Fraser by Susan May Warren is a marvelous Christian suspense and the first book in a brand new series, The Minnesota Marshalls.
As a fan of the author, it was wonderful to meet up with old faces in this new series.
We see characters who are consumed by guilt over past events, worrying about what they cannot change. They are determined to do better and operate a policy of ‘not on my watch.’ They feel as if they have to be continually on duty. They have forgotten that when they know God, they are not alone. Life is a partnership with Him. It “is His way of showing you that you need Him more than you need a grand purpose.” God wants to be needed by us – not for His sake but for ours.
Trust is a major theme. God wants us to let go of the tight grip that we have on life, and to trust Him. When we cannot see the way, we need to lean into Him.
Prayer is important. We need to pray at all times and be sure to listen for the answers. “He couldn’t hear Him. Or maybe he was just out of practice listening.” As we pray more and listen more, we will learn to recognize God’s voice. Sometimes when we do not hear God, we fear God has forgotten us. “God hasn’t forgotten you.” God is always beside us.
Songs For A Sunday by Heather Norman Smith is a most charming Christian dual timeline that I adored.
The novel is the heartbeat of God for His children. His love for us is palpable, and the love of the characters for each other is vast. We belong to our earthly family and we are children of God.
Life can be hard but we do not do life alone. “You don’t have to figure it out alone… I’m here. And the Lord is too.” God walks beside us every step of the way. We do not need to see the whole staircase as God illuminates one step at a time. We can trust Him.
When life is hard – pray. When life is good – pray. When you are at a crossroads – pray. “Pray and do whatever you think He’s [God] telling you to do.” Listen for God’s voice in your heart. He will not let you down.
We see characters who have walked away from God because they felt judged by other Christians. “He [God] didn’t turn His back on you… You can’t let the mistakes of some church folks steal your joy in Him.” Sometimes we make the mistake of placing human characteristics on God. God is not human. God is God and His character is love.
The Secret Society Of Salzburg by Renee Ryan is a powerful historical novel that consumed me from the start.
This is a fictional account but based on fact. It was such an engrossing and compelling read that I have now bought the autobiography of Ida Cook.
The action is set from mid 1930’s to the end of World War II as the reader hops from England to Austria, Germany and Sweden to name but a few. It was a time of great danger as we follow characters through Nazi-occupied territories.
Spies are everywhere. Trust is in short supply. Horrors are all around. No one is safe. Many are content to do nothing. A few are compelled to act. They cannot sit idly by and watch the evil continue. We hear of a character with “her head full of details and her heart full of purpose.”
There are times when it all seems impossible – but God is the God of the impossible. A character cries out to Him. “Dear God, please. This is bigger than us. We need Your help.”
Once Upon A Winter Wonderland is a delightful collection of four novellas by four Christian authors. Each story deals with the same time period and setting but is told through different eyes. Each story perfectly complements the others. This is a perfectly charming book to read in the run up to the festive season.
A Beautiful Sight by Rachel D Russell shows how nerves can get the best of us in the lead up to our wedding. We all hope for the perfect wedding but a wedding is just one day, marriage is for a lifetime. We need to include God in our marriages. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. We need to give and receive forgiveness and remember to pray about all things. My favourite quote was: “Don’t let fear tear you away from the wonderful plans God has for you.”