Monday, May 25, 2015

A side of hope, book #78

While debating whether to start that thick Book Club book or read something else before I start, I remembered I had not read this short novella yet.  It was the perfect thing to pick up after this nutty week of thought provoking movies.  (Age of Adeline, Selma, Still Alice and Interstellar)  

Two years ago in February 2013 we read Krista's first book in the series, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance. The fun continued last fall when we read A Side of Faith.  In October, after reading this book, she came to our Book Club since she is a local author.  It is always a treat to meet the authors, and especially when we find out she is a mom just like us in the throws of everyday crazy life but also an author who has contacts with other famous authors.  She gave us some insight in to the world of Christian Fiction writing and shared a lot about the process, about book contracts, about self publishing, about many things we had no idea!!  It was so interesting to learn some "behind the stage" stuff from these books we just pick up.  

This books ties into the others in that it is the same group of friends, just each books tells one person's story and then another book moves on to another person's story. As with all her books, I loved this one and the way that it IS worth it to hold on to hope, even when you don't realize you are.  


Tilly Davis is meeting her forties head on. Happy and healthy, she doesn't need a man to complete her. But as she blows out her candles, she makes a halfhearted wish for maybe just a little excitement to spice up her life. God must have misunderstood her wish, though, because moments later, He brings her the one person she never wants to see again. Her husband. (picture and description from amazon.)

Now to decide if I have time to read another book or just start in on Tiffany Girl.

Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa


Monday, May 18, 2015

Lip reading, book #78



So, I decided to go with a medical mystery.  Usually I thoroughly enjoy the books written by Harry Kraus, but this one was not one of my favorites.  For those not familiar with Harry Kraus, his main genre is medical mystery and always includes a tie in to Africa, Virginia, and the medical world.  Why?  Well, because that is what he knows!  He is a doctor who lives in Virginia and travels often to Africa to do mission work.  The other book I read by him is here.

This one, however, was a little too medical for me.  In his other books you could still understand the story without having a medical degree.  I could still get the main gist of the story but if it had of been a little lighter on the medical jargon that would have made me happy too.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself
She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.  (picture and description at amazon)

Happy Reading!!

O:)
Melissa
 


Monday, May 11, 2015

How to catch a prince, book #77


Ahh, another sweet Rachel Hauck story with our dear friends in Brighton, a mysterious pretend country that sounds  a lot like England.  In the other books in this series, Once Upon a Prince and Princess Ever After, we met the royals of Brighton and their sister island, Hessenberg.  This book just continues, and I think, rounds out her Royal Wedding series. As with all her books, I highly recommend it!!


An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever?  American heiress Corina Del Rey caught her prince once. But the tragedy of war kept her too long in a fog of grief. Now she’s shifting her life forward, reigniting her career as a journalist. Still, nothing can relieve her of the secret and the love she carries in her soul. Prince Stephen of Brighton is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and a star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life. His days in Afghanistan with the Royal Air Command will mark him forever. And he can’t shake their dark shadow. But when his brother, King Nathaniel, confronts him with a document the prince thought long buried and forgotten, Stephen is forced to face the pain of his past and the love he left behind. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again? (picture and description at amazon.)

Next up? I have no idea!!  But I'm thinking its going be a mystery!

Keep Reading! 

O:)
Melissa

Monday, May 4, 2015

The honorable imposter, book #76


If you will remember, back in January I had this dilemma.  After a few ups and downs and, oh, READING THE BIBLE THROUGH IN 90 DAYS, I got a little off track.  Well, I did read this book from one stack but I haven't had the time to officially start on the rounds.  So, we start again.  (Isn't that how life is?)

This book is from the big stack that follows a family through multiple centuries here in America.  I was quite anxious to read them -- and I still am -- I just realized it is going to take a long time to do so, unless for some reason I get bed-ridden.  

I really did like this book, but on several occasions I was wishing I was reading it on my Paperwhite instead, because it used a LOT of big words.  Most of them were related to the Mayflower boat itself, however Mr. Morris is a very descriptive historical writer and many of the references to clothing, fencing techniques, the homes, etc were words I were not familiar with.  I tried to use context clues as much as possible, but some stuff I just never figured out.  (Like the poop deck people kept going to all the time!)  

So this book starts us out in the early 1600s in England.  The story itself is almost too complicated to explain, I think the description covers it best.  But the story follows the Pilgrims and their move to America via Holland.  It is really an interesting story and he does not gloss over any of the challenges they had.  When the poor folks finally showed up in New England in November, half already dead and half starved, it was a bad bad situation.  But the faith they had and the faith they clung to just put me on my knees.  Most church goers today have no where near the faith these people had to believe that God was on their side despite every thing that happened around them. 

If you are up for the challenge I encourage you to read this!

They had faith, a vision, a dream of freedom that both enthralled and frightened him.  Could he trust them with his future?  Forced by his family to become a minister in the Church of England, Gilbert Winslow is offered a dangerous and challenging task by one of the most powerful nobles in Britain.  Taking the post offers fortune and escape from a life he despises, but Winslow discovers it also means becoming a spy.  His mission is to infiltrate a group of religious separatists and to ferret out the whereabouts of their leader, who is accused of dissension against the King.  In spite of his initial uneasiness, infiltration proves to be an easy matter.  But will the ultimate betrayal be so simple?  With the influences of good and evil, faith and doubt, compassion and selfishness pulling him apart, to whom could he turn? (picture from amazon.)

Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa

Monday, April 27, 2015

Revelation, book #75

And so we reach the end.

Revelation

1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Even though it has already been nearly 2000 years in man's time.

Grace and peace.

Naturally this book is full of questions and guessing by even well educated theologians.  When I was a child and teen this book was very scary to me.  It isn't as scary to me, but there is so much I don't understand.  

6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.- so are they already in heaven or in a holding ground?

7:4-8 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
 So, if only the 144,000 are sealed, where is the hope for the rest of us?

20 The Thousand Years
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.  He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.  He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.   I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Judgment of Satan

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.  They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The Judgment of the Dead 

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

This part is probably one of the most confusing for me.  It makes me wonder if these 1000 years are, again, our 1000 years or God's 1000 years.  Also, again, is there a "holding ground" for those who are not raptured?  Do they not get to experience the wonders of heaven until this whole battle is over?

What I do know is this ... I have overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony (12:11).  I know that I will go to heaven either by way of an earthly death or His return for me.  The rest will work its way out.  Hallelujah!

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Grace.



1st and 2nd Peter; 1st, 2nd, 3rd John; and Jude, books #69-74

Finishing up ....

These letters of Peter and John are, obviously from Peter and John, but they have the similar greetings as Paul's letters.

1 Peter

Grace and peace.

4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. (or you could pretty much add anything to that, like wasting time on your electronic device, eating too much, -- oops, that hurt!)

5:8-9 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Peace. 

2 Peter 

Grace and peace.

2:19  They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”  

1 John 

1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

3:4-10  Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.  No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.  Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.   

5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

Hhm, this demands some more thinking and studying.  I mean, I know I am saved and if I died I would go to heaven, but unfortunately I am still human and still sin daily, if not hourly.  I *can* still go on sinning, but I have been born of God.

2 John and 3 John

Grace, mercy, peace.

Letters to the Chosen Lady and her children, and his dear friend Gaius.

Peace.

Jude

Mercy, peace and love.


Almost there! 


 

Miracle at the higher grounds cafe, book #68


What a sweet little book to read in the middle of finishing up the Bible!  This was our Book Club choice for April and luckily it was a quick read.  It was a classic little novella by Max Lucado that ties together modern day fiction - stories that could be true - and the spirit world with angels and demons at war.  But the way he ties them together is not in a scary way as other authors may, but more like a very natural way.  Highly recommended!!


What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.  Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.  When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.   (picture and description from amazon.)

Keep reading!

O:)
Melissa