I read this book as a stand alone with no problem. By reading the back of the book there was enough info to set the scene. First of all, the one thing I really like about Susan’s writing and the story was the flow of characters and different relationships. It takes a good writer to juggle those so that the reader can keep up and have a good sense of time and action. I enjoyed what her character, Adam, showed as a Christian who truly repented and changed his ways and the fact that Maggie respected that and would give him a chance for friendship even before their hearts met. I liked Aurora for having her own mind about things and bucking her father’s pride even though she was raised wealthy and could have married rich. Neil was easy to hate as I had read in another review. I loved the change in James even though he was older he still allowed God to help him see what a strong character Adam had and was able to forgive him and then go out of his way to help him in his new business. Rylan kept his word. I liked all of the characters and their voices. With English/Scotch/Irish in my blood, I do enjoy these stories!
This book was provided to me by Bethany/Baker Books. All opinions are my own from the reading of the novel.
What should be the loveliest time of the year, content and fun, sometimes is not. When your road is not passable and family does not wish to brave the trails, it can be quite lonely. 10 degrees with chronic pain is not happy. That’s when the word “JOY” has to be looked at and invited into your heart. For what really counts is what the Lord puts into you and what you accept from Him.
I have found from experiencing just happy, it can be a fleeting moment. It will not stick with you or comfort you on a depressing day. The sun will even disappoint you and go behind the clouds leaving you with a dysfunction of sorts. Animals will love you with their gentleness, but because they have no soul, they cannot give you what you really desire for very long either. I know because we have 8 pack goats, a dog, a cat, and chickens!
So, when that day comes, when you feel so alone, isolated, hurting, and detached, remember that word…JOY. Jesus is the only one who can give real joy. When you belong to Him, He longs to give it to you.
“I find God to be both old and new.” Mary Ann Young Robinson
This is what Charles Spurgeon had to say one Sunday morning in 1891.
1891, Charles Spurgeon
The new life that God gives us is exceedingly active. I have never read that we are to lie down and sleep in the newness of life. It is true I have met with persons who professed to have been saved, and therefore they took matters easily, and made themselves religiously comfortable in idleness. I greatly question whether you have new life if you do not walk. God’s children are not of a sluggish race. There is vigor and fervency about them. They cannot sleep, as do others. The new life is akin to the life of angels, and angels do not spend the day in slumber or sloth. I never heard of sluggish angels. They are as flames of fire. The new life in a Christian is quick, energetic, forceful. The new life produces a holy walk as soon as it is created. If you have been born unto God, you have cast off your lethargy, and are ready to run the race set before you. You may happen to be dull and sleepy occasionally through disease; but you will not choose this. When in spiritual health, you will glow with divine ardor, and burn with holy fervency, delighting yourself in serving the Lord.
I also am considering what the scripture has to say to us. Always something new. Refining something old. It’s exciting.
I was so glad to return to the town of Blessing, just as Anji Baard Moen did, after the death of her husband while living in Norway. Blessing was where she grew up, had her first love, developed friendships, so it wasn’t hard to leave her mother-in-law’s harsh home where children were little more than objects in the room.
The threat she lived with, though, was that her mother-in-law would not share any family money with her if she would decide to remarry and give her children a father. How selfish, but Anji worked hard and wasn’t sure she would want to remarry. She set her mind to teaching, and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette, but while doing that, met an Anglican Priest that became her friend.
Thomas Devlin, an Irish minister, was the main editor. Single, fun, and sensitive, Anji began to look at him differently and wondered if he was experiencing some of the same feelings. He came for dinner, enjoyed her children and finally asked to court her.
A circus train came through the town exposing Blessing to Diphtheria. Thorliff, a very loved member of the community and Doctor Astrid’s brother, lost his wife, Elizabeth, to the disease, but recovered himself to take care of his children. Anji was grieved to see him suffer as he was her first love as young people in this town.
Then the church call came…it was too far away. He knew he was called and yet was drawn to Anji and she couldn’t face leaving Blessing for the second time. Thomas went to have an appointment near Chicago to find out if this was where the Lord was calling him. The distance softened both Anji and Thomas’s heart preparing them for future ministry. After Anji had a heart to heart talk to Thorliff about the past, she realized how she must move forward in her life.
Ingebord, still a vital widow in the town, is a support system for many. Her medical training of Astrid pays off. She becomes the main stay of the hospital, assisted by Miriam, now living in Blessing married to Tryve.
The colorful characters of Blessing come to life again as Lauraine Snelling presents a new tale of community, love, suffering and perseverance.
|What I like about Dee Henderson’s writing is that you really feel like you are there. The flow is very good and she knows when to change from scene to scene well. The story was a good Christian fiction story in the sense that your teenager could read without your worry. It does show that Christians can make decisions that do not muddy their lives when following the Lord’s mandate. I expected a little more mystery woven around her family and added suspense, since this is the type book it is supposed to be based on the title. The main character’s progress through her trial may have been a little too progressive too fast, but some of it was based on her own personality and the personal time in taking photos and traveling as opposed to being kept somewhere in seclusion. I enjoyed reading it very much and this was the second one of hers I have read so far. I look forward to more of this talented writer. Compelling Cover.
This book was provided by Bethany Books and the comments are my own opinions.
This book was provided by Bethany/Baker Books for review. The opinions are my own.
I felt like I was right beside Miriam as she traveled back to the town of Blessing where she knew Trygve was anxiously awaiting her return. Her heart still hadn’t convinced her that she loved him, although she did adore him and wondered what the funny feelings she had stirring in her stomach were all about. She left brothers and sisters behind in the city and a mother just freshly put in the grave. Although excited, it was scary. Her family had to rough it in a tenement with no parent. She would live and work around large families that had lived in and around Blessing for many years in a community built mostly of their own faith. A very good student nurse, Miriam would contribute greatly wherever she was, but Blessing needed her and she had a contract to fulfill. She had already been here once, being taught by two women doctors that were being received for their strength, love and expertise more than most. Once she arrived and was shown her own sweet room with a window, ate in the Dining Hall, and felt the warmth of Trygve’s looks, she knew she was where she should be. She was becoming a woman, but had no one to explain these things that she was experiencing. Then she received letters from her siblings which was a special surprise. She hadn’t been there long before there was dangerous accident, a tragedy, that left one dead and others injured. Tempers flared regarding the accident, the bank’s inability to loan money for construction, and prejudice towards the poor tent people who yearned to become part of the town and find work to thrive. Through diversity and loss, Blessing still claimed the bond that had always been there, and in the middle of it, Miriam declared her love to her beau Trygve! She would finish her contract, possibly soon marry and find a way to bring her sweet family to the town that was a “Blessing”. I have read several books about this town and the people and it is a very sweet saga. I enjoy the writings of Lauraine Snelling, her style, and the people she introduces that I usually like. I feel like I have been to North Dakota myself while gleaning from the everyday lives of the people who lived there.
This book was provided to me by Bethany Books. These opinions are my own from the reading of this novel.
By Mary Young Robinson
Psalm 147: 3-5 (ESV)
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.”
Healing. I thought I had made much more progress than was evident and understood what true healing meant. And then so unexpected, I felt an old wound surge with a twinge of pain that I thought was forever gone. Was I wrong? Was I still plagued with the same old despair and sin that I thought I gave to God?
On a particular Sunday morning I began to wonder about being healed and if it really was a forever state. Does emotional and spiritual healing come and go? Sometimes triggers I have felt in life seemed like a “recall”. Of course, memories are sometimes joyful and sometimes sad. I felt dumped on this morning.
Cruising towards the church, I approached the uphill parking lot. Already a little late and hurrying up the drive, I knew that the Holy Spirit was touching me. There was a sore feeling pressing in my soul at first, but it wasn’t a bad thing.
What I sensed at that moment was that He wanted me to remember some things for a reason. He wanted to remind me of where I had been and where I was now. He showed me that no matter what pain I feel or felt in the past, that He is always with me, and helping me with the process. No matter how long it takes!
Encouragement filled me. I was reminded that I should never try to second-guess God’s reasons. Even though it is my own desire to let go of particular pain in my life, whether physical, spiritual or emotional, it may not be God’s plan to relieve me of it fully. Or, He might not take the pain away for a long time. He has His reasons for allowing me to feel and remember things. And knowing that He is in control, gives me peace.
People usually mean well when they inquire about our journey, but God may have a plan that no one suspects for us. If you stay depressed and it is affecting your life in a dramatic way, then maybe talking to a Pastor or Christian Counselor is a good idea. Otherwise, serve your Lord, pray and minister to someone and trust Christ to meet your needs based in His timing.
Beth Thatcher enjoyed a wonderful year in Coal Valley teaching children but she was homesick for her family and looked forward to special time with her mother. New feelings for a Canadian Mountie named Jarrick were locked in her heart and she hoped to be able to spend time thinking over her future, sharing with her mother and resting up at their beautiful home. She left the Leftbridge station with a bouquet of flowers, but only saved a few petals and hid them in her handkerchief for a keepsake and not to alarm her family too soon. Beth was exhausted when she arrived in Toronto, but was glad when she heard her youngest sister, Julie, calling for her and viewed her father waving her over towards him. His arms were around her and she felt safe. While driving to the house in a Roll’s Royce, Beth sensed something untold in the car. Soon they arrived where her older sister was waiting with her little boy for the reunion. JW, her nephew, toddled towards her and Beth rallied in seeing how much he had grown. Beth had forgotten that Julie had met Jarrick when she came to visit once and Julie started asking questions before she was ready to comment. But it didn’t take long for the new home secret to come out and Beth was not hoping for something like this. A luxurious cruise vacation had been planned and they would all leave within the week. Travel? And her father wouldn’t be able to meet them until later in the trip. She loved seeing everyone, but she had been dreaming of her summer at home. She was still waiting to hear if she would be called back as a teacher for the next school year. Little did she know that this summer she would become Julie’s nursemaid out in the world of romance when they left shore. And more than romance, danger calls to a young debutant with fearless anticipation. God is working in the background in lives, but there will be many lessons for all before life settles down again for this family.