Thursday, October 14, 2010
It's 1938 in a small Virginia town. It's a time when the color of your skin determines the staion you hold in society. White men think they're superior, and in many of their eyes, it's okay to do anything, even murder, to put others in their place.
That's the setting for "Catching Moondrops", by Jennifer Erin Valent. Tyndale House Pubishers provided me with an advanced reader copy, and I absolutely loved it.
18-year-old Jessilyn lives in a time when it's not okay for black people and white people to be friends. But her family invited a young, black girl to live as a part of their family when her parents died. So, Jessilyn and Gemma grew up, not only as sisters, but as best friends. Jessilyn's parents even viewed Gemma as a daughter. That didn't sit too well with the town folk. Then a black doctor moved to town. As you can imagin, this ruffled a few feathers as well.
I loved this book. It attempts to break down the walls of prejudice. Several times in the book, a statement is made: Just because someone is born with darker skin (or lighter), doesn't mean the person is different, or bad, or not as good as you. I wish some living in today's society would realize this fact. Everyone loves, hurts, laughs, and cries.
This book is a love story, but it's also written by a Christian author. Many times, Christian authors leave details about intimacy out. I'm guessing they do this to keep from offending readers, but when they do that, they leave out some very real facts. Many will just say, then they kissed. Okay? Well what did they feel? This book describes kisses and touches, and tells you what Jessilyn is feeling in those moments. They are described in good taste, but the point is, they are described. I loved that because there's always a feeling that goes along with any intimate moment.
Many would believe fiction books are only that: Fiction. I would challenge that thought and say you can sometimes learn a lot from fiction. This is one of those books. Jessilyn and her family teach the reader a lot about love for your neighbor.
One of my favorite statements in this book: "The memories of where we were, remind us of how we got to where we are." We should always remember how we got to our place in life. That, my friend, is very important.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Today is my sister, Lisa's, birthday, and over the last few days, I have been reminiscing a lot about our lives together. You see, Lisa and I weren't born sisters. She became my sister the moment my mother married my step-dad. I had never really wanted a younger sister, but you see, God always knows what we need. When our parents got married, I was 13, and she was eight. She drove me crazy--always following me around, wanting to do everything I did. She liked me right from the start, and I think I liked her, too, but I wouldn't admit that at the time.
As time went on, and as both of us got older, she and I became the best of friends. We would stay up all night, giggling. We would share our deepest secrets with each other. I would even let her go out with me and my friends sometimes. Then I went off to college. I found a picture the other day of Lisa. On the back, she had written a note to me at college. It said she missed me and that she would send me new pictures all the time. I know I got a few.
When she went to college, she was only a couple hours away from where I lived. We saw each other frequently then. She would spend weekends with me. WE would ride around town, blaring the music, and singing at the top of our lungs. We just loved to be together. And I knew then that God knew I needed a sister, and he blessed me with Lisa.
Since college, our lives have grown a bit apart. She got married a few years ago...and I've moved all over the southeast. We have had a few weekends here and there together, and I cherish each and every one. I always look forward to the times we will get together in the future.
Happy Birthday, my dear sister.
I love you so much!
Friday, October 08, 2010
Today it's beautiful outside. You wouldn't know there's a storm brewing. This storm isn't of the weather kind. It's of the supernatural kind. This is my review of the book "Storm Warning" by Billy Graham. And I have to say this book was provided to me by BookSneeze for my review.
Have you ever noticed how most people are fascinated with storms? Maybe you are. I know I am. Billy Graham speaks of another type of storm. A storm that he's been fascinated with in his lifetime...he says he believes the storm clouds are darker now than they have ever been.
The first chapter in this book made me think very hard about the world today. I never thought about the numbers of dead in recent world events--the earthquakes in Haiti and in Chile. Hurricane Katrina. In some of these events there were no warning, but in some there were warnings and folks failed to heed them. Billy Graham speaks of the warnings in this book that people fail to notice. But he also says some of these storms in our lives are necessary.
In this book, Graham talks about supernatural events, about political events, even the environment and global warning. He speaks about how it's all biblical--leading up to Christ's return. He even talked about 9/11. He said "these are the kinds of storms that drop from the skies when the warning signals are ignored". But he made note of the response...He says it brought Americans to their knees.
Graham even made mention of social networking sites like Facebook. He says these sites just add to the cult of self.
I loved one quote, and I wrote it down. He says, "No life is without its own set of problems. Jesus never promised our paths would smooth." This is so true. So many times we as Christians think we are immune to the storms of life. Then we get devastating news and wonder why something so tragic could happen to us. Billy Graham writes, "The Bible assures us that God will abolish evil when Christ returns."
This book was very enlightening. I guess I never thought much about how the things in life, the events, and thought about how much they actually mean. This book is a very hard read, and was difficult for me to get through it. But if you are interested in end times prophecy, I would recommend this book to you. Billy Graham is reknowned throughout the world, and I love the way he brings recent, relevent examples into this book. But this is not a book to just read for leisure, as it will take you a while to get through it...at least it did me.