A Warm Welcome
Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery is a delightful
contemporary Christian novel that will warm your heart.
A wonderful welcome awaits as neighbours bond
over food and needs. We all have gifts that can help others in their time of
need. People pull together and help each other through testing times. “God can
bring out good, even in the hard.” When life hits us hard, we need to run to
the One who can give us peace.
Our earthly fathers may not be good role models
but our heavenly Father will never let us down. We cannot live with one foot in
the past. “I’ve chosen to let it go.” If we do not deal with the past, it will
rob us of our futures. “If you want to move forward, you’re going to have to
let go of the past.”
We can never control what others do, say or
think but we can choose how we will respond to them. “No one could make [her]
feel like trash unless she let them.” When others try to destroy us with their
words, we need to remember Whose we are.
We Must NEVER Forget
Annelies by David Gillham is a powerful and
heart breaking historical ‘what-if’ novel – what if Anne Frank had survived and
returned to her father Otto Frank?
I have read widely around Anne Frank and
visited her house in Amsterdam in 1983. The novel has accurately been
constructed around her diary pre August 1944 and eye witness events up to her
death in March/April 1945. Post April 1945 is a product of the author’s
imagination. It is a compelling read, although the Anne Frank we ‘know’ from
her diary is very different to the fictional Anne Frank who returns from
Belsen. “This is Bergen Belsen, and here the angel of death has made his home.”
She has been to hell and back. She survived but carried a burden of guilt. “I’m
guilty of the crime of surviving.”
During the war years Anne Frank had had a difficult
relationship with her mother but adored her father. “As long as God and Pim are
on the job, she [I] was protected.” I cannot believe that the Anne Frank
portrayed after the war would feel so differently towards him.
Redemption And Restoration
Hands Of Grace by Brenda Anderson is a delightful
contemporary Christian novel surrounding grace, forgiveness and second chances.
It is part of the Potter’s House series of books but can be read as a
A focus of the novel is dementia. Brenda
Anderson has sensitively portrayed this whilst showing the difficulties faced
daily by those caring for their loved ones. “Nothing was tougher than watching
your loved ones lose themselves.” Patience and love radiates throughout.
Forgiveness and grace are major themes. “I’ve
done too much to be forgiven.” No one is ever so far from God that He casts
them out. No matter where we’ve been, no matter what we’ve done, God longs for
each and every one of us to return to Him. He longs to welcome us home. In Him
we can have a new beginning because of His free gift of grace.
There is the theme of trust. We develop trust
issues when people let us down. “One more person lying to her, building up her
bank of mistrust.” We do need to open ourselves up to trusting others again.
Not everyone we meet is out to deceive us. Some huge characters give out of the
goodness of their hearts.
A Precious Jewel
Taming Julia by Jodie Wolfe is a charming
historical novel set in 1875.
Jodie Wolfe has created a marvellous set of
characters. I loved the rough and ready leading lady who had a heart of gold
but needed educating in the ways of the world. There were many highly amusing
Knowing God is vital. “Once you get acquainted
with God… you’ll fall in love with Him and desire to serve Him.” God wants a
relationship with each and every one of us. He will keep knocking on the door
of our heart until we let Him in. Even when we do not know Him, He already
knows us intimately.
Prayer unlocks the power of the Almighty.
“Talking to God is the same as talking to you.” Prayer should be as natural as
breathing. We must be sure to listen for His answers. “When’s the last time you
were truly quiet and were able to hear God?” It is important to trust God’s
guiding and not “expect[ed] God to answer the way he wanted.” We must not
project answers onto God that were never His.