Friday, November 29, 2013

God's double agent

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I've been really interested in the underground church in China for some time now, I love hearing about the amazing way that God is working in people there! So I was pretty excited to read about Bob Fu's first hand experience of working and pastoring one of these underground churches!
The world needs to hear more about people like Bob Fu, there's so much  negative publicity towards Christianity these days, the world needs to hear bout the heroics and faith of people who are really working hard for His kingdom!
What Pastor Fu went through, floored me, I hadn't heard his story before and it was riviting, it always astounds me the strength God gives His people when they're in situations that seem impossible and horrible!  I've already ordered a copy of this book for our church library (Because I'm not willing to donate my copy, its too good of a book!), I think Pastor Fu's message is one that the world needs to hear. I can't wait to share this book with my friends here and I highly recommend you pick up this book. It'll open your eyes to the work that God is doing in these underground churches and will open your eyes to the extreme persecution and terror that His servants face!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Cover Art I read Steven James' book "Placebo" and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to getting into another of his novels! The crime drama type books that James writes are the ones I really enjoy. I'm not a big romance fan, but I love a good book that'll keep me on the edge of my seat! Although the genres are fairly different, James' writing style and ease of flow remind me a lot of Randy Singer (Who is one of my favorite authors). He really knows his stuff, and you can tell  a lot of work and research go into his books!
In singularity we get to meet up with Jevin Banks again (who we got to know in James' previous book "Placebo") who's friend is brutally murdered. Banks sets himself to discover the murderer and find justice for his friend!
I really enjoyed this book, it really captured my attention throughout the novel, the story was fast moving and full of twists and turns! Highly recommend!!

A simple Christmas Wish

Cover Art This story, I was on pins throughout most of it! As an adoptive mom, I 100% understood and knew the fear that Rachel felt as she faced loosing her orphaned niece to her in-law's Amish relatives. My heart broke at times as Rachel sacrificed and prepared herself and Holly (her niece) for when they had to separate.
I've read a number of Melody Carlson's Christmas books, and always enjoy the heart warming and moving stories she tends to put out at this time of year. This book was no different, I read the entire book in one sitting (hours of sitting, lol) I just couldn't put it down until I knew if the character's would be ok! Carlson has a way of making her characters come alive and bringing the reader into a relationship with these characters!
A very spellbinding book that will keep your attention through out! I very much recommend this book!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Christmas at Harmony Hill

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I adore Ann Gabhart's books, I've read a number of her Shaker themed books and have loved them all, so I was more than pleased to see this title in my pile of books! Gabhart has a writing style that really seems to draw me in, I feel like I was a personal witness to all the going-on's of the character's lives. Plus I love that she ventured into the Shaker fiction, its not a branch that is as popular as others (Such as Amish fiction), but she's really opened up a curiosity in my (and others I'm sure) to learn more about these people and their beliefs!
With her latest book we're introduced to Heather, who is without a place to turn, and at the recommendation of her mother looks to the Shakers for help. With her husband on the front lines of the war, and being pregnant, Heather is desperate to find somewhere to help her and this new life growing in her.
Like all Ann Gabhart's books, this one was a beautiful story, it was well written and easy to get lost in.
I highly recommend it!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

A million Little ways

Cover Art  I love the whole idea of this book! As someone who loves to work creatively in the talents I've been blessed with, I adore that Emily Freeman is encouraging others to step out in the uniqueness and creativeness that they've been made to do! I also love that she was creative in her encouraging of others to be creative, that you don't need to paint a picture or write a novel to use your God given creativity, but that in everything you do you can put your talents into that! We are the Creator's creation, and are made in His image and made to create!
The moment I read the title of this book I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, I knew that I was really going to enjoy this book! There are so many of my friends and members of my church who would greatly benefit from the insights Freeman gives! This is going straight onto my "share with everyone" book shelf!
I highly recommend this book!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Gift, Ten Thousand Villages

I was surprised the other day to open my mail and find a package for me from Graf Martin, I hadn't been expecting anymore review books to be coming in. I figured upon starting to open it that I must have signed up for a review that I forgot about. Imagine my surprise to find this was a package, a gift, just for me! Inside was a lovely hand written card, which was accompanied by a beautiful (and so soft) fair trade paisley stole, and a fair trade hazelnut chocolate bar.

Since I mostly review books, it hasn't really come up that I am a big believer in the fair trade market, and support it as much as I can. Where I grew up there was a Ten Thousand Villages store, my whole family loved to browse through the store, and admire the talent of the artists whose wares were displayed. As an artist myself (painting, sketching) I have a deep appreciation and love for beautiful things, so I need to express my deep love of this stole. The picture doesn't do it justice, the colors are vibrant yet soft, the pattern is subtle, yet stands out enough to bring the stole colors together. More than that though, is the quality, I've purchased handmade items through other stores/companies that bring them in from other countries, and it always seems like a hit or miss on whether the item will last or continue to look nice. I have never had that with a Ten Thousand Villages purchase!

I need to confess though, I didn't share my chocolate bar with anyone, I ate the whole thing myself!

I appreciate Ten Thousand Villages for more though than just providing a way for us to purchase unique and foreign items, I appreciate that they cultivate a culture of respect, honor, and togetherness. Upon reading about the artists that worked on the stoles, I was very touched by the stories of artists of coming to the aid of neighboring artists effected by floods. I believe when we empower people, we don't only help provide a way for them to make a living, we also provide a way for them to show love and compassion for others.

 "CRC has succeeded in developing a sense of connectedness that has allowed artisan groups to work together in partnership during times of need. In 2002, when a serious flood overwhelmed workshops in West Bengal, leatherworkers gathered food, matches, soap and clothing. They then hired a boat and delivered the emergency supplies to their partners in the flood zone."

I'd like to encourage all my readers to look into This Christmas season, and give a gift that means so much more than a simple item of clothing, or a beautiful carving. Give a gift that sends a message of support and compassion!

Also I'd like to express my deep appreciation and thankfulness to Graf Martin and Ten Thousand Villages for this beautiful and thoughtful gift, each time I see it I'm reminded of the joy I felt upon opening my mail and seeing this surprise!