He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. - Colossians 1:15-16

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stand Strong by Nick Vujicic – A Powerful Read

After hearing author Nick Vujicic on a number of radio programs I jumped at the opportunity to read his latest book Stand Strong – You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down).  

Nick is both a compelling speaker and writer.  In Stand Strong he shares openly about difficult people (bullies) he’s encountered, how it’s impacted his life and what he learned from those trials.  It’s incredible how Nick has taken his pain and suffering and has used it to help, strengthen and encourage others.  His compassion and desire to help other people who are being bullied comes through each page.  More than survive, Nick wants people to come through victorious and allow God to use them to come alongside and help others. 

Nick’s prescriptions to Stand Strong are powerful and when put into action they can be a game changer.  Some of the steps include figuring out who you are so no bully can tell you different, taking responsibility for your life, monitoring and managing your emotions to successfully deal with bullies and seeing that good can even come from something as evil as bullying. 

Nick’s personality, humor and compassion comes through this book.  He shares openly how his faith in Jesus Christ and the love of his family helped him to overcome the bullies and be used of God to powerfully impact many people.

One thing I would have liked to have seen is Nick clearly presenting the gospel message of us being lost in our sin, the need for repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ alone.  Both the person being bullied and the person who is the bully need a Savior, as do we all.   Much of what he prescribed can only fully be achieved by Christ in us.  Nick tells of the love of God for us and how He can empower and enable us. 

I wish, as a young person, I would have had the wisdom and counsel of Nick Vujicic.  Even now as an adult, I can see myself implementing some of his steps to overcome the bullies because they don’t all go away when you grow up. 

I do recommend Stand Strong by Nick Vujicic, especially to teenagers and children who are encountering bullies and to parents who need to know how to come alongside their child and help them.

I would like to thank people at Blogging for Books for providing me with a free copy of Stand Strong in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to give a favorable review. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

I AM With You

My precious daughter
I want to assure you
I AM right there with you
In your grief

As you weep
I weep with you
I desire to wipe your tears
With My nail pierced hands

Your tears are most precious to Me
I hold each tear that falls in a bottle
I understand your heart which is exceedingly sorrowful
Over the brokenness in this world

At times you may feel all alone
When you are crushed by the heaviness of sorrow and pain
Trust the promises in My Word
I AM with you and I will never leave nor forsake you

There is a day coming
In which there will be no more sorrow, death or pain
Until that day, My precious daughter
Rest assured, for I AM with you

Susan Wachtel
August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Murder at the Mikado – A Pleasant Suprise

Murder at the Mikado is the first book that I’ve read by author Julianna Deering and I got off to a bumpy start with this book. 

As I was reading chapter one, I found the characters to be rather one-dimensional, boring, self-focused, vapid and empty.  I hadn’t connected with any of the characters at that point and didn’t particularly like or care about any of them.  When I put the book down for the night and was worried that it might be 300 plus pages of that.

But to my pleasant surprise things changed for me starting about page 20.  I found some people that were kind and decent, characters I might connect with, like Drew, Madeline, Nick and Aunt Ruth.  As the book continued I was able to get into the story and learn about the characters and their backgrounds and what motivated them as they were all interwoven in to a murder mystery that begged to be solved before the wedding day of Drew and Madeline.

I found the book to be a little confusing, especially at the beginning.  There are so many characters and it would have been helpful to have a page at the beginning of the book telling who the characters are and little bit about them.  The book seemed a little long.  I was surprised that after we learned who the culprits were, the book continued on for about 25 plus pages as it wrapped up some loose ends with two of the main characters. 

But all in all, I found this to be an interesting book and period piece.  Author Julianna Deering is good at describing the people and scenes so I could almost imagine seeing the scenes take place like a movie in my mind. 

I would recommend Murder at the Mikado.  Now that I am familiar with Julianna Deering writing style I would like to read more of her books. 

One last note, or a question really, what make a book “Christian fiction”?  Is it the fact that the writer is Christian or that the Gospel and faith are shared?  

I would like to thank Bethany House for giving me a free copy of Murder at the Mikado to read in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.