Understanding Baptism (Church Basics) by Bobby Jamieson | Christian Ministry Resources Review

Understanding Baptism (Church Basics) by Bobby Jamieson

A book was provided which left me delighted. The following review was prepared just for you!

Church Basics Series
Christian Ministry Resource

What's the big deal about baptism?

Jesus commands his disciples to be baptized, and it’s a glorious picture of a person’s union with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Still, many Christians feel unclear about the topic, having more questions than answers. This short work provides a biblical explanation of baptism. What is it? Who should be baptized? Why is it required for church membership? And how should churches practice baptism?

My Thoughts

I was saved and baptized over thirty years ago and I have always felt like I have a pretty good understanding on the act of baptism. When I received Understanding Baptism in the mail I figured it would be a quick read (it's only 74 pages) that would basically be addressing issues for new believers.

Well I was sort of right because the book (booklet?) does reach out to new believers but it was also written for the more mature believer that is just wanting more specifics and of course it is also designed for the church leadership. Pretty diverse audience if you ask me, but it works. Bobby Jamieson doesn't beat around the bush with anecdotes and cute stories, instead he addresses the issue head on.

Let me give you a little taste of his style with this passage from the chapter How Should Churches Practice Baptism?:
"Baptism is a church's act of affirming and portraying a believer's union with Christ by immersing him or her in water, and a believer's act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and his people,thereby uniting a believer to the church and marking off him or her from the world. In baptism, a believer commits to God's people and God's people commit to that believer. Therefore, where a church exists, baptism should confer church membership. The church doing the baptizing should, by that very act, be inducting this new believer into their number. Baptism isn't just a prerequisite to church membership; normally, baptism begins church membership. Church membership is the house, and baptism is the front door." (pg.67)
After reading this short text I think the reader will not only come away with a greater understanding of baptism but also a more precise understanding of the role of the church in the act. I read the book aloud to my husband on a recent road trip and it sparked some interesting and in depth conversations.

I think this would make a wonderful resource for small groups or even Sunday or Wednesday night services where most of the participants are believers. I think often a person is saved and then proceeds to baptism (or not) without the knowledge of what that signifies both to the person being baptized and the body of believers (the church). With that in mind I highly recommend this book to church leadership with the hope that they will then share it with their membership.

Anchor In The Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin | Historical Romance Review

Anchor In The Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin

A book was provided which left me delighted. The following review was prepared just for you!

Waves of Freedom #2
Historical Romance


Nothing slows Lillian Avery down--not her personal challenges and certainly not America's entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he is her brother's best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves--and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling?

As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

I was so excited to get my hands on Anchor in the Storm. I enjoyed Through Waters Deep which is book one in the Waves of Freedom series. In that first book we met the Avery family and the story focused on Jim Avery and Mary Stirling. This second book continues with a bit more of their story but the main characters are Jim's younger sister Lillian and his friend and fellow Navy man Archer Vandenberg.

Lillian was involved in an accident several years ago that caused the loss of one of her legs. She's a bit defensive about her impairment but she seldom lets it stop her. She has gone on to college and become a pharmacist. She's determined to make it in her chosen field even though the odds are stacked against her. Providence provides her with just the right opportunity and she steps out on faith and takes the job.

Archer is from a very privileged background but is determined to make it as a Navy officer. He wants it to be a career but his family wishes otherwise. Through the eyes of Archer and his fellow seamen we get to see just how grueling life can be aboard a ship during combat. Archer struggles with combat fatigue as does his shipmates. Unfortunately several of the men have turned to narcotics to feel better. Once Archer realizes what is going on he's under even more pressure to find the source of the drugs and put a stop to it.

Archer and Lillian are attracted to each other but as things heat up at their respective jobs they find themselves at odds.  I enjoyed their story even more than that of Jim and Mary. Sarah Sundin's stories always seem to have an added element of suspense but this one was especially intense. I'm once again thrilled with the story of a strong female that doesn't diminish the role of the man in order to advance the woman. 

My book club has enjoyed several of Sarah's books in the past and I am quite sure that we will add this novel to our reading list. If you are part of a book club and are interested in having some discussion questions to start the conversation I'm happy to say that she has included a set of thought provoking questions in the back.

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Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli | Children's Book Review

Counting Blessings by Eileen Spinelli

A book was provided whcih left me delighted. The following review was prepared just for you!

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Lee Holland
Juvenile Fiction (ages 4-8)

Count along from 1 to 10,
remember your blessings
again and again.

Cuddle up with your little ones 
and count numbers as well as the 
many blessings in their lives.

Children count along from 1 to 10, following the sweet rhyming text by beloved author Eileen Spinelli and the cute and cuddly illustrations by Lee Holland. Along with counting, this padded cover board book teaches children to see the blessings in life. With whimsy and joy, Counting Blessings captures the attention of young children, filling their minds with numbers and their hearts with happiness.

My Thoughts

One of the universal things that we all do with our little ones is teach them to count. Whether we are buttoning up jammies or climbing stairs it just seems instinctual to begin to count. Before you know it your child will be chiming in as well. 

In Counting Blessings Eileen Spinelli has taken that everyday habit and included a twist. Instead of counting buttons or stairs she is counting blessings! The story centers around a sweet little bunny and follows him through his day counting up all the things that are blessings for him and his friends. In the end he comes to the conclusion that they have so many blessings that it would be impossible to count them all. 

The concept is a wonderful one but the pictures put it over the top. I just adore the beautiful illustrations by Lee Holland. His use of vibrant colors and sweet little animal creatures make the book a true delight for the eyes. This is a book that I am sure you won't mind reading again and again to your little one.

Disclosure of materials.

Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2) by Lisa Harris | Romantic Suspense Review

Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2) by Lisa Harris

A book was provided which left me delighted. The following review was prepared just for you!

The Nikki Boyd Files #2
Romantic Suspense

Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.

Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts you right into the action in this fast-paced thriller.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

If you follow my reviews you'll know that I wasn't all that hot on the first book in the Nikki Boyd Files. I said I enjoy Lisa Harris' writing so I was willing to give book two a shot. Well I've read it . . . and I enjoyed it very much. Missing is written more like what I have come to expect from Lisa. The plot moves along at a good clip and the characters' actions seem to be more in alignment with what you would expect from them.

The story line in Missing picks up just shortly after Vendetta left off. Nikki Boyd finds herself embroiled in a precarious missing persons case. Every time she seems to be making some headway in the case one of her contacts winds up dead. As the story progressed I thought that I knew who was behind everything. Then an unexpected turn came and I had to rethink my conclusion.

I also enjoyed gaining more insight into the mysterious disappearance of Nikki's sister years ago. This is a secondary plot that adds depth to the reasoning behind Nikki's career choice. When you add in the brewing romance with longtime friend Tyler Grant you wind up with an intriguing story that completely held my interest and left me wanting more. 

Other Reviews For This Author

Fatal Exchange (Southern Crimes, Book 2)
Hidden Agenda (Southern Crimes, Book 3)

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 Lisa Harris

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Murder Comes by Mail (Hidden Springs Mystery #2) by A.H. Gabhart | Cozy Mystery Reveiw

Murder Comes by Mail (Hidden Springs Mystery #2) by A.H. Gabhart

Book review disclosure.

Hidden Springs Mystery #2


Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn't particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses--a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn't last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs' concerned citizens.

Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves--because the killer could be targeting one of them next.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Murder Comes by Mail brings us back to Hidden Springs and all of its quirky yet lovable characters. Since we last visited in Murder at the Courthouse life has gone on with the same daily happenings that the citizens have come to expect. 

When we catch up with them Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane is doing his christian duty by transporting the Senior Adult Ladies Sunday School Class from First Baptist over to Eagleton to see a play. Michael is less than thrilled but of course when his Aunt Lindy makes a request it is next to impossible to turn it down.

The trip is hot but uneventful. That is until they are about to cross the bridge. As they approach the bridge Michael spots a man that is obviously about to jump and take his life. Michael stops the bus and ultimately pulls the man from the ledge. Instead of being grateful the man leaves Michael with a parting comment. "You'll wish you'd pushed me."

As the mystery deepens and unfurls cryptic letters begin to arrive in Hidden Springs. Why is this happening? Who was the mysterious jumper? Even though the jurisdiction for the incident is in Eagleton more and more of the clues keep arriving in Hidden Springs. 

The first book in the series read like a cozy mystery. This installment has more of a psychological thriller feel. I enjoyed the journey as the mystery is solved. I was led back and forth trying to figure out who exactly was behind everything. In the end it was a big surprise even though breadcrumbs of clues were left all along the path.

I'm really liking Ann Gabhart's writing in this genre. I've come to love her other novels so it is a great delight to have another type of storytelling to be entertained with. If you enjoy a cozy mystery that is clean but has depth you should give this series a try. 

If you are considering this mystery for your book club there is an online Reading Group Guide that you can download for discussion starters.

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Ann H Gabhart

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