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Passport Through Darkness – a book review

Press Sample.  All opinions are my own.

For over 60 years, [North] Sudan and South Sudan have experienced extreme levels of violence and human trafficking. Because of genocide and war, millions of widows and orphans are targets for slave raiders. Furthermore, little government infrastructure exists to provide for the care and education of these unadoptable orphans. In South Sudan, a 13-year-old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than to learn to read and write.  In 2003, Kimberly L. Smith co-founded Make Way Partners with her husband Dr. Milton Smith. Her book Passport Through Darkness chronicles her journey to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.

My Review

I love this book!

Okay, maybe love is a strong word. But I was riveted by this book! It’s not for the faint of heart though. Kimberly doesn’t hold anything back in giving her account of the way God called her to work with the people of Sudan, or what happens to her as a consequence.  But, as an aspiring missionary, I felt God pull at my heart as it was broken for these people. It makes me just want to get on some planes and love on them! Callings like that comes with a price and require many sacrifices though, and Kimberly draws us into what her and her husband went through. I highly recommend this book. Some of it maybe hard to read for some, but if you have a heart for the lost and hurting, please  read it. It will change your life.

From the publisher (http://www.davidccook.com/catalog/Detail.cfm?sn=106973&source=search:)

Passport through Darkness
Author: Kimberly L. Smith

As she shares her extraordinary stories of fighting human trafficking as an ordinary mom, Kimberly Smith offers hope for readers who wonder if God is calling them to greater things.

Passport Through Darkness takes readers on Smith’s journey from normal family life and business, to Europe, to the deserts of Africa and ultimately, to the deserts of her own soul as she tries to live well as an imperfect American mom, crusade for justice for orphans around the world, and embrace God’s extraordinary dreams for her. When Kimberly and her husband risk everything to answer God’s call, they see God change and restore them-even amid exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations.

This heartbreaking, heartlifting book is for anyone who longs to see God move their life from normal to one that matters. It is a call to readers to take one more step on their journey to know God’s heart.

I received this book from the publisher (David C Cook) in return for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

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Posts May Contain Affiliate Links. See Disclosure. All opinions my own.

Twice a Slave Book Review

Press Sample

One of my 2014 SMART Goals was to read a book a month just for fun, because my dear friend Abby teased me for reading a lot of books that are “good for me” and not enough just for fun.  While I haven’t stuck to the one a month goal, if twice a slaveyou switch that to twelve books for the year, I am on target to finish twelve books just for fun.  One that I just finished reading is Twice a Slave.  Twice a Slave is the story of a Cherokee slave, as told by one of his descendants.  The story illuminates a forbidden romance, and tragedies that build faith.

The story spans the nearly one hundred years between 1756 and 1852.  The real story begins, after the prologue, with the purchase of a young Cherokee slave named Ahyoka in the Dorchester, South Carolina by Agerton Willis.  His intent was to take her home to cook and clean.  As the story progressed, Agerton and Ahyoka (also known as Joy), fell in love and were married in a clandestine wedding.  They had one son, named Joseph Willis.

Joseph was raised as a slave, being of mix’t blood (a phrase that I personally despise, but was culturally acceptable during the time the book spans). When his father died, he included in his will that Joseph should be emancipated.  The law, however, required that Joseph remain a slave until his 21st birthday.  His uncle, Daniel, refused to honor the will and emancipate him.

The story follows Joseph throughout his live, as he changes the course of history in Louisiana.  Though he was born into slavery, Joseph was eventually granted his freedom when his cousin became a senator and introduced a bill to emancipate him.  Joseph is determined to find his purpose and discover his identity.  His mother was a woman of faith, and Joseph became the man most responsible for planting Baptist churches west of the Mississippi River.

He faced his own insecurities, prejudice from all sides, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Even though Joseph’s life was threatened because of his race and faith, he became the first Protestant to preach the gospel west of the Mississippi River and started the first Baptist church west of the Mississippi.

While much of the story can be substantiated through historical accounts, the author does state where creative liberties were taken.

I’ll be the first to admit that I picked this book up several times and put it down without opening it.  I didn’t want to read a depressing tale about a man that fought for his freedom, only to be captured and enslaved again.  Once I actually started reading it, though, I didn’t want to put it down.  Twice a Slave is a poignant tale of how faith can trump circumstance.  It is amazing how one man can overcome undeniable tragedy to leave such a lasting impact on a nation.  I would heartily recommend Twice a Slave.

Twice a Slave is one of the Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line of books.  It is available on Amazon or www.barnesandnoble.com or on http://mychristianbookorders.com/ or wherever Christian novels are sold.  Learn more about Twice a Slave at http://www.twiceaslave.com/

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Bug Life Book Review

Press Sample

Our household loves to read, for the past 2.5 years it has become a nightly ritual for us. With that being said, we are always delighted to add a new book to our collection. Miss A is a little over 2 years old and Little Dude is only a few months old, so books with fun story lines and great pictures are a must for us! We were recently introduced to the Insight Kids small world series book called Bug Life, which chronicles the life of ladybugs.

Bug Life

The Small World series is all about the natural world, designed with young readers in mind. Evocative yet simple storylines and stunning illustrations combine to unravel the intricacies of insect life. Zoom in to discover more about the hidden life of ladybugs. Join a ladybug on a fast-paced adventure, and on the way, learn about her environment and daily activities, coming face to face with both predator and prey.

Bug Life is filled with absolutely amazing graphics that are sure to capture the attention of children of all ages. I will say the text is a bit advanced for my kiddos, I would say this is more aimed towards children 6+, although it is listed as Grades PK – 5. Our family still continues to enjoy the storyline of a lady bugs life. We learned what they enjoy to eat, dangers they may face and even how their life begins! This is a book we will be sure to keep around for the future! If you have a child in your life who is fascinated by everything bug related, be sure to check out the small world series!

Check out Insight Editions on Facebook and follow @insighteditions on Twitter for more great titles.

 

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30 Days to a More Beautiful You

As I mentioned earlier in my How to Plan a Ladies Tea post, and in my You Are Beautiful Bracelet Review, I was recently able to hostess the annual Ladies Tea at my church.  I was thrilled that several of our youth girls attended the tea.  Our theme this year was Beautiful, so I was thrilled to be able to use the  30 Days to a More Beautiful You devotional, by Kylie Bisutti, as a door prize. Kylie Bisutti is a former Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel.

Kylie Bisutti is a former Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel. – See more at: http://www.tyndale.com/10_Authors/author_bio.php?authorID=1556#sthash.UNcwAete.dpuf
Kylie Bisutti is a former Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel. – See more at: http://www.tyndale.com/10_Authors/author_bio.php?authorID=1556#sthash.UNcwAete.dpuf

30 Days to a More Beautiful You

This devotional is pocket sized, at just 4×6 inches, but don’t let the size fool you.  It is full of devotional readings designed to touch a young girls heart and transform her heart, body, mind, and soul.  It will help her redefine the word beautiful in her vocabulary, and help her to see that true beauty has nothing to do with outward appearances.  In fact, the more we focus on what we look like on the outside, the more insecure we become.

Fortunately, God doesn’t measure our worth by how we look. We have value simply because we are His children. The more we focus on getting our hearts right with the Lord and honoring Him, the more secure and confident we will become—and the more we will exude true beauty.

This little power house devotional retails for just 99 cents for the paper version, or 94 cents for the Kindle version.  It is available on Tyndale or on Amazon.  It would make a great little “Hey, I thought about you” gift for any young woman in your life.

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Body & Soul Book Review

Body & Soul by Bethany Hamilton, coming May 6, 2014

Press Sample

As a parent in the world we live in today, I think it is very important to teach our children at an early age to learn to accept and love their true identity through Christ, and encourage them to live and eat healthy. These may sound like simple things; but I remember my teenage years and as much as my parents tried to instill these same beliefs in me, I remember many times that I doubted myself and worried about my ‘image’, especially as a girl over everything else. Bethany Hamilton, an American professional surfer who told her powerful and inspiring story in Soul Surfer, survived a shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, has now written a guide for girls to look and feel better, in light of God’s word and purpose, that I am happy to share with each of you today.

Bethany Hamilton has become a fitness expert by virtue of being a professional athlete who has excelled—and she’s done it while overcoming incredible challenges. In Body & Soul, Bethany shares some of her core experiences with body, mind and spirit. Sharing her expertise as an athlete, Body & Soul helps young girls develop a healthy lifestyle, gain confidence, and establish a pattern of healthy living starting at a young age. This book includes workouts specially developed for young girls by Bethany’s personal trainer Dustin Dillberg, fun and simple recipes, and information on healthy eating based on “Bethany’s food pyramid,” which follows the Mediterranean diet. Body & Soul also offers advice on deepening your spiritual health, for a total mind, body, and spirit wellness book perfect for growing girls. This is a book about becoming your best “you,” through physical and spiritual balance, because spiritual health is just as important as physical health.

Body & Soul is the the perfect book for the teen or tween girl in your life. It is filled with lots of information for healthy living — exercises, recipes, establishing routines and healthy eating. Bethany also strives to include God’s views on a healthy lifestyle by focusing on what He says about it. Throughout the book, Bethany and even Dustin, her trainer, share many tips on how to succeed at a healthier lifestyle.

 If you have a young girl in your life in need of some encouragement, I would highly recommend Body & Soul! Even though my little girl is only 2 years old right now, this is a book I will be keeping safe to introduce to her in another 8-10 years!

 

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