Saturday, May 28, 2016
Super-short sermonette this time, since I'm just getting back from vacation. This is something I don't want you to ever forget:
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10
Both quotes taken from New King James Version of the Bible.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Dan Walsh has quickly become one of my favorite authors. He is super-talented at creating mysteries filled with heart-thumping action. This is the second one of his Jack Turner mysteries, the first one being When Night Comes, a spooky book indeed. As in the first one, be prepared for nail-biting with Remembering Dresden--which by the way has nothing to do with Dresden crockery.
His father already dead, a little boy in war-torn Germany loses his mother, brother, and sister in one horrific day, leaving Luther Hausen an orphan, one of hundreds in the country. He grows up without a touch of loving or caring from anyone, half-starved and homeless. The boy matures in post-war East Germany into a man filled with hatred and a thirst for revenge.
When the Berlin Wall is destroyed, the man leaves for the US with his own young son, one thing on his mind: to find and kill all the pilots of the bombers who destroyed Dresden. His son, Burke Wagner (name changed when they left Germany) is a State Senator in Virginia. He has embraced the US, especially the capitalism and politics. His father is dead, buried along with his vicious deeds. Burke has an aide who carries out the senator's own cover-ups and hidden skeletons.
Until Jack Turner rents the senator's cabin and stubs his toe on a loose board. He pulls up the unfastened loose board and discovers something the senator will do anything to cover up. Jack and his girlfriend Rachel find themselves again embroiled in a horrifying mess.
Monday, May 23, 2016
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God. Isaiah 54:4-6
There's nothing like sharing stories and insights with someone else who is also widowed. One of the things my friend Ellen and I have in common is that our husbands died within a couple of weeks of each other. Our experiences are much the same, as well as our sorrows and joys. The passage above is one that we both cherish.
A lot of the time when I'm praying, I picture myself as a small child sitting on the Lord's lap, or as an adult, being held by Him. I listen for the comforting sound of His steady heartbeat and imagine His loving arms around my shoulders. Call me crazy, but I need and cherish that.
His promise that He will always be with us is something I cling to and gain comfort from.
I hope, when you are sorrowing or needing, that you experience this too.
Lord, hold us close. Heal our bleeding wounds, mend our bruises, love us while we hurt. We need You, Lord. Amen.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. Job 2:11 NKJV
A lot is said about how mean and how self-righteous Job's friends were--but at first, their friendship had been invaluable. Job was suffering--both grief and discomfort assailed him. These three friends came and sat with him in silence, sharing his grief over his lost children and sympathizing with him over all the pain he was suffering. For three days, none of them said a word, just sat with him.
The last three months would have been unbearable for me without the prayers and support of my friends and family. I ache for people who don't have that in their lives--and for the people who aren't giving it.
You don't have to say anything to someone who's grieving or in severe pain. There's not a better salve or benefit than those friends who are present. Not giving wise or unwise advice. A warm hug is worth a thousand words. Sympathetic tears are diamonds. Presence is a beautiful gift.
My gratitude goes out to you, my precious loved ones. May God hold you all through all your aches and mournings. And, may He grant me the privilege of giving a little of that back wherever needed.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Ane Mulligan is at it again, getting poor Claire Bennett into one difficulty after another. If you liked Chapel Springs Revival and Chapel Springs Survival, you will thoroughly enjoy this one too. If you haven't read them, you should.
Skullduggery is afoot in Chapel Springs. That no-good Howie Newlander is back trying to insinuate himself into the otherwise peaceful community. He's planning to run for Mayor, and he's willing to go to great lengths to attain that post, some of them actually legal.
Claire hasn't had a really great relationship with the current Mayor, Felix, the current Mayor who always fought every change she wanted to generate for their little town's revitalization, at least loves Chapel Springs as much as Claire and her cohorts. Howie, however, loves lining his pockets with lots of green stuff.
Author Carin Jardine is a recent transplant to Chapel Springs; well, actually, she's a retransplant. She spent some summers there as a child. Her husband had emptied their bank account and left her and their little boy without a cent while he took off with a cute blond. Carin has only her grandmother's house in Chapel Springs. She'd like to hide from the world just now, and that would be the perfect place, but it lacks everything from furniture to electricity, a shell that just barely provides shelter from the storms.
Hiding isn't really possible in this little town. She has to go to the hardware store and lumber company, and people begin recognizing her not as the author but as the child who spent summers there. They're happy to see her, not because she's an author (although they're pleased she's done so well), but as a resident.
A next-door neighbor helps her make her needed changes; the stores extend credit to her, and she and her boy are treated warmly by the locals.
So naturally she bands with them to find out what the skullduggery's about and find a solution. Get a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from one of your favorite local bookstores.
The author gave me a free copy of Home to Chapel Springs in return for an honest review.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I've yet to talk to anyone who didn't love, love, love Sarah Sundin's war stories, and I'm serious when I tell you, you will also love this one. Sarah knows her history, and she knows how to spin a tight tale!
Lillian Avery is a live-wire who won't let anything like a wooden leg slow her down. An accident as a child might have removed her real leg, but it only fueled her desire to succeed in everything. She becomes a pharmacist, and her brother Jim convinces a drug store owner in Boston to give her a job.
If he'd known she didn't have two flesh-and-blood legs, Mr. Dixon would never have hired her. As it is, he refuses to let her out from behind the counter. At least at first. Gradually his attitude mellows, and he actually lets her brighten up his dark store. Especially since she's paying for it.
And then there's Ensign Archer Vandenberg, one of Jim's best friends, assigned to a destroyer that hunts U-Boats on the Eastern Seaboard. Jim has warned this society darling to back off flirting with his sister. Not that the flirting's doing any good. The woman seems immune to his charms. Which, of course, only attracts him the more, but he agrees to be just her friend, at least for the time being.
When it becomes obvious to Lillian and Arch that barbiturates are being distributed where they shouldn't be, they become partners trying to expose a deadly drug ring.
They could use a little help. How's about if you dash over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and grab a copy. Anchor in the Storm has also begun showing up at bookstores, so it won't be hard for you to begin reading tonight....
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
I don't usually review books that aren't Christian fiction or nonfiction. I'm making this exception because (1) Alice Arenz is one dynamic writer; and (2) the characters are in what I would see as the beginning stages of seeking God. In addition, I know Alice's faith in God--it's strong in the face of overwhelming odds. And this book is...well, wowing.
Richard Tanner had a harrowing childhood experience that affects the rest of his life--the only problem is that he can't remember it. There are some who are very glad he can't, including his parents and his parents' closest friends. But the memories seems to be coming to almost the surface in strange and violent dreams and on a painting he apparently did in his sleep.
But then he meets Jenny. He's sitting in this gazebo that had been erected a bunch of years before in the park, and she's sitting there giggling at the rain running across her fingers. Rich finds her fascinating, but she disappears. Then she shows up at his apartment and stays with him for several days, fearful of being found. Why?
He paints her portrait, and other stories begin to surface among his friends, his mother,--and apparently his enemies.
This is one of the best-written mysteries I've read. I love how Alice Arenz places clues that seem unimportant into the story only to weave them together in a complex and and yet logically simple conclusion. I can't wait for you to read this one!
It's available from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle. Now is a good time.