Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s impossible to deny the reality of our helplessness. Aside from each other, this box is the only constant we have. A very tiny boat in the middle of a very large ocean. It’s our shelter. Our prison. Our home.

Jason a father, husband and teacher at the local college in Chicago is content with where he is and who he. Everything changes when he is kidnapped after meeting with a friend at a local bar. His masked abductor seems familiar has he drives to a deserted building with a strange request. He is given a drug and when he awakens, he tries to go back home but home is not home. He keeps thinking of his wife and son and is determined to get his life back. What he realizes is that he doesn’t know the side of him that got him where he is now. As he discovers what he must do, will he survive? Will his family survive?

This book reminded me of the movie Inception and was very sci-fi. A thriller that keeps you at the edge and makes you question what is reality. Very well done as it keeps you in the know and in the dark at the same time. Intense with heart.

A Special Thank You to Crown Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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House of Silence by: Sarah Barthel

House of SilenceHouse of Silence by Sarah Barthel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My ruse would only work if everyone believed it. Silence was part of my ploy. I’d only just obtained safety; I ‘d not risk it.

A historical fiction during the time of President Lincoln’s death. Mary Lincoln suffered from depression and was sent to a house facility that cared for women with mental issues. Mary Lincoln is not the main character but a she is brought in a good light to the protagonist Isabelle Larkin who has come to Bellevue sanitarium under a false pretense.

Isabelle Larkin is a confident young woman engaged to be married Gregory Gallagher. He is ambitious young man that Isabelle feels proud to be by his side. Everything changes when she witnesses a side of Gregory that no one has ever seen. When she tries to tell her mother the truth of Gregory, her mother does not support her and accuses her of lying. Now Isabelle fears for her life and fakes her mental health. Her mother fears that her daughter’s engagement is in jeopardy and has her daughter taken to Bellevue. It is at Bellevue that Isabelle meets the famed Mary Lincoln and with her help and friendship, Isabelle fights to get her life back.

A clean read that was interesting and engaging. The plot pulled you along but was not overly intense. Isabelle’s character was easy to like has she was vulnerable but also took risks at a time where women were not taken seriously.

A Special Thank You to Kensington Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC an the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Deity of Christ: A John MacArthur Study Series by: John F. MacArthur, Jr

The Deity of Christ: A John MacArthur Study SeriesThe Deity of Christ: A John MacArthur Study Series by John F. MacArthur Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Christian faith is not theoretical or abstract; it is rooted in the practical truth that God became man in the Person of Jesus Christ

Who do you say is Jesus? A good man, a prophet, a good teacher….Jesus is so much more and that being so; it is important what you believe to be true about who Jesus is.

The text comes in three parts. The Divine Glory of Christ, The Divine Authority of Christ, and the Divine Claims of Christ.

The Divine Glory of Christ answers the question correctly about who Jesus is. In regards to creation and the first Adam, Jesus became the first born and it is his work of salvation that undid what Adam disobedience brought to mankind.

The Divine Authority of Christ discusses Christ authority over Satan, sin, the Sabbath and creation. What most was intriguing to me was the Sabbath. What Christ authority over the Sabbath means for us and how it gives us rest. The Sabbath became a “religious” hang up for many Jews. The culture was explained on how the people were distressed by anything that had to be done on the Sabbath. When Jesus declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath, He struck a severe blow at the entire system of merit and works righteousness that found its focal point in the Sabbath. I think this is true today. It is easy for us to have work attitude. What do I have to do be saved. The two verbs that lead to salvation on man’s part is believe who Christ is and to come to Christ in repentance.

The Claims of Christ discusses the Great I AM. Each I am discusses the divinity of Christ and the work of Christ. How Christ becomes our satisfaction in what really matters.

A Special Thank You to Moody Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Saving Jason by: Michael Sears

Saving JasonSaving Jason by Michael Sears
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perfection as a parent was a goal, not a condition and one that seemed to recede with each new trial the Kid handed me.

Jason a father to 7 year old boy with Autism has its challenges but add to criminal record and now working with the feds to uncover a money scheme, what more can a single dad take? By the way, someone is out to kill him. A fast packed thriller with heart. It takes heart to be a parent of a child of Autism. The stock market thriller part takes on a whole new level when it comes to who you can trust and taking down the scheme to uncover who is pulling the strings. Jason understands that the market is run on greed and fear and uses that to his advantage to bring it all to climatic end.

It is always wise to remember that when a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.

Because Jason is such a numbers guy, as a protagonist he is well developed and his character is black and white. He knows what is right and wrong and being a father he seems to be driven to right his wrongs. Redemption drives him.

A Special Thank you to Penguin Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Cherished Quilt (Amish Heirloom #3) By: Amy Clipston

The Cherished Quilt (Amish Heirloom, #3)The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love, for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16

When you can’t face your troubled emotions and your spirit is broken, where can you find comfort? The Amish Heirlooms continues with the Fisher family. It is now the youngest daughter Emily to find the riches of wisdom within her mother’s family locked hope chest. Emily helps her father along with his partner Leroy in the leather shop where they make leather goods for tourists.

Emily’s life changes when Leroy’s nephew Christopher comes to live with him and help in the shop. It is Emily’s nature to make other feel welcome however, Christopher responds rudely to Emily’s gracious welcome and leaves Emily perplexed.

When she finds out Christopher is running from a tragedy of the family, she desires to become his friend. As the friendship develops, they both must face their fears and learn to wait for the heart to heal.

Christopher’s story was a heartbreaker for me as he struggled with self-esteem, grief, and the affirmation of his father. Emily’s encouragement helped him see his worthiness and his need for community. It was a tear jerker for me. I loved it!

A Special Thank you to Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by: Michael S. Horton

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's StoryCore Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael S. Horton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Good news is not an agenda for us to fulfill but an announcement of God’s victory in his Son.

This is a study to help you get on track of what is important and not to be distracted on the things that take us away from the Gospel message. The text begins on who God is. This is so important because without it, we are utterly lost and will cling to other gospels such as the social gospel, prosperity gospel, etc and so on and so on. The study brings the old to the new. It shows the fulfillment of the old promise to the new promise. And most importantly it shows how the Old Testament points to Jesus and the work of the cross.

The relationship between the trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit are key to the Christian life. I always appreciate an author and teacher that brings clarity to the work of the trinity. I love his words We experience this wonderful truth in the salvation that comes to us from the Father, in the Son, and through the Spirit. All three persons are dedicated to our salvation, working in distinct ways toward the completion of a single work of redemption.

We can make Christianity about our feelings and our passions but really Christianity is about God. His redemptive plan and making him known through our faith in who He is. Saving mankind from sin and death to a relationship that satisfies.

Biblical insights are important to see the whole arch of the word of God. This was prevalent throughout this study. One that I found interesting was the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of his only son. This was meant for mankind to be a picture of Jesus from everything to where and how and why all are significant. Because of this, I have always appreciated the teaching of Horton.

Quotes that I found encouraging

Until then, we are called neither to change the world nor to abandon it but to love and serve our neighbors to the best of our ability.

Evil is not a principle in creation itself but is the willful distortion of good gifts into an arsenal deployed against God’s reign.

In finding our self in God’s Story, we live and breath the Gospel. We don’t fret about politics but we do get in the trenches to make Him known. We are not consumed by worldly things that don’t last but treasure the things that last for eternity. We are not making our own kingdom but bringing the kingdom of God to others. This is a story that matters.

A Special Thank You to Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Beyond the Ninety-Five Theses: Martin Luther’s Life, Thought, and Lasting Legacy by: Stephen J. Nichols

Beyond the Ninety-Five Theses: Martin Luther's Life, Thought, and Lasting LegacyBeyond the Ninety-Five Theses: Martin Luther’s Life, Thought, and Lasting Legacy by Stephen J. Nichols
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do we look to God to understand humanity? Or, do we look to humanity to understand God? Luther tried looking to God. But the closer he looked, the more terrified he became. This started his journey and the Reformation.

The struggle of Martin Luther is our struggle too and it should be our struggle. A great historical text on what drove Martin Luther and the history of the church itself. As the catholic church was selling penance and salvation, Luther was driven for God to be found in suffering and the cross. That is where true theology lies. Anything else, leads to idolatry of self and the church was the bigger offender. The 95 theses laid out the gospel and the misdirection of the church. Luther taught it was the word alone, Christ alone. The sola scriptura. It became the authority question. We submit to the word, the word does not submit to us.

Luther’s life as described in this text reveals his confidence in the scriptures and the work of the cross. It behooves us to understand church history to avoid making the same theological mistakes of the past. It keeps what is important and the one thing the one thing. With the 500 year birthday of the Reformation, we as Christians owe much to Martin Luther and paving the way for us to these spiritual truths. Spiritual truths that focus on the Gospel and not of a man-made kingdom. A legacy that is worth a study. High recommend.

A Special Thank You to P & R Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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