Book Review for “The Noble Fugitive” – Christian Historical Fiction Romance

What the books about: Heirs of Acadia Book 3- Serafina, daughter of a Venetian merchant prince, is desperate to be reunited with the dashing tutor her father banished. As her family sets sail for America, she secretly abandons ship. Alone in England, she finds herself as a lowly chambermaid. A world-weary ship captain is also forced to seek refuge, hiding from henchmen determined to silence his shocking revelations about the slave trade. The lives of these two characters become intertwined, and a place that once seemed only a dreaded detour becomes a sacred venue for the unveiling of God’s Providence.

My Review: This is book three of the Heirs of Acadia series. I really liked the very first book. It is written about a time in history that I always found interesting. Book two was still good, but in my opinion not as good as the first one. So when book three came around I waited. Then about two chapters in I was hooked. I thought it was the best so far. This one adds some new characters to the series and takes place mostly in America during slavery. The main characters are fighting to free those who have been in chains.  I am loving this series. Christian Historical Fiction at it’s best. I give it five stars.

 

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.

 

Lose Control

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Philippians 1:6 (Douay-Rheims Bible), “Being confident of this very thing, that he, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.”

Most people have control issues. Some need to feel in control of every situation and every person in their lives. After my drug and alcohol use of my young adult years and years of prescription drugs for anxiety, I now hate anything that makes me feel like I am not in control. No gas at the dentist, one glass of wine, or one apple ale is enough, and never hard alcohol for me. My husband after several bad car accidents as a passenger, including one that broke his back in seven places and left him in a body cast for six months, likes to be the one behind the wheel. He hates giving over control of the vehicle to anyone else.

I know people who try to control their spouses, their children, and even their pastors. Wrong or right, they are always right and they know best. Sometimes this ends in abuse, divorce and church splits.

I think most of us will admit that not losing control to drugs, alcohol, or other people isn’t a good thing. We than can also agree that trying to control others, also aren’t a good thing. If you have an overly controlling person in your life, it is like being in prison, and if you have a need to control everything, much of your life is spent in worry, or feeling out of control. That behavior can end up being obsessive, not healthy to yourself or to others.

So when is it ok to give up control? Who is faithful enough for us to give our control over to?
The only answer is God. He knew us before we were born and He knows our end, in fact He knows every second and every minute of our lives. He was our beginning and He is our ending. He orchestrated it all for our good and His glory.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (KJB), “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

He is the author and the finisher of our faith.

Acts 27:23-25 (NIV), “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

We can have confidence that if He said it, it will happen that way, as long as we submit to Him and let Him have control.

I know, we have all heard the argument that God is a control freak that says it’s “His way or the highway.” Who wants to be a slave to a hard taskmaster?

First off, I’d have to say why does someone want control? In God’s case, it’s because He knows it all, everything, the end from the beginning. So He knows what we need to do in every situation. He doesn’t tell us what to do for His good, it’s for our own good. Secondly, God is good. Evil can’t be found in Him. Do I want to serve an evil dictator, no! Would I willingly give myself over as a love slave to Him who loves me best? Of course! His “control” protects me, provides for me, heals me, sustains me, encourages me, and sets me free from all other masters!

This is the analogy God gave me about control: Picture yourself of the biggest scariest rollercoaster. You know the ones that go upside down and loop the loop. If you have ever been on one, the first thing they do when you sit down is buckle you in, or lower the safety bar. If the person next to you refused to be buckles or constrained shouting “You can’t control me, I can do this on my own,” and proceeded to try and hold himself in the car, you’d expect to witness a death, a very messy one at that. We easily give up our control for something that keeps us safe or protects us from pain.

I mentioned before that I won’t take gas at the dentist. How foolish would I be if I refused anesthesia during a major surgery? Sometimes giving up control is the best thing for us.

So what do you say? Can you lose control?

Book Review for “Journey into the Deep”- Christian Fiction

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Guy Stanton III has begun a new series “Water Wars” with “Journey into the Deep.” I have to say there are still some grammar and editing issues with Guy’s writing, but again I must also say the writing is good. The story line is interesting and from an unapologetic Christian view. Guy’s characters are flawed and his writing never comes across as preachy. Good for men and women as it includes action, fighting, and romance. In this story a treasure hunter with a death wish finds more than he wants to in a strange artifact. I give it 4 stars. Didn’t love this one, but I liked it and it was a good read. I am sure I will read the rest of the series as I have read all of the other two series. Just a warning, if you like your Christian fiction without talk of passion, killing, and or imperfect people, these books aren’t for you. However, if you like it to be real…

What Does God Want?

Really, what does He want? You could ask dozens of people and get dozens of different answers. Those answers would range from- obedience, praise and worship, money (tithes and offerings), time, energy, loyalty, attention, commitment, and the list could go on. All of those things are true, but doesn’t that make God sound like some ego-maniacal, dictator who lounges on a throne demanding attention and glory? Who wants that for a Father?
Simply put, God wants you. I know cliché. But He wants your heart. He asks all of those other things from you because those things benefit us. Let’s break this down a little. God doesn’t need your money, but He asks us to give 10% (tithe for the running of the Church and the support of the staff) and offerings (to help others), because He knows that “if we give, it will be given back to us”. (Luke 6:38). Also when we give to God, He promises to “Open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing” (Mal 3:10). God wants us to praise Him because praise “stills the enemy and the avenger” (Ps 8:2), it makes Satan shut up and stops his actions against us. He asks us to work because He works with us (I Cor. 3:9). He doesn’t sit while we work, in fact “He works while we wait.” We work because the Church toilets need cleaning, those little noses in nursery need wiped. Those things bring us together as a family.
God is love! He doesn’t just possess, show, or talk about love, He is love. It is the very nature of God (I John 4:7). That’s why He loves everyone. He loves the drug addict, the prostitute, the serial killer, the child molester, everyone! But don’t be deceived they are not His children, or part of His family. His children are the ones who have surrendered their lives to Him. Those are the ones he promises to take care of. Because He is love and He wants all to be His children, He asks us to work together with Him to build His family. He doesn’t want this love to remain one sided. What does it benefit them if He loves them, but they never experience love for Him? Those others who have Satan as their father (and they don’t even know it), they need to be reached. They need to know God’s love. How can they be reached if we aren’t co-laboring with Christ.
Our ‘work’ for God, those things all mentioned in the first paragraph, and any other thing God may have asked of us, should come out of our love for God. If they are coming out a sense of obligation, duty or fear, the motivation is wrong. Even worse if they are coming out of self-righteousness and pride, it’s going to be harmful to you instead of helpful. What motivates your work? It’s easy to “grow weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9) if we have the wrong attitude. I know I’ve been there. I’ve screamed in my head, “What do you want from me!” on more than one occasion. I had allowed the thoughts to take root in my heart that I was doing so much for him already, but that somehow that wasn’t enough, that He was demanding more. That I was lacking. Those are just a bunch of ugly lies, God doesn’t demand, we have a choice. At my worst moments of fear, illness, weakness and depression, God patiently reminded me that He loved me, that He wasn’t asking for a slave (being forced), but that He wanted a daughter who served from a heart of thankfulness and love. I had gone back to Egypt (slavery) when He wanted me in the Promised Land (a place of rest, provision and peace).
God showed His love for us through the ugliness and the shame on the cross. Jesus not only poured out His life’s blood on that tree, but also His great love and longing for us. When we know Him, (not know about Him with our reasoning mind, but know Him intimately in our hearts), we understand what He wants. He wants a relationship with Him, two way conversations, and fellowship. He wants us to spend time with Him, not in work or service but in relationship. Get these pictures in your head. First think about how you feel when your child obediently cleans their room, to the best of their ability. Now think of your little one sitting on your lap, with each of their little hands on either side of your face, looking into your eyes, and saying “I love you”. Which one touches you more?
Sure their room needs cleaned and we have to teach them responsibility, it’s for their own good after all (sounding familiar?), but first we want their love. The Church needs cleaned, bills need paid, and the lost need reached. But first and most importantly we need to accept God’s love for us, and love Him back, build a better relationship with Him. We don’t do that by work, but by sitting in His lap. All of those other things will get done and with the right motivation. Sounds easier, freer, and way more fun!
“Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3