Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: The Boy Who Met Jesus

I just finished reading "The Boy Who Met Jesus: Segatashya of Kibeho" by Imaculee Ilibaqiza. I enjoyed it.

Dawn's Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Overview: It's the greatest story never told: that of a boy who met Jesus and dared to ask Him all the questions that have consumed mankind since the dawn of time. His name was Segatashya. He was a shepherd born into a penniless and illiterate pagan family in the most remote region of Rwanda. He never attended school, never saw a bible, and never set foot in a church. Then one summer day in 1982 while the 15-year-old was resting beneath a shade tree, Jesus Christ paid him a visit. Jesus asked the startled young man if he'd be willing to go on a mission to remind mankind how to live a life that leads to heaven. Segatashya accepted the assignment on one condition: that Jesus answer all his questions-and all the questions of those he met on his travels-about faith, religion, the purpose of life, and the nature of heaven and hell. Jesus agreed to the boy's terms, and Segatashya set off on what would become one of the most miraculous journeys in modern history.

Although he was often accused of being a charlatan and beaten as a result, Segatashya's innocent heart and powerful spiritual wisdom quickly won over even the most cynical of critics. Soon, this teenage boy who had never learned to read or write was discussing theology with leading biblical scholars and advising pastors and priests of all denominations. He became so famous in Rwanda that the Catholic Church investigated his story. The doctors and psychiatrists who examined Segatashya all agreed that they were witnessing a miracle. His words and simple truths converted thousands of hearts and souls wherever he went. Before his death during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Segatashya continued his travels and conversations with Jesus for eight years, asking Him what we all want to know: Why were we created? Why must we suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people? When will the world end?Is there life after death? How do we get to Heaven?  Written with grace, passion, and loving humor by Immaculée Ilibagiza, this truly inspirational work is certain to move you in profound ways. No matter what your faith or religious beliefs, Segatashya's words will bring you comfort and joy, and prepare your heart for this life . . . and for life everlasting. (from Amazon)

What I Liked: I enjoyed the story. I had never heard of the Visionaries of Kibeho (perhaps that is because I am not Catholic), so it was new and fresh. I know there is unrest in Africa, but this story shows just how brutal it has been (and is). 

I really loved the conversations that were recorded between Segatashya and Jesus, especially about the End of Days. Segatashya followed Jesus when he called, despite being beaten, having to travel, having to share Jesus' preaching, and not having food, money, or a place to stay (all like Jesus). What a role model for Christians!
It is a short, easy read, which is sometimes nice.

What I Didn't Like: Since I am not Catholic, it is sometimes hard for me to understand the deep-rooted connection to Mother Mary and how Catholics pray to her. I pray directly to God and Jesus. Other than that, I enjoyed the book. I know God can speak directly to people, so I wasn't sceptical of Segatashya's claim that Jesus spoke to him, especially since the documented words of Jesus did not go against what is said in the Bible.

Whether you believe in Visionaries or not, this book is worth the read (even if you aren't Catholic).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: All for a Sister

Wow, what a story! All For a Sister by Allison Pittman is a page turner and it has it all!

Overview:  In Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, Celeste DuFrane has it all. Her father’s work with color movie film opens doors that lead to the stardom she’s always aspired to. But after losing her mother, she discovers that half the estate has been left to a woman accused of killing Celeste’s baby sister before Celeste was even born.

Dana Lundgren arrives on the steps of the DuFrane mansion having spent most of her life imprisoned for a crime that never happened. After accusing her of murder so many years ago, why did Marguerite DuFrane leave her a sizeable inheritance?

As Celeste and Dana learn each other’s stories, they come up with more questions than answers. Then a surprising discovery begins to fill in the missing pieces: Marguerite DuFrane’s written confession, penned shortly before her death. Uncovering the treachery and deceit that changed the course of countless lives—most of all, their own—the two women find more than they ever dreamed of.

Dawn's Recommendation: 5 of 5 stars!

What I liked:

I loved the story - filled with tragedy and lies! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to poor Dana Lundgren. I loved how the author set up the story with partial written confessions from Mrs. Dufrane, intermingled with the book's present day (1925) and flashbacks from Dana and Celeste's childhoods. The story was beautifully crafted. 

I also loved the time frame (early 1900's) and it was refreshing to read about the times (clothing and movie stars, even dialog used from that time). 

Dana is a likable character and you want her life to have a happy ending. As to the character of Celeste - I thought I might not like her, at first, but after time, I grew to!  I also enjoyed the subtle love story!

The other neat thing I liked about the book was how the author wove in talking about God.

What I didn't like: Nothing, but I will add that I would have liked to read more about Christopher Parker's character (the lawyer). Can't wait to read the other two books in this series.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.