Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins

The Jesus Code by O. S. Hawkins is basically a series of questions. Fifty-two questions, to be exact. Hawkins takes 52 essential questions from the Bible and asks them of the reader. Thankfully, he also provides background, context, and answers from scripture. The questions Hawkins addresses are ones that believers need to understand and be prepared to answer. Many of them are questions asked by Jesus within the Bible. The format of the book is simple to follow. Hawkins begins with the question and the verse of scripture from which it is taken. He then provides the context and background for the question. What was happening at the time the question was asked? Who was involved? It is important to see the cultural context and understand the purpose of the question. He then ties the question into a more modern context and looks at ways it may apply to modern believers. He wraps up each chapter by repeating the question with a summarized answer.The introduction states the book is set up into 52 chapters, allowing for readers to study one chapter a week for a year, really taking time to dig into each question, go back into the Bible and read the references, and pray over the answers. I enjoyed reading this book. Each chapter was short enough to fit into a small window of devotional time in the morning, yet the concepts covered required much more thought. The book was easy to follow, and it felt as if I were having a conversation with the author each morning as I read. The questions covered topics ranging from what new believers must do, to following the Holy Spirit. This would be a great book to give to new believers to help guide them into Bible study. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to deepen their relationship with God. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Woman of Courage is the story of Amanda Pearson, a Quaker determined to become a missionary to the Nez Perce Indians. When she discovers that her fiancé is in love with her friend, she sets out on a journey of over 3000 miles. Traveling in 1837 is not easy, and she has difficulties on the way. She suffers loss that leaves her wondering if she on the right path or not. She also meets many people on her journey, and has effects on them in ways she did not expect. There are twists and turns in the story, catching the reader off guard. However, the ending was somewhat predictable based on the genre and some of the foreshadowing in the story itself. There are many interesting characters, and I enjoyed reading about the diverse cultures represented in the book. However, I did have some difficulty with Amanda's speech at the beginning of the story, as she used "thee" and "thou," which sound foreign to our ears. It did help me understand her background as a character, though. Overall, the story was enjoyable and a quick, easy read. I actually liked the character Jim the best, and his transformation as the story continued. Although I liked the premise of the book, this is not normally a genre I read. I would recommend this book, though, to anyone who enjoys Christian literature or historical fiction. I received this book from Handlebar Publishing.