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Devotions Dreams and Longing My Bookshelf Reviews

Prayerfully Reliant on God Alone [Book Review]

For the past week, I have been able to spend time with our Savior Jesus in prayer. Quality prayer. As I am learning, the fellowship we can experience with our Mighty God is beyond comprehension. This is the relationship I have hoped for. I am beyond thankful for this time.

Fellowship with God

How often are we placing ourselves in fellowship with God? Often we consider fellowship, as something between a fellow believer and ourselves. However, we can experience fellowship with our sovereign God Himself!

The difference is craving this time of sweet intimacy with an even sweeter King Jesus Christ who is our Savior. God desires to spend time with us. Let’s grow in enjoying God!

If you are like most, setting aside and carrying out a daily prayer time is a struggle. Unless you have seen firsthand the outcome of such devotion. Even then, you likely still might wrestle with some aspects of prayer.

I can testify this has been my experience – the struggle it has been to give my worship offering through prayer. However, something has occurred in the last few weeks to change this. Suddenly, I adapted to the act of beginning a prayer session with the Holy One. It isn’t about praying perfectly or for a strict hour. It is about realizing how our Mighty God has saved us through His Son Jesus Christ and meeting regularly with Him.

But, there is one book which has left an impact concerning prayer.

Mr. George Müller

Have you heard of George Müller?

He can be described as a man of persistent faith who truly knew how to operate from a place of prayer. This man crazily enough brought his needs only to God and allowed Him to speak that need to others. God impressed it upon others’ hearts to give, and it was always at the appointed time before the orphanage ran out of food, money, etc.

I say “crazily enough,” because how many of us could be that bold? Far too quickly, we share our needs with whoever will listen even if it is not God’s will for the need to be met. I say this because not every need is within the boundaries of God’s will. To pray more like this, is radical, forces us to follow only Jesus Christ, and develops within us an absolute dependence upon our Creator.

The George Muller book I recommend can be found on Amazon. Best part? It is free! While there, you could even pick up a digital copy of Grace Leads – which is on sale for $0.99 (until Wednesday, 8/7/19).

Image: Aaron Burden

Be blessed, my friends.

Stacey

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My Bookshelf Reviews

Etania’s Worth [Blog Tour]

Friends, I have a special treat for you today [Trials Tuesday to follow in a couple days]. My friend and writer, M.H. Elrich, has come out with her first novel.

(Imagine the crowds applauding)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I have had the privilege to hash out writing ideas with this friend, for a few years now. It was actually her encouragement, which led to “Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace” making it to others’ bookshelves. I couldn’t have imagined allowing my words to “hit the shelves” without her loving guidance and sometimes accountability – as we hone our gifts of writing. So, I want to introduce you to her and “her baby” today. [Be sure to check out the links at the end of this blog post]


About Her:

M.H. Elrich is a writer, reader, teacher and editor who wears too many hats. This means she consumes coffee and tea with a mug that reads “Wait until I’ve drained the cup.” She received her B.A. in English and was published in The Write Word, Orpheus and Short Fiction Break.  She currently resides in a part of California where “perfect” weather comes with a layer of smog.


It is a great pleasure to introduce you now to Etania’s Worth and the story M.H has to share with us.

About Etania’s Worth:

Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with a power, or Neuma, she didn’t know she had the ability to disable evil beings. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, he wants to use her as a weapon to stop a new threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania doesn’t want to be her father’s new weapon and wonders if that really is the purpose of her Neuma. Yet, the death of a loved one brings the struggle closer to home, forcing Etania on a journey to embrace her newfound power before it’s too late.


Before we begin our interview time with M. H Elrich, why don’t we listen to a couple quotes?

“Why do I fail to protect those I love?
To show you who is the true protector.”
-Keyel and Melchizidek from Etania’s Worth

” ‘Neuma? I don’t have Neuma. Besides, Tamnarae doesn’t need to be saved, we’ve been at peace for a hundred years.’
‘Everyone needs to be saved.’ Melchizidek asserted.”
-Etania and Melchizidek Etania’s Worth


Q & A Time:

What made you want to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve always been interested in Christian fantasy since I read The Chronicles of Narnia and my father read me The Lord of the Rings. Then I wrote stories along with my friend, C.M. Fritzen, eventually expanding into writing my own worlds and characters. From those foundations came Etania’s Worth.

Were any characters based on people in your life?

I think Etania and her companions are all different parts of my personality more fleshed out and walking around. I did base Jakin loosely on my brother, whose humor I tried to infuse into my character and Keyel loosely on my husband, whose quiet confidence is echoed in Keyel. However, that is where the similarities end, because I strive to make my characters unique.

How long did it take you to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve been writing Etania’s Worth consistently for two years, but the ideas and clippings have been around for eight years. Even after I finished the first draft of Etania’s Worth, I had to rewrite it entirely and then edit the second draft several times before formatting and publishing. It’s been a long journey for me, but well worth it.

Why did you choose to write a Christian fantasy instead of a regular fantasy?

Christianity is so infused in my blood that I found it difficult to try to write a more symbolic fantasy instead of a fantasy in the vein of C.S. Lewis. So I decided to give up trying to be the next Tolkein and strove to write the story God placed on my heart.

Does Etania’s Worth contain magic?

No. The Neuma of the peoples in my novel is based on the idea that God gives special gifts and abilities to each person that is for them to use responsibly. Spells, incantations, or anything remotely like sorcery is emphasized as evil and ungodly.

Is this book appropriate for children?

The ideal reader of this book is a young adult, ages 16+. This book is appropriate for readers with an older vocabulary and tolerance for some violent content.

Why did you name the book Etania’s Worth?

I love Proverbs 31 and in it there is a verse that stood out to me: A virtuous wife who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. That one word, worth, stood out to me because Etania struggles to accept her identity. Women who struggle to accept their identity realize that they must embrace their worth in Christ to have confidence. I know, because I was one of those women. So that’s where I got the title.


Be sure to pick up your copy of Etania’s Worth. You can find it on Amazon and other places. I haven’t had the opportunity to read my copy yet, but super excited for M.H. Elrich and to have the privilege to read it. She is a very engaging writer, so I am sure she will keep us captivated in Etania’s Worth.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KFRXRYG?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
Other Bookstores: books2read.com/u/4EyrZe

Be sure to follow my friend, and writer M. H. Elrich, on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mhelrichbooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhelrich247/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mhelrichbooks


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My Bookshelf

The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

“The Sacred Search”
By Gary Thomas

sacred searchI borrowed this book from a good friend. On the back cover, it states “Don’t get married until you have read this book.” That is a very true statement. If you are single, you have to read this. It definitely is much needed. Often singles spend much time “finding the one” versus deliberating considering why they want to get married. It is not about the who, but about the why. Do we need to be madly in love to marry? Not really. Feelings can be deceptive. Feelings come and go. We rely much on feeling instead of what really counts. What kind of spouse do you want? Someone who is going to lead you spiritually? Someone who is going to provide? This book really boils down to the why in such a wonderful light. Thomas don’t hide the truth that marriage is hard. He brings topics to light that need to be considered before marriage. Couples need to talk  about the difficult subjects before marriage..

Choosing a spouse is to not be taken lightly. It needs to handled with the utmost care. We are choosing a future spouse, father of our children, partner in ministry, etc. The choice doesn’t just affect us. It affects our families, church, community, and the Kingdom of God. Most of us are given one shot. Marriage is meant for life. We need to approach dating with wisdom and seeking godly guidance. The key in this is finding someone with whom you have a shared mission: Matthew 6:33. This is the only way to have a spiritual influenced life. The focus has to be on pursuing Christ and keeping an eternal perspective when choosing a potential spouse.

It is a very eye opening book. Well worth the time and money spent into reading it. He really lays things out. Very honest. It helps to understand what it is really at stake. A lot should be considered when it comes to potentially marrying an individual.

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My Bookshelf

The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck

“The Scent of Rain”
By Kristin Billerbeck

scent of rainI have read a few of her books, but this one is probably the best one I have read so far. Daphne is left at the altar by her fiancé, her ability to smell disappeared, her life is literally in crumbly pieces, but that is where her story and journey experienced its sweetest chapter. She begins a new job in a new town with a new house. Her boss is caught by surprise when she begins work early, and he has difficult embracing her at the company. Daphne’s new chapter is her chance for love, pursuing dreams, finally settling down, and learning how to experience God’s radical love through the people she comes in contact with. Her life is forever changed.

It is a really easy, enjoyable book. I read it in one afternoon/evening. I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved the character of Jesse. He had experienced much heartache, but it affected how he instantly became compassionate toward Daphne. Both dealt with heart issues in the midst–both experienced great loss. It affected how they cared and reached out. Even when circumstances go beyond our control, God is always working. He will place people in our midst to love us and help us through them! Even when we have been hurt, God can use us to reach out and love others.

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My Bookshelf

“Too Close to Home”

“Too Close to Home” by Lynette Eason
I found this book on Amazon on sale for free.
Free: there is no greater price than free, by the way.
too close to homeOn to the book: I really enjoyed this book. It only took me about a day to read. It is a really easy read. There were places where I would have to reread statements to make sure I got the point they were trying to get across (call it “fibro fog”). Some of it simply did not make sense. It could of been me. It could of been the book. The killer’s identity just did not make sense to me.
Disclaimer: I do not typically read these kind of books. I love to watch things like Law and Order. This would fit into the Law and Order: SVU scene very well. There are other things that remind me of other shows, such as: NCIS:LA and the original NCIS… Profile Psychologist. Computer Tech. Detectives. Medical Examiner. No show gives light to each professional.
I believe the genre is labeled a ‘suspense’ for this book. However, I found the book to have different elements. What kept me interested was Sam and Connor’s relationship. They definitely have a good relationship where they relate easily to one another and work well together despite a bumpy start when they first meet. Another thing is it involves FBI agents and local police working to solve a case: to catch a serial killer who has been prowling, kidnapping, using, and killing young girls. Love the story-line.
Honestly, the ending about the killer’s identity was really disappointing and threw me for a loop. The ending concerning Samantha and Connor was a fabulous way to end the story. Not only that, but it was a very difficult case to be solved and what really shines through is the characters seeking God and redefining their faith through it all. It is really life-like where we encourage each other to seek Christ no matter what we may be facing or encountering at any random time. It is not so much about the case as it is dealing with life. I may not be a cop, but we can relate to life happening, trying times, and being frustrating~ The message is learning to trust Him. Trusting He is there in all is key!
The case ends, but the characters’ lives are radically changed as a result of this case. Connor and Samantha met as a result of the case. Complete strangers who become close friends as a result of the long hours spent trying to catch a killer. The case was not just a job assignment, but it was something that left its impact on each of the detectives and those involved on the case.
I give it an easy “B”. There are a lot of good elements about this book. It is a good book. It is on my kindle app and connected to my amazon account for the next time I am in the mood for a suspense/feel good story. The only thing that downgrades my thoughts on the book: the serial killer’s identity. There lacked creativity in choosing an overall, good identity for the killer. I will not reveal who the killer was, but it just did not fit well with the story line. At the end of the book where his identity is revealed, it leaves a big “huh?” after reminding oneself about all that happened during the book…