Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feminine By Design

Feminine By Design
The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood

Author: Scott T. Brown
Description: Feminine By Design ~ The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood, is written for teenage girls to help them understand biblical femininity. Here Scott Brown explores some of the major passages of scripture that explain it. You will find the biblical texts that he used to teach his own daughters as he sought to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). His intention was to fulfill the appeal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

My thoughts on this book:
Feminine By Design is about God's purpose in creating women. The author includes many scripture references with each subject he touch's on. I felt that some of the verses were taken out of context and they were used to back his opinions, but I did agree with a majority of what he said too. I think it would be a good book for parents and their daughters to go through as a study guide on this subject, but like all things, searching the scripture for themselves to find the truth.

Genres: Femininity, Young Adult, Biblical Womanhood

Monday, December 29, 2014

Waiting for Her Isaac

Waiting for Her Isaac

Author: Stephen & Susie Castleberry

Description: Sixteen-year-old Beth Grant is quite happy with her life and has no desire for any changes. But God has many lessons in store before she is ready for courtship. The story of Beth’s spiritual journey toward godly womanhood is told along with the story of her courtship.

These books are written to encourage the active involvement of their parents as young adults seek a mate. The main characters are committed followers of Jesus Christ, and Christian family values are emphasized throughout. The reader will be encouraged to heed parental advice and to live in obedience to the Lord.

My thoughts on this book:
Waiting for Her Isaac is the story of a young woman who chooses to use her single years to grown in an intimate relationship with Christ. It's perfectly clean and wholesome for all ages.

Beth Grant is perfectly happy with her life... until her family moves. Away from all her friends, Beth struggles to remain content with her situation: single and without her friends. When an accident leaves her crippled in one leg, Beth has the choice to dwell on God's blessings or the bad in her life.

I liked that you could relate to many of the situations in the book. It was encouraging to read about how God used the circumstances in Beth's life for good--A book I would recommend for anyone "waiting for her Isaac".

Genres: Courtship, Young Adult, Biblical Womanhood

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Harvest of Rubies / Book 1

It's Christmas Eve Eve! :) We set up our Christmas tree this week and since the beginning of December the house has been filled with the yummy smell of Christmas goodies. It is such a special time of the year. Often though, we get caught up in the routines of decorating, shopping, baking that we forget the real reason why we celebrate. It's always amazing to think that over two thousand years ago our Savior came to earth as a baby! Sure, babies are born every day but this was no ordinary child; He was perfect, sinless, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world.
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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
Book Title: Harvest of Rubies
Book Series: Harvest Series (Book 1)
Author: Tessa Afshar
(one of my new favorite authors)

Sarah, the prophet Nehemiah's cousin, is Senior Scribe to the Queen of Persia - the only woman to have held such an important post in the Persian Empire. A genius who is more at home with scrolls and accounts than with people, Sarah finds her worth in her achievements.

After solving a particularly thorny plot, she loses the job that is at the center of her life, and finds herself married to a man who despises her. Through the heartache of loss, Sarah discovers the joys of friendship and the peace of God. To her astonishment, she learns that she has something to offer that is worth far beyond her ability with languages and sums. Her very being proves a blessing to others.

Can she win the heart of her stubborn aristocratic husband, whom she has grown to love?
My Review:
This was a fantastic book! I read in about three sitting. (It would have been less but there were things I really had to do.) It was almost unbearable to put the book down. :)
I loved Sarah's and Darius's genuine kindness for others. They had great character traits even with their flaws. Although Harvest of Rubies is the first of two I didn't feel like I was left off hanging. Not that I can't wait to continue their story, but I liked that it had a happy and almost complete ending. I really dislike when books don't have a happy ending. Makes me sad :(
Sarah's newfound relationship with God is really beautiful and I liked the analogy of the grape vines. Can hardly wait to read the next one, Harvest of Gold.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pearl in the Sand

Okay, so this isn't one of my usual "book in a series" review like I not normally do. I just read this book and wanted to review it as a random one. It's not even a new release but it was a really good. Hope you all will read and enjoy it as much as I did.

"By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." Hebrews 11:31

Book Title: Pearl in the Sand
Author: Tessa Afshar

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well-walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith ... of pride; a marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.

My Review: This book is an amazing story of one woman's incredible faith in God. Based on the account in the Bible, Tessa Afshar uses the facts written there as the foundation to her book. Rahab is a woman with a sinful past but through God's mercy, Salmone's love, and her courage she starts a new life in the Israelites' camp. Such a great and encouraging book. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy reading Christian Fiction on Bible characters. I loved it! (Note: The book starts off when Rahab is fifteen but her life in Jericho is not in depth and fairly clean.) 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Releases: In the Field of Grace

Book Title: In the Field of Grace
Publisher: Moody Publishers / River North Fiction

Publication Date: June 15, 2014
(I know this isn't the "newest" book but at least it just came out this year :)

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.

My Review:
I really liked how Tessa Afshar portrayed Ruth. She fit the Bible's description and yet was brought to life in a whole new way than how I had previously pictured her. Ruth is one of my favorite Bible heroines and I was glad that this book was a tribute to her. Besides how the characters were portrayed, the book itself was of good quality. The author did a great job of keeping your attention through an interesting and enjoyable storyline. Definitely a book I'd like to own.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Releases: Spy of Richmond

Book Title: Spy of Richmond
Publisher: Moody Publishers / River North Fiction
Publication Date: March 1, 2015

Trust None. Risk all.

Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone.

Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

My Review:
I liked the title of this book. Spy of Richmond is catchy, in my opinion. The storyline for this book was definitely packed with adventure and excitement. It was a tad confusing though because the author wrote from so many people's perspectives. Maybe this doesn't bother anyone else but for myself I like it when it's written from only two-four. This book had at least six. Also, I didn't feel like the past was explained very well. The author didn't make the previous events in the characters' lives very clear but I think I got the jest of them anyway. I enjoyed the book but it didn't meet up to my standards for a "great" book.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Releases: Esther

Book Title: Esther
Publisher: Bethany House 
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.
When Xerxes, King of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

My Review:
Angela Hunt is a gifted author who takes the minimal details of a hero/heroine in the Bible and creates a story from them. Reading this book made me think of Esther more as a real person than just a Bible character. Some of the details were a bit gruesome so I wouldn't recommend this book for someone younger than fourteen. I didn't care for those scenes but I guess they made the book more authentic because there are actually accounts of them happening. Overall, it was a book I enjoyed. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com