Posts tagged Francine Rivers

BOOK REVIEW– Bridge To Haven

Title: Bridge to Haven
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher/Publication date: Tyndale House Publishers Inc./2014
Edition: 1st ed. 
Paper back copy. 459 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-6818-4

What does Haven signify? Literally, it is a place of rest or safety.
In this book, Haven is the name of a town. The book title signifies a place of grace and mercy for each person. Literally, to enter the town of Haven, you must pass through a particular bridge. Abra Matthews found it hard to come to that bridge once again.
Metaphorically, she also found it hard to pass through that redemption bridge which only Jesus provides.
The Story.
Abra doesn’t feel like ‘somebody’. She feels neglected and unloved. She believes she was adopted at age 5, out of a sense of Christian duty, from the couple who had earlier rescued her when she was found abandoned as a day old baby.
With Mitzi though, she feels differently. Old Mitzi shares her taste for music, is fashionable and doesn’t hesitate to give a piece of her mind.
Pastor Zeke has this to think of Mitzi:





Zeke knew Mitzi as a woman of wits and wisdom… Life experiences didn’t always bring wisdom but in Mitzi’s case it brought a great deal more. She said she’s been passionate in sin, but she was even more so in repentance. She had the gift of compassion for outcasts to prove it.


At age17, this growing red-haired beauty gets lured away from the ones who love her to a place of fame- Hollywood.
She think she’s found love but she is in for a rude awakening. She thinks she’s finally become accepted and respected but finds out fame comes at a terrible price.
Review:
I’m afraid of giving spoilers but I find the plot to be predictable in any case. Inspite of this, it’s a very loaded book, with lots of suspense.
I find the root of Abra’s problem to be the thought that she is unloved. Several references were made as to her thoughts of being a castaway even though she was hugely loved.
We get to contrast love and lust. For one, love is patient.
Francine is good with evoking emotions and well, emotions matter greatly.
It’s a lovely and warm read. I think lots of lessons can be gleaned from the book ranging from patience as an attribute of love, to parenting, and life choices. The Story also had to do with the war between North and South Korea and America’s involvement owing to the United Nations.
Francine Rivers brings it as true and as hot as it gets again. I respect the writing process of this book. Francine always appears diligent with her research and I respect that. Fine details of the Hollywood life and fine attention to every character.
The main characters are Abra, Joshua, Pastor Zeke, Penny, Ryan and Franklin Moss. My favourite character is Joshua.
I think this is a good read. I’ll buy this book for every young and ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. I’ll also recommend it to everyone for its central theme which I deduce to be “Love is patient”.
I recommend it very greatly to teenagers and to everyone at large. I rate it 4.0/5 stars.
On the war:










Every soldier who goes looking for comfort, comes back with VD…I have my pocket Gideon bible on me at all times and read it every chance I get. It calms me, gives me hope. Men call me “preacher”, and not in the mocking way they did in boot camp. When death hunts men, they look for God…”

“Being with Gil made Joshua remember the things he’d been taught. “I forgot the rules” he’d addmited to Gil once during one of their early conversations.
What rules?” Gil had asked.

Rule no one: young men die. Rule number two: you can’t change rule number one. I heard it in training, but forgot it in battle
.”

Sometimes God has to destroy in order to save. He has to wound in order to heal”

 As always,
Debby.
Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading this? Do you have another recommendation for share? Pray tell…

BOOK REVIEW–And the Shofar Blew

The first time I picked up this book to read, it was an e-book version. I dove into the first chapter, and when I had cause to put it down, I didn’t miss it.
When my baby sister decided to buy me a book as my birthday gift and we didn’t locate the title by Karen Kingsbury which she was determined to buy for me, we settled for this after all its a Francine Rivers’ book. I had no clue it was the same book I had started to read once.
Author: Francine Rivers
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher/publication date: Tyndale house publishers inc/ 2003
Pages: 435 pages(my paperback copy)
ISBN: 978-0-8423-6583-3

Blurb
As Paul and those around him struggle to discern what it truly means to live out their faith, they must ultimately choose between their own will and God’s plan. The story of a dynamic young preacher, committed to building his church–but at what cost?
Paul Hudson seemed like the perfect pastor to lead Centerville Christian Church and Eunice was the perfect pastor’s wife. When Paul accepted the call to pastor the struggling church, he had no idea what to expect. But it didn’t take long for Paul to turn Centerville Christian Church around. Attendance is up, way up, and everything is going so well. If only his wife could see it that way. Still, he tries not to let her quiet presence distract him. But Eunice knows that something isn’t right and it hasn’t been for a long time… Eunice closed the bedroom door quietly and knelt beside her bed. I am drowning, God. I’ve never felt so alone. Who can I turn to but you, Lord? Where else does a pastor’s wife go for help when her marriage is failing and her life is out of control? Who can I trust with my anguish, Lord? Who but you? Grasping her pillow, she pressed it tightly to her mouth so that her sobs would not be heard.
 Related: Read a review of Francine River’s Redeeming love here

Review

The title didn’t suggest much to me as I began. I was focused on getting past the start of the book which I found rather boring.
This isn’t the best book I’ve read by Francine Rivers. I appreciate this book in it’s religious capacity. I appreciate the cogent lessons it draws out for a Christian and for the church at large. But as a piece of art, it didn’t hook me much. Not even the blurb!
Paul Hudson and his wife, Eunice appear as the cutest couple around. They have a son, Tim, and together they’re on fire for God.
A call comes to pastor a once-vibrant, now dying church in California- Centerville Christian Centre.
He shakes up the church with the zeal burning in him. One old elder tells his wife at home:

He’s trying to raise the dead”
Good” she sipped her decaf laced with cream and sugar. “You’re pleased, aren’t you?
“Yep.”
“What about the others?”
“He shook ’em up”.
“We all need a little shaking up now and then

Samuel chuckled. ” I don’t think it’s going to be a matter of now and then, Abby, but a matter of from now on

With the onset of more liberty in a church of his own, Paul’s fire soon needs encampment. He disregards those who brought the call pastor to him, he gets zealous and dreams big.
His dreams are working. The church is growing.
His relationship with his wife and son grows cold.
We encounter how the life of a pastor can radically affect the life of every other person.
We’re left to juxtapose the building God wants us to do to the church (his body) with the building we do to the church ( the structure).
Related: read a review of Francine River’s Atonment child here
Some of the major characters are Paul, Eunice, Stephen, David Hudson, Lois Hudson, Abby, Samuel.
Some of the central themes include: The vast impact of fatherhood on the lives of children; The balance of family life and the ministry call; Love gone sour; Hearing the voice of God.
We have a few beautiful sentences in the book:

Why don’t you gentlemen go out on the patio and enjoy the last bit of sunsine while I clean up the kitchen? Its hot enough in here without you two adding your steam.”
Samuel chuckled. “What do you say, Stephen? You think it’ll be cooler outside?”
Abby turned at the sink. ” you can always turn on the sprinklers.”
Samuel opened the screen door, inviting their guest to follow. “Never argue with a lady, Stephen. If you win, you just end up feeling guilty”. The younger man laughed as he pushed his chair up to the kitchen table”

“We all have besetting sins, Stephen. They’re the trouble that bring us to our knees and keeps us depending on the Lord for strength”

” he intended to woo her not just in the way he had in the early days of their courtship, with flowers and love letters, soft music and dimmed lights, but with the right decisions. Walking the walk, one step at a time. Keeping the faith with her, safeguarding their marriage”

She looked fragile and broken. “You know what hurts most, Euny? I can’t seem to hear the Lord’s voice anymore. It used to be so clear that it was like a trumpet call-like the shofar of ancient Israel. But I can’t hear him anymore. Not even the still, small voice. And I want that more than anything.” She took Eunice’s hand, her eyes filled with anguish. ” Don’t Let it happen to you, honey. Please don’t let it happen”.

The characters are credible and understandable although a lot of times, I was annoyed by the patience the majority of them demonstrated.
My favourite character is Lois, Eunice’s step mother. My love for her grew in bounds when she had cause to go to a pub. All her responses were lit. She appeared bold and brazen for the gospel, she’d only become subdued by the man she was married to. I was glad she heeded God’s wake up call through Eunice to see what she’d been doing all along.
I highly recommend this book to Christians especially Christian leaders in any capacity.
This is also good for anyone who wants a perspective into what it takes to build a home and a church too. Of course, if you’re a fan of Rivers, you shouldn’t miss out on it!

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book before? Are you interested? Feedback!

BOOK REVIEW–The Atonement Child

Before my two weeks semester break began, I was certain I was going to read so many books. I was only yet to draw out the list of fiction, autobiography and Christian literature I would read. I was only yet to.
The break has turned out entirely different but I’m super grateful for how it turned out. It’s been tough keeping up with certain demands in my fellowship but I’ll probably never really build so much strength without it.
Another good thing was that I completed a book by Francine Rivers. I did so in no time really. In this book, she really pushed her Christian views forward. It seemed like a tough Francine. Well, well Precious people, let me review it before pushing all my opinions in front of your face. (sidenote: I’ve been calling everyone precious these days, good innit?)
 
The title of the book is “the atonement child”, authored by Francine Rivers. It was published by Tyndale house publishers inc, Wheaton Illinois. it has 376 pages.
I was in a Christian library the other day, and I saw a book with a colourful cover page on a shelf.
It’s titled “aids is real and it is in our church”.
To be honest, I can imagine most pastors swiftly yet steadily glancing away with sufficient experience, from that book with the colourful cover page. But aids IS in our church. Who’s gonna pick up the book? Against that backdrop, “the atonement child” is also a book that hinges on a topic that makes us all avert our gaze to the side. It’s based on a somewhat sensitive issue. Abortion.
 
In a moment too short to have had the weight and consequence it eventually had, Dynah Carey was raped. Painfully. Brutally.
Beautiful Dynah, sweet Dynah, blonde-hair Dynah, God-adoring Dynah. Her family seemed to have been her rock. I enjoyed reading how she went down to New Life College in Illinois to school and how she met Ethan who swept her off her feet, yes. However, her life hit rock bottom after the rape and she was forced to reconsider everything she had ever known, and forced to put things in perspective, one day at a time.
The main characters were Dynah; Ethan, her fiance; Hannah, her mother; Doug, her father; Joe, her friend; Evie, her grand-mother. The characters were very credible and they felt so many emotions . I’ve understood that I sometimes choke down my feelings and refuse to consider them in a bid to be respectful. Well well, back to the characters. The characters seemed to have been tried with trials they couldn’t bear, they ran into lots of problems.
My favourite character is Dynah. duhh. She was able to pull through beautifully(this involved lots of tears and questioning God, running away, quitting school) but it serves to tell how much dignity can still be pulled on, in ugly circumstances. If I told you who my second favourite character is, I’ll probably begin to gush and digress and I will mention my third favourite. You already know I love the book, I don’t need to make it any more obvious.
 
Beautiful as the characters were, I couldn’t relate on a personal level. Our experiences differ. The setting is also in a contrasting part of the world. My favourite part of the book was a certain widows brigade meeting. Some close old women who met together every Sunday over the past four years to share lunch, sorrows and joy. I liked It because it touched on vulnerability. And the courage to call on the commander of the army, to go to war against the enemy.
 
This book while focusing on Dynah, was able to efficiently branch out to the lives of people affected by abortion: The doctors who perform it, the families of the doctors and what they felt or didn’t feel, the parents of those who aborted and reasons for supporting or opposing it, the men for whom pregnancies were aborted and their disposition for the rest of their lives , the pastors from whom counselling was sought, their errors and their excellence, the schools with no tolerance policy for pregnancy and the blind eyes turned to rape circumstances, the government and the position of the law, pro-life support groups and what they really care about.
On the issue of pro-life organizations, this book subtly dealt with why these organizations should focus more on the women thinking of having or who have had abortions and should not only be concerned with ‘saving the child’
This book had exceedingly thrilling points despite it the solemn theme.
I’ll recommend this to all and sundry because we all have a thing or two in perspective about abortion which needs changing.
 

On having answers :
He looked into her eyes and saw fear and confusion, her anguish. He wanted to weep. He knew the answer to that question in his heart. He knew the answer by all he had studied over the years in the word. But he couldn’t bring himself to give a one word answer to such a loaded question.

 

On Christian zeal:
Douglas had noticed that when they first met Ethan “he’s on fire alright but that kind of fire can burn churches down”

 

On grief:
she had thought she had cried to last a lifetime when she was nineteen. Now she realized she’d had no clue what grief was. She hadn’t known how deep it could go or how long it could last and that there were ramifications she hadn’t suspected.
Sometimes when she read her Bible, she envied the Israelite. They could wear sack clothes and ashes. They could wail and scream. They could prostrate themselves before the lord

 

On trials:
anger stirred. Frenetic activities seemed to be Ethan’s forte. And safety valve. When he didn’t want to face something, he served mightily as for the lord. But not really. It was easier to teach God’s word than to live it

 

On people’s justifications for abortion:
“it would seem life could be built upon the foundation of death”
“besides the supreme court doesn’t agree with you. They seem to think we poor women would fall apart if we knew the facts, so they decided women don’t have the right to know the full truth” she shook her head “they’ve made it legal to withhold vital information, even when a woman asks for it…and do you know the argument they used for withholding information? They say it spares women trauma…”

 

On facing the truth:
“she lifted her shoulders slightly, unable to explain, not sure she wanted to diagnose her feelings. Perhaps it was best not to examine some things too closely. You might find corruption.

 

On compromises made for love:
she hadn’t wanted to think about it too much or look too closely, not when the love of her life was so intimately involved. She couldn’t bear to think he might be wrong

 

On worrying:
He brushed a tear from her cheek. “you’re borrowing trouble, Dynah. You’re worrying about what might happen. Deal with now”

 

On love for Children:
“I remember my son going through a period in the seventies when he said he didn’t want to bring children into such an awful world, ” Evie said” I told him people who cared so much about children should be the ones having them”

 
 
Love and books,
Debby.
 

BOOK REVIEW-Redeeming Love

Hello there beautiful people of the internet! how have you been? If you’re in Nigeria, how are you dealing with this premium motor spirit(until now, petrol was known as petrol for me o) at 145naira? I trust you’re standing tall in spite. Hope you still eat stew? Tomatoes are the worst hit. The price of it!
I was thinking it’s great to have a journal; it reminds you of your potentials. When you see some of your write-ups in the past, you just want to ride on.Having read previous reviews of movies and books in my journal, I thought ‘what have you been waiting for, Deborah?’. Book review it is.
Two weeks ago I completed “redeeming love”, for the second time. And then I felt like a walking contented-sigh, if you get what I mean.
Now the first time I read “redeeming love” was either in 2007 or 2008, I was in secondary school. I loved-loved it. It was the secret telepathy of we skinny teenage girls. We understood it, we understood ourselves also(well, sort of). Something precious was shared. It was my eye-opener to Francine Rivers’ books which I’ve not been doing justice to. It was pure. For a while, every time I filled a slam book I would write “redeeming love” as my best novel.
Having this book again is a delight. This time, I got other books I’ve never read along side “redeeming love”. Old love always wins out. It’s a feeling you can always bank on. Something familiar. You don’t know about the others but you know the direction in which this one is headed.
The book proved me wrong. I started it and thought ‘oh yes, I remember this scene’. Then I became confused. I thought, ‘was it always like this?’. That was the begining of a roller coaster ride.
I was open to this book, I let it read me.
The title suggests just another love story. No, it’s unique.
This book is a Christian romance. It is written from the third person point of view and its written in a semi-formal style.
As I’ve already laid, Francine Rivers is the author. The publisher is Water Brook Multnomah publishing group. Here is something remarked before the story “here at Water Brook Multnomah, we measure the success of our books by whether or not they deliver real life-change to our readers”. My copy of the e-book has 399 pages.
The story is about the blows life deals to a young woman, its effect on her, it’s effect on the people she meets and how she channels it eventually.
Life is hitting Sarah hard in the face, she’s trying to get up, it’s kicking her right in the stomach again, knocking the wind out of her.
Sarah, Michael Hosea, the Altman family and Duke were the major characters. The characters are credible, each is the perfect picture of something specific.
At the beginning we were led into little Sarah’s life. The world seemed too cruel a place for tender vulnerable Sarah. When we’re let back into her life at 18 years, she’s ruthless, branding some other people’s world.
My favourite character in the book has to be Michael. I consider him very strong. So strong. The patience he has in times of anger and frustration baffles me.
Under the mask Sarah wears, she is brutally honest and accepting of herself.
I respect Michael’s resolute determination in certain things. I admire his faith which propels him to love.
The book deals with so many themes; trust or the lack of it, man’s first experience with the church, unconditional friendship, rejection etc
My favourite part of the book will give the book away so I’m reserving it. I enjoyed the way a stranger to love slowly discovered love. I don’t think I have a least favourite part of this book neither would I change any part. Every part makes up the metamorphosis in the characters’ life.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I think just about everyone would love It, it touches on something core in our lives. Just how much of our burdens are we ready to strip off? Just how much of our lives are we ready to lay down in love?
Now I wasn’t very diligent to highlighting and getting excerpts but I got some:
A glimpse into Sarah’s life at 7:

“Sarah followed, too afraid to be left behind”
“when the other children mocked Sarah and called her mother names, she looked at them and said nothing. What they said was true; you couldn’t argue with what was true”

Other excerpts:

“they scrambled, grappled, gambled and grabbed- and everything they had was spent without thought or consideration. They paid to become enslaved”

 

“someone who will get dirt beneath her nails but doesn’t already have it in her blood”

 

“I go up to that room in hope and come out defeated”

 

“she almost laughed but she knew if she did she would give in completely to hysteria”

 

“the night sky was so clear, stars everywhere and a moon so big it seemed to be a single silver eye staring down. Her mind and emotions still boiled. She tried to call up her defenses, but they had dispersed”

 

“she just sat, wordless, back straight, head up, hands clenched in her laps as though she were going into battle instead of going home”

 

She closed her eyes tightly ” ‘you want what I don’t have. I can’t love you. Even if I was able, I wouldn’t.’
he hunkered down, took the damp blanket from her and covered her with the dry quilt ‘why not?’
‘because I spent the first eight years of my life watching my mother do penance for loving a man’ “

 

“I did it to myself . I did it to myself. mea culpa, mea culpa”

 

“God doesn’t condemn he forgives”

 

“She looked at him bleakly: ‘your kind of love can’t feel good’
‘Does your kind feel any better?’ she looked away.
He unlooped the reins. ‘right now love doesn’t have an awful lot to do with feelings‘ he said grimly
‘don’t misunderstand I’m as human as the next man. I feel alright. I feel plenty right now, a lot I wished I didn’t’ “

 

” he[Jesus] was a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care is53:3″

 
Feel free to read my previous book reviews here and here.
What do you think? Does the book intrigue you in the slightest? Will you get it? What book are you currently reading? Your experience is not over here until you comment.
See you in a bit.
Cheap tomatoes, books, God’s love,
Debby.