The Blindfold

The Blindfold

Today, I share with you a story that I received as an email. I tried to find out the author but he or she remains anonymous. This story may be true or it may just be a legend. I found conflicting accounts. Either way, I hope you enjoy it…

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian young male’s Rite of Passage?

The youth’s father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him, and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

During the night, the boy is naturally terrified. He hears all kinds of noises. The wind blows the grass. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. But he sits stoically, throughout the long night, never removing the blindfold.

Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appears and he removes his blindfold. It is then that he discovers his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

Once the youth survives the night, he is a man. When he returns to his friends, he cannot tell them of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

Moral of the story: Just because you cannot see God doesn’t mean He is not there. It doesn’t mean He is not at work, watching over you.

We are never alone. When the howling of circumstances surrounds us and the darkness of afflictions blinds us, we can know that the light of the Son is upon us and that the Father watches over us, sitting on the stump beside us.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

 

LynnMosher (2)_cr 2

Bio: At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, Heading Home.

 

CrossReaders Book Review: An Amish Garden by Wiseman, Chapman, Goyer, Fuller

CrossReaders Book Review: An Amish Garden by Wiseman, Chapman, Goyer, Fuller

Title: An Amish Garden

Author: Wiseman, Chapman, Goyer, Fuller

Rating: 4.5

About the Book

An Amish Garden is a collection of stories from four talented and popular authors: Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer. Uplifting and encouraging, these stories emphasize aspects of faith and simple living.

Review

An Amish Garden is a collection of stories from four talented and popular authors: Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer. Uplifting and encouraging, these stories emphasize aspects of faith and simple living.

I started reading this book in the middle of an extremely busy time in my life, and found it so relaxing and enjoyable, peaceful and inspiring. Each story is well written, with characters and plot that left me wanting more. This is one of the best collections I’ve read in a long time.

Vannetta writes: “Gardens are a place of comfort for many of us. For Amish families, they are also a source of nourishment, a family gathering place, and sometimes a place where healing can be found.” And she is exactly right, because when I reflect on the word garden, this is what comes to mind: beauty, sustenance, new life, God’s provision, sanctuary.

Let me first confess that I am not a gardener in any sense of the word, yet I love to gaze on the beauty of a simple daffodil that my husband picked for me. And vegetable gardens remind me of the years when my Dad came home from a long day’s work and delayed his supper until he had spent several hours tilling and planting our family garden. Or working beside my mother and grandmother in the canning/freezing process. So while An Amish Garden entertained and inspired, it also brought back treasured memories with loved ones I look forward to seeing in heaven someday.

Rooted in Love Beth Wiseman – I was drawn to Saul and Rosemary, loved the chemistry between them. Many readers will identify with Rosemary’s spiritual growth as she comes to realize that she can’t have it all, but that’s okay. Contentment only comes from a close relationship with God and finding that what He provides is more fulfilling than anything we could desire.

Flowers for Rachael Kathleen Fuller – This sweet story has a delightful twist toward the end. I also loved the way Kathleen began each chapter with a quote. This one by Martin Luther was a favorite: “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

Seeds of Love Tricia Goyer – An enchanting bachelor scribe character, heirloom tomato seeds passed down through generations, Amish proverbs – there’s so much to learn and enjoy in Tricia’s story! How true this proverb is: “A garden is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.” This story also has a surprising twist at the end, and a lesson that we often find difficult to accept in Sadie’s words: “What I tried to hold on to, I lost. What was given up – shared – is the only thing that was saved.”

Where Healing Blooms Vannetta Chapman – I can’t put my finger on how she does it, but Vannetta has a unique way of writing that makes me care about the characters on the page and feel their emotions. And she injects a subtle humor that kept me smiling as I turned each page.

I love it when an author uses an older couple as leading characters, and I don’t see how anyone can help but be drawn to Emma and Danny. The relationship between Emma and her mom, Mary Ann, is touching, almost hitting a little close to home for me at times – but in a good way.

Of all the things that spoke to me in this story, I think it’s the idea that no matter our age, God isn’t through with us. If we can just be completely open, we might be shocked at how God blesses and uses our surrendered lives!

An Amish Garden is a thoroughly enjoyable read, one that I highly recommend.

Thank you to Vannetta Chapman and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This review was submitted by: Carole Jarvis – please visit her website at http://booksmusicandlife.blogspot.com/2014/03/review-amish-garden.html

CrossReaders Book Review: The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

CrossReaders Book Review: The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman

Title: The Christmas Quilt

Author: Vannetta Chapman

Rating: 4.5

About the Book

Amish fiction from the Quilts of Love series

Review

Each stand-alone novel in the Quilts of Love series features a quilt with a meaningful story behind it. This delightful series has a cozy, down-home feel to it, but with a surprising amount of emotion and depth. While I have enjoyed several Quilts of Love stories, The Christmas Quilt is one of my favorites.

This novel captures a lot of what I look for in a Christian fiction novel: a well-written story with characters who are real and that I care about, who face struggles and doubts honestly, and who grow spiritually as they live out a faith that is genuine. Vannetta takes us on a return visit to Annie and Samuel from 2010′s A Simple Amish Christmas, but this story easily stands alone.

I loved how this story involves two married couples who are both expecting their first child. At first, Leah and Adam struggle with foolish misconceptions as Leah feels unloved, while Adam fears that he won’t measure up as a father. But Annie and Samuel’s deep love is beautifully expressed by Samuel in a conversation about the bond of a long marriage: “I think each year that passes, two hearts become more entwined, like two vines growing side by side. Eventually it must become difficult to know where the beat of one stops and the beat of the other begins.”

I am unashamedly a fan of Amish fiction for three simple reasons: faith, family and community – and Vannetta has done a masterful job focusing on these elements in The Christmas Quilt.

The nine-patch crib quilt that Annie is making for Leah – featuring Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam – becomes a major character. Readers will be moved by the touching way that Annie and Leah, inspired by the fruit of the Spirit qualities from Galatians 5, tell stories as they quilt of people in their lives who reflect each of these nine qualities. I also applaud the way prayer was shown to be of such primary importance in the characters’ lives, as easy and natural as God intended it to be.

The Amish believe in taking care of their own when needs arise, and they are amazingly successful at it. To support Leah and Adam when they are faced with high medical costs, the community puts together a benefit auction, for “It is biblical for all of the community to minister to our children – and to us – in our time of need” (Adam). And the essential role of family is beautifully summed up in Jacob’s words: “Each of you are responsible for praying for these precious kinner, and also for helping raise them, for children need an entire family, not merely a mamm and dat.”

The Christmas Quilt is a feel-good read that both entertains and inspires, perfect for Christmas or any time. Highly recommended to those who enjoy inspirational fiction.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

This review was submitted by: Carole Jarvis – please visit her website at http://booksmusicandlife.blogspot.com/2013/12/review-christmas-quilt.html

Book Blast: A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola

Book Blast: A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola

 

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A Nation Under Judgment
By Richard Capriola

About the Book:

A Nation Under Judgment defines wisdom as “the ability to see things from God’s point of view.” It reviews our nation’s social polices, including hunger, poverty, the environment, marriage, homelessness as well as others, from a Scriptural point of view. It empowers readers to consider if our nation is moving away from being One Nation Under God.

LINK to PAPERBACK


Rick Photo JpegRichard Capriola spent many years as a hospital chaplain. He completed four years of Clinical Pastoral Education in preparation for becoming a chaplain. In addition to his pastoral care experience, he has served as a ministry outreach leader for a Midwestern church and has been a mental health counselor at both a regional crisis center and psychiatric hospital.

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Morning Mercies

Morning Mercies

“Be ready in the morning to…present yourself to Me.”
(Ex. 34:2 TLB)

The first shards of dawn’s light fell abruptly through the slits of the bedroom blinds and rudely awakened me. Before I was ready.

But I got up…quietly. And dressed.

Walking outside into the cool, dawn air, wrapping my fuzzy, blue blankey around me, I watched God make a morning.

As the horizon released the sun, soft wisps of yellow, amber, rose, coral, and tangerine mingled with the delicate blue sky, delighting my eyes.

A gentle brush of wind caressed my cheeks. The fragrance of a multitude of blossoms gratified my nostrils. The cooing of turtledoves gently infringed on the silence of the morning.

The blush of light filtered through the leaves of the towering birch trees, pooling on the ground as ethereal stepping stones, as if beckoning me into the Lord’s presence.

While the beauty of creation infused my soul with awe, the sweetness of His presence filled my heart with His peace and comfort and wrapped its warmth around me just like my fuzzy blankey.

Then, He whispered a beckoning call, “Come humbly to Me in morning’s light.”

I began to whisper the words of this song…

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

God’s morning mercies are new every day; they arrive with the appearance of sunrise. Each day is a fresh start. No carry-overs from the day before. Whatever we have endured in the dark of night, “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.” (Lam. 3:22-23 GNT)

Each morning presents us with an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with our words, our thoughts, and our actions. What sets the standard for these is our attitude upon wakening. Each day should start with a positive and grateful heart, for it will affect how we treat our children, our spouses, our friends, our neighbors, and even strangers.

Spending time with the Lord in the morning sets our day on the right course, and we receive His guidance, strength, and comfort to face whatever will come our way for the next 24 hours. David said, “Let me hear of Your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I have come to You in prayer.” (Ps. 143:8 NLT)

A bright new opportunity arises for each of us with every sunrise. What do we do with it? Do we greet the Lord before we greet the day? Do we have a negative attitude as soon as our feet hit the floor?

Someone once said, “Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified!”

Have you ever gotten up in the concluding hours of night just to watch God make a morning? To see the Master Artist paint the sky with His palette of glory? To allow His light to dawn upon your soul? To receive His guidance for the day? To take delight in your Beloved?

Get up early. Go humbly to Him and receive your morning mercies.

LynnMosher (2)_cr 2Bio: At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website, lynnmosher.com