Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers


This book deserves a 10/5.  It is unbelievably good.  In fact, I think this might be my favorite book...ever.  And I read a lot of books.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is so beautifully written it moved me to tears.  I have never before had the privilege of reading such a well thought out, well executed piece of historical fiction.  That fact that it deals with hard weight issues like prostitution, abuse and forgiveness, make it a most special piece of Christian fiction.

Redeeming Love is the story of Sarah, a little girl with an unfortunate childhood, who at the age of 8 is sold into prostitution.  Michael, a strong Christian who happens to see Angel from the street while selling produce hears God tells him, "she's the one".  From that point on begins a beautiful and emotional journey for Michael and Angel as they learn how to love and be loved unconditionally, despite past hurts, scars and sins.

Francine Rivers has modeled the story after the book of Hosea in the Bible.  The truth of God's unconditional love is beautifully portrayed in the way that Rivers explores the relationship between Angel and Michael.  She touches often on how hard it is to let go of sin, even when Jesus has wiped it away for us and we are loved beyond measure.  It is not until we recognize and accept the gift that we can truly be free from the chains of our past.  Angel's journey to this realization is written with brilliant sensitivity and honesty.

I could not recommend this book more if I had written it myself- and how I wish I had!  It is a nearly perfect read.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Waiting Place - Eileen Button


The Waiting Place by Eileen Button is one of those books that you don't intend to read in one sitting, but happily find yourself staying up way too late to finish.  This collection of essays is beautifully written, both humorous and poignant when it needs to be.  I found myself reflecting on various 'waiting places' in my life while enjoying the insight and refreshing honesty in which Eileen shares hers.

The author walks us through various times when her life felt as if it were on hold- and at times she admits that she is barely holding on through it all.  What makes these stories so lovely is the way that Eileen shares personal insights and revelations about experiencing God in the midst of her waiting places. She is candid about her feelings and takes us through an emotional journey, riding waves of joy, laughter, tears and heartbreak as she honestly reflects on life.  From fishing moments with her father, beauty lessons with mom, visits with various grandparents and the birth and death of family members, Eileen covers all the moments that can take you for a loop and make you wonder what God is thinking!

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Waiting Place, as I have struggled with the stagnant periods in my own life.  I am so thankful to have read this book and had no clue how easily I would relate to the moments the author chose to share.  I feel as though God used these stories to tell me to deliberately slow down- to enjoy this period of my life and stop straining towards to future.  It is with heartbreaking clarity that The Waiting Place reminded me how often I wish away today to get to tomorrow.  Today is a gift, and Eileen Button writes an inspiring narrative reflecting this very truth.

I would highly recommend reading this book, no matter where you are in life's journey.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher via Book Sneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.