Screenshot 2015-02-16 19.03.25Guess what guys? The new issue of Believer Life is out! Click below to download it. I hope you enjoy!

Believer Life February 2015

Book Review, A Heart’s Journey

A Heart’s Journey, by Michele Fleming, is the touching story of two motherless sisters during the Civil War. Ana and Lucy’s father is a colonel in the confederate army. As the enemy inches closer to their home, Col. James Lawson sends his daughters to stay with his wife’s sister in Texas. He sends them via train under the watchful care of their freed slave, Liza, a gentle train conductor named Thomas and a handsome soldier, Jacob.

During this journey, Ana moves to center stage. The reader experiences the loss of Liza under horrible circumstance, admires Jacob’s charm and learns of God’s irresistible love, all through Ana’s eyes. When the girls arrive at their aunt Josie’s ranch, they are welcomed with open arms. Romance blossoms in the most unexpected places. Fear begins to be replaced by hope, until terrible news about their father and their home arrives by telegram.

Michele Fleming does a good job of weaving conflict into the story. Many of the challenges the characters face cannot be anticipated and leave the reader in suspense for several pages. However, no single conflict carries through the whole book, leaving the reader feeling a bit like a missing puzzle piece without much continuity. Also, the characters seem almost too good to be true, the heroine and leading roles lacking any real flaws and making it difficult to relate to them.

Despite the decentralized conflict, Fleming concludes the story with a sweet sense of “happily ever after”. And though the characters feel a little contrived, A Heart’s Journey, leaves the reader with peace and hope.

Welcome September!

Believe it or not, here we are again – on the precipice of a new month. Actually, we just slipped over the edge a few days ago and find ourselves screaming through the final days of summer.

Fall isn’t so much a season in its own right as a transition with a name. I love that murky line between steamy days and crispy nights. I love the lingering green and encroaching brown. I love the refreshing promise fall holds. I love darker evenings, shorter days and first frosts. But change can leave you wondering what you missed in the moments that will never replay.

Did you play hard enough, rest long enough, spend plenty of time in the sun?

Courtesy of:

Did you finish house projects, take a father-daughter camping trip, lose the weight?
Did you do that Bible study, read your stack of books, visit your long-distance relatives?

If you didn’t “do it all” this summer, don’t despair. I sure didn’t scratch the surface of the privileges of pain, the potential of words, or the pleasure of poetry. So I’m going to keep going straight through September! Peering inquisitively into my pain, harnessing the power of my words and sometimes reigning in my tongue have been great lessons for me. They are broad brushes that color nearly every aspect of human life, leaving me with boundless questions and  an entire cannon of Scripture to ply for answers.

In honor of fall’s stealthy approach, I will change a few tiny things this month – like the first leaves to turn before cascading to the ground. On Mondays we will continue to look at the Privilege of Pain. I have a whole new perspective to consider – a medical application.

We will still celebrate Wordy Wednesdays. Ponder with me tough words like addiction. Wonder what’s in a name. Try to share Jesus without words. 

Friday will offer a little variety. I’ve been devouring a wonderful book called “In the Land of Blue Burqas,” by Kate McCord. In fact, it has fueled much of my thoughts on pain and how we use our language. I am honored to review various books for Moody Publishers, so on one particular Friday, I will entice  you to read this book.

Not that my opinion is to be over valued, but I want to share with you my thoughts on a couple other ministries and resources of truth as well. Truth is the only vaccine against or treatment for the Predatory Lies of this fallen world. And doubtless, my journal will be peppered with poetry prayers in September. I hope you don’t mind if I share them.

So there you have it! Happy September!