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Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing by Ray Johnston

Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing4 Stars

Published March 1st 2016 by Thomas Nelson
Hardcover, 208 pages
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
About the Book: As early as 50 AD, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.
In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn’t afford to lose:
In the 1950’s, we lost innocence
In the 1960’s, we lost respect for authority
In the 1970’s, we lost love
In the 1980’s, we lost values
In the 1990’s, we lost faith
In the 2000’s, we lost security
In the 2010’s, we lost hope in the future

What can restore what we’ve lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world.

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus’ mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Continue reading “Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back: What Christians and the American Church are Missing by Ray Johnston”

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Fate of the Fallen (Hope Street Church Mysteries #5) by Ellery Adams and Elizabeth Lockard

Fate of the Fallen (A Hope Street Church Mystery, #5)3 Stars

My Review: I have read the four previous books in this series, and was looking forward to visiting with the Hope Street Bible Study group one more time. All of the usual characters are back again with some new characters involved in the mystery. Cooper and Nathan are planning their wedding Grammy is sneaking out once a week with a gentleman and Magnolia is still making delicious cookies, scones etc for sale and to share with friends and family.

Once again, the group stumbles on a murder, this time Nathan’s sister’s boss who she dated at one time. She is also the one who found the body, so of course is the prime suspect and actually gets arrested for the murder. As the group investigates they are also helping out a homeless man who was run down in the parking lot at the park where the murder occurred. I figured out that these two crimes were tied together, but it did not help me figure out who the culprit was. The story moved along quickly and the plot was easy to follow. My complaint is that there is no real hook in the series. The characters are not really changing or growing and I feel like the series is becoming a bit stale. I read several of Ellery Adams other series and there is more entertainment in them than this one. With all that being said, I still recommend this book to fans of Christian Cozies. It was still a decent story.

Continue reading “Fate of the Fallen (Hope Street Church Mysteries #5) by Ellery Adams and Elizabeth Lockard”

Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us

Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Usby Roma Downey

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Howard Books (first published March 6th 2016)
4.5 Stars

 

My Review: Roma Downey truly believes that when she sees a butterfly it is a special blessing or a reminder that someone she loved, who is no longer with her physically, is still with her in spirit. For me, the same is true of cardinals and others may have a different symbol that comes to them when they need it, but regardless of what it is, the idea of God’s love and the love of others is the same.

Roma’s faith is strong and every time she sees a butterfly, it strengthens it just a little more. This book is made up of poems, scriptures, song lyrics as well as stories from Roma Downey’s personal life and from her well-known television series “Touched By an Angel.” The graphics throughout and imagery of butterflies on most pages add to the spiritual quality of the book. The special relationship she shared with Della Reese and her friendship with Maya Angelou showed how special and inspirational both of those women were to her. The experiences Roma shares with her readers regarding the many times she has reached out in prayer for guidance from God is very encouraging. One example of Roma meeting a young woman with scars on both her wrists and her story of how the words from the television show saved her brought both tears and chills. I recommend this book to anyone exploring their faith, struggling with their faith, or strong believers as this book will inspire and motivate you to love yourself, love others and love your God. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us”

Bible Story Books by Paul and Delores Gully

I read two books in this Bible Story series and really loved them.

A Giant Headache: The Story of David and GoliathA Giant Headache: The Story of David and Goliath

by Paul Gully (Illustrator)Delores Gully (Illustrator)

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2018 by Broadstreet Publishing Group, LLC
5 Stars

A wonderful new look at the story of David and Goliath. The illustrations are well done, very fun to look at and would definitely appeal to youngsters. The text is rhyming and easy to understand, just right for little ones to enjoy. This is a well adapted Bible story. Whether you are a Christian or not, this story can still be enjoyed showing how David stood up for his beliefs and how he faced adversity. This is one I will add to the list of books for my grandson as well as our church and Sunday school library. The publisher generously provided me a copy of this book via Netgalley.

The Big Flood: The Story of Noah and the ArkThe Big Flood: The Story of Noah and the Ark

by Paul Gully (Illustrator)Delores Gully (Illustrator)

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2018 by Broadstreet Publishing Group, LLC
5 Stars

My Review: A wonderful new look at the story of Noah and the Ark. The illustrations are well done, very fun to look at and would definitely appeal to youngsters. The text is rhyming and easy to understand, just right for little ones to enjoy. This is a well adapted Bible story. I actually learned a few new facts from this story such as it took 50 years to build the ark. Besides trusting God, the story also shows perseverance and working together. This is one I will add to the list of books for my grandson as well as our church and Sunday school library. The publisher generously provided me a copy of this book via Netgalley.

A Christmas Flower

A Christmas Flowerby Bryan Mooney

Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
4.5 Stars

My Review: I picked this book up thinking it was a light Christmas romance. Well, it was a romance, but there was so much more to it than that, including a Christmas miracle. We had some serious issues introduced in the story dealing with lack of proper funding for hospitals, police and fire services which causes hospital closures and people having to travel further for care as well as serious injuries and death of firefighters using faulty equipment. There was also a subplot about contractors not following proper rules and trying to bribe officials to get certified. Add in smoke jumpers and the dangers they face as well as metal and verbal abuse of women and you can see that this story is jam packed. The author did a great job of keeping these stories flowing and they all fit together using the two main characters Logan Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Harding. They were childhood BFFs who were actually in love with one another but neither of them would admit it to each other. There is another subplot about Maria and Michael who are called in to help out at the short staffed hospital. I figured out their story pretty quickly, but I do not want to ruin it for anyone else. It might sound like there is a lot going on, and there is, but it kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. A great Christmas Story.

Continue reading “A Christmas Flower”

Restoring Christmas

Restoring Christmasby Cynthia Ruchti

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Worthy Inspired
4.5 Stars

My Review: This is a Christmas/Holiday story that will stir your emotions in many ways. It is a story of forgiveness, faith, understanding, peace, love and or course restoration of the spirit all rolled into a story a bout a home renovation project.

The three main characters, Alexis, Gabe and Elsie, each had their own backstory, and a need for some personal restoration. Alexis is trying to win the coveted spot on a Christmas renovation television show to kick start her design business, Gabe is taking over his father’s videography business while he recovers from an accident and Elsie is trying to get some much needed work done on her fieldstone farmhouse for free. As we get to know each of the characters we learn about their past and how it has affected their life. One of the most important things they have to do is learn to listen and trust one another, which is easier said than done. With unexpected disasters, an unco-operative and disappearing owner and some weather problems it seems that this project will never get completed. This book is a good reminder that everyone has a story, and seeing them through God’s “eyes” helps us to be compassionate. The writing is beautiful and spiritual. There are many spots in the story where both Gabe and Alexis relate what is happening to the birth of Christ and there being no room for him. My only complaint is that you have to go to the website to read the epilogue but that was not a biggie for me. Another lovely story reminding us of the peace, joy and love that surrounds the Christmas Season. Continue reading “Restoring Christmas”

An Endless Christmas

5 Stars
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Worthy Inspired

My Review: I absolutely loved this book. When I picked it up, I thought it was a romance, but it was oh so much more than that. Katie was invited to spend Christmas with Micah’s extended family. She was a bit nervous having only been dating for 10 months and coming from a rather dysfunctional family but they packed up and left warm, sunny Fort Meyers for the cold north. When Micah proposes in front of the family, she says no. This does not deter him or the family from being kind to her and treating her as one of their own. Things can be quite chaotic at times with all the adult children of Wilson and Dodie Binder there plus their children. In the small cottage and barn annex, it is a full house, full of love, laughter and joy. I loved the idea of unplugging for the holidays and hiding the phones and Ipads away in a basket. This small town had so much to offer this group of people that they were always on the go. When a terrible situation arises they all band together to support one another. Full of prayer, song and blessings, this family is one that I would love to spend Christmas with. This is a Christmas story that everyone should get the opportunity to read. Continue reading “An Endless Christmas”

An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas (Amish Christmas Love)

An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellasby Beth WisemanAmy ClipstonKelly Irvin, and  Ruth Reid

Kindle Edition, Paperback (400 pages)
Published September 12th 2017 by Thomas Nelson
4 Stars

Continue reading “An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas (Amish Christmas Love)”

The Christmas Blessing

The Christmas Blessingby Melody Carlson

Hardcover, 167 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Fleming H. Revell Company
3.5 Stars

Continue reading “The Christmas Blessing”

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