Friday, August 4, 2017

What I Read- July 2017

I love summer because it gives me the chance to read. I don't have to worry about all the other school work, I don't have assigned reading for school, I can just read for fun. Here is what I read this month;

The Hidden Flame (Janette Oke and Davis Bunn)

This is the second in a series of books by this team of authors. The first book (titled: The Centurion's Wife) is set between the resurrection of Jesus and Pentecost. This book is set between Pentecost and the Martyrdom of Stephen.
In this book, Abigail is a young woman in the Christian community who helps to make food and care for the apostles and the other believers- or "Followers of the Way" as they call themselves. She has injured her leg and walks with a limp...and yet there are two men who are interested in her. One is an influential and rich Jewish merchant. The other is an unbelieving Roman soldier. She is not interested in either one. She ends up marrying a fellow believer named Stephen and helping him in his ministry to the orphans and widows.
But their joy as a married couple is soon to end. The Jewish merchant, her former suitor, was the brother of Saphira. Saphira and her husband were killed by God for lying...but the merchant thinks the apostles did it. So he plans to take revenge. He does this by having Stephen arrested and killed.
In the midst of all this, Abigail's younger brother, Jacob, as grown into a young man. He has always dreamed of being a Roman soldier, but his guardian is now a believer and won't support his dream. So he goes to the Roman soldier who was Abigail's suitor and appeals for help towards his dream. But this Roman soldier too becomes a believer, and Jacob ends up joining a friend as a caravan guard. He isn't happy there, but it is a little closer to his childhood dream. But Abigail feels a new tension between the two of them, and she doesn't like it.

The Silent Songbird (Melanie Dickerson)

This is another fairytale rewrite (I wrote about one of them in April). This one is based off the story of Ariel. She is trapped by her cousin (the King) in one of his castles, and she has a beautiful voice. The king is scared that she will be stolen away if she ventures out in the world, so he forbids her to leave without a guard...and he is forcing her to marry a man who is at least twice her age. So the maiden (named Evangeline) ventures out on her own. She goes with her faithful servant and pretends to be mute. She goes by the name Eva. She meets and falls in love with a son of a duke. Then her secret comes out, and he is angry with her. She eventually regains his trust, saves his life, he saves hers, and they marry in the end. This book connects with two of the other books in the series...but since I had to figure it out on my own, you do too! :) (Oh, and by the way, the next book in the series comes out in September 2018...eagerly awaiting!!)

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives (Charles Swindoll)

This is another one of Swindoll's amazing Bible biographies. I love these books. This one was a smattering of stories of often-overlooked people in the old testament. From the part of Abraham's story we don't hear about, to Jabez, to a guy named Uzziah I'd never heard of, this was full of unusual characters and great truths to learn from their lives.

This Changes Everything (Jaquelle Crowe)

This was a FANTASTIC book written by a teenager for teenagers. Guys, don't let the pink cover fool you, it is a book I would recommend to both girls and guys. Her retelling of the gospel brings so much color to it...as if there wasn't enough color in the gospel already. I mean, GOD comes down to earth to die for his enemies...pretty amazing! But her retelling made it come alive for me. I really saw the WONDER of what he did on the cross. Anyway, following her retelling, she talked about how the gospel changes, well, everything. She applied the truth of the gospel to ALL of life. Not just sin and church, but time, relationships, media, service, and more. And let me say, some of the things she said were SERIOUSLY convicting!!!! I loved the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Just three short questions that make you think about how what she talked about applies to YOU.

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