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Author Archives: Catherine Rivers

  • BookBites Vol. 3

    Craving a new read? You’ve come to the right place. We love books. And we love sharing our thoughts on them. Welcome to Bookbites, where we give the latest books a grade, brief review and include an excerpt—a “bookbite”—that grabbed our attention.

    Happy reading!

    BRIDGE TO HAVEN Francine Rivers Grade A-  Woeful tale of an abandoned child turned adult and her headstrong escape into desolation and darkness, it’s a long journey but the love and light of home beckons and eventually restores her.  Well-written, page-turner as usual from Rivers.  However the author never addresses the fact that the pastor could have kept the child if he had asked for help from the congregation.  She was really abandoned more than once and it is heartbreaking and hard to get past, making the rest of the book seem like it was unnecessarily tragic...but apparently necessary to develop a romantic interest in the adopted brother.  These two elements don't fit Rivers' usually seamless writing.  Still a worthy read.

    Appeals to:  Fans of Francine Rivers, especially of Redeeming Love, and those who like fiction with an edge instead of fluff.

    Bookbite:  "Abra sat back on her heels, bowing her own head, hands clasped tightly.  'Please, God, please, please, make my daddy take me home. Please I'll be good.  I promise.  I won't make anybody too tired or sick.'  She dashed tears away.  'I wanna go home.'  Full of hope, she rose and looked out the window.  Daddy had walked to the end of the block.  She stared as he disappeared around the corner."

    UNDETECTED Dee Henderson Grade B  Known for her romantic suspense, Henderson unfortunately does not add much of either to this book; they are almost undetected or at least very tepid.  However if you are enchanted by submarines and want to learn more about them, you will love this book.  The men in the book bend over backwards to be the good guy in the white sailor hat, to the point of giving up the girl to the other guy.  Gina is a girl-genius, smarter than she deserves to be, who beats herself up for discovering things that might get somebody killed at the same time that they also save lives.  Lots of anguish from all throughout but in the end predictable.

    Appeals to:  Dee Henderson fans, but lacks the charm of the O'Malley series and the suspense of some of her newer books.

    Bookbite:  “Nothing’s changed with us, Gina.  We’re still in the days after Georgia.  As difficult as this is to sort out, Bishop and I really are different sides of the same coin.  You want to get married.  One of us will likely be the guy. That’s still the reality.  Okay?”

  • BookBites - Vol. 2

    Craving a new read? You’ve come to the right place. We love books. And we love sharing our thoughts on them. Welcome to Bookbites, where we give the latest books a grade, brief review and include an excerpt—a “bookbite”—that grabbed our attention.

    Happy reading!

    GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU:  You can Experience Real Love, Acceptance and Guilt-Free Living

    Joyce Meyer

    Grade A  - Practical, down-to-earth teaching with real life examples explaining God's love for us although we are not and cannot be perfect, releasing us from the guilt and shame often caused by our performance mentality.

    Appeals to readers of all ages who've felt that God holds a grudge against them for things they have done.

    Bookbite:  "To live in the reality that God is not mad at us is the most freeing truth we will ever find.  Knowing that we will sin, probably every day, and that God knows that and has already decided to forgive us eliminates the fear of failure.  The beautiful truth is that when we no longer focus on our sin, we find that we do it less and less.  As we focus on God's goodness instead of being afraid of our weaknesses, we become more and more like Jesus."

    UNSEEN:  Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell and Winning the Battle for Eternity

    Jack Graham

    Grade B - Pastoral teaching on subjects that are difficult to comprehend, somewhat textbooky and not very original, but the chapters on spiritual warfare are dynamic.

    Appeals to readers of books about heaven, a popular subject these days, and those dealing with spiritual warfare (really all of us whether we know it or not).

    Bookbite:  "This is how Satan wages war against us, isn't it?  He loves to break into our thoughts.  He introduces doubt, which leads to fear, which leads to confusion, which leads to pain.  He is a terrorist, in every sense of the word, seeking to oppress us and then to occupy us, seeking to make us slaves to our very own sin."

    MISS BRENDA AND THE LOVELADIES:  A Heartwarming Story of Grace, God and Gumption

    Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

    Grade B-  - Eye-opening view of one woman with the gumption to do what few are doing, being Jesus to former women prisoners and giving them the chance at a new life that they never had before.  The writing is limited but these women's stories are fascinating and inspirational, you'll never look at Walmart the same again.

    Appeals to biography readers and to those who might consider a similar ministry.

    Bookbite:  "God is calling us like we've never been called before. He wants believers like me to quit being afraid of getting their hands dirty and help women like you.  And He wants you to see that there is hope.  Because trust me there is hope.  And what we do today, tomorrow and the next day could have a tremendous impact on the entire system.  We could change the way it works.  We could change women's lives."

  • BookBites - Vol. 1

    Craving a new read? You’ve come to the right place. We love books. And we love sharing our thoughts on them. Welcome to Bookbites, where we give the latest books a grade, brief review and include an excerpt—a “bookbite”—that grabbed our attention.

    Happy reading!

    UNGLUED:  Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

    Lysa Terkeurst

    Grade A+ --- A re-reader, even better the second time.  Perfect cover, fits the topic like a...crazy lady with a purse on her head.  A+ for the cover alone but the inside grabs you too.

    Appeals to all women, especially Moms, who've had their moments of becoming unglued and want a new plan to deal with it.

    Bookbite:  "Feelings are indicators, not dictators, child.  They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn't mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around.  You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift from Jesus called self-control!"

    BECOMING MYSELF:  Embracing God's Dream of You

    Stasi Eldredge

    Grade B --- Interesting, journalistic, somewhat too personal to author's experience.

    Appeals to women with similar life issues such as weight, abuse, approval, fear.

    Bookbite:  "Becoming ourselves requires standing against the current--the demands, the expectations, the assault of daily realities, and our own histories.  We cannot afford to indulge in our inner diatribes any longer.  To become true ourselves will require that we speak the truth in love, even to ourselves."

    SWITCH ON YOUR BRAIN:  The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health

    Dr. Caroline Leaf

    Grade C --- Author makes a valiant attempt to explain in layman's terms the complexities of the brain God created and the science behind how we can change our life by how we think, however the book lacks real life examples for application.

    Appeals to fans of TV shows like "Brain Games" and "Dr. Oz".

    Bookbite:   "When you think you change...Brain scans show that parts of the brain activated by action are the same parts of the brain activated by simply thinking about an action."

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Activate Your Faith - Phillipians 4:13
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