Monthly Archives: April 2013

Review: Like Dandelion Dust

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

Fiction. Published 2006.

Read: March 2013, 368 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

When Joey Campbell’s biological father is released from prison, four-year-old Joey faces a life no one could’ve planned. His father wants custody, and a judge’s quick decision deals a devastating blow to the Campbell family. Joey must be returned to his biological parents. In a haze of grief and disbelief, the Campbells watch their adopted son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.

And in the days following the ruling, Jack Campbell conceives a desperate and dangerous thought. What if they can devise a way out? What if they take Joey and just disappear? Both families will learn that sometimes the greatest love is in letting go- Like Dandelion Dust.

Impressions:

The topic was intriguing but delivered only a moderate and lacking presentation. Like Dandelion Dust felt like it was hastily created  with no personal meaning or emotional toiling from the author. This book is mildly recommended if you enjoy the author already.

Thoughts:

Like Dandelion Dust is a ‘Christian/Religious’ section fiction novel. Karen Kingsbury has written many novels that are in series and although I have not read any other books by the author, it appeared her writing was not passionate or meaningful. It felt like she was trying to sell a book versus telling a good story.

Joey is taken away from his adopted family when his biological father reports he did not give away his rights. His adopted family plots to disappear with Joey after he starts visiting his biological parents. His biological father is abusive and the Campbells fear for Joey. In the end, the families learn about letting go (well someone learns this lesson twice).

I did enjoy Beth’s unrelenting faith and young Joey’s new relationship with God. He comes to know God through his confusing family arrangement and has someone who is always with him and keeping him safe. The book was made into a movie in 2010.

Quotes:

“That’s ’cause God made it happen.” He grinned. “I asked Him.” -p358

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Review: Dreams and Visions

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: April 2013, 272 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

What would you do if Jesus appeared to you in a dream? What if He came to you in a vision and told you to follow Him? What if these visions continued for over thirty days? would you believe? Would you put your trust in him? Would you devote your life to him?

Would you if you were Muslim?

Pastor Tom Doyle has spent eleven years as a full-time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia, spreading the word of Jesus Christ. Throughout his journey he has encountered a staggering number of Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through a vision or dream so powerful that they eventually turned from their lifelong religion of Islam and embraced Christ as their Savior. Despite living in a culture where converting to Christianity can result in execution, these former Muslims have found hope, peace, and inspiration that comes from knowing Christ. Their stories will amaze you. Jesus is reaching out to the Muslims and they are responding. Did you know that Iran has the fastest growing church in the world?

Dreams and Visions is a remarkable collection of stories directly from the world of Islam. Doyle not only relates these stories, but also addresses the questions: Why would God use dreams to reach the Muslim world? Can dreams be trusted? What happens after these dreams or visions occur? Travel to the heart of the Middle East to meet new believers who have truly been touched by Jesus in the most miraculous way, through their nightly dreams.

Impressions:

Although it is very dense, this book delivers an interesting trip through the Middle East. You will meet many individuals who are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus, moving them away from Islam and closer to Christianity. It describes how learning more about Islam can deepen your discipleship to Muslims and how God is working to help them receive the message of Jesus. I received Dreams and Visions through booksneeze. I recommend it to people who want to know more about the Muslim culture and are interested in discipleship. It may take you a while to get through the book but it’s well worth it.

Thoughts:

Dreams and Visions is completely fascinating. Foremost, it explains how Muslims are receiving dreams of Jesus and coming to Christianity. It explains how these dreams break down barriers and create questioning for them. The book explains Middle Eastern culture and the dangers of converting. It is a way for the author to explain how to be empathetic and disciple Muslims.

In chapter 16, Doyle explains that Judaism focuses on knowledge, Islam focuses on power, and Christianity focuses on love. People are more willing to come to Christ when they feel and see the difference that Jesus loves them. He points out that Muslims have built-in presuppositions. Understanding how the Qur’an depicts Jesus versus statements that are backed/not backed by the Bible are critical in any Christians ability to explain their faith to Muslims.

Quotes:

Minutes after she clicked Send for the last time, Fatima’s brother entered the room. He beat her cruelly, breaking bones and rupturing skin. Finally, he cut out her tongue and dragged her outside where he burned her alive. -p61

The Bibles sewn into my hijab are uncomfortable. But I get twenty Injils each trip to Jordan. -p68

I resigned myself to thinking, God just doesn’t work that way today. But I was really, really wrong. -p126

Dreams and visions break down barriers that keep Muslims from embracing Christ. -p241

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