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Review: Call of a Coward

Call of a Coward by Marcia Moston

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: September 2012, 184 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

Moses never wanted to be a leader. Jonah ran away from his missions call. And when Marcia Moston’s husband came home with a call to foreign missions, she was sure God had the wrong number. His call conflicted with her own dreams, demanded credentials she didn’t have, and required courage she couldn’t seem to find. She promised to follow where God led, but she never thought the road would lead to a Mayan village on a Guatemalan mountainside.

From the trecherous road trip to their new village home, to learning to navigate a new culture, to a stateside mission field in Vermont, Moston’s journey reveals that God leads just as clearly today as he did in biblical times. Her candid account tells a story of learning to trust and obey when faithfulness seems foolish.

Impressions:

This book is a sweet and humorous insight into Marcia’s relationship with God and pursuing his purposes. She shows courage and strength as she sets out to be a missionary with her husband and young daughter. I received Call of a Coward through booksneeze. I would recommend this book as a story of faith and God’s power to always provide. Some details are lacking as it seems more of a highlight of several years of her life rather than an in-depth experience.

Thoughts:

The goal behind this book is to show that God is always in control and can turn cowards and ordinary people into courageous servants. Marcia relies on signs from God to move her. Marcia’s faith is continually tested as she moves with her family to a village in Guatemala to oversee the orphans and widows home. They experience many difficulties on their trip including the dangers of traveling outside of the United States. This is eyeopening to remember how safe and comfortable we are in the states. She battles between conviction and logic as she forges forward. This book is conversational and light. It’s easy to envision the family on this marvelous trek. Certainly makes you wonder if you’ve got the faith to abandon all that you know and follow God.

Quotes:

At times my faith had the attention span of a four-year-old. I had to keep wrestling down the conviction that God was more in control of her life than I was. -p84

When this life doesn’t make sense, it’s good to remember you are just traveling through. -p129

Hope does not disappoint. -p153

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Review: Smitten

Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter

Fiction. Published 2011.

Read: January 2012, 403 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They’ll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination! As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love. Discover a novel written by four of Christian fiction’s most popular romance novelists- friends in real life who’ve drawn an amazing story of four friends.

Impressions:

What a beautiful cover! I asked for this book and received it as a gift after I read the book blurb on booksneeze. Smitten is full of innocent romance and christian values. It’s a great and moving read that I would definitely recommend.

Thoughts:

Colleen’s Chapters:

Colleen brings Natalie to life as she owns a coffee shop and takes care of her niece. Natalie seems to be the inspiration for the town coming together and not dying. In the process, she connects with a man she once avoided and learns to trust others based on their substance and integrity. She utilizes her niece’s faith in God and allows herself to truly fall in love. You will also meet Natalie’s three best friends who begin to bring the town to revitalization.

Kristen’s Chapters:

Next, we begin to learn more about Julia who eventually with the help of Zak, opens her own salon to help rebuild Smitten. Julia’s story anchors around the importance of interdependence, faith, and trust. Julia is set in her ways and values her independence. She learns how to trust in Zak and begins to actually rely on someone else. Zak held out faith for Julia even when she doubted herself. Unconditional love never fails, it says I’ll always be here for you, I’ll never stray.

Diann’s Chapters:

Wash away all my sin. Shelby has a darker past with a forced abortion as a teen. She gains a relationship with a true friend, his daughter, and her father. Shelby and Nick are no doubt made for each other as they share a love of Christmas, faith, and family. Although Shelby struggles with guilt and a painful past, she continues to help Smitten by teaching etiquette classes and never gives up on praying. Shelby and Nick overcome many odds and judgements through courage and strength in God. There is power in: prayer, forgiveness from God, and forgiving yourself.

Denise’s Chapters:

Reese cup! Reese learns to be honest with herself and to trust God as well. She develops feelings for a friend  and terrified to lose a friendship over her new found feelings of love as they build her dream outfitters shop together. Reese created an elaborate plan to win over Griffin and was so busy scheming that she doesn’t see his love for her.  Reese shows how revealing the truth is the only true freedom from manipulation. When Reese is able to verbalize her feelings, she and Griffin are inseparable. This story shows the importance of being on God’s time, not our own. God has a plan for you, wait and see.

Quotes:

Aunt Rose said the wreath means forever and ever. I want Smitten to always be here. So I want to put up a wreath to show God we know he’s going to take care of us. -p16

You knew, though, didn’t you, God? You had this planned all along. -p402

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