Monday, April 18, 2011

Now I Walk on Death Row by Dale Recinella

Wow...this book would be an excellent read for anyone, but people groups who come to mind would be lawyers, people interested in Wall Street and finance, people involved in prison work and Catholics.  Having said that...I am in none of the above categories and came away from the reading of this book challenged and convicted.
To me, there is nothing greater than hearing someone's experience of their relationship with Jesus.  Dale is an excellent writer and the story he tells of God's call on his life is shared with honesty and humor.
One part that stood out to me was the resistance he and his wife met from the Catholic church when trying to serve the Lord.  I found it a wonderful reminder that God calls us all to serve in His ministry...not just full-time pastors or priests.  I was glad to see the purpose the Lord had for that entire disappointing experience which led to a greater rewarding one.  So often even our best well-intentioned ideas are just not the same as God's plans for our lives.
I enjoyed seeing how God led Dale and his family each step of the way into service for Him
Such a wonderful book that I had to read it all in two nights!!!

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Reggie by Reggie Dabbs

Reggie tells his life-story with humor, honesty, and love.  I can almost "hear" him speaking the words because the style of writing is very conversational.
I enjoyed reading his story and getting to know him through his book.  As I was reading it, I kept thinking of various people I knew who should read it.  It really led to a desire to hear Reggie speak and play the saxophone!
I can see how many school children and teens would be encouraged and changed by hearing Reggie's testimony.
I also like the study guide questions at the end of each chapter.  He divides the book into 10 chapters with a theme of knowing a different part of yourself.  Know your story.  Know your truth.  Know your pain.  Know your name.  Know your passion.
His story is one of a sad entrance into this life filled with many difficulties such as attention deficit disorder.  However, he focuses on how God uses people who aren't perfect to accomplish His will.
I love the way Reggis breaks down a Bible story in each chapter into language a young person can relate to.  He then illustrates how that particular Scripture can be learned from today in our own lives.
By being willing to be himself, just as God made him, and to be open to doing what God tells him to do, Reggis has impacted many young people in a positive way.  It isn't always easy to just be yourself, but God made us.  He knows who we are. It is His glory and love that shines through a man like Reggie, despite all of his "deficits".
The book made me want to meet him in person and give him a hug and say "Keep running the race, my brother."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Promises To Keep

This was an excellent book with just the right amounts of humor to make me smile as well as well developed characters who drew me into their lives with hopes and dreams.  This is the story of two little girls who are searching for the father in their lives.  It is a story of trust, friendship, family and faith.  As a family moves away from a violent situation and start over, many lives are touched.  The house they move into belonged to Tillie, who had to stay in a nursing home for a time, but her sons sold the house while she was recouperating.  She insists she will die in that house and continues to come and sit on the porch until at last the mother sees a way to make all happy...let Tillie live there and be a nanny to the children. 
This book was a wonderful read and had me laughing and crying.  I loved the fact that it had discussion questions in the back which make it a great choice for a book club or for homeschooling moms.

I was given a free copy of this book to review and my opinions are definitely my own. 

When Sparrows Fall - Fiction

I love reading non-fiction but chose this fiction title as a break.  It reminded me why I love fiction so much too!  This was one of those books that I could not put down...the highest compliment a book can receive.  I had to read it all in one night.  It was well written with mystery, compelling characters, and drama.  It is about a mother and her children who have gotten caught up in a cult/church.  She desires to break free but it isn't so simple.  Her brother in law whom she has only met once ends up being caretaker of her children while she has a stay in the hospital.  He is drawn into the lives of the children and realizes he loves them.  As they get to know each other there are still untold secrets that may affect all of their lives.  This was one exciting book!!