Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jesus Showed Up

"Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me" by Ian Morgan Cron, was an eye opening read. He explains the battles a young mind goes through being the son of an alcoholic. Blaming himself for not being loved enough by his father. He does the bad kid thing in high school with the drinking and drugs and then switches to the good kid role. Maybe his father would notice him then. 

He is an alcoholic as well, one of those functioning alcoholics. He didn't think so and didn't own that title. One of his friends started going to a youth group at a local church and invites Ian to go. The friends he makes there invite him to a big "Jesus event" where he feels the Spirit of God moving. He can't explain what was going on inside of him. Some time down the road he starts volunteering and playing music for the youth group.

I can't help but be reminded of my father when reading through this book. My dad would be at work, a bar, or in his room. I remember when I was about 4 yrs old going into my parents room to get a book from our Sesame Street book collection. My father was sprawled out on the bed, drunk and naked. He shouted at me to get the bleep out of his room. Who did I think I was? I had no right....blah, blah, blah. My parents didn't stay married so I never got to see how bad his ugliness got. I guess I can thank my Jesus for that. 

Ian gets married, gets help from a psychologist, has children, and life goes on. He broke the curse his father began. His children would have a father who is proud of them and loved them no matter what.

I received this book from Booksneeze for my review.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Little Prayer of Mine

A great story to read with your kids. I love how it's written from a child's point of view. The illustrations are eye catching. My 3 yr old wanted the book just to look at the pictures again after I read it. Prayer is an important part of our daily lives in my family. We don't use this book as our bedtime prayer, but it is a cute story. It provides opportunity to have a conversation with your children about prayer, and how they can talk to God about anything. And that He is always listening and there for them. I loved it and so did my kiddos, so it will definitely get some use in my house.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Her Daughter's Dream

  The saga continues from "Her Mother's Hope." Hildie's daughter Carolyn had a detached relationship with her mother. Hildie was quarantined for quite some time with tuberculosis and Marta came out to help with the household. Carolyn became close to her oma Marta.
  Carolyn grew up and started college. The stress of college caused her to start drinking, then the war, then her brother's spiraled out of control and she found herself an alcoholic who smoked weed. She leaves college and joins the hippie scene with her best friend Rachel. After her best friend died from a drug overdose she wandered aimlessly around. She begged and dug through garbage for food, slept in parks, and the like. One day she woke up in a park near a mother and her children. They were so nice, sent by God Himself. The lady spoke to Carolyn like she was a real person. She didn't shoo her away or go set up their picnic somewhere else. The kind woman offered her plenty of food. They talked and before she knew it, she was at a train station on her way home to her parents.
   Her parents were happy to see her. Later on they find out she came home pregnant. Hildemara sent Carolyn to live with her nursing friend "Boots." She also had an alcohol problem years before, and Hildie thought that would be good support for her daughter. After Carolyn had her baby she went back home. Her parents lay out a plan for her to go back to school and get a job. Carolyn's mother began taking care of Mayflower Dawn like her own child as Carolyn's oma had done for her. The cycle of grandmother filling in as mother continues.
  Marta eventually passes away, Carolyn get's married & has a son, Hildemara is still obsessed with her grandchild Dawn, and Dawn grows up and falls in love.
   I really loved this series!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

Mary Dobbs, a preacher's daughter, moves from Chicago where she had nothing but faith and family to Atlanta where there was wealth and distractions. This story takes place in the early 1930s during the Depression. A lot of folks didn't have much left to their names. People would steal from their friends. Desperate times called for desperate actions.

As soon as Dobbs got to her wealthy Aunt Josie's house, God would begin to use her. What a great opportunity! She gets to go to a great school and share The Gospel with all these lost souls! She makes friends quite easily and they loved hearing her stories about the miracles and the faithfulness of God at the revivals her father preached.

As the story goes on her best friend Perri, who loses her father to suicide at the start of this story, and Dobbs herself uncover some family secrets of their own. They both go through periods of unbelief and then God does something to prove himself real.

This is a really good story. The author, Elizabeth Musser, gave such detail about everything that as I read it I was picturing the whole thing, flickering through my mind like a movie. I'm really interested in reading her other novels!

I received this book from the wonderful folks at Bethany House to review.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Her Mother's Hope

This Francine Rivers novel was very good. This was my 1st book written by her, but I have a couple friends who told me I HAAAD to read all of her books! I'm really enjoying her writings.

Marta knew she wasn't going to live like her dressmaker mother and tailor father. They were cheated out of money and had little. Her father did not think or speak highly of her right out of the womb. An outcast within her own family. She had a younger sister and brother and an ailing mother who loved her.

Marta was hired by other families to do jobs and was paid in food and sometimes money. Her father wanted everything she made. Marta was not happy. Her father finally sent her to a school where she would learn to be a servant. Her father expected her to pay back the tuition. She made money making the uniforms at her school and had no problem paying her father back...slowly. She was not going to be pushed around and paid less wages than expected. Her mother encouraged her to go and do something with her life. She never returned home. Not when her mother died, not after her sister committed suicide, and not when her father demanded she return to help him in the shop.

Marta traveled and educated herself in different languages and different skills. She knew she would open her own boarding house one day. That's exactly what she did when she found herself in Canada. She fell in love, got married, and had a child.

The war had started, and her husband being German, times were going to get tough. He got a job and had to move away. She stayed behind to have her child. She didn't want to travel away from her boarding house.

I don't want to give the whole story away, but it's very good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So That's What Happened

Move over Dr. Dobson because Jim and Nancy Rue are in the building! This is a great book for dads. Everything that you may come across with your tween daughter is pretty much in this book. Lots of great information. This will be used regularly as a reference book in our household. With 2 young daughters, I will eventually be the father of tweens and will have lots of questions. I found the answers! Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Rue for your in depth observations and for sharing your knowledge with us.

(Review from the mister)

Zondervan gave me this book for free so that I could review and give my honest opinion.

The Book That Made Your World

The author, Vishal Mangalwadi, grew up in India. Things were quite different there than in western civilizations. He goes into details about their culture. He explains how praise and worship came about. At one point in time worshipers didn't make a sound. The priests did the chants and prayers and that was it. Martin Luther was a reformist who came in and explained why all Christians should be allowed to praise and pray. Then came along the hymnals. He compares Kurt Cobain of the rock band Nirvana to Johan Sebastian Bach, the composer. They both lost their parents at a young age, but took 2 very different paths in life. There is soooo much information packed into this book. It was interesting but sometimes just too much for me to take in and follow. That could also be because of my 3 children at my feet every 10 minutes too. I will pick up the book again in a couple years and maybe I will be able to take it all in. It is a good read, and it has a lot of interesting facts of how Christianity transformed western civilization. I am lending to someone else and they have no complaints at all.

I received this book from Booksneeze to review. This is just my opinion :)