Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Blessing In The Storm by Lori Laws

Once again, I am delighted to do a book review for a book that was written by a friend of mine, Lori Laws, author of the blog Persevere. This book of hers, A Blessing in the Storm, is her story. Lori is an amazing woman of God, but like many of us, she didn’t start out that way. When Lori was 30 years old, shortly after getting married, her body started to give her problems. Major problems. In time, she learned that she had a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. This awful, progressive disease was her greatest curse. And, as it turned out, it was also her greatest blessing.

Lori freely shares what her life was like before this disease struck her. She was beautiful, confident, active, self-reliant, and . . . full of pride. When this disease struck her, all of the things she thought were important were stripped away, and what she found was Jesus, her Lord and Savior. In the midst of the most severe storm of her life, she found her Life-Giver. Through her brokenness, Lori sought out the Lord. In return, she gained her life, patience, empathy, compassion, and yes, also humility. She also found her purpose – to persevere, share God’s Word, encourage, and point others to the cross. She has touched many lives for Christ, and has only just begun.

A Blessing in the Storm is a wonderful book for anyone. Truly it will speak to the heart of the person who is afflicted with disease, or a person who loves someone who is. It will also speak to the heart of the person who doesn’t know exactly how to act or speak around someone with a disability. Lori has experienced the deepest of valleys and the highest of mountains, and she shares her journey with an honesty that is refreshing.

At this point, A Blessing in the Storm is available in ebook form only. It is well worth the read. It will bless you and remind you of two things: First, God is with you always, He will never leave you nor forsake you, and His plan and purpose for you is much bigger and better than what you’ve ever thought of for yourself. Second, the trials you go through, whatever they are, will purify you, make you a better person, and draw you closer to the One who created you, if you allow them to. Please, visit Lori at her blog and purchase her book, either for yourself or for someone else. You will be blessed by it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

His Name Is Jesus by Max Lucado

I am thrilled about this new book! His Name is Jesus is an impressive and beautiful gift book by master wordsmith Max Lucado. I kind of think of this as, The Gospel According to Max. It is a compilation of passages taken from several of his previously published books, partnered with stunning pictures, and covers the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection. The book itself is high quality and well made with heavy-weight paper, and it comes in a sturdy complimentary slipcover.

No one writes like Max. He truly has a gift for weaving words together in a way that is almost magical. The way he sees Jesus and relates Him to us is so real, so pure. He shows us that Jesus really was really completely human. And completely divine.

Some Maxism’s:

“The hands that hung the stars in the heavens also wiped away the tears of the widow and the leper.”

“On the eve of the cross, Jesus made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.”

“He who can dig the Grand Canyon with His pinkie, thinks you’re worth His death on Roman timber.”

“Nails didn’t hold God to a cross. Love did.”

“Christ’s resurrection is an exploding flare announcing to all sincere seekers that it is safe to believe.”

I really recommend this book. If you want to fall in love with Jesus all over again, this book is for you. If you enjoy Max Lucado or beautiful gift books, this book is for you. If you know someone who is on the fence about Jesus and this whole Christianity thing, this book is for them. Easter is coming soon, and this book would be a perfect gift for someone you love, who has not yet made the choice to follow Christ.


His Name is Jesus
The Promise of God’s Love Fulfilled
by Max Lucado

Max Lucado's first book that journeys from the birth of Christ to His resurrection.

Drawing from his classic writing on Jesus combined with new reflections and breathtaking art, Max Lucado again opens our eyes—and hearts—to the life and work of the Savior in a way that will change lives forever. “Jesus was, at once, common and not; alternately normal and heroic. One minute blending in with the domino players in the park, the next commanding the hell out of madmen, disease out of the dying, and death out of the dead.” Who was this man who spoke as easily with kids and fishermen as widows and waves? It is the question that has echoed down through the centuries to us today, and here is a visually stunning book that answers aspects of that question.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Truffles By The Sea by Julie Carobini

Truffles by the Sea, by Julie Carobini, is a treat indeed! This was a delightful story and is the perfect summertime read. Gaby Flores has troubles galore and her antics are both humorous and endearing. She forms a sort-of relationship with a sea lion she names Sweet Thing, nearly allows an elderly dog she’s pet sitting to drown, and has an unfortunate mishap with a kayak. And all her escapades are thoroughly enjoyable! She has a flare for the dramatic and a heart of gold.

Gaby has been a single girl for far too long and has dated way too many frogs searching for her prince. Working hard to fix the upheaval in her life, she now has two guys who appear to be after her affections. Will her new determination to take charge of her life last, or will she soon fall into her old ways? Will she ever get her “happily ever after,” or is she doomed to endure a lifetime of singlehood? I recommend this as a light-hearted, endearing Chick Lit novel to anyone who just wants a good read! My recommendation does come with caution though…

Warning: Gaby’s passion for truffles will undoubtedly affect and leave you with cravings too!


Truffles by the Sea
by Julie Carobini

Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate . . .

Gaby Flores has a penchant for drama and an unfortunate knack for dating Mr. So Wrong. After breaking off yet another relationship, watching her apartment building burn to the ground, and discovering that her dippy delivery driver has just run off with most of her business, Gaby decides it’s time to turn things around!

She moves to a tiny waterfront loft and takes on a new motto: “Be gullible no more.” With help from her friends, she works to rebuild her flower shop – and her bank account. But when a lawsuit, an eviction notice, quirky neighbors, and two surprise romances invade her beachy world, Gaby’s motto and fledgling faith are put to the test.

Can a young woman prone to disaster in both work and love finally find happily ever after?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When Love Calls by Travis W. Inman

I am so excited to do this review! I just finished reading When Love Calls, by Travis W. Inman, a writer friend of mine. This was a delightful and captivating read. It is a love story, but not a romance novel, and yes, there is a difference. It’s rare that a love story is a page turner and maintains a fast pace throughout, but that is exactly what Inman has achieved. The characters are as enjoyable as the story itself is magical. There are very real, and sometimes ugly, issues that are faced head-on, no shying away or playing it safe. God’s love, mercy, purpose and presence are masterfully woven into a tapestry of hope and second chances.

I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone who loves a good love story! It is both excellent and enchanting, and will expertly draw you in. Go get this book!

To learn more about my friend, Travis W. Inman, simply check out his website at http://www.traviswinman.com/ or his blog The Blundering Discoverer.


When Love Calls
by Travis W. Inman

How does a widower overcome his past after the traumatic death of his young wife? How does a divorcee look into the future after a heart wrenching betrayal? When Love Calls forces Caton Harvey and Lilly Demar to explore these tragic fates. Travis W. Inman takes these lives on a mysterious turn when they connect through a divine phone call. Their twisting path whisks them from the grandiose southern Rocky Mountains to the historic streets of Boston and to the majestic arctic landscape of Alaska. Can Caton let go of the past in pursuit of a promising new future? Can Lilly surrender her own pretentious desires to God’s perfect intervention? Find out When Love Calls, a daring romance and modern day fairytale.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S., is a powerful and compelling book. In it, Stearns illumines the state of the world today, both the good and the bad, and he urges us, particularly American Christians, to open our eyes and see the world and its people as God does. He includes facts, statistics and stories to help us discover what it is that God expects from us. Simply put, to be His hands and feet, to stand up for injustice, to do what we can to assist the poor, lonely, handicapped and diseased, and love and help our neighbor as ourselves.

Stearns is calling us to put aside our apathy and complacency, to embrace compassion and do more. He himself did just that when he left his CEO position with a major American company, to become president of World Vision at a significant decrease to his salary. But he shows us too, that by doing what God has called him to do, his is richer than ever in all the ways that count. Admittedly, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Stearns clearly shows us that God has given us our time, talents and treasures to be used for His glory, not ours. That we are saved by faith for good works. In other words, we are saved to serve, not saved to sit.

This is an amazing book and a strong call to action. I highly recommend this book. It should be required reading for all Christians. It will challenge, overwhelm and inspire anyone with a heart. It offers hope and light to a hopeless and darkened world. Get it, share it, live it!


The Hole in Our Gospel
By Richard Stearns

"Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary." - St. Francis of Assisi

It's 1998 and Richard Stearns' heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America's finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.

This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel.

Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again.