Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: Flash

Ok, I love this donkey! Read "Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances" by Rachel Anne Ridge!

Overview: Rachel Anne Ridge was at the end of her rope. The economy had crashed, taking her formerly thriving business along with it. She had been a successful artist, doing work she loved, but now she felt like a failure. How would her family pay their bills? What would the future hold? If only God would somehow let them know that everything was going to be all right . . . and then Flash the donkey showed up.

If there is ever a good time to discover a wounded, frightened, bedraggled donkey standing in your driveway, this wasn’t it. The local sheriff dismissed Flash as “worthless.” But Rachel didn’t believe that, and she couldn’t turn him away. She brought Flash into her struggling family during their darkest hour―and he turned out to be the very thing they needed most. Flash is the true story of their adventures together in learning to love and trust; breaking down whatever fences stood in their way; and finding the strength, confidence, and faith to carry on. Prepare to fall in love with Flash: a quirky, unlikely hero with gigantic ears, a deafening bray, a personality as big as Texas, and a story you’ll never forget.

Dawn's Recommendation: 5 of 5 Stars

I loved the beautiful stories about Flash, the donkey, and his family and the lessons that God taught Ms. Ridge through Flash. They are lessons for everyone (from friendship to fear to stepping out in faith). With each story, readers fall more and more in love with Flash. After reading this book, everyone will want their very own donkey!

The book is a fast read and is well-written. I enjoyed the author sharing personal stories of her art business, family, and dog, Beau too. I also loved that the life-lessons are listed in the back as a review. This a sweet memoir that will make your summer!

Disclaimer: I received this book free through Tyndale Blogging Network in exchange for my honest review.

What life lesson has one of your pets taught you?

My Summer Reading Goal

Since participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, I need a break from blogging every day, so instead of blogging this summer with my Small Seed Devotions, I'll be reading and posting book reviews.  I have a 13 book goal for the summer, so that's almost 1 book a week! Whew! Not sure I can do it, but I'm going to try!  

Here's my list:
(Note: I also have the book covers shown on the right of my blog in the Library Thing Widget (if you want, go to LibraryThing to add books and create your own widget)

"Displaced Person", Memoir by Ella E. Schneider Hilton
"Flash" by Rachel Anne Ridge
"Kaffir Boy", autobiography by Mark Mathabake
"Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denvver Moore
"Under God" by Toby Mac and Michael Tait
"Living Under God" by Toby Mac and Michael Tait
"The Invisible War" by Chip Ingram
"The Prayer That Changes Everything" by Stormie Omartian

"Why A Suffering World Makes Sense" by Chris Tiegreen
"King Peggy" by Peggielene Bartles and Eleanor Herman
"A Writer's Diary" by Virginia Woolf
"Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis
"The Grave Robber" by Mark Batterson

What are you reading this summer? Do you have a summer reading goal?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review: The Hidden Flame

"The Hidden Flame: Acts of Faith Book 2" is wonderful fiction set just after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection!

Overview: Abigail loses everything and is left with little promise of a normal life. When she discovers the Messiah and joins his followers, she also discovers new meaning and purpose. Maybe she does have a future after all. But increasing persecution is scattering the burgeoning group "to the ends of the earth." And Abigail may have given her heart to the wrong man.

Two suitors desire the lovely Abigail's hand in marriage. One is a successful Hebrew merchant and widower looking for a mother for his children. On the other side is the Roman soldier Linux, who is captivated by her winsome charm and could offer the sanctuary--maybe even the love--for which she yearns. But her heart has been captured by neither of these. Stephen, one of the leaders of The Way, has a character and a faith that move her deeply, but his outspoken preaching has marked him for assassination. Will her faith and courage withstand a heartbreak beyond comprehension?

And then a glimmer of hope appears, one she never would have foreseen.

Dawn's Recommendation: 5 of 5 Stars!
What I Liked: It really made me think of how things happened after Jesus died. How Peter preached and brought many to new converts to Christ and how they cared for widow. The book brought characters like Peter and Stephen, Gamaliel, Sapphira and Ananias, to life. Very well-written and well done. It follows the Bible stories from the New Testament well and adds great fictional characters like Abigail and Linux.

I am currently watching A.D. The Bible Continues on TV and I much prefer reading this book series (Acts of Faith) to the show.  The books leave me with how Christianity grew so much, how love and hope spread through those faithful followers of Jesus. A.D. leaves me disgusted with blood and gore, tangled in Rome and Jewish politics. I have an even greater appreciation for Davis Bunn and Janette Oke now. Good job to them for bringing this period in history to life with fiction!!!!!

What I didn't Like: Nothing. Great book!

What kind of historical fiction do you like?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Small Seed Devo: Prayer Steps

Photo courtesy of
"A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps." Proverbs 14:15

I have been praying, but haven't been hearing from God very well. Now that the weather is warm, I want to get back to walking over my lunch break. In the past, I have heard from God mightily during some of those walks. Today, I did walk, and I heard from Him again and it was like sweet, refreshing water.

He reminded me that I still need to guard my heart with one friendship. He reminded me that He is listening and that He loves me so much. He confirmed that I am being the hands and feet of Jesus as I encourage friends.

There is something about the "act of doing" when you pray that opens up communication with God. I think God hears us when we sit and pray, but by moving and putting work into it, the volume is turned up. I can't wait for tomorrow's walk...and the next day's, and the next days....

Do you think communication with God is deeper by "doing"?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: Kaleidoscope

You will enjoy the collection of poems, "Kaleidoscope" by Carole Anne Carr!

Overview: In her first book of poems that have been broadcast on B.B.C. North West, Carole Anne Carr draws upon her experiences gathered during a lifetime spent in the British Isles and Africa. Poems about childhood and growing-up, with varied themes of apartheid, faith, love, loss and old age, are interwoven with a wry sense of humour.

Dawn's Recommendation: 4.5 of 5 Stars

What I Liked: I really enjoyed Carole Anne Carr's short book of poems! She has a wonderful way of taking you right there. You feel like you are beside her on adventures, from skipping past fish and chips papers on the street to shivering in a cold mansion for the sake of a writing retreat. One of my favorite poems from the collection is called "Charity". I love the line "I ache for her poverty, my mouth fills with tears". 

Ms. Carr has a beautiful way with words and her collection of poems takes you back to her vivid memories. I delighted in each and every poem!

What is your favorite poem or poet?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Book Review: For the Joy Set Before Us

"For the Joy Set Before Us" by Erica Fye is filled with Biblical truths!

Overview: Ever wonder what your calling is? Do you feel burdened for the nations? If you are willing to follow where God leads you, the road ahead may be challenging, but it will be well worth it if you do not give up. In For the Joy Set Before Us, Erica Fye invites you to journey with her to get a glimpse into the life of a missionary, and to offer insight into what God may have in store for your life.

Dawn's Recommendation: 4 of 5 Stars

What I Liked: I really enjoyed Ms. Fye's glimpses of missionary life and her sharing of what she's gone through and her feelings. Even though I am not a missionary, as I grow deeper in my faith, I appreciate her book and it's sharing of deep spiritual truths and Scriptures. They help remind me of the goal. My favorite chapter was Chapter 9 on Spiritual Warfare and praying through. I felt like this chapter was specially written just for me. God has linked some of what she shares in this chapter with what I am reading in another book and with a devotion from church! All I can say, is God has blessed Ms. Fye and her book! I thank her for her obedience to follow God's will and for sharing it.

What I Didn't Like: At first, I thought the book came across as a little preachy, but as I continued to read I changed my mind. I believe that Ms. Fye's faith is so intertwined with knowledge of Scripture that it just has to burst forth in her writing. So, soon, I didn't mind her style of writing at all or her sharing of Scripture. I've written down many of the Scripture she shared in my journal, so that I can reflect more on them later.

Do you know any missionaries? Or support any? If so, what country are they in?

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review.