GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Crash Review: Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ by Richard Collins


About the Book:

This is a 48 page graphic novel set in the year 2025, and tells the story of the first Christians to colonize Alpha Centauri! In this graphic novel we meet all the families, get introduced to Hope Tennessee and the Christian Space Program, see the CSS Faith launch, see Raegan and RJ save the Earth from an incoming asteroid and receive medals for bravery from the President, see all the kids have a race with the emergency escape speeders, see the families establish the colony of ‘New Hope’, and finally celebrate the first Christmas in a new star system.  Cover art and illustrations by Mr. Robert Stimpson.  This graphic novel is a 2014 readersfavorite.com book award winner!

You can purchase a copy of the book at Raegan and RJ in Space.

My Opinion:

In my house we enjoy graphic novels so when I had the chance to recieve a copy of Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ I knew I wanted to take a look at if for myself.  I must say that I loved that this was a Christian graphic novel, there aren’t many of those out and so this fills a niche that is needed for today’s youth.  The illustrations are well done as is the plot and dialog between characters.  That said some of the way things were done had me chuckling because they just weren’t believable such as sending school aged children to do missions in space when there are other adults on the shuttle.  Seeing that the story is set in the year 2025, just eleven years from now, it seems far fetched to think that a shuttle will be taking a group of Christians to settle a new planet 6 months away from earth, not to mention I don’t believe in Aliens in space so who would be getting the Gospel message.

Overall, I think this is a great concept but I think some children, including my 12 1/2 year old would find it cheesy (she hasn’t had a chance to read it in full yet).  The children are all very polite – no one calls each other names, back talks parents and no one questions the teacher.  Everyone is quick to praise and give the Lord the credit, which is great.  I just think there needs to be more fleshed out, such as why are children sent on missions?  Why is the group traveling to space when there isn’t anyone out there to share the Gospel with?  While I like the idea of this graphic novel, I would like to see a bit more substance given to it, it’s short at just 48 pages and I know graphic novels aren’t supposed to be the size of a tome but it seemed as if there was something lacking as I read it.

 (c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Tyndale Review: The Imagination Station #14; Captured on the High Seas by Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sanders


About the Book:

British warships battle with American privateers in this high sea adventure. Cousins Patrick and Beth have landed on the Royal Louis in the middle of the Revolutionary War. Cannonballs fly and swords slash. They’re captured! Now they face even more dangers. Will their new friend James Forten be sold by the British into the West Indies slave trade? Or will they all be sentenced to the overcrowded prison ship floating near shore where scores of prisoners die from filth and disease? Patrick and Beth help plan a daring escape as they witness firsthand the deeds of brave heroes who fought to make America the land of the free.

You can purchase a copy at Tyndale.

 

 

 

My Opinion:

I’ve shared about the Imagination Station books before and now I get to share the newest book, Captured on the High Seas which is book #14 and while I found it quite easy to get into this book it does pick up where book #13 leaves off, The Redcoats are Coming (I need to get that one!).  Patrick and Beth are stranded on an American ship during the Revolutionary War because the Imagination Station is broken and instead of taking them back to Whit’s End, they end up on the ship – it’s okay until they encounter a British ship.  I won’t give away too many details but it was quite a fun read, even for this mom.  Patrick and Beth must get away and they also want to help James, the African American lest he be sold to the West Indies as a slave when he refuses to become a traitor.

 

Geared towards ages 7 and up and with a grade level of 2.3 it’s a fun read and it can easily be read in one sitting – I think it took me two hours with breaks.  What I really appreciated about the book is the tie in of real events such as why the British did not blow up the privateer  Royal Louis and that there really was a James Forten, this is a fascinating man and I encourage you to do some research on him.  I can see how I could easily use this to make a unit study and research more in depth persons rarely learned about and also about the ships used during the American Revolution.  After finishing the book there is a secret word puzzle that you can input into the Imagination Station website to get a prize, there are also extra book extras.  A great way to make learning history fun and engaging especially for a younger child who may not be ready for a full on history lesson.

 

 

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Happy 10th Birthday!


My 2nd born, my 2nd daughter was born on this day 10 years ago, of course it was almost the 30th – if it weren’t for me getting an epidural to relieve the back labor and let me rest for some it, she would have been born tomorrow.  I can’t believe that she is 10.  She is in the double digits and only 3 years away from being 13!  Yikes!  When people tell you the time flies – it does, it doesn’t feel like 10 years ago, it feels like a moment since I pushed her into the world – my first VBAC – and held her, fed her, cuddled her.  Thankfully, she still likes to cuddle, although she doesn’t fit in my arms as easily as she used to.

Here she is with Great Grandpa Hays. I wish she had been older so she could have gotten to know this man who had a pivotal role in my growing up.

My girls, back when they were both still light blonde.

Just cuteness!

She was so happy with her gingerbread house she decorated in co-op one year.

First year of ‘official’ school with Five In A Row and Madeline.

And now she’s a 5th grader!

She is my girly-girl, she loves pink, princesses, dancing and she loves God.  I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her over the  next 10 years .  Happy birthday to my sweet beautiful daughter.  I love you!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Faithgirlz! Big Book of Quizzes from the editors of Faithgirlz!


About the Book:

Welcome to the world of, well, you! The Faithgirlz! Big Book of Quizzes offers more than twenty quizzes delve into school, friends, faith, family, guys, and questions “All-About-You.” Take the quizzes on your own or with friends. Some funny, some thought-provoking, every quiz ends with wide range of answers to help girls think about themselves, get advice on tons of topics, and learn little “who knew?” facts about how they really think and feel – done in a fun format every girl loves. Girls will love circling questions, asking BFFs for best answers, and LOLing at those “that’s SO me” moments. And, yet, each has a takeaway message that makes the Big Book of Quizzes a super entertaining, relevant, and interactive read for girls ages eight to twelve.

You can purchase your own copy at Zondervan.

My Opinion:

When I was growing up I read certain teen mags that I won’t let my 12 and 10 year old daughters touch let alone read and they had those fun multiple choice quizzes, I said fun not appropriate.  Unfortunately there aren’t Christian magazines out there with quizzes like those in them so when I saw the FaithGirlz! Big Book of Quizzes up for review I knew my girls would enjoy doing the quizzes with each other, by themselves and with friends.  There are four chapters in this book and they are titled:

  1. All About You
  2. School Stitches and Stuff
  3. Besties, Boys and Other Bafflers
  4. Faith and Family

Each chapter has between six and eight multiple choice quizzes for your daughters to work through and the results at the end simply require them to count how many A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s they got and then the one with the most is the girls’ results.  I didn’t think the school section would have much in the way for my girls since they are homeschooled but the quiz on your secret learning style is great for however the girl is being schooled.  The one thing my daughter’s and I did not like were the quizzes about boys such as, “are you totally crush crazy?”, “are you ready to date?” and “who’s your perfect guy”, since my girls aren’t exposed to peers who are boy crazy and we chose to let God lead the way as to who is going to be their perfect guy (or not, maybe He’ll lead them to be single and serve Him) these quizzes weren’t that pertinent to us.  I also don’t think that girls should be focusing on this type of thing, instead they should focus on their relationships with their family, community, God and friends (not necessarily in that order).

There wasn’t much of a spiritual aspect either, which I was sort of surprised by – since it is a FaithGirlz! publication I was expecting some Scripture or Scriptural connection to what the girls learn about themselves or their friends from the quizzes.  Unless I missed it there were no Bible verses or Scriptural connections at all, especially where it was most important – with the guy issue and the Faith section.  Even though there is the chapter on Faith and Family I found this to be a book that whether the girl is Christian, Muslim or no religious affiliation could pick this up and relate it to her life and her beliefs.  Overall, it’s a fun book and provides a fun look into the lives of my girls and their friends but if I had to recommend it based on Biblical worldview or being overwhelming Christian I could not recommend it – it’s simply a book with fun quizzes.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Review: Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper by Burton W. Cole


About the Book:

Mysterious footprints in the snow. Vanishing mittens, misplaced eggs. A pink, purple, and orange paisley sleeping bag on the move. Something’s definitely amiss in the chicken coop, and wackiness runs amok on Bash Hinglebobb’s blizzard-blasted farm. While Bash is inventing such contraptions as a snowball catapult from inner tubes and underwear, his cousin Beamer Boxby, a city kid at heart, must help newcomer Lauren Rodriguez figure out why God lets horrible things happen to good people.

Can Bash’s Farmin’ and Fishin’ Book (the Bible) be believed when it says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God”? What about when fire rolls through an animal building. Or when a kid’s lost her dad? It’s time to find out—with a little help from an ice-skating pig.

Find out how to purchase at Amazon or at B&H Publishing.

My Opinion:

I had the chance to review Bash and the Pirate Pig back in 2013 so when I was contacted to review Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper earlier this year I jumped at the opportunity.  Geared towards boys ages 8 to 12 years old the story of Ray and his cousin Bash never fails to amuse even the oldest reader – I’m an adult and enjoyed the cousins antics although I wasn’t so happy that the parents seemed non-existent much of the time.  It’s been snowing, a lot, and so the boys as only boys can do set out to gather a basket of fruit – Fruit of the Spirit that is.  As boys gathering the Fruits takes on a life of it’s own as hospitality leads to a coop fire, a search and rescue mission for damsels in distress for goodness turns into a real rescue and more.  Ray is more reserved than his cousin and while he knows he shouldn’t follow his cousin’s lead, he does and then wonders why – the boys ultimately realize they’ve forgotten to ask the Lord about any of their ideas to help others as they work on gathering their Fruit.

As I said previously, the parents seem non-existent most of the time, Bash’s mom doesn’t really seem to know what to do with her very imaginative son and her nephew so outside they go.  It’s mentioned several times she gets a nervous eye tick whenever she thinks of what they might get into.  Ray’s parents drop him off and leave him for a week and we don’t really ever hear of them and Bash’s dad tries to discipline but it’s usually a grounding to their rooms.  So I know it’s a kid’s book, but it would have been great to have more parental involvement – the most I read in this book was when the community couldn’t make it to church due to a blizzard and they all meet at Bash’s house to hold home church. Simple illustrations done by Tom Bancroft decorate each new chapter and the whimsical drawings add to that chapters feel. Overall, it’s a great book and ultimately the boys realize their mistakes and genuinely repent – since I’m always on the watch for good character building, godly books for my children, this one fits the bill and I know it will be read and re-read over the years.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Field trip to a cemetery and an old homestead


Normally one wouldn’t think that taking a field trip to a cemetery would be, well, educational but yesterday we took a field trip to Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.  I guess having Arboretum in the name makes it more educational?  But seriously the buildings on the grounds are on the National Historic Register and there are some mighty famous people buried in this cemetery.  Erma Bombeck, the Wright Brothers and their sister, Paul Lawrence Dunbar (so now we have to visit his house), and others such as Patterson of NCR fame.  We pass this cemetery each time we go to the hospital we use and I’ve always been curious about it so it was neat to visit.  There aren’t just people buried though, as there are some interesting trees, like the first Ginkgo tree that was planted in Ohio (there you go, it’s science!)

This bell used to be in the old chapel before it burned down.

A tribute to the Wright Brothers – there is a big boulder behind it under that tree which serves as the marker for Erma Bombeck and her husband.

Nothing famous about this one except that the person who owns it bought the statue for $50 at a garage sale and had it added to the head stone for his wife who has passed on and it’s now worth a lot more than that! I’ll never look at a garage sale find the same again.

This one is popular for group photos, yes it is eerie to have your picture taken with a head stone – my daughter’s refused to be in our group’s shot. I liked this one as the angel is holding a rag in her left hand and is wiping the slate clean with the cross behind her.

My son laying pennies on the stones of Orville, Wilbur and their sister Katherine’s head stones.

Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s burial site. His is a sad story, he died at 33 – his sister is buried in potter’s field in the same cemetery. His mother was a former slave.

We walked a lot – probably a good 3 or 4 miles – and our tour guide liked to make us walk up the tallest hills in the cemetery.  At one point I didn’t think I’d make it as my hip started to really ached, but I kept up even at a slow pace.  I’m glad I did or I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy the beautiful view from the beautiful gazebo (it’s also a place where those cremated are interred).

Down on the ground the city isn’t much to look at and it has a lot of crime but this view was so beautiful, one can almost forget what it looks like from below.

I’d really like to go back and maybe see the whole cemetery from the car – as there were some other burial places mentioned that I’d like to see.  So after we got done and made out pit stop, we loaded back into the vehicle and went down the street to the Patterson Homestead.  We ate a quick lunch and then got to tour this beautiful old house, there had been many additions to it since it was originally built in the 1820’s.  Before I show you some pictures, I get giddy when history ties together so back in 2011 we visited Johnston Family Farm well would you know that the daughter of the Johnston family married into the Patterson family and so the families were joined!  Not to mention Patterson is someone you hear a lot about when you visit Carrillon Historical Park as he innovated (not invented) the cash register and also was a big help during the Dayton flood.

The parlor and office – this is part of the original house the front door was to my left. You’d have to see the house for that to make sense.

The dining room. You would have entered from the doorway to the right of me (which would be the parlor shown above). Back when the house was originally built there was no hallways because hallways were not common at the time. We didn’t see the kitchen – apparently there would have been a stair case which would lead upstairs to the bedrooms.

The master bedroom. This is over the parlor and there would have been a connecting doorway on the wall by the bed which would lead to the children’s room. BTW: closets were considered rooms so there would have not been any closets due to the owner being taxed on the number of rooms they had.

So that is the original part of the house, they then added on during the years including up to the 1950’s, but you wouldn’t really know it from looking at the outside as it doesn’t look pieced.  At some point, I can’t remember they year, a hall way was added with a main stair case to the 2nd floor.

The formal parlor – added on later and to the left of the original parlor. No children would be allowed in this room except for Christmas. This was predominantly used for the lady of the house to show off her valuables and entertain.

I’d also like to go back here again as I’d really like to get a more in depth look at some of the features that I couldn’t with our group.  I must admit that the talk of poached eggs made my stomach cramp up – the thought of eating an almost raw egg to someone with an egg allergy can do funny things.  My children agreed that seeing the homestead was their favorite part, because they felt disrespectful of walking over people’s resting places, and I get that.  This was our fifth field trip so far of our 2014-2015 school year and it was a lot of fun and we had a perfect day, not to hot and not to cold – although I’m glad our cemetery part was in the morning as it did start warming up in the afternoon.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Review: Callie’s Contest of Courage by Jan May (and giveaway)


About the Book:

 

Eleven-year-old Callie Fleming is a passionate animal lover! She’s been waiting all year to enter photos in the I Love Nature Photo Contest. Her dad, who is the coolest dad in the world, is an award winning photographer and Marine Corps Reserves Sergeant. She is leaning on his help to win. But when her father is untimely deployed overseas and becomes strangely silent to her emails, she finds her whole world crashing down on her. Can she muster up the courage to step out on a journey that whisks her away from all the things she loves? Join Callie on a journey of hope, trust and the power of prayer!

 

Visit the New Millenneium Girls website to find out how to purchase your own copy of Callie’s Contest of Courage for $7.95 plus shipping and handling.

 

 

 

About the literature study:

Filled with faith building discussion questions, vocabulary
exercises and language arts and fun activities. Perfect for Book Clubs or individual studies.

 

You can purchase it soon for $8.95 or it’s free for a limited time when you sign up for the newsletter at the New Millennium Girls website.

 

 

 

My Opinion:

 

I had the chance to review Jan May’s other girl focused book, Isabel’s Secret, two years ago so when Jan contacted me about reading and reviewing Callie’s Contest of Courage I knew I had to accept.  Jan writes the New Millennium Girls series for girls of the ages 8 to 12 years old but if your older daughter is looking for an easy, inspiring read then she’d probably enjoy it too – I know I did but I won’t disclose my age in this review!  She desires to have books for girls who love God and want to honor Him, so her books are big on faith – if you want a book that a non-Christian could read this isn’t your book and I love that about this, I think there may be even more faith in Callie’s book than there was in Isabel’s, there simply aren’t enough Biblical girl books for girls to enjoy.  Since Callie’s dad is in the service I thought maybe we’d be dealing with the harsh reality of war and death, thankfully that wasn’t tackled in this book, but faith was – everyone had faith that Callie’s dad would come back to them.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers so I won’t divulge too much here, but this book was a great read and even had a little bit of suspense but not so much that my very sensitive 10 year old would be scared.

 

I was also give the 74 page literature guide to go along with Callie’s Contest of Courage – normally I feel that I just want my children to enjoy reading and so adding in more school takes away from that, however, this literature guide makes things fun and not so school-like.  Each chapter in the book is also in the study guide with literature focus questions, discussion questions and an activity (this could be writing out and memorizing a Bible verse, mapping and more).  To save on ink I’d suggest only printing what you need and either discuss all the questions including the literature focus ones out loud or on a separate sheet of paper.  There isn’t an answer key but the book is an easy read so moms and dads could easily read it to make sure they can discuss and check their child’s work.  This is a great tie-in and will make the lessons in the book come a bit more alive and understandable for children instead of just reading the book and forgetting it.

 

Jan also has something for boys, Spies of the Revolutionary War writing and lapbook study – although I’d think girls might be interested to especially if they are currently studying this time period or maybe know of a great grandparent who served.  The New Millennium Girls website is chock-full of extras such as other writing curricula for all ages, a homeschool resource page with links to writing contests, free writing prompts and more, so check that out and it’s free.  Also be sure to visit the bookstore where you can purchase books and curricula easily and check out Jan blog’s where she writes more on writing, homeschooling and Jesus.

 

 

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

Giveaway!!!

 

This giveaway is open to anyone in the continental U.S. who is 18 years old and over!  All entries will be verified!  The contest will end on 10/6/14.  Click on the link below, it might work better if you right click and open in a new tab so you can come back to my blog to comment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Litfuse Publicity: Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold


About the Book:

Words! Words! Words!

Words all over the place. Accusing, blaming, and degrading words are the worst of all. After hearing those words over and over again, we begin to feel the weight of them threatening to crush the very life out of us.

Buried Beneath the Words cleverly shares a true life story about the different ways someone can end up buried beneath the weight of negative words. Then it shares a Christian course for how God’s word can revive us. By putting the advice given within these pages into practice, you will experience an awakening of the real you—the you that has been buried way too long.

You can purchase your copy at Betel Arnold’s website.

About the Author:

Betel Arnold is a Certified Christian Life Coach, her passion is to reach out to women with compassion, empathy and encouragement. She is the creator, co-producer, and co-host of Simply Talking, a local public television show addressing issues drawn from our daily lives to deeper questions that come from our personal tragedies. Betel has learned to integrate her roles as wife, mother, inspirational speaker and family advocate. It is Betel’s personal life experiences of overcoming adversity where she was able to find the inspiration and inner strength to do the impossible. She inspires others to overcome the challenges that keep us from moving forward in our lives and achieving our goals. Betel Arnold has embraced her life’s conviction to help women become all that God has called them to be.

You can learn more about Betel on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

My Opinion:

I think we all have had word hurled at us – whether they be from well meaning parents or not so well meaning parents, friends, bullies and others around us – that still torment us today.  I know I have.  I was told to let the words roll away, part of the whole sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt – there were days I almost wished that I’d have a broken bone versus the words that weren’t supposed to hurt.  Words wound even more than a broken bone – a bone can mend and heal but it takes more than plaster and water to heal an emotional wound.  That is what Betel’s book sets out to do to help heal those wounds caused by words by using God’s Word so that we can know and love ourselves as He loves us.  It’s a short book – I read it in one sitting for the purposes of the review – so unless you do the journal exercises it doesn’t take long to read and apply what you’ve learned.

Betel is very open in this book, sharing some of her own personal experiences with how words had hurt her and continued to do so well into her adult life.  I can relate.  I was told I’d never do anything or be able to graduate college from a high school teacher.  Well I did graduate college and I’m successfully teaching my own children and training them to love and serve the Lord.  That doesn’t even begin to touch the bullying I encountered in school that I carried around for many, many years – and Satan still tries to use them to attack me.  The journal exercises are fairly easy and quick such as writing down negative words that have affected you and then making a list of words and phrases you had heard instead.  They aren’t painful or long, but they can aid in healing.  Betel also speaks of Confession, not where you go to a priest but where you pray God’s Word over your life and she gives a list of her confessions in the back of the book – it’s a great way to really understand her way of confessing.

Okay, now because I’m a bit more conservative in what I like in my Christian books I did find a couple things that I do want to warn my fellow conservative readers, on page 34 in my book, Betel is recounting a conversation she’s had with her sister and the use of “Oh my ***” is used.  As I don’t use this as I believe it’s blaspheming I do admit I was shocked by the use of this, even if that is the way the conversation happened it still could have been omitted or altered and the book would not have been changed.  On the next page as she recalls a conversation between her and her brother she uses the word p****d and again I had a feeling of shock – I know their are Christians who don’t feel this is a cuss word but it’s not exactly a nice word either.  There were two other issues but overall, the book has a niche to fill and it does it well – overlooking the issues instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, as I know Buried Beneath the Words can and will help many women overcome their issues with words in their life.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought of this book please, visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for Betel Arnold‘s debut book, Buried Beneath the Words.

Buried Beneath the Words Betel Arnold

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Betel’s blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Betel’s blog on the 13th to see if you won!

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First Dance Company Performance


As my readers know my girls tried out and made the Illuminate Dance Company in July, the 14th was their first performance at an outdoor amphitheater.  It was so exciting to see them and the other girls perform their dance they’ve been working on for awhile.  Not to mention watching my girls dance in praise and worship moves me.  I woke with a headache but took some medicine hoping that would help, the headache got worse but I was able to hang in there.  We had to be at the location at 10:45 a.m. and the performance didn’t start until 3p.m. so it was a long day.  Unfortunately on the way home I did end up getting sick but at least it wasn’t at the performance.

My girls in their costumes.

All the performers – there were dancers from I think 5 different companies.

My middle daughter is in the front row in the brown tank with the circle – this was after the finale dance with all companies.

My oldest is on the right in the 2nd full row.

It was a wonderful day, no rain and pleasant temperatures.  The park was beautiful, wish we lived closer to it so we could visit again but maybe they’ll be in Company next year and perform there again.  Illuminate danced to Oh, Great God and had beautiful choreography to go along with it.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Review: An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer and Vannetta Chapman


About the Book:

Gardens are a place to rest, to draw near, and to heal.

“Where Healing Blooms” by Vannetta Chapman

When Widow Emma Hochstetter discovers a run-away teenager in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a local woman and her two children she finds her quiet life has been interrupted. Then, her mother-in-law, Mary Ann, reveals one of her garden’s hidden secrets, something very unexpected. Will she continue alone or will she accept the gifts God has given her?

“Flowers for Rachael” by Kathleen Fuller

Rachael Bontrager’s flower garden is beautiful, but at twenty-four, she’s lonely. Gideon Beiler fell in love with Rachael almost at first sight. After her grandfather has a stroke, her days are filled with caring for him, and one day Rachael finds her garden in shambles. However, she won’t accept Gideon’s offers of help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own and that God is in control?

“Seeds of Love” by Tricia Goyer

Sadie Chupp finds her greatest joy in the greenhouses in her Montana community. A company is interested in buying her heirloom seeds, but they are the only thing she has left from her deceased parents. Eli Plank is a traveling bachelor who believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and let the seeds of a new relationship take root?

“Rooted in Love” by Beth Wiseman

Rosemary Lantz is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul Petersheim has pursued Rosemary for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down. What Saul doesn’t know is that she has good reason—something no one can know—especially not him.

My Opinion:

Four of my favorite authors in one book?  Yes, please!  Each author has their own style of writing within this set of four novellas and while each are unique the novellas flow into one another to create four wonderful stories with different characters in each one.  Sometimes when I read books like this I tend to get lost between one book and the other but maybe since I’m used to each author’s own style of writing that wasn’t the case and I was able to separate each novella from the one before or after it.  The common thread in this set of novellas is gardening – either those that are blessed gardeners, those that aren’t or those that are learning – each story centers around the garden as it’s main theme and even if you’re not a gardener this book is a delight to read.

As the title says all are Amish non-fiction and so with Amish fiction one sort of expects a typical theme but as each of the ladies who wrote it, these weren’t your typical same ‘ol, same ‘ol Amish fiction and for that I was happy.  They each have a touch of an endearing romance and more than once I found myself wanting to yell at the female characters to give up their stubbornness and just go out with the bachelor who is pursuing them.  I really enjoyed Tricia Goyer’s novella as we travel back to the Montana community where some of her other novels are set and it was neat to visit again in this short way.  If you desire a short read then this book will go fast – especially the last one, Where Healing Blooms, which touches on the subject of spousal abuse.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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