Unimaginable

 

 

In a day when Christians are often attacked for their beliefs, professor and speaker Jeremiah Johnston offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In Unimaginable, you’ll discover the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world–and has been since the first century AD–including:
· How the plights of women and children in society were forever changed by Jesus
· Why democracy and our education and legal systems owe much to Christianity 
· How early believers demonstrated the inherent value of human life by caring for the sick, handicapped, and dying
· How Christians today are extending God’s kingdom through charities, social justice efforts, and other profound ways

Like It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic film that showed George Bailey how different Bedford Falls would be without his presence, Unimaginable guides readers through the halls of history to see how Jesus’ teachings dramatically changed the world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today. This provocative and enlightening book is sure to encourage believers and challenge doubters.

 

 

Unimaginable, what an interesting word choice for the title of Jeremiah Johnston’s new book. Such a simple and yet profound word.

Johnston’s goal with his book is to try to imagine what life would be like without Jesus and Christianity. Now when I read that the first time I actually kind of chuckled and wondered “You can fit that all into one book?”

While I am sure Johnston can come up with more examples this is such a strong book. Obviously since I am a Christian  you would think that I would naturally agree with everything written. Well the truth is no.

I really do adore a good debate and love listening to people’s opinions. While each chapter had its own point to make, and did, the book still flowed well. There were things that I had never thought about before. Things I think about often. But I enjoyed gaining greater insight into these perspectives of Johnston’s.

I would definitely recommend reading this book. I do feel that you may have to love history a bit to enjoy this book. Overall though it is a good read.

One last thing….. to me living in a sinful world I don’t find it a hard stretch of the imagination to see what the world would be like without Jesus. What I do find Unimaginable is a future without Him.

 

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0764230816
ISBN-13: 9780764230813

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Where the Fire Falls

 

 

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. 

    After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? 

    As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

 

This is the first book I have read by Karen Barnett. Let me say Where the Fire Falls  was such an amazing book!

I am so glad I discovered Barnett. I swear every time I discover an author my “to read” list just grows.

I adored Olivia and Clark’s story. I think that their story was written in such a way that blended their surroundings in with them. I know that sounds odd but I believe this story was not just about Olivia and Clark but about Yosemite National Park as well.

I learned so much about the Yosemite’s history as well. Barnett was so descriptive there were times that I could just imagine being there.

But, this was also an excellent story of God’s grace and His redemptive power and timing. All of it was just woven together into this stunning novel, Where the Fire Falls.

This book just made me want to hop into the car and go see this picturesque land myself. When a book can do that, you know it is a treasure.

 

 

Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0735289565
ISBN-13: 9780735289567
Series: Vintage National Parks

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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The Heart’s Appeal

 

 

Strong-minded and independent Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. She witnesses a serious accident, and through her quick actions saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its money and its respectability, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought was impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to rise above his family’s stigma and set him on the path to wealth and recognition. But his well-laid plans are upended when the accident brings Julia into his life. 

Michael soon discovers he’s met a woman every bit as stubborn and determined to make her mark on the world as he is. Sparks fly–but will they find common ground?

 

Jennifer Delamere’s newest book The Heart’s Appeal is the second book the the London Beginings series. Now I haven’t read the first in the series and I can say that it didn’t effect my understanding of this book.

There were some things I really liked about the book and some things I wasn’t crazy about.

First, this was a story about Julia and Micheal finding each other and despite being from two different worlds fall in love. While I know the book was about them part of me was dissappointed with a lack of chemistry. Don’t get me wrong they were cute but I just felt they were a little lacking.

Now that being said, the rest of the characters were vibrant and fun. They all had many layers to them and depth. My favorites had to be David and Lady Edith. I felt there was just so much more to their stories!

I loved the topics being disscussed. Women’s rights was a huge topic during this time period. I also loved the breaking through of class distinctions. Or that nouveau riche if you will. Those themes carried this book.

All in all it wasn’t a bad book. It was even charming at times. I may try the first book in the series to see how that one is.

 

 

Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219219
ISBN-13: 9780764219214

 

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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A Refuge Assured

 

 

 

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

 

 

I have read many books by Jocelyn Green………… but A Refuge Assured is my favorite.

This is such a remarkable example of historical fiction at its best.

This novel, one could feel Vivienne’s pain as she lifted her blood soaked hands from the streets. Or Liam’s internal struggle with who to defend with the whiskey task.

Green was so descriptive there were times I really felt as if I was there. Green must have done extensive research and it paid off beautifully.

There are just so many layers to Vivienne’s and Liam’s story. Rest assured this book is worth every single page.

What a wonderful example of know your history otherwise you are doomed to repeat it.

I can easily say this is the best book I have read in a long time. In fact I would go and read it a second time.

 

 

Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219073
ISBN-13: 9780764219078
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The Empowered

 

Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.

He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.

 

I really am all over the place with Craig Parshall’s newest book The Empowered.

This is the first time I have read anything by Parshall. I think I should have started with a different book. The Empowered is the second book in the Trevor Black series and while it is said to be able to stand alone…….I really felt in reading this that I needed to read the  first book to understand more of the background content that was being referred to.

Don’t misunderstand, yes you can read this book as a stand alone, but for me personally I think I need to go back and read the first book. There were heavy topics discussed in this book from murder to sex trafficking, but there should be a light shed on these dark topics.

There were many things I liked about this book. Quick moving plot, the characters, the way Parshall didn’t shy away from truly dark things in this world. But there were a couple things that left me….thinking.

While Parshall has a technically well written book, that was just it, it felt technical. Like all the right pieces and components were there but I just felt something was missing. Again don’t get me wrong, well written book, just the style is unique.

Overall though I do want to go back and read the first in the Trevor Black Series and will read any more in the series if they publish more.

 

  • Series: A Trevor Black Novel
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496411372

 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Power Plates

 

 

Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan.

These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal–things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena’s simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

 

You know those times when you just want something different??

 

Well, that is my whole purpose behind choosing Power Plates to review. I love trying new recipes and ideas. Even new ways of cooking. Thankfully my husband (despite his resistance to the fact it is a Vegan cookbook) is willing to try anything.

I will admit there were one or two ingredients that I was unfamiliar with, but once I looked them up I was excited to try them.

Some our favs were:

Protein Packed Caesar Salad ( The oldest kid loves Caesar salad)

Vegetable Harvest Pie (I almost fooled the husband….OK not really but he did try it!)

Spanish Quinoa

 

While I was skeptical of the Spanish Quinoa because lets be honest……Chorizo may be one of my most loved things…..of all time!!! It didn’t turn out like I expected but it was still super yummy!!

I love all the pictures and descriptions that come along with the recipes. For someone who has never really dipped her toes into the Vegan scene before, this cook book was not overwhelming at all. I will definitely be using this cook book again!!

Thanks to Gena Hamshaw  at The Full Helping for making such a great book!

 

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399579052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399579059

 

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Out Of The Ashes

 

 

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs. 

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she’s agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past. 

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel’s nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what’s been broken for so long?

 

 

What a charming book that Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse have written. Well maybe charming isn’t the correct word.

Engaging

Wonderful

Or even just a GOOD book

Even though this is the second book in The Heart Of Alaska series, Out Of The Ashes can be a stand alone book. (Although I will now have to go back and read the first one!!) Seriously why do I always find these books midway in the series!!

I really did like this book. The whole group of characters were so good. Personally I loved the French part because it just reminds me so much of my family. I adored Jean Micheal’s willingness and confusion when attempting to help his sister Collette.

Katherine and Jean Micheal were a couple that I could see myself being friends with. They were damaged and came back together with much baggage. I loved how the authors made their journey be about steps. While I don’t doubt God can heal immediately, it is a struggle to deal with things when you have been hurt as badly as they were.

I do hope there is more to this series!!

 

 

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219243
ISBN-13: 9780764219245
Series: Heart of Alaska

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The Last Arrow

 

 

Before You Die,
Live the Life
You Were Born
To Live.

When you come to the end of your days, you will not measure your life based on success and failures. All of those will eventually blur together into a single memory called “life.”

What will give you solace is a life with nothing left undone. One that’s been lived with relentless ambition, a heart on fire, and with no regrets.

On the other hand, what will haunt you until your final breath is who you could have been but never became and what you could have done but never did.

The Last Arrow is your roadmap to a life that defies odds and alters destinies. Discover the attributes of those who break the gravitational pull of mediocrity as cultural pioneer and thought leader Erwin McManus examines the characteristics of individuals who risked everything for a life they could only imagine. Imagine living the life you were convinced was only a dream. 

We all begin this life with a quiver full of arrows.

Now the choice is yours. Will you cling to your arrows or risk them all, opting to live until you have nothing left to give?

Time is short. Pick up The Last Arrow and begin the greatest quest of your life.

 

 

As I sit here, hands hovered over the keyboard wondering what to write about The Last Arrow, I am truly trying to digest what I just read.

Erwin McManus’ new book, The Last Arrow, goal is to get you to grab a hold of your life make it your own.  He bases most of his book on when the King of Israel met with the prophet Elisha. How we need to finish the work that God calls us to do in out lives. Not just stop in the middle of it or when it gets hard.

While McManus’ book was suppose to be about encouraging one to break free and live the life one is suppose to live, it sometimes felt the McManus hour. Lots of stories about his life experiences.

While I found the book to be an easy read and at times encouraging, for me personally I would have liked more Bible tie ins. Don’t get me wrong he mentions the Bible, but that’s it, he just mentions it. There was no real digging deep or true application.

If you are looking for a book that is encouraging and motivating then this could be your book. If you are looking for something to help you dig into scripture…. this may not be your book. Overall not a bad book, just not one that I would read again.

 

 

 

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601429533
ISBN-13: 9781601429537

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Enter the Ring

 

 

Enter the Ring takes a fresh, powerful, vulnerable approach to marriage by framing it as the fight that it is. The world uses different assaults and tactics to distract us, tempting us to walk away, in order to destroy our marriages. But there is hope: The constant forgiveness, grace, and intervention of God can preserve and protect us from not only the world but also ourselves.

D. A. and Elicia Horton explore the tension of two people becoming one and how spouses often fight over which “one of us” they become. They unpack topics such as

  • Seasons of suffering
  • Communication
  • Sexual and physical intimacy
  • The spiritual life of the home
  • Money

This book approaches the traditional topics of a marriage book with the brutal and life-giving honesty of two millennials who have fought together for their marriage. All topics are addressed through the vulnerable lens of the authors’ own struggles and mistakes.

This is a no-holds-barred, real-world . . . marriage book.

 

 

Let me just say…… I am on the ropes with this book.

Don’t get me wrong Enter the Ring  was a good book but I had a hard time relating to some of D.A. and Elicia Horton’s stories. I did find their transparency refreshing and honorable though.

Do I believe marriage should be saturated in the Gospel……ABSOLUTELY. Are our marriages always??? No.

It was good to be reminded of what a marriage that is God honoring looks like. That it isn’t perfect. It is messy. But it is also loving and forgiving.

D.A. and Elicia didn’t shy away from the ugly part about marriage. You come into a marriage as two messy people with baggage. Sifting that out and sometimes getting to the root of the problem isn’t easy.

More than anything though I loved the theme of “It is worth it.” They didn’t come right out and say that, but you could feel that through the whole book. Not Easy…..Just worth it.

I would definitively hand this book to married couples that have been married for less than 5-10 years.

 

 

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (January 2, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 163146695X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631466953

 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage

 

 

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for? 

Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

 

Dear Julie Klassen,

 

Have you ever written a bad book? I have read all your books and this newest addition, The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage is so wonderful.

I loved Reading about Jane, Mercy, and Rachel. But, even better than that, I loved reading about the whole village. There was so much character depth from all the characters.

Can I just say how much I loved when Rachel told the girls the story of the prince and princess.  I loved how despite things not turning how she planned, she realized her story was not a sad story at all. I love that she would choose joy despite her circumstances.

There is no doubt Mrs. Klassen that God have gifted you with an amazing writing ability. I am so thankful that you use it the way you  do. This series so far is so charming. I love that way you write and the time period you write in.

So, to my friends…..GO! Read this book. It is a stellar example of not just quality Christian Fiction but quality writing as well.

Forever a Reader,

Danni

 

  • Series: Tales from Ivy Hill (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764218158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764218156

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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