Thursday, December 22, 2016

Grace for the Moment

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  Grace for the Moment Large Deluxe: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year by Max Lucado is an elegant new edition of a beloved devotional with an embossed imitation leather cover and large "easy-to-read comfort print." The soft cover feels good in the hand and looks just as good on display.

Each daily reading begins with a Scripture verse and features a short devotional with reflects on the theme of grace. The daily sections don't take long to read, but they are powerful in their ability to inspire continued reflection and meditation on their message. Max Lucado has a way of crafting language that really speaks to your heart:

"The final prayer of Jesus was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was for you...On the eve of the cross, Jesus made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you" (p. 115).

Grace for the Moment is beautiful in its simplicity.  It has something for everyone--and picking it up for a few minutes each day is a wonderful way to grow closer to God.

The publisher provided a review copy of Grace for the Moment.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Counterfeit Comforts

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Robia Scott's Counterfeit Comforts: Freedom from the Imposters That Keep You from True Peace, Purpose and Passionis a guide to overcoming the things in life that have become a substitute for what we really need. She candidly tackles issues that everyone can relate to: from indulging on food and drink, binge exercising, excessive spending, to body image dysmorphia, and more. She recounts her own struggles as an example of how to begin healing and discover the true things you really seek. The 'imposters' become a diversion from the true peace we all need through God.

With quotes and Scripture verses throughout, Counterfeit Comforts not only discusses these issues that bring us stress, but it also provides ideas for coping. One such tool is journaling, which the author presents as a method to "uncover and discover" (p. 44). Another is conscious Bible study, focusing on specific verses to train ourselves to hear God when he speaks to us.

The conversational tone of Counterfeit Comforts makes it easy to read and understand. It is a motivating and helpful book that offers encouragement every time you pick it up and will help you grow in your walk with God. We all need peace, and this book goes a long way in providing the tools to get us there.

The publisher provided a review copy of Counterfeit Comforts.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Grandma's Guest Review: A Love Transformed

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Grandma's review of A Love Transformed (Sapphire Brides) by Tracie Peterson

Book three: Sapphire Brides Series

As the novel opens, we find out right away that Clara Vesper's husband Adolph has died suddenly, and that their marriage had been arranged. Clara cared for Adolph, but there was no great love between them. She lives a privileged life, with servants and a big house, but we quickly discover the price she has paid for that life.

Soon into the story, questions arise regarding Adolph's death and his business dealings.

A Love Transformed takes place in 1917, with the Great War beginning. Clara is talented at designing sapphire jewelry, but we are reminded of the state of women at the time the book takes place. She has few rights of her own, and has always been at the mercy of her mother's decisions, or her husband's. Clara has two small children to take care of and has to figure out what to do with her life now that her situation is drastically changed. 

The novel has a lot of intrigue as events unfold, and it is really hard to put down. As secrets are revealed, the pages beg to be turned.

The publisher provided a review copy of A Love Transformed.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Grandma's Guest Review: A Tapestry of Secrets


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A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas features the same family as in the Appalachian Blessings series. Perla is much older now (in her eighties), and has suffered a stroke. Her granddaughter Ella, a quilt artist, becomes her caregiver. I enjoyed how Perla's thoughts were recounted as she struggled to recover from her debilitating stroke--her frustrations with learning to speak again and to get her body to respond as she wants it to.

The 'secret' of the book is the overriding theme as Perla wants to reveal something important from her past, but cannot verbalize it due to the stroke. Ella has her own struggles as the stories of these two women from different generations develop.

This sweet story of family, love, and loss is compelling and relatable. It is a gentle reminder that we are all flawed, but through grace and love, we can learn forgiveness and acceptance.

As a grandmother, I find A Tapestry of Secrets an especially inspirational novel and would recommend it to my friends.

The publisher provided a review copy of A Tapestry of Secrets.