Christmas Underdogs: A True Story about Canines, Convicts, and God’s Love for All by Connie Cameron ~Review~

Christmas Underdogs by Connie Cameron

Christmas Underdogs

Whether you are a dog lover, a cat person, neither or both, there is a superb message tucked among the laughs, the tears, the reminiscences and ruminations of this short book. The author sums it all up when she says, “God has compassion for the underdog, and He wants us to have compassion as well.”

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Connie Cameron is candid with her readers when she shares some personal stories about some very special canine companions in her life. You could say this book is a collection of short stories filled with humor, reflection and pathos. But it is so much more as Ms. Cameron’s experiences transcend mere stories to become life lessons in God’s transforming love. She masterfully blends both components into a book that is fascinating to read. It is short enough to be able to peruse in just a few sittings, while we will be reflecting back on it for a long time after finishing the final pages.

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One of the things I like so well about the volume is that all the stories are true. Those things really happened. So many of us will be able to put ourselves in the author’s shoes because we may have had a few gut-wrenching experiences ourselves. The author is open and honest as she shares her past struggles, failures and victories. Our hearts can’t help but be stirred by the events and revelations as God reaches down to her in love. We don’t have to love dogs to love this book.

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The second thing I appreciate about this book is when the author took the time to share some personal “God stories.” Years ago, our church family participated in a program that included an activity call the “God Hunt.” Its purpose was to help us become aware of the little ways we see God interacting with us daily. These are often things we take for granted and overlook in our search for bigger, “more significant” works. Through this exercise the participants become more aware of how close God wants to be with us. I read several of these small treasure hunts in this book, and found the experience very encouraging. I felt a kinship with the author’s family because of some of our shared experiences and discoveries.

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Some of the chapters are devotional in nature–not all the book is about Christmas. However, a few chapters are dedicated to the author’s reflections of the Christmas events, in particular from the viewpoint of the shepherds who were in all practicality the underdogs of the day. I appreciate Ms. Cameron’s fresh perception of a fact we sometimes overlook because of over-familiarity.

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Finally, I related so well to this book because many of the stages of family life paralleled our own family life. As a nearly empty-nester, I especially appreciate the author’s ways of dealing with the changes a family faces when our little ones have grown up and left the nest. The Lord even gave her a new ministry; I got such a chuckle how she initially fought it, unsuccessfully, of course. And dogs played a role in smoothing the way even then.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network on behalf of the author and Elk Lake Publishing. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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