Irish Meadows: The Courage to Dream Bk 1 by Susan Anne Mason ~ Review~

Irish Meadows: The Courage to Dream Bk 1 by Susan Anne Mason

Irish Meadows

The author, Susan Anne Mason, has skillfully created a world into which we can feel comfortable. The two main characters, Brianna and Colleen, could be our sisters, realistically endearing and frustrating simultaneously. Brianna feels she has grown up in Colleen’s shadow, her father’s favored daughter. Nothing she did seemed to gain his respect. Colleen is the sister we love to hate. She is bold, brash, flirtatious, the apple of her father’s eye, and always on the prowl for rich, handsome bachelors. She played with them and even pit them against each other. Brianna, on the other hand, wanted to attend a university in the fall. She had no use for men at the moment, although her daddy wanted her to get married to a suitable (prosperous) gentleman as soon as possible.

But then Gilbert Whelan returned to Irish Meadows after three years at college. Gil grew up on the farm, the son of the O’Leary’s housekeeper. When she died, James O’Leary took in Gil and treated him like a son. He was big brother to all the rest of the five O’Leary children. Adam, the eldest son, resented Gil for that. Brianna wanted to enlist Gil’s aid in convincing her father to allow her to further her education. But it became a more complicated situation when she discovered her feelings for him were no longer brotherly. Gil himself has felt the stirrings of love for Brianna. When he finally gained the courage to approach James, his mentor and father figure, he was flatly refused. The reason shook him to the core.Irish Meadows quote1

One day a distant relative of mother 0’Leary’s came to stay with the family for awhile. Rylan Montgomery needed a place to stay for a few months while he worked on his internship. His goal was to become a priest. It was Colleen’s duty to ferry him around until he became familiar with the area. When her father caught her in a compromising position one evening, he “sentenced” her to working with Rylan at the orphanage. This was truly punitive for Colleen since she hated all things religious, including priests, church and orphanages. However, working with Rylan day after day brought about subtle changes to her heart. She began to enjoy working with the children. In introspection, she questioned her previous dubious behavior. And…she fell in love with Rylan. Colleen’s world was turned upside down. Family dynamics, secrets, disastrous emotional upheavals and more make this book an intriguing read.Irish Meadows quote2

There’s a lot to like in this book. First, the Point of View (POV) is key to how the author develops tension and suspense. There are four Points of View: Colleen’s, Brianna’s, Rylan’s, and Gilbert’s. This author manages to blend them so well that she avoids the disjointed feeling so common in books with so many POV’s. I feel these points of view are what keeps this storyline moving along without stalling for lack of physical action. That’s excellent characterization.Irish Meadows quote3

Second, the four main characters all have a crisis of heart to meet, deal with, and resolve. Even the secondary characters, Kathleen and James O’Leary, the parents, had to face issues themselves such as what really mattered in life, and how to handle secrets within a family unit. Each issue felt real, urgent, and relevant for today even if the source is a historical novel. I found each of the conflicts plausible and could relate to many of them myself. The author manages to create believable people we can become akin to and care for.Irish Meadows quote4

Third, this is a faith-based book. I love how each voice dealing with an issue was facing something that included a crisis of faith, as well as heart and home. When a faith issue has to be dealt with, even though it may be an entirely private matter between you and God, it does affect those around us because what we believe leads to how we live our lives. That is how this author presents each character’s conflicts. When we are privvy to their thoughts, feelings and the process of resolution within, we appreciate them more for their struggles, even if they are still a flawed individual. I enjoyed the process as I read along, because what they struggled with was thought-provoking and insightful. And since most of this was internal, none of it sounded even remotely like preaching or finger wagging. Rather, I felt blessed to gain a glimpse through the window of their souls. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series which will give us Adam’s story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy (ARC) of this book from Bethany 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program



Moore Family Films


Netgalley badge


Gospel eBooks | Free & Discount Christian e-Books for the Amazon Kindle


Discount Christian Books, Bibles and Gifts
Challenge Participant


Tyndale Blog Network




Blogger Badge 2 (260x125)


Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.


Join Smiley360






Book Blast! Are You Sure You Want to Love God? by Tony Yang

By Tony Yang

About the Book:

When we think about our love relationship with God, we tend to focus on His love for us: God created us in His image. God sent His only begotten son to die for our sins. God will send His son once again to take us home.

But what about our love for God?

What exactly does it mean to love God? Why is it so important? And how do we love Him? Tony Yang answers these questions through a Bible-centered approach, weaving in his personal testimony with his unique storytelling style.

His conclusion is one that he least expected—the “O” word.

In his highly anticipated debut book, Tony Yang presents key questions and answers them with such simplicity, using easy-to-follow practical applications. With a solid Biblical foundation, it also educates, encourages and inspires, leaving the reader to desire a deeper relationship with our God.


Tony Yang - Casual PortraitTony Yang is a storyteller.

As a television news reporter, he discovered his passion for finding and telling good stories. After eight years as a journalist, he found himself on the administrative side of health care and higher education as a communication executive (but still a storyteller at heart.) His career has been recognized by industry organizations with nearly 20 professional awards, including two Emmys.

Through God’s leading, Tony Yang hopes to use his love of writing and storytelling to share his experiences and encourage others in their love relationship with God.

Follow Tony Yang

Website | Facebook

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Tony Yang!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please, if you plan to make a purchase at Amazon, I would appreciate a click through on any of the following affiliate links. 

Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Products

Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program

Shop Amazon – Get Up to 80% Back When You Sell Us Your Books

Shop Amazon Gold Box – New Deals. Everyday

Moore Family Films

click here for Emergen-C information
Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.

Tyndale Blog Network

Be You Four Week Mini Bible Study by Heather Bixler ~ Promotional

Title: Official Launch: Be You Ð Four Week Mini Bible Study by Heather Bixler

be_you_2_250If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 2 Corinthians 3:9 (NLT)

What would it look like for you to be bold, transparent, free, and truly the person God created you to be? What would it look like for you to BE YOU?

In this four week mini Bible Study journey with author Heather Bixler as she shares some of her personal struggles with you in an effort to be transparent with you, the reader.

God wants us to shine and radiate His glory, but truly this can only be done through our brokenness. God is looking for transparent women to help guide others to a true and intimate relationship with Jesus through the sharing of their own brokenness, and compassion for one another.

If we are truly going to shine for HIS glory in the new ministry of HIS righteousness then we must learn the art of being who God created us to be. We often think this is found through performance and behavior changes, but when we have given our life over to Jesus then everything God created us to be is found in the Holy Spirit that is already living within us.

Come and unwrap the beauty that is already within through the four week mini Bible Study, Be You!

Download on Kindle today for Only $0.99!

Free Kindle Book to Celebrate the Launch:

mini_bible_study_bundle_250Download your copy of our brand new Mini Bible Study Bundle for FREE! This Mini Bible Study Bundle includes the following Becoming Press Mini Bible Studies in One:

  • God the Father – Four Week Mini Bible Study
  • Faith – Four Week Mini Bible Study
  • Rejected- Four Week Mini Bible Study
  • My Treasures – Four Week Mini Bible Study
  • BONUS: Breaking Pride – Tearing Down Walls, Walking in His Grace.

Download the Becoming Press Mini Bible Study Bundle- Vol. 1 for free today and tomorrow (11/29 & 11/30)!

Free Online Bible Study using the “Be You – Four Week Mini Bible Study!

Sign up today for a free four week online Bible Study with author Heather Bixler. Starting in January 2014 you will have the chance to participate in an online Bible Study of “Be You – Four Week Mini Bible Study.” Be sure and sign up today, space is limited and registration is required!

Sign up for the FREE online Bible Study here!


Still time to enter our giveaway. Just submit your entries using the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a Becoming Press LLC book launch. Sign up here to become a book launch blogger!

Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke and William Boekestein ~ Review


Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke and
William Boekestein

“Traditionally, at Christmastime we think about the story of Christ’s birth. It feels like Christmas when we picture Joseph and Mary, the shepherds, the angels, and the manger containing the Christ child. But to appreciate the magnitude of the main point of the story–that the eternal Son of God assumed our flesh-and-blood human nature–we need to learn from the rest of the Bible why Christ came to earth.”

Why Christ Came

Suppose you were asked the question, “Why did Jesus come to earth and live here in human form?” How confident are you that you could answer the question with more than two or three reasons? In the form of a small booklet with only 105 pages, the authors provide their readers with numerous thoughts and meditations to answer this question. It contains wisdom from several historical sources that have been overlooked, forgotten or neglected for a long period of time. In these meditations, our understanding will deepen as we explore the Bible passages that point to Christ’s coming and quotes from men of faith who penned their reflections on Scripture.

Meditation is a beneficial exercise all of us would be wise to learn. For me, meditation means taking in information either familiar, completely new, or as a reminder of something I may have forgotten, and spending time pondering their meaning and implications for my life. Sometimes the benefits are to expand my understanding and enrichment. The new information may be a puzzle piece that slips into place. Many “Aha!” moments come to me at these times. At other times, the new perspective or information is meant for me to share with someone else.

When meditating on the thirty-one points Why Christ Came, I experienced several “Aha!” moments, and my appreciation for the relationship I have with Jesus Christ expanded. This is something I’m sure the authors desire for everyone who delves into this short but pithy book. I look forward to making this book a part of our family Advent tradition for many Christmases to come.

View book trailer here

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) and Reformation Heritage 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies ~ Promo and Review

examine your faith by pamela christianExamine Your Faith!: Finding Truth in a World of Lies

Well-meaning people want to believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven. But wanting something to be true is far different from truth lining up with reality. Unless you make an intentional effort to examine what you believe and why you believe it, it’s quite possible you are living your life on the basis of a lie, and don’t know it.

• What is truth?

• Is it relative or absolute?

• Is it personal or universal?

• What are the differences among the various religious faiths? Can they be blended?

• Are we creating faith—a belief system—that is impotent by trying to accept all religions as equal?

(This book has been endorsed by Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen, and Dan Story.)

You can purchase Examine Your Faith! at:

~~~ Pamela Christian Ministries ~~~

~~~ Amazon ~~~

~~~ Barnes and Noble ~~~

~~~ Deeper Shopping ~~~

pamela chistianAbout the Author

For over twenty years, coast to coast, Pamela Christian, “the Faith Doctor,” has been helping people in matters of faith. Pam compassionately wants people to confidently discover and live in, life-giving truth. Her ministry experience began as Teaching Director for Community Bible Study, (an independent, interdenominational, international organization). This led to her receiving invitations to speak nationally, followed by work as radio talk-show host in two major markets. She is a contributing writer to various books and magazines. Her education includes a certificate in apologetics from Biola University. As a book author and media personality Pam’s desire is to reach as many people as possible. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children living nearby.

Follow me on:

Good Reads:

Book Fun:



Linked In:

blog button examine your faith

Blog Tour Schedule

October 14
Diane Estrella,
October 15
Lindsey Zimpel,
October 16
Rebecca Stoneking,
October 17
Krysta Osweiler,
October 18
Lisa M. Buske,
October 19
Ruth Hill,
October 20
Cindi Clubbs,
Cindy Loven,
October 21
Vera Godley,
October 22
Tara Box,
Beverly Terry,
October 23
Darlene Arroyo-Lozada,
Paulette Harper Johnson,
October 24
Donna Safford,
Karen Lange,
Tara Fairfield,
October 25
Adrian, seattlefreelancewriter
October 26
Elizabeth Sanders Towns,
October 27
Cassandra M’s Place,
October 28

My Review

“This book is based on two core premesis: the belief that human beings intrinsically desire truth, and the belief that our soul and spirit are eternal. As humans, we hold in common an undeniable desire to discover and live in truth. Additionally, as humans, we are both mortal and immortal–our bodies are mortal while our spirit and soul are eternal. I realize some people do not believe that the human soul and spirit are everlasting. But even that belief is an aspect of faith that deserves examination.

If you are not sure that your faith is based on a solid foundation, then by all means, you should examine your faith! Finding truth in a deceptive world is possible. A renewed faith producing real hope and certain joy is available. And it’s exactly what ‘the Faith Doctor’ (this author) prescribes for you within the contents of this book.”

Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a world of Lies by Pamela Christian is the first book in a three book series. The second book is Renew Your Hope! Remedy for Personal Breakthrough. The third book in the series is Revive Your Life! Rest for Your Anxious Heart. After Pamela suffered a crisis of faith that shook her to the bone, she was determined to find a solid foundation for a faith that would fulfill her deepest needs. This book is the report of her methodical search and her findings. She wants to share them with her readers so that they too can stand firm when a crisis approaches them. She doesn’t want her readers’ faith to fail them when they need it the most.

There are three parts to this book. The first part is her story how she came to a state of crisis, how she was able to move past it, and what she learned from her experience. In this part, you can feel her heart’s desire to share what she learned so others would not have to suffer as she did. You can see her desire to make our path to a solid faith easier than hers. It is this desire that has dubbed her the Faith Doctor. I believe it is well deserved, for she articulates her discoveries clearly, logically and thoroughly to make it easier for her readers (and conference attendees) to comprehend without insult to their intelligence. In addition, she addresses the trend she sees growing in America–that of religious plurality. She explains what that is, the goal of those who are promoting it, and the end result that’s most likely if the trend continues.

Part Two contains the most fair assessment of the world’s six most prominent religions I have ever read thus far, including secular Humanism, which she believes to be a system of beliefs, values and practices very much like a religion. Each of the subsequent chapters are dedicated to each religion, its history and origin and ultimate goal, and how they explore and approach topics such as the origin of the universe and the world, the origin of man, the foundation of truth and belief, evil and good, man’s purpose, man’s view of and relationship to others, eternal life or the lack thereof, the existence of God or lack of, man’s relationship to such a Being should one exist, His purpose and goals for mankind.

The author explains why she covers such a topic so thoroughly: “If you choose not to examine what you believe and why you believe it, then you are knowingly subjecting yourself to the prospect of deception. Although examining your personal faith is difficult, I suspect that you know in your heart it’s the wise thing to do.” Part 1 concludes with finding out what faith means and why we need to understand our beliefs. Part 2 explores Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Secular Humanism (which encompasses New Age, atheism, and agnosticism as secular/non-religions), Islam, and Christianity. In the introduction of the book, Pamela Christian explains that she consulted experts in the field to check her facts for accuracy. Each religion is approached in a respectful, non-biased manner.

In Part Three, the author reveals how she grappled with the information she discovered in her quest for truth in the second part of the book. To do this, she begins with sharing personal stories of individuals with backgrounds in the faiths and religions explored in Part Two. So we become acquainted with Aaron and Diane Schneiderman of California, Madeline Haydon, a Vietnamese scientist, Rev. Dr. Balaji Varadarajan, a pastor in India, Moira Noonan a successful publisher who was disabled in a car accident at 30, sent to a pain center where she became active in New Thought philosophy and Christian Science to control the pain, becoming a practitioner in New Age occult healing arts. The chapter concludes with Safi’s story who grew up in Iran a Muslin at the time of Khamenei. He came to America to attend college and remained to live in South Dakota.

Then in the subsequent chapters, the author examines faith perspectives on Good and Evil, the differing views of Jesus, prophecies and their fulfillments about Jesus, the evidences available to Jesus’ claim for his resurrection, and the impact of the varying religions on the world as a whole. By the final chapter she concludes her analysis and talks with us candidly about her faith conclusions. Chapter endnotes are a thorough bibliography of her sources so that a person desiring to learn more about her sources can do so easily. In conclusion, the author appeals to her readers to follow her example and strengthen their foundations of faith.

I found this book exhaustive, logical and well organized. I heartily endorse it for anyone who is determined to seek the truth in a maze of deceptive lies. The seventeen chapters average about ten page each. There is clear intellectual appeal to well educated individuals who want a concise expose without slogging through numerous texts to derive a conclusion. Yet the chapter end notes are so complete that an individual seeker can slog to his heart’s content using the sources listed. This book would also be a great resource for those who are in a position to talk with seeking individuals and desires to help them in their path.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and Pamela Christian Ministries. 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.”

The Giveaway

For anyone that’s interested, the author is giving away one copy of Examine Your Faith! and a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Paypal for one lucky reader! U.S. addresses only. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced November 15, 2013. Good luck!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Pamela Christian. The author provided me with a free copy of Examine Your Faith! to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson – Review

ApostateApostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson

“Epistemology is the study of what is true and how one determines what is true. When any philosopher of epistemology wants to develop a theory of knowledge, he must seek an ultimate authority, since there must be some final standard by which all claims of truth may be tested. For the humanist, the final standard is man himself. For the Christian, the standard is God. The Christian recognizes that this is God’s world, planned and implemented by the mind of God. Therefore, God’s truth is the only possible standard for truth.” This book is written from the Christian worldview, acknowledging that God is the author’s source of truth.

Western civilization was built upon a set of ideas expressed over 2,000 years ago with the advent of Christianity. Establishment of such a culture was not an easy thing to do, especially when ideological opposition was present from the beginning. Greek and Roman philosophies were polytheistic and man-centered. You might even go so far as to say that humanism was birthed, or at least well expressed, through Aristotle and his contemporaries. Christian thinking gradually replaced pagan thinking from AD 475 through AD 1200. It was a war of ideas…a war of culture. But the tables turned and humanist ideologies began to overcome Christian thought over the next 800 years (from AD 1200 to AD 2000).

“Philosophers…dismantled the Christian faith in the Western world and replaced it with humanist ideas and institutions. As always happens to empires built on man-centered ideas, these humanist empires will soon collapse. Insofar as Western civilization remained a Christian worldview at its base, the foundations were sound [at first]. But when the philosophers of a new humanism introduced dry-rot into the foundations…they planted the seeds of their own destruction. By the end of this book, I hope the reader will fully understand how this happened.”

The author identifies three stages in which apostates of the Christian worldview participated in the dismantling process. The first stage involved philosophical ideas foreign to biblical truth. He introduces to the reader eleven men of “renown”, ones who are considered “great” thinkers by the modern educational elite: Thomas Aquinas – forming the humanist synthesis; Rene Descartes – forming the humanist philosopher; John Locke – forming the humanist theologian; John-Jacques Rousseau – forming the humanist society; Jeremy Bentham – forming the humanist ethic; Ralph Waldo Emerson – forming the humanist person; Karl Marx – forming the humanist political state; Charles Darwin – forming the humanist scientist; Friedrich Nietzsche – forming the humanist psychology; John Dewey – forming the humanist education; and Jean Paul Sartre – forming the humanist culture. Each chapter is dedicated to examining each person’s philosophy and
personal life. The author then explains how each influenced institutions such as the universities which at the time trained men for the ministry. These men moved their ideas from the universities to the pulpits and on to the ears of the congregants.


The second stage of the deconstruction of the Christian worldview addresses the arena of literature. “Since education is typically centered on literature and reading, we conclude that this is a critical, though oft-neglected battlefield in the war of the worldviews. Therefore, any treatise that intends to grapple with the disintegration of the Western Christian mind and culture must address the field of literature.” Kevin Swanson chose to examine five literary giants: William Shakespeare – Macbeth; Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter (severing the heritage); Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn (rejecting the faith); Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck (20th century literature). “Every author begins somewhere; he works off a baseline and a heritage. But his work also follows a trajectory that reflects his heart direction.” And wherever the heart direction leads, that is where the literature will attempt to lead its readers.

While the first stage of deconstruction began in the 1700’s with the philosophers of the Enlightenment period (Age of Reason) and moved into the 1900’s through the education system designed by John Dewey with the second stage repeating this pattern through literature, the third stage is pretty much unique to the latter part of the 20th century and early 21st century. The third stage involved the cultural revolution through the use of mass media. With the advent of radio, television, and the computer and internet, culture changes moved swiftly when the emphasis shifted from literature to the music and entertainment industry. The philosophies formerly expressed for the educated “pillars of society” was now conveyed to everyone else through music and movies. The author dedicated the final two chapters of the book to this phenomenon.

My first reaction after reading the book was fascination at the array of unique information and approach to the theme of the deconstruction of Western Civilization. Then when the implications finally hit me, I felt awed at the patterns in history, the battle plans and the lines drawn in the sand. For the most part, this is an analysis of an invisible, silent battle, that has taken place over hundreds of years, in graduated steps. The author does a wonderful job of stepping back from the details of life and looking at the big picture over the past 800 years of history. His approach is well organized, logical, thorough, and fairly easy to understand especially for those of us who align ourselves with the Christian worldview. Then I felt dismay at the scope of the battle, how like dominoes once one structure started to tumble others began to topple as well, until I remembered that “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)


I found it helpful to keep a glossary of terminology that I created myself as I read. Some of the terms I was only superficially familiar with and needed to consult a good dictionary to get the historical context as well as the complete meaning of the term. I think a short glossary should have been included in the book. I would have loved to have had this text to use with my two home-schooled high school students. I can easily see how this would have lent itself to the development of a one year history, literature and philosophy course. Like the author, I want my children and grandchildren to understand how our civilization became unraveled.

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Generations with Vision (publishers) and Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Red Like Blood: Confrontations with Grace by Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington — A Review

Amazing_graceRed Like Blood: Confrontations with Grace by Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington

“Grace is more of a liquid than a solid. I think most of us know that implicitly which is why we say that grace flows. A liquid needs to be contained or it will run all over the place. Liquids are not passive. Once [Grace] is unleashed there is no telling how far it will go or where it will end up. In the middle of Walmart my friend Noel unleashed grace [through a generous incident], and grace flowed into the cracks of a broken heart as it is always prone to do. Grace needs one thing. It needs cracks. The bigger the crack, the deeper grace will penetrate. A soul with no cracks is like a piece of marble. Grace just runs off but never gets in. At Walmart, Noel found a woman whose husband had just died. Cracks and grace go together. When grace does find a crack to move into there is no telling how far it will go and what it will end up doing. Such is the nature of grace.” Joe

Red Like Blood graphic
Life stories are a remarkable phenomenon–a unique gift from God. Life stories take time to develop; they are sometimes years in the making. They usually have a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes a person can experience several life stories over the span of their existence. When we become acquainted with other people, we are usually unaware of their particular life stories until we find common ground. Then one friend tells a life story of theirs to them.

These life stories are like the bubbles children enjoy in the summer. A story becomes a free agent and floats around bumping into other bubbles from time to time. Sometimes the bubbles only touch briefly and go on their way. Occasionally the bubbles bump hard enough to cause one or both to change direction. I’ve seen some bubbles collide, exchange some material and break apart, somewhat altered. From time to time some bubbles may stick together after they meet and touch. Perhaps those are the ones where their life story caused them to bond and continue along the same path together. This last bubble type reminds me of Bob and Joe. Their life stories collided and they bonded. They became stronger for the alliance. As they moved on, they encountered other life stories and like bubbles bumped, changed directions, exchanged material, and proceeded. Like bubbles, our life stories take on a life of their own, known only to God. We can’t even begin to imagine the results when they touch others.

bestow grace on others

This book is different in that there are stories within stories. There is a broader story, but its life is in communicating others’ stories as they touched along the way. The connecting medium for all these shared stories is Grace. We get up close and personal, see the cracks form, watch Grace as it flows and oozes down deep inside. The story was never the same after that. So this book isn’t just about Bob and Joe. It is also about Roland, Ricky, Jay, Mark, Randy, Tim, Andrew, Gene, Frank, Stan, C.J., John, Philip and Euretta, Karen, Dave, Joni, Amy and Rita, Rob, Grace, Big Dan, Jerry, Tom, Byron, Marshall,  Steve and others. Over and over, the stories are about brokenness and God’s Grace.

I loved this book. It is not religious in the sense that it tells you how to do something. No, it is a collection of enjoyable stories that reveal something marvelous, something true. Grace will transform us if we let it. I highly recommend it.

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.