Monthly Archives: September 2020

Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John Review and GIVEAWAY!

zXHjAvDw

About the Book

6Z8Bx9Yo

Book: Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John

Author: Sinikka Smothers

Genre: Nonfiction

Release Date: January 22, 2020

The number seven is significant in science and history as well as in the Bible. When a science educator applies the lens of seven onto the gospel of John, intriguing patterns emerge. Author Sinikka Smothers says, “God has a purposeful design for every area of His creation—including the use of numbers. God loves numbers, especially the number seven. He used mathematical algorithms to construct the matrix we call our universe. Mathematics is God’s language of creation.”

Discover refreshing insights into the life of Christ through this study of seven themes embedded in John’s gospel narrative. The author presents John’s message in seven parts, each one divided into seven sections. Revisit the familiar seven “I AM” statements of Jesus and other sevens that are not widely written about:

  • Seven signs and miracles Jesus performed
  • Seven witnesses that testify of Jesus
  • Seven ministries of the Holy Spirit
  • Seven life-changing conversations of Jesus
  • Seven women
  • Seven questions Pilate asked Jesus

This unique commentary includes rich historical details and paints a vivid portrait of Jesus the Son of God as Master, Savior, and Friend. Relevant stories and personal applications bring the familiar accounts of the book of John to contemporary contexts.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

Sinikka Smothers emigrated from Finland to Alabama to study after receiving a college scholarship. While her original plan was to become a missionary, meeting her future husband, Jim, in college changed the direction of her life. She worked twenty-five years as a science teacher with individuals who are visually impaired, and earned her doctorate in education from the University of Alabama. Recently retired, she enjoys teaching Bible classes and spending time with her husband of forty years, two children, and three grandchildren.

More from Sinikka Smothers

A mob of men, women, and children were climbing up the hillside by the Sea of Galilee. “There he is!” someone shouted from above. Those withing hearing distance turned quickly and began to hasten in the direction of the voice. The rest of the large crowd followed their lead, trapped in a current of motion. It was difficult for them to see ahead since the number of people had grown to more than five thousand. Mothers and fathers picked up their young children to protect them from the travelers pressing against them while trying to move ahead to the front of the throng…

Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John began with hand written notes overflowing the pages of my devotional journal. The journal led to several hundred typewritten pages of commentary on John’s narrative of the life of Jesus. After teaching two bible studies based on my emerging outline of seven sevens, I ran into Athena Holtz with Redemption Press. Athena connected me with an editor who condensed my tub-full of writing to a sleek 195 pages. The ten-year-long writing project reached its finish line in January 2020 when I received my “author’s copy”. I will always remember the joy I felt at the first sight of the shiny book cover featuring a summer sky above the gold colored pages of an old parchment. Indeed, if John’s gospel is the treasure map, the timeless treasure it points to is Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John does not add anything to John’s masterful presentation of Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man who invites everyone to live in a personal relationship with Him. It merely offers refreshing perspectives and a novel framework for the reading and rereading of this well-loved gospel. Each of the seven themes in my book contains seven subtopics, totaling 49 chapters. The chapters include special anecdotes, personal stories, and information pieces that connect the themes to contemporary contexts. It is my hope that the reader will find the book useful as a Bible study companion, book study, teaching outline or a devotional reading.

After my book project was completed, something new and surprising began to rise up in my spirit: I became inspired to experiment in visual arts. I wanted my Facebook posts for my book to stand out and speak to diverse audiences; as a result, I constructed collages, used mystery photos from the Holy Land, searched through our family’s Google photos, and began to paint images on old wooden boards I found in our shed. This explosion of artistic expression has led me to rent a booth at a local antiques and crafts mall. If you visit Huntsville, Alabama, please stop by at the Top Key Market to see my booth, at the center of which stands a worn pulpit featuring Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John.

I inherited my love for words from my mother who always spoke the right words for every situation. She often quoted wonderfully quaint Finnish folk sayings that carried centuries of wisdom. I became an avid reader and writer at the age of 6. Academic studies occupied most of my professional life as a teacher, but after retiring four years ago, I have plunged into reading and writing to make up for the lost time. My husband and I have been married for 41 years. Our two children and four grandchildren live nearby and add a lot of fun to our weekly calendar. I look forward to writing a biographical book in the near future. The theme, of course, will include the number seven.

My Review

Numbers have great significance in the Bible, from the days of creation in Genesis to the churches addressed in Revelation. Even being someone who cringes away from math, which is definitely not one of my talents, I find God’s use of numbers fascinating. The intricacy with which God has crafted every slight detail of the world is truly awe-inspiring and something that only He could have accomplished. Lest we become lackluster, however, it is important to continually study and acknowledge the creativity and genius of the Lord.

With the Bible itself being the best resource and the one that should be consulted and used over and above any other, there are also other good supplementary books that draw attention to specific topics or areas of Scripture. Seven Sevens in the Gospel of John by Sinikka Smothers is a relatively short but detailed and well-thought-out book about how the number seven continually appears in John’s Gospel account and how it relates to us today. I don’t think that there is necessarily a wrong layout for putting forth this information, and the author does well in arranging seven main parts into seven smaller sections. Although I am familiar with what is discussed, I appreciate the change of perspective that comes from considering the groupings of events. The seven main sections include the signs and miracles that Jesus performed, the seven women who met Jesus, Pilate’s seven questions for Jesus, seven life-changing conversations, God’s plan of the ages, and the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit.

Interspersing contemporary stories and anecdotes within the chapters, Smothers reinforces the personal connection that we each need to have with our Savior. I appreciate how she ends each chapter with the Resurrection, either chronologically or by suggestion, because it further impresses upon readers the fulfillment of Scripture and the promise of eternity for the faithful. One of the things that I learned while reading this book is that the Pharisees particularly sought to kill Jesus after He resurrected Lazarus because according to Jewish beliefs, once someone died, their spirit could remain nearby for a brief period of time, but being dead for four days, Lazarus’ spirit would no longer be present and he would have begun decomposing. I also came to further realize the significance of the Resurrection in tandem with the Day of Atonement and the role of the high priest. The Jewish high priest would annually enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a sacrificial animal on the mercy seat. In a beautiful and prophetic manner, Jesus became our High Priest by entering the Holy of Holies, sacrificing Himself, sprinkling His own blood on the stone where His body had lain, and rising from the dead. The two angels who appeared to Mary Magdalene in Jesus’ tomb represent the two cherubim guarding the ark of the covenant. Somehow I had not fully made this connection before, and it took my breath away when I read it. I love closing a book with a renewed sense of faith and joy in the Lord and more knowledge of Him.

I recommend this book for both new and mature Christians as well as skeptics because it provides an excellent overview of the New Testament, particularly the gospel of John, and it focuses on the events of Jesus’ life that are related in Scripture.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 29

Artistic Nobody, August 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 1

Texas Book-aholic, September 2

Inklings and notions, September 3

For Him and My Family, September 4

deb’s Book Review, September 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 5

Writing from the Heart Land, September 6

For the Love of Literature, September 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 8

Mary Hake, September 9

Splashes of Joy, September 10

Giveaway

Tqb4wuTw

To celebrate her tour, Sinikka is giving away the grand prize of a surprise piece of art by the herself!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ffb8/seven-sevens-in-the-gospel-of-john-celebration-tour-giveaway

Christmas Carol Society Review and GIVEAWAY!

7fUZnPaI

About the Book

616-BFS8

Book: Christmas Carol Society

Author: Rebekah Jones

Genre: Holiday Fiction, Christian Fiction

Release Date: October 30, 2019

Christmas Carol Society – How Do You Impersonate a Christmas Ghost?

The Christmas season has arrived. The members of the newly-formed Christmas Carol Society are beginning their weekly meetings. Charlie Baker finds the first meeting odd enough, but when the assignments start, he has to wonder why he allowed himself to get roped into attending. Miss Dartmoor tells her members to impersonate the Ghost of Christmas Past for their own personal Scrooge.

Just how does a mere human accomplish such an absurd task? Charlie tries to figure it out, but begins to see the Lord might plan for the assignments to have a deeper impact on him than he expected.

An impact that Charlie isn’t sure he wants to face.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

0-TsS5aw

Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories.

Rebekah is an old soul in a young body (she’s not 12 —honest!) While her exact age is classified, her interests are not. Among them are reading a variety of books, singing, playing, and composing music, studying all manner of subjects, nannying an adventurous group of youngsters, and, of course, writing her books, poems, articles, and short stories. She writes a wide range of books from gentle children’s adventures to family sagas to murder mysteries.

More from Rebekah Jones

Christmas Carol Society is a book very near and dear to my heart. Partly because of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, which is among my favorites, and partly due to my characters. Especially, Charlie Baker.

Charlie is very special to me. He wants to hide in his tiny corner of the world, and give up. He wants to give up on a world that has hurt him tremendously or taken people he loved. He wants to push away any possibility of repeating the past; he doesn’t want to be hurt again.

Charlie doesn’t want to join the Christmas Carol Society. He doesn’t want to find a “Scrooge.” He doesn’t want to make new friends. He doesn’t want to do any of it.

He joins because he loves his cousin. He doesn’t do it for any other reason.

His father encourages him to do it right, if he’s going to do it at all. His cousin calls him out, when his Christianity is at odds with his behavior. And Albert, his would-be friend, just doesn’t give up on him.

In a sense, Charlie is a Scrooge – and yet, he’s not. He has to find a Scrooge of his own. And through it, he finds himself doing all the things that he really doesn’t want to do at all – and it’s a good thing. Painful sometimes, but good. Scary at times, but good.

The characters that the LORD uses to teach me the most, end up being particularly special to me. Charlie is one of them. In some ways, I relate to Charlie rather a lot, and writing this story drove me to prayer often, so I would know what to do next. I frequently wasn’t sure where the story would go. But I learned along with Charlie.

I hope that my readers will love Charlie Baker as much as I do, and that his story, along with the others in this book, will in some way bless and encourage my readers for the LORD’s glory.

To the KING be all the glory!

My Review

It’s easy to label someone a Scrooge or a villain. It isn’t as easy to remember beyond the stereotype to the human behind the label, even when we know A Christmas Carol back to front.

Charles Dickens is one of my favorite authors, and A Christmas Carol is subsequently among my favorite holiday stories. Having come across countless adaptations in both film and literature, it would seem to be one of those tales that has become too cliched to hold up to the scrutiny of another retelling. However, Rebekah Jones has proven this to be false with her novel Christmas Carol Society, which I enjoyed just as much as (if not a bit more than!) the original classic.

A contemporary novel, Christmas Carol Society nonetheless exudes a timelessness supported by the author’s old-fashioned turn of phrase, which only enhanced my enjoyment of this tale. Jones has written a story that is easily identified with its Dickens namesake yet also distinctive enough to stand on its own. Protagonist Charlie Baker is a reluctant member of the Christmas Carol Society, an eclectic group of individuals tasked with emulating the spirits of Christmas for the Scrooge in each of their lives. Quirky characters make the narrative even more entertaining, yet at its core this story is poignant and thought-provoking. The author takes readers through a well-formulated literary analysis of A Christmas Carol through the eyes of her characters as events unfold. While some are clearly parallels to Dickens’ characters, others stand on their own merit. I feel that I identify the most with Charlie because of his introversion, faith, and quiet nature. Those qualities are challenged in Albert’s extroverted personality and serve as the basis for his own spiritual journey.

This variation on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is fitting for any season because its lessons are immutable. As Charlie remarks early on, “We aren’t God and only the Almighty can wholly change someone.” Throughout the course of the story, Charlie undergoes a transformation of his own as he learns things about himself and his approach to life: “I’ve come to realize that fixing him—or anyone else for that matter—isn’t my job. I’m not giving up, but my purpose is different. At the end of this, my hope isn’t that I’ll have fixed him, but that I’ll be a means of pointing him to the Savior.” We never know who is watching, so we need to imitate Jesus in everything that we say, do, think, and speak, being the light of Christ to those around us, be they Bob Cratchits or Ebenezer Scrooges.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

deb’s Book Review, August 26

Inklings and notions, August 27

Splashes of Joy, August 28

Mary Hake, August 28

For Him and My Family, August 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 30

Captive Dreams Window, August 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 31

Blogging With Carol, August 31

Just the Write Escape, September 1

Get Cozy Book Nook, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 3

Artistic Nobody, September 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Batya’s Bits, September 4

For the Love of Literature, September 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 6

Connect in Fiction, September 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 7

Emily Yager, September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 8

Giveaway

gF4AcboQ

To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Christmas Carol Society, a copy of A Christmas Carol, and an ornament!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ffb6/christmas-carol-society-celebration-tour-giveaway

Isobel’s Mission of Courage Review and GIVEAWAY!

qf988CM8

About the Book

9anhsIXY

Book: Isobel’s Mission of Courage

Author: Susan K Beatty

Genre: Christian Woman’s Fiction

Release Date: September 8, 2020

God had hardwired mission work into Isobel’s DNA.

So what’s He doing bringing a homeless woman into her life… to help her?

Recovering from surgery and chemotherapy means Isobel has little time or energy to spend on anything or anyone else, but when she sees a homeless woman hanging around her neighborhood, she can’t just ignore the need.

Homeless and ticked off at God, Noolie might just be the last person Isobel would ever imagine helping her, but Isobel needs it. Can she muster the courage to face her needs and allow a woman with nothing to meet them?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

uvfDWwKE

“Courage: The intersection of faith and Grit”

Susan K. Beatty is passionate about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan retired from a full-time job in 2017 and is now pursuing a novel-writing career. Her first novel, “Faces of Courage,” is in revision. Susan is the author of “An Introduction to Home Education” (AKA “California Homeschool Manual”), was the assistant director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and is the president of her local ACFW-OC Chapter. She is a professional writer/journalist. Susan is proof you can begin a fiction writing career after age seventy.

More from Susan

Thank you for joining me on my blog tour! This is my first, so I’m kind of excited.

A few years ago, my dream of writing fiction unexpectedly intersected with my daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis. I started out writing a variety of stories, but my critique team said the one which featured a breast cancer patient was filled with the most strength and passion. The courage it took my daughter to face her diagnosis and treatments sparked a passion in me to write about it. God was apparently leading me to combine the ideas of cancer and courage with my call to write.

In Isobel’s Mission of Courage, Isobel’s courage is challenged not only by her breast cancer, but also by her “mission.” God had hard-wired mission work into her DNA, yet He brings a homeless woman, Noolie, into her life who wants to help her. And Noolie isn’t shy at pointing out Isobel’s spiritual weaknesses.

Isobel’s Mission of Courage is part of a series called Faces of Courage. Each story in the series looks at living with cancer, but there’s always more at stake than the disease, including financial difficulties, loss of property due to the elements, spiritual flaws, an abusive husband, and death of a loved one.

The Lord seems to either have a sense of humor, or more likely, wanted me to write from experience. While writing Isobel’s Mission of Courage, I had to face my own surprising cancer diagnosis and was challenged to draw on my previously untested courage. Having written about cancer and the courage to deal with it prepared me to live it, bringing a deeper knowledge into Isobel’s story.

Even before my own experience, the theme of my writing became, “Courage: The Intersection of Faith and Grit.” Our walk with Him builds hope which develops faith. Whatever He’s asking us to do, the first step begins with faith and is fueled by grit. Whether it’s to face an abusive husband, a financial catastrophe, a pandemic, the loss of a loved one, or cancer.

How does Isobel face her cancer? How does she deal with her own spiritual weaknesses while trying to fulfill her mission in life by helping someone else? I hope you will read Isobel’s Mission of Courage not only to find out, but perhaps to find your own courage at the intersection of faith and grit.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

My Review

The second novelette in the upcoming Faces of Courage series, Isobel’s Mission of Courage by Susan Beatty can be read as a standalone, although I would encourage readers to also pick up House of Courage to avoid missing out on more wonderful characters and faith lessons. While I am usually not a big fan of works that are not novel-length, I enjoyed the first novelette and am now impressed by Isobel’s Mission of Courage. Beatty has condensed her story into fewer than 100 pages without the narrative feeling rushed or incomplete. All things considered, it seems realistic, as well—neither too idealistic nor overwhelmingly melancholy.

Deeply insightful, Isobel’s Mission of Courage turns to a different source of courage than one would probably expect: that of recognizing how we as Christians may be erecting idols and using our God-given gifts as trophies and perhaps even currency toward trying to earn the salvation that is already paid in full by Jesus’ death on the cross. To bridge the gap in our understanding, this spiritually-aware courage is placed alongside the more easily-recognized bravery of fighting breast cancer and the side effects of treatment. I love how this is done because it illustrates that we can truly “Fear not” when we stop trying to do things for God as a means to build ourselves up and instead start doing things with God to glorify His name. As Todd tells Isobel, “It’s easy to remember to ask for help when we feel weak. But when we feel strong, we tend to forget we need as much help if not more. Besides if we’re not asking for help, are we really working alongside God? Or are we working on our own?”

This is a story that will pull you in and, ultimately, convict you, which is what we all need right now in this strange year. The Lord doesn’t call us to prove ourselves; He calls us to love each other.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, September 3

Inklings and notions, September 4

Mary Hake, September 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 6

Texas Book-aholic, September 7

deb’s Book Review, September 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 8

lakesidelivingsite, September 8

For Him and My Family, September 9

Through the Fire Blogs, September 10

Artistic Nobody, September 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Christian Bookaholic, September 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 15

Batya’s Bits, September 16

Giveaway

HOSv16Fs

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100f0/isobel-s-mission-of-courage-celebration-tour-giveaway

Trouble in the Ruins Review and GIVEAWAY!

R8d_pf4Q

About the Book

uoEzYGu4

Book: Trouble in the Ruins

Author: C.L. Smith

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release Date: September 2019

Return to the turbulence of ancient Canaan in Book Three of The Stones of Gilgal. Even the raging floods of the Jordan could not stop the Israelites from crossing the river and setting up camp near Jericho. Canaanite kings and kingdoms—even the Anakim giants—are in turmoil. Former enemies jostle for power in new alliances, united only in their determination to destroy the Israelite invaders.

When the massive fortifications of Jericho collapse, Salmon rushes into the ruins to save Rahab, the beautiful harlot who had rescued him and his fellow spy from certain death. But saving her from her own city is not so easy. And that is only the beginning of the trouble, treachery and devastating ruins they and their friends face as they settle into their new life in the Promised Land.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

sfr7gRyo

C.L. SMITH, former missionary, retired junior high English/history teacher, has captivated audiences around the world for years with the timeless thrill of biblical tales. Now her six-part Stones of Gilgal saga brings the mayhem and miracles of the book Joshua to life. Well researched and beautifully written, the author weaves her lifetime love of learning and people into the fabric of the biblical text, creating a tapestry of rich scenes and colorful characters the reader will not soon forget.

Learn more at www.stonesofgilgal.com

More from C.L. Smith

The Stones of Gilgal biblical novels follow the epic adventures of a group of ordinary young Israelites. As they battle evil together, they sink their roots deeper and deeper into the bedrock of God’s Truth and Love, slowly growing from a stand of saplings to a forest of giants.

Oak-Ad-final-J

Two of the seven young characters in my series have to deal with a lot of Trouble in the Ruins in this book. Lots of trouble. Lots of ruins.

Rahab the Harlot barely escapes the ruins of Jericho, but the ruins of her former life threaten to keep her ever an alien among the people of Yahweh.

Abihail is Acsah’s best friend from childhood, but she is also a fictionalized daughter-in-law of the biblical Achan. Her life is slammed with heart-rending trouble and ruin as that horrific Old Testament drama unfolds.

The Title: Trouble in the Ruins

The inspiration for this title comes from a couple of “plays on words” in Hebrew.

Trouble: The name Achan in Hebrew sounds very similar to the word Achor meaning trouble. The story of the biblical character Achan is forever tied to the word trouble at the end of Joshua 7 when the valley where he was stoned and buried under a “monument” of rocks received the name the Valley of Achor.

Ruins: Achan’s sin led to defeat at a little fortress known as Ai which means ruin. Some scholars suggest that the fortress was built on or near the ruins of a city destroyed in an earlier time. Following the glory of the crossing of the Jordan and the crumbling walls of Jericho—the Hebrew mind would find great dramatic irony in Israel being defeated by a “ruin.” The story jolts us out of complacency, underscoring the life and death consequences of obedience versus breaking covenant with God.

My Review

“Grandpa’s generation, the Exodus generation, found significance in teaching their children to live in covenant with Yahweh. You are the Gilgal generation. The shame of failure is rolled away, and tonight, we celebrate a new beginning.”

Biblical fiction is a difficult genre to write, and in my experience, it tends to be either hit or miss. Enough detail to inform readers about the time period and pique their interest, but without ever adding to the inerrant word of the Bible. Telling a story that will lead readers to the Bible to learn more without compromising THE story. Despite the challenges, I’m glad that there are authors who are willing to produce books set in this era, to make us examine Scripture more closely and to develop an understanding of what life was like for the people who actually lived the Bible.

Book three in The Stones of Gilgal saga, Trouble in the Ruins details the Israelite take-over of Canaan after their miraculous crossing of the Jordan. Author C.L. Smith again writes an engaging, page-turning novel replete with action, reality, and faith. In my case, I know that I tend to become so familiar with accounts from the Bible that I can gloss over them without really studying them and considering the details, whether there are any provided or not. That is part of why I love this series so much. I feel as if I am truly an eyewitness to what is unfolding as the scenes and characters come to life on the pages. Trouble in the Ruins focuses primarily on Rahab and the fate of Jericho, including its aftermath. I recently read Rahab: Woman of Jericho by Diana Wallis Taylor (see my review HERE), but I felt that Rahab was portrayed there with a much cleaner backstory and an overall too-much-improved image. Here, on the other hand, Smith presents Rahab as a former prostitute who is nervous and unsure, a refugee along with her family. She is unfamiliar with Israelite customs but willing to learn, which I think may be a part of the reason that she was spared and later given the honor of being in Jesus’ lineage. This also raises a connection to society today: Even if you come from a sketchy background or have a sinful past, all that is needed is to repent and accept the Lord as Your Savior. He will turn every broken piece of your life into a beautiful masterpiece.

A few other facts particularly drew my attention, too. For some reason, my mind never fully grasped the fact that the cord hung in Rahab’s window was scarlet for a specific purpose, as well: “The color of blood and death. The color of Passover faithfulness.” Just as Yahweh miraculously saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, led them through the forty years in the wilderness, brought them safely across the flooded Jordan, and delivered Jericho into their hands, His supernatural providence and power provided for them again as Rahab and her family transitioned into life with the Israelites. This, along with the parts of the narrative that feature Salmon and other Israelite characters, underscore the human-ness of the characters, who face fear and doubt but stand behind the God who protects them. Also, the Israelite purification ritual made much more sense to me after realizing that they did this in order to remain clean while in the presence of God, Who inhabited the Ark of the Covenant. I also can’t help but think that America in 2020 greatly resembles Jericho, with its corruption, chaos, and rampant sin, and I think that we would do well to heed Rahab’s story and repent and follow the Lord before it’s too late.

Included at the end of the book is a List of Characters, a very useful guide to both the true and fictional people in the story (I personally think it would have been more useful to place this at the beginning, but that’s just my preference).

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 1

For the Love of Literature, September 2

For Him and My Family, September 3

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 4

Emily Yager, September 4

Artistic Nobody, September 5 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 7

deb’s Book Review, September 7

Inklings and notions, September 8

Betti Mace, September 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 10

Batya’s Bits, September 11

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 12

Mary Hake, September 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 14

Giveaway

-P02bXD8

To celebrate her tour, C.L. Smith is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!! (U.S. Only)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fff7/trouble-in-the-ruins-celebration-tour-giveaway