A Story of Family, Forgiveness and Healing

Mercy Comes Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a re-release of Christmas Every Morning. It is a story about a woman who returns home to Taos, NM to spend her mother’s last days with her in an Alzheimer’s care facility.

The main character, Krista, has not had a good relationship with her mother and has stayed away for several years. Coming home and facing her past and learning more about her mother’s own struggles causes Krista to re-evaluate her opinions about her mother.

Bergren does a wonderful job of weaving Krista’s past memories in with the present and the new things her main character is learning about her mother. This is a love story in more ways than one. There is the love between a man and a woman, the love between a woman and Jesus and the love between a daughter and her mother.

At first, the story was a little hard to get into but it slowly draws you in and you begin to want Krista and all of her loved ones to find resolution. Mercy Comes Morning is a story that will touch people with loved ones with Alzheimer’s as well as women who may not have the best relationships with their mothers as well as anyone who is just looking for a good read about forgiveness and healing from the past.

***A copy of this book was given to me free of charge by Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated in any way for either a positive or negative review.

 

Max Lucado’s Insight on Some Tough Questions

Max on Life is a great resource for everyone, Christians who have questions or have friends and acquaintances with questions and non-Christians who have doubts, concerns and questions of their own.

Using the questions he has received over the course of his ministry, Max Lucado’s compilation of these questions and his answers spans everything from questions about our Christianity to raising kids, money, relationships and Heaven. Lucado’s answers are always rooted in Biblical teaching and sometimes humorous.

Answering questions such as, “Who Is God? How can I know what He is like? How can I trust that He is powerful enough to take care of me?”,  “How can I talk to my kids about sex?” and “My anxiety is affecting my health, family and work. Where do I turn?”, Lucado does not gloss over his answers. Instead, he shares Biblical principles as well as some personal guidelines.

This is a book that will be very valuable to hold on to for a guide of how to answer tough questions when they are thrown at you or even to go to when you are struggling in different areas of your own life.

 

***This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or negative review

Top Chefs Struggle Too

I am a fan of The Food Network and the Top Chef  series so when the opportunity to review a book by a chef from Top Chef Masters, Rick Tramonto, came my way, I looked forward to it. Scars of a Chef documents Tramonto’s life from childhood through all of his successes as a world-renowned chef and then some.

Spending his teenage years struggling in school experimenting with drugs, Tramonto found that work was the one thing that would keep him out of trouble. From his first days in the food industry working at a new franchise location for Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Tramonto details his education in food as he climbed the ranks of the culinary industry.

The book was interesting to me up until about page 200 where I was really feeling like I was just reading a chef’s version of name-dropping. At this point, I was also still waiting to hear about Tramonto’s relationship with God (which actually didn’t begin until late in Tramonto’s career).

Scars of a Chef is engaging and, as a bonus, the author shares some of his recipes at the end of every chapter. If you are a foodie or a fan of Tramonto, this book won’t disappoint.

 

 

****A copy of Scars of a Chef  was provided to me free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or negative review of this book

A Woman’s Guide to Healing after Rejection

As a woman who is almost forty and has not been married or in a serious relationship with a man before, Left at the Altar did not seem like a book I could get anything out of. And so, it sat on my bookshelf for months.
Determined to get back to writing reviews and clearing off my bookshelf, I finally opened the cover of Kimberley Kennedy’s book and could not put it down. Kennedy shares her story of heartbreak and the ultimate rejection from the man she was planning to marry leaving her the day of their wedding rehearsal, the day before their wedding.
Baring her soul, weaknesses and all, Kennedy shares her downward spiral after she was left at the altar along with many other women’s stories of hurt and rejection, some choosing to stay in their relationships and some leaving them. One thing I really appreciated about the author’s insights was that she included stories from and about women who are single and have chosen to remain that way. She showed that being happy and whole isn’t about a relationship with a man for everyone.
The main emphasis of Left at the Altar is that no matter how we are rejected by the people in our lives, God always loves us and is always there. Using the story of Leah, a woman who was rejected by her husband but eventually learned how much she was loved by God, Kennedy shows that rejection is not something that is new. She shares the path she took to recover from her own rejection, warning readers that everyone’s paths will be different by they can know they are never alone.

The Next Christians?

With the subtitle of “The Good News About the End of Christian America,” I was excited to read this book. I was looking forward to new insights into where Christianity is headed. Instead, I was introduced to all of the reasons why current Christians (lumped into five subcategories) are getting it wrong.

Gabe Lyons contends in The Next Christians  that the new group of Christians are those who submerge themselves in society and have the right idea, even though their mission is not to lead people to salvation. There is even a warning about this kind of Christianity: “The next Christians must be aware that operating in the center of the world requires a deep anchoring in Christ, a grounding that’s achieved only through means unbecoming to most. Otherwise, it hardly ever works.” The author even mentions his research but shares very little of the actual findings.

While I was disappointed with where Lyons was going with the book overall, he does share several practices that are instrumental to anyone who is pursuing the Christina walk. These include being immersed in Scripture, being postured by prayer and fasting for simplicity. All good lessons for any Christian to be reminded of.

I pray the next Christians don’t immerse themselves in cultural America just to say they did so. Hopefully, they lead a few of the people around them to Christ, just as the Great Commission calls us to do.