Review 4 star
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In His Hands, I Am Healed by Laura J. Weber is a touching biographical nonfiction book about the author’s four-and-a-half year battle with cancer. Written from a devout Christian perspective, the book details the difficulty of Laura’s journey through multiple surgeries and radiation treatments for recurring cancer and her experience of God’s miraculous healing which removed a final outbreak of cancer from her body. Pinioned on the story of David and Goliath, which is a theme returned to frequently as a cornerstone of the book, and punctuated by “Laura’s Journey Lessons” sprinkled through the chapters to highlight the primary topics, it’s an inspirational and sincere journal that will help anyone needing God’s guidance to overcome a tough situation in their lives.
In His Hands, I Am Healed walks us through every step of one woman’s amazing experience so that all can share it with her and apply it to what they are going through. I found it went far beyond the subject matter of cancer by paralleling spiritual growth with each step of the medical journey in an uplifting and challenging way. Laura J. Weber is upfront about the impatience and fear that comes with big struggles in life and her good attitude and heartfelt decisions to choose faith and hope at every turn when she could have chosen bitterness or anger makes this great reading for someone in a hard time. With a helpful list of Christian books that she found encouraging, real posts made throughout her illness on her private Facebook group, and amazing encouragers like the F.R.O.G button that inspired her (Fully Rely on God), Laura has pieced together her story into one that gave me a lot to think about and blessed me tremendously.
Review 5 star
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God of the Brooks: A Story of Extreme Survival by Bruce Hamilton is a unique tale of toughing it against the wilderness, told from a Christian perspective. The first-person account, fictional but pieced together from incidents throughout the author’s life, records a gritty tale of a man’s walk with God as a plane crash strands him in the arctic winter of Alaska. In the midst of a gripping saga of nature’s harshness and human resourcefulness, he approaches God with a closeness he’s never before experienced and learns his journey across Alaska in winter is the perfect forge for God to shape him into a wise and humble servant.
Few Christian books can wring your heart and soul like this, let alone leave you filled with such an awe for God. The inspiring authenticity of Bruce Hamilton’s account has a heart-pounding pull of complete honesty as every step of the hero’s journey from bleeding on a desolate mountain cliff to building shelters and gathering food for himself is brought before the reader’s eyes to enforce God’s complexity and wisdom. When a hunting trip gone wrong, a friend’s death, and a trek home that defies Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor in its intensity engulf the hero and the reader, that’s just as much a part of God’s character as the loving response to human need that He also continually exhibits throughout the story. As each day presents a new physical hardship and ingenuity with only one goal—to get home at last—God shines forth as the true hero of the story. With ice, snow, grizzlies, and a lot of prayer, God of the Brooks puts a spotlight on the Creator and that’s where it should be.
Review 5 star
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Soothing Rain: Living Water to Refresh Your Soul by Tonya Jewel Blessing and Sue Summers is a fantastic devotional for women. It’s divided into 52 short, themed chapters and is intended to be read in women’s study groups, but I found it was also a great resource when read individually. Topics include humility, spiritual gifts, tolerance, wisdom in dealing with other’s sin, and more. Packed with insightful commentary, little nuggets to chew on, amusing anecdotes, and clever plays on words and exploration of phrases, Tonya’s down-to-earth writing approaches the reader in a friendly, transparent way that breaks down barriers of skepticism and opens the door to accept God’s radical work in their lives.
Soothing Rain uplifts women to be aware that yes, there is certainly a place for leadership and empowerment for them within the Christian faith. Tonya’s life as co-director of Strong Cross Ministries in South Africa plays a key role in many of the chapter themes, from stories about culture adjustment to real-life gritty encounters with superstition, womb cleansing, female mutilation, and other issues that surround her as she ministers outside the USA. Tonya excels at drawing unassuming, but exceptionally creative thoughts from something commonplace like perfume, haircuts, or a visit to the dentist, while Sue’s study questions helped me interact with the material in a practical way that pinioned it in my memory. The book was a continual delight. Far from a cut-and-dried typical devotional, Soothing Rain: Living Water to Refresh Your Soul lives up to its name in all ways and a source of real inspiration. It touched me to the heart and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.