Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Have a Little Faith

Book:  Have a Little Faith
Author:  Mitch Albom

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! If I had enough money, I'd buy this one (along with "The Noticer") for everyone I knew. 

This is the true story of Mitch getting an unusual request:  to deliver a eulogy for his rabbi from his old hometown.  He feels unworthy & insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago.  Meanwhile, Mitch becomes involved with a Detroit pastor - a reformed drug dealer & convict - who preaches to the poor & homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian & Jewish, African American & white, impoverished & well to do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similary in fighting for survival:  the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches;  the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep him & his church afloat.

These men touch on things such as how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God & the importance of faith in trying times...

In the end, as the rabbi nears death & a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Mitch sadley fulfills the rabbi's last request & writes the eulogy.  And he finally understands what both men had been teaching him all along - the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than youself.

My Rating:  5 skeins!!!!!!

I'm telling you - it was a wonderful read... I marked so many thing that just touched my heart... so this may turn into the longest post ever... but I want to remember these things I got out of this book
From a sermon by the Reb - 1975
"A man seeks employment on a farm.  He hands his letter of recommendation to his new employer.  It reads simply, "He sleeps in a storm".  The owner is desperate for help, so he hires the man. 
    Several weeks pass & suddenly, in the middle of the night, a powerful storm rips through the valley.  Awakened by the swirling rain & howling wind, the owner leaps out of bed.  He calls for his new hired hand, but the man is sleeping soundly. 
     So he dashes off to the barn.  He sees, to his amazement that the animals are secure with plenty of feed.  He runs out to the field.  He sees the bales of wheat have been bound & are wrapped in the tarpaulins.  He races to the silo.  The doors are latched, & the grain is dry. 
    And then he understands.  "HE SLEEPS IN A STORM"
    My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love & behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business.  Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight.  We will never wallow in the agony of "I could have, I should have"... We can sleep in a storm.
   And when its time, our good-byes will be complete
When a baby comes into the world, its hands are clenched - right? (He made a fist)  Why?  Because a baby, not knowing any better wants to grab everything, to say "The whole word is mine!"  But when an old person dies, how does he do so?  With his hands open.  Why?  Because he has learned the lesson. (He stretched open his empty fingers) - We can take nothing with us.

What do people fear most about death?  I asked the Reb.
"Fear?"  He thought for a moment.  "Well, for one thing, what happens next?  Where do we go?  Is it what we imagined?  But there's something else"
What else?
He leaned forward.
"Being forgotten" he whispered.

I call Jesus the greatest recycler I know!  He lifts me up - he rearranges me - he repositions me!

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh!  The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.
-Robert Browning Hamilton

Nothing haunts like the things we dont say....

What I do here, every day for the rest of my life, is only my way of saying "Lord, regardless of what eternity holds for me, let me give something back to you.  I know it dont even no scorecard.  But let me make something of my life before I go....."And then Lord, I'm at your mercy"

Monday, November 16, 2009


This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Book:  thirsty
Author: Tracey Bateman

There's no place like home, they say.

"Hello, I'm Nina Parker…and I'm an alcoholic."
For Nina, it's not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.

Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?

As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina's feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.
This book was tagged as a "Christian Vampire" story...

I didnt really think it held that much clout for anything compared to Twilight, but I will say, this was a really good story!

How Nina is struggling with her "thirst" of alcholism & the man, Marcus, who is a vampire, & the "thirsts" he struggles with as well - it was very interesting.

But the story of Nina & her life & how her struggle with alcohol had affected her, & then her family - it was interesting to see.  Especially as she tries to start her life again & tries to mend bridges with her teenage daughter. 

I could feel the pain that Nina was going through as she had to fight her past - coming home to see parents she hadent seen in years after she ran away.  To see her relationship with her sister who loved her & took her in when she needed a place to go.  To see how her husband loved Nina through the years, through EVERYTHING she put him through...

It had its suspensful moments.... especially at the end, I was biting my finger nails trying to figure out how it would end.

If you like a book about survival, about beginning again, & throw in a bit of suspense, you'll love this book!
Here is the link for more info & for purchasing:

My Rating:  3 skeins

Touched by a Vampire

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Book:  Touched by a Vampire
Author: Beth Felker Jones
"Examining Twilight through a Biblical Lens"

People around the world are enraptured with Edward & Bella's forbidden romance in the Twilight Saga.  This book investiages the themes of the Saga from a Biblical perspective.  Some Christian readers have praised moral principles illustrated in the story, such as premarital sexual abstinence, which align with Meyer's Mormon beliefs.  But ultimately, Beth Felker Jones examines whether the story's redemptive qualities outshine its darkness.
I'm going to admit from the get go - I'm a Twilight NUT! I've even done a post about views I've seen of comparing to Scripture on my Home blog (Button on the top right)...  So I was so excited about getting this book to see what else others had to say.

I was also excited because the book also holds a guide for group discussions & since I get to spend time with youth girls who also love Twilight in our church, I was anxious to see what some of the discussions could stir up.

I think maybe because I am such a die-hard Twilighter, this book wasnt what I expected. 

For example - here are some of the titles of the chapters are the following:
Forbidden Fruit - The allure of Dangerous Romance
Body & Blood - Twilight's Take of Abstinence & Sex
Baseball & Loyalty - Twilight & the Ideal Family
Monster Spawn or Precious Child?  Children in the Twilight Saga

I mean, I really did appreciate what this book was saying but at the end of each chapter, I found myself saying "ITS JUST A NOVEL!"....

For me, reading the Twilight series ever made me question God, or my relationship with God.  And while I would LOVE for someone to be as incredible as Edward - I know there is no one that is going to sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight & be there to protect me from evil vampires...

One chapter dealt with how Jesus should be the center of your life - not necessarily a man like Edward.  Well, you can look at ANY book, especially a romance book, & come up with the same conclusion. 

It talks about how children should be a blessing & not have a "baby who eats her mother alive"... seriously!  I think we can all agree, that's not a good thing...

I almost found it irritating because I felt like it was sorta underminding, personally...

Maybe if someone hasnt read the Twilight series & was going into reading this blindly, maybe it would touch them more.  For me personally, a true Twilight-er, it wasnt a book for me... but that's OK... books reach different people at different times.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else read it & what you thought...

if you are interested in checking it out for youserlf & want to form your own opinion, go here:

My Rating:  I hate saying it was bad, but it was bad for me. it definitely could have potential for others.. 2 skeins.

Monday, November 9, 2009

White Picket Fences - GIVEAWAY!!!

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Book:  White Picket Fences
Author:  Susan Meissner

The Janviers have the idyllic life - a beautiful home, great jobs, two wonderful kids - & surrounding it all is the proverbial white picket fence that protects them, offers them a serene sense of security... & hides all their secrets.
This is an amazing story that will suck you in.  Its about a young girl, Tally, whose father left her with his grandmother to go on a search that no one knows about, except Tally.  When her grandmother passes away & no one can get ahold of Tally's father, Bart,  her aunt, Amanda, steps up to take Tally into their home.

Amanda & Neil Janvier have two children around the same age as Tally - Delcy &Chase.  Tally &Chase seem to get along & understand each other.  Soon they are working on a school project where they are looking into history &researching the Ghetto during the Holocaust, where their great-grandfather was killed.  They meet up with two men from a nursing home that can fill in part of the story of what it was like - these men share some amazing stories &; are so endearing to see their friendship through the years...

Along the whole path, secrets that have been hidden are brought to light.  Secrets from Chase's past, from Amanda & Neil's life, from their great-grandfather... all secrets that effect a life.  Secrets that people try to hide & when you hide them, they eventually eat you up...

There was a question/answer session at the end with the author & she talked about the heart of the book & she mentioned the EXACT same line that really impacted me... I want to share that:

What do you hope readers come away with after reading White Picket Fences?  The moment that Josef (the man in the nursing home) says "That is what all survivors must decide.  We have to decide how much we will choose to remember & how much courage we are willing to expend to do so".  It takes courage to acknowledge &remember what drove you to your knees or nearly killed you.  If you choose to forget - that's assuming you actually can - then it seems to me you suffered for nothing

That just impacted the tar out of me... So lucky for you guys...   The publisher sent this to me for review & gave me an additional one, so I get do to a giveaway!!!!  All you have to do is leave a comment for one entry & if you are a follower - you get an additional entry!  Simple enough...

And if you arent a winner - you can always get it right HERE...

The drawing will be Friday night...GOOD LUCK!


Yes - she won the last one too!  I am using the random number generator & putting them in order of the comment posts... so she is just one lucky lady!!!!  Congrats Dawn!  Another book is headed your way!