Sunday, May 8, 2011

Live Loved by Max Lucado - a book review

 The full title of this little book is "Live Loved: Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life", and it is a great tool to help you do just that. This beautifully designed little book is very uplifting and written in simple and easy-to-read language. It was definitely food for a hungry soul full of assurances of God's love for us no matter where we are in our walk with Him.

The daily excerpts come from six of Max's past books and are short and thought provoking, just what I like in a morning devotional. The format of the book was also very much to my liking, beginning with a central verse, continuing with a narrative story/meditation, and ending with a prayer prompt and several more verses relating to the specific topic of the day.  One of the things I really liked was that the complete verse was included rather than just the reference, so that I did not have to flip back and forth between the devotional and my Bible.  Another feature of the book I liked was that it is not dated and never left me with the feeling that I was behind, prevented me from reading another page or two, and allowed me to jump around within the book if I so desired.  Max has also listed which of his books the excerpt comes, I found this to be useful as I tended to be very touched by many of the excerpts from the same book and have now added that book to my reading list.

I enjoyed using this book as my personal devotional and also think it would make a great gift book. (It does contain a 'to-from' page at the beginning of the book).

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Publisher's Description:
A mother who cannot face her future.         
A daughter who cannot escape her past.
Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book. The depth of the characters and the vivid descriptions of Edinburgh drew me in and transported me into their lives.  I could relate to their struggles and celebrate with them in their victories.  I was reminded of what a wonderful God we serve as I watched Him present Himself to the Lady Kerr and draw her near to Him. The transformation in Lady Marjory as her pride is slowly stripped from her, and she is  brought to a point where her heart longs to return to her "first love" is heartbreaking and joyous all at the same time.  As I reluctantly turned the last page, not wanting the book to end, I knew I would soon be reading the sequel, Mine is the Night. 

This is the first book by Liz Curtis Higgs that I have had the pleasure of reading. I was quite impressed with the obvious research that she had done on the historical and geographical aspects of the book and her insight into how God can work in our lives.  I began reading the book knowing that it was based on the story of Ruth and Naomi, even though that gave me some insight as to where the book was going, it did not lessen the intrigue of how we were going to get there.  Here Burns My Candle covers the first 18 verses of the Book of Ruth. The Bible does not really give us a lot of insight into what the daily lives of Naomi and her family were like before they returned to Bethlehem, and while I am sure it cannot truly be compared to life in Edinburgh in 1745; it did cause me to stop and ponder what Naomi and Ruth's lives were like during their time in Moab.
The author does use a lot of local dialect in her characters speech.  This did not really hinder the fluidity of the book for me. Most of the time I found it easily interpreted within the context, and on the rare occasion when it was not I just flipped to the Scottish glossary on the last page of the book.  Another plus to the book are the Reader's Guide questions which encouraged me to take a look at my own life and how I would have handled the situations this family faced.  In my opinion, this book would be an excellent choice for those involved in a book club.

I look forward to continuing the journey with Marjory and Elisabeth and can't wait to meet Boaz in Mine is the Night. I would highly recommend this book to my friends.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in return for my honest review.  I was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Great Give Away from Homeschool Confessions

Erica, over at Homeschool Confessions is having yet another GREAT Giveaway.  This Spin USA game looks like a lot of fun and will fit right in with teaching Shayla the names and locations of the the states.  I sure would like to win this one cause I have a feeling that if we don't we are going to be buying it!!!  Check it out here:
Spin USA Giveaway