-- Grace Elizabeth --

-- Grace Elizabeth --

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Journey To Christmas

This is the first DVD that I have ever requested to review and it was a dandy. I am so glad I was able to watch this four part series. We watched the first two last night and the last two tonight. You can split them up in four series and do for a church bible study. The DVD is so applicable since it applies to the birth of Jesus is a totally different format as we head into December and his birth.

There are five very different people on this journey to the Holy Land. There is a Messianic Jew, A First Nations woman, a poet/singer, a radio personality who is trying to find God, and an agnostic lawyer. This group along with a local Bible scholar follow the paths that Mary and Joseph would have taken to get to Bethlehem. You see the culture, places and people surronding the nativity. The photography is superb and breathtaking as you experience the sights as the group does. They spend the night in a Bedioun tent and experience a horrific sandstorm ( the worst one in 42 years), ride camels, follow the route Mary and Joseph took, You see the Christmas story unfold through the eyes of each member. They end up in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and read the gospel story and how that story will never be the same to each of them. There is also commentary from Bible experts which really highlight the story even more. It was interesting to hear each of them after they got back and processed it all what their final take from the trip was. This DVD has enriched my Christmas season even more and I plan to pass this on to my family so they can experience this marvelous DVD for themselves.

Since I will probably never get to Israel, this DVD showed me what it is like and that is why I am so thankful to Tyndale Publishers for sending me this free just for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Lucado Inspirational Reader

It is always a good day when I get to read a "new" Max Lucado book. He is my all time favorite author and my bookcase is filled with all his books. He has such a gift with the written word that makes sense and puts a new slant on just what the bible is telling us.

His latest book is the "best of the best" of his quotes and anecdotes from his twenty five years of writing books. This collection has his best illustrations, stories, and one liners along with different themes for each chapter. Do you need a dash of faith? Do you need a reminder why the cross is vital, heaven is real and peace is available to you?. If so, this is the book for you to buy-read-re-read and re-read again and again. This book has chapters on the bible, comfort, creation, encouragement, family, faith, forgiveness, heaven, peace, second chances just to name some of them.

I am using this book as a daily devotional along with my other three Max devotionals. Now that is a great way to start each and every day-hope and encouragement for my everyday life.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me this book free just for my honest opinion and for having such a great author on your team.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Daughter's Walk

I love to read Christian fiction and am always surprised when a book surpasses my expectations . This book by Jane Kirkpatrick is just that kind of book. I have read her books before and have not been disappointed. When I read what this one was about it really intrigued me. What actually transpired throughout the story was so compelling and a look at history in the late 1800's and into the 1900's.

It starts in 1896 when Helga and her daughter Clara accept a wager from the fashion industry to walk from Spokane Washington to New York City. It has to be done in seven months and they will win $10,000 which they need to save the family farm from foreclosure. I thought the book would just detail their walk and what happened along the way, but it was so much more in depth. They were gone a year and when they went back home a lot of things have changed and not good things. Clara decides to leave home and walk on alone, leaving the family home and changing her name. This is where the story really begins-with Clara and her continued journey. She is a risk taker in an era where women did not have many rights or independence.

The story ends in 1942 and how the family separations and forgiveness finally begin and a new chapter begins in Clara's life . I found the author's notes and acknowledgments very insightful into the story and just how this book came about.

This was one enjoyable read and I thank Waterbrook/Multnomah for sending me this book free just for my honest opinion of the book.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

House of Secrets

I love Christian fiction so I picked House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson to read since it was a contemporary fiction. I have not read anything by her so I was game to try her. I finished this last week and it has taken me this long to figure out how I felt about this book. I did not dislike it but I did not love it either-figure that one out.
The story centers around Bailee Cooper and her three sisters and their childhood memories that are not all that good. Their father wants them to meet at the summer house with great news to tell them. Problem is, they have not kept in close contact since their mother's death fifteen years ago. Bailee is the mother figure to the sisters and always felt she had to take care of them. The sisters think something sinister happened to their mother and their father was responsible. Were they right or were their memories tainted. The story showed just how damaging that their silence was not only to the sisters but their relationship with their father.
The story delved into the sad story of mental illness and what it does to the person and the family around them. It was a real eyeopener to me just how devastating mental illness can be.
I felt the story dragged somewhat in the middle-too much rehashing of events but in the end it was a satisfying read with how God can heal people and how love prevails.
Thank you to Baker Publishing for this free copy just for my honest review.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lonestar Angel

I love Colleen Coble's writing-let me count the ways. First, she is the only author I would stay up till one in the morning on the day her book came out to ensure I got a copy!!. Second, she always writes a fantastic story with lots of twists and turns. Her books just flow and before you know it you are halfway through the book. Third, I have never been disappointed in any of her books. Fourth, she lives in Indiana like me and is a warm, funny and gracious lady.

This is the fourth in the Lonestar series and I really hope this is not the last. Eden and Clay Larson were married young with a baby girl. This baby girl was stolen and they never found her and Eden left the marriage thinking it was her fault but Clay never signed the divorce papers. Move ahead five years with Eden in a new town (Wabash Indiana-Colleen's hometown) ready to marry someone else when Clay appears to tell her not only are they still married but he believes he has found Brianna in Bluebird, Texas. They head to the Bluebird ranch pretending to be counselors. There are five girls at the ranch and Clay and Eden try to figure out which one is Brianna. Enter the suspense. Someone is trying to kill Eden while various characters from Eden's past start showing up. Which one is the culprit? As usual, I thought I had figured it out, but Colleen usually surprises me and she did this time also.

If you have never read any of her books, please start, she is a gifted storyteller.

I am so grateful to Thomas Nelson for this review copy to read. I am not required to make a positive review but just my own opinions.