Love Gently Falling by Melody Carlson – Missed the Boat

Love Gently Falling cover50505-mediumIt’s always easier and fun to write a review on a book that you really like. Unfortunately, this review is a little more of a challenge.

When I first became a Christian I had read some books by author Melody Carlson that I really liked. So I was excited at the opportunity to read Melody’s newest novel Love Gently Falling (available January 6, 2015). But that excitement was short lived.

Let me start with what’s good about the book. When the story’s main character Rita gets the news that her mother has suffered a stroke she quickly makes arrangements to travel home to be there with her mom, dad and brother. I appreciated how Rita made amends with an old friend with whom she had a falling out and their friendship was restored. I appreciated the character examining herself to see if she was a snob when she found herself liking a man who was a janitor. I appreciated that the book did not include sexually immorality or filthy language.

One of the main things I struggled with is that there was really nothing in this book that would lead me to conclusion that it was from a Christian author. I came back to a question I ask when reading books published by Christian authors. If a Christian writes a fiction book does that make it “Christian fiction”? I would say no.

In the book, Love Gently Falling, prayer was mentioned several times, but the author didn’t show Rita or the other characters dealing with issues of their faith. There were some plot developments that would have made good platforms to share the gospel message and what God’s word says. It would have been good to see characters work through the challenges they are facing through the grid of their Christian faith. But Melody Carlson didn’t take the opportunity to weave Christian faith into her newest book Love Gently Falling. Something else that bothered me was the way the main character Rita “came to the rescue” to help save her mother’s outdated and failing beauty salon. It smacked of the world’s view often seen in movies with children being wiser and smarter than their parents.

Apart from my criticism about this not being “Christian fiction”, the book is not overly deep. It was on the anemic side, but could have gone deeper with the storyline. I think that Melody Carlson missed the boat with Love Gently Falling and I was disappointed.

I would like to thank the publisher FaithWords and Net Galley for the opportunity to read Love Gently Falling in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.


The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel – by Mark Hitchcock – Interesting and Informative

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to hear Pastor Mark Hitchcock preach a message on Ezekiel 38 and 39.  It was a riveting and fast-paced hour.  So I jumped at the opportunity to read his book The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel and I was not disappointed.  He wrote this book to expand upon a chapter in an earlier book What on Earth Is Going On.  With radical Islam in the news on a regular basis readers may also wonder how Islam fits into Bible prophesy.

Mark helps the reader to understand who the players are, their ancient Biblical names and the corresponding countries and locations in today’s world.  He takes what can seem like a puzzle and helps put the pieces in place to reveal how these nations may play into God’s end time events as prophesied in Ezekiel and Revelation.

Mark also delves into God’s prophetic timetable:  How close are we to the Rapture and when will the Battle of Gog and Magog occur?  He is mindful that only God knows the day and the hour when the church will be raptured and when the Tribulation will begin.  But Mark closely examines the signs of the times and admonishes Christians to live in light of the Lord’s soon return.

I appreciated his clear presentation of the Gospel message and reinforcing biblical theology that God has not given up on Israel or replaced His chosen nation.

Whether you have a good understanding of Bible prophesy or are new to the study, I believe you will benefit from this book.  I highly recommend Pastor Mark Hitchcock’s book The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel.

I would like to thank Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Making a Home in Texas

When I looked at the calendar today, I realized that it’s been exactly 2 months since my husband Chris and I left California to move to Texas.

In many respects it’s been an overwhelming two months, make that four months.  Once we made the decision to move, we contacted our realtor and got the house ready to put on the market.  In an answer to prayer our home sold quickly and following a short escrow we were on our way to Texas.

Leaving California was a hard thing to do.  Hard because we left family, friends and our church, Kindred Community Church.  We left a home that we loved and the state with an abundance of blessings.  A place where the weather is nice most of the time and you can be at the beach, desert and mountains in just a short time away.  It was hard to leave, but we both felt the Lord was leading us to move.

I’m so grateful that I didn’t know just how hard this would be…if I had known, I might have stayed put.  Thankfully, the Lord has walked with us through this each and every day.

Oh my goodness…I can scarcely believe the 1,500 mile drive with cars fully loaded with 3 cats, 2 birds and enough of our belongs to help us get through our time in temporary housing.  When we arrived we got settled in temporary housing, shortly thereafter we started our search for a new home.

In less than two weeks we found a home to purchase in a city we hadn’t really previously considered.  The Lord was with us as we went through and extended escrow period and all the demands required from the mortgage company with our limited access to documents and records.

On October 31st, we moved into our new home.  Boxes are scattered hither and yon and begging to be emptied and have things put away.  As much stuff as we gave away and threw away before we moved, I wish we had gotten rid of more stuff.  I didn’t realize how much stuff we had until we moved.

In the two months since we arrived in Texas, not only did we find a home, but we found a church home where the Word of God is faithfully taught.  There are many opportunities to study God’s Word throughout the week.

Something I took for granted is being in a church were you’ve been for a long time, you know people and they know you.  Your lives are intertwined as you pray for one another and go through life together.

On my first day in a woman’s Bible study I just wanted to cry.  It was weird being in a place where no one knows me and I don’t know them.  But the Lord comforted me with the assurance that overtime, our hearts and lives will be knit together and I will make friends.  Right now I still feel rather isolated.  I want to make sure that I remember what it’s like to be the new kid on the block and I’m grateful for the kindness of the ladies in the Bible study who reached out and befriended me.

In the past two months my blogging has been very sparse, but I hope to get back in the swing of things.  I’m transcribing the Psalms that I have been writing out during my morning devotional time.  I want to write about what the Lord has been teaching me.

As hard as it’s been, there are many good things about Texas and I hope to share some of those things too.

Psalm 6 – In my own words

Ps 6:9

Vs 1 – Lord, You are righteous and just in Your anger towards me, but I ask You to not rebuke or correct me in Your anger.  Please do not chasten me when you are filled with wrath.

Vs 2 – Instead, I ask You to please be gracious to me O Lord For I feel like I’m fading away.  Please touch me with Your healing hand.  Even my bones ache and are in pain; it’s like they understand and feel the dismay I am feeling.

Vs 3 – Even my soul is greatly grieved, burdened and weighted down.  Lord, how long will it be before You help me?

Vs 4 – Lord, I ask that You turn back to me and rescue my soul.  Save me, not because I am worthy, but out of Your lovingkindness.

Vs 5 – Do the unrighteous and ungodly make mention of you in death or give thanks to You in hell?  No!  But I give You thanks even in the midst of my trouble and my unknown future.

Vs 6 – I sigh all day long and have grown so very weary of my grief and depression.  I cry and feel like my bed is so filled with tears it’like a swimming pool.  If my couch could melt away when wet it would dissolve from all the tears I have shed.

Vs 7 – My eyes are wasting away from all the tears I’ve shed in my grief.  They feel like they are old and worn out because my adversaries pursue me relentlessly.

Vs 8 – But in my grief and fatigue I proclaim to my enemies who do inequity – depart from me and leave me alone – for the Lord God Almighty who reigns has heard me and seen tears.

Vs 9 – The Lord has heard every one of my prayers.  He has received my requests and will answer them and come to my aid.

Vs 10 – They day is soon coming when my enemies will soon be put to shame and be greatly dismayed.  For the hand of the Lord will turn against them.  It’s only then that they shall turn back and feel shame over their wrongdoing.