Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Winter Dream

"A Winter Dream" by Richard Paul Evans

I've read a couple of books by this author and I really do like him.  He writes quick little books but they pack a good punch.  They always get me thinking and have great messages.  I often wonder how he can pack such powerful messages in such short books.  That takes a good writer.  This book is about a man named Joseph who dreams things that become reality.  It has a really unique take on an old story.  It is actually the modern day story of Joseph from the Bible.  This was a great read.  Another Christmas book in May.  "I think it's beautiful that you would sacrifice yourself for your brother, but I hate that your brothers used your love against you.  Love should never be used as a weapon."  I agree, but it often is, isn't it?  Love gets twisted and distorted and used against us when it isn't God's love.  "Relationships either grow or die, but they never stay the same."  If we don't take care of our relationships they die, they take work and they are always changing.  "Relationships, by nature, require trust, and trust cannot grow in the fog of secrecy."  Trust begins and ends with honesty and so do relationships.  "Is it wisdom to search out what will hurt us most?  Is painful truth better than ignorant bliss?"  I'll just let you ponder that one.  "Sometimes our cruelest acts come not from meaning to do wrong but from not trying hard enough not to."  Sometimes we hurt because we haven't tried hard enough not to hurt.  "Caution never breeds greatness.  Caution is the birthplace of mediocrity."  Nobody wants mediocre, throw caution to the wind.  "Even a broken heart can still hold love."  Sometimes in our brokenness is when we are able to love the best.  "Oftentimes it's the smallest, seemingly inconsequential acts that make the biggest differences in our lives."  And oftentimes we don't even know it. "Life's greatest lessons are often those we most wished to avoid."  Oh how very, very true.  We avoid the hard stuff, wanting to shelter ourselves from pain but in the hard stuff we find out how strong we really are, how loved we are and often, who we really are.


"Epiphany" by Paul McCusker

This book is a Christmas book and I read it in May, that's ok.  It's about an old man who dies and sees his children as they are told about his death and how they each deal with it.  In his death he sees his children more clearly and in his death they realize the depth of his love.  It is a quick read and unique in its perspective.  "I also believed that all creativity comes from the same source: the soul, our meeting-place with God."   We create out of the secret place where we each individually meet with God.  And out of this place beautiful things come, art that connects with others.  "An empty canvas is no good until it is used for the purpose it was created to serve."  That is what our lives are, empty canvases.  We were all created to serve God and until we realize this we won't find our true purpose.  "I should have said that parents don't treat their children the same; they try to adjust to their children's personalities and do what's right for them as individuals."  Parenting is no easy task and each child is different.  We do our best to train them in the way that they should go.  A quick read with a good message, a message of love of a parent and a child, no matter the age.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Horse Boy

"The Horse Boy" by Rupert Isaacson

This book is a true story about a dad with an autistic son who goes to great lengths to find help and healing for him.  All the conventional therapies were not helping his son, really only making him more frustrated and reclusive.  Nature seemed to help Rowan relax the most.  One day when Rowen was taking a walk with his dad they came upon the neighbors horse and it was clear there was an instant connection.  Rupert, the dad, was a horseman himself and decided to see what would happen if Rowan was to ride with him.  It transformed Rowen.  So Rupert decided to take his son on a journey to visit the first horse people and to visit ancient shamans.  A shaman is a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, especially among certain tribal peoples.  Rupert was desperate for his son to be healed.  He took his son and literally traveled to the ends of the earth, to Siberia and Mongolia.  I certainly don't believe in spirits but I am in awe of this father's love and his willingness to do whatever it took to find healing for his son.  The story will amaze and shock you.  "Sometimes you need what's familiar to help you face what isn't."  True isn't it?  Even in an unfamiliar place if we have just one thing from home we can be ok.  "But to see a landscape that has changed not one whit from the way it looked when it came out of God's hands, that is a rare thing."  What beauty, what awe inspiring beauty.  They traveled to lands that have not been touched and it was breathtaking.  "We seemed to be pushing our planet, ourselves, further and further into ill health, unable to stop whether we wanted to or not."  I think we can stop, one small step at a time.  We can each do something, recycle, reuse, buy less, plant gardens.  We can all do something.  "All that cannot be explained by the rational is cast out as heresy.  Yet so much of our lives is governed by things we cannot hope to quantify in rational or scientific terms.  Like love, for instance.  Everybody experiences it, craves it, requires it for his or her very existence, knows it's there.  But no one can explain it, break it down into physics and chemistry."  Sometimes there just is no explanation.  Sometimes we just have to believe.

The Reluctant Journey of David Connors

"The Reluctant Journey of David Connors" by Don Locke

This book was a little strange, different from most books I read.  It is about a man who is a workaholic and is separated from his wife.  He doesn't know how to fix things and thinks about jumping off of a building.  But then his life takes a turn when he finds a carpetbag that magically creates gifts for people, gifts that people need.  David and a stranger go on a journey that will lead both of them to deal with decisions they have made in life and face what they fear the most.  I liked the book, albeit strange.  "From that day on I had stuffed those feelings of heartache and self-blame so deep within me that they appeared to be gone."  The funny thing is we stuff and stuff but one day they come out.  Sometimes we do not even realize why we are doing what we are doing but it is the emotions that we have stuffed so long ago coming out.  Stuffing is never a good idea, seems like it at the time, but it isn't.   This book spoke of redemption and showing ourselves and others grace.  I appreciated its message.