Friday, March 23, 2018

A Borrowed Dream (Cimarron Creek Trilogy #2) by Amanda Cabot

35086528A Borrowed Dream (Cimarron Creek Trilogy #2)

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor's excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek's dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He's managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

My Thoughts:
"A Borrowed Dream" is the second book in the Cimarron Creek Triology. Catherine Whitfield, teacher of Cimarron Creak has lost her mother and doesn't have faith in the medical community, including the new doctor who has come into town, Austin Goddard. 
 Between the historical ground work that Cabot weaves into the story, the relationships between the characters in the story and the plot, this book makes a great book. The reader gets a great mix between drama, romance and even medicine. I found interesting to read about plastic surgery during this time period. 
This book reads as a stand alone and doesn't require you to read the entire series, but it helpful if you want to read the series. This book tells a great message of serving others, trust and even forgiveness. I was surprised by this book. I give this book 4/5 stars. A favorable review was not required and complimentary copy was provided for review.

About the Author: 
Amanda Cabot
 With both parents avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

36247681High Cotton

Some families are filled with so much love they can’t help but drive each other crazy 

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama's family—folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this.

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet and predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring. 

My Thoughts:
Anything southern, and I am a sucker for a glass of ice tea, a book filled with southern charm and families relationship that are deeper than roots from a tree. This is one of those books that will have you laughing, and the family drama will keep you entertained, all while your heart is slowly falling in love with people. 
High Cotton is a book that I was unable to put down. It's a light, and super quick read. This book does not disappoint for those who love southern women's fiction, especially small town stories. If you are looking for a great story, some characters that make you want to shake them from time to time and even some laugh out loud moments, this is a great book! 
Open the pages and you'll be amazed to find that your family is similar to the Bucklin family. I give this book 4.5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed here are my own. A complimentary copy was provided. 

Purchase your copy here
About the Author:
Debby MayneDebby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding by Lois Tverberg

35138417Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding

What would it be like for modern readers to sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to them? What life-changing insights might emerge from such a transformative encounter?

Lois Tverberg knows the treasures that await readers willing to learn how to read the Bible through Jewish eyes. By helping them understand the Bible as Jesus and his first-century listeners would have, she bridges the gaps of time and culture in order to open the Bible to readers today.

Combining careful research with engaging prose, Tverberg leads us on a journey back in time to shed light on how this Middle Eastern people approached life, God, and each other. She explains age-old imagery that we often misinterpret, allowing us to approach God and the stories and teachings of Scripture with new eyes. By helping readers grasp the perspective of its original audience, she equips them to read the Bible in ways that will enrich their lives and deepen their understanding.

My Thoughts:
As a student of God's word, I am always looking for ways to be challenged in my thinking and understanding of the Bible. I love to have a great library on hand of tools that help me discover the Bible in a new light and understanding without taking scripture out of context and "Reading the Bible Rabbi Jesus," does just that. This book is filled with amazing explanations of Jewish context, culture, history and study habits that I had never even considered. I love how she explains that our Western culture and mindset frames the lens in which we read and view scripture. It is so fascinating to me. Having a Western Worldview, this is the only one I know of, so this book challenged me and stretched me beyond my bandwidth and I loved it! This book is such a valuable tool. I have pages highlighted and marked up. 
Don't miss this book. It is a wonderful book! I tried to buy a couple copies in our local Christian book store and they were sold out, so I went to Amazon for them. Make sure you get a copy. You will be challenge by this amazing book! I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:
Lois TverbergLois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past twenty years. Her passion is to translate the Bible’s ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith.

Lois grew up with plenty of Sunday school knowledge, but it wasn’t until after she had earned a PhD in biology and was teaching as a college professor that her fascination for biblical study was ignited by a seminar at her church. She has since studied several times in Israel, taking courses in biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, and in the physical and cultural context of the Bible.

In 2009 Lois partnered with Ann Spangler to write the bestselling Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus (Zondervan). Together they explored his first-century world of rabbis and disciples, festivals, prayers and the Torah, and discovered how restoring Jesus to his Jewish reality sheds light on his life and ministry.

Later Lois followed up with Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus (Zondervan, 2012), where she challenged her audience to follow their Rabbi more closely by hearing his teachings in light of Jewish thought.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting by Eryn Lynum

35086274936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional ParentingMake the Most of Your Time with Your Children

On the day of their baby dedication, Eryn and her husband were given a jar of 936 pennies. The jar contained a penny for every week they would raise their child until graduation, and they were instructed to remove one penny each Sunday as a reminder, placing it into another jar as an investment.

At some point every parent realizes time is moving swiftly, and they ask themselves, How am I investing in my child? Through personal stories and biblical examples, 936 Pennies will help you discover how to capture time and use it to its fullest potential, replacing guilt and regrets with freedom. Meanwhile, your kids will see how simple choices, like putting the cell phone down and going on a family hike, will make all the difference. Together you will stretch time and make it richer.

Craft a family legacy in tune with God's heartbeat as you capture a new vision for your children and learn the best ways to spend your pennies.

My Thoughts:
First, let me say I just love the idea of handing someone a jar of 936 pennies the day their child is being dedicated. I have never heard this idea in my life until I read Eryn's book. I thought it was just the neatest thing. I am not a parent myself, but I have hope that I will be someday, but this book was incredible.
This book is a wonderful reminder that investing and being intentional with your children truly matters. This book is filled with personal experiences, struggles, humor, grace and encouragement from Eryn. She writes with pose and humbleness, which I greatly admire. I love that I have this book now before children, because it is a gift to me, to remind not to be wreckless with my pennies, but to create days that having meaning, which will create a lifetime of meaning. 
This is a perfect gift for that mom to be, for a parenting group, a Bible study or even as a conversation starter at a MOPs group. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Way of Abundance A 60-Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life By Ann Voskamp

The Way of AbundanceA 60-Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life

By Ann Voskamp 

What do you do when you wake up and feel like you're not enough for your life? Or when you look out the kitchen window as dusk falls and wonder how do you live when life keeps breaking your heart?
As Ann Voskamp writes, “great grief isn't meant to fit inside your body. It's why your heart breaks.” And each of us holds enough brokenness to overflow—to be given as the greatest story of our lives.
In sixty vulnerably soulful stories, The Way of Abundance moves from self-weary brokenness to Christ-focused givenness. Drawing from the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller The Broken Way and Ann's online essays, this devotional dares us to embrace brokenness as a gift that moves us to givenness as a way to draw closer to the heart of God. Christ Himself broke like bread, giving Himself to us so we might have a lifelong communion with Him. Could it be that our brokenness is also a gift to the world?
This gentle but exquisitely profound book does nothing less than take you on an intimate journey of the soul.
As Ann writes, "The wound in His side proves that Jesus is always on the side of the suffering, the wounded, the busted, the broken." Discover how surrendering in unexpected ways is the first step toward receiving what you long for. Discover the good news that your beauty is not in your strength but in your fragility. Discover why your healing shines radiant through your wounds—and how only in brokenness will you ever be whole—and find the way to the abundance you were meant for.
My Thoughts:
The Way of Abundance: A 60- Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life is one of the most wonderful treasures by Ann Voskamp. Personally, I love her words and the way she speaks on every single page, so I was enthralled at the opportunity to read this book. Her words are stunning as you marvel at the mystery of Christ and His abundance. 
The Abundant life is something every single person wants, especially in a culture and world that forces it down our throats. However, abundance looks different when you enter to world of our Big God who takes our broken pieces, the messy parts and makes them into an abundant, overwhelming, amazing life! The Abundant life is found in places where you least expect it, in the hidden places of your heart and where brokenesss meets life. 
This book is a gorgeous hardcover with a Bible marker. The devotional starts out with a Bible verse, then you read a devotion and have questions to ponder. I think this would be a devotional to do with friends or a small group as it is rich and full of life. I highly recommend this book! I give it 5/5 stars.
About the Author:
Ann VoskampAnn Voskamp's a farmer's wife, mama to 6 kids, & author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Zondervan). Everyday, she takes the wild dare. Right in the midst of her own and gritty grace-filled life. When the kids and the washing machine sleep, she washes her real dirt down with words and The Word. Some of her words find themselves in an award-winning series for curious kids, A Childs Geography, of which all profits are donated to Compassion. Other words can be found at Laity Lodge's High Calling where she serves as a contributing editor and other words advocate for the poor as she is a blogger traveling with Compassion. The only words that really matter are the ones she lives. This convicts her. She has a background in education from York University and the University of Waterloo, home educates their six farm kids, and makes a mess of things every day. She clings to grace. She's more of a rare peeper than a regular tweeter, but everyday in the fringe hours, early and late, she blogs about the mess and the grace and the everyday wonder at a Holy Experience.