22 November, 2010

The Secrets Beneath, by Kathleen Fuller

The Secrets Beneath, is a fictional mystery novel for girls written by Kathleen Fuller. The story-line centers on Bekah, a thirteen-year-old girl whose family is a part of the old-order Amish and who is known for her curiosity! When strange things start going on in her hometown of Middlefield, Ohio, she can hardly stand it. Why is her new neighbor acting so strange? Why has her cousin Amanda suddenly comes to live with them, without anyone telling Bekah why and what is causing her cousin to be so sad?  In this book, the reader is caught up with Bekah as she determines to discover the answers to her questions, even though she becomes entangled with danger.

I found this book to be mediocre. (However, I am quite critical when it comes to fiction.) I was disappointed by the storyline being as anticipated and of the heroin’s lack of obedience to her parents and thoughtlessness, though I thought the book did an excellent job of portraying their correct response towards her and of the relationship particularly between Bekah and her mother. Another quality of the book that I appreciated, was how it left the reader with an understanding of another’s pain as Bekah grappled with her cousin Amanda’s heartache, and the realization of how crucial it is to always treat others with the compassion of Christ since we can never fully know what they may be facing during that time in their life.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.


02 November, 2010

Truth That Sticks, by Avery T. Willis, Jr. and Mark Snowden

Truth That Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truths in a Teflon World, is written by Avery T. Willis, Jr. and Mark Snowden, both skilled communicators with a heart to reach the unsaved world with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this book, they present an approach to communicating the truths of God’s Word through storytelling and other means of relating to oral learners, giving the argument that much of today’s American modes of evangelism and church discipleship follow routes viewed as more of a literary approach with linear thoughts and expository preaching. They state that this is necessary, not only for the unreached people groups of the world who are unable to read and often may not even have any sort of written language available, but also for the growing number of Americans who are unskilled at reading and are accustomed to visual or auditory means of communication through movies, etc. or other methods which often allow for a very short attention span.

In the chapters of this book you will find examples of this style of evangelism at work, changing lives as Gospel truths are grasped. It also gives practical helps, questions, and advice for those desiring to implement in the way they communicate to those around them. I found the authors to be excellent teachers, drawing from years of experience in guiding churches, mission agencies, and individuals. I think this is a valuable read for all believers who desire to spread the Good News, and it’s message will assist me in teaching my children as well sharing with others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. 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.”


Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition, by Robert J. Morgan

Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition, is written by Robert J. Morgan and is a wonderful book for music lovers, appreciators of hymns, and for those desiring to share a beautiful gift with others. Organized in such fashion that each hymn seems to form its own chapter, the reader will discover the stories behind the hymns being read or sung as they learn about the author or circumstances that brought about the writing of that particular hymn. Although I found many of the hymns selected for this particular edition to be familiar, there were some that were previously unknown to me, and I loved the variety of text which the author chose. Altogether there are 150 Christmas, Easter, and oft-favorite hymns and stories included.

The format of the book is clearly understandable and easy to follow, and I liked the special touch that was gained through having the page edging left textured and unfinished (even though I did notice that it often caused the pages to stick). Musicians and vocalists will also appreciate that, rather than simply printing the words to the hymns, the author chose to print them along with the sheet music as if found in a hymnal. I loved having the chance to become acquainted with this lovely book through this review offer.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

On This Day in Christian History, by Robert J. Morgan


On This Day in Christian History, is authored by Robert J. Morgan and is written in a year-long format which will invite the reader to daily be introduced to a preacher, pope, martyr, Christian hero, or saint, as glimpses are caught of their life and devotion to Christ through the text. I found the variety to be fascinating as it spanned church history from the early beginnings to Billy Graham, the beloved preacher. My faith was challenged as I read the trials and joys so contentedly received from God’s hand by these men and women of faith, knowing that the same grace is available to me as I lead up the Lord and look to Him during anything I might face (which pales in comparison to the stories I read).

Some stories are whimsical and some are tragic and heartbreaking, but each one will draw you to emotionally grasp a bit of the thought and motives of historic names oft heard of but often separated from the reality that they were actual people with desires just like yours and mine. As I read I was challenged and inspired as I read of their lives, and renewed with desire to be sold out for the Lord Jesus.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.