Family Affair by Debbie Macomber

September 21, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Family Affair by Debbie Macomber

Lacey has been hurt, badly. Her husband had an affair, ending their marriage so that he could marry his mistress. After her divorce, Lacey relocates, and Jack, her handsome next-door neighbor in her apartment complex, has been after her for a date. She can’t go out with him – she’s not over her ex, plus, she doesn’t trust men. Besides, Jack is a womanizer, right? She hears him arguing through the wall with his girlfriend, who always leaves his apartment in tears. No way can she trust her heart to her womanizing neighbor, right?

This story takes a nice surprising turn when she discovers Jack’s true nature. I also loved the role that the cats played in the romance. It added a cute twist to the story. Overall, I really enjoyed this, just as I usually enjoy Debbie’s books!

Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

September 19, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever seen an angel?

Addie has returned home for Christmas. She’s been gone for six years – she quit high school and now she’s back, taking a literature class at the local college to earn her GED. Her father has recently died and her widowed mom is planning to take a cruise with her friend. Addie will be alone for Christmas, but, when she learns that Erich, her nemesis and next-door-neighbor, needs her help over the holidays, she finds herself busy being Erich’s caregiver.

Erich is distressed about his accident and now he needs to lean on Addie for support. Both Addie and Erich have old feelings that are rekindled over the holidays.

You also see a quirky cast of characters in Addie’s college class, in addition to Harry Mills, her teacher/angel. Harry’s mission is to make sure Addie and Erich fall in love. Will he be successful?

This was a simple, lighthearted read that’s enjoyable for the holidays. You can probably finish this holiday tale in one day. Overall a nice read.

So, have you ever seen an angel? Have you ever met someone whom you thought may have been a heavenly being?

The Rancher Next Door by Darlene Mindrup

September 18, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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The Rancher Next Door

Have you ever fallen in love with your next-door neighbor?

Jenny is struggling to raise her twin siblings, alone. Orphaned, the small family moves into a cabin inherited from Jenny’s relative. At first, their new home appears a mess, but, Jenny is optimistic about fixing up their new abode and finding a job. However, her mood is altered whenever Mitch, the rancher next door, is around. This tall, good-looking man becomes a father figure for her siblings.

But, Jenny’s been hurt before, and Mitch has had his share of pain, too. Can both of them learn to love again?

I enjoyed this novel. I especially liked Jenny’s courage – taking care of two teenagers, alone, is a lot for a young woman to do. I also liked how she was determined to make a home out of their small cabin. Overall, a very nice read.

So, have you ever fallen in love, or had a romantic relationship with somebody who lives next door (or near your house)? What happened between the two of you?

Hope In My Heart – A Collection Of Short Stories

September 17, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Hope In My Heart by Alexis A. Goring

This was a nice book of heartwarming short stories. Most of the stories focused on finding love. There were three tales in this collection and each of the characters had to overcome some sort of obstacle as they searched for romance.

In Love Unexpected, a car crash surprisingly brings two lovebirds together. In spite of her animosity, Chandra sees potential in Sebastian.

In The Best Gift, Christina wants to lose some weight to fit into the bridesmaid’s dress for her sister’s wedding. Meanwhile, Jordan’s mom is desperate for her to get married, and gives her an ultimatum: bring a new beau home for Christmas, or, get sent to Sweden. When she re-encounters her old boyfriend (Brian), old sparks are rekindled. Meanwhile, Joshua is shocked when his girlfriend breaks up with him. She doesn’t like that Joshua’s life centers upon her. Joshua realizes he needs to strengthen his relationship with God – God needs to be the center of his life.

In Peace and Love, another Christmas-themed story, three people are seeking some kind of joy over the holiday season. Elle is an unemployed artist and she’s searching for the perfect job. Eric, a divorce attorney, is still reeling from the pain of his parents’ divorce – his parents split when we was a child and he’s never forgiven his mom for abandoning him. Kristine was adopted and before she gets married to Derek, she’s determined to find her birth mother. She’s hired a private investigator to help with the search.

These wonderful stories would make good reads during the holiday season! You can finish a story in one sitting. Such a nice treat for the holidays!

 

 

 

Sunday Brunch! Joseph – The Favorite Child!

September 13, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Have you ever felt that your parents favored one child over the others? If so, have you ever wondered why they loved one child more than the other(s)?

In Genesis, Jacob (Israel), favored Joseph over all of his other sons. The Bible states that Jacob loved Joseph more because he had him in his old age. However, I kind of feel like he may have favored Joseph more because he was Rachel’s child. Jacob obviously loved Rachel – he worked fourteen years just to have her. He’d also been tricked into marrying Rachel’s homely sister, Leah.

Also, initially, Rachel was barren. I felt she desperately wanted to have a child, which was why she asked Leah for some mandrakes. Jacob probably thought his favored wife would never have children, so, when she surprisingly had Joseph, Jacob was probably joyous. Due to his deep love for Rachel, he favored Joseph over his brothers, causing deep animosity between the siblings.

So, have you ever felt that your parents favored one child over the other? If so, have you ever figured out why?

 

Genesis 37:3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Sunday Brunch! Does The Lord Speak To Us In Our Dreams?

September 6, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Photo courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti

Do you think that the Lord can speak to us in our dreams? Do you usually remember your dreams?

In Genesis, Joseph foolishly tells his brothers about a dream he’s had. In his dream, Joseph reigns over his brothers – they bow down to him. Then, in prison, Joseph accurately interprets the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. Joseph tells them that his ability to interpret dreams comes from God:

Genesis 40:7So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”8And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”

Do you think that currently some dream interpretations belong to God? I also wondered about the cupbearer and the baker’s statement regarding seeking an interpreter. Did people, back in old testament times, seek out interpreters for dreams? I’m wondering if Joseph had not been available, would the cupbearer and baker have sought out a magician or sorcerer to interpret their dreams after they got out of prison?

Do you remember your dreams? Do you feel that God is speaking to you through your dreams?

 

I’ve always been fascinated with dreams, wondering why we dream as we do. Why do we dream? What do our dreams mean? I was so fascinated that I did a paper in high school about dreams, finding out that they’re linked to our subconscious. While sleeping, dreams can sometimes help us solve our problems, give us insight about ourselves in a symbolic manner.

So, do you think that God still speaks to some of his His believers through dreams? Do you think that God currently uses some of His followers to interpret the dreams of others – just as he did with Joseph in the old testament?

Please share your thoughts!

 

 

Sunday Brunch! Why Was Life So Hard In Old Testament Times?

September 1, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Why was life so seemingly hard and unfair during old testament times?

I’m going to talk about Genesis, chapter 38:6-29. I’ve copied and pasted it below, with my questions/comments bolded throughout the text:

Judah and Tamar

38 Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him. Why did the Lord kill Er? What did he do? What made him so wicked? There are lots of evil people in the world today, but, if they make changes, and accept Jesus, then, they’re automatically accepted into the family of God, and they get eternal life. Does Er not have the hope of eternal life since he was born too early? If he were born during or after Jesus’s coming, I’m assuming the Lord already knew Er’s heart was hardened, and that he’d deny the gift of eternal life?

And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also.

Doing this, during old testament times, would get you killed by the Lord? I’m not saying that it’s not wrong, but, I’m sure there are people out there today who do this, but, they are not struck down by God after doing this act. I’m assuming that they ask for forgiveness for doing this? I don’t usually delve into the realm of sexual topics on this blog, but, what Onan did is similar to birth control – does that mean it’s wrong to do this now? Any form of BC is wrong? Or, was the law so sacred back then, that, people had to adhere to it, exactly, or they’d be put to death by the Lord? Had Onan missed his chance for eternal life since Jesus had not yet come to earth? Or, was he disobeying the Lord’s command to produce an heir? Judah wanted Onan to produce an heir for his brother – was having an heir (during old testament times) so sacred that Onan’s disobedience cost him his life?

11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house till my son Shelah is grown.” For he said, “Lest he also die like his brothers.” And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.

12 Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Judah’s wife, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife.

It was okay for Judah to break his promise to Tamar, and not give Shelah to her as a husband? This kind of sin  was not as bad as Omar’s and Er’s? The Lord did not kill Judah for doing this? 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. 16 Then he turned to her by the way, and said, “Please let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.

Does the Lord not frown upon Judah seemingly sleeping with a harlot? The Lord knows it’s Tamar, but, Judah’s actions were not punished by death, unlike his son, Omar. Why? Is it because the Lord chose to forgive Judah since the Lord wanted Tamar to have an heir? Was this all a part of God’s will?

So she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

17 And he said, “I will send a young goat from the flock.”

So she said, “Will you give me a pledge till you send it?

18 Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?”

So she said, “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 So she arose and went away, and laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood.

So, was this the way the Lord wanted Tamar to produce an heir, through deceit, trickery and dishonesty?

20 And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. 21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?”

And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.

22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.

23 Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.”

24 And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.”

So Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!”

What?? Judah has the power to act as God, burning someone for their sins, killing them – yet, he seemingly slept with a harlot? Seems quite unfair that Judah would have this kind of power, live this kind of life, yet want to kill others when he’s guilty of being a party to the same sin.

25 When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff.”

26 So Judah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he never knew her again.

He admits he’s wrong, but, I’m still deeply troubled by Judah’s attitude. The fact that he’d initially wanted to burn Tamar down for harlotry leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

27 Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. 28 And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, “How did you break through? This breach be upon you!” Therefore his name was called Perez. 30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.

Please provide any comments or insight about this scripture!

Sunday Brunch – Jacob and Rachel!

August 31, 2014 Posted by novelistcd