The Memory Jar (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors, #1) by Tricia Goyer
Started Reading Feb 15, 2013
Finished Reading Mar 22, 2013
I enjoyed this book very much. I love Amish fiction stories. They usually have an element of romantic fiction in them but in a more courtship, respectable way and not dating and not even any kissing.
The back story was very good. Sarah Shelter wonders if she will ever fall in love. and get married. Since the tragic death of her best friend she's been keeping all her emotions bottled up inside, not even really sharing her deep hurt with her mother. Now she's met a kind and gentle man, Jathan, who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams? And what about Jathan, he is being pressured by his family. Is he strong enough to assert himself and go for his dreams as well?
I got this book free on Kindle and enjoyed it very much. I hope to read some more Tricia Goyer soon.
Started Reading Jan 02, 2013
Finished Reading Mar 28, 2013
Every Christian from High School up needs to read this book/series. This book is the first in a series of 3. Christopher, my son, and I should be starting the second book soon... From Sea to Shining Sea, 1787-1837 This book gives you a Christian worldview on the time period from 1480's Christopher Columbus through the writing of the Constitution and George Washington becoming our first president in the late 1780's. I love the introduction the author do for each chapter, telling us how, where, and what information they were searching for to include in that chapter.
Here are some quotes from the book to illustrate the richness of the content.
"We do also give up our selves one unto another in the Lord, and according to the will of God, freely covenanting and binding our selves to walk together as a right ordered congregation and church of Christ, in all ways of His worship, according to the holy rules of the Word of God, promising in brotherly love, faithfully to watch over one another's souls.
Imagine the reactions most Americans today would have at the thought that neighbors might be watching over their souls. Even among those of us in the Body of Christ, when we say, "How are you?" and smile, we are inwardly relieved when the answer is limited to the obligatory "Fine." So many of our churches are congregations of private people, surrounded by private personal spaces and wrapt up in private thought, until it is time to smile and shake the minister's hand and get into their private cars." pg 180This is so true. I felt this so many times. The body of Christ, so much wrapped up in their own lives they only have time to say, "How are you?" and hope that you will say, "Fine." so they can go on their way, and so that is the answer I usually give, for I feel people really don't want to know what is going on with me, if they did they would take the time to find out. It is also a reprimand to me to learn to dig into other lives and really care. To not be satisfied with answers of' "Fine" and to take the time to really care.
This next quote really spoke to me. I use busy-ness many times to hid from the reality of my life. I do not take enough time to stop and process. Then things begin to catch up with me emotionally.
"If we look at the nostalgia craze which has been sweeping America during the past few years, has our national preoccupation with the 1930"s, or the forties or the fifties not been deeper than a passing fad? Could it not stem from the same root as the Continental Congress's yearning to go back to a less perilous time? We escape into the past, where things "made sense" and life "meant something" and "values still mattered," and where there was still spiritual life at the national core. Or we could escape into the future, and among those who are still young enough to have most of their stake in the future, the science-fiction craze is every bit as strong as the nostalgia escape. But escape is the byword-forwards, backwards, or sideways-into alcohol, busy-ness, good works, passivity, fantasy, or even madness. For the reality of the present and the immediate future seem even more frightening today than they were in Philadelphia two hundred years ago. They, at least, knew that they had God to trust in." pg 302I was going to leave this quote out... but I have to include it. I hope you are not bored. This quote shows the commitment of Washington to his God and his men. He is the man American needed to lead our men into action and our country into unification.
"This, then, was the miracle of Valley Forge. That the men endured was indeed amazing to all who knew of their circumstances. But the reason they endured - the reason they believed in God's deliverance - was simple: they could believe, because their General did believe." pg 322
"As long as Satan has men who have made total commitments to the magnification of their own egos, he seldom has to intervene directly. Men so given to serving self are serving him faithfully, since he is ego-incarnate. Hence, there was no need for satanic intervention at this crucial moment in the tide of Revolutionary affairs; Charles Lee was doing just fine." pg 327Luckily after this Washington asked the opinion of others and Anthony Wayne (yeah, the town I grew up in in Pennsylvania was named after him) replied "Fight, sir!" and other loyal counselors joined this cry.
Julia's Hope (The Wortham Family Series, #1) by Leisha Kelly
Started Reading Mar 29, 2013
Finished Reading Mar 31, 2013
I loved this book, HOWEVER, the beginning was VERY hard for me to read. I cried through the first couple chapters. The family starts out the book homeless, on the road with their kids, with very little money and only a couple small bags with some clothing. Each day they are not sure if they will get a ride, what they will eat, or where they will sleep. I have had nightmares about being homeless so this was hard for me to read. Here is one quote. I have felt this before.
""Honey, your father will always have a job. God made him your daddy, and the most important thing he'll ever do is love you the way he does. If he seems cross, it's because he'd like nothing better than to give us the best home we could ever imagine, plus all the jelly and bread we want. Lots of men have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. He's thinking of you, wanting you to be happy."
...something in Sam had changed. I knew it as well as Robert did. The ache in him had swallowed all the stories, plus the spring in his step and the smile I loved so well.
I had filled my children with wild vegetables and a few cheerful songs, but I had done nothing to fill the void in my Samuel's heart." pg 54Sometimes it is so hard to not be able to help the ones you love.
But later in the book I received hope. It is hard to explain how you can receive hope from God through a fiction book.. but I did. It was so inspiring I kept reading parts of the book to my hubby. You can't believe how many sticky notes I put in this book to mark parts that really spoke to me. I will refrain from sharing them all with you and will just pick a few out.
I like the setup of this book, one chapter from Julia the mom's viewpoint and then one chapter from Sam the dad's viewpoint. There are also two chapters from Emma the owner of the home's viewpoint. The first quote I did was from a Julia chapter. The next one is from a Julia chapter as well.
The family have found a place to live. They are trying to make a home for themselves and a widow with no children. Friends think Sam and Julia are trying to take advantage of Emma because they are not paying for the home and Emma buys the groceries, for now at least. But Sam and Julia are doing a lot of work on the farm. And Sam, the most skeptical on this process, is beginning to believe.
"On the way home I wondered what had come over Samuel, favoring a puppy like he had, when just last night he was ready to pick up and leave. But I didn't have to ask him. In the back of Mr. Post's pickup, he slid his arm around me and whispered that he was going to try to live the life God gave us and not stew and fret for something else.
"Maybe we're supposed to do this, he whispered to me. "Maybe God looked down on Emma and sent us to her on purpose." pg 197In the last Sam chapter we find this...
The next evening I sat down and wrote my mother a letter. It was the right thing to do. And it didn't even matter if she didn't write back. I had to tell her I loved her. I had to say that God can see much further than any of us can, that he has a way of working out even the hopeless things if we just give him a chance. He planted us here because it was time. And her we'll stay, until he designs it otherwise. That's life. More of a marvel than I ever knew it could be, and not near so much in my own hands." pg 316So here's to trusting the path God has for me and for my family. Here's to putting it all in God's hands... and then the hard part... not taking it back.
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