Book Review: A Bride In The Bargain by Deeanne Gist

July 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Deeanne Gist on our radio show “Kingdom Highlights” regarding her new book, “A Bride in the Bargain”.  Ms. Gist is a very gifted author and she has perfectly captured the logging industry in 1865 which, of course, is the time period the story takes place in.

Joe Denton is a man with a mission.  He has 640 acres of timberland of which he is about to lose half because his wife died and he cannot prove it  therefore, legally he is unmarried and in violation of the terms of the contract for the land.  Desperate he signs on for a wife that Asa Mercer is going to bring from back East. Anna Ivey thinks she signed on to be a cook at Joe’s lumber camp and doesn’t want to get married.   Now the race is on as to whether 1) Joe will actually fall in love with Anna and 2) get Anna to fall in love with him before the deadline when he will lose his land.

This is a fun read and Ms. Gist has a marvelous ability to create characters that you enjoy and, if they were real, wouldn’t mind having over to your house for a meal and fun time afterward.  Joe and Anna are terrific and real but so are the secondary characters which really makes the story come alive.  On top of everything Ms. Gist has a wonderful sense of humor and there are just some scenes that will having you laughing out loud.

There are major themes that run through this book foremost of which is how we let events run our lives.  Certain events left Anna believing that she caused the death of her parents and brother which is not the case.  She won’t get married because she believes she will be the cause of the death of her husband and children.  It takes a lot of work to get her to see the truth.  Another theme is where is our treasure?  Does Joe love his land more than he loves Anna?  Of course, I am not going to answer this question that will spoil the fun but this book explores the question that Jesus asked, “Where is your treasure?”

It is a very good read and I recommend it highly.  I hope that Ms. Gist will one day write a sequel that brings back all the characters a few years into their future.  It would be fun to see how they have grown and changed.  In the meantime we just have to enjoy this book and be ready for her next book.

Dave Panico-The Soaring Saxman

July 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Music | Leave a comment
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I think Jesus plays the Saxaphone.   I have no Biblical proof of this statement, you understand, but we do know for sure that He likes the Saxaphone why else would He have created it?  We know that Jesus loves Dave Panico why else would He have created him and when we put Saxaphone together with Dave Panico we have a perfect blend that Jesus doubly loves.

The saxophone is considered a member of the woodwind family and is usually made of brass.  Under Holy Spirit inspiration the saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in 1841 so God had to wait a real long time before Dave Panico could come along and learn how to play it.  But learn how to play it he did and God’s patience was rewarded.

The name of Dave Panico’s new CD is “Joy Rid’n and it, most assuredly is a joy and quite a ride.  This is music to soothe your soul.  Had a bad day?  Put on this CD and let the music gently wash away all the abrasive that came into your life and be refreshed.  There are eleven songs on this CD and each one of them is a winner.  You will want to hear them all and then once the Cd is finished you will want to play it again.  It is that good!

Of all the songs do I have a favorite?  That is like asking a father which of his children is his favorite.  All of them are his favorite.  However there is one song that I like to listen to more than the others and that is the 6th song, “Samba”.  Even if you don’t dance this song will lift you from your chair and move your feet.  All of these songs will move you into the presence of God and let praise rise from your soul.

God loves Dave Panico and his soaring Saxaphone and you will also.  You can listen to his music on his website

Book Review: “A Claim Of Her Own” by Stephanie Grace Whitson

July 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Grace Whitson on my radio show “Kingdom Highlights” regarding her new book, “A Claim Of Her Own” published by Bethany House.  Maggie O’Keefe, the heroine, is on the run, having left Abilene in a hurry and has come to the town of Deadwood to join with her younger brother on his gold claim.  A crisis occurs and Maggie has to tend the claim of her brother or lose everything.

This is a wonderful, fun book.  I think this is one of the hardest stories to write as it is all character driven and takes a steady hand to guide the characters through the story while remaining true to each character and these characters are memorable.  There is Swede, a woman Bullwhacker, A person who hauls freight by walking thousands of miles whacking a bullwhip over the heads of oxen hauling 3 freight covered wagons and who wants to be a storekeeper.  There is Tom, a Civil War veteran who lost his right hand and now has a hook and has come to Deadwood and opened a store.  There is Aron, a street preacher, who has come to Deadwood to bring the Gospel to men who live for gold, alcohol and loose women.  And there is Freddie, Swede’s son, the hunter and protector, who is simple but, probably, the most complex of them all.  All these characters play an important part in Maggie’s life in Deadwood.

This is a story of the past and how we let it determine our present and future.  All of us have a past and some of us let it limit and hinder our growth in our present which, of course, adversely affects our future.  All these characters have a past and the only way for their emotional healing is by the Lord through contact with each other.  The Bible tells us, “Iron sharpens Iron” and that is shown through the pages of this book; not in a preachy manner but in day-to-day displays of friendship, caring and understanding of one another.  You come to love these characters as if they were alive (and they are within the pages of this book) and it is a thrill to watch them interact, grow and put aside their distrust, fear and the hurts of their pasts and find peace in their present.

Peter tells us we are “lively stones jointly fitted together”.  I looked at a stone wall and found that each stone touched 6 other stones, 2 on top, 2 on each side and 2 on the bottom.  Ms. Whitson, in her book, shows us how we come in contact with each other and what our relationship with each other can do.  None of these characters can accomplish their dreams apart from the others and this is all demonstrated quite clearly by the deft hand of a master storyteller, Stephanie Grace Whitson.

Many kudos to Ms. Whitson for a truly memorable book, I was sorry to see it end.  Perhaps one day MS. Whitson will write a sequel and we will return to Deadwood to see what new adventures these characters will encounter.  In the meantime we take solace that next year there will be a new book with new characters that will entertain us and give us new insights into our God and ourselves.

Please check out our music station “Kingdom Airwaves”

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