Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tilly by Frank Peretti

Kathy and Dan Ross appear to be an ordinary couple. But there are secrets they have buried in their past. The truth comes out as Kathy becomes obsessed with a tiny tombstone bearing the name "Tilly". The secrets that they have been covering up threaten Kathy's faith and their marriage. Dan and Kathy start investigating the mystery behind who is buried in the small grave. Kathy comes face-to-face with her past when a little girl appears to her in her dreams.

Most of Frank Peretti's books can be scary. This is not a typical Peretti book. He has written a very moving modern day parable of true Christian love and forgiveness. I believe "Tilly" could help anyone who has suffered this type of loss. The story is one that touches the soul of those who have read it.

Frank Peretti originally wrote this as a radio drama that was performed on the "Focus on the Family" radio show. It is one of the top ten most requested shows ever presented by that radio program.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Gifted by Terri Blackstock

This is the second Terri Blackstock novella I have read recently. This one is connected to "The Listener" by it's theme. In "The Listener", one person received a supernatural gift from God. In "The Gifted" it is three people who are blessed.

At the start of the story, three Christians are trying to start a Bible study at work. They are attempting to reach the unsaved. No one else shows up. They discover that none of them really promoted the study to their non-Christian coworkers. This is followed by a massive earthquake. All three are injured(one is blinded, one has his legs crushed, the other has the inside of his throat burned). They all start thinking about the things the should have been doing to spread the gospel. The next morning they wake up to find that all have been healed. In addition, God has blessed each of them with a supernatural gift.

The main part of the story follows them as they work together using the new gifts God has given them. Many lives are changed as they apply their gifts. My favorite part is the last chapter. The whole message about the body of Christ working together, even if you don not have a supernatural gift, is one that all Christians need to remember. At times it is easy to forget that everything we do is for God. And that non-Christians could be watching and making decisions about Christ based on what you are doing.

Terri Blackstock lived in a section of Mississippi that lost power for 5 days during hurricane Katrina. That storm showed the bad side of people(looting and robbing) but it also showed the good in people. Many have sent help and money to aid those who suffered through the storm. This gives the church another opportunity to show the world how Christ calls us to use our gifts to help the kingdom. It is similar to what she wrote in this book.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Listener by Terri Blackstock

This was the first book by Terri Blackstock that I read. The author fills this 155 page novella with examples of the different ways you can witness to non-believers. Although this may not sound like an exciting story, I was hooked from the first page to the last. Based on the strength of this story, I will read more novels by the author.

After his pastor delivers a sermon on listening to people the way God listens, Sam Bennett has a dream about a woman looking for a lost coin. He hears a voice that speaks with the authority of God. When he wakes in the morning, Sam suddenly starts hearing people talking. The problem is that no one is speaking. It turns out that he has been given a gift by God. He can hear a person's deepest need just by being near them. Sam believes that he has been cursed by God. His minister explains that this is a blessing. The story follows what happens as Sam and his minister explore this gift.

Just reading this story will help you realize how many times we don't actually listen to people. Especially those in need of our help. The majority of people we come in contact with are looking for something. Even if only one person starts listening to those in need and fills that need by introducing them to Christ then this book will have accomplished it's goal. I cannot imagine the impact it would have on our communities. This is one of those books that should be read by every Christian.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Suddenly, One Morning by Chuck Swindoll

Chuck Swindoll wrote a touching story of a shopkeeper who knew Jesus. This tale starts with his reflections on carpentry work he had done by Joseph and son and continues with his surprise at the crowds that follow Jesus on Palm Sunday. The shopkeeper's confusion with the treatment Jesus receives during his final days is very realistic. This story will stay with you for a long time after you put the book down.

This is a beautiful short novel. At 90 pages, it does not take long to read but it is one of the most read books in my collection and has become an Easter tradition for me. I have read it at least once a year since it was published in 1998. It is worth the effort to track down this fine book.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog. Starting 1/10/06 I will be posting my comments on Christian fiction and reviews of books. The reviews will consist of new and older books. God bless.