Bookclub Highlights: Life After by Katie Ganshert

My Dearest Readers,

My bookclub friend and I have been on a morbid streak this year. Remember how last year all we read were books on WWII? Our reading choices for 2017 have largely dealt with the topic of tragedy. This greatly disturbed me. Why has it so enamored us? Yet, as I contemplated, what can be a better topic for living in this world today? As we turn on our tvs and turn to the news, we are bombarded with stories of pain, hate, riots, killings, the list could go on. Today, we need all the encouragement and healing we can get. Katie Ganshert’s  Life After delivers just that.
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Bookclub Highlights:The Wishing Jar by Penelope J. Stokes

Because The Wishing Jar has been one of my favorites since last year, (you can read all about my enthusiasm in 2016 Favorites (Part One) ) sharing this book was very special to me. I gained so much encouragement from the pages and wished the same for my friends. It is my heartfelt desire for EVERYONE to read this ( I cannot keep the story to myself!) and hope you’ll be the next!

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2016 Favorites (Part One)

As weird as it may sound, when I look back at all the books I consider my favorites from last year, I’m reminded of God’s love for me. Most of these books carried an encouraging message I needed to hear at the time. Others, the story was purely an adventure! Either way, I have to look up and say, “Thank you, God because I know that was You.”

If I could give one novel to every person on earth it would be Penelope J. Stokes’The Wishing Jar.  Everyone has gone through their share of struggles; everyone has gone through their share of life. We all experience the same tippy top highs and the darkest of pits. We rejoice in these highs, but what hope is offered during the lows? If each person has gone through them, why can’t we find anything better to say than”Everything’s okay,” or “These trials will help you grow stronger.”  We are not “okay” during a trial neither do we feel strong. The author…she gets it. She’s not a Job’s friend if you know what I mean. Instead, she takes a drastically different approach in admitting that there is no good answer why we go through what we do. Despite this sobering truth, she still offers a generous dose of hope. And the hope she offers is summed up by this one simple quote:

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Secondly, she teaches you how to be a strong woman. And I don’t mean the emotionally immune, has strong muscles sort of strong. (that’s called being a robot) Instead, she demonstrates how to harness God’s strength.

We can’t do life on our own. We quickly succumb to the gales and are blown over. But with God, He is the steady arm that keeps us standing. We maybe bowed over and our petals wilted but we are not dead. With His gentle breath, we will rise to see another dawning. (Psalm 30:5)