“When Life Isn’t Fair, There Is Still the Fairest Lord Jesus.”
Is Jesus Enough?
This is an amazing, realistic look at selfless service for Christ. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, and Christian self-help is usually something I avoid because it isn’t very Christian. But this book focuses on exactly what’s wrong with our attitudes and our expectations. “All things work together for good”, doesn’t mean we have a guarantee of comfort and happiness in Christian service. The author had to learn these lessons through personal suffering and hardship, just when he thought he was doing his best to serve God. He teaches us that we might have our heels dug in, demanding a reward for what we’ve done. The truth is that we need to dig deeper to learn what our reward really is, what being identified with Christ really means.
“Faith and Victory Require Searching with Heart and Sword”
The Weapons of Warfare (The Center Circle Chronicles)
What does Landru need to free his world from his conquering foe? Where can he look for allies when those he depended on shake his trust to its core? Will a journey to the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge give him the teacher he needs to understand his faith? Who will fight with him when the only army he has left is trapped on another world, in another time?
The Center Circle continues to promote division rather than unity in the second installment, but Landru and Brenna grow in understanding and maturity. The Weapons of Warfare are only part of what Landru has to search for, and Biddison’s success in this book is more in teaching readers how to deal with limitations than in tidily resolving all the problems. Not everything that was lost is found. Not everything that was broken is fixed. But the hope he gives as things begin to come together keeps the reader going.
There are no tidy resolutions, but that’s what Book Three is for, I think. In the meantime, just as our faith grows and our battles go on, the Center Circle characters show us glimpses of hope that we. too, can find victory through faith.
“Overcoming Tabloid Views of Life, Faith, and Love”
This book reminded me of Tamed by Sarah Witenhafer, especially in that neither of these books is just a thin rehash of the Modern Romantic Fantasy about a reclusive rich guy with a BIG secret. Multilayered characters are a huge plus for me, since I struggle to read fiction in modern settings. Pratola gave me a boost, especially with the amazing Esposito and the astonishing twist he gives to the story.
Pratola keeps up the suspense with a clever mockery of the tabloid mentality we all fall into sometimes. Jett suffers in the press and so does artist Haven when she becomes his grandmother’s protégé. But Haven has a bit of a tabloid view as she looks at the surface of things and making judgments. She lets her emotions make decisions for her brain. She hates abuse but it colors her objectivity and keeps her from appreciating Jett’s potential almost to the end of the book.
Jett has a sort of tabloid view of God. He’s a genius who devours language-learning, technology development and every kind of knowledge but waits years before studying and trying to absorb the truth about his grandmother’s and Haven’s faith in God. He’s an excellent picture of the modern intellectual who thinks he knows it all but wants to stick to shallow thinking about his Creator.