A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas Reviews

My Thoughts:

A Sister's Wish:
A super quick read with this short book, more novella length than novel length. It is funny, some of the characters I didn't care for too much redeemed themselves in this book, and the ones I didn't like in this book redeemed themselves in the Christmas book. One of those things that make you go hmm. A theme of redemption and facing your past runs through this story, the faith message seemed more subtle in this story, but it was there. I do want to point out that I love the fact that Shelley writes the readers a letter at the end of each book, it really makes it more personal to me. While not my favorite of the series, this is a good book with a good story. 4 stars from this reviewer.

This book was given to me. I choose to review it and share my honest thoughts about the story. The fact that the book was given to me, does not sway my opinions or review concerning this book.

An Amish Family Christmas:

So I alluded to this in my other review, but thank goodness Lukas and Rebecca redeemed themselves, I was fully prepared to have a very strong dislike for those two. But this isn't their story, it is the story of Levi and Julia. A sweet story, sometimes exasperating, as I often find Amish stories, (I think it is the lack of communication)still over-all a good story. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a bigger holiday theme since it is titled a Christmas story, but that is ok. The last two books were not my favorite of the series, I enjoyed the first two book more. 4 stars from this reviewer.

This book was given to me. I choose to review it and share my honest thoughts about the story. The fact that the book was given to me, does not sway my opinions or review concerning this book.

About the Books

A Sister's Wish
In Shelley Shepard Gray's third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.
Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman---at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she's also harboring a secret: She's been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he's about as far from "perfect" as an Amish man could get . . . but that's exactly why she's so drawn to him.
Life hasn't been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he's determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.
He's loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas---who just happens to be Simon's best friend---has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he's the only one who can truly make her happy. 
But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together---and face their past mistakes. There's a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.
An Amish Family Christmas
In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, 
miracles---and love
Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.
But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can't help having doubts. There's something about Julia that doesn't ring quite true . . .
Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships----but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she's hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him. 
Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.


Mark Batterson's Chase the Lion

My review:

Once again I am thrilled to get the chance to review and promote Mark's newest book. As always, when it comes to Mark's books, they are not fast "eating" I have to chew on it awhile. Think about it, let the ideas roll around in my brain, and just let it all sink in. This book is no different. Personally, it is not a fast read for me, because there are too many nuggets. So I thought I would share some of those nuggets.  I am not going to go through every chapter but just name a few that stuck in my mind.
  • "In every dream journey there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention." 
  • "To an infinite God, all finites are equal. There is no big or small, easy or difficult, possible or impossible." 
  • "Dream dreams. That's the natural, supernatural by-product of being filled with God's Spirit." 
  • "Mismanaged success is the leading cause of failure. Well-managed failure is the leading cause of success." 
  • "We start dying the day we stop dreaming. And ironically, we start living the day we discover a dream worth dying for." 
  • "Sometimes you have to take a stand by taking a step. And when you do, that one small step can turn into a giant leap."  
  • "The goal isn't winning. The goal is God's glory. And that isn't contingent upon the final score. That is the final score!"
  • "Destiny predates birth. Destiny postdates death."
This book is filled with so many nuggets it is hard to choose them, but as usual Mark's books are life changers, cheer-you-on books that make you just want to do kingdom work and achieve great deeds for the Lord.
Most definitely a book to keep in your library and read over and over. 5 stars from this reviewer. 
This book was provided by the publisher and author for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review. These thoughts are my own thoughts and honest feelings about this book. 


365 Pocket Morning Prayers Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day

My Thoughts:
I love this book, not only is it a handsome, leatherbound, small purse sized book, it is brutally honest. The prayers in this book are not flowery prose, or poetic verses. They are honest, gut wrenching thoughts and issues you and I face each day. From topics like controlling our tempers to complaining, these prayers will cause you to honestly examine your heart. I also enjoy the fact the days are not dated, just numbers 1-365. I see this book being a wonderful companion to my devotion time.
This book was given to me by the publisher, I am not required to post a positive review, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

Each morning when you arise, take a moment to talk with God about the day ahead. Ask Him to prepare your heart so that you can be ready to face any challenge that comes your way. 365 Pocket Morning Prayers can guide this time of life-changing conversation and help you express your needs and concerns to God. Don't worry about what the day will bring. Instead, release your troubles and concerns into God's care by reading and meditating on the prayers featured in 365 Pocket Morning Prayers. Begin your day in joyful anticipation, trusting that God is in control of your life and wants only the best for you.

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