Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shadow of the Mountain - Exodus

"Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are able to overcome it" Numbers 13:30.  You know the rest; giants inhabited the land and Israel let their fear keep them from trusting God to take the land of Canaan for them.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two original survivors left of those who made the journey of the Israelites exodus from Egypt.  In this Biblical history novel, Cliff Graham tells the story of Caleb as he makes ready to attack the city that will be his inheritance.  He is an old man, but refuses to sit idly by and let younger men take the city.  This novel is written as Caleb would tell the story and I found it very engaging.  The battle scenes are realistic and lend a genuine air to the book.  The author does a good job of writing characters that are real to the time they in which they live.  I felt like I was there watching this story take place rather than reading about it several thousand years later.  That is a satisfying read.  
This is a war story and it tells of Caleb's experiences and how his life was shaped by the wars he fought.  It is somewhat graphic but I was able to grasp what the author was saying and lay aside the battle descriptions as I read.  There is very little written about Caleb in the Bible and the author builds his life before meeting Yahweh in a manner that seems as it could have happened.  This is an excellent story for a man to read, as well.  
I won't divulge the details, you must read it. It's just good.
Cliff Graham is a former soldier and officer in the United States Army and he knows how to write about military maneuvers.  He also knows how to write in that nugget of wisdom and knowledge that is gained by a life lived with much experience.
This is the first in Graham's Old Testament Saga.  I will be looking forward to the upcoming volumes.
I give Shadow of the Mountain five stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  These words are my opinion.

I am promoting a fellow blogger today.  You can read there another view of this novel.  I have included a link below;

Thanks for reading!  See you soon!


Book I of Old Testament Saga

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In Firefly Valley

Amanda Cabot has written Book II of the Texas Crossroads series.  Once again, I have dropped unknowingly into the middle of what I see is going to be a good series.  Book I is  At Bluebonnet Lake and I intend to read it to bring me up to date on this series.  I typically like novels with a little bit of edge to them, maybe an old issue that needs resolved.  Or, mysteries and crimes to be solved.  I don't usually read about "everyday people" and/or romance.  But, this one is so much more than that.  What happens when you take a downsized career girl who left home years ago because her father deserted her and her mother and she goes home against her better judgement because it just so happens that her skills can be used there in a paying job, then add in her anger, self-esteem issues and  romance genuinely portrayed (no Cinderella stories here!) ??  I know, run-on sentence but I had to get it all out to give you the full picture. The author's writing guides us to see that this is a story of everyday people with everyday issues that are not common when they are happening to you.  This is life!  Sometimes at its worst, but always at its most real. Add in that the characters have a faith in God that sustains through doubt, trial and fire.  Amanda writes with a clarity that gives ease of reading.  She portrays characters that have human emotions and flaws and makes them real.  I read this in just a few days because I was interested in seeing how it all played out.  It hooked me.  This book is light enough to be a break from harsher, more complex plots, but deep enough to draw the reader in.  What else do you need?!  Excellent book and I highly recommend it.  I give In Firefly Valley five stars.  I have nothing to criticize here, constructively or otherwise.  How refreshing!  Read it;  you'll be glad you did.  By the way, Book III is in the works and scheduled for release in the spring of 2016.
I received a copy of this new release from Revell in exchange for my honest review.  These words are my opinion.
Read more about Amanda Cabot and her novels at Amanda Cabot

Saturday, May 9, 2015


This new release by Eric B. Johnson gives his instruction for living out the reality that Christ is in you, as a believer, and you (we, us, me) should live like it.  His central theme is that God trusts you more than you trust yourself.  
I will tell you right up front, I see good ideas in this book about living like you know that Christ is in you and claiming the power of that knowledge, but I do not wholly subscribe to the author's thought process behind that fact.  This work is well written.  It is easy to read and is not a long book.  All good things for a reader who has a TBR stack and has this title in that pile.  My review of the book based on those things alone would be four to five stars.  
I will give you my thoughts on the subject matter and let you make your own decision about reading "Christ in You" which is what I always attempt to do on this blog.  
Mr. Johnson begins his introduction with the story of his own "rewiring" by God in a few areas of his life.  This took place over a period of about ten years.  He relates that it did not happen overnight but through a series of small instances such as a scripture that stood out to him, or a situation that he was in or an experience that he had.  This rewiring is what led to his writing of this book.  He states our need to love humanity as Christ did, not just as an obligatory action that we choose because the Bible instructs us to love others.  He states, "True love is not obligatory, rather, it comes from a deep place in your heart."  Love for humanity does not always come from a deep place in your heart.  Love for humanity, also known as having a burden for the lost, comes from God who plants that burden in your heart when you live from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who indwells believers.  I say that to say this;  many times feeling follows action.  If we act out the love we know God wants us to have for our fellow human beings, He blesses that effort and in that blessing comes a genuine love for all human beings as He created us in His image.  That is the love of God, perfected in His children.  
The section on The Intent of Grace stresses the importance of our living not as "sinners saved by grace" which is a common thought, but to live as saved people, no longer sinners. Citing I Tim. I: 8-13,  he states (pp. 96) that "...I believe what Paul is saying is "I was a chief sinner, but because of Christ's death and resurrection, I am now a righteous person through Him."  Our righteousness is a work in progress, daily striving to attain that perfection in Christ.  Becoming a Christian does not cause God to instantly make us righteous. 
Mr. Johnson has a section in this work entitled "Co-Laboring with God" which is a good idea and a good goal.  He states (pp.116) "It is fun to see how God allows the ideas of His people to become part of His plan."  God does not take your ideas and make them part of His plan.  His plan was put in place before the creation of man.  The author quotes Ephesians 2:1-10 which says "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  I am not seeing our ideas in that.  I do see God calling us to join Him where He is and do the works that He has prepared beforehand because they are the best work we can do.  
I am disappointed that this book only talks about being put on earth to do good.  We were first put here to be companions to God.  We blew that but our loving Heavenly Father put a plan in place for us to be able to have that companionship with Him once again.  Our charge is found in Matthew 28:19-20.  Reaching out to others with the love of God by serving the unlovely and sinners such as ourselves is what brings us the reality that Christ lives in us and that God trusts us more than we trust ourselves. 
These points I have mentioned are but a few from the book that stood out to me as I read. 
I give "Christ In You" three stars.  It is worth the cover price but must be read with discernment and an eye to scripture.  
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Chosen, for the purposes of review.  These words are my opinion.
Thanks so much for being here!  See you soon!