December 8, 2017

Christmas at Grey Sage 
"Christmas at Grey Sage"
Phyllis Clark Nichols

This Christmas, there’s plenty of room at the inn.
Nestled in the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, the Grey Sage Inn looks like the perfect place for weary travelers to escape the craziness of the Christmas season. There’s plenty to see in historic Santa Fe during the day, and the inn’s owners, Maude and Silas Thornhill, are happy to spend their evenings hosting this year’s guests from across the country.
But an unusual snowstorm throws a wrench in the festive mood. The sprawling inn becomes close quarters as stranded guests discover this Christmas won’t be the relaxing vacation they expected. Tension and fear mount as the storm worsens, and Silas, a retired doctor, is called away in the middle of the night to care for a neighbor. The snow and stress unlocks tongues–and in the unexpected conversation that follows, secrets and pasts are revealed, and hearts are healed.
In the midst of snowdrifts and fireside conversations, of tales of days gone by, the warmth of Christmas brings a renewed hope as these trapped strangers become friends–proof again that the joy, hope, peace, and love of Christmas can be experienced no matter where you are.
This is a sweet story that helps remind us what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. While I really wanted to love this book, I just couldn't get into it. It was slow going for me, but it does make you think about what's important. 
Read more about the book here.

Total Christmas Makeover 
"Total Christmas Makeover"
Melissa Spoelstra

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.
In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

This book is divided into three sections Ritual, Relationships and Rest.  Each section gives something to think about, questions to ponder and a practical approach to change your Christmas into a more meaningful season.  I liked the suggestion about taking the Christmas cards as they come in and praying for the people who sent them,  My major complaint about this book is not using scripture from the King James Bible.  I don't understand why people use other so-called bibles, instead of the one true inspired Word of God.  They claim they can understand them better, but to me they make things more confusing and they are changing the meaning of God's Word to suit themselves.  What I like about this book is its purpose is to have a more meaningful Christmas and not one that is focused on the commercial side of Christmas.  
Read more about the book here.

Catherine Marshall

Set in the Smoky Mountain community of Gutter Gap Catherine Marshall shares with us the story of her mother Leonora Wood, who at the tender young age of 19, left home to teach the mountain children.  In doing so she forever changed her life and the lives of others.
Although based on a young woman's life, Christy is a work of fiction, with both fact and fiction woven in together.  
Mountain people are proud as well as superstitious and they don't trust outsiders, and they don't trust each other. A "blood feud"  is also involved and threatens to disrupt her classroom.  The novel takes place in the year 1912, but times in Cutter Gap have not caught up to the outside world, so Christy also has physical hardships as well. Can Miss Huddleston see beyond their poverty and fierce clan-like nature and break down the barriers so she can help the people she has come to love?  Also, two men are vying for her affections,  the Preacher, and the Doctor, who was born and raised in the mountains and endeavors to help Christy understand his people.  


This is a beautiful 50th-anniversary copy of this delightful book.  It has a map of all the important places in Cutter Gap in the front.  Also a compiled list of the characters and a short relationship they have with each other.  I would like to find out how much of this story is not fiction. Don't expect the book to be like the television series.  There are some vast differences in places and at times it follows the book closely.

Read more about the book here


November 24, 2017

KJV Know The Word Study Bible
King James Bible

Gain a greater understanding of the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic.
The study of God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break down the Bible into easy-to-understand segments. The KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study.
The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.
Features include:
—King James Version Bible text
—Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
—Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
—Words of Jesus in red
—Beautiful two-color interior page design
—Comprehensive list of theological notes
—Full-color maps
—8-point type size
Read more about the book here.
The King James Bible Know the Word Study Bible is a very helpful and insightful study Bible. The explanations are very informative without being overwhelming. Of course, the Holy Spirit will always help you understand if we just ask Him. By using this Bible, it will help you to actually study God's Word instead of just reading it. II Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 
I definitely recommend this study Bible. You can never go wrong with studying God's Word - King James Bible.

Mercy Triumphs
"Mercy Triumphs"
Jana Kelley

Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.
Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God’s mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don’t deserve it.
Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader’s eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.
Read more about the book here
"Mercy Triumphs" is definitely a different read, but the story is still compelling. We can never be reminded enough of how God can do the impossible. Not only that, but we should also believe that He can do the impossible! This book may be fiction, but it still provides great truths that we can all learn from.
Ordinary Graces
"Ordinary Graces"
Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Everyone loves to receive a gift.
And God has given us many, such as his grace—the gift we don’t deserve and can never earn. Promises from the One who declares we are already loved, already accepted, already created in his image. The question becomes, will we truly receive that gift? Will the reality of it actually change the way we think and notice and reach out?
God’s Word will stand forever, in any season of life. These truths prompt us to respond with compassion and courage.
Through inspiring devotions, Lucinda Secrest McDowell reveals biblical blessings that remind us that: God’s promises give us strength, God’s grace can be most evident at our weakest points, a proper response to our abundance of blessings is simply gratitude, and the “more” we are all looking for is the same abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
Would you like to receive these gifts of ordinary grace? Join Lucinda in focusing on one word a day through devotional readings and short benedictions for any and every season to explore the many facets of Grace, Strength, Gratitude, and Life.
Read more about the book here
This devotional is filled with nuggets of wisdom and encouragement. There are a variety of topics so the reader can pick and choose which to read, according to what pertains to them the most at the time. 
Each devotional is short but has a lot to offer. Perfect for those who are always on the go. It's the perfect size so you can carry it in your purse and take it with you. 
"Ordinary Graces" is a must read and would be a perfect gift too!