Love and Sacrifice

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“Amid war and the fading dream of the confederacy, wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas and sacrificial love.” Christmas at Carnton is set during the civil war in Franklin, Tennessee. The main character, recently widowed Aletta Prescott struggles to hold her life together with her son after finding out her husband was killed during the war.
With a impending foreclosure and no job, Aletta finds an advertisement for the Women’s Relief Society auction and applies for a position.

Beautifully told story of love and loss. Aletta was an attentive and hard worker who starts to fall in love with a wounded confederate solider. There were some points in the book that I was not sure where the author was headed with the story line. However, it is a book I recommend. Reminds us of love filled with selflessness, love, generosity and courage.

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Why Does A Loving God Allow Suffering?

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I had a tough time reading “Answering The Toughest Questions About Suffering and Evil” because when I finished the book it left me wanting more, however I know there is hope regarding evil and suffering. There is an end!!! While Christ conquered evil on the cross, it will end once and for all in the final days.

At some point we all question how could a loving God allow people to suffer? Did God create evil? With all that is happening in the world today, we must remember God is an all loving God. The author’s cover topics such as: Why Do The Innocent Suffer? If God created everything, did He create evil? The author’s incorporate scripture when talking about each topic and include questions for reflection at the end of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book, it will make you stop and rethink about suffering, evil and judgement. “There is no shame in asking-after all, even some of the greatest men and women in the Bible had doubts. Don’t let your questions go unanswered. What you find might just change your life.
I recevied a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

The Power of Purpose

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The Power of Purpose and the Book of Philippians reminds us that we have to submit to His leading in all things, trusting Him and His plan that he has for us. Pastor Michael walks us through Paul’s letter to the Philippians, He is calling us to maintain focus and vision, calling us to the power of purpose. We need to commit to live out this book with everything God has given us NOW!

Purposeful Prayer, chapter two really stood out to me. We have to all pray with a purpose and live out that purpose. We need to commit to live out this book with everything God has give us NOW!

In this day and age we are too quick to let our flesh nature take over when things don’t go the way we think they should, The Power of Purpose reminds us all that we are living our life for Jesus and we should react accordingly. We tend to give in to a world that encourages us to go with the flow, we are tempted to believe that we have no purpose, when in reality our purpose is with Jesus. This is a must read!

 

 

A Time To Stand

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This novel could be taken right from the headlines, A Time To Stand tells a real and modern story about race division, prejudice and how we are too quick to judge others without all the facts. We are all created by Jesus, to not judge, to look past differences, to love, to come together. Ecclesiastes 3- there’s a time for everything under the sun, time to love- A Time To Stand! Can we all learn to ultimately forgive?

A Pastor says this in the middle of the storm, “It’s time to stand! To look past differences the Lord created and come together in the unity of God’s spirit! To stand in agreement that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To stand together on earth as we will one glorious day……”

After a white police officer shoots a black teen who is not armed in Campbellton, Georgia leaves the community in an uproar. A powerful message, sides drawn, anger boiling over and Adisa Johnson, a young black lawyer caught in the middle. Her loyalty lies with the teen who was shot, but she was hired to defend Luke, the police officer and the African American community feels like Adisa turned away from her “own people.”

A Time To Stand will teach us to not judge others before we have all the facts, that race/color should not matter. Heart wrenching, but yet hopeful book that shows how God can intervene in our lives if we let him. If we all pray and let God move in our lives, miracles can happen, hearts change no matter what we face.
This was my first book by the author and will be reading more of Robert Whitlow.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Space Between Words

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Michele Phoenix did it again. She has a way with words that will keep the reader up all night reading The Space Between Words. Two stories, three centuries apart. Present time woman (Jessica) who is learning how to live again and physically and emotionally heal and love a woman in the past.

The book starts with the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015 when 137 people at the Bataclan Concert Hall were killed. The main character, Jessica is shot and survives the attack. As part of her physical healing, she rents a cottage in the French countryside from two Americans, Mona and Grant. As she slowy ventures outside, Jessica visits several flea markets where she finds an antique sewing box with a false bottom and several pages of the bible.

Mona and Grant, owners of the cottage help Jessica trace the box back to the orginial owners-a Huguenot girl who lived in the 17th century.

At first I was hesitant to read The Space Between Words because of the terrorist attacks in Paris, once I started reading it reminded me that we can overcome hard times with God right along side us. Story of hope, love and living after evil threatens to take everything away. Have some tissues handy.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Fire Road- A Memoir Of Hope

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Fire Road is a story of both unrelenting horror and unexpected hope, a harrowing tale of life changed in an instant. It’s a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and of the Vietnam War: Nine year old Kim Phuc running in agony moments after napalm bombs fell from the sky that burned away her clothing and seared deep into her skin. Once I started reading Fired Road, it was hard to put down.

Throughout the story, Kim shares the effects and destruction of war on everyone and the price paid for living in a war torn country. Left for dead in the morgue, Kim survived from the burns that covered most of her body, to find out that her country used her picture for propaganda. The cover caught my eye as well as the author’s journey through the horrors of war to faith, forgiveness and peace. Her families religion followed CaoDia which the gods did not help her through the hard times, until a Christian pastor came into her life did it change Kim’s way of thinking, did she realized that Jesus also endured pain and scars for her. That he died for her, did her way of thinking changed.

You will walk along side and feel the pain when her parents find her left in the morgue for dead, to walking away from CaoDia, to finding peace in her relationship with Jesus. Kim learned through hearing the Holy Spirit to live through her faith and love those who she leaves behind.

I highly recommend the book.

I received this book as from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Cost Of Following Jesus

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The Martyr’s Oath will challenge you and cause you to stop, think and inspire you to grow deeper in your faith and walk with Jesus. To walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. Every day we are witnessing an astonishing escalation in Christian persecution like we have rarely seen since the first century. Like the stories in the book, we all need to start walking a life that Jesus expects us to, a life willing to die and gain for Christ. Jesus warns us that we will be persecuted for leading a life each day when we follow Him. He said that our lives should not be life of comfort, but of one that we need to listen Him.

Johnnie Moore, like many American Christians, didn’t fully appreciate the extent of what was going on until he witnessed a graduation of theology students in India. Unlike graduation ceremonies here in America- where feel good speeches made by visiting celebrities are expected-this one featured a remarkable oath. It wasn’t an oath to excel. It was an oath to be willing to die, if necessary for the cause of Jesus.

Each chapter is a first hand account of those who are truly ready to die for their faith in Jesus across the Middle East and Africa, but these are more than stories, they are life experiences of real people who faced torture, danger and sometimes death. Your faith will be challenged! Are you ready to stand up for your faith?

Awaken: 90 Days with the God Who Speaks

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Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks will awaken you each day with fresh insights right from the Spirit of God. You will be challenged, encouraged and strengthened. I found it hard to read only one devotion a day.

Priscilla’s devotions deepened my relationship with Jesus and increased my understanding of Him. For me this book is a 90 Challenge to sit and listen quietly to God. I loved how the book was set up. There are 90 different devotions that start with a scripture passage and thoughts by Priscilla. There is space as well to journal your thoughts and prompts to get you started.

One of the devotions that had me thinking was about Daily Bread, and talks about the Sabbeth, how it is not meant to be a hurdle to be worked around each week. We all need to stop and refocus our attention on God. “That it should be a pause, a stopping point, a decision to take a break….. My goal is to make Sabbeth a priority.

This was my first Priscilla Shirer book and will not be my last, game changing, thought provoking. Get the book, you will devour the devotions..

Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful

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I had the joy of being part of the book launch team for Daring to Hope, Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful which releases this month and highly recommend it. Kate struggles and wrestles with the same questions we all do about pain, suffering, death and how God brings us through these storms.

Daring to Hope arrived as I was being deployed for Disaster Relief, the book spoke to me through the Holy Spirit. Kate shares short stories throughout the book and is up front about her journey from weariness and despair to hope and joy, wondering where God is in the midist of her trials. We all have low points in our lives, but know that God is walking along side us as we draw closer to Him. Kate learned to lean on Him and yearn to know He is ALWAYS WITH US, even if sometimes it does not feel like it. True hope that comes in knowing Him, that God will answers Kate’s prayers. Kate teaches us to have hope, encouragment and know that through her dark times God is always with her. Throughout the book, Kate shared different scriptures from the bible reinforcing how much God cares and loves us and how important a relationship with Him is, to know Him intimately even when we are walking through hard times.

“ But the longer our family abides with and among others who are more materially needy, but truly only just as desperate for Christ as we are, the more this separation seems not only unbibical but impossible.”

“I wanted people to understand the Gospel not because of our words, but because of the way we lived.”

I was provided an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

All Saints: How Refugees Brought Life To a Dying Church

If you believe, they will come. All Saints, a struggling church in Smyrna, Tennessee with 25 devoted members and a mortgage well beyond what they could afford was saved from closing their doors with a community of Karen refugees from Burma. Rev. Michael Spurlock’s first assignment was to pastor All Saints. When he and his family arrived, they did not expect to be faced with a decision of having to sell the church and closing its doors.

What happened next can only happen with faith in Jesus and prayer. Michael walked the church property, prayed and listened to the voice of God. Will they risk everything to plant seeds for the future that might just save them all.

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