A Glitter of Gold By Liz Johnson

This was a fun exciting read! Anne has made some bad choices. Finding it difficult to face the shame and embarrassment in her home town, she moves away for a new start. Just wanting to, well hide, she comes to Savannah, Georgia hoping for a fresh start. There she attempts to start a tour company. Dressed up in pirate garb she takes tourists, hungry for adventure, on excursions to historical spots, regaling them with stories of famous pirates. The picture of cute girl on the front with the sassy look definitely captured Anne’s personality!
Struggling with her finances a facing defeat she was very discouraged, until while walking on the beach after a storm she finds a sword hilt sticking out of the sand. She hopes it will be of great value and allow her to remain in Georgia. She sneaks our Carter Hale, the director of a small museum that was also facing a lack of funds. He believes the hilt may prove the shipwreck of a famous pirate ship that had never been proven to exist. They consult a pirate’s diary from 1750 for clues. Journal entries from book are shown throughout the story. This I really enjoyed!!! It added to the excitement!
While Carter and Anne are both on the same page about verifying shipwreck and the hilt’s authenticity they are going in totally different directions in other areas. This causes conflicts in their budding relationship. Aunt Tessie was precious. Her scriptural wisdom and sweet spirit drew me to her character. All in all, God clearly has a plan for both Carter and Anne to heal from wounds they are carrying.

With All Your Heart By Christine Hoover

How times have we said or heard someone say, “I love you with all my heart.” Those that profess usually truly believe they do, but do they? There are actions and outward signs if an “all my heart” love is the real deal. This is true also with a Christian’s love of God. Children of God make this declaration often, but again is it true? This book helps us look within and see if the Lord does have all our heart. I personally feel this is very important and much needed if we are to serve Him that does love us with all His heart.
It is easy in our day and time to give bits and pieces (be they large or small) of our hearts to other things. There are so many to choose from, pulling at our emotions, affections, time and attention. We may not even realize we are doing it. Ms. Hoover calls them “allegiances” I see them as other gods, anything that comes between us and God. She presents these in a way I had never thought of before. Anxiety and Isolation, two the author names, made me realize I had never looked at them in this light. These were eye openers to me! As the author points out they are all part of the kingdom of “self”.
Once we become the Lord’s nothing can take His place or we will be robbed of our joy and leave us in despair and frustration. If one is not careful they will be caught up in the endless circle of pursuing them to meet our needs that only God can.
Ms. Hoover’s style of writing was easy to relate to and touched my heart. The questions at the end of each chapter gave me a time to reflect and take a good look at myself.
I like books that cause me to dig deep within and point out any blind spots in my Christian life that need correcting. It is not a book you will want to read quickly, but work through and absorb all it has to teach. I found it helpful, but also especially relevant for the times we are facing.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

New Life in Christ By Steven J. Lawson

The expressions “born again” and “saved” are commonly used to describe when a person accepts Christ as one’s Savior. What do they really mean? What really happens when an individual receives God’s gift of eternal salvation. Through my almost 40 years as Christian, I have talked to many people. Depending on their background and practicing religion it means very different things and some do not coincide with Scripture. I wanted to read this book because I was excited to see a through scriptural study and explanation on what truly happens when someone accepts Christ. The author uses the story of Nicodemus and Jesus to explore all that occurs when spiritual conversion takes place.
The book is well written, and has many scripture references which makes it an excellent study. I like the detailed and complete view of what changes come about in a person’s spirit and life. Mr. Lawson is very thorough.
But as scripture says in Galatians 5:9, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” I do not agree with the author’s belief that the Bible teaches God “chooses” who can become a Christian and who cannot. That there are other certain “elect” souls. What a hopeless message this is for the world. This is the teaching of “predestination” which I do not find in the Bible. God’s Word tells us that He sent His Son to die for all and the gift of salvation is there for “whosoever” will take it. The rest of the book is excellent, but because of this I cannot recommend the book to others.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Stitches in Time By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I was looking forward to this book, the second in Ms. Fisher’s series, The Deacon’s Family. After giving up his wild boy ways and turning back to God, Luke wins the hand Izzy, the one he truly loves and marries her. Though deeply in love, their marriage requires a lot of adjustment and it is no wonder with how very different the two are. In spite of his wayward youth, Luke finds himself chosen as a Deacon. He doesn’t feel capable of fulfilling this lifelong appointment. Izzy isn’t too happy about the title either as her husband is away from her most of the time. While growing in the Lord, She still has much healing to do from her childhood in foster care. When Luke attempts to fulfill and a promise to Amos lap, to find homes for all the foster children in the county, the conflicts between them grow.
Molly a sweet, young single woman and school teacher for the Amish community wants with all her heart to foster children and show them the love they have missed. She gets more than she wished for when she becomes foster mom to a set of twins that are constantly in trouble. Sam, Luke’s brother, is concerned about what Molly has gotten herself into and tries to help when problems arise. Both couples find themselves facing challenges they never have before.
I have enjoyed in both books Izzy’s love of her “woolies” (sheep) and the way God teaches her through them. Made me want a sweet lamb to put in the backyard! Whenever facing problems physical or emotional, the characters were confused and suffered, but always looked to God and trusted Him. The author does a wonderful job of showing that while difficulties did not immediately go away; they did not give up on the Lord. Molly reminded me of so many young people who have the zeal to follow what they believe to be God’s leading but have no clue of the price that will be exacted of them. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

The Happy Camper By Melody Carlson

My heart always beats a little faster when I see Melody Carlson has a new book! I love how all her books have such different story lines. As always I was immediately drawn into the story and her characters.
Dillon Michael’s life takes a drastic turn in just one day. The put together, on track, organized career girl who is never impulsive leaves everything behind within a day. She breaks up with her boyfriend, quits her job and heads home to Oregon to the only true home she has ever known, her widowed grandfather’s farm.
She is excited about surprising him, but a few surprises await her too! Her mother, whom she calls Margot, (who was never much of a mother), has moved in too! Not only does she have to bear her mother’s bossiness, controlling attitude, and laziness, but finds herself sleeping on a very uncomfortable couch. Margot has moved into Dillon’s old room and isn’t going to budge!
Things look pretty dim until her grandfather gifts her a retro, tear-dropped shaped little trailer. This is just the lift Dillon needs. She throws herself into decorating it for her own place to live. She finds she has quite flair and might possibly make a business of it. She meets Jordan, owner of the hardware store which becomes a bigger plus that just his advice and help for her project. Dillon thinks this might be the start of something special, until someone from her past steps into her present. Dillon struggles with doubt and confusion.
I hated to have this book end. Dillon and her little trailer made me want to get one. It was such fun to read about all the details of her decorating it. Her close relationship with her grandfather and the descriptions of the farm were heartening. The small town atmosphere and activities gave me such a warm feeling. This was a fun and delightful read, a real escape from all that is going on.
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.