Shelter of the Most High, by Connilyn Cossette book review

Shelter of the Most High written Connilyn Cossette

This book is a story about a young woman, Sofea  and her friend Prezi, who are kidnapped by maurading pirates, and then tossed overboard as a means of escaping a terrible fate. They swim to shore, and are found by kindly Hebrew soldiers, who take them to Kedesh, a City of Refuge, and the story proceeds from there.

I’ve never read any of Connilyn Cossette’s books, and this was book 2 in a series, but it filled in enough blanks from the previous book so that it can be read as a stand alone.
This story lightly touches on the first inhabitants of Sicily, the Sciani, since there are scarce
amounts of ancient artifacts from which to build a factual history. She also lets the reader know that since The Cities of Refuge series takes place during an interim
period between the Conquest and the Judges, there is very little known about this time, too.

I liked the story of Eitan, a young man of the Hebrew race, more than the one of Sofea a daughter of a pagan high priest from Sicily. I also appreciated her writing of the perspective of an observant Jew, and her description of the Jewish High Priest, and I think Mrs. Cossette did a good job of presenting that. In my opinion, the Sofea character was lightweight, and even though she was compassionate and protective about her lame friend Prezi, her storyline dragged a bit for me.  The other main character, Eitan, was a Nazarite, and had taken the vow to not cut his hair or drink alcoholic beverages, and I assume not to become ritually impure by coming into contact with corpses or graves. He was a proficient carpenter, but was mostly drawn to the art of metalsmithing.  He made a lot of weapons for the Hebrew soldiers.
Eitan’s storyline was one I liked more than the others.
Eitan and Sofea fall in love, and that aspect of the story is well written. Nothing but G rating, which is great!    I appreciate G-rated Christian fiction romance books!
Mrs. Cossette used references from the New American Standard Bible, albeit sparingly, which was dismaying to me from the start, since I use the King James bible.
As for being historical fiction, I would say a lot of her book is speculation, and literary license. If you are fine with that, then this book could be an entertaining read for you.
Shelter of the Most High is a light and easy read, repetitious at times, and slow moving. Personally, I wish there had been more details, and more references to the Bible. Jesus Christ is a Christian’s city of refuge today.

I’m sure Connilyn’s books appeal to a large audience of readers, and that’s great for them. They will most likely enjoy this story, and the series. It just wasn’t for me.

If you’re interested in more of her books, please visit her website:
https://www.connilyncossette.com/out-from-egypt-series
This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Bible Study~Mark Ch. 4

This is part of Mark, chapter 4, and I’d like to share it with you.

Jesus was teaching by the sea side, and so many people were there to hear him, that he had to get into a ship, and teach from the water to the people on land.

A portion from THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER:
Mark 4: 5,6 –  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth;  and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

But when the sun was up, it was scorched;  and because it had no root, it withered away.

Now, Jesus explains the parable, and this is the part that pertains to the above Scriptures:

Mark 4:16,17 – And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground;  who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time:  afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

See that word, “offended”?  It is used 29 times in the New Testament, and here are the meanings:

Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
skan-dal-id’-zo Verb
Definition
  1. to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
    1. to entice to sin
    2. to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
      1. to cause to fall away
      2. to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
      3. to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
    3. since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
      1. to cause one displeasure at a thing
      2. to make indignant
      3. to be displeased, indignant

Are YOU one who has NO ROOT in yourself, and you are offended, or do you wither away, and shrink back,  when affliction or persecution happens to you because of your Christianity, your profession of Jesus Christ as Lord of your life?  Do you get angry, or do you wither away when people, or one person in particular, makes fun of you, or calls you names, or rejects you?  BE CAREFUL, you will fall away into HELL, unless you work to establish that ROOT in yourself, by renewing your mind DAILY, by reading the King James bible, read it EVERY day, think about it during the day, and when bad thoughts arise in your heart, THINK ABOUT the bible’s wisdom and admonition, think about God’s promises, and establish a very good and deep root system for yourself!  You don’t want to be one who falls away when persecution arises for the word’s sake!!  Be STRONG in the LORD, and in the power of His might!  Put on the whole armor of God, and if you don’t know what the whole armor consists of, LEARN IT!  Ephesians 6:10-18!

May you submit your thoughts and life to God today, and every day from now on.  Pray for me, and for one another.

 

Where Lilacs Still Bloom, by Jane Kirkpatrick~book review

It is my opinion that Jane Kirkpatrick must be a woman with a very high I.Q. After reading some of her books, I believe she finds writing as an outlet for the restlessness that comes with being highly intelligent.
That being said, Mrs. Kirkpatrick has written a book that is about several people whose lives intersect
at some point, because of the dedication of Hulda Klager towards her lilacs, and her persistence in finding new, stronger varieties of lilacs.

It’s a pity some people might pass this book up, because they’ll miss learning about a German immigrant to America, who had a God-given talent for scientific gardening, and more than that, being a horticulturist, even though she never went past the 8th grade! Where Lilacs Still Bloom offers an abundance of hope, confidence, good life lessons, and a heart-warming look into the family and friends of this non-degreed greenskeeper and plant researcher.
This is a Christian historical fiction book, based on the true story and life of Hulda Klager.


The story starts in 1889, when Hulda was pregnant with their fourth child, and they’re getting ready to move to a farm.
You get to know her, and her husband Frank, who live on a farm in Washington state. She learns, from her dad, about grafting apple shoots onto saplings, and from that, she finds she can actually “invent” a better variety of apple, on that will peel more easily and taste more tart. You meet their children, and the other children who, by God’s wisdom, come to work and live on her farm, and learn about cross-pollination, soil management, and a host of other important details attached to Hulda’s life’s work. 

I can’t say enough good about this book! It’s easy to read, very interesting and full of facts, and written in such a way as to encourage readers to perhaps learn a bit more about the propagation of flowers, or discover and visit arboretums in the USA. There’s plenty of information to get you going, if you’re the least bit curious about learning more. I got really excited about it when Hulda successfully hybridized a new variety of lilac, and when she talked to famous authors such as Luther Burbank, who was a renowned hybridizer at the time.

One more thing, The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens are now a national historic site!

The Lilac Gardens are located off I-5 exit 21, 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon or 2.5 hours south of Seattle, Washington at 115 South Pekin Road, Woodland, Washington 98674. (Our mailing address is PO Box 828). The Gardens are open to the public most days of the year from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with a $3.00 gate fee payable at the gate ($5 during lilac days, children 12 and under free) If you’d like to contact them, here are some
email addresses I got from their website: Contact the Lilac Gardens
HKLGTours@gmail.com Schedule bus/large group tours during Lilac Days
WoodlandLilacGardens@gmail.com Lilac Gardens publicity
HKLGPresident@gmail.com President, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Society
HKLGMembership@gmail.com Membership, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Society
HKLGGiftShop@gmail.com Gift Shop – open during Lilac Days only
HKLGHistoricHome@gmail.com Hulda’s home – open during Lilac Days only

Get a copy of Where Lilacs Still Bloom, and have a lovely time of reading about this nurturing and dedicated housewife who became famous just from cultivating her own flowers.

Thank you, Jane, for writing this book.  (no more whining from me! LOL)

Romans 10:9-13;  John 3:16-21

The Lady of Tarpon Springs book review~ highly recommended

Judith Miller is an excellent academic fact finder, and this book really kept my interest.

She researched the history of deep water diving for sponges in Tarpon Springs Florida during the early 1900s, and using that information, she wrote a delightful, suspenseful, insightful story about Zanna, Lucy, and Nicos, 3 people who were involved in the business of sponge diving in 1905, in Florida.

This book was SO good, in fact, that I’m planning on buying as many of her books as I can to add to my personal home library.  I also am hoping to let other Christians know about her books, and that they can rest assured that the book has high moral standards and they’ll enjoy the story to the very end.


Zanna Krykos is a lawyer, and back then, that was almost unheard of. Her traditional Greek family was at first against this career, but eventually accepted it. Her best friend, Lucy Penrose, is a doctor, also very rare back then! Lucy’s dad died unexpectedly, but had made her his designated beneficiary of a sponge diving business he was establishing and developing in order to bring more trade into Tarpon Springs.
The story goes on to describe how the business began, and then grew and grew into a healthy commercial trade in the area.
Within this superb story is the story of several people, including Zanna, Nicos Sevdalis and his experienced Greek sponge divers, the Rochester sisters, Bessie, Eugenia, and Viola, and Adelphos Pappas, who was a businessman, and greedy liar, but very good at hiding those flaws.
I was fascinated by all the information about Greek divers, and the early sponge business in Tarpon Springs. You’re in for a great treat and one of the most enjoyable history lessons of your life, when you read this book.

I highly recommend this book for another reason, and that is, Mrs. Miller kept the romance to a minimum, presented the romance in accordance with good values and common sense, in good taste, and will be totally acceptable to anyone with sound Christian values.

I feel comfortable in giving this book a 5 star rating in the genre of Christian historical fiction. It is suitable for clean reading, and definitely an absorbing and captivating story of business and life in Florida’s Tarpon Springs in 1905. I bought this book and am convinced it was worth every dollar spent.
Go get a copy, and have some fun reading!  Thank you Judith, for writing a wonderful book, using the talents GOD gave you, and making reading fun for us Christians again.  Keep writing this way, it’s perfect!

 

Nathan Ham Photography|www.whataham.com

 

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 31, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764231065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764231063
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

Book Review~ Night Preacher by Louise A. Vernon

This is a book about Menno Simons, who became the leader of the Anabaptists, now known as Mennonites. Menno was born in the Frisian ( a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea in what today is mostly a large part of the Netherlands, including modern Friesland, and smaller parts of northern Germany.)  town of Whitmarsum, in 1496,  which is in the Netherlands.

** Little is known about Menno’s childhood and home. His parents were probably dairy farmers. Menno may have received his training in a nearby monastery. He had some knowledge of the church fathers, knew Latin and a little Greek but no Hebrew.

Menno Simons - engraving by Jacob BurghartMenno was consecrated  a (Catholic) priest at Utrecht, in 1524. For twelve years (1524-1536) he served as a parish priest, first for seven years in his father’s village Pingjum, later for five years in Witmarsum. He would later write about how he and his fellow priests lived an easy going life, spending their time “playing cards, drinking, and in diversions as, alas, is the fashion and usage of such useless people”. quoted from:http://www.mennosimons.net/life.html

This story is told from the viewpoint of Bettje, Menno’s daughter, who is about 10 years old at the time.  Since the Catholic church was in control of things at the time, severe persecution was part of the risk of being an Anabaptist in parts of the Netherlands, and this book tells of the constant danger Menno and his family were in, simply for speaking the Gospel, and telling people the truth about what Jesus REALLY says in the Bible. Since it was against the man-made law to practice any religion except the Catholic one, most of Menno’s preaching and teaching was done at night, in in country fields, attics or barns, or secret house meetings.  There was always the danger of neighbors spying on Anabaptists, and turning them over to the Catholics, so meetings had to be arranged in strict secrecy.  Sometimes, though, there were untrustworthy people in the groups, and eventually, this would lead to Menno and his family having to pack up everything and sneak out of the city and move to another safer abode.

During one move, someone told about the Hollanders who were draining marshy land in Oberland, and establishing whole villages of no one but Anabaptists.  This was exciting news, being able to have a self-contained community where they could worship Jesus Christ properly, without fear of persecution or martyrdom.

**http://www.mennosimons.net/life.html

Hermes Micron, John a Lasco, and Gellius Faber, and the Muensterites are also mentioned in this book.  You might find it interesting and valuable to your store of knowledge to find out more about them.  This is a good introductory book for young teens and older children, to learn about Anabaptist’s/Mennonite’s  beginnings.

Product details

  • Age Range: 9 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 – 7
  • Series: Louise A. Vernon
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press (September 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836117743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836117745
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches

 

Book Review of Sandi’s Anchor of Hope by Romaine Stauffer

Sandi’s Anchor of Hope
by Romaine Stauffer

This is a true story about a woman who survived years of abuse and neglect growing up in a very dysfunctional home. Sandi struggled almost daily with her mother’s alcoholism, verbal and physical abuse,
neglect, and selfishness. She had understandable fears and insecurities, which manifested themselves in both her childhood through adulthood. No sense of permanance, since her mother would move the family almost every year, from one run-down dwelling to another. Sandi attended many schools, and had no one
to help her with her studies at home, and as a result lagged behind in academics.

This true story may seem too sad and depressing to read, but it’s really not. You get to see how God orchestrates events in Sandi’s life that eventually lead her to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is a painful journey to take with this battered child, who ached for love and freedom from threats of danger, but it’s a happy ending indeed. No matter what your situation is, no matter how hopeless it is, how crushing andfrightening, there is an answer and a way out. Read this story of a person who found security, love, and
acceptance in Jesus Christ, who gave her answers and direction in her life.

It really does have a happy ending, and is also an interesting introduction to the Mennonite community. I became interested in finding out more about them, as a result of reading this book.
It would be wonderful, I think, to be in a congregation of conservative believers who reject worldliness and support one another in staying strong in the faith.
I hope you can get a copy of the book, Sandi’s Anchor of Hope, by Romaine Stauffer, and take time to read it. God’s love and mercies are there in our lives,

even before we seek Him. 

Betteken’s Refuge, by Diane Yoder

This is a moving, beautifully portrayed story of a Dutch Anabaptist martyr’s life, as seen through the eyes of her young daughter, Betteken Wens. The year is 1573, and the historical fiction story takes place in the city of
Antwerp, Belgium, the richest city in Europe at this time. In this story, the persecution of the Anabaptists is becoming more ominous, one reason being because they refused to join the state church, which was the Catholic church. Time after time, Betteken, her parents and family are witnesses to the public humiliation of devout born again Christians by the Catholic’s Spanish soldiers, who march both men and women through the streets, and then burn them alive, all because of their faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Even though this book was written for a much younger audience, I believe Christians of all ages will benefit greatly from reading Betteken’s Refuge.
Several footnotes document the persecution of the Catholics against the Protestants and the Anabaptists, such as the reference to St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, in 1572.


The reader gets to know Mattheus and Maeyken, the parents of Betteken, and Adrien, and Hans, her brothers. You feel the tension in the air as the father leaves home again, in order to preach the Gospel to others in villages and cities, helping seekers to truly repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life and God the Father.
There are incredibly deep moments of faith and truth presented by the author, and many times I paused to think about the profundity of the perseverance of the saints in those times of great difficulty as their faith was tried, literally, by fire. Please take time to read this book, it will profit you greatly, and deepen your resolve to stand firm and remember that no matter what, for the believer, The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jesus will sustain ALL who surrender to Him.

If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now. We know that God hears and answers prayer. Grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Read Romans 10:8-13, and be born again.
The back of Diane Yoder’s book has a full 2 pages explaining the way to God and peace. She is a faithful witness, and may her work continue to glorify God the Father, and Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.

Book Review~The Pastor Takes a Wife, by Anna Schmidt

The Pastor Takes a Wife, by Anna Schmidt

Mrs. Schmidt is a gifted author. This book was a “Love Inspired” paperback, which I usually stay FAR away from, but I’m glad I didn’t this time!  It’s published by Steeple Hills, 2010. The book has good discussion questions for book clubs, too.
It is a fresh, unblemished romance, focusing more on the stories of the characters than on some rhapsodic flirtations nonsense.  You can trust this book to actually reflect Christian values and morals.
This clean Christian novel completely outshines any contemporary romance novel I’ve read, for several reasons:
1. There is good character development and relationship development that has a definite Christian focus.
2. Every sentence is important, and adds to the novel. I’m not kidding, every sentence adds something
that builds on the stories.
3. The romance between Megan and Reverend Jeb is so subtle and pure, that you can relax and know
Mrs. Schmidt has no intentions of taking the cheap and easy way out, so to speak, by writing paragraphs
of tripe and fluff that insults the Christian reader.
4. The problems are resolved in a logical, real-life way, the reader can easily believe the solutions are
credible and could happen in real life.

Allow me to digress just a bit here.
So MANY contemporary Christian romance novels, and even modern Christian historical fiction books are pure junk, not worthy of the name of Christian, and not worth your time to read them. Anna Schmidt’s book
is so much above almost all of the Christian fiction available today that you’d be doing yourself a huge favor
by reading it. Satisfying, original, believable, and refreshingly intelligent writing is what this book is all about. This book should have won a RITA award.

The main characters are Megan and Jeb. Megan was an unwed teen mother years ago, and has worked hard to give a good life to her daughter, Faith, and she has, with the help of Reba, the owner of an Inn, and Reba’s husband, now deceased. Jeb is a widower, a former manager of a global company, who became a
pastor after his wife’s death. They all live in a small town, where gossip is rampant, and the pecking order is rarely changed. They slowly begin a relationship with Jeb and Megan as friends, and they become close as events in the community give them new perspectives.

Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her novel A SISTER’S FORGIVENESS gave Anna her fourth finalist honor for the Reviewers’ Choice Awards from Romantic Times magazine. She has won that award twice before. In 2013 she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by her local Wisconsin chapter of RWA.

Anna Schmidt:  CHECK OUT:
* Anna’s website at www.annaschmidtauthor.com

Bible Study

I’ve been working through a good bible study course, offered free by  a church in Greenville, MI, called Liberty Baptist Church:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

So far I’ve finished a study on Islam, and a study booklet about music, what is Godly, and spiritual, and how to tell if music is appropriate for Christians to listen to.  They talk about content, control, and context of music.

Some quotes from the booklet:  “There is no such thing as neutral music.  All music has an effect upon the listener-without a word ever being spoken.  That is why God stated that all music which Christians listen to must have a melody to it, something with harmony, organized tones, and a sweet and agreeable sound. Very little of today’s contemporary Christian music can pass this test.”

They also bring up the fact that many churches entertain rather than exhort, reprove, and rebuke the members.  The booklet states:  What is true of babies?  They cannot do anything for themselves.  They have to be entertained, or they cry.  …… He cries out…..I cannot understand that old King James bible, so he finds a church that entertains with worldly music and a watered-down translation of the Bible.

If you’re interested in this free Baptist bible study, you can get some booklets mailed to your home or office, free.  Go here:  http://www.libertygospeltracts.com

Here’s the church’s web page:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

 

Also, I’m reading another book by Cathy Gohlke, called, “William Henry is a Fine Name“.  It was her debut novel, and it won a well-deserved Christy Award.  The book will appeal to everyone from young adult to senior citizen.  A review is coming soon, God willing.  In the meantime, get yourself a copy, and read it.

Book Review~ Troublesome Creek by Jan Watson

I liked everything about this book, even the cover!  I was impressed that this was Jan Watson’s first novel, since she doesn’t write like a novice.  Perhaps it’s her nurse’s training that helped.

This story is set around the 1800s in a coal town in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky.  I got a real feel for life there through Mrs. Watson’s well turned phrases and descriptive words.   This is a clean, Christian historical fiction novel, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a really good book to read.

I enjoyed learning about the simple life of a young girl named Copper, her fairly carefree life in the mountains of Kentucky, living with her dad and her stepmother.  The  author really knows how to pull you into the story, and identify easily with the characters.  I felt the warm summers, the bitter cold winters, I got anxious when one of the family got ill, was happy when good things happened, enjoyed hunting in the woods, and the story about Copper’s background was engrossing, I could not get enough of the rich details and even the heartbreak.  The good relationship she had with her dad was comforting, and the closeness of the family in general was very upbeat and encouraging.  Their Christian faith was solid and enduring.

This is the first of Jan Watson’s books, and I’m already reading the second of the series, called Willow Springs, which is a continuation of Copper’s journey through life, and the many changes and adjustments of new surroundings.

Product details

  • File Size: 20517 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 16, 2010)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GHNLMM