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Thursday, June 22, 2017

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson, pastor and author, has compiled a collection of teachings he shared with his congregation over a period of years. He is probably best know for "The Message", a paraphrased translation of the Bible.

His collection of messages are organized in parts: Preaching in the company of Moses; Preaching in the company of David; Preaching in the company of Isaiah; Preaching in the company of Solomon; Preaching in the company of Peter; Preaching in the company of Paul; and Preaching in the company of John of Patmos. Scripture references are given at the beginning of each message and there are  49 messages in all.

The author's writing is beautiful and there are many instances where I paused and reflected on something he said. One thought in particular was, "Scripture is the Word of God understood, comprehended, honored. Prayer is the Word of God assimilated, absorbed, lived. Scripture without prayer has no soul; prayer without Scripture has no substance.....Scripture-prayer or prayer-Scripture. What is the use of knowing Scripture if you aren't living it? What is the use of praying if you don't know to whom you are praying? Worship is a fusion of Scripture and prayer." Thought provoking words indeed.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Second chances abound in this story featuring Marianne, a German woman caught up in a loveless marriage for forty one years. On a tour in France, she decides to end it all. Her attempt at suicide is thwarted and she escapes to Brittany. There in a picturesque village along the sea she encounters a number of people who are trapped in their past or their fear of taking chances. She begins life anew and discovers freedom and joy. Her influence on those in the village helps them to take risks and to begin life anew as well. There is a lot of mystical features in the novel and some sexual content which may be offensive to some. It is a light summer read.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jews Don't Need Jesus and Other Misconceptions by Avi Snyder

Jewish believer, Avi Synder, a missionary with Jews for Jesus, explains common misconceptions which Jews and Christians both have about Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. In a easy to read book, the author outlines many misconceptions about this issue. Some of them include:   Jews are already saved because they're natural, elected and chosen; God's covenant with Abraham and Moses is good enough; All Israel will be saved eventually; Jesus is only for the Gentiles; Reconciliation must come first; Jewish evangelism is an attack on Jews and many others. All of the misconceptions are addressed by Scripture and personal examples by the author.

Also addressed is the real reasons some Christian may refuse to share Christ with their Jewish friends including the fear of offending, the fear of rejection, and the fear of man. The author tackles each one of these fears. This is a good book for any Christian who has a Jewish friend or has questions about sharing their faith with them.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this honest review.

Strange Days by Mark Sayers

Life is chaotic. From the politics of the day and culture wars raging, Mark Sayers attempts to make sense of the days we find ourselves in. The book is divided into three main sections: Biblical Pattern of Chaos; Historical Pattern of Chaos; and Life Re-Patterned in the Spirit. One point the author made stuck with me when he said, "Westerners affirm they value equality, diversity, and freedom, but we don't realize that these things do not necessarily act in concert. Equality of opportunity is different from equality of outcome. Communism drove toward equality or outcome and in the process freedom."

These times challenge Christians to live lives sharing the love of Christ to all we come in contact with and to remember that God is with us in the days ahead. There is peace and hope amid the chaos of our days.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

The setting is a suburban Washington D.C. neighborhood school in the 1970's. Ossei is the new 6th grade boy who also happens to be the son of a diplomat from Ghana. Being the only black boy in the school is a novelty that attracts the popular girl, Dee. As the new relationship between Ossei and Dee develop it creates a wave of feelings among other students which include jealousy and resentment.

Ian is the instigator behind the tragic events which unfold during this tale which takes place during one school day. It is a little hard to comprehend 11 year olds being capable of such cruelty and bigotry. Although I imagine it would not be impossible given the uncivil nature of social media today. It would seem that the story would have been better in a high school setting.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.