Friday, February 27, 2015

"The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway


About this book:

  “It is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and used him mightily to preach the gospel despite horrific opposition.
Brother Yun is one of China’s house church leaders. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus. Interspersed with his personal account are contributions from his wife, Deling, made mostly during her husband's frequent periods of imprisonment. You will remember where you were the first time you read this life story. It's a watershed book that will turn the reader to prayer and praise.”


Series: Non-fiction


Spiritual Content- Over 250 Scriptures from title page to back-cover are quoted, mentioned or referenced; An huge, amazing amount of Faith, witnessing and praying; ‘H’s are not capital until the Repentance part at the end; The Lord speaks to Brother Yun many times and sends him visions as well; Many mentions of those in the Bible and book of the Bible; Many songs are sung and written out; Martyrs for the Cross and how they were killed; At very low times, the enemy would tempt Brother Yun.
*Note: Many mentions of other religions and demons; “Food was the god of the criminals in that prison.”.   


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: three forms of ‘stupid’ and four ‘shut up’s (though one I would overlook, see HERE!); Curses are said but not written; Blood & wounds (semi-detailed to can be detailed); Prison, Beatings, and Torture are all afflicted; Mentions and stories of those who were beaten and/or killed for their Christian Faith (it’s heartbreaking, and bluntly put); Mentions of murder; a couple mentions of drowning; Mentions of committing (or thinking about) suicide; Mentions of drinking; Mentions of brain out of it’s skull and feeling like your brain will explode; Mentions of human waste & prisoners urinating on Brother Yun; Pus and oozing sores;  


Sexual Content- Brother Yun calls the Three-Self Church a ‘harlot’ (it’s repeated and said a total of four times); A few mentions of prostitutes and seduction; A couple cell mates say they raped women (no details); A mention of two women who were kidnapped and used as s*x slaves; A few mentions of abortion and being force not to have any more babies; When talking about his wife, Brother Yun says “After our marriage Deling and I had thought about having a baby, but at the time my name and photo was plastered everywhere by the police so we didn’t get the chance to spend much time together. On one occasion before I was arrested I secretly sneaked home and during that visit my wife conceived.”.
*Note: A mention of a mother’s chest (“In those days I was just like a baby sleeping in the arms of his mother, peacefully suckling at his mother’s bosom.”); A couple mentions of private body parts (“The next morning the guards took me out from the cell and practiced martial arts on my body. They killed and pouched me to the ground and ordered several other prisoners to stomp on my chest and private parts.” And “As a result a horrible plague struck, causing many prisoners to die. Infection entered men’s bodies through their backsides and private parts.”)

-Brother Yun  
                                         P.O.V. told by Brother Yun and sometimes his wife, Deling. 
                                                       372 pages

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Pre Teens-

New Teens-
(and a half)

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-

Wow. I could start off this review about five different ways. I’m not sure which one to pick. Maybe the one where I start off saying how my heart is in China. Or how I was so excited to read this book. Or that I shockingly didn’t cry at all while reading this novel. Or that I never write or underline in a book, but in this book I did. Or that I’ve never read a book with so many Scriptures in it—or beautiful songs. Or that if I ever meet Brother Yun (who I would probably slip up and call him “Mr. Brother Yun” and pump his hand like a well. And give him a hug. For inspiring me, for opening my eyes even more, for his worshiping through the awful prisons he was in. He says on page 187, “I didn’t suffer for Jesus in prison. No! I was with Jesus and I experienced His very real presence, joy, and peace every day. It’s not those in prison for the sake of the gospel who suffer. The person who suffers is he who never experiences God’s intimate presence.” (capital H mine). I love his look on this. He was beaten horribly every time he was arrested. But yet, he rejoiced become he knew that The Lord had put him there to be a witness. (Which reminds me of Ester 4:14 “And who knows? Perhaps you have been made...for such a time as this.” (VOICE))  And he was. I loved when Brother Yun pointed out this Scripture “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good...” (Genesis 50:20 NASB). That is...perfect for what Brother Yun went through. He was tortured, beaten, attacked spiritually and physically but he stood firm in the Lord, trust and waiting on Him. I want that kind of Faith.
I want to share one song Brother Yun sings that I truly love:
  “First comes blood, then anointing oil
  First we must be clean then we receive blessing from the Lord
  First we must experience Calvary, then will come Pentecost.

  Cross, cross, forever my glory
  His blood has washed my sins away
  Only through the blood of Jesus.”
I actually did some research and found the music online; you can listen to it for free HERE. Isn’t it beautiful?  (Link to sheet musics, words and different versions).

I could go on and on about this book. It’s definitely a keeper for me. It was a harsh eye-opening book, but it showed me how the Lord works and that Christ is being shared in a country near to my heart.
  

See y’all on Monday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Monarch Books) for this review.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"The Trouble With Patience" by Maggie Brendan



About this book:

  “Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with the restoration of a dilapidated boarding house in order to support herself.
  Despite her desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local sheriff with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye—and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.”


Series: Book #1 in the “Virtues and Vices of the Old West” series.  


Spiritual Content- Proverbs 15:1 at the beginning; Prayers; Bible Reading & Scriptures are quoted; Mentions of church going; Talks about God & forgiving; ‘H’s are capital when talking about God; Jed says he believes in God but doesn’t go to church; Patience writes devotionals (though none are written out); Patience has a strong Faith & witnesses.
*Note: two “what the devil”s


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blasted’ (used as an adj.), a ‘heck’, a ‘shut up’, and two forms of ‘dumb’; Curses are said but not written; Jed tells Patience “Don’t let the door slam on your backside as you leave.”; Mentions of drinking, drunks & saloons; Mentions of smoking & tobacco; Mentions & talks of hangings; Murder, Blood & Gun-wounds (semi-detailed);   


Sexual Content- two not-detailed kisses and one barely-above-not-detailed kisses; Wanting to kiss & almost kissing; Staring & Noticing; Nearness & Touches; Mentions of wanting to snuggle; Love, falling in love, & the emotions. 

-Patience Cavanaugh, age 25
-Jedediah Jones, age not-told
                                         P.O.V. switches between them & Cody (once)
                                              Set in 1866 {With Epilogue being a few years later}
                                                        316 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
(and a half)
Early High School Teens-
(and a half)
Older High School Teens-
(and a half)
My personal Rating-
Hmmm. Overall I liked this book but it could have been a bit better, honestly. The blood was a bit too detailed; And while I liked Patience’s Faith, I felt like there could have been a bit more about her devotionals (like a couple of them written out in this book). Jedediah was a bit rough & harsh at the beginning (which I understood because of his job) but it made me not like him for the first opening chapters...though, he did get better by the end.  


See y’all on Wednesday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell Publishers) for this review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Cool Beans" by Erynn Mangum



 About this book:

  “Is there really such a thing as too much coffee?
  Everything seems to be going perfectly for Maya Davis: She has a great job at a coffee shop, gets along with her parents, and is happily single. That is until her best friend unknowingly starts dating Maya's high school sweetheart, her annoyingly perfect brother moves back to town, and her co-worker starts showing interest in her. What is God trying to teach her about life, love and commiserating over coffee?”


Series: Book #1 in the “Maya Davis” series. {Of three}


Spiritual Content- Bible reading & Many Scriptures are quoted; Prayers & talking to God; Church going & a sermon; Talks about God, Him answering & letting go; ‘H’s are capital when talking about God.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘crap’, a ‘idiot’, a form of ‘screw’, a ‘stinking’, a ‘stupid’, two ‘darn’s, two ‘duh’s, three ‘heck’s, three ‘sheesh’s, three ‘wimp’s, four forms of ‘dumb’, five ‘shut up’s, seven ‘oh my gosh’s, seven forms of ‘dang’ and fifteen ‘gosh’s; Maya tries not to be sarcastic (since she’s a Christian).
*Note: Mentions of the band Dixie Chicks, Celebrities, TV shows, Movies, Designers, G*rl Scout cookies and St*rbucks’ awful coffee.  


Sexual Content- Boyfriends & Ex-es; A notice of another girl’s curves; A mention or two about bras; A couple mentions of puberty & hormones; Jack tells Maya: “Maya, I’m wearing an apron. Tell me when the last time was that you saw a straight guy wearing an apron.”.

-Maya Davis, age 24
                                         1st person P.O.V. of Maya
                                                        298 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
(and a half)
Early High School Teens-
(and a half)
Older High School Teens-
(and a half)
My personal Rating-
(and a half)
Awww! This was so cute and funny! I laughed so hard reading “Cool Beans” and I loved all the Spiritual Content! The only thing was I had to lower the ratings because of all the Minor cussing—but if that doesn’t bother you then your rating would be higher. Also, as someone who has a beagle (like the main character in this novel) I loved Calvin! “Roo!”



See y’all on Wednesday with a new review! 


 
*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Steadfast Heart" by Tracy Peterson



About this book:

  “Lenore Fulcher isn't pretentious despite her spoiled upbringing. Her deepest desire at the age of twenty is to find true love. However, her father believes she's wasted enough time searching for a suitable husband, and he wants to marry her off to one of his business partners--thirty-seven-year-old James Rybus. But the idea of marriage to a man so much older is out of the question for Lenore.
  Kolbein Booth, a lawyer from Chicago, arrives in Seattle looking for his headstrong sister who he believes may have answered an advertisement for mail-order brides. Sick with worry, he storms the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister, only to learn she isn't there. But Lenore Fulcher is, and something about her captures his attention.
  Is this the man Lenore has been searching for? She may not have long to find out...”



Series: Book #1 in the “Brides of Seattle” series. {Book #2 & #3 will both be released by end of this year.}


Spiritual Content- Prayers; Many talks about God, praying and sins; ‘H’s are capital when talking about God; Mentions of Scriptures and a couple Scriptures are quoted; Mentions of bread & those in the Bible; Many times “God rest his soul” is said and then followed by an “Amen” when talking about those who have pasted; There is a bit of judging.
*Note: a “devilish”; mentions of “that Darwin man”.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of ‘biddy’, a ‘shoddy’, a form of ‘shut up’ and a ‘stupid’; Mentions of drinking, drunks & smoking; Opium & Morphine is sold & mentioned; Mentions of Democrats & Republicans.


Sexual Content- two ‘hoyden’s; a not-detailed kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, four semi-detailed kisses; Staring & Noticing; Kolbein thought at first that the Bridal School is a brothel; Mentions of soiled doves (prostitutes); Priam is an evil man and plans to sell Oriental virgins to men (who would pay an outrageous sum) then sell them to a brothel (many talks and hints); Mentions of men who would take liberties; Love, love at first sight, & the emotions. 

-Lenore Fulcher
-Abrianna Cunningham
-Kolbein Booth
                                         P.O.V. switches between them, Wade, Priam & Aunt Miriam (once)
                                              Set in 1888
                                                        329 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens

Early High School Teens- 

Older High School Teens-
(and a half)

My personal Rating-


{Really depends on the girl}

I have to be honest, while I really liked Abrianna, I felt a little jipped that there wasn’t many chapters in the back cover’s main characters (Lenore & Kolbein) P.O.V. I really liked Abrianna though, it was just a bit challenging to keep tract of the P.O.V.s. I obviously haven’t fallen in love, so I’m not quite sure what to think about Love at first glance. I can’t really comment on that. But here’s something I can comment on: Y’all know my heart is in China and I know that I’m probably overly sensitive to historical matters featuring Oriental people and opium (which is always, somehow, connected to China). I was very sad to read about Priam’s plan to sell virgins from China to the highest bidder—and that nothing was done to put a stop about it—none of the main characters even knew anything about it! Therefore, unless it affects the books later in this series, it could have been left out; which would have made my rating a lot higher.
    

See y’all on Monday with a new review! 


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House Publishers) for this review.