Book Reviews

Looking for a good read? Check out the book reviews below, you might find what you're looking for. Know of a good read? Reply to the post and share your thoughts!

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A friend recently referred me to a book titled Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It's an amazing story presented in an allegory format demonstrating the life of a new believer and her journey along the path of life into an eternity with the Shepherd and Savior Jesus Christ.

The story is about a young girl named Much Afraid. She's a new follower of the Shepherd and is working for Him in the fields. Each evening she goes to see Him and He shares about His home on the High Places. The Shepherd invites Much Afraid to join Him on the High Places and she quickly accepts. However, Much Afraid must first overcome her fears and learn to resist the evil tactics of her family including Craven Fear, Pride, and Selfishness. Only when she does this will she be able to journey with the Shepherd into the High Places. Yet even then, Much Afraid will still need time to grow and allow the Shepherd to shape her into His daughter and give her the Hinds Feet needed to climb and leap onto the High Places. It will be a trying journey along with her companions Sorrow and Suffering, but in the end she will prevail and find the High Places to be more than she could ever dream of.

Hinds Feet on High Places is an easy and enjoyable read that teaches us to stand firm in the Lord and allow Him to lead us into His High Places. Some of the latest reprints of this story also feature a separate devotional for women as well. This summer think about adding Hinds Feet on High Places to the summertime reading list; it will be an incredible journey!

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"Ruby for Women is an online Christian women's magazine for women of all ages and stages of life. The current issue of Ruby for Women is filled with so many wonderful ideas for your home and family, you won't want to miss out! 

If you are a gardener, you will love Aunt Dot’s article on springtime gardening. And if you like to crochet, you’ll find a sweet little headband pattern from Jaybird Designs tucked into this issue. As always, there is inspiring poetry from Keith Wallis, and devotionals from Lynn Mosher, and you will also find “Mama’s Craft Corner” from one of our newest writers, Carolyn Arnold.

Of course, there are always the paper doll and coloring pages from Rochelle Martin, but we are now also featuring one of her quilt designs, “Gardener’s Delight.”  In every issue for the next eight issues, Rochelle will teach you how to make a new block for this beautiful quilted wall hanging. Don’t miss a single issue so that you can complete this lovely quilt over the next several months.

Also in this issue of Ruby for Women is “Ask Ms. Beth” where you can read Ms. Beth’s advice on teaching our children the importance of household chores; a tutorial on making your own Journal of Gratitude; and advice for building a home business from “Ask Sue of Indiesmiles.” We have started a couple of new columns with this issue, one is “Spotlight On . . . . ” where we feature a woman who has built a home-based business, and “Through Another’s Eyes” in which we will be sharing personal stories of women who have encountered struggles and heartache in life and who have triumphed through God’s amazing grace.

In this issue of Ruby for Women you will also find advice for home-school families along with hands-on projects that we can all do with our kids this summer, all from our resident Home School Mom, Heather Miller. One of our newest writers, Amanda Johnson, writes about hearing God call her into missions, and she shares with us her adventure in Balcony Gardening from her little second-floor apartment. For a bride on a budget, there is a tutorial for creating your own hand-embellished bridal shoes and handbag, and there are some great recipes for summer drinks from Jennifer Cirka of Jaybird Designs, as well as  ideas for Frugal Family Fun from Lisa Moore Gee.

Vintage Mama has sent along a few old-fashioned recipes that she discovered in some vintage cookbooks, as well as a few newer recipes for creating delicious sugar-free desserts for your family. And if you are looking for a fun project to make this summer for the county fair, you’ll also find a complete eBook pattern for making a Country Girl Apron by upcycling a pair of bib overalls, from mamas*little*treasures."

Visit the Ruby for Women blog at www.rubyforwomen.com 

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Last month I finished reading the most amazing biography about Amy Carmichael, which was written by another well known spiritual leader - Elisabeth Elliot. I had always heard the names Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael thrown around with the term "missions" and "missionary." I knew of Elisabeth mostly because of the life and death of her husband Jim Elliot. Amy Carmichael's name just got caught up in the midst of it, so I thought. When I picked up A Chance to Die, however, I realized Amy Carmichael was a missionary prior to Elisabeth's time. In fact, she was what Elisabeth referred to as a spiritual mother or mentor.

I started reading A Chance to Die because of my own interests in missions work and the ministry work of a friend in Southeast Asia. I thought the Lord might use the book to spur me on a missionary adventure. The book tells the story of Amy Carmichael, born in Ireland, raised as a Protestant, called to missions first in Japan and finally in India. Amy was a strong and determined individual with a keen ear for the voice of the Father. She lived and breathed His presence. Every movement was directed by Him. Nothing was started, walked into, or even thought of without first going to the Father. Such a relationship enabled Amy to travel to India where she stayed most of her life without ever taking a furlough back to her home in England. She started out as a pioneer missionary in India and went on to become the founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship; a place for orphaned boy and girls to grow in the Lord and learn to serve Him with all their heart and being.

Through A Chance to Die, author Elisabeth Elliot highlights the faith of Amy Carmichael and the many times it was put to the test through temptations, trials, sufferings, illness, death, and spiritual warfare. The story of Amy's life is an inspiration and a blessed reminder of the importance of building a strong, steady, and close relationship with the Father. It is a story of learning to die to oneself and live a life of service completely devoted and grounded in the Lord God. It's a wonderful story and lesson of faith for anyone who seeks to live a life fully given over to the Lord as He intended!

For me personally, the book was more than an inspiration for missions. Amy Carmichael was a brilliant writer with a passion for words and a love of presenting the Father in all that she wrote. I had no idea she was a writer and long story short, the Lord used this book not to send me on a mission adventure overseas, but to rekindle the mission He gave me as a writer. I am moved beyond words at the way the Father delivered this book to me and opened up the wonderful world of writing through Amy Carmichael. Since reading this book, which includes many excerpts of Amy's writings, poetry, and journals, I have purchased several of Amy's books. They are each a wonderful breath of spiritual fresh air and rejuvenation of life and writing.

Vacations will flourish this summer and I urge everyone to pick up a copy of A Chance to Die or any of the works of Amy Carmichael! It will definitely be a summer of growth!

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I'm in the middle of getting this blog up and going and in the meantime I thought I'd direct you guys to an awesome daily devotional book called "Jesus Calling" by author and missionary Sarah Young. This is a unique devotional reading written in the voice of the Father. Each day's devotional reads like a letter written personally from Almighty God to you! Readings include reminders to come to the Father with thanksgiving and then make your requests known to Him as well as warnings not to get caught up in the every day world, but instead keep your eyes on Him. Scripture verses are included after the excerpt and lead you straight to where God's Word speaks on the day's topics. I love this book! It has been a great way to start each day and has also been a huge inspiration behind much of my writings! Check out a link to the official page at publisher Thomas Nelson's website: Sarah Young: Jesus Calling.