Book Review for “Code of Silence”- Christian Middle Grade Mystery

What the book is about:

When Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives. After being seen by the criminals—who may also be cops—Cooper makes everyone promise never to reveal what they have seen. Telling the truth could kill them. But remaining silent means an innocent man takes the fall, and a friend never receives justice.

Is there ever a time to lie? And what happens when the truth is dangerous?

The three friends, trapped in a code of silence, must face the consequences of choosing right or wrong when both options have their price.

My Review:

This one was a library check out. Took my little guy to the library and saw the set on display. The covers looked interesting and when I opened up to the inside cover saw they were Christian mystery for middle graders I had to get them. Book one was great. Main characters are junior high friends who’s faith and loyalty are tested. Two boys and a girl. Not preachy at all. Just a great “friends” mystery. There is no swearing, however there is some violence (robbery). I give it five stars. New author for me, but a new favorite.  New author for me, but a new favorite. Can recommend for all ages, though written for middle grade (girls and boys both).

The Delivery Business

Colossians 1:13 (Weymouth New Testament), “It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son,”

God is in the delivery business. I know, in the past I have said that He is in the “Family business: saving souls” but this is still a branch of the family business!

We recently started a business of our own. We specialize in expedited (you needed it there yesterday) delivery. People contact us because they have a load that the customer wants ASAP and we can get it there fast in our little sprinter van. So maybe I have had delivery on my mind. However, the month of January our church always goes on a corporate fast (and prayer time). During one of those times of praying and listening, this thought popped into my head, “God is in the delivery business” followed by this scripture in Colossians. Soon I couldn’t even stop the thoughts that bombarded me. I am going to share a few.

God has delivered me!

Out of darkness and into the light. II Corinthians 5:1 (NIV), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

From my past. “Philippians 3:13 KJB), Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”

From fear. I John 4:18 (NASB), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

From sickness (including tumors, anxiety, and some ugly stuff you don’t want to hear about.) I Peter 2:24 (NIV), “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

 

God has delivered to me:

Forgiveness. I John 1:19 (KJB), “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Blessings. Ephesians 1:3 (NASB), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

Mercy. Jude 1:2 (NLT), “May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.”

 

Grace. I Corinthians 15:10 (NIV), “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Wisdom. James 1:5 (KJB), “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I am sure there is more to be found. I sure love to think of the Father hand delivering all of these wonderful things to me. A personal gift. Free of charge.

Now, our company, JW Expedited LLC, delivers for money, our purpose and motivation is to please the customer so that we get paid well.

God’s motive? Love.

My President

Donald Trump is my president, just as Obama, Bush, Clinton and all of the others were.
I didn’t agree with some of their policies, behaviors, or decisions. However, because I am a citizen of these great United States of America, because I honor our founding fathers and the prayer and consideration they put into the workings of our government, I respect the office of President. So…I choose to pray this prayer for President Trump, just as I prayed for those who went before him. “Father, bless and protect our president and his family. Send Angels to guard round about them. Help him make wise, godly decisions. Send helpers and wise counselors. Thank you that he knows You and Your love, in Jesus name, Amen.”
I don’t have to love him, no matter weather I voted for him or not, I will remember that God puts officials into position and He tells me to pray for them.

Heart Factory

Our hearts are a factory. They can either be factories for good, or factories for evil. In fact God says that we are born with evil hearts, because of Adam’s sin, and that they only produce evil.

Genesis 8:21 (ASV), “And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, for that the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.” (Emphasis mine)

Thankfully that wasn’t His plan for us, so He made a wonderful way for us to be like Him. His heart is LOVE. If we love Him and see our need for His saving grace He takes out our hearts and simply replaces it. A huge deal to us, but no biggie to Him, He was the first heart surgeon.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV), “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

There are a few places in the Bible that talks about Him giving us a new heart, but this one scripture in Ezekiel specifies that this new heart is “undivided”. It serves one master, it has one nature, and it isn’t schizophrenic. These new hearts have the ability to love like God, to live like Jesus, and to beat to a new drummer. David in the Old Testament realized the importance of a right heart; we see it in several places.

Psalm 51:10 (KJB), “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

One of the few things Jesus railed about was the condition of the hearts of the religious leaders during His time with us.

Matthew 12:33-34 (BSB), “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. We say what is brewing up in there. We produce whatever we have laid on the assembly line. They have the power to be a factory for good it’s our choice. After He puts that new heart in there, think of it as a brand new crock pot, we decide what goes in. If we keep the lid on nothing will get in that isn’t supposed to (guard your heart and mind, God tells us). So if the finished meal tastes like… manure, you have to ask yourself, “What did I put in there?” Got it? It isn’t going to produce anything if we aren’t putting something inside, it will produce garbage, yuk, stink, etc, if we aren’t putting in good wholesome things.

If our hearts are a factory, think of your eyes, your ears, your brain, as the source of the materials you will be building with. You can build with quality building materials (precious stones), or poor materials (wood, hay, and stubble). You choose. They can produce bitterness, angry, perversion, murder, and everything ugly from the pits of hell.

Or they can produce the most beautiful garden from heaven. The best thing we can put in our hearts is God’s word. The word takes root and grows in our hearts. Love takes root there, generosity, grace, mercy, truth; all of those wonderful attributes of God grow well in our hearts

What are you producing in your factory?

 

Book Review for “The Solitary Envoy-Book One in Heirs of Acadia” – Christian Historical Fiction

What the book is about: “Book 1 of Heirs of Acadia, continuing the story told in the bestselling Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn Song of Acadia series. Erica Langston’s comfortable home and loving family living near Washington, D.C., carry no outward hint of the sorrows and fears faced by her Acadian forebears, but she will soon discover that similar determination and fortitude will be required of her. When the British once again invade the nation’s capital and leave death and destruction in their wake, Erica is left to deal with the creditors circling around the crumbling family business. It seems her only recourse is to travel to England to collect on outstanding debts held in British banks. Arriving in London at the home of the United States ambassador, Erica is gradually immersed in a secret mission that brings her face-to-face with her most feared and reviled enemy. She discovers that Gereth Powers is part of a group of Christian activists headed up by William Wilberforce himself. Along the way, Erica comes to realize her faith has been more cultural than real, and her spiritual journey becomes far more signi?cant than her journey over the ocean.”

My Review: This book has been sitting in my kindle for ages. I am pretty sure it was offered free at some point on Amazon. I just loved this book. Set in around the time of the war of 1812, the main character is a woman who faces great problems. She ends up meeting William Wilberforce (a great Christian man in parliament who was crucial in the anti-slavery movement), and learns to trust in God. There is history, romance, and tons of moral traits portrayed. Now I have another series to finish! I give it five stars. No swearing, or sexual content, some violence as it relates to war. I can recommend for teens and up.

Get the book here.

 

Shut Up

I John 5:14-15 (KJB), “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Psalms 55:17 (NIV), “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”

Proverbs 15:29 (ISV), “The LORD is far away from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.”

Who doesn’t love these scriptures? He hears us! That’s a big deal in my book. All throughout my life I have been not heard, sometimes outright ignored, and often misunderstood. But God hears me, never misunderstands, in fact He knows what I am thinking before I ever voice it, and never, hears me. That boosts my confidence just like John’s.

Prayer is an awesome thing. The more time you spend with Him, not begging, but in honest communication, and yes that includes some things we may need or want from Him, the better we know Him. The better we know Him, the easier prayer becomes and the more we desire to pray. Incidentally, the Father loves that alone time with us. Even though He does know what we need, what we want, what we thing, and what is best for us, He still tells us to “ask”, to be verbal about those things. Why? He loves you and He wants to be in fellowship with you. In our ever increasingly busy days, He wants some time set aside and while we are at our tasks, He wants us to still be speaking to Him in our hearts.

Prayer builds us up; it settles our hearts and settles some issues in our minds. The act of talking to our Creator humbles us and encourages us to keep at it, no matter the battles.

All these things are so wonderful, yet, there is an aspect of prayer even better than all of these things… listening to God during prayer time.

Sounds simple really. Isn’t that what a conversation is all about, taking turns talking and listening? Honestly though, how often do we forget that crucial part of our time with God. At the beginning of the day we read our bible, devote our day to Him, then hurry through our “bless us, and keep us” prayers, then get on with our day. We take time to ask God to bless our food, strengthen and nourish our bodies, and to pray for special needs. Before we drift off to bed, we again ask for peace and sweet sleep, for angels to guard us, and maybe remember some things we should ask for or thank Him for. Where in all of that do we just shut up!

I know some of you hate those words. You think they are blunt and maybe rude. Yet isn’t a one sided conversation, where we do all the talking and never give the other person a chance to get a word just as rude? Of course. So, when we pray, when we are talking to Him (please remember prayer is just asking for things, but also just visiting and sharing some love), remember to be quiet. If you have asked a question such as, “What should I do in this situation” or “How much do you love me?” Give Him some time to answer.

I love how He speaks to me in His word, through others, and in nature; however, the best dialogue I can have with Him is when He is speaking right into my spirit. Nothing better in fact.

John 10:2-5 (ASV), “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. When he hath put forth all his own, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”