Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma


The Melody of the Soul
 
A Nazi officer. A Jewish Czech violinist. Her music haunts him. When he's faced with losing it, he'll go through any length to save it. And her.

It's 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she'll do anything to keep her safe-a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.

Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them. 
Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.

Watch the trailer for The Melody of the Soul!


Learn more about Liz and her new release here.


Here is my review of this enchanting read:


First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Liz Tolsma and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Melody of the Soul" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Melody of the Soul” by Liz Tolsma is a gripping story about a period of history we cannot forget.  Deportation to a concentration camp separates Anna and her Grandmother from her parents and siblings.  Spared by a friend of her brother who didn’t think their Grandmother would survive the camp, Anna cares for her and continues to play her violin even though musical instruments are banned by the Nazis.  But the love of music is what draws these people from different world together.  And just like many of the Jews didn’t recognize their Messiah, Anna learns that salvation comes from an unconventional place.
This beautiful story is so engaging for many reasons.  First, God plays a major part.  The characters frequently refer to the Lord and God’s plan and God’s blessings.  It is especially encouraging in troubling circumstances.  Second, the family relationships and the development of the relationship between Anna and Horst are sweet and multi-faceted.  It wouldn’t surprise me if these characters stepped off the page into my living room.  Third, this time in history is especially tender for me.  I find it difficult to believe that there are people alive today who deny the existence of the holocaust, but I’ve met some.  I’ve also met people with numbers tattooed on their arms and believe their stories must be told.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Homiletics: Romans 9:1-29


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.I spk truth in C-I’m lying; conscience testifying2me w/HS-I have intense sorrow/anguish in heart(1-2)

2.4I could almost wish2b cursed/cut off from Messiah4benefit of my bros,my own flesh&blood(3)

3.They’re Israelites&2them belong the adoption/glry/covnts/giving of Law/temple svc/promises(4)

4.The ancestrs are theirs&from them,by phys descent,came Mess Who is G over all,praisd4evr.Amen(5)

5.But it as tho word of G failed,4 all who descended from Israel are Israel(6)

6.neither r they all children bec they Abe’s descendants;au contraire ur offspr will b traced thru Isaac(7)

7.it children of phys descent who r Gs but children of promise;stmt of promise:Sarah will hv son(8-9)

8.also Rebekah rec’d promise when she bec preg by Isaac(10)

9.4tho her sons born yet or done good or bad so Gs purpose according2election stand(11)

10.frm works but frm One Who calls-she told:older will srv youngr;as writn:I lvd Jacob, h8d Esau(12-13)

11.What shld we say?Is thr injustc w/G?Abs not!He tell Moses:I sho mercy/compass2whom I will (14-15)

12.so depend on human will/effort but G Who shows mercy(16)

13.4Scr tells Pharoah:Iraised u so I may display my pwr/my name proclaimd in all earth(17)

14.He sho mercy/hardens those He wants; u2me:why He still find fault?Who can resist His will?(18-19)

15.Who r u2talk back2G?Will what formed say”y u make me like this?”(20)

16.has pottr rt2mk1 4honr&1 4dishonr?What if G endur w/patnc obj o wrath ready4destructn?(21-22)

17.What if He did this2mk known riches o His glry2obj o mercy He prepd4glry frm Jews & Gents?(23-24)

18.He in Hosea:I’ll call my ppl, my ppl/unlvd-belvd&in plc they told u my ppl,calld sons of living G(25-26)

19.Isa concrng Is:tho#Is sons like sand,only remnant saved;L execute completely/decisively(27-28)

20.if L left us offspr, we become like Sodom/Gomorrah(29)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.Paul’s Sorrow and Anguish Over Israel(1-5)

Principle: God brought salvation of mankind through the Jews.

2.God’s Election of Israel(6-13)

Principle: God’s will is forecast (revealed) in His promises.

3.God’s Just Election of Jews and Gentiles(14-29)

Principle: God has a plan and a purpose for every life.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Paul writes Romans about his anguish and God’s just election.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK God’s children aren’t limited to the descendants of Abraham.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about heart change):

1.How does your sorrow over non-believers missing out on eternity with Christ change your attitude about sharing Christ with those who don’t know Him?

2.What do God’s promises and their fulfillment in these verses teach you about “election” and how does this affect how you witness to others?

3.What does God’s inclusion of Gentiles in His family tell you about His salvation plan for mankind and who might you include in your evangelism that you hadn’t previously considered worthy?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren


Troubled Waters
by Susan May Warren


A three day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave washes the passengers overboard, leaving Ian and Sierra scrambling for survival. Sparks ignite as they wait for a rescue, but will a secret keep them apart?




Here's my review of this amazing read:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Susan May Warren and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Troubled Waters" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Susan May Warren creates pure adrenaline on the page with Montana Rescue Book #4, "Troubled Waters".  Although part of a series, this novel is enjoyable on its own.

Ian and Sierra's long-anticipated story is a suspenseful adventure of secrets, loss and love.  Everyone knows they belong together, but they're not even speaking right now.  Ian's niece, Esme, is missing after the death of her boyfriend and she blames herself.  Sierra knows where the girl is, but she hasn't been successful in convincing her to come home.

Sierra's need to get the PEAK Rescue Team helicopter repaired has thrust her and Ian together again when he offers to help by putting on a fundraiser.  An accident cripples Ian's yacht and the PEAK Team must rescue Ian and Sierra while they rely on each other for survival.

This high-energy novel is impossible to put down and does not disappoint.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Homiletics: Romans 8:28-39


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

I hand-wrote my content this week…

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.God calls, justifies and glorifies His people.(28-30)

Principle:  God glorifies believers by transforming them into Christ’s likeness.

2.Christ has died, been raised and intercedes for His people.(31-34)

Principle:  God proves His allegiance to His people through Christ’s death and resurrection.

3.We are inseparable from Christ Jesus our Lord, Who makes us more than conquerors.(35-39)

Principle:  Christ, the Victor, makes His people victorious through unbreakable unity.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

We’re more than conquerors through Christ Who intercedes and glorifies.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK Believers are called by God and prayed for by Christ, inseparable from Him and more than conquerors through Him.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about heart change):

1.How have you been transformed to look like Jesus since you came to Christ and how does this encourage you for the change He’s working in you, now?

2.How might Christ be interceding for you right now and how will this change how you pray for yourself and others?

3. In what areas do you feel distant from Christ and what changes are you willing to make to draw closer to Him?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

 


                                            
Oath of Honor
by Lynette Eason

Blue Justice #1


When police officer Isabelle St. John's partner is murdered, she must work with Detective Ryan Marshall to solve a case that may force her to choose between family and justice.






Here's my review of this amazing read:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Lynette Eason and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Oath of Honor" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
“Oath of Honor” by Lynette Eason is an action-packed suspense novel that’s impossible to put down.  Izzy and Kevin have been friends since childhood.  They even became partners on the police force.  In a bad turn of events on a stakeout that cost Kevin his life, Izzy has become the target of a killer.  Now she is trying to stay out of the line of fire while working with Kevin’s brother, Detective Ryan Marshall, to solve the mystery of his brother’s murder.

This is a white-knuckle read with lots of twists and turns.  I haven’t been so gripped by a book in a long time.  Lynette Eason has a gift for crafting a great story with believable characters and interesting dialog.  If you enjoy a good suspense read, pick up this book and choose a long weekend to enjoy it because you won’t want to put it down.

  
 

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

               
The Lacemaker
by Laura Frantz


On the eve of her wedding, Lady Elisabeth Lawson’s world is shattered, as surely as the fine glass windows of her colonial Williamsburg home. In a town seething with Patriots ready for rebellion, her protection comes from an unlikely source—now if she could only protect her heart.

Here is my review of this amazing work of historical fiction:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Laura Frantz and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Lacemaker" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
he elegant cover of “The Lacemaker” by Laura Frantz sets the stage well for the beautifully crafted story of Lady Elisabeth Lawson, daughter of the Lieutenant Governor of the colony of Virginia in 1775.  There is a wedding in Lady Elisabeth’s future to Miles Cullen Roth and an undercurrent of political intrigue as Noble Rynallt, Miles’ cousin, spies on Lady Elisabeth’s father to advance the cause of the Independencemen.
Tables turn on the eve of the American Revolution when Elisabeth loses her affluence, her fiancĂ© disappears and she must rely on the protection of Rynallt.  This is an enjoyable story of patriotism, family and new beginnings.
Having lived in Virginia for a time, I really enjoy the setting of Colonial Williamsburg.  I thought I would be able to read this at a relaxed pace, savoring the old ways, language and environment.  But I was surprised to find a very fast-paced, exciting story beneath that elegant cover that thrilled me like a ride in a runaway carriage!  Laura Frantz is a gifted storyteller and this is a wonderful book! 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Homiletics: Romans 8:18-27


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.4I consider sufferings of present time worth comparing1glry going2b revealed in us(18)

2.4creation eagerly awaits w/anticipation4G’s sons2b revealed(19)

3.4creation was subjected2futility-willingly but bec of Him who subjected it-(20a)

4.in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free(20b-21a)

5.from the bondage of corruption into glorious freedom of G’s children(21b)

6.4we know whole creation has been groaning together w/labor pains until now(22)

 

7.&only that but we also have Spirit as the 1stfruits(23a)

8.we also groan w/in ourselves, eagerly awaiting4adoption the redemption of our bodies(23b)

9.now in this hope we were saved, yet hope seen=hope bec who hopes4what he sees?(24)

10.but if we hope4what we see, we eagerly wait4it w/patience(25)

 

11.in same way, Spirit also joins2help in our weakness bec we know what2pray4as we should(26a)

12.but Spirit Himself intercedes4us w/unspoken groanings(26b)

13.and He who searches hearts knows the Spirit’s mindset(27a)

14.bec He intercedes4saints according2will of G(27b)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.(Present sufferings not worth comparing to) The Glory to Come (18-22)

Principle: God will free all creation from the bondage of corruption.

2.Our Hope (23-25)

Principle: God-given faith leads to our hope.

3.The Spirit’s Groanings (26-27)

Principle: God Himself intercedes for His people.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Paul tells Romans about the coming glory and Spirit’s groanings.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK Believers have hope in the glory to come and our present sufferings in life aren’t worth comparing to it.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about heart change):

1.How have you observed the bondage of creation to corruption and how does your observation change your thinking about what Christ has done for you?

2.What is the difference between coveting what we see and hoping for what we haven’t seen and how does this hope increase your longing for things of God?

3.How might the Spirit pray for you according to God’s will and how will this change how you pray for yourself and others?