A Gift of Love by Sue Lovett Ray

This was a very enjoyable book to read. It was written very simply but from the heart. I felt like the author was my grandmother, sitting down for a visit and her sharing personal stories about her life.
Some stories made me laugh, and some made me want to cry. I have read many books about the great depression. This one gave me an inside look of not only the hardships family face but a glimpse of the struggles of a widow with a large family.
In spite of all the difficulties they faced, the book is written on a positive note. Not only the mother but the children also showed great courage, strength and determination in the face of seemingly impossible situations.
I was so impressed with the love and selflessness of each member of her family. It is easy to see how strong character was a byproduct of those times. This would be an excellent book for children to read. Not only to show them how blessed they are, but also to see you don’t’ have to have everything you want to be happy.
I received this book free from the Hannibal Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

We live in an Amish area and these quite gentle people and their way of life have always fascinated me. I admire their simple living and have often wondered what it might be like to make that commitment. So when I saw the title of this book I was immediately drawn to it. While I respect their no frills way of living, I know without a doubt I would not be able to live that way completely.
I was hoping that the book would share ways for me to make choices to incorporate their basic lifestyle into mine. The author did an excellent job of addressing the very core of their values and priorities. I was not disappointed.
It was interesting to learn about their daily routines and family life in greater detail than I had known before. The chapters are divided into fundamental areas of life we share just as people and families (with the exception of the chapter on technology). She shares the Amish beliefs and practices in each one then compares it to how the majority of non-Amish folks live. She offers her personal experiences, ways we can simplify and integrate their practices into our lives, and she also shares many scriptures to illustrate the biblical truth of their culture.
The book was a real eye-opener and made me examine how I was living more closely. She wasn’t preachy nor did she make me feel inferior for not making the same choices she did. I felt like she was merely sharing information for me to make a decision.
At the end of each chapter I really liked the “Let’s Sum It Up”. It allowed me to review all the material in a nut shell. At the end of the book are some wonderful recipes to try.
While I admire the author for the drastic changes her family made in their day to day living, I know I would not be able to go to that extreme. Her husband and children were all on board and that isn’t going to happen with me. Nevertheless she gave me all I need to incorporate these ideas into my life personally.

I received this book free from the Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – Week 9

Wow, 9 weeks has gone by so fast! In all other countries the elderly are respected and esteemed. The younger generation looks to their widsom and insight from the years of experience. Amberica is one of the few countries where this is not so. It saddens me becasue the older generations have so much to teach and share.
On the other hand I see many older people being hypercritical of the younger ones. While they may not agree with their dress, music and other choices. The older people must look at the inward person of each youth and seek to minister and reach there. All the things they are exposed to in media, school, and the world in general gives them the message that they aren’t measuring up. They need our love and time.
It is essential for older people to encourage the younger. Who else will. Their peers are usually competing with them and going through their own struggles and confusion. The Bible tells us to encourage one another and that includes the youth.
If a church offers such a program that is great, but I believe it is a responsibility of each individual to reach out. That would be like saying my church doesn’t have a program for witnessing so I can’t do it.
Satan wants our youth and the future of God’s work under his control. It is up to us to pass the torch and guide those stepping into our shoes

Ruth’s Redemption by Marlene Banks

Ruth’s Redemption was different than any historical novel I have read. I found it extremely interesting and entertaining. It is the first fiction novel I have read about the life of slaves before the Civil War.
The story gave a great deal of detailed information into the lives of both extremes of slavery; the free landowning slave and a female slaved used strictly for breeding purposes. I especially liked the fact that while the story is fiction the basis for it is true.
I was heartbroken and sickened at the atrocities these people faced. Bo Peace bought a terribly abused female slave name Ruth. His plan was to let her heal and give her the gift of freedom he enjoyed. She was defiant, very damaged emotionally and unreachable. Gradually Bo’s Christ like kindness and patience began to touch her and she opened up. So filled with bitterness and hatred she had trouble understanding unconditional love of man and God.
I appreciated the strong faith in God of the main characters. Throughout the story there was a lot of scripture and strong biblical principles. These were woven throughout the story and shown in the lives of the characters as they applied them.
I was intrigued not only with the glimpse of the day to day life of slaves in the 1800’s, but also a detailed looked at the racial prejudice and extreme ill-treatment of all Negros. The story was well written, Christian values strong and historical insight fantastic. Definitely one I would urge all my friends to read this book!
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review.