"Healthy, Overcomers, Purposed with an Eternal Perspective"
"The Sound of Diamonds " by Rachelle Rea is an amazing story set in the 1500's during the Reformation Era. The main character is Gwyneth, a Catholic, who left her homeland in England after losing her parents. She was later rescued from a convent, during an attack on those who practiced  Catholicism, by the one man that she believed did the unthinkable. She was returned to her uncle in England where she begin to unfold the truth. In the midst of all the chaos, Gwyneth began to realize that she had found true love but she didn't want to risk him losing everything for her. In the end, love prevailed.

This story is very well written. It is a page turner from beginning to the end. The author offers a hint of mystery in addition to the theme of love conquering all. She goes into great detail which reveals that she completed extensive research before writing this novel. This is a wonderful way for one to understand church history and the extreme conflicts during the early church. 

 Overall,  I truly enjoyed reading this novel. I always love reading Christian fiction, but never was interested in romance novels. This novel made me desire to read more like it because it included many other aspects of fiction. This is not your typical novel. The author did an amazing job unfolding the plot. 

If you would love to learn about church history, with a little mystery, and a great love story all in one.  Then this is the book for you! I give this novel 5 stars. There aren't many novels out there that are written in such a creative manner. Kudos to Racelle Rea for a job well done!!

   "Closer Than Close" by Dave Hickman is a book about our oneness with Christ. Dave describes how he has been a Christian for many years,  yet for many years, he felt empty and distant from God and worked to try to draw closer to God with no such luck. He goes on to explain that it wasn't until he stopped doing and realized that he was already as close to God as he could ever be in union with Christ. In this amazing book, he states, "Being the beloved of God is not something you do. It's an eternal posture of being."  

   I  truly enjoyed reading this book because it spoke to me in so many ways. I was able to relate to what he described as doing to get God's approval. I found myself trying to do good works in exchange for God loving me more. I, like Dave Hickman, came to understand that there is nothing that we can do to make God stop loving us or to love us any more. For He already loves us unconditionally and desires to be in relationship with us in Christ Jesus. Hickman uses great quotes from well known theologians. He also uses examples of childbirth to get the point across to the reader. He adds some humor, but delivers a heartfelt message: Our union with Christ is not that we are equal with Him but that we are made whole in Him.  

   Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to all believers and unbelievers alike. It is a very easy read and has includes discussion questions. It could be used in a book club and even a Bible study small group. 
   I gave this book 5/5 stars, and I would recommend it to all believers and those that are seeking relationship with God in Christ Jesus. 

  Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with Dave Hickman:
Author’s Official Website:   http://davehickman.org/
Author’s Official Blog:          http://davehickman.org/blog/
Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/DaveHickman
Twitter:                https://twitter.com/davehickman

    "God's Pursuit of Man" by A.W. Tozer is a book about the misconception of who man perceives God to be.  In this book, Tozer talks about the need for man to truly understand and acknowledge the true and living God. He explains how mankind doesn't truly reference God but only fits God into their day. In the book, he states, "He is that "dread, unbeginning One," self-caused, self-contained, and self-sufficient." He assists the reader in understanding that God is and always will be. He also records that mankind must think rightly of God as the only eternal One who loves us unconditionally. He doesn't need man's permission or our acceptance. Man is not in control, God is. Finally, he concludes that God's pursuit of man is simply bringing man to the end of himself to full dependence upon Him. This is what he describes as the surrendered heart or self-crucifixion.

   I  love reading Tozer's works. I enjoyed this one as well, but I had to read some parts more than once. This was due to the fact that he is a very deep thinker and his words caused me to ponder and reflect. The language of the book is not modern and is similar to reading the King James Version of the Bible. The tone is very serious and straightforward, so some may see it as a lecture. 

   Overall, I did enjoyed reading this book. I selected it to review because I was curious about the title. It took me a few chapters to understand how the content related to the title he chose. At the end, Tozer 
emphasizes that God's love is so vast that He would allow us to feel pain as He brings us to the end of ourselves and gives us the most precious gift of all, relationship with Him through Christ. This is what we truly long for without even knowing.

   I gave the book 4/5 stars, and I would recommend it to those that are desiring a deeper relationship with God.

   *I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The HCSB Notetaking Bible is a beautiful Bible for those that are visual and artistic. It is filled with images to enhance one's Bible study. Many designs are included in this Bible. However, they also provide spaces for you to add your own images. It is wrapped in British Tan Leather and small enough to carry around with you. The HCSB Notetaking Bible also contains a place holder for you to mark where you left off. The chapters are divided into chunks or paragraphs.

I really did not enjoy this Bible for myself. I believe that the font is too small. Also, some of the images didn't seem to relate to the scriptures. I was looking for more visuals that connected to the text. I would also like to see more room to design. I would have liked to see it more enhanced as a study bible with cross references between the scriptures and commentary. I did enjoy reading this particular translation. It is an easier to understand version but it does not compromise God's Word.

Although this notetaking Bible was not my favorite, it is a good resource for those that are starting out with Bible journaling. Some of their images are great and they connect beautifully with the biblical text. Those images could assist the beginners with creating their own designs. 

Overall, I didn't really enjoy reviewing this Bible. I selected it to review because I wanted to see if I would be interested in trying out Bible journaling. I am an analysis girl. I like to break down the words in scripture and getting down to the meat of God's word. I thought that this would appeal to me as another way to dive into scripture, but to no avail! 

I gave the book 3/5 stars, and I would only recommend it to those individuals that love journaling and those that don't mind the smaller font. I pray that overtime they will make improvements. 

    *I received a free copy of this book from B & H Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


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    Welcome to Hope-in-Christ Book Club page:  
    On this page, you will find my personal analysis of selected Christian Literature and the literature that we are reading through my Facebook Christian book club group. The book club will select a book of the month to read and interact by answering questions about the chapters, discussing scriptures that relate to the book, and/or responding to other comments posted about the book.
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    The scripture for Hope-In-Christ Book Club:

    Matthew 6:22-23 - The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    We must continue to guard our eyes and our heart. Therefore, the books are carefully selected and assured that they are rooted in God's Word.

    My Favorite Christian Fiction Authors:
    Francine Rivers
    Jacquelin Thomas
    Kim Cash Tate
    Sherri Lewis

    My Favorite Christian Living/Devotional Authors:
    Priscilla Shirer
    Girlfriends in God
    A.W. Tozer
    Kasey Van Norman
    Henry Blackaby


    February 2017
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    Book Review

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