The Longing in Me: How Everything You
Crave Leads to the Heart of God
by Sheila Walsh
I hate to say that I was unfamiliar with Sheila Walsh prior to reading this book but I fixed that problem really quick. This was my first experience with her writing and I was completely blown away. Sheila writes from a very personal place of her history in regards to her childhood, her whirlwind romance but unhealthy marriage, her resulting divorce and her life following while using the story of King David to illustrate how many of the choices we make are created from a longing to be closer to God .
Sheila covers topics such as longing to be chosen and longing to be protected and how our choices reflect those desires. Her writing style is very personal and easy to relate to and the story she weaves between the parallels of King David to our lives today draws you in.
This book resonated with me in so many ways. I spent much of my childhood longing to be accepted for who I am by friends and family, something I still struggle with today.
I highly recommend this book as well as the study guide and study that go along with it.
A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders #2)
by Lori Benton
The second book to Lori Benton's Pathfinders Series, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I absolutely loved the first one. I am thrilled to report that the second book is just as good as the first. Continuing where the first book left off with WIlliam gone and a budding romance between Anna and Two Hawks (Williams twin brother).. Mistakes made in the first book still affect the lives of all involved many years later. This is a story of forgiveness and redemption as we learn about the feelings that William battles with as he struggles with who he really is and where he belongs.
Lori Benton continues to develop the wonderful characters from the first book as we revisit Good Voice, Stone Thrower, and Reginald and the internal conflicts they all face as well as external conflict as the Revolutionary War looms in the future and Colonists encroach on the Native American lands. The characters are honest and make mistakes but the author allows for plenty of growth and grace while tearing at the readers heart strings.
I loved this book and I highly recommend it but I would not read this book as a stand alone. Read book 1 (The Wood's Edge) before reading this one, you won't regret it. You'll really become invested in these characters and the story.
Semi Serious: An Unexpected Journey to a Deeper Faith
by Charlotte Stone
Semi Serious tells the story of a woman who decided she needed a chance from being a school teacher and became a truck driver instead. Following truck driving school and getting a job driving cross country on long hauls, she decided to keep a journal of stories and poetry. The result is a short but sweet book of encouraging and uplifting short stories, some funny and some serious as she tells about her life on the open road and how she devotes her life to the Lord.
Part journal, part scrapbook, part devotional - at times, the book can seem a bit disjointed but that's almost part of it's charm. It's honest and refreshing, encouraging and enlightening. It's a cute and easy read .
Second Chances: Finding Healing for Your Pain, Regaining Your Strength, Celebrating Your New Life
by Pat Smith
You may not know the name Patricia Smith (formerly Patricia Southall) but you are probably familiar with the former Miss Virginia's (and first runner up in the 1994 Miss USA) husband, former Dallas Cowboys superstar and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. You are probably also familiar with her ex husband, comedian Martin Lawrence. However, Patricia Smith has plenty to offer on her own accord.
The theme behind this wonderful book is that everyone deserves a 2nd chance, or a 3rd or 4th or however many chances it takes. Sometimes a fresh start and a new perspective on life is what one needs in order to get their life back on track and to see the path God wants us to take for our lives. It discusses many different aspects of life, from marriages to spiritual issues.
While I am not necessarily the target audience for this book (it seems to be written more for women of color), there's plenty of gems of wisdom to be found by any reader. Fans of T.D. Jakes will enjoy the forward he and Serita Jakes wrote at the beginning of this book.
They Were Christians: The Inspiring Faith of Men and Women Who Changed the World
by Crist Krusen
It's only been in recent years that I find myself drawn to historical figures that I found boring back in school. This book not only was a fascinating look at well known people such as John Rockefeller, Abraham Lincoln, Fydor Dostoyevsky and Florence Nightingale but also many I had never heard of in my life such as Dag Hammarskjold, Frank Pais, and Chiune Sugihara.
This book focuses on the lives of 12 individuals who not only made a huge impact on the world during their lifetime but who also were Christians and devoted to their faith. Whether it was the start of the Red Cross organization, rescuing 6000 Jews by issuing travel Visas to Japan, or a Cuban revolutionary, the author provides a glimpse into their lives and into the faith that was their foundation.
This book really makes you realize that God can direct you move bigger mountains than you can ever imagine.
5 Minutes with Jesus
by Sheila Walsh
While The Longing in Me was my first experience with Sheila Walsh's writing, it left me longing for even more. 5 Minutes with Jesus is a nice devotional that understands that the demands that life can be crazy but we can always find at least 5 uninterrupted minutes to spend with Jesus.
A great book to keep on your night stand, it's perfect to reach for first thing in the morning before your feet ever hit the ground. It's quick and easy and more of Sheila's refreshing perspectives on life and faith throughout the course of 50 short individual devotionals and accompanying bible verses for each day. The devotionals are engaging, encouraging and easy to relate to.
I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy a quick all included devotional that doesn't require reaching for additional books or looking up additional scripture.
Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain
by Matt Bays
This book completely took me by surprise and affected me much more than I was expecting. It's no secret that my life has resulted in much pain and bitterness as well as lots of baggage. Much of that pain resulted in my turning my back on my faith of my childhood and only in recent years turning back to God. This is exactly what this book discusses, how we blame God for our pain and turn our back on our faith as a result.
Matt Bays has experienced the very same feelings that I did and asked the same questions that I asked so long ago - Where was God when I was hurt, WHY did he allow it to happen to me, Why did he not protect me when I was only a child. He experienced so many hardships, one after another that left him just as broken as I felt from my own abuse. I felt betrayed by God and it was so amazing to know that many of the feelings I felt were not unfounded or unusual. And like myself, he went though his own journey of dealing with that pain and betrayal only to come out on the other side with the understanding that God never betrayed us but was with us though it all. Even when we turn our back on him as a result, he is left waiting for us to return to him with open arms, willing to take that pain from us and to replace it with his love.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who has felt similar feelings in regards to their faith.