Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sacred Waiting ~ by David Timms

Wow, what can I say about Sacred Waiting by David Timms? Not much actually. It may contain some great insight, wisdom or content, I simply don’t know. I began this book with an open mind, desiring to grow beyond my own impatience in waiting, but what I got instead, was insulted. I made it to chapter 2, and proceeded to read what I honestly consider to be the most incredibly stupid, judgmental and flat-out wrong assessment of a situation I have ever read in a book. I was floored that the author put it in there, and even more shocked that the publisher allowed it (of course any author can say anything they want, but it had NOTHING to do with what was even being discussed)! It was pure political editorializing and had no place here. I tried to read beyond that, I really did. But I just couldn’t complete the book.


Sacred Waiting
By David Timms

Waiting – the Key to Joy, Peace and Abundance

No one likes to wait. Our irritation level rises in checkout lines, train stations, restaurants, and doctors’ offices. We don’t have time to waste. But Scripture constantly speaks of waiting: “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31)

The good news is that waiting on God is much more than watching the clock. Waiting plays a vital role in our spiritual foundation as we draw closer to the Lord and respond to His leading. Challenging believers to rediscover this lost spiritual discipline, pastor and Bible professor David Timms reveals the hidden treasures of waiting on God – the peace and joy of being with Him.

The heroes of the faith all waited on God. And just like Abraham, Moses, and David, you’ll find that your best moments arise from God’s timing, not your own. Every covenant God made came at the end of a season of waiting. God’s rewards wait for you when you learn to practice Sacred Waiting.

The Gentlemen's Conspiracy ~ by Nick Daniels

I’ve just finished reading The Gentlemen’s Conspiracy, the first novel by Nick Daniels. The story was quite thrilling overall. However, I personally had a hard time following it in the beginning and had difficulty in keeping straight the numerous characters (English & French, noblemen, commoners, clergy, and intellectuals) and the present-time/flashback jumping. By the middle of the book, I finally had a grasp on it all and found that it really was good with a gripping plot and controversial mystery.

It is dramatic, and expertly exposes the lie of a widely accepted belief system. The ending was powerful, with the last line being positively explosive! Others may or may not have the same difficulty in following in the beginning, but I can say for sure that this book is definitely not brain-candy. It will require thought and even possibly an examination of personal beliefs. It is fascinating!


The Gentlemen’s Conspiracy
By Nick Daniels

LONDON, 1836

When amateur geologist Daniel Young inquires about his friend’s murder, he discovers a plot to overthrow the king of England.

Plunged into a crisis of faith and separated from the woman he loves, Daniel must stop the killer before becoming his next victim. He soon realizes that the conspiracy not only threatens to destroy the king, but the foundation of Christianity itself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dawn's Prelude ~ by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson does it again! Dawn’s Prelude is the first book in her new series, The Song of Alaska. Peterson is truly gifted at writing Christian historical fiction. Her novels are thoroughly captivating with depth, beauty and historical accuracy. Dawn’s Prelude is no different. It is set mostly in the rugged Alaskan territory in the 1870’s, with interesting characters, a strong storyline, and vivid landscape descriptions. Once again with a Peterson novel, I found myself to be enthralled with the story and couldn’t put it down. It had elements of darkness and evil, love and romance, and hope and healing. Questions of faith are answered with honesty, in a real, not preachy sort of way. In short, I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment!


Dawn’s Prelude
By Tracie Peterson

She is bound to her past as never before . . . but what more must she sacrifice?

Married off at a tender age to a harsh, older widower, Lydia Gray can’t help but feel a measure of relief when an accident claims his life. What happens next, however, is a surprise to everyone. Through an unforeseen fluke, Lydia finds herself the sole recipient of her late husband’s fortune. But instead of granting her security, strife ensues as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves.

Lydia longs to wash her hands of the situation and determines to join her aunt in Alaska, putting financial decisions in the capable hands of her lawyer. The beauty and serenity of life in Sitka appeal to Lydia, as does Kjell Lindquist, the handsome owner of the local sawmill. But a new discovery in Lydia’s life forces her to rethink her future.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God Made Your Body ~ by Jim Burns, PhD

I just received the most wonderful little book for children, about their bodies. God Made Your Body by Jim Burns, PhD, is a Christian book for children ages 3 – 5 years old, and it covers anatomy, very basic sex education and where babies come from, that is age appropriate. It emphasizes the importance of family and that God loves and created each of us. It even touches on adoption and includes Psalm 139:13-16. I highly recommend this book to parents who have very young children in the home.


God Made Your Body
By Jim Burns, PhD

From the author:

A Special Note to Parents

Studies show that when children receive values-centered sex education at home, they are less likely to become sexually promiscuous and more likely to have a healthy view of their bodies and relationships. With the media introducing sexual topics to children at such a young age, there is no better countermeasure than parents introducing the concepts in this book to their children.

This book is part of a series of developmentally appropriate books called PURE FOUNDATIONS. God Made Your Body is for children ages 3 – 5. At this age, it’s important to introduce your children to the foundational theme that God created their body and it is special. You begin laying out for them a healthy view of their body and the very basics of sexuality. As you read this book to them, you will be establishing the trust that can come to you when they are older to talk about these issues. You want to be the one to introduce the beautiful way God creates our bodies and that He has a plan for families.

Obviously a book of this length will not cover every subject. It is meant to help you and your child develop a loving, trusting relationship where dialogue is the best teacher. And you’ll discover spontaneous teaching moments from TV or other avenues to continue reinforcing a healthy view of sexuality.

Thanks for laying a foundation of trust and honesty with your child. You are giving your child a gift that will serve him for a lifetime.

Jim Burns, PhD

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Surrendered Heart ~ by Tracie Peterson and Judity Miller

A Surrendered Heart is the third book in The Broadmoor Legacy series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. I liked the story very much, however, I have not read the first two books in the series, and at times was a bit confused. (Series’ can be a bit tricky because a writer doesn’t want to repeat all that has happened in previous books, yet if the stories are closely tied together, it is needed somewhat.) Still, the storyline was great, and I was completely drawn in, having a variety of emotions stirred throughout. The characters had depth, the story moved quickly and by the end, I couldn’t read it fast enough. The ending was highly satisfying, with a strong reminder that God is in control. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, but I might suggest beginning with the first book in the series.


A Surrendered Heart
By Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

Escape into the history, opulence, and elegance of the Thousand Islands.

When cholera strikes Rochester, New York, in the spring of 1899, the members of the Broadmoor family flee to their castle home in the Thousand Islands. But Amanda Broadmoor, who has always held a special compassion for the less fortunate, resolves to remain in Rochester with Dr. Blake Carstead, working to help control the spread of the dreaded disease.

However, much more than Amanda’s health hangs in the balance. Mishandling of the family fortune threatens to leave the Broadmoor family penniless – and even willing to sacrifice Amanda’s future. Will she be forced to marry a man she disdains in order to save the Broadmoor legacy?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If God is Good ~ by Randy Alcorn

If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil is the latest book by Best-Selling Author Randy Alcorn. Most of us have had why questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the innocent suffer? Why is this happening, more specifically, why is this happening to me? Alcorn addresses evil and suffering in great detail in this book.

To be honest, I haven’t yet read it. It’s the first time I haven’t met a deadline with a book/blog tour. I really do want to read it. Sort of. But while my own wounds from my latest miscarriage have begun to heal, they are still in the early stages of healing. I’m not sure I want to pick at them just yet. However, it really does look good. And deep ~ very deep. This is not a book to be read lightly, or to be skimmed over. If one is to really extract the nuggets of truth and wisdom that I’m certain are in it, then it must be read, and absorbed slowly. And I look forward to doing that ~ soon.


If God Is Good
By Randy Alcorn

Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.

In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?

These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.

In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.

Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.

As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.


Author Bio:
Randy Alcorn
is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.

To get more information about If God is Good, including online purchase options, simply visit http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601421326

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What Difference Do It Make? ~ by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

This book is the follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent. I confess, I have not read the previous book, but can say without question, I liked What Difference Do It Make? very much. It appears to fill in some of what was not in the previous book, and tells some of the stories of what has happened since the first book came out. There are personal testimonies, by people who felt the impact of the message of Same Kind of Different as Me, who’ve responded and allowed it to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. Some of the actions taken have been ministries started, forgiveness given, families reunited, and a little girl who opens a lemonade stand to raise money for the homeless.

The unlikely friendship of the white, millionaire, fine-arts dealer Ron Hall and the black, uneducated, formerly homeless Denver Moore continues in this inspirational, true and stranger than fiction story. There are tales of hurt and forgiveness many of us can identify with. Denver Moore, though uneducated and having only recently begun to learn to read, has wisdom in abundance, and truly is the living example of 1 Cor. 1:27-28, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” It is indeed a great book and I highly recommend it.


What Difference Do It Make?
Stories of Hope and Healing
By Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent

New thoughts and reflections from the authors of the inspirational New York Times bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me.

The more than four hundred thousand readers stirred by the story of Ron Hall and Denver Moore will resonate with the all new, stand-alone true stories of hope and healing offered in this intimate, authentic follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me.

With new "Denverisms" and reflections from Denver on his personal dealings with homelessness and disrespect from others, additional insights from Ron on what we can learn from people unlike us and from those dealing with a terminal illness, and the stories of readers who have been impacted by the book's central themes, this inspirational reader will generate a host of new fans. Topics include:

* Faith and friendship
* Racial reconciliation
* Community outreach
* Compassion
* Healing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Love Has a Face ~ by Michele Perry

This is an AMAZING book! Once in a while, a book enters your life that shakes and challenges you, and will even change you if you let it. This is one of those books. One single, white, one-legged woman answers God’s call to go to Sudan and serve with love. She does so with an enormous amount of faith, carrying a message of hope and God’s love to a people who’ve known nothing but war, tragedy and pain. Many years ago, her everyday prayer became, Jesus, let me love with Your love, and see with Your eyes. And that is exactly what she does.

Her journey could not be accomplished without an exceedingly deep relationship with, intense love for, and unshakeable faith in Jesus. Like many missionaries, she has had personal experience with miracles many of us (especially in the Western world) simply never even consider. She has had numerous personal visitations from Jesus, and while it may be easy to discount the authenticity of these experiences, it is also easy to see how she could not do what she does without the authority and strength of Jesus being anointing her to do so. She has shown many that hate, evil and darkness cannot stand up against true, pure love.

Like another book I reviewed (The Hole in the Gospel), this is a life-changing, must read type of book.


Love Has a Face: Mascara, a Machete and One Woman’s Miraculous Journey with Jesus in Sudan
By Michele Perry

Unforgettable Memoir of a Woman Bringing the Love of Jesus to the Orphans of Sudan

Termites for dinner. Bombs in the backyard. A nation torn by decades of war still on the brink. Can one life really make a difference here?

Born without her left hip and leg, Michele Perry is no stranger to seeming impossibilities. So when she arrived in war-torn Southern Sudan--with little more than her faith in God's promises--she did what everyone told was crazy: she opened a home for orphaned children in the middle of guerilla warfare territory and has now become "mama" to over one hundred little lives.

With a deft pen, she recounts unforgettable stories of life in the bush, stories that capture the reader with the stark realities of living in a war zone—and the power of God's love to transform them. Her own story is just as compelling as the ministry she is living. From working in the slums of India to finding her home in war-ravaged Africa, her life has been a journey deeper into the supernatural power of God.

Captivatingly honest, readers will be swept up in one woman's poignant, spellbinding journey of love and the glimpses of God's tender grace and mercy in the midst of a broken and hurting world.

Michele has a Love Has a Face blog I would encourage you to visit from time to time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Were Born For This ~ by Bruce Wilkinson

Bruce Wilkinson is back. The whole title to his new book is, You Were Born for This: 7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles. In it, Wilkinson challenges us to expect God to work through us, and gives many examples of how He does so. Most of us have had random moments and chance meetings (divine appointments, if you will), where either we were helped or we helped another, in a way that could only be explained as by being directed by God. Yes, God works miracles in the supernatural way that only He can, but more often, He uses people who are willing to submit to his prompting to accomplish His purposes. And whether we are on the giving or receiving end of His work, we grow and become better for it. There is a whole world out there needing a touch from God; all we have to do is open our eyes, our ears and our hearts, and God will direct us toward the miracle He wants to perform in someone’s life.


You Were Born for This
By Bruce Wilkinson
And David Kopp

Anyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by a direct intervention from God. Around the world these acts are called miracles—not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and that God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn how Heaven works.

In the straightforward, story-driven, highly motivating style for which he is known, Wilkinson describes how anyone can help others experience miracles in such universally significant arenas of life as finances, practical help, relationships, purpose, and spiritual growth.

You Were Born for This will change how readers see their world, and what they expect God can do through them to meet real needs. They will master seven simple tools of service, and come to say with confidence, “I want to deliver a supernatural gift from God to someone in need today—and now I know how!”


Author Bios:
One of the world’s foremost Christian teachers, Bruce Wilkinson is best known as the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Prayer of Jabez. He is also the author of numerous other bestsellers, including A Life God Rewards, Secrets of the Vine, and The Dream Giver. Over the past three decades, Wilkinson has founded several global initiatives, including organizations that recruited and trained thousands of Americans to address hunger, AIDS, and poverty in Africa. Bruce and his wife, Darlene, have three children and six grandchildren. They live outside Atlanta.

David Kopp has collaborated with Bruce Wilkinson on over a dozen bestselling books, including The Prayer of Jabez. He is an editor and writer living in Colorado.

To get more information about You Were Born For This, including online purchase options, simply visit http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601421821&ref=externallink_mlt_youwerebornforthis_sec_0728_01

Monday, September 14, 2009

That Certain Spark ~ by Cathy Marie Hake

What a delightful and fun book! It’s easy to forget the struggles that women went through to enter into male-dominated careers. That Certain Spark by Cathie Marie Hake, reminds us of how difficult it was for women to fit in and be accepted as doctors. Between the tension of conflicting gender roles, the natural rhythm of sibling support and rivalry, and the surprising attraction between a progressive young woman and a traditional man, sparks are flying everywhere! This was entertaining from start to finish and I enjoyed every minute of it!


That Certain Spark
By Cathy Marie Hake

As pride meets attraction head-on, sparks begin to fly!

Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing--a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient...against his will.

Though hesitant to believe in Taylor's doctoring skills, Karl finds himself oddly protective of this surprising woman who dares to drive about town on her own, wearing the color red, for heaven's sake! Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. The result? Pride meets attraction head-on, and sparks begin to fly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fields of Grace ~ by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is a captivating story with heart! Fields of Grace, by Kim Vogel Sawyer captured my attention immediately and held it throughout. First, I love the title – Fields of Grace – don’t we all need that in our lives?! Sawyer takes her readers on a journey that includes tragedy, pain and heartbreak, along with faith, hope and love. And she does is with expert storytelling and the right amount of drama.

Reading of how early Mennonite families happened to immigrate to America from Russia was very interesting. The strength of character and determination to settle, and not only survive, but to actually thrive in a new country where you don’t speak the language, is clearly shown in this story. It also shows us how God’s love can take the tragedies that happen in life, and turn them into triumph instead, but only if we allow Him too.


Fields of Grace
By Kim Vogel Sawyer

Will their Mennonite faith be shaken or strengthened by the journey to a new land?

With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt's adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires.

Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead--and he's equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn't expect is his growing affection for Lillian--and the deep desire to be part of a family.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stray Affections ~ by Charlene Baumbich

I found Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich to be captivating, magical, tender and even healing. This is a story of love and loss, struggle and triumph, and releasing the old and embracing the new. The characters are memorable, the story is gripping, the pace is quick and the ending is very satisfying. The power of love and forgiveness are a threaded throughout, while hope and the excitement of new beginnings come together neatly in the end, like a lovely bow encircling a beautiful package. On a personal note, this story hit on all of my sore spots – rough childhood, estrangement from mother, no father, love of animals and infertility, but it was more like balm to a wound than salt, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.


Stray Affections
By Charlene Ann Baumbich

In Stray Affections, the last thing that Cassandra expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home—even if means wrestling another shopper for it!

The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange—flurrious, as Cassie deems it—moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.


Author Bio:
Charlene Ann Baumbich
is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God.

To get more information about Stray Affections, including online purchase options, simply visit https://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307444714 or to view the video of Charlene introducing the book to readers, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWwya52SkjU

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fearless ~ by Max Lucado

Like life, fear happens. In his latest book, Fearless, Max Lucado, shows us that we all have fears. Some of our fears may be reasonable and some may not be, some may be healthy and some may be completely ridiculous, but regardless, they’re real. There is much in the world today to be fearful, nervous, or concerned about – war, the economy, terrorism, losing jobs, keeping homes, swine-flu, the swine-flu vaccine . . . and there is no question that fear can be crippling. But as Max points out, it doesn’t have to be.

When we choose to walk in faith and trust God, we can move beyond fear. When we trust in God, we gain strength, experience hope, and find freedom. That doesn’t mean we won’t have moments of fear, or that bad things won’t happen to us or those we love, but we know that’s not the end of the story and we know we don’t have to go through them alone.

Max Lucado is one of the great Christian writers of our times. He is a gifted wordsmith and offers encouragement, wit, wisdom and truths that are deep and profound in a way that is simple and pure. In Fearless, he does it again.


By Max Lucado

Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.

They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?

Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less.

Can you imagine your life without fear?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Carousel Painter ~ by Judith Miller

This was a fascinating story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller is a delightful, historical romance, filled with beauty and grace. I was easily drawn in by the characters, and really felt myself pulling for the protagonist, Carrie, who went into no-woman’s-land to support herself, in a carousel factory where women did not work.

There were plenty of spiritual lessons and Scripture, but it was never preachy. It moved along at a nice pace and was difficult to put down. I really enjoyed the glimpse into the art of carousel making – especially for that era. The Carousel Painter is fun, mysterious and romantic, but it is also deep and heartfelt. I give it a high recommendation!


The Carousel Painter
By Judith Miller

Carrie loves painting the beautiful carousel horses...but can she stand strong against the many who don't want her to keep the job?

When Carrington Brouwer receives the enviable job of painting carousel horses for a factory in Ohio, she believes her future is secure. But after an expensive necklace disappears from the home where she's been staying, she's caught up in a search for the truth that puts her entire livelihood - and her developing relationship with the factory manager - at risk. Can she lead police to the real culprit before she loses everything?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio ~ by Diamond Rio

I have long been a fan of country music group Diamond Rio and jumped on the chance to read and review their new book. Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio, by Diamond Rio with Tom Roland is the story of the band together from their early and humble beginning, to success and superstardom, to what was nearly the demise of the band. It is unique in that it is told collaboratively with individual accounts from all the band members.

It begins with the beautiful mess they found themselves in during a 4th of July celebration in Nashville in 2005. Lead singer Marty Roe had been losing his voice and diminishing the credibility of the group for some time, and it became very obvious during that one show. This superstar group has had its share of struggles and ups and downs, both in their personal and professional lives. And it seems that they have truly learned that that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and that when we face trials and adversities in life, the really can be view as a beautiful mess. Through this journey they’ve learned to better cling to and lean on God to get them through and turn things around.

For any Diamond Rio fans out there, this is a great book. And it’s pretty great book for anyone who’s faced adversity too! This is a Thomas Nelson, NELSONfree book, which means that if you purchase the book, you may freely receive the book in both audio and ebook format as well.


Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio
By Diamond Rio
With Tom Roland

Can a band comprised of six very talented but very different musicians make a difference with their music?

What made it possible for Diamond Rio to weather the storms inherent in the fickle world of fame and fortune and go more than two decades without a single lineup change? Any reader in search of transparency and a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the band as a unit as well as the individual lives of the players and singers will be well satisfied. Can true loyalty exist within the competitive, seemingly unforgiving music industry? In A Beautiful Mess, Marty Roe, Dan Truman, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams each has an entire chapter devoted to his personal and professional life. A Beautiful Mess is a wild ride from the edge of disaster and a little-known secret to an ongoing heart-warming revival.

To The Rescue ~ by Elise Lufkin

I love the idea of this book! As an animal lover, I’ve had my own fair share of rescue animals. And they are awesome! So is this book. To the Rescue, Found Dogs with a Mission, is written by Elise Lufkin with photographs by Diana Walker. It tells the stories of amazing dogs (and one cat) who’ve been rescued from shelters everywhere, and who’ve become working, therapy, and assistive animals. Many of them have had great adversity of their own to overcome, suffering from abuse, accidents, neglect, etc.

This would be a wonderful book for anyone who loves animals! For anyone who believes in second chances. For anyone who has ever had a furry companion. Speaking from personal experience, I had the privilege of receiving a visit from a therapy dog when I was in the hospital for my last miscarriage. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful and comforting that was for me. This books is full of stories that represent what that was to me.

On a side note, but very important… Elise Lufkin donates all profits from her books to shelters and other animal-related organizations. She believes that her books can make a difference to at least some of the millions of animals otherwise destroyed each year in shelters and animal control facilities, as well as to the many strays that never even reach shelters, living out their lives on the streets, suffering from hunger, abuse and early death. She started a humane education program in the local school system, and initiated a project socializing shelter dogs in order to make them more adoptable.


To the Rescue
By Elise Lufkin
Photos By Diana Walker

Lufkin and Diana Walker once again present a moving collection of profiles, in beautiful, duotone photographs and moving text, of dogs that have found new lives after being “throw away” dogs. Each dog (and one cat) profiled has had a rough past, suffering abuse or extreme neglect at the hands of humans. Each has been rescued, some literally from death row, by someone who recognized something special in him or her.

The animals featured here have not only thrived in their new home. They have gone on to become therapy dogs for hospitals and nursing homes; reading partners for children; friends to at-risk teens and injured veterans; service dogs for the deaf, blind, or disabled; arson dogs; and even search-and-rescue dogs.

Some of these special dogs are disabled, blind, deaf, missing limbs, but they don’t seem to know it. These spunky, happy animals have repaid the kindness of their rescuers in spades, bringing the therapy of love, acceptance, hope and solace to people in need. And always these dogs inspire their already generous owners as well as everyone they come in contact with as they cheerfully spread their good will and joyful spirits.