle with on a regular basis, such as prayer, temptation, and irritation.  On irritation Max writes, "Every pearl is simply a victory over irritations."  I know that I will think of this often, when I wear any of my pearl jewelry!
    I think this book is wonderful, and would be a great gift for people in all stations of life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Midevent Survey

1. What are you reading right now? The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins
2. How many books have you read so far? 1, and about a quarter of another.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Finishing The Brotherhood
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Only bathroom breaks, and a shower break
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How many are doing it!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Have better snacks onhand!
9. Are you getting tired yet? Not really
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Only using a Kindle or other ereader

Read-a-thon update

Since my last post I read Colossians and 1 Thessalonians, and I finished up Unconventional which I started earlier this week.   Next I am reading The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins.

Dewey's Readathon 2011

1)Where are you reading from today? My bedroom in Dawsonville, GA.
2)Three random facts about me…
1. I was an aunt before age 4. 
2. I did the 3Day Walk in Atlanta last October 
3. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
Unconventional by JJ Hebert and The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I would like to finish Unconventional and get about halfway through The Brotherhood.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? Have fun!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dining With Joy

In Dining With Joy, we meet Joy Ballard, the host of a regional cooking show, who has a secret-she can't cook. She took over her father's cooking show when he died, but she cannot cook herself.  Her behind-the-scenes staff have helped her keep her secret, until she is challenged to a "throwdown" of sorts, with another cooking show host.  There, though her colleague and cohost Luke does his best to help, she is exposed.  Then she and Luke have to go about rebuilding both his reputation as a chef and their lives.  Once all their lives are in shambles, both Luke and Joy come to realize that maybe what happened, including Joy being exposed as a fraud, was a part of God's plan for their lives.  They find that God really does bring beauty from ashes.
   I really enjoyed this book.  It offers a vivid painting of what life and the people that inhabit South Carolina's Lowcountry really are all about.  It also discusses their cuisine in detail, even including a few recipes at the end of the book!  What this book really teaches is that we may plan for our life to be one way, but through our families or other uncontrollable things we end up in a totally different place.  Even though that may happen, this story gives the reader hope that God can truly not only bring us to a place where we are truly satisfied with our work, but also bring us the perfect person or people to share your life with.  This story is also a vivid reminder that though things seem to be at their worst, everything can turn around in just a short time and be at their best.