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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • Psalm 7:10-17

    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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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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The Healing Quilt by Wanda Brunstetter

The Healing QuiltThe Healing Quilt by Wanda Brunstetter is about a retired Amish couple that moved to Florida for the winter. The husband, Lamar enjoys the change of scenery and has found the slower pace to be invigorating but the wife, Emma, soon finds she is bored and pining for her family and friends back home. To remedy her unsettled feeling, they advertise a 6-week beginner quilt class, hoping to use the class to encourage others and give Emma something to do.

Six people sign up and soon relationships develop between the couple and their students. The author weaves others into the story and connects them with the students in some way.

The story started out fairly slow, and was quite wordy with chitchat amongst the characters. A little more than halfway through the book the story became more interesting with each person’s problems coming to light and then resolving, mostly through their new relationships that developed at the quilting group.

The author does a good job at presenting the Amish couple as being compassionate, truly caring to impact others through the quilting class. The book was an encouragement to get involved in other people’s lives to make a difference as the main characters, the Amish couple had done.

I was given this book by Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

imageSeasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth book of the Amish Vines and Orchards series. This is the second book of the series that I’ve read and I have fairly enjoyed both of them.

This book continued the story of Amish folks who worked alongside non-Amish “Englishers” and the relationships that ensued. Leah and Landon broke through traditional Amish dictates, causing upheaval in the Amish community. It was the typical story of, “Oh no, what are we going to do when my Da finds out?” Another relationship, Rhoda and Samuel, grew out of a broken one, and traditional Amish family dealt with the potential loss of a family member.

Neither books were major page turners, but each story turned out well and had a Christian view through out. I received the books from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.

You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado

www.momofmany.wordpress.comYou’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado was quite good. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s struggling with trials in their life. Too often I’ve seen people quit or make poor decisions on which direction to take while in the midst of trial because they can’t seem to see around the corner, knowing that God is big enough to take care of anything. This book explains how it is that God is able, and encourages the reader to wait just a bit longer than what seems appropriate to see what good things will come after the trial is done.

Since I’ve personally lived through more trials than the average person, I can testify to the fact that God is bigger than any circumstance and that we can trust Him. Lucado was right on when he encouraged the reader to persevere and sit tight. Throughout the book he cited examples to back up his points. He’s easy to read and relate to. His writing style is relaxed and believable. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with staying faithful or is discouraged.

Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For Every Season, by Cindy Woodsmall

www.momofmany.wordpress.comFor Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall is about Rhoda, an Amish woman, who is gifted with a special intuition – something that has caused her trouble in the past because those in her family didn’t believe that her abilities were God-given. This theme is woven all through out the story as she works toward establishing a new Amish community by reviving an orchard in Maine, far from her childhood home.

Included in this venture are two brothers and a sister, one of whom is her boyfriend, Jacob.  Added to the underlying plot of establishing this community are the relationships that are strained as a result of business disappointments and impulsive personal decisions, the visions that Rhoda has, and Jacob’s past that has come back to haunt him. All of the sub plots threaten to destroy Rhoda’s desire to establish the orchard, build a canning kitchen, and develop an Amish community.

I did enjoy this easy read, though not a lot was different from other Amish type novels. There is typically at least one Amish person that struggles with leaving the Amish community, the plot usually revolves around Englisch and Amish differences, and romantic associations that threaten the future of well laid out plans are a common theme. I would read another novel by Cindy Woodsmall. I like her style of writing and am intrigued with the Amish lifestyle.

I was given a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for posting an honest review, no other compensation was given.

 

 

 

 

A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower

www.momofmany.wordpress.comA Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower is written in first person and is about an Amish girl named Chloe who grew up in the Amish community but ended up an Englischer because of family difficulties. A relationship develops between Chloe and Timothy, a boy who also left the Amish community. The plot is full of suspicion and suspense as they investigate a local murder, finding that things are not always as they seem. Since Chloe was living in the Amish community, but not a part of it any more, the police recruit her to help solve the murder mystery.

As the investigation goes on, more and more information is brought to light about the citizens in Appleseed Creek, which adds flavor to the plot. Even Chloe’s family suffers at the exposure of truth during the investigation, which draws her in even more.

In some ways this story is typical of other Amish stories, looking at the division between the Amish and the rest of the world due to their customs and family dynamics, but different in the sense that the author has introduced a murder mystery in the mix.

I was given a copy of this book from Handlebar Media in exchange for posting an honest review, no other compensation was given.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Redeeming LoveRedeeming Love by Francine Rivers takes place in California’s gold country in the 1850s.  It is about a woman, Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child and spent her entire life full despondency because of her hatred for the men who used her. Michael Hosea, a godly farmer, felt God directed him to marry Angel, much to the disapproval of everyone around him, including Angel.

This story is definitely a love story, the hard working love of a man for a woman, and the love of Michael’s God that eventually wins over the heart of Angel through the kindness and love of those around her. As Angel eases into a new life of being a farmer’s wife, she questions her ability to love and be loved. Though many times her doubts take her over, Michael maintains his trust in his God – that He will bring them together as a man and wife who love and trust one another. This story compels the reader to evaluate their own attitudes and actions toward those caught in a life of pain and sin that bears the responsibility. It is certainly a good example to a believer of how God can change a heart and cause a life to become brand new through the love and acceptance by His faithful few. This book reminds me of the saying, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

This story mirrors the Hosea/Gomer story in the Bible where God directs a man to marry a prostitute in order for Him to show His redeeming love for His beloved people. Rivers does a great job of drawing the reader into the story and showing how insecurities and doubts that can prevent a person from giving and receiving love. I read this story years ago and it remains one of my favorites today. I highly recommend this book, especially to romantics who love a good ending.

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

A Walk Through the Dark by Eva Piper

AA walk through the dark Walk Through the Dark by Eva Piper is about a wife and mom of three who was suddenly thrown into the job of caretaker after her husband found himself in the hospital with serious injuries after a horrific car accident. Eva Piper was just an average wife and mother who was a teacher at her local public school. Don, her husband, was a youth pastor when the crash occurred. This is her story of how she walked through the valley with the help of God and her friends and family, and how she came out on the other side a more confident and strong woman, along with increased faith.

The thing I found most interesting about her story is how she grew through the difficult events that threw her out of her comfort zone and into what she called, “the darkness.” Not only is she brutally honest about the emotional stress she suffered through it all, she offers advice on how to support someone who goes through such a life tragedy.

My favorite part was when she told of how she made a decision to start letting people help her during the long hours she spent in the hospital during Don’s recovery. It reminded me of my recent stay in the hospital with my mother. When my daughter asked if there was anything I needed before she came up to visit, I asked for a cup of coffee. She stopped to McDonalds and bought me a big cup of coffee. The smallest things can make such a difference. Another daughter who lived in another state was frustrated that she couldn’t come visit – so she sent a virtual bouquet of flowers to her grandma. Others stopped by to visit or stayed in constant contact via texting. Needless to say, when I read Eva’s account of how an elderly couple asked if she needed anything and she asked for a Diet Coke from McDonalds, I got a little misty! Not only did she enjoy that small gesture of affection and support, she allowed the elderly couple to experience the joy of helping her through her dark time. Grace can be experienced in a simple “give and take” – which is something we all need at times. We cannot discount the little things in life that make the difficult times bearable.

I have a mental note of the suggestions in this book and plan to implement them next time someone is in need. I recommend this book to those who wish to improve their service to others. I received a free copy of this book from booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.