Rich in Years: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life By Johann Christoph Arnold

There may be more books on the subject of aging, but I haven’t seen them. I was so excited to read this one. I haven’t ever found many seniors that talk openly about growing older. I am 60 years old and I want to have an idea about what’s ahead; the unvarnished truth!
In many other societies, the aged members are respected and admired. They are viewed as an important part of the families and the culture. The youth worshipping society of the United States views aging as something to avoid at all costs. No wonder so many elderly people speak of feeling useless and not needed. I know God’s Word says that growing old is an honor and a blessing. Every year we are alive means God still has a purpose for us here on earth.
I liked the fact this was written by a senior. The many scriptures throughout the book are a guide to seeing growing old from God’s point of view. The author doesn’t sugar coat anything but addresses issues of aging head on: failing health, loneliness, the death of family and loved ones, dependency on others, and more. Mr. Arnold helps one see that these are not the enemies of old age, but our attitude toward them. Yes there are things we will lose as we leave younger years behind, but there is much to gain. Is the glass half empty or half full? There is still much to be enjoyed and savored, only not in the way we did in the past.
He even addresses facing death. Death is as much a part of life as living, and as Christians, the Lord is with us every step of the way, even to our last breath. As we trusted Him to care for us in our life, we can trust Him when it is our time to die.
The individual stories he shared about seniors who face their challenges with courage and joy were very inspiring. This was made even more personal by pictures of those people. This book is filled with hope and encouragement. It was beautifully and sensitively written. People of all ages need to read it.
I received this book free from Handlebar Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Stopping Words That Hurt by Dr. Michael D. Sedler

Fair warning! If you are going to read this book you will have to put your big girl/ big boy pants on! I guarantee you the Holy Spirit is going to convict you! It isn’t a book to be read just once or even twice, but many times and studied along with the scriptures. It isn’t going to give you a quick read it, fix it solution. . It does give you the tools to make a lifelong pursuit of making your words pleasing to God, written, spoken or even listening to others. Be ready to get serious!
I have read many books on the subject of the tongue and this is by far the most thorough and extensive. As soon as you begin reading you will think of someone who is offensive and cruel in their speech. The gossip, the slanderer, the critic, will all pop into your head, probably with people’s names attached. Stop yourself and focus on looking at yourself. After all, by reading this book, you are the only one you can help change.
Words can be a slippery hole of transgression we easily fall into, damaging not only our lives but the lives of others. The sad part is we so easily excuse ourselves, thinking it really isn’t that important, then “corrupt communication” becomes an
unconscious way of life. Mr. Sedler covers so many areas that one rarely thinks to look at. He also helps you view our communication from God’s perspective. At the end of each chapter are questions for self-examination.
This book is well written and easy to read. I like the multitude of scriptures the author uses to guide you, and also the answers he gives to help you apply them. A powerful book!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Home For My Heart by Anne Mateer

If anyone has a heart and understanding for the children at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children, it is Sadie Sillsby. She was once one of those children. Her dedication, hard work, and love for the children cannot be matched. While she is very happy to be assistant matron at the orphanage, she is looking forward to marrying her sweetheart, Blaine. They are waiting for him to save enough money to buy land for their new home. Everything is neatly planned out. That is until the head matron resigns to be married herself, as all matrons must remain single. Sadie is appointed new head matron and jumps at the chance, quickly signing the contract before even consulting Blaine.
She is sure he will be surprised and happy because her higher salary will increase his savings toward the land. Well Blaine is surprised, but he is not happy! He wanted to surprise her and he had just signed a mortgage on the land so they could be married right away! Blaine wants Sadie to quit her new job and she feels she is obliged to work for one year. Where would they find a new matron that truly knows the children and the orphanage in such short notice? He tells her she must choose between him and the children. She chooses the children believing it is the right thing to do. Both of their hearts are broken, each believing the other does not truly love them or they would yield.
Very quickly Sadie learns there is much more to being matron than meets the eye. Not only the load of responsibility for the children and running the home, but the severe financial trouble the home is in. The board tells her they must close the home in 1 year unless money is raised to meet its financial needs. She must somehow raise funds and keep the closing a secret from everyone! She also feels she must prove herself because is looked down upon being an orphan herself once. I could feel her pressure and frustration in trying to do everything in her own strength.
She still loves Blaine and the pain of their broken relationship never stops hurting. Then Earl, a dashing, charming representative from the Children’s Aid Society appears, offering his expertise to help her save the home. Is Earl all he professes to be, or has Satan sent his best to confuse Sadie’s affections?
Sadie’s great faith in God and constant prayer, even in the face of defeat and impossibilities leads her through many difficulties and uncertainties. This is a beautiful story learning that circumstances do not always dictate God’s plan for us. Through her trials and suffering Sadie grows and matures. She learns there are people she over looked as she had been overlooked and she judged because of their humble beginnings as she had been judged. Most importantly, she recognizes when you turn everything over to God, He can bring about the perfect solution to our problems in ways we never imagined. A beautifully written book.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

Felicia Murdock is young, beautiful, wealthy and to say the least a bit quirky! She had her life planned out as so many young women do, and felt it was her destiny to marry Reverend Frasier. For many years she had worked at changing everything about herself, her dress, activities, and personality to become the perfect pastor’s wife. The story opens as she is returning from the reverend’s marriage ceremony . . . to someone else!!
She is of course crushed and devastated as she was positive it was the Lord’s leading for her to marry him. After being restrained by her own devices for so long, the real Felicia bursts out even more outlandish and unpredictable than ever before. The entire community is stunned at the beautiful, shapely young woman that has been hidden by her bizarre “modest” clothing, but not as shocked as they are at her unrestrained spirit!
Totally unprepared for such a dynamo of a woman, Grayson Sumner is persuaded to spend time with her to cheer her up. She is constantly putting them in all sorts of dilemmas, problems, close calls, and even danger. Mr. Sumner finds himself overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and spontaneity but at the same time becoming increasingly attracted to her sincerity and innocence. He fights falling in love with her because his past holds some shady secrets that he feels would not only cause Felicia to reject him, but more seriously endanger her life.
This book is hilarious, suspenseful and action packed! I guess I would have to compare Felicia somewhat to a Victorian Lucille Ball! I had such fun reading it. I found it very different than most Christian fiction novels!
While I was entertained there were also many spiritual lessons within the story. One is how we often make our plans and put God’s name on them. Then we wonder why they don’t work out! Another important lesson is that we are often afraid that if others know of our failures, they can’t love or accept us. When the truth is if someone truly loves those failures won’t matter. “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
This was my first book of Jen Turano’s and I look forward to reading more!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

CONFESSIONS OF A BOY-CRAZY GIRL By Paula Hendricks

I believe this is a book every preteen girl, teen girl, young woman and their mothers should read! As crazy as it sounds I think it is appropriate for grown women who are caught in the trap of thinking they need a man to be complete and happy.
A great deal of damage is done to young girls and their future relationship with their husbands by society’s and parent’s acceptance and even encouragement that being “boy crazy” is normal. There is nothing “normal” about it and I do not believe it is God’s plan for the spiritual and emotional well-being of women of all ages.
Paula does an amazing job of addressing this subject, not only from personal experience, but also from the Bible and the heart. This is not a big book but it is so well written that it holds an encyclopedia of wisdom! She beautifully illustrates how the modern day obsession to attract the opposite sex and secure a “relationship”, is not the “freedom” to eventually find the right husband, but is actually Satan’s snare to ruin young lives.
Gently and skillfully she shares this preoccupation with boys (or men) is simply another void in one’s life that only God can fill. She reveals the story of her journey from being a boy crazy girl to a young woman who’s first love is God. With scripture and much humor Paula shows that only through trusting God, praying, and studying His Word can a girl finding not only God’s best but also the kind of love and man she truly wants for a lifetime. Her book makes it clear that God wants the best for us too, but in His time and His way. I liked all the scripture references that were used throughout the book. Not once was it ever preachy or condescending. It is written as if two good friends are simply visiting with each other. At the end of each chapter is “Journal Corner” for reflection on scripture and a particular challenge girls would face. A life changing book!
I received this book free from Moody Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.