Book review: Murder Comes By Mail

In Murder Comes By Mail, Michael Keane is a deputy sheriff in the small town of Hidden 51nasamaf5l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Springs who does a good deed that goes very bad.

After saving a suicidal man who is trying to jump from a bridge, Michael becomes the town hero (which is embarrassing) and the target of the murderer (which is scary). Soon after the event, a woman is murdered and a package with photos arrives in the mail.

Michael begins to wonder if the man he saved from the bridge is somehow responsible. On the bridge, the man said, “You’ll wish you’d pushed me.” But now they can’t find him… As the body count increases, Michael must find the culprit and stop him.

This is a good story. It fits into the category of a cozy mystery, even though there are a few murders. There is also an element of faith as Michael struggles to trust God. Oh, yeah, and a little romance, too.

The author, Ann H. Gabhart (writing as A.H. Gabhart), has a nice and easy-to-read style. The characters are interesting and some a little quirky. I figured out who the murderer about halfway through the book but I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to catch him. This book is going into the church library.  🙂

I received a free book from Revell Publishing (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an unbiased review.

So many books, so little time…

You know I work in my church library, right? And you have to know that I love reading, right? I’ll read anything: books, magazines, food containers…you name it.

Several years ago I joined an organization called Pacific Northwest Association of Church Libraries (PNACL). It’s a small group, but it’s an awesome group. We all love books and reading, and we want to share the love of these books and the knowledge (or the entertainment) we get from these books.

Yesterday I attended the last meeting of the fiscal year and we all talked about the best books we’ve read recently. The list included fiction and nonfiction, religious and secular, adult and children’s books. I’d read some of them, but added many of them to my already long TBR (to be read) list. Happy sigh…

Last week I also received two books from Revell Publishers to read and review this month.

So I guess I’d better get busy. I’ve got a lot to read!

My problem with reading

Book review: Uncovering the Life of Jesus

This is a small book – only 64 pages – but there is a LOT packed into those pages.

Uncovering the Life of Jesus, written by Rebecca Manley Pippert (http://www.beckypippert.com/), walks us through six encounters with Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. Most Christians will find those stories familiar, but trust me, everyone can learn something new.

Each chapter starts with the historical setting and background of the text. (I found this helpful and interesting!) The author provides Bible verses (using NIV) and then a series of questions designed to get us to look at the story differently and to see other aspects of the story. For example, in the story about the prodigal son from Luke 15, she asks:

“In this culture, for any Middle-Eastern man to run would be seen as shocking, humiliating and dishonoring, especially for a man of such dignity. Why do you suppose the father ran so urgently when he saw his son about to enter the village? How do you account for the fact that the father was watching just when the son arrived?”

And lastly, each chapter ends with a chance to consider what this story means and why it should matter to us. It helps to personalize the story and the lesson learned.

I recommend this book whether you use it personally to dig deeper or use in a Bible study group. You will learn more about Jesus.

I received a free e-book from The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an unbiased review.

Book Review: Titus for You, by Tim Chester

I’m glad I was given the opportunity to review this book, Titus for You, by Tim Chester. The book of Titus doesn’t seem to get Titus-For-Youmentioned very much in our churches and it’s been AGES since I’ve read it – much less studied it.

This is the latest book from the God’s Word for You series from The Good Book Company. It is not meant to be an in-depth commentary but as the publisher states in the preface, it can be read from beginning to end or used as a companion to your personal or group Bible study.

Titus, written by the apostle Paul, is a short book (only 3 chapters), is found toward the end of the New Testament, and at first glance, it seems to be talking mostly about church leadership (e.g., qualifications for elders, etc.) and discipleship. It’s that, but so much more.

One of the key themes of the book of Titus is, I believe, that we must make sure that the GOSPEL – the good news of Jesus – is central to the everyday life of the church and her people, so that the world can be reached for Christ. And this is done by knowing the TRUTH which will produce godliness in believers (not the following of legalistic man-made rules). Paul’s concern is for the CHARACTER of believers – not their age, their hierarchy or gender.

The author has a gift of taking something that could have been confusing to some believers and making it easier to understand. The book is broken into short easy-to-read chapters and includes questions for discussion or reflection.

Words that may be difficult for some readers are bolded and then defined and/or explained in the glossary. (Note: In the e-book, those words are hyperlinked to the glossary.) The book of Titus could have been written to our churches today, and Mr. Chester uses good stories to illustrate many points.

Mr. Chester and I may disagree on some theology, but that won’t stop me from recommending this book. I’m glad to have it in my library, and I’m going to be checking out other books in the series!

I received a free e-book from The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an unbiased review.

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