Tag Archive | Christianity

The Alphabet Of Grief

Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation. 

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel. 

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.

Something Beautiful Happened


If you have a grandparent still alive and willing to tell you their life story don’t hesitate to listen. If we don’t listen and write down the rich history we are provided it will be lost forever. Yvette thinks about all the times she could have spent time with her grandmother, but instead chose to do other things. There were so many more stories she could have heard, family history provided. Yvette didn’t even have to ask, her grandmother would have shared with her, but when you are young you think you have next time.

If you like to read about World War II, then I highly recommend, Something Beautiful Happened, by Yvette Manessis Corporon. This memoir is about the author’s search to find out the truth behind her grandmother’s story of helping save a Jewish family during the Holocaust on the small Greek island of Erikousa. Yvette grew up visiting the island and her grandmother during the summer, so she knew the island well. Her grandmother told her that the whole island kept this family a secret from the Nazi’s. Yvette decided she wanted to find the descendants of this family, to find out what had become of them.

Yvette’s journey takes many twists, turns, some of them heartbreaking, yet still rewarding. I’ve read countless memoirs on World War II, but this one packs an important punch.  Yvette writes in such a way  that you feel as though you are actually there on the island, at her grandmother’s house. I have never been interested in Greece before, but after reading this book I would like to go visit the island of Erikousa.

I was provided the e-book ARC of Something Beautiful Happened by Yvette Manessis Corporon for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book was breathtaking.

Your Guide To The Apocalypse

The End Times is a hot topic. The news with updates on different wars, environmental issues,  health scares and violence increasing, it’s no wonder society may think the end of the world is near. Pastor Matt Hagee explains why from the Bible he believes we are the last generation to witness Jesus coming back. His guide gives over the reasons why and how the first 3 chapters of the book of Revelation explain the signs of how we are in the last days. He believes that believers will be taken up to heaven before the Antichrist steps on the world stage, hence why he didn’t go past chapter 3 of Revelation. This book I think is geared towards Christians, but he does speak to unbelievers. Depending on your church background or lack of church and Bible exposure you may understand what’s expressed in this book.

I am a post tribulation ‘fan’. Honestly I don’t see why believers of today should get out of having to go through the tribulation. It seems like too, easy of a ticket. Some of his view points I get, but to state this is the truth vs showing the other viewpoints feels a tad arrogant. I know Pastor Hagee means well, but to me only Jesus can open your eyes to the truth.

I received an ARC of Your Guide To The Apocalypse by Matt Hagee for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. If you are a pretribulation believer then this book is for you. If you aren’t it might ruffle your feathers, or it might enlighten you.

In The Days Of Rain

In The Days Of Rain, is about Rebecca Stott and how she pieces together her father’s life in the Brethren cult. Rebecca was raised from birth only knowing the Brethren’s rules and ways of life. Before her father passes on he asks her to complete his memoir. Having left the cult with her family when she was a child Rebecca isn’t keen on going down memory lane, but wants to fully share her father’s story no matter how hard it is.

This memoir describes what life was like in the Brethren. Everything outside their close-knit group was forbidden: TV, news, worldly people, books that were not approved, movies, etc. As a child Rebecca was caught up in thinking about the Rapture when Jesus would be returning to take all the Brethren to Heaven. This book not only describes what life was like, but about how being in such a controlled spiritual environment fractured relationships and one’s sense of self. Her father was the head of the household and had a bad temper. Rebecca never understood why until she dug deeper into her father’s past and what being a preacher in the Brethren was like for him. Rebecca never knew what it was like to voice her own opinion growing up. Women were to keep quiet and not question anything.  It took years for Rebecca to learn how to voice her own opinion and to patch up her relationship with her father.

For some reason this topic fascinates me. I can see why cults lure people. People like having spiritual matters laid out in black and white. Being told what to believe, how to act, dress and think is easier than having to make your own decisions. A few years ago I experienced what might be termed as an online Christian cult of sorts. I was enthralled by a particular Christian YouTuber. I befriended this woman, but as soon as I started being honest about red flags I was seeing I got disfellowshipped and unfriended. That is unless I had a prayer request, then by all means it was ok to contact this woman. At the time I discovered and befriended this woman I was spiritually vulnerable and spiritually hungry, so of course I gobbled up what she said. I followed her hook line and sinker. Sadly she burnt me. I thought I had a genuine sister in Christ, but instead I got black listed by her. Sadly there are others out there that had the same thing happen to them. One minute you are a blessing from God and the next you are not a true saved follower of Jesus. I can see why Rebecca’s Faith didn’t survive her cult indoctrination. It’s sad her faith didn’t survive her upbringing, but I don’t blame her for guarding her heart.

I received an ARC of In The Days Of Rain by Rebecca Stott for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. If you’ve been raised in a cult this book may be too, much of a trigger, but it also, may help you sort through your own journey whether you are still inside the cult, or are free from it.

Never Settle For Normal

I saw this title and couldn’t decide if I wanted to read it. I possibly didn’t read the fine print on what this book was about, but it was not what I had in mind. Never Settle For Normal by Jonathan Parnell is about how we try to fill our lives with the usual things we think that will make us happy: nice homes, fancy cars, high-end dining, promotions, vacations, lots of socializing, etc. These things for a time tide us over, but there is still something missing and gnawing at us. Mr. Parnell explains what’s causing the gnawing feeling deep in our souls which amounts to giving us a condensed Christianity 101 breakdown.

Maybe I’m jaded, or have heard it too, many times, but if I was not raised a Christian with the basics taught I’d be lost reading this slim volume. There are a few big what I’d call Christianese words slipped in. If a non believer is reading this it might come across as Greek. Mr. Parnell means well and is offering to show there is more to life when you believe in Jesus. I honestly thought I was reading a book about not settling for the norm in life as in think outside the box for your life vs getting a Christianity 101 lesson. If you are looking for a book that breaks down what Christianity is you might find this book helpful.

I received the ARC of Never Settle For Normal from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for my honest review. Sadly, this book didn’t quite hit my spot, but it might yours. It goes on sale July 18. Click here to find out more.

Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God

This book cover depicts the scene from the prodigal son coming home to his father and being restored even though the son doesn’t feel he deserves it. This biblical story is of a son who asks for his father’s financial inheritance early. This younger son goes off and lives the glamorous life which ends up backfiring and he ends up eating slops out of a pig trough because he has run out of funds. He decides to go back to his father’s house to be a servant since it would be better than this. When the son returns home his father is thrilled his youngest has returned home. Rather than requiring him to be a servant, the father asks the older brother to get the fatted calf and to prepare a banquet in celebration of his son’s return home safe. The older brother is furious that his younger brother doesn’t get what he deserves for squandering his father’s inheritance. This cover has a modern art look to it. I like the color of blue that was chosen for the sky.

In Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God, the author, Brian Zahnd talks about the topic of Hell and if God is truly monstrous. His journey coming to terms on these matters all began with the similar titled sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” This very old American sermon describes God as a wrathful, angry God whose waiting to torture us for our sins uses different imagery comparison of us to spiders and snakes. Mr. Zahnd was raised to believe in a literal Hell afterlife, the traditional Christian view that only Christians arrive at heaven after they die while the rest burn in torment in Hell. For a time he prayed for God to give him an experience of actual Hell, but none came. Instead God called him to places of disease, war and poverty. Mr. Zahnd saw that life has its own types of Hell in the here and now. What helped the author change his view of who God is? Read his book to find out. It’d worth it. It’s short and precise.

I received an ARC of Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God  from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. If you want to read a nontraditional view of God, Hell and ultimately what and who true LOVE is I recommend this book. This book goes on sale 8/15/2017. For further information on the author click here.