Monday, November 5, 2007

The Parting

The Parting
Beverly Lewis
Bethany House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0310-7.

Teenage years are a struggle for both boys and girls. Add to the equation, the strict Old Order Amish ways and you really have a host of challenges on your hands. Nellie Mae Fisher is also trying to come to terms with her younger Suzy's death. How and why did Suzy have to die?

Nellie Mae has been going to singings and other young people's activties for some time now. She has captured the interest of young Caleb Yoder. He brings her home from the activities in his courting buggy which he got for his 16th birthday. Surely they will soon make their baptismal vows and become full-fledged members of the Old Order community. Or will they?

Why is that the Yoders are discouraging Caleb and his growing interest in the Fisher girl. Certainly he can find a good Amish girl, get married and settle down in the lifestyle of so many ancestors. There is much speculation surrounding the Fisher family. Nellie Mae is holding a secret in her heart which may bring some answers to why young Suzy Fisher has died. How far will Nellie Mae go in keeping her sister Suzy's diary a secret from the other members of the family.

Why doesn't Reuben Fisher keep his family in the way of the Old Order. His sudden interest in studying the "forbidden" parts of Holy Scripture seems to be creating a division of the community. Another matter of division is that some of the farmers believe that using tractors is permissible while others think that tractors are too worldly.

"The Parting" is based on actual events which ripped an Amish community apart. Will Nellie and Caleb's love for each other survive even if every thing and every one seems to be against the young couple? "The Parting" is the first book in Beverly Lewis' newest series 'The Courtship of Nellie Mae Fisher. Beverly Lewis has created another book series which has me anxious to read the next book in this series. She is so talented and uses her knowledge of the Old Order Amish to intrigue readers about this unique people.

What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You

What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You
Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler
Bethany House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0375-6

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a little while, but hold their hearts forever." Surely you have heard this saying before, or seen a plaque with these words on it. That precious little girl you held in your arms on the day of her birth is growing up. Or perhaps you became her mother when you adopted her or married her father. You have been blessed with a duty to help her grow up into the unique woman God has designed her to be. The pre-teen years are the start of the hair-raising years. First boyfriend, first kiss, first date and the hose of temptations that along with these challenging years. You can only shelter her for so long. Before you know it, she is going to her friends for answers rather you, her mother. Perhaps she does not want to talk to you about "important stuff" anymore. Maybe she has got questions but is so afraid to ask you because she fears your reaction.

Don't you wish your daughter would have come with a guidebook? A guidebook is just what Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler are trying to give in "What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You." This book will teach you to communicate with your daughter. Ms Shellenberger and Ms Gowler did not create this book all their own. They have asked hundreds of girls questions about their lives and incorporated the questions and answers in this book.

This is a must read for all mothers of pre-teen and teenage daughters. It doesn't matter if you are her mother by birth, adoption or step-parenting, there is a wealth of information to help you. It is written in an easy to understand manner with honesty and Christian principles applied. Children are a blessing from God. With Ms Shellenberger and Ms Gowler along with your daughter's creator, you can too have a terrific relationship with your daughter. As a mother of a pre-teen daughter myself, I found this book to be very educational and tips to increase and maintain communication through these challenging years.

Welcome to the world of mothering a pre-teen daughter!

What's the Big Deal About Jesus?

What's the Big Deal About Jesus?
John Ankerberg & Dillon Burroughs
Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon 97402
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2120-6, $12.99, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 11/07.

Have you ever seen the blockbuster hit "Passion of Christ?" Did you want to get a glimpse into what Christ endured for all of us? Did you want to build your faith or was it just Mel Gibson that made you interested in seeing the film? Perhaps you have seen "The Nativity Story." In recent years, Hollywood has certainly been bringing the name of Jesus to the silver screen. Why the sudden interest? For many years the stories of the Bible have been made into movies . Who hasn't heard about Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in the classic "The Ten Commandments."

"Jesus was just an ordinary man, wasn't he? Jesus was a magician because he healed people." Maybe you have had someone make comments like these about Jesus. How do you answer comments like this? Maybe you have a few questions of your own about this incredible man. There were hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah. Only one man could fulfill them all. Jesus is more than just a man. He was both true God and true man.

If you are constantly being asked questions about Jesus or are looking for answers to your many questions. Look no farther than "What's the Big Deal About Jesus?" John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs have created an amazing resource for those who thirst for the knowledge of the truth. With Scriptural references to back up their statements, your answers are here. Some of the questions answered within the pages of this book are "Did he really believe He was God's Son?," Did His life really fulfill the predictions?," "What does the Medical Evidence Suggest? and "Did People Really See Him Alive after His Death?"

Is this Jesus just a story told over and over again through the generations? This is truth backed with Holy Scripture. This is a terrific book which could be used for personal Bible study and Bible study groups. This is a priceless book for all people to read and understand the man who changed our destinys on Earth and beyond. This is a MUST read for Christians and those who have many questions about Jesus. After reading this book, you will not have questions in your mind only confidence in Christ Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection.

Ready to Wed

Ready to Wed
Melody Carlson
Guideposts Books, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-8249-4724-8.

Have you ever had a dream which seemed so real that it has been hard to believe it is only a dream? Belle Bannister has had just one of those dreams. Her dream was so realistic that it draws her to some drastic measures.

Belle leaves her home and the life she knows to see if her dream will become a reality. She travels to Acorn Hill, Pennsylvania and takes up residence at the Grace Chapel Inn. The Grace Chapel Inn is a bed and breakfast which offers small town friendliness and the most helpful owners. The owners are 3 sisters and their Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel makes it her personal goal to help Belle find "Mr Right."

Belle's dream was that she was to meet and marry the man of her dreams in this small town within a few short weeks. Acorn Hill has many eligible bachelors including the town's unsuspecting pastor. Belle catches the town by storm making plans for her wedding which she believes is to be the first Saturday in June. Everyone but Aunt Ethel thinks Belle is crazy to be planning a wedding when the groom is yet to be named. Can she rely on her time schedule or is there someone else who has plans according to His time schedule. One of the innkeeper-sisters Jane Howard has received a letter from her ex-husband Justin. Just why has he picked now to contact her after many years of no contact? Why is he being so insistent on having the oppotunity to talk to her again.

Melody Carlson has written a delightful novel. You are sure to fall in love with this quaint small Pennsylvanian town., its residents and its one very unique visitor. Was this dream of Belle's really God calling her to Acorn Hill for such a time as time. God's timing is always best even if we often think otherwise.

Visit Acorn Hill and Grace Chapel Inn today for an experience you won't soon forget!