Book Review: All Things Hidden

Books!All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is an historical Christian fiction novel set in the mid-1930’s. While I loved the characters and the storyline, I was fascinated by the real life setting. The story takes place in Alaska at the site of the Matanuska Project, an experimental program set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help families struggling to survive in America’s big cities during the depression. More than 200 families were selected from these cities to move to Alaska where homes and land were provided for them through a low-cost loan so long as they agreed to stay put for 30 years to help establish the new community.

In the novel, Gwyn Hillerman and her father have lived in the Matanuska valley for almost all of Gwyn’s life. Her father serves as doctor to the natives and to those who, like him, have already chosen to move there. Abandoned by her mother and little sister, Gwyn has grown very close to her father and now works by his side as a nurse. When she learns of the expected influx of people, she’s afraid of changes they will bring to her stable life.

At the same time, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan from Chicago loses his medical license following the tragic death of one of his more influential patients. Though the charges against him are unfair, he decides to escape the controversy rather than fight it and takes Gwyn’s father up on an invitation to help with the new community’s medical needs, hoping he can keep events in Chicago a secret.

Of course, things don’t go smoothly for either Jeremiah or Gwyn, or we wouldn’t have a story to read. I enjoyed the way their story unfolded. I also highlighted several insights they discovered throughout about getting along with others and learning to forgive. But my favorite part was reading about the birth of a new community in a harsh, but beautiful land.

I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I enjoyed reading this book.


Ephesians 3:12 on My Mind

NewOMM“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” –Ephesians 3:12, NLT

It distresses me that some people, even Christians, are afraid or don’t know how to talk to God. This is what He created us for! He loves us. He wants us to love Him back. And, as in all other relationships, communication is the tool we use to get to know one another, to understand each other, to resolve conflict, to grow close.

God invites us to grow closer to Him each day.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed walking and talking in the garden with God. They enjoyed a closer relationship with Him than any of us have ever yet known.

But sin built a barrier between them and God. Sin gives people a reason to fear His Presence, a reason to cower in the dark.

That’s why we need Jesus. Because of His sacrifice on our behalf and if we’ve placed our faith in Him as our Savior, that barrier of sin is gone. We can enter God’s Presence boldly and with confidence.

Eph3-12When I was in junior high school, my mom and I were baking one day. The vanilla smelled so good, I asked my mom if I could taste it. She told me no, telling me that I wouldn’t like the taste.

Later that day, she left to run some errands. I remembered the vanilla in the pantry and decided to try it for myself. I guess I didn’t believe my mom. But I should have! It tasted so bad that I spit it back out—and got it all over my clothes.

Not wanting my mom to know what I’d done, I changed, washed the strong smell of vanilla out of my clothes, and put them in the dryer. They finished drying just in time for me to change back into them before my mom came home.

I’d gotten away with it! But I still felt badly about what I’d done. I avoided my mom for most of the afternoon until I couldn’t stand it anymore and made a tearful and fearful confession.

She laughed! I was so confused—and relieved. Our relationship was restored.

In the same way, if ever we do wrong, thanks to Jesus, we can confess this wrong to God, knowing He will always forgive. The wall of sin between us will come down, so we can boldly and confidently enter His Presence again.

Father, thank You for creating us for fellowship with You. And thank You for Your Son, Jesus, Who died on the cross and rose again, that we can enjoy this fellowship—now and through eternity. We love You, Lord. Draw us into Your Presence often. This is where we long to dwell, forever with You, growing closer each day. In Jesus’ name, amen.