Archives for December 2015

CrossReaders Book Review: Be Still Moments: A Collection of Writings and Devotionals by Joanne Sampl

CrossReaders Book Review: Be Still Moments: A Collection of Writings and Devotionals by Joanne Sampl

Title: Be Still Moments: A Collection of Writings and Devotionals

Author: Joanne Sampl

Be Still Moments

Rating: 5

About the Book

Enjoy these reflections on Christian faith. In this collection of writings, Joanne Sampl shares her life in a refreshing easy spirit format. She reveals the humor and grace in her own everyday experiences as a young wife and mother juggling faith, family, work and life. Joanne has a knack for enabling the reader to see how God, using ordinary activities to build faith and character, reveals Himself.

Review

Be Still Moments: A Collection of Writings and Devotionals is a very inspiring that should be in your hands right now. Captivating from start to finish, you won’t leave without being inspired not only by this amazing book but by this amazing author. Pick up this book today!

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This review was submitted by: Angelika A Stevens

CrossReads Short Takes: Harvest of Hearts & Daughters of the Heart

CrossReads Short Takes

Harvest of Hearts

by Laura V. Hilton

Harvest of Hearts

A participant in a swap of Amish men, independent yet kindhearted Matthew Yoder can’t wait to leave the vast farmland of Lancaster County and make a fresh start in Missouri, where he’ll move in with the Stoltzfus family until he finds a place of his own.
Strong–minded yet filled with compassion, Shanna Stoltzfus always dreamed of becoming a nurse, despite her father’s threats to shun her. Determined to follow her heart, Shanna ran away and enrolled in college. But when her classmates embark on a medical mission trip that Shanna can’t afford, she must turn to the last place she wants to go for help: home.
Even though Shanna still flirts with the people and practices of her Englisch life, Matthew is fascinated by the Stoltzfuses’ prodigal daughter, and a close friendship soon blossoms between them. When the tension escalates between Shanna and her father to the point where his health is in jeopardy, Shanna is forced to face some tough issues, including the question of where her true home is.

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Daughters of the Heart

by Caryl McAdoo

Daughters of the Heart

God’s perfect plan is sometimes so hard to determine.

Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and the youngest, Bonnie, make a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister did. Then their determination is sorely tried when suitors show up, and he gets so pigheaded with his rules.

Will Henry survive his daughters coming of age? Will they endure and keep their promises to each other?

From one man asking to court her—who Daddy sends packing—Gwen goes to three! How can she ever decide? Cecelia knows exactly who she wants, but she’s still a year away from Daddy’s acceptable courting age. What if her beau doesn’t know or won’t wait? And Bonnie hates being the baby and wants to be grown-up more than just about anything…except her man. She is for sure and for certain in love.

In his life, Henry Buckmeyer has never been so beside himself. His little girls are so young, just babies, too young. He hates the whole idea of men coming to take them away and is inclined to shoot every one of them, but praise God for a level-headed, loving wife and step-mother! She helps keep him sane amidst the female chaos. Packed with fun, romance, deception, action, heartbreak and tears, this delightful Christian novel keeps the twists and turns coming.

Will the Buckmeyer home ever be settled and peaceful again? Will any of his daughters find true love…a man he’ll approve and to whom he can give his blessing?

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Christmas  by B. J. Robinson

Christmas by B. J. Robinson

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV

A cabin in the woods. A roaring fire. Hot chocolate. A rocking chair by the fireside. Flames leap and wood crackles. Smoke rises and wisps out the chimney. A cedar tree cut from the woods adorns the picture window. Christmas music fills the air. Peaceful solitude rocking by the fire.

Peace

Not so many years ago times were simple and peaceful and joy filled the air with a Christmas spirit of love and gratitude. Christ our savior was born and came to earth to save mankind many years ago, not only the reason for the season, but also the reason for our very existence.

A few short years ago, this time of the year, hearts were filled with love and kindness. Let’s bring it back. People greeted each other with a happy, “Merry Christmas,” in the holiday spirit. Hearts were light and joyful as they shopped and thought of faces bright and eyes glowing as they watched loved ones open their gifts. It was more blessed to give than to receive as the best part of it all was watching those you loved open the gifts you gave and seeing the reaction on their faces, or helping others who were less fortunate.

Christmas hymns filled the air. I lived in a small town where you could shop at the A&P and hear the music playing and church bells ringing from the Catholic Church across the road. No, I’m not Catholic, but I loved the way they shared their hymns with the world. It was such a sweet blessing and drew others into the spirit of the season. I can still hear that music playing when I revisit those times in my head. Oh the joy of stepping from the grocery store into nippy air that made it feel like Christmas and hearing those beautiful songs echoing around as people went about their holiday shopping. The world was a beautiful place.

No one worried about terror filling the streets or holiday parties. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t Catholic and that I was Baptist. I still enjoyed the music provided by the Catholic Church. I don’t remember my parents ever putting down on anyone else’s religion though they had their own. We were a mixture with father Methodist, mother Baptist, and after I lost my father on Christmas Day at four, years later my stepfather was Catholic. People truly had religious freedom. No one tried to shove his religion down another’s throat. We all respected each other. Where has that respect gone? As the song goes, why can’t we all just get along? Why must people be categorized and divided by North and South, black, white, or red, etc.? Hearts filled with love and respect for others as part of the human race, the one that God created in His image, should not try to tear what He built apart.

Yet, even as we toast to peace and harmony and long for such sweet, blissful days, we have to stand strong and firm and think of the safety of our loved ones and our country.

How has it come to this? How has it gotten so out of hand? Why can’t we just be happy for one another and help each other when we can? None of us alone can solve the world’s problems, but each one of us can make a difference by the way we treat others. Remember to smile a genuine one and greet people with, “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays,” if that is what you wish, but don’t take offense by the culture and traditions of others. Understand we all have our own traditions and they mean much to us. Why can’t we have them and let others have theirs without ripping each other to shreds? As for me and mine, it’s, “Merry Christmas,” but I have friends who say, “Happy Holidays,” and I smile and say thank you or wish them a “Merry Christmas”. I don’t see what’s so wrong with one person saying, “Happy Holidays,” and another responding, “Merry Christmas.”

I am old school, and I love to hear “Merry Christmas,” but I don’t disrespect those who would rather say “Happy Holidays.” After all, this is America, the land of the free, with freedom of speech, so how about we keep it that way and not try to force our ways upon others? It would make for so much more peace without strife and conflict.

America is like a seafood gumbo of culture and tradition. They say variety is the spice of life. Let’s bring back true freedom of religion and speech by living and let live. Maybe, just maybe those peace-loving hippies of the sixties had something. We don’t have to smoke pot and be flower children, but we can all love peace and contribute our part to it.

From me and mine, “Merry Christmas,” and may yours be blessed. I hope you really hear the music ringing through the air, the beautiful Christmas hymns of old, no matter the church. If we were all carbon copies, the world would be a boring place. There is room for diversity when it doesn’t try to take away the tradition and culture of another group. When it does, it takes away freedom, something America has always been all about, what we are truly known for, the reason so many want to live in America. Keep America free. Do your part. Live and let live. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Be blessed.

Appreciate the simple things in life, because they are the best gifts from God, the things that money can’t buy, the things that you can’t get back once they are gone. Remember the reason for the season and the whole year. As my favorite coffee cup says, “May peace be more than a season.”

B. J. RobinsonBio: B. J. Robinson pens a variety of genres in hopes of taking readers to another world, one of love and inspiration. From her humble beginnings in Ragdoll Christmas to romantic suspense, inspirational romance, contemporary, historical romance, short stories, and novellas, her writing will take you to another world if you let it. She desires to entertain and show her love for God, but her books do not preach and have even been enjoyed and reviewed by an atheist who said if more historical romance books were like hers, he’d read them. He also said he couldn’t imagine a Civil War book without God in it due to the times, and that her books were realistic. If you haven’t taken a chance on one, he read The Belle and the Officer, but she has a brand new release, Siege of Azalea Plantation about the siege of Vicksburg in the historical romance category. Visit her selection and chose your choice of genre at http://goo.gl/APXtb5

CrossReaders Book Review: Blossom: a Bloom novella by Cathy Jackson

CrossReaders Book Review: Blossom: a Bloom novella by Cathy Jackson

Title: Blossom: a Bloom novella

Author: Cathy Jackson

Blossom

Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

We had come so far from when we first met. She would shy away from me, from my touch. Her husband, Charles, both mentally and physically abused her.
With his death, Phoenix could finally heal and start blooming. I try not to show the hurt I feel when she sees Charles when she looks at me. I am her husband now and the care and devotion I have for her will win her to me.
I hope…

Review

RISING FROM THE ASHES TO BE REBORN
We pick up this emotional story with John and Phoenix marrying. John Westerling is a Godly man whose life shines with the love of Christ. His patience with Phoenix and Annie, his daughter, are heartwarming. Phoenix is still haunted with nightmares from her late husband Charles Swartz. The scars that she carries are not just the physical scars on her body, but even deeper are the emotional scars from the horror and torture he inflicted upon her. The love John shows her as a husband loves his wife is not only physical and emotional, but he embraces her with the love of Jesus, where faith and life collide. Not only do we witness the transformation of Phoenix from the ashes of her first marriage, she is reborn into the Kingdom of God when she accepts Christ into her life. This story kept the pages turning with this captivating story and emotional dialogue.

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This review was submitted by: Kathy Heare Watts

CrossReads Short Takes: Mistletoe Mistake: Christmas Mail Order Angels & The Moses Conspiracy

CrossReads Short Takes

Mistletoe Mistake: Christmas Mail Order Angels

Mistletoe Mistake

Matthew Thomas cooked up the whole idea of the Mail Order Angels, but when his own angel appears in the form of Sophia Webster, at first his feet get colder than a Wyoming blizzard. Sophia tries to make a new start in Wyoming by staying true to her word and helping Matthew establish the newspaper, but come spring, it’s back East for her–unless Matthew’s change of heart can convince her otherwise.

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The Moses Conspiracy

The Moses Conspiracy

A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C., in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA, set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community.

Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy. Convinced it’s now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her 8-year-old son, Peter, travel to the nation’s capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they’re unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor’s buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement’s refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what’s happening in Bird-in-Hand.

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