Friday, January 31, 2014

A MUST READ - WHETHER OR NOT YOUR AN ADDICT


Title: God Loves the Addict, Experiencing Recovery On the Path of Grace
Author: Eddie Snipes
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 4, 2013)
Pages: 74

At only 74 pages, this little book packs a powerful punch. Wow! What a blessing to have come across GOD LOVES THE ADDICT, EXPERIENCING RECOVERY ON THE PATH OF GRACE, by EDDIE SNIPES. I was interested in reading GOD LOVES THE ADDICT for two reasons. One, being involved in the prison ministry, I run across many individuals that struggle with addiction. I thought it might be a great resource to share with them. The second, I fell in love with MR SNIPES writing after reading his novel, I CALLED HIM DANCER, which I see a correlation between the two. Little did I imagine there would be a third reason, and that is hope and inspiration for me, as well as others in my life.

GOD LOVES THE ADDICT provides a Biblical perspective to addiction. Not only what one would typically think of when they hear the word “addiction”, but what each of us encounter in one form or another. If I were to note every highlight, underlined, asterisk, and notation in my copy, I might be better off copying the entire book. It’s that poignant.

Quote from GOD LOVES THE ADDICT that I found impactful:

“This is very significant, for when you wallow in guilt and shame, you are denying that Jesus paid your debt. While you are crying out, “Please forgive me,” Jesus has already declared, “Father forgive them,” on the cross. And it was Jesus who said, “The Father always hears Me.” That prayer was answered when Jesus spilled His blood for your sins.

One thing we must allow to sink into our hearts is that forgiveness is not dependent upon our abilities to measure up. Forgiveness is a gift of God that is received by faith. Your sin was paid 2000 years ago. Believe this truth and when you sin, thank God for what He has done. Certainly we are sorry for our sins, but we must not allow shame and guilt to take root in our hearts.”

So many of us are hurting, struggling with past and present sins. One of the toughest things we face is forgiving ourselves so we can move on. Addictions are often the results of our inability to let go of our regrets. GOD LOVES THE ADDICT shows us how through Jesus Christ, we can do exactly that.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of GOD LOVES THE ADDICT, even if you don’t struggle with an obvious addiction. It will change your life. I look forward to reading IT IS FINISHED! Steps out of condemnation and into the completed work of Christ, and THE PROMISE OF A SOUND MIND, God’s plan for emotional and mental health, by Eddie Snipes.

 

 

 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

A MATCH MADE FOR ME


Title: Match Made in Texas
Author: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 7, 2014)
Pages: 384

Novellas are not my preference in reading, but if one of my favorite authors is part of a collection in a book, then I’m all in. That is the only way I’d purchase one. Yet I have to say it can have a benefit, and that being every now and again I’m introduced to an author I have yet to have read, and enjoy.

THE COWBOY UNMATCHED by KAREN WITEMEYER

To date, I have read every book KAREN WITEMEYER has written. She is the reason for requesting A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS - without hesitation, I might add. If you have not read the previous novels about the Archer brothers, you simply much. After reading the first, I couldn’t wait to read about the remaining clan.

Though THE COWBOY UNMACHED was not long enough – novella rarely are – MS WITEMEYER did an amazing job. A novella is one of the hardest things to write, to be able to accomplish a complete story that is believable. As the case with all of MS WITEMEYER’S stories, the writing is beyond great, the characters fully developed, believable, and likeable. Maybe a more accurate word then “likeable” would be in love with the hero, and thoroughly enjoy the heroine. The storyline is believable and captivating. She does an amazing job of bringing a story with so few words, to life. If I had to name a weakness, it would be that it left me wanting more.

Neill Archer comes faced to face with a shotgun when he answers a mysteriously ad left in his Bible while attending service. The old widow he expects to find in need of help is not what he anticipates.

Clara Danvers isn’t about to trust any man, and that includes the one who showed up on her doorstep, claiming to answer an ad in the paper she has no recollection of placing. When she discovered that an undisclosed person sent the man to repair her roof at their cost, she doesn’t have much choice but to allow him to do so. 

AN UNFORESEEN MATCH by REGINA JENNINGS

Reading an authors work for the first time can be either a disaster or blessing. If not for making the decision to read A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS because of one of my favorite authors, I may not have encountered REGINA JENNINGS writing. MS JENNINGS style is what I seek. Her pace and storyline are well done. The hero was a bit standoffish, hard to warm up to in the beginning, but a great character just the same. I love the storyline, unique and captivating. MS JENNINGS did a wonderful job with the realism of the romance blossoming over a short period. My only complaint would be it ended too suddenly, yet that’s expected with a novella.

Clayton Weber’s past has shaped him into a man that prefers to keep to himself. He slipped into Dry Gulch, Texas, with no intentions of staying much longer then to meet his current need and move on. When a mysterious ad lands in his hands, it’s an answer to his prayers for a chance to earn some money so he can be on his way.

Grace O’Malley’s life is turned upside down, as her eyesight begins to decline. Left with limited vision, knowing that will soon be taken away, she has no choice but to leave the job she loves and move into seclusion. What she doesn’t expect, is to encounter a man who is willing to love her in spite of her failing sight.

NO MATCH FOR LOVE by CAROL COX

CAROL COX is another author I may not have had the pleasure of reading if not for the collection of novellas in A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS. Her writing is wonderful. The plot intriguing. I loved the characters storyline, though I would have liked a deeper point-of-view for both the hero and the heroine. The romance was not as believable as in the previous two stories, one of the greatest challenges of pulling off a novella.

Lucy Benson, is left with only a few dresses after her father passes away, taking with him everything they owned. With her best friend about to marry, it’s time Lucy moves on. An ad for a live-in companion for an elderly widow seems to be an answered prayer.

Andrew Simms mothers mind appears to be failing. With his own business taking off, he needs someone to watch over her on the ranch. Little does he expect that person to be a beautiful, refine woman. One who can’t brew a pot of tea.

SPOILER ALERT – kind of.

MEETING HER MATCH by MARY CONNEALY

Again, I’ve been introduced to a “new” author in reading A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS. Before reading MEETING HER MATCH, I had not read any of MS CONNEALY’s writing.  She has woven a unique story, with interesting characters.

Hannah Taylor, unbeknownst to others, has been meddling in their lives.  Yet, in good a way. After all three parties married as a result of her interfering, she never imagined that the tables would turn, and she would be a “victim” of a matchmaking scheme.

Marcus “Mark” Whitfield, shy banker, is anything but graceful when it comes to being in the presence of Hannah Taylor. She has no idea his feeling for her, and not able to put them into words, what does he do? - He kisses her. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FAMILY LESSONS THAT WILL WARM YOUR HEART


Title: Family Lessons (Love Inspired Historical)
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (April 2, 2013)
Pages: 288

I have read just about every book ALLIE PLEITER has written. If I were asked her strongest attributes, it would have be plot and witty lines.

With eight orphan children yet to be placed, Holly Sanders fears for their lives as bandits attempt to rob the train they are on, bound for Evans Grove, Nebraska.

Sheriff Mason Wright is alerted to a situation on the train by a young boy. When Mason discovers the beautiful Holly Sanders is right in the midst of a robbery, his heart drops to the pit of his gut.

With the trauma of the train robbery behind them, Holly works to place the remaining orphans in Evans Grove. Will she be able to find each of them the loving home they deserve, or will they be sent to the last scheduled town - or worse - back to where their journey began?

MS PLEITER is known for her brilliant storylines, deep and meaningful, if nothing else, unique. FAMILY LESSONS started out with a bang, right in the heart of the drama. As the story unfolded, we get to know the characters. I especially loved Mason’s story, and the connection to the orphan boy’s history, Liam.

Every part of a story is important, and the ending is no exception. A writer can have everything right up until the point of the conclusion, but if they don’t get it right, it can diminish everything before. This was not the case with FAMILY LESSONS. MS PLEITER did an amazing job wrapping up the story. Heartwarming in a way that will have you cheering for the characters.

Monday, January 6, 2014

MORE THAN JUST A GIFT


Any way you look at it, it’s a lot of mail. Willow Creek Community Church recently had an amazing service geared towards those that are incarcerated. They sent out 20,000 gift packs to each and every inmate in Illinois! This is a huge task, not only financially, but logistically. Each pack contained two faith-based books, a Bible correspondence course, blank holiday cards to send to loved ones, a journal for notes, a cookie, and a chocolate bar. To the youth facilities, warm PJ’s were added.

In just a four-day span, Willow received 200 letters, most of which were thank you letters, expressing their deep appreciation. They felt Gods love as they realized someone cares about the forgotten and often look down upon. Some of their words nearly broke my heart, as they expressed this being the first time they've received a gift since their incarceration, many having been incarcerated for years. 






Several sent homemade cards in appreciation, and even a drawing. What a blessing.