10 Great Dates, Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage by the Larsons and Arps, A Bethany House Review

 Bethany House, Book Reviews, Faith, family, Growth, Marriage  Comments Off on 10 Great Dates, Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage by the Larsons and Arps, A Bethany House Review
Oct 032013

The following is a book review brought to you by Bethany House and Created for Home. I was given a copy of the book to facilitate the writing of this review, no other compensation was received. Disclosed in accordance with the FTC’s rules on bloggers and material connection.

Marriage takes a lot of work to keep it the best it can possibly be. And when I find a new resource with ideas on how to keep our marriage fresh and growing, I get excited. There are tons of excellent books out there to help you grow in your marriage and I love finding new ones with fresh ideas.
It is with excitement today that I get to share with you a new book from Peter and Heather Larson along with David and Claudia Arp. 10 Great Dates; Connecting Faith, Love and Marriage.
I really enjoyed how simply this book was laid out. The chapters are short for our busy lives as married couples (and parents). Each chapter after the introduction is further split up to describe the purpose of the date, the foundational principals behind it, discussion topics to have during the date along with pre-date homework. It is laid out for you, easy to use and all you have to do is plan where to go and find a babysitter if that applies. You can go out to a nice restaurant or be as frugal as perhaps taking a blanket to a park with a picnic, it is up to you. Just carve out time to be together and go through the discussion questions in the book.
This book was written to get married couples talking about their spiritual lives. Yeah, when was the last time you sat down with your husband (or wife) and had a good long conversation about how you relate spiritually, how you each experience God best, how you can both be different in your approaches to your relationships with God.
This book takes you on a journey in digging into the Word as a couple, praying together as a couple and learning to build your marriage on the Rock that will not be moved.
I don’t recommend you take this book and force your spouse to join you on this journey if they are unwilling. Forcing our spouses to do our will is rarely if ever a great idea unless you wish to cause problems in your marriage. Even if you have an unwilling spouse, I do suggest you get this book and read it so you can fuel your prayers for them to see the importance of being in sync in matters of faith with you.
I do ask that you do seek ways to nurture your relationship with your spouse and to do everything you can to protect it and keep it precious. Going on the dates in this book is just one way of doing so.
You can purchase 10 Great Dates; Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage at Amazon, CBD or wherever you prefer to purchase your reading material.

The Bridesmaid, Bethany House Review

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Nov 062012

I love being transported to another place while I read. And I so was while I was reading Beverly Lewis’ newest book The Bridesmaid. I was taken back to Hickory Hollow, a place that I have loved to visit in the past and while I enjoyed the simpler life of the Amish in the story, I am reminded that life itself, no matter what your religious beliefs is never simple. People are people, no matter what and each person has their own hopes, dreams, fears and struggles and we all have to deal with them.

It was no different for Joanna in The Bridesmaid. Family strife, spinsterhood, disagreements with a potential husband, long distance relationships, they are all messy and dirty things to have to get through for everyone. Joanna had to learn to trust God for what is best with her life while learning how to deal with the changing family dynamics as her parents age and her younger sister is in the throes of young love.

I love being able to read of a simpler lifestyle and Beverly Lewis gives me so much with her writing. I a mreminded to focus on God more and eliminating the distractions that are so readily found in our society today.

I was given a copy of The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis which is book two in the Home to Hickory Hollow series from Bethany House for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, and no other compensation was received.

Whispers in the Wind, A Bethany House Review

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Nov 062012

Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling is the second book in the Wild West Wind series. If you aren’t familiar with Lauraine’s work, be prepared for great story telling that typically takes place in the Dakotas. While most of the books of her’s I’ve read take place in the Red River Valley of North Dakota where I spent a good portion of my childhood, this on takes place more in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Cassie Lockwood left North Dakota with a few of her friends from the now defunct Wild West Show in search of the ranch that her late father owned half of. With the hope of a good future before her, she finally finds the ranch only to discover that the other partner in it has never told their children of the partnership. Tensions flare as she tries to claim her half at the opposition of one of the Engstrom boys while the other decides that she is the one he must marry. Winter is coming on quickly and things need to get settled soon. Can Cassie find a way to provide for her friends, her new family and remain safe?

Lauraine tells a great tale and you can feel the wind across the hills and see the herd of elk. Her story telling took me back to the vast lands of my childhood and the fond memories I have up in the North. While this is the second installment of the Wild West Wind series, it is easy to pick up and know what is going on in the book without the extra background that I’m sure the first book would provide.

I was given a copy of Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling from Bethany House for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

May 042012

What is more important as a Christian; to follow the dictates of your church and parents or to obey the voice of God? Do you go out on a limb and stand up for what is right or do you just go along with the decrees of those around you because that is what is expected of you? Those are hard decisions to make for anyone.

In The Messenger by Siri Mitchell, you get to agonize with Hannah Sunderland as she wrestles with these issues for herself.
Hannah was born a Quaker in colonial America. Quakers believe in absolute non-resistance and not taking sides in wars or politics. Add to it that she was born a woman in that time and it is easy to see that she is expected to remain her “ordained role.” She is supposed to make calls and visits with her mother, sit quietly and wait for the Word of God to come to them in meeting, not hold any opinions on what is happening with the war. This includes opinions on soldiers coming through and taking advantage of women, stealing and even the prisoners of war that are housed locally. When word comes that her twin brother (who had forsaken the teaching of non-resistance by the church and their parents enlisted in the Continental Army) was taken as a POW and is being held in a local prison, she is even denied permission to visit him. While she is trying to figure out how to get in to visit her brother with her family not knowing, she is approached by Jeremiah Jones to help get a message into the prison. He is able to help get her a pass in to see her brother.

Then more decisions must be made. Hannah is asked to risk her life for a cause her family and church have shunned. Can she forsake the training she has received all of her life about what she is to do and how to behave? Or will she remain true to her upbringing?

This book grabbed me from the first page. The characters were believable for their time and roll in history. The dialog remained true to the time period in 1778. Siri Mitchell was able to capture the history and emotion of the era of the Revolutionary War in a way that draws the reader in as the story unfolds through the pages. This book was very well researched and stayed true to the historic events of that year. While the main characters were basically fabricated, the story of the escape from the prison, the events in the War during that year and the large fete all happened. This book is a great book for those who don’t think they enjoy history but love a good story.

The themes of justice and the pursuit of doing what is right is woven throughout the tale seamlessly in a non-preachy way. Reading this book makes you question if you are truly living the life God has called you to. A good book, no matter the genre should leave you better for have reading it, and this book does that. I highly recommend reading this book. I intend to look up Siri Mitchell’s other books to read now.

I received a copy of The Messenger by Siri Mitchell from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone and no other compensation was received.

A Glimpse into the Amish Faith

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Apr 292011

There is something comforting about tradition. The familiarity of knowing what way something is celebrated or done. We all have certain traditions within our families, our faiths and even our individual church bodies.

I was raised in a more liturgical church than where we are members now. We all followed the same communion service and had the exact same responsive readings and prayers during it. We had ways that we celebrated the birth of a new baby, new members and the holidays. The traditions helped to instill a sense of belonging within the group, show how God is the same for all time and was something that could be depended upon. They were a sense of security.

Beverly Lewis has compiled a book of Amish Prayers which fit the bill for tradition and personal liturgy.

The Amish aren’t known for their public displays of faith. They aren’t outspoken or showy. I so appreciate the fact that they live their life of faith, set apart and that is what is noticed. This book isn’t showy itself, it isn’t degrading to them as a people and frankly I found it beautiful and uplifting.

This collection of prayers from the Die Ernsthafte Christenpflict are used daily by the Amish and are personal prayers. Topics of the prayers range from praying for the new day, prayers for strength, prayers of praise, prayers for unity and for submission. Every aspect of their (and our) lives is covered within the prayers of this book.

The prayers are simple yet still profound. They praise, they ask for guidence, they ask for an obedient spirit within. Things that as mainstream Christians, I think we forget to pray for. When was the last time you thought to pray for unity within the body? When you prayed that you would be in total submission to the Father? Perhaps we should at the least consider praying more for those things ourselves. This book was a good reflection for that.

The illustrations in this book were beautifully done. They are very tasteful and don’t show the face of any of the people portrayed. They are done in pencil and then printed in a plumb colored ink on cream colored paper (which is a beautiful combination, in my opinion). This book would make a fine gift for anyone who is curious about the Amish, enjoys reading about the Amish or is looking to expand their prayer life.

I loved this book. I loved the simplicity of it and how tastefully it was put together. I can recommend it with no reservations.

I received a copy of Amish Prayers that was complied by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, and no other compensation was received..