The Coldest Fear by: Rick Reed

The Coldest FearThe Coldest Fear by Rick Reed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

A killer who killed as a child that changed his soul piece by piece and became what he hated.

You only know him as a killer as he strikes a mid-west town with a crusesom killing. Not once, but a handful of times. It becomes personal when the killer points the killings to Jack Murphy. The killer daunts him, dares him if you will to come after him. The killer has a past that makes all of his killings personal. He kills to reveal the real person behind the victim. It is vicious and full of rage.

Jack Murphy has a need to right all the wrongs of the world including this killer.

The draw of the book is not the violence (it was violent but it could have been worse) but what is behind the violence. As a Christian, it reminds me of what we are all capable of the evil and the good. The reveal is exciting as well as the ending.

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

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When Anything Goes: Being a Christian in a Post-Christian World by: Leslie Williams

When Anything Goes: Being Christian in a Post-Christian WorldWhen Anything Goes: Being Christian in a Post-Christian World by Leslie Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 stars

A English Professor’s point of view, it seems we have produced a generation of young people who no longer understand Biblical references in literature-and who don’t know what they are missing.

This book took me surprise because it wasn’t what I expected and if you happen to decide to read as well, I think you will agree. Usually I like a strong theological/doctrine stand on the word of God but this is more of an experience with a appreciation of the word. She does not bark but draws you in to the loving relationship of God that you may be missing. It is intellectual but also does not ignore the senses and the emotions. She draws from suffering that God redeems that we may know him as God. That we are created for meaning and by understanding, we may know the will of God. It is our relationship with the Lord that creates order out of chaos.

Some of the quotes I found inspiring.

We all know this truth, but it bears reminding: it’s dangerous to judge ourselves from the inside, but others from the outside. Some people like trees overloaded with perfect fruit. How easy life is for them! Not necessarily so. Creating a meaningful inside reality is the goal, and depends largely on grafting (applying others’ advise), fertilizing (using the manure of live in a productive way, timing (waiting for the right moment) and learning to weather the storms.

Enough as it turns out is as good as a feast. Enough money leads to happiness. Enough foods leads to health. Enough self-love leads to confidence. Enough accomplishment leads to a good reputation. Enough control leads to a good balance in life The trouble begins when we love too much.

Looking for love in all the wrong places could be a theme song for our culture eight up there with the national anthem. We are a people convinced that love can be gotten, earned, bought, and sold.

When anything goes invites the reader to look in the inside of a broken life and how the order of God can bring peace. It does not deal with our need of a savior and that sin is against a holy God. However, it does shed light in our broken world. It is a beautiful written account of our broken heart.

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

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Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power by John Piper

Living in the Light: Money, Sex and PowerLiving in the Light: Money, Sex and Power by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When God’s glory is revealed and treasured most, the power of sinful attraction/desires are broken. The brightness of the sun makes the darkness of sin vanish. So when it comes to our desire, the issue is this: Do we see the glory of God?

Vintage John Piper at the center of Living in the Light is what do we value? What do we treasure? Why money, sex and power? Because in these three areas of living, our hearts are revealed. What we value and what we treasure. Usually Piper can be difficult to read in that you may have to read a paragraph twice or more to get what he is applying. You don’t want to miss the beauty because of misunderstanding or not grasping the glory.

This book is easy to read and to grasp. He starts with definitions and foundations of money, sex and power. In other words, another foundational reality we have to deal with is that money, sex and power are, from the beginning, gifts of God- good gifts of God. And if they sink us, it isn’t because God gave us bad gifts; it’s because something happened inside us to turn gifts of grace into instruments of sin, into altars and incense in the temple of pride. So the first thing we need to do is talk about definitions which lead us to see certain foundational realities that are far deeper-and far bigger than the dangerous icebergs or the floating reassure-islands of money

It gets to the root. We also encounter the dangers of money, sex and power. But the good news is the gospel delivers. It not only delivers but teaches us to enjoy the gifts. In his own words-Definitions and foundations. Dangers and how to defeat them. Potentials and how to deploy them. The 3 D’s- Define, Defeat, Deploy.

Some of the quotes that I found inspiring.
In our ungodliness, we do what ungodliness does-it suppresses the truth that God is to be treasured as supremely glorious and generous. Our sinful nature hates the light of God’s supremacy and runs to the darkness, where we feel supreme.

Sin is any feeling or thought or action that comes form a heart that does not treasure God over all other things. The bottom of sin, the root of all sins, is such a heart-a heart that prefers anything above God; a heart that does not treasure God over everything else, and everyone else.

Before Christ, sin is not an alien power in us. Sin our preference for anything over God. Sin is our disapproval of God. Sin is our exchange of his glory for substitutes. Sin is our suppression of the truth of God. Sin is our heart’s hostility to God. It is who we are to the to bottom of our hearts. Until CHRIST.

We need to know the battle we are in and know how to engage it. It is not a book to be read only once but to be reminded of that battle that is worth the stand. To behold the glory of God and treasure him above all else.

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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Only Ever You by: Rebecca Drake

Only Ever YouOnly Ever You by Rebecca Drake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lately it was as if all her senses were lost, as if the only things she could taste and feel were fear and longing.

The greatest fear of a child abduction becomes a reality in the Lassiter family. Jill and David Lassiter, a successful family, living the American dream until their daughter is suddenly taken from them. The dream becomes a nightmare when they are accused of their daughter’s disappearance and apparent murder. In order to save herself and her family, Jill takes matters in her own hands. What she uncovers is all that she knows that is true, is now deception and deceit.

Jill & David have a past of great loss and this only leads to more suspicion to the authorities. The abduction becomes personal and deadly. Will Sophie be found in time and will their marriage survive?

A real page turner as you guess the why and the who and still come out a little surprised.

A Special Thank You to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Brush of Wings (Angels Walking #3) by Karen Kingsbury

A Brush of Wings (Angels Walking, #3)A Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for in doing so some of you have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

This prose is based on the scripture of Angels interceding and doing the will of God. For his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. All throughout the bible, God gives us glimpses of the spiritual warfare that the Angles and demons battle for the hearts and souls of people.

Mary Katherine has suffered from a heart defect all of her life so she knows how fragile life is. Working at a teen center to keep young people off the streets and out of gangs she has experienced the pull of destruction in the people she serves. When her doctor reveals that her heart is needing a transplant sooner than later, she makes the decision to do her life dream of serving in a orphanage in Africa. She makes this decision without telling her family, friends, and Marcus the man whose heart is taken by Mary Katherine. However, Mary sees no future with him and discourages any pursuit. Amongst all this activity, there are angels that working for a greater purpose than Mary Katherine or Marcus will know as they seek what God has planned and experience his will in their lives.

In Christian fiction such as this, there is many lessons learned, one being that God pursues and is in battle for the heart of his people. Just as Marcus pursues Mary, the Lord pursues us. Just as we isolate our selves like Mary, God brings people that don’t give up. There are many ways to give up on life and only one way to live life – for the glory of God. That is what makes this a special read.

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

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Welcome Back by: Lin Stepp

Welcome BackWelcome Back by Lin Stepp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cowardice can never step free of the past, only bravery can.

With her daughter’s plea to come back home, Lydia is comes back with no expectations to the daughter and husband she left behind. Because of the manipulation and emotional abuse of her mother-in-law, Lydia took her two sons and moved from the clutches of her mother-in-law. Her daughter is now grown up with twin boys of her own and her husband is continuing the family business of farming. Her son’s do not support the ideal of Lydia coming back to the husband that did not stop the abuse of his mother to their family.

A story of pain when living under oppression and picking up the pieces and years later redeeming the time of pain and misunderstanding. Lydia’s husband John must prove himself to his family for not leading and protecting the family that fell under the manipulation of his mother. The relationship between Lydia and her husband had to be rebuilt but I felt that more could have been done to the relationship between mother and daughter. The daughter had chosen to stay with her father and not leave with her mother. There was more to that disconnect that could have upped the narration a bit. It was a good read on the vulnerability of relationships and what needs to be done to repair what has been damaged.

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

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The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your Calling by: Jerry Bridges

The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your CallingThe Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your Calling by Jerry Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would say that it is impossible to truly walk in humility without to some degree appropriating the truth of the gospel every day.

Jerry Bridges leaves a legacy of good solid bible teaching. I have been blessed with his teaching and I would strongly recommend all of his books for those that desire to study the word of God. With his recent passing, I was excited to see this book offered on Netgalley and I hope many will desire the blessing of humility that is found in the beatitudes. This is a teaching of the beatitudes and how the beatitudes reflect the humility of the gospel. The beatitudes is how we respond to who God is and how each of the beatitudes build on the other. It is not only how we respond to God and his work, but also to each other. You cannot mourn unless you are poor in spirit and you cannot be meek without morning and so on. Each of the beatitudes are beautifully exalted in this study.

A balanced study of the gospel that shows the good news of the Gospel.

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

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