A Call To Mercy



Published to coincide with Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy and the Vatican’s canonization of Mother Teresa, this new book of unpublished material by a humble yet remarkable woman of faith whose influence is felt as deeply today as it was when she was alive, offers Mother Teresa’s profound yet accessible wisdom on how we can show mercy and compassion in our day-to-day lives.
For millions of people from all walks of life, Mother Teresa’s canonization is providentially taking place during Pope Francis’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This is entirely fitting since she is seen both inside and outside of the Church as an icon of God’s mercy to those in need.
Compiled and edited by Brian Kolodiejckuk, M.C., the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for sainthood, A Call to Mercypresents deep yet accessible wisdom on how we can show compassion in our everyday lives. In her own words, Mother Teresa discusses such topics
        the need for us to visit the sick and the imprisoned
        the importance of honoring the dead and informing the ignorant
        the necessity to bear our burdens patiently and forgive willingly
        the purpose to feed the poor and pray for all
        the greatness of creating a “civilization of love” through personal service to others
Featuring never before published testimonials by people close to Mother Teresa as well as prayers and suggestions for putting these ideas into practice, A Call to Mercy is not only a lovely keepsake, but a living testament to the teachings of a saint whose ideas are important, relevant and very necessary in the 21st century.

As I sit here, hands above the keyboard, pondering about what I should write about A Call To Mercy I realize how my opinion on this book does not matter.

When I say that it doesn’t mean my opinion doesn’t hold value, it just means that how can one like myself even begin to critique a book a a women whose whole heart sought after a living God.

I grew up listening to stories of this amazing women, due to a Catholic upbringing. My grandmother spilled tears when learning of her death, yet she never even met her.

In reading this book over the Christmas season, a season where everyone “gives” it makes me think of what happens next. What happens after Christmas is done? Mother Theresa is still an inspiration even after her death. But she would be the first to admit her desperate need for God.

I loved this book. I loved the reminder as we leave the Christmas season of how much we have and how much more we should be giving away. I loved her heart for the “least of these”. She was such an amazing example of the love of Jesus.

Number of Pages: 384

Vendor: Image

ISBN: 0451498208

ISBN-13: 9780451498205

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

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100 Most Encouraging Verses



The 100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible

Everyone struggles with discouragement as they face various trials of life, big or small. Whether you are struggling with your health, family, job, or relationships, God wants to give you hope and peace again.

What does he want you to know and remember in the hard times? This book goes straight to the source of all Truth to reveal how much God loves you and how he’s right by your side through thick and thin. The 100 verses that are highlighted include well-known passages as well as hidden treasures you may have never read. Each verse is followed by a brief devotional reading that will help you find understanding and comfort from the text–and in the process draw you ever nearer to God. The book’s length and focus make it perfect as a daily meditation or to read as a family. It also makes an ideal gift for those who love the Bible and seek the hope of God’s promises.

100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible is a fun little devotional type book.  Because honestly who doesn’t need encouragement now and then?

These verses are presented in order in which they are found in the Bible and for some reason I really liked that. There were a lot of verses in there that you would expect:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Jeremiah 29:11

Pslam 27:1

But even with those familiar verses I really liked the explanations. For example with the Proverbs verse the entire devotion part was focused on one word….Trust. What it means to trust. I never really thought of the verse that way before.

I think this is a really good devotional for anyone who does need encouragement. I think this is just a good devotional in general.

 Number of Pages: 112

Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764217607

ISBN-13: 9780764217609

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

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Fatal Frost



Mehl Ramps Up the Suspense in This Brand-New U.S. Marshals Series

Mercy Brennan followed in her father’s footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she’s assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis’s most powerful gang.

When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent–a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy’s ex-boyfriend–to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety.

Initially unaware of the danger she’s in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy’s frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn’t until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive–if help is even coming at all?

I really adore discovering new authors. Not that Nancy Mehl is a new author but I have finally read one of her books… and really really enjoyed it! Fatal Frost is the first book in Mehl’s new series Defenders of Justice.

If I said it before I will say it again, I think contemporary Christian fiction is one of the hardest genres to write. Yet, Mehl executed it so well.  I thought Mercy Brennan was an amazing female lead. What a complex character.

Mark St. Laurent was another character that a truly enjoyed. He was patient yet persistent. It was refreshing to see the team he and Mercy made. He could be protective with out overbearing.

Overall this was a really a good book. I enjoyed the real life situations of this book. It was like I could turn on the news and have this book be relevant. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (November 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217777


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

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Inspiralize Everything



Oh yeah I totally jumped on this bandwagon. I have no shame that it was for one reason…..curly fries. Yeah my dorkiness knows no bounds. So when Inspiralize Everything came out I knew I had to have this cookbook!

This encyclopedia/cookbook is soooo fantastic.  Each section starts with the ingredient, a little bit about that ingredient, nutritional benefits, and more! I never knew parsnips were good for you! 😉

I have this book tagged up for all the recipes I want to try. I am also hoping my noodle loving youngest child will be willing to try all the new types of noodles I will be making. Oh but there is so much more than noodles as well.

Out of all the cookbooks that I have read, I have to admit that I have never seen a Chicago Style Carrot Dog. I will admit is frightened me a bit. Chicago girl here and yeah, you just can’t mess with the classics. 😉

But overall this cookbook is awesome. So many amazing pictures, nutritional facts, gluten free, and dairy free. This book is so well set up and all the pictures look so yummy.

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (August 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101907452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101907450

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

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All The Pretty Things



“The night the trailer burned down, I think Daddy was the one who set it on fire. . . . “

For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality: a poverty-stricken world where getting out seemed impossible. Where, at twelve years old, she taught herself to drive a truck so she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar. Where the grownups ate while the children went hungry. Where, when the family trailer burned down, she couldn’t be caught squawlin’ over losing her things—she just had to be grateful anyone had remembered to save her at all.

And at the center of it all, there was her daddy. She never knew when he would show up; she learned the hard way that she couldn’t count on him to protect her. But it didn’t matter: All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie “made doctor,” achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. But her past caught up with her—and it would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father’s love.

I am so thankful for this book and its transparency. All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadworth is not only a stunning debut novel…. it’s also her memoir.

Its easy to say that I loved this book. What isn’t easy is what this book is about. Edie’s story is not a pretty one. Alcoholic father, being raised by a single mother, crazy family, and of course complete instability.

As we travel with Edie on her journey she lets us peek into her mind and what she struggled with. The writing itself was so easy to read and yet the content just tore at ones heartstrings. There is nothing but vulnerability on these pages.

Yet for me there was also something so relate able to Edie’s story. I understood it, even sympathized through many of its pages. I understand looking for that something that is missing, even if you don’t understand just yet what truly is missing. I loved this book. So amazingly well written and raw.

Go!! Read it now if you can…. but be prepared it may not leave you the way it found you.

Number of Pages: 272

Vendor: Tyndale Momentum

ISBN: 149640338X

ISBN-13: 9781496403384

Tyndale provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Nourishing Meals



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Waves of Mercy



Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.


Oh Lynn Austin what an amazing book you have written in Waves of Mercy.

Now I don’t hide the fact that I love Lynn Austin but lately some of her books just haven’t been for me. They were good, just not my taste. Oh I am so glad I read and loved this one.

I loved the two stories and how they were written. But more importantly I loved how this story could be any one of us. Shouldn’t we glean  information and the beauty of God’s provision from other’s stories.

I will admit I loved Geesje’s story just a bit more than Anna’s. But I have always adored historical fiction of that era. As crazy as this sounds I have always admired the bravery of those who came and founded this land.

This book is written in typical Austin style with the different story lines, but it rivals one of my other favorites of her’s.(Eve’s Daughters) But it is easy to read with enough twists and turns to keep you interested, crying, smiling, and many more feels.


Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764217615
ISBN-13: 9780764217616


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

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Newton & Polly



Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves.

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

Why would you read a book when you already know the story…. Because Jody Hedlund wrote it, of course! Hedlund does not disappoint in her newest book Newton & Polly.

Hedlund expertly tells the tale of John Newton and Polly Catlett. Her research is phenomenal and I am always amazed by the things I learn by reading her books. I mean not only does she tell a great story but I can learn something too!! Bonus!!

Newton and Polly has such a richness to it. Hedlund just takes you through a whirlwind of emotions. Laughter, tears, fear, and such amazing joy. This story on its own is wonderful and Hedlund does an amazing job of staying true to it. She really is an amazing writer.

I am sure you all know the song Newton wrote. Newton and Polly’s story is one that is crafted by God to bless future generations. I am so glad I read this book and I urge you to read it as well.

Number of Pages: 400

Vendor: WaterBrook

ISBN: 1601427646

ISBN-13: 9781601427649

Blogging for Books gave me this book in exchange for my honest review.

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An estimated 4,000 churches are planted every year. An estimated 3,700 churches close every year. It’s not easy starting or sustaining a vital Christian witness of any kind. It’s even harder when there’s no structure to support the good work you’re doing. Guardrails offers structure to your good impulse to follow the great commission to go and make disciples right where you are.

Guardrails provides six principles that allow for sustainable growth in a church’s mission, for the health of God’s people and the sake of the world.


In Alan Briggs new book Guardrails, he brings real world church growth and health to the forefront of church ministry. His six principles outlined are:

  1. Simple
  2. Holistic
  3. Adaptable
  4. Regular
  5. Reproducible
  6. Positive

Seem simple and almost a no brainer on the surface. The way Alan unpacks these six principles is what sets him apart. Using a solid goal and guardrails to keep you focused. He uses his experiences as a church planter to give examples of both challenges and victories along the way.

If you feel that you are being lead to church plant, disciple people, or are looking for fresh eyes on an old church problem I would give this book a read. But more importantly I would apply those concepts. This book was a great read.


  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (September 15, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631464353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631464355

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

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A Love Transformed



The Riveting Final Story in the Sapphire Brides Series

When Clara Vesper’s husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara is stunned–but not grief-stricken. Her marriage to Adolph had been arranged, their primary interaction revolving around the sapphire jewelry Clara designed and Adolph produced and sold. Widowed and penniless, with two small children, Clara decides to return to her aunt and uncle’s ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy.

Curtis Billingham, injured in a sapphire mine collapse, is recuperating at the ranch of his friends, Paul and Madeline Sersland. But when the Serslands’ niece returns from New York City, Curtis curses both his broken body and his broken past. Clara, the love of his life, has come back to him, but he is no longer worthy of her love.

Clara’s brother-in-law Otto Vesper, Adolph’s business partner, fears that the loss of Clara’s design skills will doom the company’s prospects. Following her to Montana, Otto is prepared to do whatever it takes to get Clara to return with him to New York.

As Clara fights for love and freedom, a dangerous secret in her late husband’s life comes to light, threatening everyone she loves.

I have read a lot of Tracie Peterson. I mean how could you not?? She has written a lot of books. Her newest one, A Love Transformed may be one of her best books yet. It is the final book in  the Sapphire Bride Series, but don’t worry it is a stand alone and you don’t have to read the first two……but you should.

I really liked this book. I adored Clara and her growth as a women and mother in this story. The story starts quick right on the first page and doesn’t quit until the last. Clara is tired of living a life she didn’t want and tired of being bullied, so she decides to take charge.

Curtis was one of the best male characters that I have read in while. He was  strong even among his weaknesses. He was hard but soft. I really appreciated how Peterson developed him.

One of my favorite things about this book was how God used the “bad” for good. Clara’s mother sent her away for the summer to her aunt and uncle’s home and they were the ones that planted that seed of faith in her. That is where Clara wanted to return. I love that concept of you never know what will happen but never be afraid to plant those seeds. You never know what God will do with them.

Peterson wrote an amazing book here. I cannot wait until her next one.

Number of Pages: 352

Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764213385

ISBN-13: 9780764213380

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

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