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“Parachute Prayer” Is Here!

Giveaway!It’s here! It’s finally here!

Parachute Prayer: the Practice of Praying Continually is now available on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. Within the next few days, it will also be available at other on-line retailers such as BN.com and BooksaMillion.com.

Here is what it’s all about:

In her new book, Parachute Prayer, Janet helps readers understand what Paul meant when he urged people to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and encourages them to develop a regular habit of prayer, one that will help them keep their prayer concerns before God as they enjoy a greater sense of His constant presence. Janet hopes that her book will help readers discover how “the practice of praying continually” can draw them closer to their Savior, benefit their people and their world, and launch them into deeper, more focused times of prayer.

To celebrate this book’s release, I’m running my very first ever giveaway here at Wildflower Faith. I’ll be giving one winner two signed copies of Parachute Prayer: one to keep, one to give to a friend. Follow instructions below to enter. (Don’t forget to click on any tasks you do to tell Rafflecopter you did them and claim an entry in the giveaway.) Thanks for celebrating with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends February 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM EST. Open to Residents of the US only. Winners will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.com and notified by email. Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Janet Benlien Reeves will send the prize to each winner directly. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Janet Benlien Reeves alone. She will not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send Janet an email!

I’m sharing this post with the Friendship Friday Blog Party and A Little R & R. Visit either of those sites to see what creative endeavors other bloggers are up to this week.

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Book Review: “The Dandelion Field”

The Dandelion FieldSingle mom Ginevieve Lightly has been running from life with her daughter, Raine, since she was old enough to do so. Raised in an abusive environment, abandoned by Raine’s father, Ginevieve doesn’t trust anyone. All she wants is to provide a loving home and a better future for her child. In her mind this means running away whenever someone gets close enough to cause them pain because she is convinced that everyone has an agenda that will eventually cause her pain.

But Raine is a senior in high school. She doesn’t want to run anymore. When her mother’s car breaks down in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Raine begs Gin to let them stay in that town until she graduates. Gin reluctantly agrees, but then regrets it when Raine announces she’s pregnant.

Cody, the baby’s father, was also raised in a single-parent home. His father was killed in a tragic accident when he was six years old. But his father’s best friend, Dan Moretti, stepped in to mentor Cody as if he were his own son. The Dandelion FieldWhen Cody announces that the baby is his, Dan is right there, offering support to both teenagers and their moms, helping them all understand more clearly what being a parent means.

I loved everything about this book. I appreciated the way Dan and his family and friends modeled unconditional, and relentless, Christian love for Gin and Raine. I loved “seeing” God at work in their lives through these people and by other means. I enjoyed the dandelion analogy and was very pleased with the book’s perfect ending. I recommend this book!

Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy of The Dandelion Field in exchange for this honest review.

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Book Review: “A Lady at Willowgrove Hall”

A Lady at Willowgrove HallThough A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the third book in Sarah E. Ladd’s Whispers on the Moors series, it’s the first of her books I’ve had the pleasure to read. Now I plan to go back and read the first two. I was captivated by this book!

Set in England in 1819, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the story of what becomes of Cecily Faire five years after her father abandons her at Rosemere, a school for young ladies. Though her father intended the separation as a stern form of discipline, Cecily realizes that, though the separation from her twin sister was painful, overall the change worked for her good. Having graduated and served as a teacher for a time, opportunity is calling her into a new future as an elderly woman’s companion at Willowgrove Hall.

But her future and her past turn out to be a bit tangled up, and Cecily must learn how to open herself up to deepening friendships without revealing her secrets. She must also learn to see and trust God’s hand in it all. Can anyone love Cecily? Or have her past indiscretions condemned her to life alone?

Ladd brought the characters, setting, and era to life. Her descriptions of the estate and of Cecily’s dresses painted clear pictures in my mind. And, through Cecily’s eyes, she helped readers see the good in all of her characters, even those who were meant to be somewhat unlikable or villainous. I appreciated that.

Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I am thankful I found the opportunity to read this author’s work; I will definitely watch for more!

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Book Review: “Gospel Formed”

Gospel Formed“The power that raised Jesus from the dead is also for everyday life.” In his book, Gospel Formed, J.A. Medders helps readers understand this truth and apply it to life. The book contains 27 short meditations full of Bible verses to consider, simple teachings to grasp, and a quirky bit of humor to entertain while clarifying the point. (Evidently, I am a member in good standing of Medders’s diet soda denomination. You’ll have to read the book to learn why.)

The book is divided into five sections that progressively take the reader deeper into the gospel-formed Christian life, from the starting block to worship, identity, community, and mission. The section on community was my personal favorite. Under the title of each section’s introduction page, Medders has placed two simple definitions of the term he’ll be exploring within. These were useful points of reference to return to as I encountered these terms in each chapter; they kept my thoughts on track.

I especially recommend this book to growing Christians, those who’ve experienced the thrill of salvation and are ready learn how to serve their great King. Medders helps readers discover the life part of the Christian life. I enjoyed reading his book and am passing it on to someone else whom I know will enjoy it, too. I thank Kregel Publications for sending a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Book Review: “Rhythms of Grace”

Rhythms of GraceThe strength of Kerri Weems new book, Rhythms of Grace: Discovering God’s Tempo for Your Life, is her gifted use of metaphor. When I got to the part where she explains how we often live our lives like playing a game of Tetris, suddenly everything became clear. The whole book is full of such eye-opening analogies to help readers understand her message and its value.

Rhythms of Grace is a book about keeping pace with God’s Spirit in order to fulfill your life’s purpose instead of living in response to the crises of life that leave you feeling exhausted and out of control. So many women struggle with this! This book shows them how to turn it around, how to live life at a sustainable pace while building something lasting and worthwhile.

The book is divided into three sections: The Foundations of Rhythm (Shalom, Sabbath, and Grace), Pace Setters and Peace Stealers (which help us to establish our priorities), and Set Your Rhythm—and Keep It Going (practical, life application—what to do). I found the first two sections most helpful but saw value in ideas from the third. A Reboot Guide in the back of the book gives more detailed instructions for establishing pace.

I highly recommend this book for small groups or for personal use. It is full of biblical wisdom, gentle encouragement, and useful ideas. It is a book I will read again!

Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Book Review: “Love Without End”

Love Without EndI am ready to move to Idaho after reading Love Without End. In this sweet romance, Robin Lee Hatcher has invited readers to join her characters in a welcoming community. She’s placed city girl Kimberly Welch there, too, against her will and with a sullen teenage daughter. The community may be welcoming Kimberly, but she wants to go home to Seattle and plans to just as soon as she can find a job there.

Her daughter, Tara, has other plans. For the first time in her life, she has a horse—a gift from a friend. And local ranch owner, Chet Leonard, has offered to stable the horse and teach her how to ride and care for it. Tara only has eyes for her horse, and it belongs in Kings Meadow.

This is a story of God gently healing hurts and changing hearts, guiding people where they most truly want to be. I appreciated the pace. My favorite parts of the story, though, were the intermittent flashbacks into Anna’s life—a story within the story of God’s generous provision. Life doesn’t have to unfold as expected or planned to be good.

I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

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Book Review: “Motherless”

MotherlessErin Healy’s newest book, Motherless, is one of her best yet—one wide-eyed revelation after another to the end. But how do I review it without giving too much away? It’s a story of parents protecting their children. It’s a story of choosing to forgive, to be forgiven, to live in grace. It’s a story of secrets and lies and temptation and sin and misunderstandings and choices that demand to be revealed and redeemed. It’s the story of serious mental illness and its lingering effects on one challenged Central California family.

MotherlessIt’s also the story of an unusual chocolate shop! (Though I’ll have to take Healy’s word for it that some of those concoctions are edible. Alas, I’m as skeptical as some of her characters—without the opportunity to taste for myself. I may need to go out and hunt for such a chocolate shop.)

Motherless is an emotional, supernatural suspense story that changes direction with each revelation until it coasts to a beautiful stop. The setting is one people dream of, yet the characters whom readers can’t help but care for dwell in mild peril and complete confusion. The compassionate message is one all people live to hear. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. It’s one I’m telling people to read.

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Book Review: “The Princess Spy”

The Princess SpyI’ve been curious about Melanie Dickerson’s books for some time now. They’re all about fairy tales and princesses, so how could she go wrong? Now that I’ve read one, The Princess Spy, I see that her idea was even better than I’d thought. Dickerson has taken the fairy tale, removed the magic from it, and written a sweet, clean story about a girl and a boy (and their family and friends) trusting God to get them safely through a perilous circumstance. The Princess Spy is based on The Frog Prince. I wasn’t sure how this could be without magic to turn the prince into a frog, but Dickerson explained it logically as if a perfectly normal event occurred and later became a magical tale.

The story is set in Germany in 1413, so, technically, it’s historical fiction. Margaretha, the main character, is under pressure to marry but hasn’t found a suitor to capture her heart. She’s considering Lord Claybrook from England when Lord Colin shows up, seriously wounded and bearing alarming news. Margaretha must decide whether to trust him and act to save herself and her family or to ignore his warning, viewing it as confusion coming from an injured man.

How Margaretha and Colin overcome negative first impressions and begin to understand and appreciate one another is the bulk of the story. Margaretha reminded me of Disney’s Rapunzel, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why. I recommend this novel for young teenage girls and thank Zondervan for sending me a copy in exchange for this review.

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Book Review: “Into the Canyon”

Into the CanyonInto the Canyon by Michael Neale wasn’t the novel I expected it to be. The back cover copy led me to believe it was a story about a man learning to forgive. That was one brief element of the book, but Into the Canyon was really a series of verbal snapshots from that man’s life taken while he was in his mid-twenties. Throughout the book, Gabriel Clarke, now an old man, is reminiscing about that earlier time in his life while mentoring a middle-aged man whose family is on the brink of falling apart.

There is no plot. There is no story. It’s as if we, the readers, get to see all of the sentimental or emotional moments of a young man’s life through which others encouraged him, yet we don’t get the context that connects all of these, therefore it’s hard to believe Clarke feels the emotions we’re presented with or to believe they were significant at all.

At one point, early in the book, it seemed as if a great mystery was beginning to unfold. FBI agents were even called in, but that story line was dropped as quickly as it was picked up. For readers, that mystery was never solved. I wondered why it was even introduced at all.

On the positive side, the book is full of the wisdom of Clarke’s mentors that, as an old man, he passes on to his friend. I understood the analogy of The River, appreciated the story of Ama-Woya, and underlined several statement that I thought were profound, but by the last third of the book, it was all starting to feel a bit contrived and cliché. I wanted to witness the characters learning these life lessons rather than simply read the summary of what they had learned. This would have increased the book’s impact for me.

Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

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Book Review: “Citizen”

CitizenCitizen by Rob Peabody wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was a great book to read. Peabody, founder of the Awaken movement in London, takes the biblical analogy of citizenship and explains every facet, every implication for life. As Christians we are citizens of God’s Kingdom, living here on earth. Jesus died to save us from our sins, but He also saved us for life in His Kingdom—a life that begins right now, not after we die.

In the introduction, Peabody gives his personal testimony and explains how he ended up moving his family from Texas to London to launch a new ministry. That move itself provides many illustrations for this book on being a citizen of one country while living in another. But the Bible is the foundation for all of his ideas. He has taken the teachings of Jesus and clarified for Christians of today.

Personally, I thought the first two chapters dragged just a bit, but I realized as I read them that they were foundational—defining. By the third chapter, I was engrossed. I appreciated Peabody’s easy-to-read, storytelling style. I enjoyed the quotations at the beginning and scattered throughout each chapter. I loved the way he took this simple, yet profound analogy and fleshed it out into a well-written book. This is one I recommend.

I received my copy from Kregel Publications in exchange for this honest review. I thank them for the opportunity to read this book.