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."