Tag Archives: Christian

FREE Kindle: Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love (Book 1) by Julie Lessman (June 23-27, 2017)

I just received an email from author, Julie Lessman, with an outstanding offer!  Her book, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love (Book 1), is currently FREE on Kindle from June 23-27, 2017.  So hurry to Amazon and download this book.

Isle of Hope

I’ve read a couple of her books and enjoyed them.  So I’m looking forward to getting to read the first in this series FREE!!  Can’t beat that, can ya?

And I saved the best news for last.  Julie Lessman wrote a prequel to this book, A Glimmer of Hope: A Novella Prequel to Isle of Hope, and it is also FREE to download.

Glimmer of Hope

So, what  are you waiting for?  Get to Amazon and download these two books for FREE now!!  It may be offered free on other e-reader sites too, so be sure to check it out.

Thanks, Julie Lessman, for this wonderful deal!!!!

 

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Just Say Yes!

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“he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” (Luke 1: 9-13 NIV)

Last week I attended a memorial service for Liston Drury.  My family’s association with Liston came late in his life. When we met him, he was a retired Poultry Science engineer, who owned and operated a Christmas tree farm.  He was an upbeat, happy man with a dry sense of humor, and a faithful family man with a servant’s heart.

What I did not know was the extent of Mr. Drury’s service to others and to the Lord.  At the memorial service his granddaughter, son and several others described his years serving in the Navy, and later as a college professor, researcher, father, and church member.  It seems to me that whenever Liston was called to serve, he said yes.

This week, I came across the story of Zechariah, in Beth Moore’s Jesus the One and Only Bible study.  Zechariah was an elderly man and the husband of Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  As a priest, he was on a rotation to serve in the temple. His turn to burn incense and send up prayers for the people had arrived.  Then, for reasons beyond our understanding, Zechariah forgets his old age and Elizabeth’s barrenness, and he sends up a prayer for a son, a prayer that has gone unanswered for the duration of his married life. Only this time, he receives an immediate response, from the Angel of the LORD, no less. The angel announces that Zechariah will indeed have a son, that he will be called John, and that he will be the one to prepare God’s people for the coming of the Messiah. Wow! Double Wow!

I have read this story many times before, but this time I marveled at the way God honored Zechariah’s faithfulness in worship, prayer and service.  The question that immediately crossed my mind was: What if Zechariah had missed this opportunity to serve?  What if he had called in sick?  What if he had failed to pray for a son this time? Surely God would have accomplished His purposes another way, but would He have used Zechariah?

By the same token, what happens when we are given opportunities to worship, pray and to serve, but we call in sick, say no, or don’t show up? In order for God to bless us and our work, we need to make ourselves available, and the way to be available is to say yes.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

We know your plans are everlasting.  We praise you for being the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  When you include us in your plans, we are both honored and frightened, just as Zechariah was.  We thank you for your plan of salvation.  We thank you for giving us your Holy Word to light our way on life’s journey.  Thank you for hearing our prayers in the same way you heard Zechariah’s prayer.  Forgive us when doubt clouds our belief, and when we fail to answer your call to service.  We ask for wisdom and discernment in recognizing your voice and for boldness to always answer yes.

In the name of Jesus, who said yes even death on a cross,

Amen

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Worthless Rubble or Holy Dwelling?

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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)

 … the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20-21 NIV) 

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

The Fitzpatrick Hotel is located in Washington, GA.  It was built by John and Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1899. After a fire threatened to drain the life out of their hometown, the two brothers returned home with the intention of giving the economy a boost.  Therefore, they not only built the hotel, but used it as a base of operations for their thriving businesses.   Their endeavor was a success and brought economic life back to Washington.

Over the years, the hotel has had several owners and several name changes.  As the economy dwindled, however, the building fell into disrepair, and would have remained that way, except that new owners rescued the structure, by cleaning, remodeling, and restoring it to its original pristine condition.  Mike and Christy Todd, who are part owners, and attend our church, saw potential in the architectural and historical features of the old building.  After a labor of love that took over two years, the hotel now sparkles and exudes the charm of ages past along with the comforts and technological advances of the present.

Outside picture of the restoration of The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, GA

Outside picture of the restoration of The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, GA

This inside restoration of the lobby at The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, GA

This inside restoration of the lobby at The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, GA

When I saw the “before” and “after” pictures of the hotel, I was amazed at the faith and vision it took to believe in a positive outcome for the old building.  I was reminded of the vision God has for each of us.  He sees our underlying worth, our potential.  God takes our dilapidated minds, our burned out lives and our decrepit old bodies and restores them according to His heavenly and eternal plan.  We might give up on ourselves, but once we are His, He does not give up on us. Layer by layer and piece by piece He transforms us till our minds are renewed, our bodies are glorified and our spirits are remade in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

You are our hope.  You are the potter, the skilled craftsman, the author and refiner of our lives.  With patience and diligence you scrape, polish, refine and rebuild the broken pieces of our existence.  Sometimes the process is painful, leaving exposed, those hidden places we do not wish to see.  When the work of sanctification is complete, however, we will shine.  Forgive us when we run away from you, afraid of the painful process of regeneration.  Today, we submit ourselves to you.  We invite you to cleanse us, to remove the debris, to make us lovely for you.  We even give up to you those secret places so long in need of tending.  We open ourselves to you completely, claiming the freedom of full disclosure, and the joy of transformation through your tender mercy and grace.

In the name of Jesus, in whose image we wish to be remade,

Amen

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Debt Free and Ready to Love

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 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. (Matthew 18:27 NIV)

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  (Romans 13:8 NIV)

When my husband and I decided to retire, our goal was to be debt free, so that we could live on a reduced income.  One by one we have managed to pay off our debts.  A few weeks ago I sent off what I thought was the last payment on a credit card.  The amount owed was 351.06, which is exactly what I sent the credit card company.  I was excited about getting my next statement.  I thought of the joy and relief I would feel when I looked at the bill and the amount due was $000.00.

However, a few weeks later, I got my statement and I was terribly disappointed to see the amount due was $2.57.  I paid the bill on time, but they still charged me interest.  I immediately sent the $2.57 to them and am hoping they don’t charge me interest on that amount.

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My experience with the world’s economy made me appreciate God’s economy. In Matthew 18:23-35, we find the parable of the unmerciful or unforgiving servant.  A king wanted to collect outstanding debts his servants owed him.  One man owed the king 10,000 bags of gold.  When the man begged the king to give him more time, the king cancelled the debt and let him go.  No sooner was he free than he went after one of his peers who owed him 10 gold coins.  When the man could not pay his debt, the servant had him thrown in prison.  When the king found out about the forgiven man’s lack of mercy toward his brother, he handed him over to the jailers to be tortured till he paid his own debt.

I am a sinner saved by grace.  I did not deserve God’s mercy.  God sent his son, Jesus to die on a cross in order that my debt might be paid in full. When I first believed and asked God to forgive me, he cancelled my debt and set me free.  The only outstanding debt left to pay is “…to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly…” (Micah 6:8 KJV), or as Paul puts it: “…the continuing debt to love one another…” (Romans 13:8 NIV)

When we are saved by God’s grace, our debt is cancelled, but there is a continuing debt: to love God and to love one another as God has loved us.  Every time I remember that bill for $2.57, I will remember the commandment of love.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

You love us with an everlasting and incomprehensible love.  You are patient and always ready to forgive us when we cry out to you for mercy.  Thank you that our salvation has set us free to love you and one another.

In the name of Jesus, who came to seek and to save sinners,

Amen

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The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken, Gregg Lewis – FREE e-Book

I may have more freebies to pass along today, but I wanted to get this one out as soon as possible.  A few weeks ago our pastor’s wife came in the Media Center asking if we had it (we didn’t) and she said she’d heard great things about this book.  So I put it on my list of books to buy.  I just saw a tweet that it’s a free downloadI don’t know for how long, I recommend you getting it TODAY if you even think you might want it.

  • FREE on Kindle:  The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken and Gregg Lewis.  Great reviews and recommendations from other authors.

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Free and Discounted E-Books From Tyndale House

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Here are a few great deals from Tyndale House for your e-reader.  These deals are available on various e-readers, but I have only linked to Kindle.  If you have something other than a kindle, then just look up your e-reader store and you should find the same deal.

  • FREE (8/25 – 8/31) on Kindle:  Misery Love Company by Rene Gutteridge.  I’ve read this and done a review (you can read it under our “Book Review” section.  I highly recommend this book if you like a good suspense/mystery.
  • FREE (8/25 – 8/31) Kindle:  Heaven Hears: The True Story of What Happened When Pat Boone Asked the World to Pray for His Grandson’s Survival by Lindy Boone Michaelis
  • FREE (8/1 – 8/31) Kindle:  Death Trap (Robot Wars 1) by Sigmund Brouwer (for ages 10 and up)
  • $1.99 (8/1 – 8/31) on Kindle:  Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses 1) by Dandi Daley Mackall (ages 6 and up)
  • $2.99 (8/25 – 8/31) on Kindle:  Frame 232 by Wil Mara

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Beauty’s Curse by Jodi Woody (3.5 Stars)

True Love Casts Out Fear

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Beauty’s Curse by Jodi Woody

This book reminded me of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, with the witch, the curse, and all the trouble it all caused.  But this book is not for children.  There are a few mild curse words, drinking wine, and mentions of sex.  Nothing real offensive, but still not what I would normally see in Christian fiction.

The storyline is good and the moral of the story is excellent.  Beauty on the outside can be a curse to people who worship it and let it control their lives.  People who are not beautiful on the outside can be beautiful on the inside, yet most people will not give them the chance to shine.

A very wealthy couple who have just about everything money can buy are not attractive on the outside and that desire of wanting to be beautiful on the outside has made them very ugly inside.  They desire a child, but have not been able to conceive and they heard of a witch that can cast all kinds of spells.  First they ask for beauty and it came with a price that was not what they expected.  Then they returned to the witch and asked for help and ended up with a curse.  The witch was one that had been hurt when she was younger and she didn’t have any love to share.

I don’t want to go into any details, because I like to go into a book with as little previous knowledge as possible so I can be totally taken in without any pre-conceived notions.  This book shows that we are all born with a curse, the curse of sin, and the only way out is to except perfect love.  This book does not say it in these words, but Jesus Christ is perfect love and He is our answer.  If you read the last page of the book, the author describes this love of Christ.  She gives a verse that sums it all up, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  We love Him because He first loved us.”  1 John 4: 18-19 NKJV

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

I will have this book in our Media Center for our patrons who would like to read it.

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Restored To A Perfect Shine

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When I was 15, our family moved to an old colonial style home on the outskirts of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  My father immediately assessed the property and saw its potential.  He decided that with a little paint and TLC, we could make this 5 bedroom house into a home for our family of 9.  The painting was going to be easy, but have you ever restored hardwood floors the old fashioned way?

First, we emptied the room and removed the vinyl carpet.  Next, we got rid of protruding nails.  After all the nails were gone and some of the floor boards replaced, we scrubbed the dirtiest areas with a brush, we swept and we mopped.

Once dry, the floor was ready to be sanded.  Each of us was handed a piece of sandpaper which we used to smooth down our designated area of the floor. While we worked, my father moved from one spot to another encouraging and advising us on how much pressure to apply and how to move the sandpaper in a circular fashion.  Every night we had to sweep the dust away, since we did not own a vacuum cleaner.

By the third day, some of us got grumpy thinking we would never see an end to this project. Then, finally, one day, the floor was ready for my father to stain and varnish. When he finished, the floor looked beautiful, shiny and new.

My father had restored wood floors before, so he knew how it would look when we were through doing all the hard work.  He had a plan.  He was sure we could do the work.  He also knew we would do the work because we trusted that he knew what he was doing.  He probably didn’t tell us how long it would take because knowing that would have been overwhelming.

God is in the business of restoring people.  He has a plan.  He created us and is aware of our strengths and weaknesses.  He knows the true measure of our faith and trust.  And ultimately, He is the only one who knows the duration and the outcome of his plan for us and future generations.  Sometimes He will even use us to smooth the way for others to come to Him.  Because He has been faithful to keep his promises in the past, we have the assurance that His plans are “to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) in this life and the next.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness, your loving-kindness and your discipline.  Thank you for taking the time to wash away our sins.  Thank you for smoothing out the rough places in our lives and for using us in preparing the way for others to come to you.  Forgive us when we lose heart, and encourage us when we hesitate to come along beside you.  Knowing your timing is perfect, we give you our hands, our hearts and our will. May they be used for your glory!

In the name of the one who makes us a new creation,

Amen

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Fabry, Wisler and Singer – Authors Who Have E-Books on Sale

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I have some freebies and discounted deals on some great books today.  Just click on the e-reader to be directed to the website to download the book, and remember to double check the price!  Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the great deals on Not in the Heart and Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales!  If you have another type of e-reader, please check their site to see if these books are on sale. I just mainly list the main two, Kindle & Nook, but others may have the same prices.

  • FREE (7-14 through 7-20) on Kindle and Nook:  Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry (Our Women’s Book Club read this book in July 2012 and it’s an excellent book.)
  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler (Our Women’s Book Club read this book also, back in May 2010 and we loved it.)
  • $2.99 (7-14 through 7-20) on Kindle and Nook:  Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer (You can read my review of this book by clicking HERE.)

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Great E-Book Deals Today

Here are some great book deals listed on the The Vessel Project for your e-reader today. One book is especially dear to me, The House on Malcolm Street by Leisha Kelly, $3.99 on Kindle.  I have read all of her books and they are all excellent. As far as I know this was her latest book and I read it and totally loved it and when it ended I was hoping she would write a sequel to it one day.  But then I heard that both her and her son were killed in a car crash and I felt like the Christian fiction world had just lost one of there very special authors.  I don’t know anything else about the family she left behind but just seeing her book reminds me to pray for them.  Anyway, this book was excellent!  There are some other good books on the list, so I’ll let y’all look through the website and see if anything interests you.

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Great Deals on E-Books from Zondervan – Prices End Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zondervan has some great deals on some really great Christian books.  Click HERE and you’ll be directed to the website where you can browse through the books and see if there are any you would like to download.  Remember, these prices are good through Sunday, July 14, 2013.

Happy Reading!

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Great E-Book Offers – Free and Discounted – July 6, 2013

Here are some great deals for you to check out.  Just remember to double check the price and make sure it’s what you expect before ordering, prices can change quickly.  If you have a different e-reader, check these titles at your e-store and they may be on sale too!

  • The Vessel Project Daily Deals:  I have read Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad, The House That Love Built by Beth Wiseman, and Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer (this one is free) and they are all very good books.
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  Deliver Us From Evil by Robin Caroll
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  To Write a Wrong (A Justice Seekers Novel) by Robin Caroll
  • $4.99 on Kindle (pre-order, last chance):  Rosemary Cottage (A Hope Beach Novel #2) by Colleen Coble
  • FREE on Kindle:  The Lamp by Jim Stovall

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Still LoLo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope – $2.99 Kindle

This past Sunday, our preacher mentioned Lauren Scruggs and her story as told in her book, Still LoLo.  I received an email from The Vessel Project and this book is listed on sale for $2.99.  That’s a very good price and I wanted to pass this along to anyone who may be interested in reading about Lauren.

There are a lot of good books listed on The Vessel Project for today that are on sale or free.  So just click HERE and you’ll be directed to their site and you can browse the books and see if you want anything.

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Re-Release by Tracy L. Higley

I just received an email from Christian author, Tracy L. Higley,

about her re-release (and updated cover…very nice!)

of her book, Shadow of Colossus.

The NEW book is called, Isle of Shadows, and

right now it’s on sale for your kindle for only $1.99.

That’s a very good price.  So check it out.

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Great Deals on Latest Books by Colleen Coble

I just heard that right now (I don’t know how long this price will last) but Colleen‘s latest release, Rosemary Cottage (A Hope Beach Novel #2) is on sale:

Also, the first book in this series, Tidewater Inn, is still on sale:

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The House That Love Built by Beth Wiseman – A Sweet Romance (5 Stars)

 Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson)

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This was a very endearing romance.  But all romances don’t start off to a good start, and neither does this one.  Brooke Holloway, mother of two, has yet to get over the tragic death of her beloved husband even though it’s been two years.  Then Owen Sanders moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion in the town his ex-wife said she would love to live.  So he buys it himself to have what she gave away when she left him.  Fortunately for him, Brooke owns the local hardware store, and the romance begins.

There are many twists and turns in this romance and it will keep you reading long into the night because you just don’t want to put it down.  It’s bitter-sweet, precious, romantic, heart-breaking, and wonderful to see these two lives as they let go of their old fears and doubts and trust God for forgiveness and a future

I won this book through a sweepstakes on Goodreads and was not asked to do a review but I wanted to because I enjoyed the books so much!  And now the patrons in our Media Center will be able to check it out and enjoy it also.

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Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck (5 Stars)

Once Upon A Prince (The Royal Wedding Series #1) by Rachel Hauck (Zondervan) is a wonderful modern-day fairy tale!

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Rachel Hauck is a very good writer and I think she has exceeded her best with this book. Don’t you just love the cover?  You know you are reading an exceptional book when you are totally drawn into the characters and they become “real people” and you feel “just like you are there with them”.  Am I crazy, no, I just love reading a great novel.  I loved this book even more because I live in Georgia and have visited St. Simons and visited Christ Church, so I could picture all the scenes just like I was there.

The book is about Susanna Truitt, who lives in St. Simons, GA and Nate Kenneth who is visiting the island for a vacation.  He rescues her when she has a flat tire and then hangs out with her and her family and even joins in and works at their restaurant, The Rib Shack, doing the worst of the worst odd jobs.  But he’s loving it and falling in love with Susanna.  Finally the truth comes out that Nate Kenneth is really Prince Nathaniel of Brighton Kingdom and their laws forbid him from marrying a foreigner.

He is called back home suddenly and then the trouble starts.  He loves Susanna, yet is being pressured to marry someone else with royal ties.  He doesn’t love her and in fact he doesn’t even like her.  The pressure is on and all he can think about is Susanna.  Back in St. Simon’s, Susanna’s life continues to spiral down and she keeps asking God what’s going on and surrendering to His will.

I won’t say anymore, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, no, great romance.  And it’s Book 1…that means there will be another book.  I can’t wait!!!!

I received this digital book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”

This book is going on my July 2013 book order for the Media Center.  I know our patrons will LOVE this book.  Watch the book trailer:

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Great E-Books – Some Free, Some Discounted – June 18, 2013

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This is a really good day for e-books!  Click on the e-reader and you’ll be directed to the website where you can read the book description and the reviews.  Click on the author’s name and you’ll be directed to their website where you can read more about them and their books.  Always double check the price and make sure it’s what you expect.  Prices change quickly.  And I’m not sure about a couple of these authors so use your good sense when reading their books and if it’s not Biblical, then delete, and let me know so I’ll watch out for them in the future.

  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Homespun Bride (The McKaslin Clan #1) by Jillian Hart
  • FREE on Kindle:  Doesn’t She Look Natural (The Fairlawn Series #1) by Angela Hunt.  This is a fantastic series.  You’ll laugh and maybe even cry and you’ll enjoy every minute.  We have the entire series in our Media Center.
  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Elisha’s Bones (A Jack Hawthorne Adventure #1) by Don Hoesel.  I read this a couple of years ago and while it’s controversial and I don’t believe it could happen, it is fiction and it was an exciting mystery.
  • FREE on Kindle and Nook:  Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids by Larry Fowler, he is the executive director of global training for the Awana program.
  • 99¢ on Kindle:  Confessions of a Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody
  • 99¢ on Kindle:  The Devil’s Game (A Fast-Paced Christian Fiction Suspense Thriller (A Reverend Buchman Thriller) by Daniel Patterson.  I haven’t read anything by this author and there were no reader reviews, but I’m a lover of suspense thrillers, so I may give this one a try.  But just always balance what you read with God’s Word. If anyone knows something about this author or book that I need to know about, please let me know.  Take advantage of the option on Amazon to read the first couple of chapters, I just did and I’m not too sure about it.  Just use your best judgement.
  • $1.99 on Kindle and Nook:  Rock Harbor Search and Rescue #1 by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll.  Great book for teens and even adults who’ve read and loved the Rock Harbor series by Colleen Coble…see my review under the Book Reviews section.  Starting July 1, we will be featuring Colleen Coble with a personal interview and a book giveaway (Rosemary’s Cottage), so come back and check out this interview and enter the sweepstakes to win an autographed copy of her new book.
  • $1.99 on Kindle:  Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding Series) by Rachel Hauck.  I’ve read, The Wedding Dress, by Rachel and I loved it, so I’m looking forward to this book being just as good.
  • $2.99 on Kindle and $3.99 on Nook:  This Time by Rachel Hauck
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  The Color of the Soul by Tracey Bateman
  • $2.99 on Kindle:  Wounds by Alton Gansky

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The LORD, My Life Preserver

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“Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.” (Ruth 2:20 NKJV)

In 1966 my brother dropped out of college to join the Navy.  He feared he would be drafted, and by enlisting in the Navy, he thought he was taking control of his future.  He arrived at Great Lakes Training Center in the middle of winter.  Almost immediately, swimming lessons began.  Later on, my brother referred to his instructor’s teaching method as the “sink or swim” method.  He claims that on the very first day, he and the other recruits were literally pushed into the pool.  Experienced swimmers and life preservers were at the ready in case a man floundered, but my brother did not know this at the time.  Therefore, the experience was terrifying.

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Elimelech and Naomi thought that by going to Moab during a famine, they would be more likely to control their future. They were wrong. In Moab, Naomi loses her husband and her sons and has to return to Bethlehem as a widow.

Sometimes in life, we feel like we have been pushed into a pool full of water before having learned how to swim.  Though we know God is there, we wonder how, when, or through whom our help will come.  Naomi was aware of God.  She knew He was responsible for putting an end to the famine. (Ruth 1:6)  She asked the Lord to bless her daughters-in-law. (Ruth 1:8-9)  From Naomi and her family Ruth learned about God, which is evident in the commitment Ruth makes, not only to Naomi, but to Naomi’s God: “Your people will be my people and your God my God.”(Ruth 1:16 NIV) This commitment would not have come about if Naomi had not been a believer, albeit a very confused one in her time of sorrow.

I never noticed it in previous readings, but it was Ruth, and not Naomi, who took the initiative to provide for herself and Naomi. After they arrived in Bethlehem, she volunteered to glean in the fields: “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” (Ruth 2:2 NIV)  This is how she met Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, who offers her his protection and later pledges to marry her.

Naomi returns from Moab in mourning.  She flounders as helplessly as someone who does not know how to swim.  Like a life guard at a pool, Ruth reaches out to Naomi and clings to her.  In Bethlehem, Ruth brings Naomi new hope and a grandson.  God fulfills his plans for Naomi through Ruth, and through Naomi and Ruth He fulfills His plan for us all. Through Ruth and her grandson, David, Jesus Christ is sent, to be our Lord and Redeemer, our Savior and the Bridegroom of His Church.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

There is nothing in our lives that you cannot use for your glory.  You can use our pain, our suffering and our disappointments to accomplish your purposes. You can even use us to rescue those who are thrust into turbulent waters.  We give you permission to use us, Lord. We volunteer to reach out to those who need love, patience, hope and encouragement, because you first loved and reached out to us in our time of need.

In the name of Jesus, LORD and Redeemer,

Amen

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“Jennifer” a Sweet and Precious Novella by Dee Henderson (5 Stars)

9780764211126Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson (Bethany House)

The O’Malley family consists of seven young women and men who meet in an orphanage and make their own family, eventually adopting each other as siblings and taking on the name O’Malley.  This is a very unique series (a prequel and six other books), each book focuses on one family member.  The books are full of suspense, mystery, and romance.  And Jennifer is the one family member that doesn’t have a book “all to herself”.  She’s basically the backbone of the family in the way that she was the first to have a relationship with Jesus and she’s the love of the family.

Finally, Dee has written a beautiful novella about Jennifer and how she met and fell in love with Tom and how she came to know Jesus personally.  At first I thought the book was too short and I wanted more, but thinking about it, her story does continue throughout the series, so this book is kind of like the first few chapters in the series.  I’ll be content with this beautiful novella telling the beginning story of Jennifer.

It’s been several years since I read the O’Malley series and now I want to read them again, they are that good.  So this book does deserve a 5 star rating because it makes you want more and I’m so glad that the books are available to read and we don’t have to wait!

If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it.  The books are full of suspense, mystery, love, romance, devotion and falling in love with Jesus.   We have the entire series in our Media Center and now I’ll add this book to the collection.  Priceless!  You’ll love every word of every book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group & Bethany House for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. 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.”

 

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