Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Called To Controversy by Ruth Rosen

"I was only seven years old when it occurred to me that my father might be famous. I considered this a possibility because people that I didn't really know or care about sometimes told me how lucky I was to have him for my father."

And so begins Ruth Rosen's story of her father Moishe Rosen, the man best known as the founder of Jews for Jesus. Moishe was a hero to some people, a villain to others (including his parents) according to his daughter who shares her father's belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.

Described as a man with ordinary feelings and failings, strengths and weaknesses he was a controversial man whose biography is meant to reveal "how God uses imperfect people to bring about great things."

His critics called him a traitor, saying that he was not really Jewish (he was) and that his message was to make money, some believed he was evil. Others called him a self-hating Jew.

Moishe's early years were lean and at times he went hungry, his home was strongly influenced by Jewish values, but not a strong Jewish faith. He was taught that family takes care of its own; holidays are to be observed; dietary rules strictly adhered to. He was by all accounts in awe of God. But like his father he eventually grew cynical toward religion, yet these feelings did not compromise his Jewish identity.

His world, however, was changing. Moishe began attending church with his young wife and their child.

One day he was summoned home, a highly unusual request. His father wanted to know why his son was telling people he believed in Jesus. Grabbing the family Bible, Moishe tried using scripture to convince his father, mother and brother. His father, however was having none of it. Believing that Jesus is the Messiah was not an option, and unless Moishe gave up being a Christ lover his father was determined to disown him. Ben Rosen would try to get his son fired from his job.

But Moishe felt God calling him and he was determined to respond. This book is the attempt to set his record straight. The book seems longer than its 360 pages.

This book was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for a written review.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dear Writers, a must read from author Nathan Bransford

On Self-Publishing and Having a Chip on One's Shoulder

Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon

"How one woman finds faith and hope though the healing love of animals."

Get to know Luanne, her husband Henry and the assortment of quirky animals that work together to build a house in rural Vermont and in the end find their forever home. Luanne knows heartache and loneliness and sticktoitiveness, her story is bittersweet and often funny, in the end your faith in happy-ever-after will be restored.

Life is never predictable, ordinary or boring, neither are the animals. There's Corky, a homely dog of many breeds who cares only about being with the woman he loves and whose "...long, knobby-kneed legs bulged at the bottom like an old lady whose stockings had fallen down." Sixteen free-range chickens who live the adage "birds of a feather" and one handsome rooster named Fred in need of a couple of lessons move in. There's a lamb, a goose, and a donkey that needs tending and lots of understanding and many prayers.

As the animals accumulate so do the teachings. Told in present day and in flashback, the author uses a deft hand when it comes to sharing Luanne's beginnings and just the right mixture of adjectives and inspiration.  This is the tale Peggy was born to tell.

That God's hand is everywhere is evident. This is a story that will move right in and take up residence. You'll root for the characters, both those with two legs and those with four and observe first hand what it truly means to find a way to meet life's difficulties with hope and determination.

Like all great stories this one is based on fact and the truth is animals have much to teach us about love, loyalty, forgiveness and what it means to be family. 

For anyone who has ever loved an animal. I adore this story.