Talking to Jesus Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer, Jeannine Blackmer takes stories from the book of Matthew that tell of Jesus’ encounters with the people around him and imagines what those interactions may have been like. In doing so, she hopes to give the reader a new perspective on prayer.

Within the pages of her book, Jeannine covers the stories of the leper, centurion, scribe, disciples, the paralytic, the ruler, the woman with a bleeding disease, two blind men, John the Baptist, Peter, the Canaanite woman, a father, and the rich young man.

Each chapter begins from the character’s viewpoint and includes their encounter with Jesus. Following the telling of the story the author describes her own personal response to the story, offers several scripture verses for reflection, and ends with a section for the reader to record their observations on what they’ve just read.

While reading the chapter on the disciples during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, I wrote my name into the story and sat right alongside the disciples as the storm raged and the waves threatened to overtake them. I looked at the story and wrote my story of situations where chaos replaced calm; and fear replaced faith.

In the midst of the storm while Jesus slept in their boat, the disciples, and I, cried out, “Save us LORD, for we are about to drown!” At our cry Jesus woke, asked why our faith was so weak that we were afraid, and then told the wind and sea to be still.

As Jeannine states in her book, fear is a struggle for her — and for me, perhaps for you also. Even though we know Jesus can change circumstances in a moment, we’re afraid he won’t. It is at those times we, like the disciples, need to cry out to Jesus and plead in prayer for him to save us; for we are about to drown. At that point we can rest assured in his calm presence knowing he hears, and will act according to his purpose.

I’d encourage you to do the same thing. Find your favorite scripture or story from the Bible and write your name in it. By writing your name in the stories, does it give you a new perspective on how to talk to Jesus on a more personal level?

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below.

If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Leave a comment to have your name entered for a chance to receive a copy of Talking to Jesus courtesy of The Blythe Daniel Agency.

Fire Road Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Fire Road, is the story of Kim Phuc Phan Thi, often referred to as the “Napalm Girl”, whose image was splashed across countless magazines and newspapers worldwide during the Vietnam War. Kim’s incredible memoir retells her story from the time she ran naked through the streets of her village, Trang Bang in South Vietnam near Saigon, as napalm bombs burned away her clothing and scorched her skin, to her present day life as an UNESCO ambassador and follower of Jesus.

If you are of a certain age, I’m sure you remember the picture shot June 8, 1972 of nine-year-old Kim. Because I remember that photograph, I wanted to read this book, for somehow, Kim Phuc Phan Thi’s story, is part of my story. Perhaps her story is part of your story as well. Although there were times I had to put this book down, take a deep breath, and walk away, at no time did I ever consider not finishing it. This is a must-read book and I applaud Kim Phuc Phan Thi’s courage in writing it.

At the beginning of her book, Kim states her life centers on receiving God’s gift of peace each day and because of that, if you came to this book in hopes of picking up “weighty opinions on war”, she fears she will disappoint you. Her belief is that a careful study of peace will have a far greater unifying effect than even the most exhaustive excavation of the horrors of war.

To be sure, within the pages of Fire Road you will read of the horrors of war, the destructive effects of war, the price paid for living in a war-torn country, but you will also read of the determination of one woman to find the One True Living God, live in the peace only he can give, and share that peace with others.

There is so much about this book I could write, but perhaps the best thing I can do is suggest you pick up a copy and read this beautiful woman’s story of pain, suffering, loss, determination, courage, and finally the strength to be willing to show her scars in public as a demonstration that fear cannot be present wherever faith is exercised.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below.

If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Tyndale provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

All She Left Behind Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

All She Left Behind, written by Jane Kirkpatrick, tells the story of Jennie Pickett in 1870s Oregon Territory. This book is filled with hope and disappointment. Love and betrayal. Courage and desperation. What I found most interesting with All She Left Behind is the way Jane Kirkpatrick wove her details into a compelling story based on the lives of real individuals.

Jennie wants to help people and uses her skill with herbs as one way to do that, hoping to turn that skill into a medical career. Trusting those closest to her proves costly, and deception sends Jennie on a path she wasn’t expecting to walk as she deals with the very real issue of alcoholism in her area and family.

Through to the final pages of All She Left Behind Jennie continues to follow her dream and refuses to give up.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below.

If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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So God Made a Dog Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In April I mentioned a devotional book I was a part of and promised I’d let you know when the book with my dog devos, So God Made a Dog, came out. Well. Here it is! So excited to hold this book and read not just the eleven devotions I wrote, but all the other dog-lovers’ devotions about the various dogs we each have shared our lives with.

Fifteen different writers contributed a total of ninety different dog devotions to show us that just like humans, every dog is unique and has lessons to teach us. In reading these devotions, if we look closely, we see stories of compassion, stubbornness, loyalty, grace, honor, and strength. Traits our dogs exhibit which can have a spiritual meaning for us all.

On the pages of So God Made a Dog are stories which are funny, poignant, and sweet. They touch hearts and make us laugh. They are stories which need to be read more than once.

In my devotions I write about Bear, Kirby, Buckshot, Samantha, Shadow, Shang, Timothy, and the Iditarod sled dogs. These dogs all hold a special place in my heart. Because of that, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of So God Made a Dog, and learn what made each writer feel their dog’s story needed to be told.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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High As The Heavens Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

High as the Heavens, Kate Breslin’s latest book, takes place in German occupied Brussels during World War I. The main character, Eve Marche, leads a double life. Between her duties as a British Red Cross nurse and her work at her aunt and uncle’s cafe, Eve manages to provide intelligence to the Belgian underground resistance group, Le Dame Blanche. There are many twists and turns in High as the Heavens that keep you guessing as the plot unfolds.

Among Eve’s many secrets is the deadly secret that haunts her days and puts a barrier between herself and God’s free gift of grace.

I appreciated all the fascinating well-researched details Breslin populated High as the Heavens with which brought the time period to life, and added authenticity to her story.

For me, though, there were far too many characters to keep track of. I also found the frequent switch from present day 1917 to “three years earlier” in the beginning of the book rather distracting.

With that said, I would recommend High as the Heavens to all those who enjoy reading historical fiction with a touch of romance.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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Bread of Angels — Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Tessa Afshar’s well-researched Bread of Angels tells the story of Lydia, the seller of purple and Paul’s first Christian convert in Europe, as she overcomes devastating betrayal and loss to rise to a position of prominence in the male dominated Roman world of merchants in Philippi.

Afshar brings each character in Bread of Angels to life as they propel the story forward to a satisfying ending. Woven into Lydia’s story are details from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi and Luke’s account of the events in Acts. Themes of grace and forgiveness shine through the pages until the final chapter.

I highly recommend Bread of Angels for anyone looking for an intriguing read full of interesting characters who bring Lydia’s world of the early Christian church to life.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Tyndale provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.