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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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A Kingsbury Collection

A Kingsbury CollectionKaren Kingsbury, though a good writer, presented these stories in a more negative way than I enjoy. Yes, life can be hard, discouraging and unfair, but I’m not anxious to read about it when I pick up a book. I prefer interesting stories without emotional drama that I desire to avoid in real life.

The first book is Where Yesterday Lives. The main character, Ellen, has to deal with her dysfunctional family after the sudden death of her father. She had issues with her four siblings in the past, and the death of her father just made things worse between them. Her mother was caught in the middle and just wanted them all to put things behind them and help her deal with her own loss. Adding to the drama, Ellen’s marriage was falling apart. Basically it’s about the Ellen’s struggles and efforts to make things right in her family.

I had a hard time getting into the book because of all the negativity. The book makes the point that the past highly affects the future and it is always better to deal with things as they come up rather than putting them off. Half way through I had to put it down just to give myself a breather from the story.

When Joy Comes to Stay is the story of Maggie, a woman who seems to have it all together but really is struggling with depression and anxiety. Between her mental/emotional struggles, marriage problems and dealings with two foster children, she comes face to face with her past. Because of past mistakes and difficult decisions she has had to make, Maggie finds her life beginning to fall apart, forcing her to rethink the past and make amends with those she has hurt.

The third book, On Every Side, tells the story of a town, Bethany, and a human rights group trying to remove a statue of Jesus from the park, citing Separation of Church and State as the back drop of their petition. Two old friends on opposing sides find that their past relationship causes more complications than they know how to deal with because their personal experiences and emotions get in the way. We see one woman’s faith tested and how it eventually helps her stand for what is right.

It is obvious this book was written to bring up some very important societal problems. Though I like to apply spiritual truths in every day situations, sometimes it is tiring when authors write books to make a statement rather than to entertain the reader. This seems to be the case here.

I received free copies of these books from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. My review is my own and I appreciate the opportunity.

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